June 24, 2010

Chicken Pox: Share the Wealth


One of the questions that I get asked most frequently as a blogger is "How do you drive traffic to your site?"

Up until last week, I did not have an answer. Now I do.

WRITE ABOUT CHICKEN POX!

Who knew that infectious disease= free ticket to popularity?!

If I had only gotten the memo in high school; I might have made the drill team.

Last week, I wrote a silly little post about how my kids "infected" themselves and their toys with Chicken Pox (aka a pink marker). Since then, I've received a disturbing number of emails requesting face-to-face contact:

Do your kids really have chicken pox or was that really marker marks? Please respond ASAP.

I'm confused. Do your kids have the pox or not? I found your blog on the web and have read your post 15 times and can't tell if your being serious or not. If your serious, I have a favor to ask.

Hi! I found your blog while doing an Internet search for how to get chicken pox but I'm a little confused. Do you or don't you have the pox at your house? I live in Philly and I was hoping to expose my girls.

I was searching for Chicken Pox and found your site. Where did you get C.P. and how can we get it at our house? I am so jealous. I've been trying to infect my kids for three years now. Wish I lived closer to you. I'm in Nebraska :(

I'm in Pittsburgh but will drive [five hours] to expose my kids to the virus. Can we come over for a playdate? Here's the link to my Facebook page and blog so you can see that I'm not crazy.


I was actually looking for chicken pox for my kids to "catch" and stumbled upon your site.(I sent you another email, but not sure if it went through). I'm hoping my children (7 and 9 yrs) will actually catch chicken pox and not need the vaccine. Any chance someone you know is still contagious and willing to "share" something "germy?"


Hello! I hear you have the Chicken Pox at your house! I'm a mom of four too and live Chester County. My kids aren't vaccinated and I was wondering if you would be willing to share some Chicken Pox germs with us? We will come to you!


Hi! Your kids have the chicken pox? Are you willing to share? I see that you are in Pennsylvania. Sadly, I'm in Washington State. Could you send a t-shirt in the mail? Not sure if it spreads the virus or not but willing to take a chance.


Due to our impending move, I haven't been checking and responding to emails as quickly or often as usual. The delay in response prompted a couple anxious women to try to hunt me down using alternative means. Last night, I got this email from Silvina, our exceptionally talented Philadelphia photographer:

Jana!

I just got the strangest voice mail...someone who said how they enjoy my blog, and she's wondering if my kids really got the chicken pox because she would really love to expose hers daughters to it...?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Obviously she thought she was leaving that voice mail on your phone.

I have to admit that I'm quite enjoying my new social status. Who wouldn't get excited over an invitation to rub shoulders (literally) with unvaccinated strangers?

Finally, I feel as though I have "arrived."



91 comments

MaryF said...

get out!! what total wackos!

Sergeant Zapple said...

That was a funny post and as a mom of 3 boys I think I got what you were saying. I found your blog last week and found it via another blog I was following. I had to see who "The Meanest Mom" was so it was your title that caught my attention. I keep reading because you make me laugh. The response to the CP post is just plain weird.

Bart, Jeni, Jessica, Brian and Chelsea said...

My husband & I can't stop laughing! Thanks!

Sarah said...

you should have a tour on your way to florida... you could have stops along the way and sell tickets. you can also sell contaminated T shirts, like the ones bands sell when they are on tour.

Zach and Bailee said...

Love it. I wouldn't have imagined such a response to that silly post. My hubby and I sure do love your blog and we are pretty grateful that someone's family is as crazy as ours. Although...we aren't so crazy to ask you to mail us a chicken pox infected T-shirt...we'll leave that to the real interesting...

Jennifer said...

Um... how was there any doubt?

I guess you weren't very clear. Looking back, I can now see the confusion:

"All of my seven-year-old daughter's Barbie dolls are afflicted..."
"How would you feel if I put marker all over your bodies?"
"Cortlen took off his shirt and handed me a marker."

I can't believe people read this and thought the Chicken Pox had actually made a real visit to your house. Are you freaking kidding me?!?

Allison said...

I've been trying to figure out how to drive traffic to my blog for ages now! And here you had the key all along! If only I had "chicken pox" at my house, too. The best I can offer right now is eczema...not sure that would attract the same attention.

I found your blog a few weeks ago and have been thoroughly enjoying your hilarious take on motherhood. Although my children would disagree with your claim to be the meanest mom...

holfam4 said...

That was great! I can't stop laughing!

Shelli said...

I can't believe all those comments! Who new that having chicken pox is coveted these days! I remember having the c.p. at 9 years old; I was anxious to vaccinate my kids- they are awful. As for the people not knowing if you were serious or not, did they even read your post?! Do Barbie's get chicken pox in real life?

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

When my husband was little, his mom would go to Chicken Pox parties. They'd have the kids share cups, just so they could get it. I've heard of the same thing here where I live, too--sharing sippy cups to spread the Pox. INSANE. At least you got blog hits, right?

AlsoMean said...

is there a way to monetize this? If I buy some red Sharpies, can I rent out my kids for $50/hr to infect other kids?

Cheryl said...

The eff? What is WRONG with these people? I don't get it. Get the vaccine, it's a nice virus, and then technically, your kids will "have" it.

I don't know which is more ridiculous: asking you to let these whackadoos in your house or not getting that it was a freaking marker! HELLO?!?!

Tima said...

I have to Google Chicken Pox now and see what I find.

Billie said...

LOL! That is too funny! My daughter recently had the Chicken Pox...I posted it in my FB page and had friends of friends emailing me the same things! I've never heard of these "Chicken Pox" parties before we were blessed (apparently) to have the CP hit our household. Crazy.

Christine said...

Craziness is all I can say!!

Why would getting chicken pox be better than the vaccine??? I had them before there was a vaccine...I would've much rather had a shot and be done with it!

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

Can't quite believe that people are stupid enough to want to expose their children to a potentially dangerous disease rather than give them a proven safe vaccine. How exactly are these people allowed to breed???

Anonymous said...

Omg.. *dies of uncontrollable laughter*

What a bunch of wack jobs.

A Musing Mother said...

Just wait until you get lice.

That is definitely a popularity RUSH!

Gina said...

Wow. Why don't they want the vaccine? If they are the parents who don't want any vaccines, then they are really relying on the fact that no other kids get chicken pox, right? WHY the effort to infect them? I'm confused.

That was a super cute post, BTW. Congrats on your new-found fame!

Anonymous said...

I have heard that some moms have lollipop parties; where the infected child sucks on a lolli then shares it with the child whose mother hopes will be infected. Too bad your children aren't really infected because you might be able to finance your move through the sales of pox pops.
Today's captcha: sickabl

Carrie said...

We recently had croup- I didn't get any increased traffic to my blog.. Hmm... What should I blog about measles, impetigo, mumps, tb, h1n1 ... Should I just simple type chicken and pox in the same paragraph??
We spread out our vaccines (primarily because I had some weird reactions to vaccines as a kid). In anycase, I would never expose my daughter to an illness on purpose. What the heck???
Oh and I totally got your fake "chicken pox" post.

sarahandmatt said...

how come all the crazy people in the world seem magnetically pulled to you???

Jennifer said...

Ummm. **blink blink** WOW.

Elise said...

Haha...it takes ALL KINDS of people in this world...man, I think you should welcome these crazies to your house. You should get your kids all ready with "chicken pox" and then charge everyone who wants to be exposed to your kids. Send them on their little merry way, you stash the cash and then move. You won't be around if they try to find you again. Hey, kids' college fund right? Seriously...crazy people in this world.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

That is just wrong on so many levels.

Brandon and Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon and Sarah said...

HAHA! I can't believe people sometimes!

I know small pox is gone, but your post made me think of Pres. Packer's "Do Not Fear" where a mom sent her kids to a house full of chicken pox to get it over with, but ended up finding out that it was small pox! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Are they for real? I was born and raised in a third world country yet escaped the chicken pox till I was 19. I have delivered a baby naturally with no meds whatsoever and I have to tell ya chicken pox was worse than that! And these people want thier kids to catch in on purpose !?

big mama said...

Crazy wacked out people in this world of ours. ***By the way, chicken pox is an airborne disease meaning spread by sharing the same air- NOT by swapping spit or using the same cups.

Anonymous said...

It seems to be financially lucrative to catch chicken pox these days.

That being said, I am one of the whack jobs that hopes my kids don't need the vaccine...for two reasons.

1) Religious beliefs...though they don't have aborted fetal cells in the vaccine, the cell factory that makes the vaccine is aborted fetal cells.

2) There are no long term human tests on when/if efficacy decreases. I would hate to have them forget to get a booster shot and wind up dead from chicken pox at 30.

Skinner Family said...

That is great! I am surprised that so many people have not had the vaccine for their children. To start in some places, you either have to have the shot or the chicken pox. I'm really surprised people could not tell from the photo that it was a marker. :) Good times!

AJL said...

This is hysterical! What is wrong with people?!

Spring Jones said...

I love how these parents would rather go through at least of misery with their kids instead of getting them vaccinated. Oh, and isn't it illegal to send viruses through the mail? :) Maybe chicken pox doesn't count.

The Richardson's said...

hilarious!!!!!!!

The Snow Queen said...

Did Cheryl really say Eff? She's my new hero. I wish I had known and I would have made a little extra cash when my kids had the pox for reals!

John and Alisha Stults said...

Ha ha! I almost wet my pants I was laughing so hard! I can't believe that parents actually want to infect their kids.

Tracita Linda (Tracey) said...

Ok I'm not a mother and I must be missing something. Why would they want to purposely infect their kids?

I got mine at 14 years old and it was no walk in the park!

Donna said...

Jesus christ. Are these people actually that stupid? A dear friend of mine is deaf in one ear due to a particularly virulent case of chicken pox.

Parents! Get the damn vaccine!

Karen Mortensen said...

Ha, ha, ha. Maybe I ought to try something like that. I would like more traffic too.

Once I worked at a private school called Bluebird Intellectual Program. It was a special needs school. The kids there were very disabled.(can't say the R word anymore) One day a lady called asking about our school. She thought it was a school for the gifted and wanted to know how to get her daughter in it.

Janell said...

Now I'm curious. How much do you think a toy formerly owned by a child exposed to chicken pox will sell for on e-bay?

Amy said...

Well, I have a great idea. We are about to travel to Ethiopia to complete the adoption of our son. Evidently, Chicken pox runs rampant in the orphanages. So maybe all these moms might consider adopting a child from Ethiopia, and if they bring their kids with them, I'm sure they'll have lots of opportunities.

Chrissy Jo said...

Wow. I know there are crazy people out there... and crazy parents... but WOW...

Maureen said...

Hmm... I've called your photographer, your doctor, your mom, everyone with your last name in the state of Pennsylvania, your husband's employer, your auto mechanic and the guy who worked on your roof last year and still haven't found a way to get the chicken pox from you! What's up with that?!

(kidding. if that needs to be said.)

Melanie said...

WTF is wrong with people...?

This Is The Day said...

Oh my goodness, this cracked me up! I have been following you for over a year now, and you always keep me laughing, but this one takes the cake! I can't believe you got that kind of response to the post. You can just mail them the infected Barbies. :) Thanks for the laughs!

Rachel

Sarah said...

I don't understand - you mean your kids don't have the chicken pox and I can't come over and expose my kids to them? Damn it.

WarriorTherapyMom said...

This is hysterical......I remember having chicken pox as a kid and they were the very worst things ever!!!!!!!

Pirate said...

I was the only one of my mom's 9 children that didn't have them during the Great Chicken Pox Outbreak in our house. (I think she was still pregnant with me.) All 8 kids had it at the same time. The oldest was 14, the youngest was around 2. My mom says that even back then people were wanting to expose their kids to it. Not to avoid the vaccine (which I'm not sure if it existed then or not) but so the kids would get it young, and it wouldn't bother them as bad. My mom said that she saw their point, since the younger kids barely noticed it, but the thirteen year old twins were "dying". But, that she had her hands full, so she didn't take any of the offers up. I had mine at the age of seven, and my 17 yr old sister was in charge of me the day it started, and couldn't tell if I had them or not. So, she took me to the local mall (she was planning on going anyway) and took me up to random adults, lifted my bangs and asked "Does this look like chicken pox to you?" I got several diagnoses that day. Most people just said "Yes!" and hurried away, but one older man talked to us for about 10 minutes, telling us that it could be any number of things from small pox to the measles. Luckily, it was just the chicken pox.

Pirate said...

I was the only one of my mom's 9 children that didn't have them during the Great Chicken Pox Outbreak in our house. (I think she was still pregnant with me.) All 8 kids had it at the same time. The oldest was 14, the youngest was around 2. My mom says that even back then people were wanting to expose their kids to it. Not to avoid the vaccine (which I'm not sure if it existed then or not) but so the kids would get it young, and it wouldn't bother them as bad. My mom said that she saw their point, since the younger kids barely noticed it, but the thirteen year old twins were "dying". But, that she had her hands full, so she didn't take any of the offers up. I had mine at the age of seven, and my 17 yr old sister was in charge of me the day it started, and couldn't tell if I had them or not. So, she took me to the local mall (she was planning on going anyway) and took me up to random adults, lifted my bangs and asked "Does this look like chicken pox to you?" I got several diagnoses that day. Most people just said "Yes!" and hurried away, but one older man talked to us for about 10 minutes, telling us that it could be any number of things from small pox to the measles. Luckily, it was just the chicken pox.

Warden of Chaos said...

How funny! I was part of a chicken pox party when I was four, as at that time, no vaccines and youwere less likely to have horrible things happen to you (like sterility) if you got them when you were younger.

I posted a blog on vaccines yesterday and had more hits than normal as well. I'm new and very small potatoes in terms of blogging, but it surprised me to get new followers because of this topic! Weird.

Rebecca is Thrilled by the Thought said...

Weird.

Mal said...

Hmmm..what disturbs me most is that they couldn't figure out that your kids DIDN't have the chicken pox.

Deanna said...

ok- Am I a whacko??

I have been looking for a Chicken Pox Party in Austin for a couple years now.
All of my kids have the vaccine but I want them- especially the boys - to be exposed to it. They will get a mild case- maybe a low grade fever, maybe a couple of bumps if that. But think about the what if scenario if they catch it as teens or adults. Sterilization?!

But contacting a fellow blogger you do not know to try and hook up a chicken pox playdate- that's whacko!

Valerie S said...

I cannot freaking believe someone would want to expose their kids to chicken pox on purpose. When three of my four children got it the middle one was so COVERED you could not see a 1/4 inch of her skin that wasn't breaking out. It was down her throat, under her fingernails, inside her, up in her nose, it was everywhere. She was screaming from the pain and I tried everything to give her some relief and ended up taking her to my pediatrician who gave me pain pills for her. I would never wish chicken pox on anyone. People are weird.

Kyle and Alli said...

LOL!!!!

Christine said...

Someone left a message that the virus is caught from sharing air- not entirely true. Our pediatrician said I had a natural immunity since I didn't get it before having kids. Not so- I got it from toys, etc. as a helper in my daughter's kindergarten classroom (there was an outbreak in the am class, none yet in my daughter's pm class). I got it before any of the pm kids. I have, literally, never been so sick & miserable in my life. Have also heard of kids getting it from shopping cart handles.
A close friend of ours got CP in elementary school and almost died. She seriously almost died from CP complications in 1995 (was out of school for a month).

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Wow,my daughter currently has pneumonia AND an ear infection. GOLDMINE! :)

Brooke said...

You had me convinced at "How to drive traffic." I am SO writing a chicken pox post tomorrow :-)

Amy Lynn said...

I just have to say that I came across your blog while looking through the "Next Blog" link at the top of the page. I'm on Blogger too so I was curious what else was out there.

I'm married without kids and pretty much have no desire for any. But I was sitting there at work, reading your blog, entry after entry, laughing my butt off!!!! I think your blog (and some of the crazier comments) should be turned into a sitcom! I'm a follower now! :)

Amalie said...

wow.
so...if I post a blog about my kids having chicken pox (which they don't) suddenly people all over the country will want to come to my house? Weird!

The Virnig Family said...

I had the chicken pox at age 2 ... complete with hallucinations, screaming, and refusal to let anyone touch me. Sounds like a picnic. I'll be sure to sign my daughter up for that the next time a friend's child has it. People are insane. Not only for wanting to expose their children to it instead of vaccinating but for seriously attempting to track you down in order to get exposed. Thanks for the laugh!

12ontheinside said...

That is so totally funny. So, are you posting me that shirt or not? :)

Silvina B. said...

Mmmmmm....maybe i could use chicken pox to get more traffic to my blog as well....Please let me know when your kids do get it, I'll come over, photograph them, and do a little post on it :)

amyrose said...

That is the funniest/craziest thing I've ever heard! Thanks for sharing (the post, not the pox).

Although, if it's that popular maybe you could use it as a selling point for your house? Just set the poxed Barbies out where they will be sure to be seen, and the people viewing the house may have the same confusion as the pox searchers... It might be worth a shot!

Breezi@ Not Your Average Fairytale said...

That is just to awesome for words.
I LOVE crazy people. They make my day just that much better. :)

Enjoy all of your new found friends. Who knew Chicken Pox made you so cool :)

Emily Heizer Photography said...

People are such freaks. Those non-vaxer's... the ones who do the parties? [o]M.G.... they drive me crazy!

ecuakim said...

Crazy!

Anonymous said...

Wow. We're already vaccinated for the pox at our house, but I would love to catch "funny" from you :) Any chance that's contagious?

Xaleyn said...

Hahaha This is BEYOND the funniest weirdest thing ever!!!! I love it. lmao

Cheap&Sweet said...

LMAO Way to funny! BTW Love ur Blog!

http://cheapansweet.blogspot.com/

girlnblack77 said...

You have got to be kidding me.
My father's mother invited me up to spend the night once when I was five, and ushered my parents out the door to a pig-pickin'. The minute they left, she called my ex-aunt to 'borrow' my cousin for the night. It wasn't until a week later, when my father and I came down with chicken pox, that my mother put two and two together.

NoSurfGirl said...

They do it so they don't have to worry about kids gettin' the bugs later... it's sooooo much worse if you get it as an adult. Hep A is the same way.

Anyway... I've read and heard from people who've gotten the vaccine, that it's not a for-sure thing. And so if you vaccine when they're little, and they don't ever get it then, and then the vaccine wears off and they're exposed when they're older....

do you get what I'm saying?

We're not whack-jobs.

But I still laughed my guts out when I read that post.

Jen said...

Write back and tell them you have the new kind of chicken pox that passes through the computer monitor. Tell them just expose the kids to your blog for an hour should do it. They should send a picture to you of them "exposing" their children so you can write about it on your blog.

If it doesn't work, then their kids just weren't meant to get them yet.

John & Melanie said...

if your kids ever get the chicken pox you really ought to charge to expose other kids.

Jo's girl said...

wow so having had the illusive chicken pox as a kid means...? I swear do people not know how to read and/or grasp sarcasm? seriously i can't believe it needs to be spelled out that the chicken pox, post was a joke. since when are barbies susceptible to germs? hew *shutters with fright *

don't you just sometimes feel like your taking crazy pills?

Audrey Hammer said...

Are these people INSANE?? I had chickenpox when I was 12. It was absolutely miserable. You should turn these people into child services.

Remember that story about kids going to a chickenpox party in the 30s only to find out it was smallpox they had, so all the kids died?

Ann said...

Hilarious Post!! We know you "had arrived" long ago, glad you're convinced now! ; )

Gina and Audrey-find someone who got their kids the vaccine and got the disease anyway, that is why people don't vaccinate, 6 weeks of a horrible mutated version of it. WAY worse that getting it normally!

Chicken Pox Virus said...

A little weird! I understand these people want to expose their kids with chicken pox but contacting you because your blog is interesting.

Sexy Naptime said...

If they want to drive to Maine I will draw all over them in red Sharpie

Jennifer said...

You should start charging these crazies to come play with your kids. I can't believe they're actually serious!!

Shelby said...

THIS IS HILARIOUS. I just found your blog and I just wanted you to know that I'm officially in love with it. You're going on my blog roll, lady.

Angie said...

Wow- my eyes are currently as big as ostrich eggs. I mean, just, wow.

Hunnybee said...

Hi Jana, I could not believe your post about people wanting to be exposed to your "chickenpox". I had to blog about it. I linked to your post to show people the crazy that is out there in response to your post.

I love your blog and I have to admit that I followed it because of the title, because I thought I was the meanest mom...LOL. Keep up the great work and have a wonderful July 4th!

Megan B ♥ said...

I'm stunned, Jana. Truly. I even went back and reread the original post.

Wow.

That is all.

Wow.

Anonymous said...

I definitely found your website by looking up chicken pox. A month later. BOTH of my kids have it at the same time out of nowhere, so I was looking to see if it was an "outbreak" :) But, the good news is, you have given me some definite entertainment in my time of crisis.

Lance and Tassia said...

All I have to say is LMBO! Seriously!

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Anonymous said...

Ew...Don't these people realise that it is possible to have the pox twice?