Over the years, I've shared just about every detail of my life on Hidden Mahala. I've even been accused of over sharing on occasion, but as you know, that hasn't stopped me. However, there have been times when I've had to sanitize my posts to protect myself from the prying eyes of The Holler folk.. and to fulfill promises I've made to other individuals involved.
This post is about one of those times.
Most of ya'll remember the Fergburger days, when I wrote some funny ass posts about stalking Craig Ferguson. I imagine, some of you even got sick of reading his name.. but I was getting a shit ton of page views as a result and it became sort of addictive.
I use Statcounter here, an awesome tool if you're interested in where your traffic comes from (not an affiliate link, I just happen to love the product, and it's free!) Statcounter gives you details about where your traffic comes from, search words that were used and ip addresses. Usually, I just use it to make sure I still have traffic, but back in 2006, it came in handy when I began getting a lot of traffic from CBS in Los Angeles.
Eventually, all those goofy posts lead to my receiving this email:
You can click to embiggen, then use zoom in your browser. It may be easier to read.
After I read the email.. and changed my drawers because.. Good Gawd.. I called Roxie for a 10 minute pep talk. Once I got my anxiety ridden head together, this was before meds, I called Michael Naidus at CBS.
That's right. I picked up the phone and dialed up CBS studios just like I thought I was somebody.
The conversation was a bit weird.
First of all, this dude didn't seem to know the first thing about where I was from, what my blog was called or anything about me. If he'd been responsible for all that traffic from their offices, he would have at least had some basic knowledge about what I had written.
You would think, wouldn't you?
Another odd bit, I never said I was planning a visit to Las Vegas. I just said I'd love to be able to see Ferguson there. This all took place on my old blog, the one I had to delete because I stupidly shared it with Bubbles, who then distributed it to all EMS employees in the county.
Also, it just so happened that the post I'd written that morning was about TA and I taking a drive through Maggie Valley. During the conversation, this guy asked me where I lived. When I told him, he asked what it was near, so I explained how far it was to Big City, etc. Then he was all... "Is that anywhere near Maggie Valley? I was just there on vacation, we took a long drive through Cherokee.."
I'm sorry, but did his email not say he'd just read my blog? It was a huge coinkidink, if you believe in coinkidinks, seemingly happening to show me that this man was lying.
The Universe works in mysterious ways.
Throughout the conversation, during which I'll admit I was terminally starstruck, he asked how much I'd traveled, advised me on rental cars and shuttles, assured me that The Orleans was a safe hotel, and continued to coddle the country bumpkin he thought he was talking to. He also advised me that I couldn't mention it to anyone, because they didn't want a bunch of bloggers calling them for tickets.
Obviously, I no longer give two shits.
Before I continue, I feel the need to explain a few things. When I was contacted by the producer, I was extremely excited. Excited to the point that I drove Lulu crazy for weeks with "what ifs." I honestly thought this all had something to do with my writing. Maybe this was going to be like one of those rags to riches stories and I was fixin' to move to L.A. to write for television.
My need to get away from Ma and The Holler was intense at that time.
Sure, I was an idiot, with my pie in the sky assumptions, but never.. and I mean NEVER, did I ever think this was going to be some kind of booty call. I am a cosmetically challenged heifer, always have been, always will be, and by no stretch of the imagination did I ever think that I was going to show up at The Orleans and wow any Hollywood comedian into wanting a slice of my ample booty.
Sometime between receiving the email and going to Vegas, I bought Ferguson's book. This was about a month after my conversation with Naidus. I sent him email and asked if there would be any way possible to have my copy autographed. I had even suggested that perhaps I could leave it with a member of Ferguson's staff, then pick it up later. When he responded, he said, "I don't see any way that's going to happen," or something to that effect. I don't remember the exact phrase, but I do remember that it sounded kind of pissy.
Imagine my surprise when I walked through the lobby of The Orleans that weekend and saw a giant poster, advertising the BOOK SIGNING after the show.
From start to finish, this whole situation was full of WTFs.
Most of what I wrote about my trip to Vegas was true. The only difference, I think, being the experience at the ticket counter. There was no record of my name anywhere. After that long conversation with the producer, giving him all my information and remember, HE emailed ME, it wasn't like I was trying to get something for nothing, after my putting my one credit card on life support to get there and thinking my life was somehow going to change... nothing. The kid at the desk even compared me to a crazed Donny Osmond fan who'd tried to repeatedly sneak into one of his performances.
One of the managers left the office, then returned and asked for my driver's license. Now, my driver's license picture looked like Mama Cass with a hangover after a partying for three days. The LAST thing I wanted to do was hand it over to someone, other than a traffic cop. But I gave it to him and he wandered off with it. I imagined the Fergburger standing back there with his PA and Gawd knows who else, laughing their asses off over my ugly mug.
I wanted to give up, but I'd come all that way... and as Ferguson used to say, when opportunities arise, "Always show up."
The manager eventually returned and acted like he was doing me a favor by giving me a seat. Hell the theater was barely half full.
What a clusterfuck that weekend was.
Obviously the email had nothing to do with a future writing opportunity. I'm still not absolutely sure what the hell it was all about.
But whatever. We live and learn. It made for a great story.,
The blog hits kept coming, but I couldn't help being a little pissed off. I mean.. I can take a lot. Growing up the fat kid, you develop a thick skin. But if you embarrass me? I will smite you with the evil eye of a thousand Gypsy ancestors.
After that, I did become obsessed. Now, before I go any further, I know what I'm about to tell you sounds like crazy talk. It's actually a well known symptom of mental illness. I think the reason I WAS so obsessive was more to convince myself that I wasn't crazy, than to convince anyone else.
Okay, I am a nutbar, but not THAT flavor of crazy.
I knew that someone, presumably Ferguson, was reading my blog posts. I knew, because aside from the blog stats, if I mentioned granny panties in a post, he mentioned them in his monologue. Okay, not only granny panties, there were things repeated all the time, to the point that I started making TA read my blog and watch my taping of the show. I also drug one of my old chat buddies in to it, sending her screen shots of the Statcounter logs. She was a webmaster by profession, and helped me dig even deeper into the addresses.
I hadn't gone so deep, internet stalking someone, since the Lyin' Assed Canadian pissed me off.. and I haven't since.
Don't anger the fat chick. We have a whole 'nother level of crazy.
I don't have the actual screen shots of the stats anymore, they're saved on my old computer, but I do have the spreadsheets I created to sort the information. Following are links to them on Google Docs.
Statcounter Los Angeles 3/2006 through 10/15/206
Statcounter Los Angeles IP Sort
Take a look, if you care about such things, and keep in mind the following tidbits:
Hits from CBS studios are from the office.
Hits from someone's home came from ID Rback30d.irvnca
Ferguson, at the time, had a Mac computer.
While Ferguson was on vacation in Scotland, I received hits from Dundee.
There are a lot more details, but dang, that's enough for now.
So yeah, there was a lot of weird crap going on behind the scenes of that whole story. Crap I was DYING to write about.
Anywho... ya'll can draw your own conclusions. Let me know what you think. We'll talk again real soon.
Shy Little Panda