By 1994, my husband and I both owned personal computers. He came later to computering, but once he understood what a PC could do and figured out how to use it, he did not look back. I got into internet surfing, which was a novel adventure. There were many fewer websites to be discovered then. The bizarre, disgusting and humorous ones were much easier to find. One useful aid was a site, Mirsky’s Worst of the Web, which for several years was a reliable resource for anything quirky or disgustingly funny. Mirsky’s introduced me to The Japanese Enema Museum, The Squashed Bug Museum, some websites that posted serial photographs of Spam decomposing (which took longer than you would think) and a website with a series of photographs of someone cremating Easter Peep candies with a blowtorch. This all was back in the slow bitstream modem days before DSL, T-1 lines and satellite connections.
As the data streaming got faster, videos came in. I discovered YouTube in 2008. Since then there has been a video proliferation of weird, whimsical and some frankly sick and twisted stuff that can be sidesplittingly funny. Does anyone out there besides me like Gregory Shitcock?
It was a revelation to be able to sit in my home and access all that was allowable and a lot that wasn’t. For a while, I and my friends probably wasted more brain cells on the riches of the World Wide Web than on useful work. It became hard not to sneak a peek online at the job, especially if you had a boss who regularly came in to work late. We all checked internet stuff daily at the law firm where I worked. The lawyers did, too.
One friend of mine became much too exuberant with his e-mail blasts of dirty jokes to a selected list. His joie de vivre caught up with him one day when he mistakenly hit “send” and transmitted something funny but disgusting to an entire branch office. He was fired the next day. A month or so later at another job, he was unrepentantly back at it again. We continued to laugh at his messages while he continued risking his livelihood. E-mail then was what Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram seem to have become now.
I have stopped surfing for interesting and weird websites, because there are just so many of them. I do like to cruise around occasionally in Google Images. It’s a little bit like the old web-surfing. It’s just jpegs, no videos and no proliferation of adware poking at you on your screen. Yes, Google has ads, but the kinds of websites I used to like to visit probably now would bristle with banners, buttons, GIF animations and flashing text inviting me to spend money or gamble or download computer repair programs that undoubtedly would gunk up my iMac beyond repair. No. Google Images is challenging enough. In its favor, it’s quiet, nothing starts to play, I don’t hear a spoken-voice pitch for anything, and there is no music. I see images. The search hits may not be what I specifically want, but if I keep trying, I nearly always find images interesting or bizarre enough to make me happy.
Recently I stumbled across something I thought was unusual but not at all disgusting and definitely fun. I found out there is an Instagram page entitled “Hot Israeli Men Eating Hummus.” I don’t have an Instagram account, but I was intrigued, so I decided to search the phrase “Hot Israeli Men Eating Hummus” in Google Images. Oh my. I got a screenful of photos of very hunky guys, each holding a dish of hummus, or tasting some hummus or just out and out shoveling hummus into his mouth. Most of these dudes were looking straight at the camera, some of them seductively, all of them in an upbeat way. There were no pictures of unhappy men with tears in their eyes frowning about anything. Most of the boys were bare-chested. All were fit and handsome enough to be photographed with or without hummus.
I was interested in checking to see if anyone posed and ate hummus in his full Monty. I scrolled down quite a ways but didn’t find any Hot Israeli Men doing that. Perhaps I shouldn’t. Porn sites are dreary, and I hate the thought of a food as lovely as hummus ending up on the seamy side of town.
I did find many portrait photos of seductive hummus plates, all of them frankly drool-worthy. I have liked hummus as a meal since I was a teenager. Hummus was the only subject I found within the confines of my search terms that one might consider to be au naturale. Many hummuses, however, had olive oil poured on with a sprinkling of paprika and chopped parsley, so none were strictly nude. Some even had whole chickpeas spooned on as a garnish which I thought was an interesting touch.
I am a woman of a certain age. I do admit I like occasionally and non-obsessively to see images of muscular guys. I think a six-packed gentleman holding an appetizing food is a nice idea for a picture. Maybe someone should publish one of those calendars like there have been done of fire departments. Each month could feature a different food with a different sort of man. I’m sure a clever editor could accommodate all kinds of fantasies: Bald guys eating potatoes. Bearded men tasting hotdish casserole. Young fellows posing with doughnuts. Fit older studs brandishing salads. Diversity would be encouraged. The important feature is that they pose with food that is freshly made and would look appetizing. That is to say, no Spam past its prime or torched Easter Peeps, thank you.
Perhaps the editor could poll the models before photographing them, so they could be supplied with foods they individually like. That way, on each page the male models would look as fine, happy and hungry as the hot Israeli men eating hummus in my Google Images search. For a contemplated pose, I don’t know if being bare-chested should be a requirement, but it sure couldn’t hurt.