I sometimes go on Facebook and write funny (to me) or sarcastic captions on peoples' photos. Sometimes people take offense at my captions.
Recently, I came across a man on FB whom I went to elementary school with in Philadelphia, PA, at Rhawnhurst Elementary School. I recognized Les E. from his current Facebook photographs, though I haven't seen him since I was 11 years old, when we moved on to Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School, also in Philadelphia. Les now lives on the West Coast.
Les was offended by some of the "silly" captions I'd posted on his FB photos, so he deleted me as a FB "Friend." (Isn't it ironic that Marc Zuckerberg set that whole scheme up, where you have to "Friend" somebody on FB before you even know if the "Friend" is really pre-disposed to treat you the way you want people to treat you before you call them "friends" in real life?)
After Les cut me off, he apparently went back to my FB page, checked out my Profile more thoroughly, and wrote me the following FB "Message." However, having ended our FB "friendship" of just over one hour, the way Marc Zuckerberg set up the FB thing, I could not "Reply" to my former FB "Friend," Les E., with Marc Zuckerberg FB Papal Blessing because Mr. Z had not anticipated this precise scenario.
Therefore, I decided to write a Bob's blog entry in order to reply to Les, in hopes that maybe he'll check out the blog again, another day, and get to read my intended FB "Reply."
Here is Les E.'s FB "Message" to me, once he'd checked me out a bit more on my FB "Profile":
I'd rather read the obituaries than your blog. I mellowed on the sarcasm because Californians don't seem to get it. I went to Rhawnhurst too. My dad owned The Italian Take Out on Castor Avenue. BTW, I'm not looking to meet anybody female online. Were you really a lawyer? Were you this ascerbic in court?
Wow, “the obituaries rather than [my] blog.” He must be thinking that my blogs about Susie's recovery from her horrible bicycle crash are very sad reading, worse even than reading the obituaries. At least to Les E. And in a way, he's right. At least the obituaries are about the ending of suffering. The stories about Susie are about her ongoing pain and suffering, and our continuing efforts, day by day, to make sure we do everything we possibly can to help her body recover as much of her former bodily wonderful health as is humanly and medically possible.
I was puzzled by Les E.'s remark that he stopped being so sarcastic once he moved to San Diego from Philly because "Californians don't seem to get it." I suspect that's because Les hasn't met enough Californians.
He certainly hasn't met my Southern Californian cousins, The Beyer Boys, nor a woman whom I visited on my California Road Trip in June, whom I hadn't seen in 44 years. Unlike the Californians whom Les E.'s been hangin' out with since he made his move, my cousins and my female friend have, all of them, a terrific, highly-developed sense of humor and a sophisticated appreciation for sarcasm.
Now one might explain this in the case of my female friend because she's originally from Philly. But The Beyer Boys were all born in Santa Ana, California, although Tom now lives in Connecticut. All my cousins are nice people, and my female friend is a very nice person, even though she seemed to enjoy hanging out with me, and all of them also seem to have no difficulty seeing the value of an occasional sarcastic remark.
I was puzzled by Les E.'s remark that "BTW I'm not looking to meet anybody female online." Perhaps he was referring to my captions about what I think he thought were some pretty "cool" pictures of himself, under which I wrote some light-hearted, but sarcastic, captions. Les must have thought I assumed that he posted what he considers "cool" photos of himself in order to attract females to become interested in actually meeting him, in the same way guys feel when they write what they consider "cool" descriptions of themselves on Match.com, in hopes of getting women they find attractive in their Match.com photos "of themselves" to go on dates with them. Les also makes it clear on his FB pages that he's divorced and very much interested in pretty young women, e.g. the photo of Les, arm in arm with San Diego Charger cheerleaders, all in their mid-twenties and wearing short skirts and (quite obviously) push-up bras to make their, er, heavily-made-up faces more attractive to men like, well, I suppose, my former FB "Friend."
Since Les is so thin-skinned that he totally deleted me as his FB "Friend," I cannot even go back and see exactly what I said in each caption. But I do remember one of his photographs. He was standing between two palm trees, in a pose and caption of his own creation which indicated to me that Les E. thought this was a "really cool" picture of himself, now that he's age 61. It was the kind of pose which some men think is really attractive to good-looking women whom they fantasize would not be able to restrain themselves from posting (as some of Les E.'s female FB "Friends" did, under some of the photos) flattering captions like "That's a really cute shot of you, Les," or "You're still really good-looking, Les E."
I recall posting a caption under that photograph in which I said, sarcastically, something like "Really cool photo, Les--I guess--but if you wanna' attract the females, you might wanna' get rid of the i-Phone in the I-Phone holster on your belt, 'specially when it's positioned at the front right corner of your waistline where it can be seen when you're in that otherwise really 'cool' position, standing between the two palm tree trunks which come together at their tops. The problem with i-Phone holsters is that they kind of remind people of plastic pocket protectors and pocket-sized slide rules which nerdy guys wore in the science specialization at All Boys' High School in Philadelphia when we were growing up in the 60's."
Les E.'s query "Were you really a lawyer?" was, I think, a genuine question rather than a sarcastic comment. Looking at my FB profile pictures, which include photos of me with a graying beard, long hair, and wearing the surfer's shirt I bought in a thrift shop on Telegraph Street near the Berkeley campus of U.Cal., it probably does lead to a kind of cognitive dissonance in people as clean cut as Les E. appears to be. How, Les probably wonders, could somebody go from being as clean cut and lawyer-looking as Bob was in the photo of Bob and his grandson, Liam, in their Big Dude and Little Dude tee shirts, to someone as scraggly and hippie-looking as the one of Grandude in the Berkeley thrift shop shirt and Little Dude in his nap-time diaper, eyeing each other with evident pleasure in K.C. and Devon's apartment bathroom in Boulder, Colorado?
But something must have convinced Les E. that I truly was, as I truly was, a lawyer for 35 years before I retired and became a writer earlier this year. Perhaps it was the resume, or the content of these blog entries which Les may have checked out in some depth. Whatever the reason, Les wrote, finally, in his FB "Message" to me, "Were you this ascerbic [sic] in court?"
What I wanted to say in response, had Les not prevented me from doing so by de-"Friend"-ing me, was this. "Of course I was that acerbic in court, but only when I felt I had no other choice. When my opponents rolled over, caved in to my demands, my way of seeing the case, I treated them as gods incarnate. But when they were p----ks, I could be even more prickly IF I thought by doing so my client was more likely to win his case before a jury. Plus, Les, I love sarcasm, especially when it's directed at me, because at least you know where the sarcastic person is coming from. No pretending to be 'nice,' no insincere 'diplomacy,' and no Politically Correct hypocrisy. Just tellin' it like you see it. Just the facts, ma'm. So yes, Les, I really was, when it was called for, acerbic in court. I loved going for my opponent's jugular, and ripping it open, to get justice for my client, and have fun fighting 'virtually' whenever it was possible to do so, without alienating the jury."
So, Les E., if you're following Bob's blog, you now know what Marc Zuckerberg, the founder of FB, didn't want me to be able to tell you, in response to your FB message about what you thought were sarcastic captions under your FB photos. Sometimes a guy just likes to have fun. And that's what I was tryin' to do when I wrote those captions under your FB photos. Just havin' fun, to get through the day.
It's all good.