Friday, February 11, 2011

Mad 人

I have a taste for the good life. A taste that includes champagne, caviar, kung pao chicken wherever I want, whenever I want — sophisticated pleasures, sure, but ain’t that the American dream?

Here’s the good news: these days, I can get kung pao chicken more or less 24 hours a day at any of the several fine local eateries near my apartment. I may or may not be eating kung pao chicken right now. I may or may not have had oatmeal for two of my three meals today. One of the preceding sentences is true.

Here’s the bad news: this situation won’t last forever. In July, I am being forced to abdicate and surrender my post to Andy, who will ascend to the rank of Senior Guangzhou Fellow. (Provided, of course, that he can overcome his debilitating speech impediment and maybe just learn a little something about friendship along the way.)

In order to prepare for this looming personal economic crisis, I am putting my fingers into literally every pot I can find. Is it easy? No. I have fat fingers, and the openings of pots are often small. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Every time I log into Blogger to post these (somewhat) glowingly-received updates, a thrill runs up my leg. Right there, at the top of my screen, there’s a tab that says Monetize. Monetize.

Monetize it whispers, in a voice that rustles.

It whispers to me in bed, it whispers to me in the shower, it whispers to me as I apply various lubricants to my fingers in order to squeeze them into increasingly tiny pots. For a long time, I heard the Siren Call of Cash — and yet I resisted, because I felt The Guangzhou Story was too honest and to give way to something as base as dollars and cents.

And then I said, screw this, I’ve got a hankering for kung pao chicken.

So, as you may have noticed, my blog now serves ads. It’s been going on for a while now. And I hope you find these ads useful: you see, Google chooses ads for this blog based on the topics I discuss. Topics which, presumably, are of interest to you, my loyal fans.

So, let’s take a look at some of the ads I’ve found around the blog and see what you all are interested in, ok?


The data are clear: most of the people who read this blog are women who don’t know about power toothbrushes, deodorant, or toothpaste. They are some funky-smelling females. I admit that my comments about my own dentist may have sparked some of this, but, having never discussed Secret deodorant (except to say that this blog is strong enough for a man, but made for a woman), I can’t take responsibility for that.


Google has decided that our readers would also appreciate learning about “Big John Toilet Seats” and LA-OC PortaPotties. My only comment here is that you have to be really big to require special toilet seats. Toilet seats are already quite large. They are also designed to accommodate a fair amount of buttock overhang, if you can’t manage to perch yourself up there completely. I’d like to see someone who needs a Big John toilet seat. Maybe I’d see a picture of such a person if I went to their website, but I am contractually prohibited from clicking on my own ads, SO I GUESS WE’LL NEVER KNOW.

Also, if you’re hosting a party in LA-OC: just let the guests use the pool house bathroom. Come on. Don’t be a dick about it.

And then, at one point during my ad investigation on this blog, I came across this:

View ads

So Google, with its vast network of merchants competing for ad exposure, and with its complete knowledge of the contents of this blog and (probably) the identity of its readers, has considered the people looking at The Guangzhou Story and been unable to find a product or service of any kind that they might find appealing. Google, the world’s largest advertising company, is trying to find discerning, intelligent, moneyed citizens of the web to show ads to and has decided that such people do not read this blog.

So, there you go! That’s you, according to Google. You’ve got bad B.O., you need a toilet seat built for a rhino, and — occasionally — it finds itself incapable of relating to you at all. Congrats!

Oh, you’re all laughing now*, but just wait until Google wins the 2012 US Presidential election by a landslide.

*Admittedly, this is very, very unlikely.

Oh, how much money have I made so far? In the month and a half since I started showing ads: thirteen cents.