Two hundred is a big number.
Well, sometimes it’s a big number. It depends, like everything else, on context. For a TV show, for example, that’s a lot of episodes — in that context 200 is large. If I consider the number of words I know (and know how to use) then it’s small. If we’re talking Friendface friends, it’s apparently an average sort of number. (Interestingly, my total is 61.)
How about, say, blog posts?
I don’t know. I (probably naively) tend to assume that most blogs have a life cycle (they’re born, they get old, they die) that’s fairly short. But what does ‘fairly short’ mean? What does ‘most’ mean? I have no idea; I (again naively) thought that this might be something I could find out with a few well-chosen Google searches.
I was wrong.
I found a few things that tended to support my assumptions. Unfortunately, though, they were all opinion pieces — none of them had anything resembling data to back them up. (As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of numbers.) That’s all I found because I spent too much time tangled up in questionable advice on search engine optimization, blog monetization and, of all things, dental implants. Clearly my search-fu is second-rate. (At BEST.) But why am I gazing into my navel, you might ask? Well, Werdpress made me. By which I mean that it told me that this is my 200th post. (Yay me.) But is that something? Or nothing? And if it is something, what do I talk about?
I dithered about that for quite a while but then decided that, while 200 may be something, it’s not enough of a something to try and do something ‘special.’ So it’s back to certain, um, ‘themes’ I’ve talked about before.
Last Monday in the locker room after hockey, there was a, let’s call it a ‘discussion’. About relationships (one guy had taken a fairly vicious body check from his wife), personal hygiene (another guy had his equipment professionally deodorized) and, impossibly, the game. At the center of that part of the discussion was a talented young gentleman who had scored several goals that game. (Unsurprisingly I didn’t get one. I scored my goal for 2015 back in June (the 22nd, not that I’m counting or anything) so I’m done for the year. I’ve been done for almost six months. No performance anxiety for me, I’m free to concentrate on the important stuff.) But back to the Discussion on hockey skills: “Where do you aim” asked one guy “because you banked your last goal in off of my jockstrap.”
Well. Take one locker room full of males, add a dash of toilet humor (seasonal or not) and you can guess where the conversation is going to go.
And you’d be right.
Things went on for quite some time, there being no diminishing comedic returns for certain conversational topics. Eventually it was decided that, while aiming for a defenceman’s groin might occasionally be effective, it probably wasn’t a good choice in general; there were better places to shoot if the object was, you know, to score a goal. (Back in the 80s a talented player (I think) suggested that you should often just aim for the goalie’s chest because you were probably going to miss anyway. Of course, the game has changed a bit since then.) Eventually it was time to leave — I slung my (ozone-free) bag over my shoulder and lurched (but gracefully I like to tell myself) toward the exit.
At one of the doorways (not, as it happens, this one) my path was blocked by a serious-looking young (she couldn’t have been more than eight or so) lady. I stopped. (I’m not a total jerk. Besides, she probably would have been the one left standing if I hadn’t.) She looked at me. I looked at her. (It wasn’t quite a test of wills, but close. No theme music, though.) Finally she spoke.
“I hurt my ball.”
Pardon? How on earth did she know what we had been talking about?