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A Brief Sampling of Obsessive Websites

Today, we take you all the way back to 2005, a time of simple pleasures and artistic integrity.

In issue 23, the Obsession Issue, Tin House author Christopher R. Beha took a deeper look at fixations by highlighting some of the more bazaar webpages on the internet. Seven years later, these sites are all inexplicably still up, some are even still active. So, if you’ve missed bare HTML, cartoon GIFs, and URLs made into unclickable images, continue reading after the jump. We can’t promise that you won’t be disturbed but you certainly won’t be disappointed.

A BRIEF SAMPLING OF OBSESSIVE WEBSITES
by Christopher R. Beha

Web site: Jay Maynard’s Tron-Guy

Last year, Maynard appeared at a science-fiction convention with a home­made costume celebrating ’80s sci-fi movie and video game Tron. The enthusiastic response led to a national television appearance and May­nard’s “waving a flag at a major automobile racetrack,” in his futuristic duds. Visitors to tronguy.net will find still shots and streaming video of the cos­tume, a blog, and a “media scorecard” tracking Maynard’s Tron-Guy appearances.

Quote: “I made a few compromises. I wanted to be as close to the original as possible, but let’s face it: I’m not the same shape as either Bruce Boxleitner or Jeff Bridges.
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Web site: The Complete Guide to American Girl Doll Collecting

Curt Danhauser, whose eight Star Trek Web pages cover the original show and its various spin-offs, books, and “story records,” has turned his attention to Pleasant Company’s American Girl doll series. This thorough, busi­nesslike page includes background on all nine American Girls, a full listing of outfits (including discontinued items), and a “Dress Like Your Doll” guide.

Quote: “Since Josefina was introduced late in 1997, she never had a ‘1997 Limited Edition Outdoor Outfit’ or a Scenes & Settings book like the other girls. And girls introduced after 1998 don’t have the Pastimes books or Doll Dress Patterns. Well, I wondered, ‘What if Kit had a Scenes & Settings book?’ or ‘What would Felicity’s Caddy look like?’ I then created images of these ‘items that never were’ which are shown below.

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Web site: Smoking from All Sides

Dedicated to smoking—tobacco, marijuana, “anything smokable”— Smoking from all Sides features “links about all perspectives of smoking,” including the exhaustive Female Celebrity Smoking List. This list is your one stop for timelines tracking when famous females began and—where applicable—quit smoking, as well as film and televison roles that include smoking. The list is cross-referenced by movie title and brand preference: Ally Sheedy puffs American Spirits; Daphne Zuniga’s a Parliament girl.

Quote: “More pressing is Deneuve’s desire to quit smoking again, having originally over­come the habit through hypnotism.”

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Web site: One Life to Live: The History Pages

Beginning with a crash course on the history of the denizens of Llanview, The History Pages includes a year-by-year timeline of One Life to Live, tran­scripts of memorable scenes, and a database of cast members—both current players and alums like Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Berenger. Sadly for those wishing to “keep track of the volatile OLTL cast”—the Contracts page is currently under construction.

Quote: From the Monday, January 27, 1992, episode:

LLANVIEW HOSPITAL (Bo, Clint)
(Enter Asa)

Clint: Hi, Pa.
Asa: How’s Megan?
Bo: No change.
Asa: Still the same?
Bo: What does no change mean?
Asa: Don’t get smart, Bo.

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Web site: Gnomes

Much of the information on Gnomes is restricted to members of the Gnome Club, but more casual gnomophiles can still access gnome location maps for North America and Europe, as well as lists of healing herbs, injury remedies, and gnome facts (“Greetings, farewells and goodnights are expressed by rubbing noses; Gnomes are 7 times as strong as a man; Urine can be contained for a whole day”).

Quote: “The difficulty with establishing to a certainty that gnomes do indeed live on the continent has been that no sighting or encounter can be confirmed unless witnessed by two observers—the same criteria are used by bird watchers. It can be surmised, however, that American gnomes (whose geographical range corresponds to their fellow’ climate and life zones in Europe) do adopt the same dress, life styles, and behavior patterns as their cousins across the sea.”

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Web site: Electric Razor Rap

This is the site for discussion of all aspects of men’s electric facial hair shaving. N.b.: “Discussion of blade shaving IS NOT PERMITTED.” In addition to the discussion board, the Rap includes links to the Web sites of all major electric razor brands. There are also polls (“Should Norelco Razors Become Known as Philishave?”) and shaving tips.

Quote: “If you use a rotary shaver, empty out the hair chamber once a week. Once a month, take apart the combs and cutters, keeping each pair as a matched set, and drop each set into alco­hol to remove any skin oils and traces of whiskers. Remove the combs and cutters from the alcohol and lay them out to air dry on a towel.

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Web site: Peter Pan’s Fashion Page

Randy Constan models dozens of homemade styles, among them the Little Lord Fauntleroy and the Ultimate Glitter Star Fairy. Of course, pride of place is given to his many Peter Pan outfits, which range from velvet to spandex.

Quote: “OK OK… I’ve asserted time and again that I’m a BOY fairy. But Tampa’s huge Halloween festival (Guavaween, 2000) demanded something unusual, which for ME is a tall order!

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Web site: Let Me Show You My Collection of Fecal Tongs

This site contains images of a multicultural collection of fecal tongs: Haitian, Buddhist, Indian, Canadian, Amish. Highlights include a set of seventeenth century tongs that may have been owned by James I and a contemporary set of baby tongs—“Probably the most important fecal tool new parents can have.”

Quote: “Whether used as a medical accessory or as a pleasure, the history of fecal tongs is in many ways the history of man.”

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Christopher R. Beha is an associate editor at Harper’s Magazine and the author of a memoir, The Whole Five Feet. He contributes frequently to the New York Times Book Review. What Happened to Sophie Wilder, his first novel, was published by Tin House Books earlier this year.

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