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Accidental Google Seppuku: A twitter Story

[ 80 ] May 19, 2013 |

Since I’m the biggest no-life-having-jagoff of the authors here, I was wondering if you all wanted share your Google Sepuku stories with everyone on the internet. Well, sort of. I’m not talking about specifically about Google Seppuku; actually, I was wondering is if you’ve ever typed something completely innocuous into the Google search box and ended up seeing something you wish could unsee or at least could have braced for. It’s happened to me several times (“Persian kittens”: not always adorable felines), but the last time it happened it ended up being sort of a blessing/curse, ‘cuz I knew I could juice the experience for some comedy.

See, I was looking for a segment of a P.F. Tompkins standup routine where he talks about owning tiny, genetically modified bears. So I Googled “pocket bears.” I think you see where this is going. If you don’t, I urge you NOT to Google “pocket bears.”

Similarly, I was wondering if any of you have ever typed in anything “sketchy” and come up with nada. It’s happened to me.

Why do I wonder these things? Well, because I’m bored, nosy and the LGM overlords are ok with me posting stuff like this on the weekend.

Please don’t Google “bored and nosy.”


Comments (80)

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  1. Malaclypse says:

    Had a client – elderly, white, and very Christian – who invented what was basically a shock absorber for shotguns, and believed that the website he would use to sell these devices would be I had to not laugh when he called me up complaining about how “very disappointed” he was when he found out what was actually being conveyed at the web site he believed was his.

  2. Arcadío Buendía says:

    Space dicks. There is nothing I have ever wanted to unsee more.

  3. aimai says:

    I didn’t see anything but I did find myself on a very regrettable page of possible offerings by trying to locate Hanna Andersson clothing for my toddler and googling “Danish, girl, stockings.”

  4. Barry Freed says:

    Fucking hell. I don’t know why I decided to google “pocket bears” on google image search. Bspence, did you used to troll Slashdot with goatse/tubgirl/lemon party pics back in the day?

    BTW, other good and real URLs include (and for when you really need to find one), Ferreth and Jobs. More here:

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you’re a medical student looking to spice up a presentation on diabetics’ infections with a picture of this “mucormycosis” everyone’s talking about, don’t.

  6. Ann Outhouse says:

    Nothing will EVER top “Santorum.”

  7. Matt says:

    I put in “Persian kittens” and just got a page of add for people selling persian kittens and closely related things. It makes me wonder what else you were searching for in your spare time if you got very different results. :)

  8. Joe says:

    I was shopping online for socks and saw a couple references to “OTC socks.” I didn’t know what it meant, so i did a google image search.

  9. stickler says:

    Let’s just say if you’re hurriedly preparing some material for a lecture on European economic integration, and you can’t quite remember what that German economic subministry was called where you once saw that report on the forecasts for growth in the German solar industry … and you vaguely remember that the ministry might have been called the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaftsforschung, well …

    “BmWf” as a stand-alone search term will indeed provide much information, but not much about solar. Or Germany. I suppose there might have been some stuff related to racial integration, but not really classroom-safe in any way.

  10. Warren Terra says:

    The funny thing is that after you made a similar comment the other day, I opened an Incognito tab (so my browsing history wouldn’t bias the search results, and in case I wound up going someplace unsavory), and Googled “pocket bears”. I didn’t spot anything obviously graphic on the (first page of the) search results, though I did wind up visiting some truly horrific page using a bunch of crappy cartoons (but notably no decent photographs or testimonials) in its attempt to sell some sort of marsupial as pets to the unwary on the Internet. It looked like they were selling flipping sea monkeys, except that instead of a tank of shrimp you might get a confused, undomesticated, and quite possibly unwell warm-blooded animal of your very own.

    • Warren Terra says:

      (per an above comment, I repeated this test and clicked on the Image Search button, which does yield more unsettling results. I didn’t have the heart to try the Video Search).

    • sparks says:

      Hm, I did the same and found some (ahem) interesting images among the more innocuous. Nothing I could call anything more than unpleasant. I saw much worse porn before I was a teen.

  11. Just a Rube says:

    Two stories, both from some years ago.

    One: I needed to look up the scientific name of a species of onager called the “Wild Asian Ass.”
    In a hurry and not thinking, I typed “Wild Asian Ass” into Google. The results were obviously plentiful, but not exactly what I was looking for.

    Two: LaTeX is a particular typesetting program that I use. I was trying to recall a certain command, and remembered that there was a wikibook for it. I googled “latex wiki” and ended up at a latex-fetish wiki instead.

  12. Chet Manly says:

    I tried to search for banana brandy once because they were making it on that Moonshiners TV show and it sounded delicious to me.

    Turns out Banana Brandy is also a young girl with a porn site.

  13. I once googled “Super Karate Monkey Death Car”


    I still have a twitch.

  14. Tmv says:

    I’m a lurker but couldn’t resist this thread. I was pregnant recently, had a question or two occur, and googled “placenta.” One of the first things that came up was an article titled, “I Regret Eating My Placenta,” followed by several other links confirming that this is, indeed, a thing. The mind reels, as does the stomach.

    • herr doktor bimler says:

      Oops, ate the wrong one.

    • aimai says:

      I think that what DocAmazing is thinking is “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” We stored (one of) my placentas for a while because I had a romantic notion–yes, a romantic notioon–that we would plant it under a tree in our very tiny garden. Years passed and it sat in a ziplock on the freezer on the back porch. Finally we were renovating our house and the freezer had to go–along with nine gallons of matzoh ball soup which we had also frozen in a moment of negative optimism–and the workers were already gutting the house so I took it out of the bag and buried it somewhere in the backyard. Totally freaked out my contractor (he loved it, just proved what a kooky liberal I was) and he used to shout out to the workmen on their lunch breaks “Don’t sit on the PLACENTA!” Just to make them jump.

      • steverino says:

        Way late here, but I recall reading a SF novel where the placenta was frozen and saved for the stem cells: growing new organs in old age. L. Neil Smith? Perhaps.

  15. SV says:

    I see what you were talking about with pocket bears, but what the hell is the dirty interpretation of Persian kittens? Google is, for once, not helpful. And who would ruin something so sickeningly adorable?

  16. When I’m hot, or working a lot, or concentrating hard, my head sweats much more than, not only any other part of MY body, but on anyone else’s bodies – anyone not named Patrick Ewing, that is.

    And so, figuring that maybe I had a treatable medical condition, I googled, “sweaty head” to help me see if, after 40+ years, this was something that could be controlled.

    Don’t ever google “sweaty head” looking for some cure.
    Not unless you want to feel inadequate, on top of having a very sweaty head, getting hot from looking at ‘sweaty head.’

      • Sure, it’s funny now!

        But try to put it in context – it was in early 2000, when you’re new to computers, and in the first week of your new job, 4 states away from your former home, decide to look that up during a break on the PC in your office.

        Talk about ‘sweaty head!’
        It’s amazing I didn’t drown, and take out a few rescuer’s, too!!!

  17. Robbert says:

    I once googled the (really rather good) band Sluts Of Trust without thinking.

    And I have no idea what “pocket bears” are, but I think I won’t bother to find out.

  18. William Berry says:

    Pocket bears? No big whoop. With no filtering on my Google/ Safari, on 1st page, I got little plushes, sugar gliders (awww! they’re so cute), and just one pic of two naked “real” bears hugging and kissing!

    • bspencer says:

      Awwwwww! I want your search result.

      • William Berry says:

        Yeah, I know a lot of people don’t approve of keeping wild animals as pets, but sugar gliders make really good ones. Like rats who are not fed anything nasty, they are among the cleanest of critters, grooming themselves regularly. Only poop little hard, dry pills. And they are fine with just fruit and sugar water, no nasty meat or pet food stuff. Happy to ride around on your shoulder or sleep half the day in your jacket pocket. And unlike rats, hamsters, etc., they live forever— more than ten years, AIR.

        Tiny, furry critters like gliders can really make you think about the life of this strange world. It is an amazing feeling to hold so much warm life in the palm of your hand.

  19. Dan Coyle says:

    I’m still traumatized by the time I image searched for “Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers”, which you should never do with Safe Search off. Because Gadget… oh, GADGET.

  20. Halloween Jack says:

    Please don’t Google “bored and nosy.”

    Is that functionally the same as “caught looking at someone else’s porn”?

  21. AndyS says:

    Similarly, if interested in Accountable Care Organizations, Google “ACO”. You’ll discover a link to the “American Cornhole Organization” — which also isn’t quite what it sounds like.

  22. joe from Lowell says:

    I can tell you that many of the sites purporting to cover the issue of the Japanese military’s enslavement of women in Korea and China during World War Two are of dubious historical value.

  23. Sean Peters says:

    Oh, geez. I’m gay and recently out. I have a daughter. So I’m looking for support groups for LGBT parents. Turns out “gay dads” does not produce the results I was looking for.

  24. aimai says:

    Conversely there is a Boston indepenedent music group one of whose songs I heard on the radio. Unfortunately their name is so anodyne, on the order of “band of good music” that there is no point in googling it and I simply can’t find them or get any of their records.

  25. Heqit says:

    Oh my. I’m glad to have a term for this sort of stomach-churning online miscalculation.

    My mother is one of those insanely energetic people who work hard, play hard, and basically just never stop moving. This makes her a wonderful companion for my hyperactive nephew, who thinks that Grandma is awesome and the Best Playmate Ever. My sister and I think it’s cute, if exhausting, to watch the two of them together, and we started referring to our mother as “Action Grandma” – sort of a combination of the trope of Action Girl and the old Inspector Gadget line “go go action ___________!” So I thought I would try to find a grandmother action figure of some sort as a Mother’s Day gift. And Googled it. At work.

    Do NOT, EVER, Google “Action Grandma.” Even on a computer with a blandly academic search history (high school names and addresses, mostly), safe search enabled, behind a company firewall…oy. Neither my eyes nor my soul will ever be the same.

  26. LeftWingFox says:

    I discovered there is a slight but VITAL difference between typing in “children with animals” and “girls with dogs” into google image-search.

  27. bbkf says:

    haha…in a late-night drunken youtube session, hubbkf and i googled ‘hairy underwear’ because that is what i call carrie underwood and he has the hots for her…anyhow, yeah…don’t google ‘hairy underwear’…

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