The ever so famous Greg Young.
As he is the one that will guide you
through this convoluted mess.
The Definition of Goose Land (Website Phenomenon Part I)
I surfed the Internet for a free web hosting service, and I came across Freeservers. Darren had been using this service, and so I thought it should be reliable enough to host my page. When it was time to decide on a name for the site, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted it to be something funny, but at the same time something that most others would be able to say easily. I thought about Cloud’s site, titled “johnny’s really lame webpage,” and I realized I didn’t want my own name caressing the title. Soon after, a name came to mind. It was the same name that I titled a dead site that I created a few years before. When I had made it, my brother just suggested to use the name because it was the name of two usually overweight animals. That site was never popular in any way at all, so if I were to take the name, no one would know. And with that swirling in my mind, I typed “hipposandrhinos” in the site name box, and typed “The Twisted Arena of Hippos and Rhinos” in a theoretical slot in my brain.
It also came to the point where I needed to type an opening line. I looked at Cloud’s page and saw his line: “leave if you don’t like it butt custard.” I knew I didn’t want to have a vulgar attitude on my site, but I wanted it to be funny. My brain had another mind block, so I stole the opening line off of my old site. Now it was time to start adding content to the site.
The first thing that I had to think about was something that could get visitors to come back again and again. Cloud had his daily journal entry and I didn’t want to copy that, so I thought of having a joke or stupid thought of the day. It was shorter and much easier to write, so I knew I had the time to make that daily update. For the rest of the night, I set up a guestbook, a counter, and a link to all the forthcoming elements of my site. I then slept with another big website updating day ahead of me.
The next day, I wrote my first joke or stupid thought of the day and put up some links. I didn’t do much else other than promise that other parts of the site would be completed sometime soon. I went to my mother’s house for the night, and when I was there, I realized that I felt a little sick. I told my mother to feed me soup, because it would at least ease my sinus. I slept, not knowing that I would not be at homeostasis for another week.
The next morning, I woke up with my head resting on a pillow that was soggy from sweat. I felt a little weak, but I didn’t feel like I was sick. My grandfather took me to my father’s house, where I met my brother. He had bought me another Rage Against the Machine poster to put in my room. When I got to the point of shoving tacks through my walls to hang it, I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to press a tack fully through the wall. I figured that I was probably sick from something and that I might need to take a little rest, so I just went to the computer and did a few things before I went back to my room to lie down and stare at the wall.
Once my mother came to visit the children, I told her that I was feeling a little sick. My brother went insane and told her that I should be able to take care of myself, and that I should know that I have to take Tylenol when something like this happens. He was obviously angry that he had to stay with me while I was sick to make sure I didn’t die or something. I always had a hard time swallowing pills, so I smashed some up and stuffed it into yogurt and devoured the white stuff. I went back into my room and took a nap to see if my sickness would cool off.
When I woke up a few hours later, my pillow was drenched in sweat and I felt as hot as a recently microwaved Hot Pocket. My brother took my temperature, and he found out that it was ungodly. In fact, it was also very high, being at 102 degrees Fahrenheit. I was scared when I heard this because I had come to believe that 104 is the point that you pass out and need to be hospitalized. I knew that I needed to sleep and take more medicine, so I did just that. After a while, when I wasn’t too tired, I went back to the computer and chatted with people.
The girl I had my eyes on was going to leave for Kansas in a week and I couldn’t really talk to her for that long on the Internet. Every time I spent about fifteen minutes on the computer, my head would hurt and I would almost pass out. I still tried my hardest to communicate with her before she left, because I didn’t think I was going to be able to talk to her once she was in Kansas.
Another fellow that I was talking to on the Internet was Vinay. He was suffering from some sickness that was very similar to mine. In fact, I had the feeling that he was the one that gave it to me. It all happened the weekend before school got out…
Vinay and Sharat came to my house on that Saturday night in hopes to make music or something stupid like that. The three of us never did compose anything, because at one point in the night, Vinay was telling us that he wasn’t feeling that great. He kept on telling us that his stomach was upsetting him, as if they had an argument earlier in the day. Because of that, he wasn’t up to do anything that night, and him and Sharat left my house without anything accomplished.
The next week was the last week of middle school for him, so there were a lot of cool events happening. His field trip and Promotion Dance were within two days of each other and fell in the coming week. He told me that he debated on whether to go to both because he had a fever of 102 degrees. His decision was to go because he didn’t want to miss out, but he realized that that probably wasn’t the smartest thing because he died in the following days. I’m speaking of dying as a figure of speech, not literally.
So as I talked to him on the Internet when I was sick, I told him that I probably had the same disease as him. Both of us had a lot of the same symptoms and were suffering from the same things, so it seems as if that had to be true. He told me that he wasn’t able to do much when he was sick, so I should get ready to be sleeping day in and day out. With that, I pretty much closed my day, and I slept again.
The next day I woke up and found out that the air conditioning in my house wasn’t exactly functioning. It had not been for a few days, and I had not really noticed until I was sick. I went to the computer and updated my site, but realized that I could not do much more updating that just the joke of the day. My sickness was keeping me from doing anything excessive on my site, so I did not get to make the major updates that I thought I was going to make. I went on to chat with the special girl for a little bit before I needed more sleep.
For the next few days, the activities of the day consisted of sleeping, eating, updating site, and chatting. I was not able to do anything else, and it almost seemed that my fever was getting worse.
I remember one day when Cloud came to wake me up from my endless sleeping by dribbling a basketball in my room. He was trying to get me to play some sports, but I told him that I was dead and I could not do anything strenuous. He decided to play some b-ball with my brother while I took another nap.
I remember another day that Cloud was on the Internet telling the people that visit his site that he was going to close it down if he doesn’t get five people to tell him otherwise. There were only five people that visited his site, so basically, those five needed to respond to him. And I know that all five of them would respond and tell him that he should continue his site. The problem was that that occurred on the same day that I never touched the computer. I was so crippled that I could not even go to the computer once that day, and I never knew about the whole thing on closing his site. So in conclusion, Cloud only got four people to respond, and he ended up not providing any more journal entries. I felt that it was all because of me and that sickness of mine. Other than random memories like that, I don’t remember much about being dead.
At one point in time, I thought about going to my mother’s house to stay the night. The air conditioning in my father’s house was broken and I don’t think that that was helping me get over my sickness. Once I got to my mother’s house, I took my temperature and it was 103 degrees. I was terrified now because it was even closer to “goose land,” formerly known as 104 degrees. I felt like I was going to actually die; the drugs weren’t doing anything at all but making me worse. With little hope left in me, I fell asleep drugless at my mother’s house.
It was a little weird. Once I started to fall asleep without drugs, I started to feel better. My temperature was going down and I was gaining more strength. In a few days time, I was back to my normal self. I did have an extreme outburst of energy because I had not used much in the past week.
Once I was healed, I talked to Vinay about his sickness. He told me that once he reached a temperature of 103, he started to get better and better, just like me. He also had an outbreak of stupidity, because he couldn’t do much when he was sick.
Even though I was well again, I was still a little disappointed that I didn’t get to communicate enough with my Kansas-destined friend before she left. I sent her an e-mail hoping that she will be able to read it and send a response back. To my surprise, she was able to, and it started a string of e-mails that would pretty much last the whole summer. It was a nice way to get to know someone that I thought was very cute and nice, or something.
As for that website, I continued with the daily updating for the joke page, but I never got back to the other major updates that I was going to do. One day, Cloud came over to my house and made a comment like “have you updated the joke page yet?” and I told him, “you actually read that thing?” He said that he read it daily. I was absolutely amazed that someone actually cared about my site. He told me that he really liked the jokes, and that I should keep them coming. It was because of that I gained confidence in my entertainment. Soon after that incident, I had a joke about a two-sided poster and how one should hang it in one’s room. I said something like if one had a two-sided poster and wanted to display both sides, one could hang it from the fan or copy both sides and enlarge them, and give the original to a homeless shelter. That was the first joke that got public recognition. It was more that Cloud that commented on the hilariousness of the joke, and so I knew that I could provide entertainment to many more.
As for that disease and how it is contagious, I went over to my Jewish friend’s house for his birthday after I was well. I told him that there was a possibility that he could still catch the sickness from me because I could still have the virus, but he told me that he didn’t care because he just wanted me over for his birthday. Even though I shouldn’t have thought it was funny, I got a mild laugh when I heard that he was sick, because I knew it was the same thing that Vinay and I had. The cycle of the disease was going to start again, but once it finished with the Jew, it was never to be seen again. No one knew what the disease was, and it vanished without officially sending anyone to goose land.