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    Monday, February 26, 2024

    Rick's List — Dark Web Clickbait Edition

    I've never gone on the Dark Web but I'd like to. The problem is, too many friends who are IT savvy and familiar with my computer fluency — I'm still baffled by the intricacies of Donkey Kong — suggest I'd not find my way back.

    One said, "Rick, I know your curiosity is anchored in good ol' innocent fun. But the criminal fiends and Internet monsters that prowl the Dark Web DON'T know that. You'll probably click the wrong link and somehow order a Thai banded krait to be sent to Rudy Giuliani's house. The Secret Service will trace it to YOU, and you'll end up in prison with Eric Trump."

    Hmm. Not wild about the Trump/cellmate scenario, but the snake to Rudy's house? Kinda fun.

    Anyway, my fascination with the Dark Web has nothing to do with the vile stuff rumored to be cesspooling there. (Hey, until recently, I thought a snuff film was about chewing tobacco!)

    No, all I want from my Dark Web experience is to be able to compare their clickbait sites to the clickbait sites we get "over here" on the normal Internet. I mean, they COULD be the same, right? I envision:

    1. Truly Disgruntled Dude scavenging the Dark Web looking for fellow cannibals with whom he can form a softball team — but he gets distracted by an irresistible clickbait link: "10 Best Van Halen Songs with David Lee Roth screeching and howling more than he sings actual lyrics."

    "Hmm," Truly Disgruntled Dude thinks, pausing his mouse and forgetting all about gnawing other humans and beer kegs in the dugout. "Number one's gotta be 'Runnin' with the Devil,' right?"

    2. Feverish Lunatic is distracted by and then decides he wants to check out a clickbait site that promises "Wildflowers in Iowa you probably overlooked," but just then he finds what he was longing for in the first place and forgets clickbait trickery: Here it is! An actual snuff film site! He takes a deep breath and ... "What the hell? This is a movie about ... chewing tobacco?!"

    Actually, my interest in Dark Web clickbait is self-centered because I'd like to make money with my own Dark Web clickbaits. Here are a few that I've designed that would not appeal AT ALL to the sinister and prurient deviants who troll "over there." But these clickbaits would be so unexpected on the Dark Web that viewers would HAVE to click on them just to see if they're real.

    1. Top 10 photos of baby kangaroos dressed as characters from "Little Women."

    2. Favorite sweaters worn by eight famous game show hosts (can you believe the gray and orange sleeveless plaid Wink Martindale's got?!).

    3. Five cities that boast "unreal" cardboard factories.

    4. Four different shoe styles of sneakers worn by the actor who played Tooey — Wally Cleaver's friend — on actual "Leave It to Beaver" episodes.

    5. America's most jaywalking-friendly cities.

    See ya on the Dark Web!

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