I swore never to blog about this topic again. But like a disingenuous Al Pacino in Godfather III, they keep dragging me back in. Yesterday afternoon I indirectly learned of an AP news story that went thus:
A woman police believe to be convicted Washington escort service operator Deborah Jeane Palfrey committed suicide, officials said Thursday.And there in the fifteenth paragraph was that name. The parallels were too eerily similar not to be mentioned. And sure enough, wherever the DC Madam was discussed, such as on Wonkette, some show off brought it up.
My narcissistic first reaction was a pit in my stomach and the thought that my blog traffic is going to explode for all the wrong reasons. I was right. Here is a graph taken about 11:30 last night displaying a classic exponential decay curve:
Depending on whose stopwatch and turnstile you are using, I got between 20,000 and 25,000 page views yesterday. Here’s how they broke down:
|Really Desperate Housewife||8,516|
|HoCo Hooker Update||568|
|Brandy Britton, RIP||652|
|Cute Baby Pictures||985|
The Cute Baby Pictures post has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, but seems to be enjoying some sort of halo effect benefit from all the other traffic.
As oddly obsessive as I am about my blog statistics I have never kept a running track of my busiest days. The time Defamer linked to my Studio 60 Drinking Game was huge. And everytime Josh of Comics Curmudgeon finds something of mine worthy of mention the traffic it sends is twice as much as the time before. But clearly this incident has to be the new benchmark.
I’ve said it before in my protests-too-much voice that I would rather have ten regular readers than a thousand rubberneckers. This is pretty much that case writ large. Fortunately, the web is big place where people have short memories and there are lots of shiny objects. There will be echoes and aftershocks, but I hope this is a coda to an odd bizarre story that is finally closed.
I’m not really in mourning, but this is the third suicide of someone I don’t really know that has drawn my attention in the past week. The phenomenon both puzzles and concerns me. It’s such a harsh and permanent solution to a problem. Palfrey was facing a potential 55 years in jail (but likely only to be sentenced to four to eight) and had sworn she was never going to serve time. And she didn’t.
For those of you who feel (rightly, I think) that the whole Palfrey imbroglio has been pruriently overplayed, I offer this comparison: Ken Lay the pirate at the helm of Enron was looking at a potential twenty to thirty years in jail when he died of a heart attack before his sentencing.
BlatantComment(MetaphoricalOnly)Whoring™: Draw your own ironic conclusions.
Postscript: This Washington Post Palfrey piece is particularly poignant.