The one (big one) that got away

I was a kid who was really nerdily excited by atlases and maps and geography and numerical limits. That’s partly why space was such a turn-on: I loved learning how hot the temperature on Venus got, and imagining what that felt like; was fascinated by concepts like “absolute zero” and Malthusian growth to the nth power, etc.

One of the super-neat features of WordPress blogs is when you check your stats there’s a map of the world, and whenever you have a reader in a new country, it colors that country in on the map. You know how sometimes you have a text message on your phone, and you’re compelled to read it, not because you really care what it says, but just to get rid of the annoying icon that sits there until you’ve read it? I definitely have some kind of obsessive-compulsive need to erase and fill things in so they’re complete. When I was in junior high and got off the bus at the end of the day, I would make sure the number of sidewalk cracks I crossed with my left foot matched the number I crossed with my right. In college, if someone tapped me on my right shoulder, I needed them to tap me on the left, with the exact same force that they’d tapped the right with. If they touched the left and it wasn’t with the precise same amount of force, I needed them to touch the left a second time, then touch the right a second time–again, with equal intensity. It took a while for me to get over this. This scene from Scrubs, where they torture the guy at the end by never singing the punchline? I understand that man’s pain.

So, what is all this leading to?

On my WordPress map, I have all of North America colored in, almost all of South America (damn you, Paraguay!), almost all of Europe, all of Oceania, and most of Asia. I only have about 10 countries in Africa, but they’re spread out on the four corners of the continent, which leaves the bulk of the middle un-colored and therefore uniform, therefore OK. It’s when something stands out that I get the heebee-jeebies.

It took a while to get Greenland–not a heavily populated place, but when you’re rooting for map colorization, Greenland’s a literal big deal. Russia and Canada fell a long time ago. There’s only one large nation I haven’t been able to breach.

China.

And wouldn’t you know it–this week I created a 2nd blog for my sports pieces, page2sports.wordpress.com. And a mere 24 hours into its existence, what country do you think is the first one (after the U.S.) to get a reader and get colored on that blog’s world map?

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