Get ‘Googlewhacked’

Erica Crist

Dave Gorman tells his quirky life story through PowerPoint presentation at Playhouse Square

Dave Gorman finds The One in his “Googlewhack” adventure.

Credit: Ben Breier

All I knew was he was British, and I was going to hear him talk about the “wildest places on the World Wide Web.”

And I certainly did not know what a “googlewhack” was.

When I saw Dave Gorman’s “Googlewhack! Adventure” at Playhouse Square, Gorman took the audience through two months of his life in a high-stakes personal journey using nothing but a PowerPoint presentation.

The story goes something like this: Gorman turned 31 and decided he wanted to write a novel and grow a beard. While putting off writing chapter one of his novel, Gorman checked his e-mail and discovered a message that read, “G’Day Davo ƒ_” Did you know you’re a googlewhack? ƒ_” Stevo.”

And so began the strange downward spiral of Gorman’s obsession with an obscure Internet word-game called googlewhacking.

A googlewhack is the one-in-four-billion chance of searching for any two words on Google, and getting one hit. For example, “francophile namesakes” used to be a googlewhack before the popularity of this show.

Gorman was challenged on Jan. 1 to meet an unbroken chain of ten people whose Web sites are googlewhacks, before his 32nd birthday on March 2.

The money that the publishers gave Gorman for his novel became the adventure’s fuel, and his beard became a symbol of growing up.

Gorman’s anecdotes from around the globe provoked thoughts like where am I from, and where am I going? And most importantly, who cares?

However, in many ways the show was not funny at all. Gorman certainly didn’t tell jokes, but rather spun strange Canterbury-like-Tales filled with coincidence.

The end of Gorman’s quest left a bittersweet taste in my mouth, although he promised the audience that it was entirely true. Besides, if he could make up a story that good, he would have written the novel, he said.

Dave Gorman’s “Googlewhack! Adventure” will be showing at Playhouse Square until Sept. 25.

Contact ALL correspondent Erica Crist at [email protected].