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Google, I Hardly Knew Ye

Google thinks it's so great. That it's the best search engine in the world. Then why can it not answer any of my simplest, most pressing questions?
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Google thinks it's so great. That it's the best search engine in the world.

Then why can it not answer any of my simplest, most pressing questions?

Here's a perfect example. I just keyed in: "Does this outfit make me look fat?"

What do I get back? A link to an animated YouTube video in which Batman is nervously asking Boy Wonder that question.

Irrelevant, Google. And it's a no brainer anyway. We all know the Batman needs to stick to basic black in his cape and body suit combos. Much more forgiving.

Next I typed in: "Why did Charlie Pierkowski dump Maureen Stone in 10th grade?" (They were such a good match. Everybody thought so.)

What popped up first? Totally unrelated information on some guy in Wisconsin with a name similar to Charlie's reporting he discovered an entirely new planet on his break on night shift at Taco Belle last Tuesday.

Google: Everyone knows Charlie dropped Maureen because she called him on his control issues.

Maybe it's me. Web aficionados insist that it's all about the phrasing of the query, that we must ask for precisely what we need to know. Apparently putting quote marks around the search phrase helps to seal the deal.

Got it!

How about these for specific? It's like I'm using a silver platter.

"If I was transgender would I already know?"

Up came a link to a current Bold and Beautiful storyline where the character in question obviously has this figured out already. What the what, Google?

All aflutter, I typed in "Did Friedrich Nietzsche crib most of that stuff?"

Google refused to commit here, only to offer evidence that Nietzsche's personal life rivalled Real Housewives' Bethany Frankel's for over the top drama.

Then: "How can Greece be going broke when Greek yoghurt outsells milk?"

Again, with the links! This one to a tedious feature on marketing savvy.

"Why are white spandex shorts entirely without pity?"

Again, Google coming up empty.

I tweaked my phraseology with these scattershot queries:

"On a sliding pain scale, and just because I'm curious, how does the pain of stubbing your bare big toe on cement compare to root canal surgery with no insurance?"

"Categorically, who is more adorable? Snoopy or that gecko in the insurance commercials?"

"Which color is more flattering on me, a Papaya Whip or a true Marigold Orange?"

"If they made a sitcom about drones, who should play the lead: those twins from Full House or Charlie Sheen?"

"If all things are possible in the universe, why can't my friend Shirley find a guy who'll pick up a cheque once in a while?"

Google, I hardly knew ye.

Undaunted, I entered what anyone would agree is a giveaway.

"What possessed Katy Perry to marry Russell Brand?"

What do I get? Pictures, scads o', of the bride and groom. Um, know what they look like. Thanks Sherlock.

I am nothing if not persistent. I press on.

"Does a vow of silence mean that I can't talk...ever?"

"What exactly is the deal with all the paternity test shows on Maury?"

Top result: "Maury Povich Wants Rachel Dolezal to Do Paternity Test on His Show." Don't we all! But again, not applicable.

How about these, Mr. Spock?

"Did intelligent design include the cast of The Love Boat?"

First response: "Everyone except Julie McCoy, the Cruise Director." Admittedly Google was trying.

"If you sleep in for work at the National Sleep Foundation, do you get penalized? Or promoted?"

"If the earth is round why is my chest flat?"

"When a dog sighs is it a sign of disapproval?"

"Was Mrs. Hurtibese a tad harsh that time in Grade Four when she told me to be seated and announced I had "a thing or two to learn about working a room' "?

"Would it be utterly exhausting living with Jim Carrey or a cake walk?"

"Is there a verifiable reason behind why on every trans-Atlantic flight I end up sitting beside the guy who swills too much Grey Goose before we've even reached cruising altitude and insists on explaining to me why each of his four marriages failed?"

"No results found."

I tried with this two-parter: 1. "Who first used the term "It is what it is?" 2. "And if it is what it is, what is it?"

Finally, spent, I asked Google simply this: "Should I try and get out more?"

I was a little wounded by Google's instantaneous response: