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April 19, 2008

Every now and again I check the source of visits to my blog to see what might be bringing folks here. Visits are rare in any case, and when I say I’m checking “now and again,” I hadn’t actually looked since last August. I’m basically hoping to see what google searches lead folks to the “personal mental ramblings set to pixel” I have on display.

My thought in monitoring was to find some search requests that I could fold into a blog post for humor, but I really haven’t had much luck. Since I tend to avoid those offbeat words that might bring the strangely interesting or twisted searches (along the lines of butt plug, hermaphrodite, or Paris Hilton), the search requests that lead to Mississippi Ramblings are fairly benign. Most of the time search engine referrals are based on my BBQing or square foot gardening posts, but when I checked this time I did notice an upward trend of late based around, of all things, my post titled The Pee Race. There were a couple of searches that included the words “pee” and “bus” or “pee” and “school trip” and I suppose I can see where those might arise, but I was surprised at how many had two things in common: they were specifically about pee races and they were from Italy.

I’ve never been to Italy and chances are I will never go, though I’ve always thought it would be a great place to visit. Still, the closest I expect I’ll come is the Mario Batali recipes I occasionally prepare or the Chianti Classico I enjoy drinking. So granted, the mental image I have of Italy is poorly formed and when I think of Italy — which is rare in itself — the things that pop to mind are the afore-mentioned food and drink as well as the (in?)famous tilted bell tower in Pisa, Sophia Loren (remember Houseboat?), and . . . well, actually, that’s about it. My image of the boot-shaped country has never gone much deeper than that, but now I’ve got this a image forming of a fairly quiet, probably purposely suppressed subculture of Italian Pee Racing.

I’ve been trying to figure out what the rules could be for such a race. I started with the assumption that it’s purely a male sport — at least, I hope that’s the case, because I didn’t want to go down the mental road that otherwise must be followed. It may just be my old-school, old man gender bias coming to the forefront, but nevertheless I left that one alone.

But even if you assume an all-male sport, there are a lot of questions to be answered. The first question that popped to mind was to wonder if it’s a relay race. Being a guy, I know in a relay race there’s the worry in the heart (and gonads) of every contestant to keep clear which hand has the baton and which hand has the . . . well, accidents would be both dramatic and painful if you passed with the wrong hand. “Ohhh, Bob, that’s a rookie mistake right there; and he was just married. Really tragic.”

You also have to wonder if distance comes into play in more than one aspect. What about accuracy? Staying power? This could go on and on (with enough beer for the contestants), but I stopped with those questions because it didn’t take long in the thought process for me to decide Italian Pee Racing is a sport I don’t plan to think about any further. I’ll leave this particular activity to those Italians who have been disappointed when visiting my blog and not finding pointers (no pun intended) to help in their next match. I’ve already decided if the Golden Shower Cup series (brought to you by FloMax) ever hits the ESPN International channel I’ll find something else to watch.

All in all I really I wish I’d never learned of this phenomena. As mentioned above, I always figured Italy would be a lovely country to visit; great food, beautiful countryside, historic architecture, and some great wine country. Now, though I’d still love to go, I’m a tad worried. While I’ll still enjoy the Chianti, the food, and the Houseboat reruns on Turner Movie Classics, without knowing the language I fear in visiting the country I’ll somehow get caught unawares and end up at a local Italian Pee Race competition and find out it’s a spectator participatory sport!

I cleaned up my desk area here at home today and, in so doing, ran across my Wacom pad. I decided, however, that this post isn’t one to start back adding my drawings; I hope you’ll agree. 

From → Ramblings

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