I used to be really hooked on The Sims franchise. I got addicted to the original Sims at a time when I really needed to be focused on other things, like finding work. But one day, I was in Best Buy or someplace like that. I saw The Sims sitting there on the shelf and it looked intriguing. I bought it and quickly got into it. I bought every new expansion pack as soon as they were released. With each expansion pack, my Sims could do more.
I think I especially enjoyed the Superstar expansion. It was fun turning my Sims into stars. But, as every celebrity knows, there's a dark side to being a star. In the original Sims outfitted with the Superstar expansion pack, it was the "obsessed fan"...
There he is...
The obsessed fan would prowl lots, overturn trash cans, leave black roses, and just generally act like a nuisance. Like a cockroach, the obsessed fan would survive any attempt at killing him. You couldn't even kill him with fire.
He won't go away...
I don't pretend to be a "superstar" myself, but sometimes I get a taste of the obsessed fan on this blog. I know my young blogging friend, Alexis, certainly has had her share of nuisance visitors. Until recently, she had a male visitor who would leave strange comments on every post. This guy, probably at least in his 50s, would make comments that ranged from being very bland and boring to borderline disturbing. It got to the point at which Alexis's other readers became concerned about her welfare because her "fan" would make statements that were really creepy. Alexis is a young, pretty, intelligent woman and Chuck was giving off stalker vibes.
I'm pretty sure Alexis still hears from her fan, but his comments no longer appear on her blog. I'm actually glad of that, because I like reading Alexis's posts, but didn't like reading the obsessed fan's oddball comments. I rarely interacted with him. When I did, it was not in a nice way. Like, for instance, one time he told me about how PETA thinks it's wrong for people to ride horses. I told him to stop being ridiculous.
This blog has its share of lurkers. I have many regular readers who never leave comments. That's fine. It's a little strange when someone finds my blog and reads the entire thing in one sitting. That's happened a few times, though it's getting harder to do as I add more posts. I do sometimes get the odd person who gets perturbed by something I write and hangs around for weeks, waiting for me to write something else upsetting. Eventually, they get bored and move on.
Actually, the worst "obsessed fans" I ever dealt with were in the years I was in graduate school. I used to write erotic fiction as a means of entertainment. I had a number of regular readers, most of whom were normal, respectful, and nice. In fact, I even married one of them. But, every once in awhile, I'd attract someone who would not leave me alone. I remember one guy asked me to quit grad school and move to Michigan. He wanted to start a harem and already had at least one woman living with him. This guy actually tried to recruit me to join his harem AND pay him rent for the privilege! No thanks!
There was another guy who got very upset when he asked to meet me and I demurred. He sent me several panicked private messages, begging me to understand that he meant no harm. If anything, the desperation of his messages made me feel more rattled than the initial suggestion. I mean, given how new the Internet was at the time and the nature of how he found me, it didn't seem safe to meet the guy in person. And I really wasn't interested, anyway. I was simply writing fiction as a means of entertainment and sharing it for those who were similarly bored.
A third guy was a German from Cologne who was a committed submissive. He wanted me to be his dominatrix. I am not dominatrix material, but he thought I was. He used to try to recruit me. I found him very annoying, but I am basically a nice person and couldn't bring myself to go all Domme on him. Actually, if I had done that, it probably would have made things a lot worse. He was looking for a woman to degrade him. I knew, though, that when he told me he had chosen his screen name because of the movie Howard the Duck, he wasn't someone who was going to ring my chimes. I actually saw Howard the Duck in the movie theater with my dad. It wasn't exactly an inspiring film.
Yeah... I had a "fan" who was also a fan of a terrible movie.
As far as I can tell, these days most of my readers are women. But that doesn't mean I don't sometimes attract the odd "fan" among women, either. A few years ago, I had a regular reader who was apparently schizophrenic and thought Ellen Degeneres was saying mean things to her through the TV. She spent several weeks stalking my music blog and leaving bizarre and occasionally entertaining comments. I'm pretty sure I attracted her when I wrote about Richard Carpenter, who was apparently another object of her obsessions. I haven't heard from her in awhile. I wonder how she's doing. If I wanted to, I could probably find out. She was an even more prolific blogger than I am. She also has a presence on YouTube.
It's always interesting to find out who reads this stuff. Most people never comment. They read one or two posts and move on. Actually, I like them better than the ones who read one or two posts and proceed to rip me a new asshole, especially since they don't usually understand the context of what they've read. Most of the time, the people who get upset about one or two posts don't understand the big picture, yet think they do. They usually don't like it when I respond to them because I'm either pretty quick to set them straight, or I make them the subject of a post. Or, if they're lucky, I sing a song about them.
Then there are those who read obsessively and never comment. I have a couple of those right now. I watch who visits. It always intrigues me. Sometimes I know why they're here, but more often than not, I don't. Either way, they increase traffic... which is not really a bad thing, I guess. I don't do this for the money, though. It's mainly something I do to stay sane...
Anyway... in a week, I will celebrate another birthday. Bill and I are leaving town for the weekend to celebrate my final days of being 44. I also have eight pounds of coffee sitting in German customs right now. Thursday is a religious holiday, so the coffee will probably show up when we're not here. I'll have to send Bill to pick it up in some office closer to where it is right now. If we'd moved to Italy, this would not be an issue, but Germans love their taxes and imported coffee is one product that gets taxed. I play by the rules and don't have it sent to my APO, because that is verboten. So here I sit, waiting for my beans and knowing I'll have to pay a big duty. Happy birthday to me.