Wednesday , February 20 2019
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NiC Humor: Search Engines

Looking something up using an Internet search engine shouldn’t be this difficult—or humorous.

Like many of you, I search online for most everything. I’m also a do-it-yourselfer, because these days handymen charge nearly as much for their services as a Park Avenue plastic surgeon—a price point with which I’m well acquainted. My mini project required drilling a hole in concrete block, which I was advised required either a “hammer” drill or an “impact” drill. They both sounded intimidating and powerful. But what was the difference? And which was best for my task? Employees at Home Depot and Lowe’s gave me conflicting advise. But I was certain the Internet would clear it all up, so I typed on the search engine: “What is the difference between . . .” but before I could finish typing “a hammer drill and an impact drill,” the search engine tried to nudge me in the right direction.

The first suggestion was “What is the difference between peanut butter and jelly”. Not only was that not what I was looking for but now I was filled with angst that there are people out there who do not know the difference between those two. I was under the impression that the difference between PB and J was covered in first semester kindergarten. If the search engine had spit back “what’s the difference between jelly and jam” or “marmalade and preserves” I’d feel a whole lot better that our public school system was doing its job.

I admit I was using a lesser-known, search engine called DuckDuckGo, rather then the ubiquitous Google, not just because I like to spread the wealth around, but also because I heard the Duck offers more privacy and doesn’t track you online. I’ve even heard Google can activate your webcam remotely. Truth or fiction? I’m not taking any chances, which is part of the reason that when compelled to search Google, I do so fully dressed, whereas with DDG, I feel relaxed enough to search in my underwear and skip the cover stick under my eyes.

Next, I tried “Why can’t I use a regular drill on concrete”, but after I typed to type “Why can’t I . . .” the search suggested “Why can’t I breathe whenever I think about you” and “Why can’t I lose weight.” Again, not what I was looking for, but at least I felt empowered that I had more knowledge than others on the Internet, as I already had the answer to both of those questions: “Because you are a drama queen;” and “because you eat too much,” respectively. For a moment, I fantasized about starting my on Q&A site and making a billion bucks.

Properly attired, and with a sticky note over my laptop’s lens, I decided to type in the same query on Google. The suggestions I got as soon as I typed “Why can’t I . . .” included “Why can’t I grow a beard” and “Why can’t I own a Canadian.”  Apparently, the search engine of search engines wasn’t doing any better than El Pato. It did give me more material for my upcoming website, where I shall answer those two queries: “Because you failed to take the correct testosterone dosage;” and “Because there are not enough Canadians to go around.” Obviously, the demands of 1.3 billion Chinese and 1.2 billion Indians would gobble up the entire supply of 35 million Canadians within minutes, and leave the rest of the world wanting. Best we leave them up there in the frozen north to produce Maple syrup and provide adults with pole-dancing entertainment in establishments from Montreal to Vancouver.

I encourage you to type in your own search engine questions, and if you find any that stump you send them my way. The database for my upcoming project is growing nearly as fast as Larry Page’s bank account. Happy searching!

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