explain yourself

Well, I just heard those words that send shivers up and down the spines of bloggers everywhere.

Son, your mother and I have been reading this website of yours

Yup. Apparently at the same time our brave Marines were spelunking down spider holes on the outskirts of Tikrit, my folks were doing some exploring of their own. I dont quite know the circumstances, but they somehow stumbled on MM.com. So, yesterday, as the rest of the world was mentally giving the haggard and bearded old Saddam Hussein the mental Queer Eye treatment, my folks were starting down that short road to disappointment.

So, let me just say first of all that from this day forward I am a new man. There will be no more discussion of my recreational heroin use or nude polaroids of me doing home repair. Those days are over. So, if you came to MM.com tonight looking for a picture of me sanding a banister in the buff or one of my infamous Lets Rob a House and Buy Some Pills adventures, you came to the wrong place.

OK, mom and dad, that was what we on the internet call, a humorous comment.

For the record, I dont use drugs and Ive never posted a nude photo of myself doing home repair. Whats more, I rarely do home repair. In fact, most of the times when you call and ask me what Im up to and I say that Im doing home repair, Im really working on this blog.

Well, Ive spent the last few hours running over things in my head and I dont think Ive ever said anything too bad on this site. Im sure my dad will want to ask me a question or two as to why Im so down on the Bush administration, but, other than that, I dont think theres much that should trouble them. I certainly never said anything bad about them or anyone else in my family, and I doubt very seriously that I ever said Id done anything to be ashamed of. Oh, but there is something I should probably say

An explanation of the references to Ball Shaving you will no doubt find peppered throughout this site:

You see, I have a webstats program that runs on this site. Every once in a while, I look at these stats and see how many people have come to visit over a certain period of time, or how many other sites are linking to mine. (You may be happy to know that your son averages over 200 readers each day!) Well, this program also tells me what people were searching for when they found their way here through Google or other internet search engines. Usually, people find MM.com through search engines when they are looking for things like information about the town I live in (Ypsilanti) or the magazine that Linette and I publish (Crimewave USA). But, on occasion, I find that someone has come here by searching for something I certainly never wrote about, like Olsen Twins Feet or, in one case, Ball Shaving.

Well, when I noticed that, I mentioned it on my site. When I did, I found that more people were coming here after doing searches for ball shaving. I began to experiment. The more I posted that phrase (ball shaving), the more people that would come. So, every now and then, I just drop the phrase into conversation. If I see the readership numbers dipping a bit, I just pop in a reference to shaved balls and the numbers shoot right back up. I dont like it, and Im not proud of it, but it works.

So, in conclusion, your son, while aware of this apparent ball shaving epidemic, does not participate. He merely caters to it.

Where was I?

My guess is that if you keep reading youll most likely be bored. There may be the occasional nugget of information that you might find interesting or amusing, but, generally speaking, you know everything that happens in my life thats of any real consequence. Quite frankly, the stuff I bore these people with five times a week isnt stuff that Id subject you to. By and large this stuff falls into one of two categories; liberal hand-wringing and childish humor. In other words, you havent been missing much over the past year and a half.

So, if you thought that you found a juicy spider hole, all full of gossip and other interesting stuff, you thought wrong. This is where I write about things I find on my lawn and legislation that I disagree with.

So, let me say And I should have said this right up front Welcome to MM.com, mom and dad. I could ask that you not read it, but I know it wouldnt do any good. You are, Im sad to say, very much like me and I know that if I had a kid with a blog, even if he was 35 years old, Id read it too. Linette wouldnt. She believes in privacy and personal space. I would though. No one could stop me.

So, welcome.

Here, for those of you that dont know them, are my parents. Please make them feel at home if you see them hanging around, looking uncomfortable.

Now, I have a favor to ask some of you in the audience. If you have the time, Id like for you to please write in a note and explain to my parents why it is that you like this site and what it means to you. (Just send your notes to me at markmaynard@mindspring.com and Ill post them.) My hope is that youll write nice stuff that somehow persuades them that Im actually providing something of a service here. If you have a degree, or a job, be sure to mention that too. I know at least one of you in the audience is a college professor. That, Im thinking, should mean something to them.

Im sure this line of discussion will go on over the course of the next few days. My hope is that it doesnt bore you. More so than that, however, I hope all of this doesnt in any way change the direction of this site. I actually like what Ive built here (with your help) and Id hate to think that Id change anything just because my folks were standing outside the door, listening in.

As for you, mom and dad, lets not make this a huge point of conversation like we did with Crimewave. Every time something happens, lets not automatically ask, Is this going to be on your website? Its not fun to have to have to respond to that every time we sit down together. As much as I love the magazine and this website, I like to occasionally leave them behind and not think about them If youd like to occasionally send me a note suggesting a link, or perhaps even making a comment, that would be great. If you disagree with me about something, I may even print your letter on the internet. But lets not make this site and what I say on it the central thing in our relationship.

And, if I didnt say it before now, let me add that I happen to love my folks very much. Theyre good people. Id like to think that they raised me well. And, Im very lucky to have them in my life.

So, with that having been said, lets move on to todays news.

Actually, before I do that, I should go and check Bloggers official What to Do When Your Mom Discovers Your Blog page. Maybe theres something else that Im supposed to do.

And now Im about to admit something totally evil. My first thought when I got busted this evening was, I dont want to go through this alone. I didnt act on it, but I was tempted for a split second to call up the parents of my friend Jeff Kay and turn him in too.

Oh, heres my dads first note to me on the subject, or at least the part that had to do with the blog:

Just be aware that I have been looking at all your web sites..

How ominous sounding is that? I’m lucky I didn’t shit my pants right there on the spot.

I guess Id better call them now Or, maybe Ill give them 24 hours to think about this post. I think that might be best.

On a more serious matter, can anyone out there locate an image of this crude urinal that Saddam was supposedly affixed to down in his spider hole? Ive been searching for it, and I cant find a thing.

On a different, but just as serious a matter, did you read today that Colin Powell had something terrible hiding in his spider hole too?

And remember, mom and dad, George Bush has a blog too. And so does Howard Dean. So, blogging’s not just for losers any more.

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