Posts Tagged ‘Robert Byrd’

Making Unfriends (Or, How to Work All of the Year-end Word Candidates into a Short Story)

November 17th, 2009 2 comments

How often does one have the chance to use nineteen new words in one short space? In tribute to Oxford’s announcement of this year’s Word of the Year (and runners-up), I offer this (really quite awful) short story:

I’m going to unfriend Betsy. Let me explain why.

While she was driving me to my zombie bank, I was suggesting to her that West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd was an Ardi. OK, maybe not the wittiest thing I’ve said, but I guess I was trying to show off some knowledge I’d gained during my recent funemployed status. Turns out, though, that she’s kind of the human version of the netbook, and didn’t have any idea who Byrd even was, let alone my reference to the Ardi. As she often does when I – or anyone else – talks to her, she began to tweet about what was going on, adding a hashtag to drive her followers to nasty things she was saying about me.

I wasn’t too concerned about what she was going on about, though, and not just because I was staring at her tacky tramp stamp. My bigger worry was that she was intexticated. Once before, we’d almost gotten into a terrible accident while she was sexting a guy she barely knew; I’d been surprised because she’d recently gone on at length about being “done” with sex, and guys, and told me she was ready to become a choice mom.

“I’m not even well-known enough to qualify as a deleb if this car crashes,” I thought. And we were in a Smart Car, which have recently proliferated in our green state. I was suddenly, and dramatically, aware of the potential downside of living in an ecotown. Just then, life in Michigan or some other brown state populated by invulnerable SUV’s seemed very appealing.

The drive wasn’t even the worst of it. After I’d withdrawn every penny I’d saved, she told me was that we were on my way to meet a bunch of teabaggers. Beset by competing visual images of what that might entail, I greeted the announcement warily. Assuming the political version of the term, I asked: “Are we going to have to sit through a bunch of speeches by wack-job birthers so ill-informed that they continue to float the idea that health care reform involves setting up death panels?”

At this, Betsy became angry and defensive. In an incomprehensible rage, she accused me of being a free rider who wanted to be driven everywhere but where she wanted to go, and said that it was time for her to move to a freemium friendship model.

I then knew I’d hit the metaphoric paywall, and decided to de-friend her from my Facebook account – until I learned that Oxford says the term is unfriend.