In which I visit The Great Blogger

A nurse entered the waiting room and called my name. She wasn’t a nurse.

“Mr. Walker? The Great Blogger will see you now.”

I’d been summoned, but I resisted. It was a passive-aggressive resistance, I guess. I wasn’t going to not rise. But I wasn’t in a hurry to rise, either.

“Mr. Walker?” She craned her neck left and right, wondering which one was me.

I sighed. I placed the heels of my hands on the armrests and pushed down. The downward force, plus a great inner strength, a determination to rise, resulted in my rising.

I was on my feet. I put one in front of the other, establishing a sort of momentum.

She took my weight and height, then the not-nurse crinkled her nose and smiled and pointed to a seat inside the corner office she wished me to enter. I judged it — not meaning to — then her. She crinkled her nose again cutely and pointed to the seat. I flicked my eyes between the not-nurse, the seat, and the corners. I suppose I wanted her to know I was against almost everything.

“What brings you in today, Mr. Walker?” she said. Perkily.

“Hmmm?”

“Why are you here?”

“Well, I don’t know,” I said. “You called me.”

“I see. Ha! Well … lol … it wasn’t me!” She finished with her exclamation points and italics. She crinkle-nose smiled again. She flipped open her laptop. She tapped keys and studied her screen. “I see we have you down for a blog check-up.” She looked at me, and her eyes sparkled like on a tv commercial, like she was selling me detergent, or hope. She did a few more nursey things, then crinkled her nose and said, “Here comes the doctor.”

The doctor entered. The Great Blogger. He had his own laptop, and one of those robust doctor faces. Healthy, ageless, unwrinkled. The kind you envy, want to remove and wear, the kind you want in your selfie.

“Walt,” he said kindly. Too kindly, maybe. “So great to see you.” He meant it, too. Maybe too much. He wasn’t just saying it. If he were, he wouldn’t have been as successful a not-doctor.

“Hi,” I said.

“You look magnificent,” he paused to say, like he just really meant it so much.

“Thanks,” I said. I sensed he was a bit off, but he kind of melted me anyway. He had a better way with me than I have with anyone. I’m a bit off, too.

“Tell me what brings you in today,” he said. He said it the way a superior human gets you to say things you don’t want to say.

“Well, you, I think. You called me.”

He smiled. He seemed to be in love with me. “How’s the blogging?”

“Hmmm?”

He studied my ears, my hairline. “Are you blogging? … Your blog. How is it?”

“Fine, I guess.”

He put his thumb on my chin and pulled down, stuck a popsicle stick on my tongue and shined his light after it.

“Getting involved in the community?”

“Hmmm? Yes. I mean, I guess so. I’m not really one for community. I don’t… you know. I kind of keep to…”

The Great Blogger leaned back on his stool, looked deep into my soul, and smiled. “How’s the About page?” He kept looking at my ears and hairline.

“Hmmm?”

“People ‘liking’ it?”

“Well, sure. I mean no, not really. Not often.”

The not-doctor turned to his not-nurse. “Wasn’t Walt the one had that About page where he had all kinds of great ideas for blogs but didn’t feel like writing them?”

“Sounds like his,” said the not-nurse.

“Yeah,” he smiled. He turned back to me. “How’s that going?” He blinked, studied my forehead, my nostrils.

“See here now,” I said. I straightened up, snapped my wrists and adjusted my cuffs. I even dug a finger into my breast pocket and pulled out my monocle, put it in. When I felt had my act together, I challenged him. “What’s this all about, then?” I said.

The not-doctor, the Great Blogger, eyes on me, reached for his clipboard, flipped through his notes, turned one page around for me to see. It was a picture of not-me. “This your avi?”

It was. I knew he knew it was. I knew he knew I knew it was. I was wondering what he was getting at. I thought I knew. I was kind of hoping I didn’t.

“People want to connect with you, Walt.”

“Do they, though? I mean, really?”

“This avi isn’t you.”

“It is, me,” I said. “I chose it — how is not me?” I didn’t think he was listening, so I changed the subject. “I don’t like the word avi. Can we call it something else?”

“What do you want to call this?”

“Nonsense.”

“Ooh,” said the not-nurse, shaking her head. “No.”

“Doctor…,” I began.

“Excuse me,” he said, pulling out his phone. He shook his head as he studied the screen, smiling, like everything was just so pleasing to him. He was so full of love, or something. He finished punching his thumb all over the screen, then kind of remembered where he was. At work. He saw me. He grinned. He said, “Walt.”

“Yes?”

“So great to see you.”

“You know I was here before. Before that thing with your phone.”

“Last time, we talked about your personal brand.”

“You mean last time or two seconds ago? Because — ”

“Didn’t Walt and me talk about that?” he said to the not-nurse.

The not-nurse did her crinkle-smile, poked around on her laptop. “Pretty sure we did,” she said.

“We must have,” I agreed, ready to go. “I’m sure it was great.”

“Do you feel you have a consistent brand across your social media pages?” said The Great Blogger. “A solid platform?”

“Doctor,” I said, quickly rising. “I must be going.”

For the first time, the light left his eyes. He looked at me blankly. “I’m not following you,” he said.

“Is that a pun?” I said. “Are you being ironic?” I thought it might be good to use words incorrectly, thinking he might understand me better that way.

“Walt,” he said, as I pushed past him. “Don’t go. We haven’t examined your listicles.

I made for the door.

“Walt, what about diversity? You could have made me a woman and our nurse a man!”

I left the office and shut the door behind me. I heard the not-doctor’s muffled voice cry out, “Why no transgender toddlers on the healthy-child side of the waiting room, Walt?!”

49 thoughts on “In which I visit The Great Blogger

      • Or may be he has to sign up for something like they make you to at every doctor reception. “we just need your details, e-mail address and number of you credit card. You may tick the boxes below here is about your life, then about you values and finally please choose your preferences how you want to pay: 1) with you time, 2)money or 3)life transparency.”

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    • So you won’t be ‘liking’ Velveeta on Facebook anytime soon, I guess? Branding is for cows. Actually, the cows might have something to say about that, though. Glad I spoke to ya. Or rather, glad your listening, DD.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. By far my favorite, so far. Was just thinking it’d been a while since you posted, worried you had something chronic. Selfishly, I wish you’d do more with this satire-thing because you are obviously having so much fun with the real, non-real side of it. Favorite lines are the ‘not following you,’ and the ending, what about diversity? Because as you presented the two characters I even kind of thought that, have been trained to maybe. Missed your posts and glad to see you back here with the monocle. ‘A bit off’ — bravo, “Walt.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’ve been off-cycle lately. The last two were reposts, but those don’t go out in email so you probably missed them. I’m not sure why the real not real keeps coming back, it’s not intentional, but it’s fun. Glad you found some things to like. I felt I tinkered a little too much and might have done some damage in the editing. I can’t seem to learn that lesson. I keep calling it a monocle but it’s not, if you look close. No one seems willing to touch the transgender thing. Thanks for the bravo, maestro. Hope you guys are doing well. Shoot me a line sometime. That doesn’t sound right, but you know what I mean. Walt out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t see any over-editing for what it’s worth. The pace and length were perfect too. Really liked the different angles to this one: real and not real is a favorite theme of mine and quite interesting in the scheme of “online.”

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      • I thought about emailing it to you before I posted it to get an opinion on whether I should. I was a little concerned about rubbing some people the wrong way. But I didn’t send it because, well, I don’t know why. I might’ve just said effit.

        I just finished reading a book called Ready Player One in which the story plays out almost entirely in virtual reality online. It was fun, with some moments of insight about what technology is doing to us, but mainly just a yarn based around 80s nostalgia and sci-fi elements. I don’t know how much you would like it, though – Infinite Jest it is not.

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      • I’m finishing 1984 now and they’re sending Winston to Room 101. It won’t end nicely. I’m bumming myself out bad here, semi-feverish still and need to fly to Newark tomorrow. “Room 101.” Feel free to send me stuff whenever of course. That didn’t ruffle me one bit, but maybe I’m a bit thick. The book sounds good. No one needs another Infinite Jest, me anyways.

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      • I started 1984 about a year ago and didn’t finish it. Last thing I remember, Winston was in a meeting of some sort, and there was some chick there, and everyone was wearing gray jumpsuits or something. I picked it up as an “I should read this” read, and I was instantly hooked by the world described, but after too long I felt like there was no story developing, just more description of the world, and it lost me and I put it down. Did I make a mistake? Should I go back to it?

        Safe travels. Hope all is well in Newark.

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      • No worries, no need for sorries. I know all about cranky baby syndrome. We’re well out of that phase but I still have PTSD from it. And the coffee part too. I left the house with two tumblers this morning.

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  2. Love it – you are truly masterful at satirical fantasy. Like Bill, I loved the diversity reference – spot on.
    What Dr Blog Face fails o realise, though, is that you’re not really a blogger – you’re a writer wearing the guise of a blogger. Does he have a cure for that? And why would you want one?
    The Great Blogger is quite a sinister being. I think you were wise to run when you did, as I suspect he wants to dissect you to find out why you’re not interested in building your brand and maximising SEO.
    Run Walt! Run!

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    • What Dr. Bloggie Pants doesn’t realize, I have come to realize over time. And I don’t really want his cure, unless it involves more cowbell, then maybe I do. I will run from him, but I fear he will always be there, like I will turn the corner and there he’ll be. Do you think he’s sinister? I think he’s just a bit too evangelical. Although some will say no difference there.

      I’m off to to maximate my engine searches, or something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe he is just a ‘keener’ (very enthusiastic) as they’d say here in Bristol – not evil, though he’s certainly worrying.
        It’s a problem I tussle with, the blogging/writing balance, how much to focus on finding new followers – how important is it, compared to ‘proper’ writing. I always feel I’m not quite fulfilling my potential, either as a blogger or a writer, as the two things pull at each other.
        Maybe I should throw my lot in with the Blogmeister General – or ditch him completely and go live in a cave, writing on calfskin with a quill and wasp gall ink.
        Nah. Will probably just muddle along as I have been doing 🙂

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      • I feel exactly the same way. I didn’t get into blogging, if I can even call it that, to do what blogging is for (I didn’t know that then, it’s just something I’ve come to realize over time). I got into it to force myself back into the habit of writing creatively on a schedule (which for me was one post per week). But the more successful the ‘blog’ became, the more energy it demanded. It’s accomplished the purpose I started it for, but it’s become something else. And after three years here and on Twitter, what I’ve decided based on my experience is that it’s absolutely the quality of followers that matters, not the quantity. That top line number means very little. At best, the majority of those followers are inconsistently engaged, and at worst, they have fallen away or gone dormant, or were just following for the ‘follow-back.’ What’s more I would say that somewhere between 30 and 40% of the ‘new’ followers of my blog aren’t even there when I click on them. By that I mean, I get the “we’re sorry, this chap doesn’t even exist” or “has deleted his account” message. I’m not kidding. It happens all the time. How did I get on this subject? Am I being negative? I’m sorry. Onward! Upward! What ho! Here I go out into the media-verse!! Who’s coming with me!! Follow me!

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    • Listicles are those article/list hybrids that you see everywhere. You know, 10 Drummers That Put Their Bands Over The Top. 9 Ways To Nail Your Next Interview. That kind of thing. As for why no one asked, they probably had stopped reading by that point, or thought I misspelled testicles. Thanks for discovering the Discovery. I agree, it’s a bit of an overwhelm, the amount to sift through. Less would be more. But then I would probably have missed the cut, so maybe not. I think I saw your Harper Lee post there too recently. Well done.

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  3. *laughing* Brilliantly entertaining writing as always, Mr. Walt. I love how you took control of the situation, “See here now…” Perfect. And the monocle helped too. Love that you’re not politically correct as well. I’m not, after all. I can’t afford to be. I’ve just been having thinks about the same thing…people want to see the real you. *sighs*

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    • *smiles* Yes, one must take charge at such times, mustn’t one? I don’t like being politically correct, although I do sometimes fear the consequences. You should try a monocle, it might add to your aura. People do have a thing for inquisitiveness around you don’t they? Me not so much. I was speaking in broad terms there. Except when Mr H is around. Troublesome, he is.

      Like

    • Glad to hear it. I said somewhere up above that I didn’t laugh a lot while writing it, but I’m glad people find it amusing. Sometimes the opposite happens. I crack myself up writing it but readers go, “huh?”
      Anyhoo, thanks for reading. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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