41. A mystery.

I wasn’t going to post today. I wasn’t being lazy or anything; it was the youngest 23thorn’s birthday party. Two months after her birthday. She’d had a family party (at full strength, we can muster about 20 people), and then we went away, so we thought we’d get away without a school party, but never underestimate the complexity of the average four-year-old’s social life.Promises had been made on the playground. People had been blacklisted. A party there would be.


So the day has been a little busy. But I’ve come so far with the whole 100 posts thing that I couldn’t resist putting a little something out. And besides, something has been playing at the edges of my mind. A mystery. Maybe someone can talk me through this.

I have to be careful. I have a fairly cynical bent, and my sense of humour can slip fairly easily into mockery. And that’s not nice.

So I was both overjoyed and crushed when, while looking something up for a post earlier this week, I came across a blog post titled “A Pact Journey – Kruger Park Safaris“. Does something about that title ring a little odd to you? How about the opening sentence;

“Upon our own strategy to Mpumalanga intended for a necessary split, Bronwyn, Ryno and I chose that we ended up being taking a excursion”?

"An amateur or perhaps part-time magician it’s possible capable of incredible special but there’s a great deal more on it."

“An amateur or perhaps part-time magician it’s possible capable of incredible special but there’s a great deal more on it.”

It is a thing of beauty. It isn’t wrong. It has transcended that. It isn’t bad English. It cast off from those shores long ago and is now exploring vast, uncharted continents of grammar and syntax. And that’s just the opening line. The whole thing is like this. Dip into it anywhere, and your mind will be folded over and turned inside out. It’s like found poetry. Surrealist blogging. Look;

” The actual get via Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park wasn’t only severe but a genuine examine your relationship.”

“We all gradually visit this Phumulani villa and most of us were unable a really picture.”

“If we chilled from the go swimming, we walked to the Lodge for supper, with a rapid energy snooze and after that simply enough the perfect time to incomparable our initially sport push.”

"Primary, let us check what precisely provides an impressive flyer, rather than pamphlet or even spherical."

“Primary, let us check what precisely provides an impressive flyer, rather than pamphlet or even spherical.”

It’s breathtaking. I want someone to set it to music. “A Pact Journey. The Musical.” I want movies made about it. I want to whisper it into Mrs 23thorns’ ear as she sleeps and then see how she acts the next day.

I love it! So why was I crushed? Because the first thing I wanted to do was blog about it. To share a laugh with all of you. But I couldn’t. Why not? Well, it was obviously written by someone who wasn’t English. Someone who was trying hard, and who was brave enough to put themselves out there in a way that I would be afraid to. And so to make fun of it would be unkind. This sort of thing should be encouraged, not mocked.

And yet here I am. Making fun of it. But don’t worry. I have not violated my principles. I have not gone over to the dark side. I have, as I said earlier, uncovered a mystery. You see, I went to this blog’s home page. And “A Pact Journey” is not alone. There are scores of posts there. All written in this enthusiastically curious style.

"Obtaining appropriate mattresses is extremely important on your get to sleep and you also aren’t minimal."

“Obtaining appropriate mattresses is extremely important on your get to sleep and you also aren’t minimal.”

Think of anything, and it’s there;

Menopause? “Menopause is a effortlessly usual woman’s occurrence that comes about in the middle or delayed forties”

Catering? “Food items as it turns out, is actually a important factor the point is.”

Garden benches? “Out there home garden benches are best for a gulp associated with clean air, rest and for experiencing and enjoying the greenery.”

Which is fine. I write about lots of things. But here’s where the plot thickens. All of these posts were posted yesterday. There are about ninety of them. There is no “about” page, no pictures, no widgets. Just reams and reams of borderline gibberish. There are no comments or even “Likes”.

It gets better. Every post contains a single link. Just one, buried deep in the body of the text. Some of those link to companies in the UK, but the vast majority link to companies right here in South Africa. Not a single company. Each post links to a different, completely unconnected company. There are Safari guides and PVC blind suppliers. There are office furniture suppliers and divan bed manufacturers. There’s even a company that hires out strippers.

"For me personally a Hyena happens to be smallest involving this favourites features and functions inside puppy business."

“For me personally a Hyena happens to be smallest involving this favourites features and functions inside puppy business.”

So what in the blue hell is going on here? There is an entire blog out there with nearly a hundred posts on it, all written on the same day, which is almost completely unreadable. It is trying to lead the reader off to one or another obscure South African business. It wasn’t written by a South African, even one with bad English. I would recognise the patterns of the language. I cannot even begin to guess who did write it.

So what is it? Is it spam? If it is, it’s very bad spam. There are no flashing lights, or colours, or animations. Just that one lonely link.

Is it a genuine blog? If so, I’m embarrassed. I’ve been doing this for nearly a year, and haven’t done as many posts as this blogger has in a day.

I have a theory. There are some rather curious things out there in the ether called a “numbers stations”. They are short wave radio stations that broadcast numbers. That’s all. A voice, often an artificially generated one, simply counts off a seemingly random and endless list of numbers. And they’ve been doing this since World War I. Nobody has ever acknowledged them, and no-one knows what they’re for.

"Wood made Garden Benches are quite common for use because separate products or even as being an extra chair at dinner or perhaps gather."

“Wood made Garden Benches are quite common for use because separate products or even as being an extra chair at dinner or perhaps gather.”

What everyone thinks they are for is for spying. Secret codes. Messages to operatives living deep under cover in enemy territory. And they’re still out there. I think that’s what this is. This is the spooks moving with the times. Who listens to short wave radio these days? Blogging is the thing. So the spies have started their own blogs, complete with secret messages  buried deep within. Co-ordinates of arms factories. Nuclear installations. Troop deployments. Tips on where to get the best strippers.

Of course I might be wrong. Maybe Yoda started a blog. Or maybe one of you might recognise what this is right away. And even if you don’t, but think you can see what’s going on, let me know. I’m curious. I need to work out what this is all about so I can stop reading it. It’s hurting my head. I’m a bit nervous about my own English at this point. It’s been a long day, and it’s pretty late. My eyes are crossing and my proofreader has gone to sleep. But never fear. In the words of my new favourite blog;

“Together with a correct prepare and approach having a switch can be really even and more enjoyable. The actual thrashing economic climate features obligated individuals consider inexpensive methods to their particular move. Moving providers commonly fee a ton for each go. To save money I suggest you include a self switch.”

"Cars this result in throw away meters originated from various different resources."

“Cars this result in throw away meters originated from various different resources.”

That’s certainly how I feel, and I hope you do too.


39 thoughts on “41. A mystery.

  1. narf77 says:

    My New York hooker blog follower says “cheers for the heads up to her link” by the way…

    • 23thorns says:

      Stop throwing your New York Hooker in my face like that. You know very well that I haven’t got one, and nothing will be right in my world until I somehow manage to find one. How did you get her? Did you put out an ad in the classifieds?

  2. narf77 says:

    The next time I fancy a “gulp” I will be sure to take myself out to my garden bench (note to self…purchase a garden bench…)
    Perhaps you’re new bestest ever blog needs to be listed here Mr 23Thorns for posterity…
    I personally think it’s meaty spam. Lucky I am of the veganese persuasion and can’t be swayed by all of that crunchy content.

  3. erickuns says:

    Of course, Google Translate those who want to use. Webpage content, rather than allowing all other services. The skin on the type of financial incentives for participation and does not know the procedure for cow intestine. Can not behave in the same way, and the original book sleek design and the effects of external factors per inevitable.

  4. safia says:

    I don’t care too much about the terrible translation (which undoubtedly this is) just please find out more about “the delayed forties” and do a blog on it!

  5. I see others have beaten me to it, but I was going to say it reads like something that has been translated using something like Babelfish.
    It’s entertaining reading though!

  6. […] too, and every now and then, you stumble on something unexpected. The best explanation I got for a weird blog I stumbled across was that it was written by a machine in order to fool another machine. Apparently, as the […]

  7. pussonalamp says:

    @BeatifulLife has it right. These are machine generated artificial websites produced to sneak past the ever-increasingly sophisticated search engines which are programmed to detect spam and chuckir it in the ‘bad source of bona-fide links’ bins. These pseudo-sites plant links for marketers, who naively pay money for ’em to jack up their net presence, thinking they’re improving their sales potential to humans.

    The web is awash with them. They’re not quite so good that humans can’t spot them a mile off (yet), but they’re getting there – almost by accident. They’re not designed to fool humans but only other machines. It’s the same sort of thing you see with spam emails carrying artificial ‘stories’ is wrecked English. They do not need to fool humans, just the software spam filters and spam blockers.

    There’s an arms race going on up there, mostly in the machine stratosphere way above our heads. But it’s creating vast amounts of fundamentally useless net traffic, taking up resources, and making the net more expensive than it really needs to be.

    • 23thorns says:

      Makes sense, in a sad sort of way. When we finally do invent something as breathtaking as artificial intelligence, it will not be in the quest for scientific discovery. It will be in the quest to sell more office furniture and garden benches.

  8. Jim Morrison says:

    I don’t know, mkaes sens to me.

  9. Ashana M says:

    And, on another note, it’s a warm, drowsy afternoon and I had a late night last night. I need a “rapid energy snooze.” Otherwise, I think, known as the “power nap.” It really is poetry.

    • 23thorns says:

      Indeed. “A power nap” is a sadder, emptier thing. The sort of thing middle management insurance workers have after a late night on conference. Masters of the universe have “rapid energy snoozes”.

  10. Spy Garden says:

    HAHAHahahahah haha this type of grammar/syntax gets me every time. Your captions cracked me up. You should check out “Regretsy” one day, it has a section called “Annoying Descriptions” that reminds me of this. Happy bday to your little one! Baby spy turns 2 in a few months and since she’s a girl I feel forced to have some sort of sickeningly cute party for her with her little friends. The Spy (7) last year said (after asking him if he’d like a party, “Don’t you think birthday parties are sort of a waste of money?” HAHAhahahah so we had a just-family party instead. Don’t think I’ll be so lucky with baby spy. ha

  11. Ashana M says:

    My guess? The posts were written in a language other than English and run through a translator by someone who has no idea they make no sense. Possibly by someone other than the blog host/writer–posts already out there in, say, Ukranian that most English speakers would never see. Some phrases here and there sound like Indian English, but most of it is nothing like what people acquiring English typically say–they aren’t “normal” mistakes of language learners. This stuff is the work of artificial intelligence. Not the real thing. (Or even lack of it.)

    Why they link to obscure businesses in South Africa is a deeper mystery. Unless the links are not real, and are ways of phishing for your password.or installing malware on your computer. Let me know if you suddenly find yourself with a fatal Trojan horse. Or start emailing all your contacts with ads for Cialis.

  12. It’s an SEO keyword booster.

  13. Mary Southon says:

    Those are Bing translations. Ever used Bing to translate something on Facebook? That’s how they read. Somebody has copied and pasted a lot of quotes in their mother language and used Bing to translate, and then they’ve included links that will put a virus in your computer. What I think is that by clicking on those links, you’ve introduced Trojan Horse viruses into your hard drive. There have been a lot of warnings about the Trojan Horses coming out of Russia. They lie in wait in your computer until you go to your financial site. Then they record your password and account number, and your account gets emptied rapidly. You should run your virus protection asap.

  14. Mmnm says:

    That english reminds me of this: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=229130420554568&story_fbid=302085039925772

    but I suppose the example I have is more comprehensible than the 100+ blog posts…

  15. thehatandfat says:

    I really like the cheese top hat, that’s awesome.

  16. More Jar Jar Binks than Yoda, I think, but bizarre all the same. I just finished reading “Conspiracy Theories for Dummies”, though, so I’m all for the spying explanation. Now if only we can throw in some of David Icke’s twelve-foot-tall, shape-changing, reptilian aliens (that secretly control the world), we’ll have the makings of something majestic here!

    • 23thorns says:

      I dipped into a David Icke book at work once. from what I remember, the writing was about as easy to read as the stuff on the mystery blog.

      • Yes, that sounds about right. Strangely enough–or maybe not so strangely–when I worked in a jail, I found that his books were hugely popular with the inmates.

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