Cartouche's Blog

Writing My Way Out of Something


Someplace, somewhere else, USA
February 09
Mind My Own Business
Artist, former newspaper columnist and restaurant critic. Award-winning author of "In Pursuit of Excellence". In my spare minute I can be found blogging here, on Huffington Post and other places that don't pay and (more often) writing for some places that do. Occasionally I tweet random thoughts and observations as @nonconfromist. I keep the really good ones to myself.


OCTOBER 15, 2010 9:16AM

OS History is Made! 2 Million Comments!

Rate: 53 Flag

I have one of those peculiar habits (well, I actually have a lot of peculiar habits) of noticing things that most people do not.  For example, I can go to a meeting or dinner with a couple of people, come out, tear the thing apart like an old carcass, engage in the post-game, post-mortem discussion, (while driving) and dissect every word with the best of them.  And then I’ll ask a question like, “Did you notice the color of the waiter’s eyes?”

I do that kind of noticing.

So it should come as no surprise that a couple of days ago when I clicked on somebody’s comment to go read a post and watched the browser load the page/blog   

               e   v   e   r      s   o       s   l   o   w   l   y 

that I happened to notice something pretty cool.

We are nearing the 2 million mark on OS when it comes to comments.

That’s a 2 with six zeroes after it.  2,000,000.

Now, I’m no Catherine Forsythe, Kent Pitman, Rob St. Amant, Token Tarheel or Kathy Riordan (hope your husband is on the mend; no homework for you).   Any one of them could probably run a quick diagnostic with both hands tied behind their backs and neatly format a post and provide you with a bold hyperlink (in color and italics) that would show you the exact time, date and post where the first comment was made, complete with a tax return and medical transcription

Me, I'm not that good analytically, although I did manage to find comment 60 which belongs to Cary Tennis.   Then it got too boring overwhelming for me to try and dig deeper.  I’m not that interested.  Since Kerry and Joan are figments of our imagination by now rarely show up around these here parts anymore, I’m not going to bother them to find out.  (If you are scratching your head and asking, "Who are Kerry and Joan?", you're not the only one who wonders what happened to them.) Maybe Emily could tell us?  (Not what happened to Kerry and Joan or who they are, but who made the first comment on OS.)  Emily?  Anyone?  Bueller?

I’m pretty confident of only one thing.  The first comment did not come from Mary Lin and probably more than half of all comment in recent months do.

In those innocent days when OS was a wild, wild west of like seven people (they and many others abandoned this place before January  2009 when the real big surge happened), OS was like a big empty room where you could fart into a 500-foot long megaphone nobody would notice or hear you.  I showed up in November 2008 and by then, it was more like a cocktail party and less like the drunken brawl that it sometimes becomes people were worried that we were ruining everything.  So believe me, we’ve all been there.

My things have changed.  Sometimes this place just smells like spam bad gas (yes Emily, we’re talking about weekends and all that live-streaming when this place resembles the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina). Even though it has gotten much harder to show up on the feed, your fifteen seconds of OS fame is no longer still guaranteed.  In spite of all that, we still manage to post and comment and I think it’s pretty amazing that we are approaching the 2 million mark.

We obviously have a lot to say or way too much free time.  (Look at how much I had to think about and write this post.)

So I was thinking.  Wouldn’t it be kind of fun to try to be the person who hits that magic number?  As of the time that I posted this, we were/are at around 1,999,460 comments, which means that there are about 540 more to go before we reach 2 million.  (You’re welcome.  I’ve got a head for numbers.)  I'm guessing we are going to hit that number by 11 am (EST for those of you out west), so why not give it a shot and come out and play?!  Keep checking the comment section as I update the numbers and continue the countdown without Casey Kasem!

Don’t get too excited if you choose to participate in this little challenge and nothing much happens. There won’t be any prizes for this accomplishment (like they’ve ever handed out prizes for anything around here), but I think it would be fun to see whose comment will make a little OS History. It could be yours!

If you don’t go for it, who will besides spambots?  WHERE it might land will also be interesting to see.  No wagers please.  

Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel if you beat xjkhiii jfbjfbjfb to the punch. 

Ugg.  I mean, “Ugh”.

Good luck! 


                                     Open Salon

                      2 Million

                       Image from                     



UPDATE 10:32 am:  We are counting down and have less than 100 comments to reach the 2 million mark!




Here is the winning comment that will go down in history as the 2 millionth to grace the pages of OS.  I’m so proud to be the host of the blog where it appeared and to share the stage with Lezlie and Leepin Larry:

 Sorry, Cartouche. Larry's already betrothed to me!


  L in the Southeast

           OCTOBER 15, 2010 10:59 AM 


Lezlie won this contest fair and square.  Look in the URL window and scroll all the way to the right and you will see comment# 2,000,000.  

Lezlie:  Let us know how that prize that Larry offered works out for you....   



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Patricia, two million and one possibly right here!! That's a whole lot of comments!
It might mean something to me if the last 30 comments I received hadn't been nonstop spam, and the next 30 will mostly be as well.
The last comment number I located is 1,999,652. So we have less 350 to go! We may do this in a matter of a few hours!
Let's see, not times not =? I'll just keep commenting. I hear the winer gets a date with Tink! WHOOHOO!!!
Does Joan Walsh get a dollar per comment? That's a nice bonus.

539 to go

@scanner: I'm definitely a "winer"! ;)
Very interesting. I like curious, observant types like you. I'd rate you for that alone, but then your writing is stupendous too. I guess you're just awesome!
i cant stand xjkhiii jfbjfbjfb.

and that's one of my comments towards the 2 mil.
@renatta: You're comment number 1,999,686. Only 314 more to go to hit the 2 million mark! Come on back and play again soon!
I think Scanner is right .. Tink deserves something.
I had no idea and this is almost like standing in line at the supermarket trying to win a prize as the zillioneth customer..:)
Rated with hugs
I bet Mary Lin will be the 2,000,000th! R
I have no idea how you figured this out, but then I'm still trying to figure out the whole linking thing. You know what really gets me is the fact that Mary Lin has never "commented" to my blog. Dang, I can't even get the popular spam to visit! :-)
How do you even count the total number of comments? Where do you go? What I noticed though is the merging of Cartouche and O'Really styles. Is this the first time? Pray tell. :o)
We have less than 300 to go! The last comment I could attribute was Joan H at 1,999,721....

@Fusun: Sometimes, the two can play together rather nicely! ;)
This is very cool. And, yes, OS has sure changed...where has everyone gone????
Comment 1,999,782 comes (not surprisingly) from someone named "gffgfddf fgffdffdgfdd". By the time this posts, we will be VERY close to the countdown from 200!
I wonder if anyone has a number on how many of those 2,000,000 comments are actually worth reading? 200,00? 20,000?

I mean really, think about it. Maybe it's time for a big data purge.

Present company excepted, of course.
Oh please, let it be me!
Let's have a pool! My bet's on fgfgfggfgdgfgd
Just great, I love to play with numbers.You did it, . good luck by the way
Ooooo, me me me, I want it to be me!! Pick me 2,000,000!!!!!
@SimondeB: You are 1,999,825! 175 more to go!
Two million? Good grief -- 'way to many people with too much time on their hands.

Well, here's another one, then.
@Boanerges: You are 1,999,872. We're nearly at the 100 countdown!
Count me in. But then, I never win anything.
Okay, I have 50 treats riding on this. Me, me, me!
Dang, I wish there was some way to go back and correct typos in comments. That should have read "too many people". Dumb fingers.
@HarleeGirl: You're getting really close! You were # 1,999,897. By the time this posts, we will be at the 100 countdown!
We have less than 90 to go!
Cool... hope that isn't the 2 millionth should be more profound.
We're at less than 75 left! (I just pray it's not a spambot who clinches the title!)
I would've guessed that Steve Blevins received 2,000,000 comments by himself (and all well-deserved).

I raise a glass (at this hour, a coffee cup) to you, fellow November 2008 OS joinee.
Did I win? Did I win?
Do you think they're counting all of those spammed comments? You know, like the ads for jerseys? Seriously, though, it IS pretty cool to be part of OS's cocktail party. How wonderfully refreshing to have people read your work and respond right now, instead of waiting for publication when publication is way, way in the future...or, more likely, maybe never!
@Leepin: You are 1,999,934. 66 more to go. Stick around here and just keep commenting like a spammer and I think you'll have a very good shot!
I want to hear Joan say:

"You won a car. You won a car. You won a car."
Maybe Tink will finally give out that free beer he's always promising.
This is almost as much fun as sniping auctions over at Ebay.
@Leepin: I just caught a headline that the dufus who wanted to burn the Quran just won a car. NOT kidding. There is no justice. Then again, there is no Joan anymore, either....
HarleeGirl’s China Online Store
…… , . – . – , _ , ………
……… ) ` – . .> ‘ `( …….always free treats
…….. / . . . .`\ . . \ ……..paypal accept
…….. |. . . . . |. . .| ……..
……… \ . . . ./ . ./ ……….
……….. `=)\ /.=` …two millionth comment: me me me
…………. `-;`.-’
…………… `)| ….Poor Sinner Po’ Boy $.01
……………. || _.-’| .
…………. ,_|| \_ Gordon Osmond Devil Horns $9
……. , ….. \|| .
……. |\ |\ ,. ||/ …Usual blah blah $.10
…. ,..\` | /|.,|Y\, ..
….. ‘-…’-._..\||/ …Produces more spam than Ugdgdgdgfdfdf MaryLin MaryLin
……… >_.-`Y| ……………Iwantthecarsobad!!!!!!
@Leepin: I love me my esnipe!
Here's the thing. I think the OS system is already bogged down, outdated, doesn't respond, doesn't upload correctly, etc. and many have figured out how to be Blogwhores around here. So 2 zillion doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
do the numbers go down when you delete a spammer???
HarleeGirl: You're number 1,999.948. And who said anything about a car?! See how rumors get started. Damn you, Leepin!
Some people say my comments are like spam anyway.
Seriously? Crazy preacher guy won a car? Now I have to look that up and I will miss the 2 millionth comment. (Stomps off)
I love this post, especially the struck out parts.
@Mime: Nothing goes down around here..... (and to answer your question, I don't know). We are SO CLOSE!!
I know. I'm probably number 1,999,999!

So do we get to have a reunion like in high school and dance like John Travolta? I got tell you. My knees couldn't take it, but I can drink wine with you.
Is everyone in the bathroom?
Thanks, RomanticPoetess: I stole that style from my alter ego "O'Really?". She told me I could borrow it, just for today. We have less than 50 to go!

Blue in TX: You can't make this shit up. A crazy guy gets rewarded with a car for NOT doing something he threatened to do. Only in America. What a country. (Exception to that would be Leepin Larry)
Are you going to keep this live blog going for 3,000,000?
Wooo. Just came back from a nap and... I remember a reporter whose eye for detail was almost as good as yours, but she was a stickler for getting it right - nominated for a Pulitzer years back - who was about finished with a profile of a guy who ran a little diner we all liked. She got up from her desk suddenly and said, "I hafta go back down there." I said, hey just write around it. She said, "Can't. I forgot to look at his eyes." Huh? "Yeah, I don't remember what color his eyes are."

2 million, eh? Here we go.....
We're at the 30 countdown Larry. I'm not in the bathroom. Are you?
Well Damn. Lots of times I don't do what I threaten to do. Just ask my child. I want a car! :)
Larry: Will you marry me just for the laughs? I love you!
HarleeGirl’s China Online Store
…… , . – . – , _ , ………
……… ) ` – . .> ‘ `( …….always free treats
…….. / . . . .`\ . . \ ……..season welcome spamblossom changes
…….. |. . . . . |. . .| ……..Cartouche blanc for all child-made goods
……… \ . . . ./ . ./ ……….
……….. `=)\ /.=` …I bet it’s a Cadillac, areallybidone!!!!
…………. `-;`.-’
…………… `)| ….Love goodshopping computer invasion
……………. || _.-’| .
…………. ,_|| \_ Gordon Osmond Devil Horns discounted to US$8.99
……. , ….. \|| .
……. |\ |\ ,. ||/ …Usual blah blah $.10
…. ,..\` | /|.,|Y\, ..
….. ‘-…’-._..\||/ …NOT ass-ociated with Ugdgdgdgfdfdf or Mary Lin
……… >_.-`Y| ……………
According to Trivia-Library dot com, there are 2.000.000 Americans of Danish descent.
On sober second thought, I'm a little surprised that it's only two million.
We're down to the FINAL 20! Who is it gonna be?
HarleeGirl: You better not waste any time designing, lest Leepin Larry snipe you!
Wonderful! All I know is that my blog has made a pretty good contribution to the 2 Million comments! xox
Sorry, Cartouche. Larry's already betrothed to me!

Is there a better reason to get married, than just for laughs?
HarleeGirl’s China Online Store
…… , . – . – , _ , ………
……… ) ` – . .> ‘ `( …….always free treats
…….. / . . . .`\ . . \ ……..last-ditch effort for 2 million spams
…….. |. . . . . |. . .| ……..O’Really good deal, no refunds
……… \ . . . ./ . ./ ……….
……….. `=)\ /.=` …Car!!!! Car!!!! Car!!!! Car!!!!
…………. `-;`.-’
…………… `)| ….Love goodshopping Please Mrs. Walsh favor me now
……………. || _.-’| .
…………. ,_|| \_ Gordon Osmond Devil Horns discounted to US$6.99
……. , ….. \|| .
……. |\ |\ ,. ||/ …LL suck big one
…. ,..\` | /|.,|Y\, ..
….. ‘-…’-._..\||/ …I BEAT yo ass Ugdgdgdgfdfdf & Mary Lin
……… >_.-`Y| ……………
I like cheese danish.
I will have to google "betrothed" after we hit the mark.
It would be funny if this was just a scam.
Hey Leepin' Lar ... I know who you are ... just a fyi ... and no one told me ('cause I don't have any friends or hardly PM anyone on OS) but I'm a pretty good investigator/analyst
Okay, I'm ready for my closeup, P.S.!
NASA....what's the countdown at?
That is pretty cool, really . . . 2 Million comments? Piece of cake . . .



I actually think THAT is kind of cool. Larry, we should both feel honored that we are named in the comment that will go down in history. And, just for the record, Larry, yours was 2,000.002. I'll have to go hunt down who got 2,000,001. That could become a space odyssey....
Is my microphone on...tap tap tap?
okay...see you in another 999,998 comments
Hmmm, how many people are scrambling to post in order to be immortalized by # 2 million?
OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD!!!!!!!!!!! I really won?????????/

Larry, too??????? I don't know what to say.

Lezlie wins a free 6 month membership to

Congrats Lezlie!
Yes, Lezlie - you won!! I'm going to see if I can figure out how to take a screen shot to prove it. Stand by. Actually, you might need to take a nap. I'm observant but I'm not a tech genius.
HarleeGirl’s China Online Store
…… , . – . – , _ , ………
……… ) ` – . .> ‘ `( …….always free treats
…….. / . . . .`\ . . \ ……..DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN
…….. |. . . . . |. . .| ……..Getting’ CrazeCzar and CrazeCzar by minute
……… \ . . . ./ . ./ ……….
……….. `=)\ /.=` …Car!!!! Car!!!! Car!!!! Car!!!!
…………. `-;`.-’
…………… `)| ….Love goodshopping Larry clogged my feed.
……………. || _.-’| .
…………. ,_|| \_ Gordon Osmond Devil Horns discounted to US$2.99
……. , ….. \|| .
……. |\ |\ ,. ||/ …Usual blah blah $.10
…. ,..\` | /|.,|Y\, ..
….. ‘-…’-._..\||/ …Leepin’ Larry is really John Boehner only not orange.
……… >_.-`Y| ……………
Larry: You are hysterical! If you can keep me laughing this hard and um, be equally as you know, hard as you are funny, we might stand a chance.....
HarleeGirl: You are cracking me up! This feels like a Friday night from the old days on OS (without the alcohol).
Congrats to Lezlie! Your name will be automatically entered in the 2011 editors' vote for the OS Hall of Fame.
Well, I'll put my 2 cents in. I always think it amazing that geeks know these things. r
With a name like can I go wrong?
Just to prove that Lezlie is the winner fair and square, I am going to post the link at the bottom of the post (it's too long to put in the comments section and I'll be damned if I can figure out that hyperlink hickey dooey. Then, you can see how the numbers show up in the URL. You have to scroll all the away across to the right to see the number.
I'd like to thank Cartouche for holding this contest; Mrs. Whitaker for teaching me how to type back in the days of manual typewriters; my parents for having me...

And Larry for being so generous with his prize selection!
You're very welcome Lezlie...
It was either the membership or a new car.
Dog is love.

(Just hoping this would be the 2 millionth!)
Wooohooo! Amazing! xox
@Larry: Buehner, huh? I'd recognize that orange complexion anywhere!
Absolutely delightful. I'm sorry I wasn't around when the two million mark was hit! Now let's see how long it takes for us to get to 3 million! Rated, for your excellent powers of observation.
Larry's got some 'splainin' to do.
Alysa, sorry gurl, I don't think you could have been a contender. It takes too long for your comments to clear Homeland Security.

Cartouche, did they say anything about prizes for third through, say, tenth place? for a day?
Sure, Joan. Now you show up and claim Larry all for yourself, like one of those miners' mistresses did..... Larry and I are planning to laugh all the way to the altar. (Aren't we Larry?)

Harlee: I'll have to talk to Donald Trump and find out what the runners up win in the event that the winner cannot perform her duties. I suppose we'll have to ask Leepin Larry what those duties are....
Alysa: I think it will be very interesting to see how long it takes for us to get to the 1 millionth post on OS. THAT will be a major feat/accomplishment.

kateasley: Every word does count. Always!
I'll be over at Ebay, looking for a Flak Jacket... if anyone needs me.
well, damn. is this waaaay cool or what?

all this and larry, too. sheesh. nuttin' bettah.
Next stop, two BILLION. But does that include the evil spammers???
Argh! I totally missed out on all the excitement this morning! And what was I doing instead? Um- I think that was about the time I was trying to keep a cockateil from perching on my 2 year old's head. Family time really cuts into my OS time. Don't worry about me, though, my kids are going to whine "Mooooooommmmmmmm" for the 2 millionth time this week any moment now. That's something.
Cartouche...your deleted remarks always give me a smile. If there is no prize I refuse to be #2M.
Well, I'm glad it was she. Oh, your O'really is showing;)
This was fabulous, you are brilliant and what a catalyst. I'm really happy that Lezlie found love worth fighting for considering she thought she would miss it by one. She had the quite a sad date (secretly still laughing inside) it's good of you to forgive her. This betrothal is ordained by the Gods of OS counter thingies.

I think this means you are in charge of the OS wedding, but due to anxiety I won't be able to attend. I like receptions, please let me know if liquor will be served.
Cool! TY you all it's been fun this year!
EVERYBODY. Look under your seats. Oprah left you a copy of her new autobiography: "Mary Lin, Gayle, and I Spend a Weekend at Tink's Pleasure Palace."
Ooh, a contest. This is a contest, isn't it? What do I win?
L from the Southeast wins! Congrats. I wonder what L in the Northwest thinks?
L from the Southeast wins! Congrats. I wonder what L in the Northwest thinks?
I think we are actually closing in on the 2,000 mark, if you don't count Mary Lin and her friends comments.
@Miners' mistresses, indeed. Actually those guys looked pretty good for being underground for two months...
See, this is the thing about ADD... I was gonna sit on the site, ride down the count, and go for the treasured spot, then... hey, look, a mockingbird!... and by the time i got back, lezlie had already won Larry.

Close call, huh. I coulda been the one who won Larry.

Sometimes the bear bites you, and sometimes you bite the bear.

Congrats, Lezlie. I'm sure you will be very happy together. Too bad Life magazine isn't still around or you might have been featured on the cover.
Okay. I'll bite. How are you able to determine the total number of comments on Open Salon?
Congrats to L in the Southeast.
Never mind. I just figured it out. I just love it when I answer my own questions.
Dang...I'll be around for the big # though!!!!
Congrats L !!!
Oops, I just deleted an old spam comment, so Lezlie's back to #1,999,999. Actually, couldn't have been a better winner.

What's with all the crossouts? Did O'Really take over the blog?
This is fantastic! What a cool post! R
Man I miss everything being out here on the West Coast......
Go Lezlie, this is much more exciting than my car hitting 60 k a few weeks ago....
This means that NO ONE will ever have the last word here.
...but that won't stop us from trying!
Even from my iPhone as I'm out having a very late lunch!
And her comment is priceless.
Nice try, but all spambot comments -- as well as all comments by Dr Amy -- and endless catfights between O'Really and John Blumenthal -- and pissing contests over who called whom a bitch or a whore first and last -- and endless discussions about who's a real writer and who's only a typist -- and the proper way to hypenate, etc, etc, etc -- all these must be deducted from the total of 2,000,000.

I went to the trouble of doing so, and I regret to inform you that with these exclusions, the actual count of comments from real -- well, okay, virtual -- persons is only 347.
@Cordle: does that include comments made up of "thuds", spelling corrections, multiple personality (disorders) and emoticons? More importantly, does this include yours?
Oh, my ! This is the happiest moment of my life today ! Congratulations, Lezlie ! Thank you, Patricia. How fun this was. Wo Hooo!
**TEARS OF JOY** I always cry at weddings. So beautiful, I so hope L and L's marriage works out!!

**wanders off to go play in the freshly poured cement in front of city hall**
I came and read, and couldn't let Liumo Lin have the last word. Sorry spambot.
This PROVES it! There IS a secret cabal of people here who get the secret masonic statistics while the rest of us labor in ignorance and bliss!

Cheers to OS, which won't make 3 million if they don't speed it up around here.

*runs from room to get more 2 buck chuck*
Hey i am working on the comment clock as fast as this slow internet lets me here in Turkey. Thanks for giving us some idea of where OS stands and where it can go. More GL for NYC.
Okay. Enough already. Time to forge ahead to 3 million. Thanks, Cartouche, for keeping track of this historic event. I hope there are OS archives.
Counting Comments. Sounds like the name of a '90s band.