January 23, 2011

A Follower goes astray

SOMETHING STRANGE and disconcerting has happened. Last Thursday I had 30 Followers. Last Saturday I had 29 Followers. Where is my missing Follower? Who has deserted the pack? What rat has fled the sinking ship?

It has taken me about two-and-a-half years to build up my Following of Followers — mainly, I suppose, because I have kept their existence secret — and I am not going to take it lightly if Followers suddenly stop Following.

I have not publicized my Followers because I was going to wait until I had a reasonably decent number of them to boast about, say a couple of hundred, before I revealed their existence. But now my hand has been forced and I have had to humiliate myself in public, revealing such a weensy band of Followers. I bet Oprah has 29 million Followers, not just 29 — though I imagine they would be of much lower class than my Followers. Volume is not everything, you know. Quality of Followership counts, too.

Frankly I have no idea how my small but gallant band of Followers came about in the first place. There is nothing on my blog or website that invites readers to Follow me. I was always rather nervous about being Followed in any case. It sounds too much like Stalking, and a man of great sensitivity like me soon begins to see Followers lurking on every dark street corner, and begins to wonder if he should buy a large semi-automatic pistol to protect himself and his family.

At first, when I discovered their clandestine presence, I imagined there had been an outbreak of spontaneous Self-Following. But throughout my months and years of blogging the number of Followers has gradually increased. One here, one there. Long period of nothing. One more. And so on. But always in an upward direction, always increasing.

So now, having reached 30, we suddenly slide back to 29. Who is this backslider? Where are you now? I will not tolerate this nonsense. What insubordination is this? Either you Follow or you don’t join in the first place, dammit. Are you some ignorant foreigner who over-estimated his ability to read good plain English presented with immaculate style and wondrous phrasing? Or have you simply taken leave of your senses?

I demand answers. Return to Followship immediately, whoever you are, rotten ex-Follower. I am not to be trifled with. I am der Leader of der Followers. Und I vant 30, not 29. Remember, I haf vays to make you Follow. Even if it means jumping out ahead of you.

Today’s Thought
He who betrays his friend shall never be
Under one roof, or in one ship with me.
— Swift, Imitations of Horace: Odes

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #150
How often have you seen the word “portal” on a boating bulletin board? The correct word is porthole, which is an opening in the hull or cabintop to admit light and air. It’s also known as a port. The framed glass that makes the hole watertight has two names. If it can be opened, it’s a portlight. If not, it’s a deadlight.

“What are you so excited about, Clara?”
“My Daddy’s got a new car.”
“Great. Is he excited, too?”
“Yeah, he spent all last night painting it and changing the license plates.”


Anonymous said...


I'm afraid that you may have a misdefinition: at least some wiki's and dictionaries that I had time to check (and also reading too many maritime novels) gives indication that deadlight is a shutter or similar device that closes the porthole to protect the glass from breaking in adverse weather...

Not A Follower but reading you regularly...

John Vigor said...

Seppo, you are quite right. And so am I. It depends on your source. Mr. Webster's admirable New World Dictionary gives this definition of deadlight: "2. A window of heavy glass in the deck or side of a ship."
Cornell Maritime Press's Encylopedia of Nautical Knowledge says it's "An iron shutter fitted tp clamp against the inside of a port-light in heavy weather."
I'm inclined to go with Cornell, and therefore with you. So thanks for putting me straight.

John V.

frabs said...

John, I've been following you by visiting your blog daily, but since you've outed yourself as having so few followers I've taken pity on you and started to follow as well. Sheesh, I hope you make it to 30 one of these days!

Blessings! I like your style.

Micky-T said...

I swear it wasn't me who bailed from the ship but I did just go through "all" the trouble of actually "following" you so I can continue to absorb this good plain English presented with immaculate style and wondrous phrasing?

Bomcq said...

You have a lot more people that "follow" you other ways other than a blog.You're on my igoogle home page. Read it every day!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading you fairly regularly for a month or so. I plan to continue, and I sincerely hope that is your goal as well!

Mike X M

Aaron Headly said...

If we're talking about Facebook, #30 probably just closed his or her Facebook account.

Also: If we're talking about Facebook, I'm not on Facebook, but I subscribe to your RSS feed.


Deb said...

I believe you might have quite a few more followers than you realize. I've been following you through my Google Reader which doesn't use the follow button so you'd never know. I did also have pity on you though and hit the follow button :)

Thanks for having the Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat on the Kindle by the way.

S/V Nomad