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Chapter 3
Alternate Relationships

The Path of True Google Love Is Never Smooth

by FREDERICA VON McTOAST-HYPHEN, Alternate Reality News Service People Writer

Georgina MacHattless thought she had found the perfect man. He looked like a cross between George Clooney and Gomez Addams. His collection of porcelain Lorne Greene figurines was unrivalled. He was a lawyer (but not so successful at it that he was annoying). Despite all of this, she ended the relationship six months after it began when she made a startling discovery.

She got 17 times as many hits on a Google search than he did.

“I was shocked,” MacHattless said. “I mean, I knew my amateur candle making was popular, but I didn’t think it would make me that much more popular than a semi-successful trial attorney.”

“Google imbalance is a good early warning sign that a relationship may not last,” advice columnist Riva Skivvies explained. “I know, I know, in these post-feminist times you would think that we would be beyond such…silliness. However, it threatens many men’s masculinity when they find that the woman they love gets 13,000 hits on Google when they only get 12. That’s just the sort of thing that drives a wedge between people and ends up in ugly accusations of Google promiscuity!

“Besides,” Skivvies added, “MacHattless was being naďve. Most people are more popular than trial attorneys!”

MacHattless claims she never engaged in Google promiscuity, the practice of spreading one’s name around to as many Web sites as possible in order to get a higher number of hits on search engines. “Who has the time?” she protested. “Do you have any idea how long it takes to create a peach-scented Gandalf Greybeard candle?”

She also claimed that she didn’t have a problem with having more hits on Google than her lover, that he was the one who broke off the relationship. When we asked her if she was being totally honest, she looked down to the ground and said, “Well…you know how it is…” When we pressed her to tell us how it was, she blurted, “I’ve had boyfriends who walked into a bar and boasted that they had the most Google hits of anyone there – and proved it! They were real men!”

Ignatz Slopakian, the lover in question, refused to comment for this article.

According to Skivvies, what constitutes an acceptable level of Google imbalance varies from relationship to relationship. Although many men would prefer their partners to have 100 to several thousand hits fewer than they do, some men are comfortable with women who get 100 or even 1,000 hits more than they do. “Generally, the more secure a man is in his masculinity,” Skivvies explained, “the greater the imbalance he is willing to tolerate. 50,000, however, seems to be most men’s limit.”

Where romantic problems arise, can commerce be far behind? One Web site, GoogleMeThis.com, gives people the chance to pay for placement in a wide variety of places on the Net, thus raising their Google profile. According to the site’s About page, 95 per cent of its users are males.

Some matchmaking Web sites have taken steps to avoid Google imbalance problems. Lava Lamp Life, for example, has added a feature to its user profiles that does a Google search whenever somebody accesses a user’s page, telling them how many hits the person gets. This assumes that the person doing the looking knows how many Google hits he or she gets, and, thus, can compare; but, given the general level of humanity’s self-interest, this seems likely.

“That this is a problem shouldn’t be surprising,” Skivvies sniffed. “Domination has been an evolutionarily determined part of the male psyche. Whether it’s hunting a mastodon or controlling the television remote, domination is the male’s way of getting the female’s attention and, in time, passing on his genetic inheritance. Obviously, a large Google imbalance seriously threatens a man’s ability to pass on his traits to future generations!”

Georgina MacHattless broke up with her lawyer boyfriend. Soon after, she found a tin can tycoon whose Google hits were greater than hers thanks to his polo pony yachting hobby. After a five year whirlwind courtship, they are planning to be married in the spring.

“I’m happy…I guess…” MacHattless enthusiastically said. “At least we don’t fight about our Google rankings, and that’s the key to a happy marriage, right? Right?”

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Welcome, Science Fiction Fans!

If you came to Les Pages aux Folles curious about my writing thanks to science fiction or fan fiction, welcome! You can find the complete text of Alternate Reality Ain't What It Used To Be, +

Welcome Back My Friednishes To The Show That Never Ednishes

I now have a Facebook author/fan/whatever you want to call it page: Ira Nayman's Thrishty Friednishes. Go, look around, like it if you feel so inclined and feel free to leave a comment. I have only just started it, so it may be a little sparse at the moment, but I will add content based on what people post they would like to see. Within reason.

Would you be interested in immortality?

The Alternate Reality News Service (ARNS) has two advice columns: Ask Amritsar, a column about love and sex and technology, and; Ask the Tech Answer Guy, a column about +