the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Second Annual “Thank Your First Commenter Day” Coming This Wednesday


Of all of the blogging friends I’ve made, I am particularly fond of the several wonderful bloggers who either live in France or are of French heritage. I have no idea how I connected with all these Frenchies and Francophiles, considering I’ve mostly either made fun of the French or called France anti-Semitic for their knee-jerk anti-Israel politics. Just last week I needled Elisabeth about the fact that the peace-loving French are now bigger arms dealers to the developing world than the United States.  Who’s eating the freedom fries now, huh? 

But my French readers know I am more bark than bite.  They know that secretly, I would like nothing more than to stroll up and down Boulevard St. Germain flirting with a beautiful Parisian woman, charming her blouse Decoupe off with my one semester college French.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?

French is so classy!

Last night, I reached into my inner-Gallic and went with Sophia to the 23rd Annual Beaujolais and Beyond Festival in Los Angeles, sponsored by the French-American Chamber of Commerce. The event was basically a wine-tasting of “le Beaujolais Nouveau 2006.” While I like wine as much as the next guy, I cannot tell the difference between the $2.99 stuff at Trader Joe’s and a $300 dollar bottle of wine. But I’m sure it just takes experience, and I was willing to learn. I mean, I can taste the difference between Coke and Diet Coke with my eyes closed, so why not wine? It was interesting hearing knowledgeable French people talk about the differences between Chiroubles and Fleurie. When the server asked me what I wanted to try next, I answered, “red wine.”

So, there I was, getting drunk, listening to people speaking French, which is always sexy, and watching beautiful women walking to and fro, and I started fantasizing about living in Paris, sitting in a little cafe, surrounded by Alison, Elisabeth, Blue Poppy, La Coquette, Lauren, Maitresse, Paris Parfait, Rue Rude, Michele, Anne, as they all took turns singing Edith Piaf songs to me while I played my accordion, wrote a novel, and painted a nude all at the same time.

Ah, what a life!

But then I splashed some Volvic on my face and woke up to reality. I stood up, and shouted, “I love all you French people. You are beautiful and cultured. But I am an American. A proud American. France might have culture, high fashion, and orange flavored water, but America has — THANKSGIVING!

Yes, that’s right. What is more American than stuffing your face with turkey and celebrating some religious fanatic pilgrims? Who needs the Louvre when we have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? I watch it every year hoping that the Underdog balloon finally gets punctured and falls on top of the unsuspecting crowd huddling in the freezing cold. Now that would be funny!

Americans are innovators and are not afraid of adding new traditions to their old favorites. For instance, last year, the blogosphere went wild over my Thanksgiving meme “Thank Your First Commenter Day.”



THE SECOND ANNUAL “THANK YOUR FIRST COMMENTER DAY” — this Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.

(the following is reprinted from last year because I know many of you are lazy and hate clicking on links to old posts)


Many years ago the Pilgrims came to these Shores, and couldn’t figure out what the hell to eat. They were unfamiliar with the weird-looking animals and crops of this New World, the winter was coming, and frankly, these future Mayflower WASPS just weren’t that bright.

(This was years before the Africans, the Chinese, the Germans, the Irish, the Jews, and the Italians came and actually built this country for them.)

But, back to the story of Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims were saved by the kind Native Americans, who showed them how to eat corn, potatoes, wild turkey, and canned Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. Because of these kind Indians, today we celebrate Thanksgiving.

(The fact that we later killed these Native Americans, took their land, and forced them to run casino operations is something we can deal with on another day.)

Today, it is all about GIVING THANKS.

How can we thank our fellow BLOGGERS?

We read each other, we help each other with our designs and templates, and we cry on each other’s shoulder when a “blog crush” goes sour.

On Thanskgiving, we should THANK our fellow bloggers.

When I first started blogging, I was like a Pilgrim who just landed on Plymouth Rock. I was isolated and alone. For weeks, I wrote this blog without any direction or confidence in my ability. And then he appeared — like the Native American with his corn — my first commenter!

Although I appreciate all of my lovely readers, today I want to give a special shout-out to TERRY FINLEY. He wrote the first comment on “Citizen of the Month” back in April:

Nice blog. Thank you.

Our health is really important.

Check out my blog.

Terry Finley

It may not be poetry, but it touched my heart. Afterwards, I commented on his site, and then we lost touch, which so frequently happens in our busy blogging lives. I tried to click on his link today, but he seems to have stopped blogging. I sincerely hope my comment wasn’t the cause of him losing interest in blogging.

Terry, if you’re out there, I’d like to thank you and say hello. I hope that you are happy, healthy, and having a lot of sex!

If YOU would like to participate in this “THANKSGIVING DAY THANK YOUR FIRST COMMENTER DAY,” it is simple:


Go into your archives and find the first person who ever commented on your blog.


Copy the URL and a special thank-you message on Wednesday– and post it either in my comments OR on your own site.


If you don’t have any comments yet, don’t feel like a loser. Did the Pilgrims give up? Of course not. They just stole from the Indians. Just write a comment here at “Citizen of the Month” about how much of a loser you are and pretty soon, everyone will come to you, showing pity. In this competitive blogging world, you have to use whatever works.


See you here on Wednesday for “Thank Your First Commenter Day!”

And stay tuned for more information about another holiday tradition, the First Annual Blogger’s Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert. I need to start making an official list of who is singing/playing what song, just to make sure that two bloggers don’t fight over who gets to sing “Little Drummer Boy.”

Of course, everyone is invited to participate, even the French.


  1. Paris Parfait

    Neil, I think I speak for the other Parisienne bloggers when I say we’re all just waiting for the chance to serenade you with Edith Piaf songs. As for the Beaujolais Nouveau, we’re in general agreement that the 2006 vintage is a considerable improvement over 2005.

    And thanks for reprinting your Thanksgiving piece – it’s wonderful and last Thanksgiving I wasn’t aware of your existence! And one of the things for which I am thankful this Thanksgiving is knowing you. Your sense of humour brightens my day.

  2. better safe than sorry

    i’m a canadian blogger with a french surname and i’m with blogger and it doesn’t keep my comments, so i have no idea who my first commenter was and we’ve already had our thanksgiving. how in the world can i participate in this? i’ll figure something out.

  3. The Retropolitan

    I’ve appropriated this idea for my blog, Neil! Good thinkin’!

  4. mrsmogul

    great idea. But I think Blogger erased my first few posts..either that or they self-destucted….I’m nit sure archives goes back more than a year?? OY!! I will let you know if I do this!

  5. Edgy Mama

    Damn, they still sing Edith Piaf songs? How great is that.

    I thanked my first commenter last year. I have to do it again?

  6. Dagny

    Why is there no mention of the creation of a holiday in hopes of keeping the Union together?

  7. Neil

    Retropolitan — Thanks for getting the word out. Are you going to sing or play an instrument at the Holiday Concert?

    Better Safe — I know there is a Canadian Thanksgiving, but we’re talking about the “real one” here.   At least the French give us wine.  Better than hockey and poutine.
    Miss Mogul — Why does Blogger destroy the first few posts?

    Edgy — I was waiting for that question, and since I’m winging it, I’m not sure of the answer. Maybe I need your feedback. As a “tradition,” should you have to “thank your first commenter” again? Or should you now thank your second commenter? Or should you thank your first commenter that you still interact with? Or should you thank your first commenter that you had an online fling with? Being a traditionalist, I lean towards thanking the first commenter AGAIN, just because if I think of other traditions, such as Mother’s Day, you don’t thank different mothers every year, but the exact same one. Logical?

  8. Think Frustrated

    I’m absolutely doing this…

  9. ms. sizzle

    is that how long i’ve been around? i remember the first annual thank your first commenter day. i’m so old school! 🙂

    i love that you can tell the difference between coke and diet coke with your eyes closed. you can totally learn how to differentiate wines if you can do that. sincerely!

  10. heather anne

    We don’t have to launch biological warfare on our first commenter the way we did to the Indians, do we? I hope not because my first commenter was someone in my family. It might lead to a very bad Christmas.

  11. Lou P.

    My Dad’s side of the family came from the Alsace-Lorraine of France. C’est magnifique!

  12. M.A.

    I think that we should also be able to leave a “Thank you for the best comment.” that would be awesome.

  13. The Retropolitan

    Cymbals all the way.

  14. tiff

    Oh, the shame. No, I mean I HAVE commenters, it’s just that it took MONTHS to get them. So many archives of bad materials to scan through. However, it’s a great idea, I’m totally on board, and will subject myself to hours of reading my own pathetic blog posts just to be a joiner!

  15. fringes

    How do we upload audio or get you the audio file (?) for the Christmahanukwanzaakah concert?

  16. Neil

    Tiff — I just found your first commenter and it took 3 seconds. (and we all had zero commenters in the beginning — look at my archives)

    Fringes — just attach the audio file to an email. It can be a wav, mp3, or whatever. I’ll even edit the beginning and end if there is excess stuff on it for you —

  17. deezee

    you are a man never short of ideas. very clever. I’m in.

  18. Churlita

    I’m totally in. Maybe those who thanked their first commenter already, could thank the first commenter who wasn’t a friend or family member?

    I’m pretty much all Irish, so I won’t be singing any Edith Piaf anytime soon. How about some dirty limericks instead?

  19. Neil

    Churlita — definitely like the dirty Irish limericks idea. Are you a redhead by any chance?

  20. maitresse

    see now, it would never occur to a Frenchman to do all of those things at once, which is why you should hie thee hither to paris ASAP to remind us of what we’re missing in the USA…

  21. amanda

    oh neil. can i just thank you? it seems much easier.

    by the by, i LOVE canned cranberry sauce.

  22. tiff

    sure. fine. find it and NOT tell me!

  23. tiff

    ah – the multi-commenter of the day award goes to – ME.

    The “old blogger comments” get wiped out for some reason, and even though I can tell there WERE comments, I can’t tell what they were nor who left them. So, the quest continues, because that comment on my first post was left just recently and doesn’t count.

    Thanks for the help, but it looks very irritatingly like I need to do some more digging.

  24. Neil

    Maitress — at the wine tasting, they also had some food. We were sitting at the table with two French guys. Sophia got up to get some food and asked them if she could bring them some food as well. They both laughed and one said, “Americans! No one in France would ever ask that question or think of doing that for strangers!”

    Tiff — If you can’t find it, you can always choose the first commenter of this year!

  25. Nance

    Neil, I’m in. On another note, please tell me you’re joking about not being able to tell btw Beaujolais Nouveau and Two-Buck Chuck (or in Ohio, Three-Buck Chuck). Please. Lie if you must.

  26. steppingoverthejunk

    I have forgotten about that canned gelatin cranberry sauce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great to spread on sandwiches the day after! Have a great holiday!

  27. Ari (Baking and Books)

    I missed this event last year by a couple days, but not this year! Fingers crossed I’ll remember. 🙂

  28. Alison

    I think Paris Parfait’s comment pretty much sums up what I wanted to say.

  29. Michele

    “Quand il me prend dans ses bras,
    il me parle tout bas
    c’est ca la vie en rooooooo-se
    Iiiiiil me dit des mots d’amour
    des mots de tous les jour
    et ca me fait quelque choooooo-se. . .”

    I’m here for you, Neil. Tu peux etre ma petite puce, c’est sur!

    (I would also like to say that I typed those lyrics without looking them up, for which I am immensely proud of my French-teachin self.)

  30. Viscountess of Funk

    You are such a nice blogger. Shouldn’t you be President? Has anyone suggested that yet? (Tee hee).

    My first commenter was my Dad, who used the nom de plume (since we’re on the topic of the French) “Moparman.” The comments were sort of weird, funny, but weird at the same time. For a few days Moparman was my first and ONLY commenter, and I pictured a Vietnam Vet collecting government assistance, no job, man boobs, and smoking pot all day long harassing me on my blog. So I deleted his comments. He finally told me it was him, and now I wish I’d kept the comments.

  31. Michele

    Then, of course, she proofreads after clicking “Say It!” and finds a spelling error.


    jourS. With an s, because there’s more than one.


  32. DebR

    I’m in! My first commenter still has a blog, but she’s been very quiet lately. Maybe this will get her to jump back in.

  33. cruisin-mom

    how come you answer some commenters and not others?

  34. CrankMama

    My hubs was the first commenter on my site.. so that’s sort of cheating…


  35. Postmodern Sass

    I have to ask: what is that weird red jelly in the can? Ewwwww!

  36. Neil

    Cruisin’ — That is one interesting question.

  37. Violet

    What a great idea – only I can’t thank my very first commenter, because I lost all my first comments when I switched from Haloscan to Blogger commenting.

  38. JanePoe (aka Deborah)

    Very cool idea, Neil. Giving thanks to our first commenters … and, as a francophile, I’m glad you’re embracing your French constituency 😉 bravo. much peace, JP

  39. gorillabuns

    i really don’t want to thank a family member for being my first commenter. i’m hoping she lost the link.

  40. Becky

    I’m ready. found the comment, drafted the post. yippee! Much easier than the fol-de-rol Thursday will be. 😀

    Thanks for the idea and I’ll see you tomorrow.

  41. Sedulia

    Neil, if you say you can’t tell the difference between a cheap bottle of wine and a $300 bottle… have you ever actually tried a $300 bottle of wine? I suspect you could tell, mon ami.

    Oui, Paris is like that!

    My first commenter was someone hoping my Louisiana family was all right just after the hurricanes–it was heartwarming.

  42. SFGary

    You gotta love a French woman (Michele) who says “Dang.” Your FCD innovation is a great idea.

  43. Fitena

    I did this last year. Doing it this year!
    On t’aime! Et c’est parceque tu rock tant! MOUUUUUAAAH!


  44. Edgy Mama

    Just saw your note about repeats. I guess I can be traditional and thank Eddo again. Maybe I should thank my second commenter too just to add variety!

  45. Elizabeth

    of course I was singing Piaf– I know them all— I can even do the gravelly “street” Rrrrrs. And I have to say– that would be SUCH the party to gather those people together in my favorite city– please get rich and make it so. Thanks–

  46. Elisson

    Great idea – but I wouldn’t go out of my way to thank a Comment-Spammer. “Check out my blog,” indeed!

    Seriously – great idea. I may be late, but it’s never too late to say “Thank You”!

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