For the past few weeks, I’ve been touring around doing standup comedy, opening for a band called KEN Mode, and we recently found ourselves in Boston with nothing to do. It was a Monday, and some guy invited us to his barbecue kegger. We arrived, I quickly got wasted, and halfway into my second ball of bacon wrapped chicken, a man named Dan—who’s been traveling with a band called Flying Snakes—approached me. In a southern drawl, he asked: “Hey, y’all wanna see a video ‘bout buttwater?” I obviously said yes and when I saw it I almost dick watered my own pants from laughing so hard. Buttwater is a legendary party trick—with an anal waterfall punchline—and it was born in Orlando, Florida.
While this footage was unfortunately shot on an ancient cell phone, the beauty of buttwater is that it doesn’t require glorious 1080p video to get the message across. Water coming out of a butt is funny at even the lowest resolution. But this blurry video of a grown man expelling water from his poop chute did not completely satisfy my curiosity. Who is this guy? Where did buttwater originate? What’s up with the mask? In order to learn more, I asked Dan to get me in touch with the buttwaterer himself—a man called Vulture. Here’s how my conversation went.
VICE: How did you get the nickname Vulture? Vulture: When I was about 16 years old, after punk shows we would go out to a diner or something like that and I wouldn’t order food because I knew there would be leftovers. I’d pick at everyone else’s food or pick food off of another table. My philosophy was: I had money, I had a job, but the less money I spent on food, I could buy more punk-rock shirts and see more punk-rock shows. Then one night my friend’s girlfriend was like, “This guy is like a fucking vulture. He’s eating off every table in here.”
So do you have a lot of sweet punk T-shirts now? Yeah, well, I don’t fit into them anymore. I got a little bit fat as I got older, so I decided to sell most of them.
Oh well, life goes on. So, when did you figure out you have a gift for shooting water out of your butt? I remember hanging out at someone’s house late one night. We were swimming and our friend, who was a couple years older, was talking about this technique (that would later become buttwater) and saying how it was possible. I thought it was bullshit. I just didn’t believe it. So he told me how to do it. We were probably drinking, so I gave it a whirl. You just have to have the “I don’t care, I’m not embarrassed, whatever” attitude. So I went ahead and did it. Everybody cracked up. I get the same reaction every time.
Note: the findings in this piece were accurate at the end of 2012. If you search Google Trends right now, at this very second, you might find different results. For example, as of January 21, 2013, Pakistan is the country that has dug into Google most often about “terrorism.” Feel free to poke around Google Trends yourself. It’s fun.
I want to congratulate the Australian and American readers. You’ve won. You sick fucks. Why were you searching Google for videos of guys putting needles in their balls or castrating themselves? Did you think that your searches would go unnoticed? You might think that you’re anonymous on the web, but Google knows who you are.
Curiosity gets the best of us sometimes. We’ve become so accustomed to having Google at our fingertips that we forget the power of what it does. We forget what it tracks. While Google can’t publish the confidential stuff, they do release a zeitgeist every year. The 2012 Zeitgeist is largely a redundant list of things everyone already knows. We know Gangmam Style was huge, we know The Hunger Games was a hit, we know everyone wants to know about the next big Apple product.
Sure, Zeitgeist has some significance in demonstrating cultural waves year after year. But what does it exclude? What do people search at 3 AM that they wouldn’t dare post to Facebook?
On Google Trends you can search anything you want. I took the opportunity to search for unusual fetishes, crude slang, and disturbing ideas. The results from this highly scientific experiment were truly surprising.
Related trendy searches for “how to make a bomb.”
Type in orgasm and you’ll find Zambia has searched it the most. Pakistan is curious about horse porn; South Africa wants to know how to make a bomb; Ghana is worried about gonorrhea; Nigeria, well, they searchedterrorism more than others. The list goes on, and despite every country in the G20 having access to the internet, some developing countries blew others out of the water when it came to taboo searches. But we’ll get to that later.
Google Trends doesn’t calculate the total number of searches made for a particular word. Instead, the search engine uses relative volumes. Since Kenya searched dog porn the most, the relative volume is 100. Next came Pakistan with the volume of 64, and India with 49. These numbers tell us that if people in Kenya searched dog porn approximately 100 times, Pakistan searched it 64 times, etc.
Google Trends, and the Zeitgeist in particular, reflects moments that capture what’s going on in the world. The results are mirrored in a graph that also depicts points in the year where the media publishes a story on the topic.
Girls who dig fashion are all about the new wave, future pixie-goth vibe at the moment. Eyeliner savagely smeared all over your eyes like some sort of paralytic Robert Smith is now totally normal, as long as you’re wearing velvet leggings, a maxi-skirt, a lace top, plenty of elaborate jewelry, creepers, and have faded pastel-colored hair. If not, then you’re just someone who’s terrible at putting on make-up. Until recently, if you wanted to look babin’, skirts had a mandatory “no lower than the knee” rule, but longer is now sexier. Aynouk, our fashion girl, is a perfect example of that rule set in motion. She’s one-upped most other girls, though, and taken it to the “nearly difficult to walk” level of sexiness.
“I can’t believe what the young girls will do these days,” says Andre, a half-French guy we’ve known for years. His job is to travel from city to city and go to parties where he meets hundreds of new people every night. “The things I’ve heard people say, and the things I’ve seen myself. I mean, it’s shocking.”