Tahlequah Daily Press

November 18, 2013

Getting ‘took’ on Facebook is a weighty matter

Managing Editor

TAHLEQUAH — I don’t play those games on Facebook, and never will. I’ve received invitations to them all: Farm Animal Fun, Family Jewels, Cat Box Rocks, and scores of others. I’ve pleaded with other folks not to send me invitations, and I’ve seen other supplicants doing the same. These efforts have been in vain.

So I’ve been blocking the games, and telling Facebook not to let the chronic offenders send me anything else. But just like with phone solicitors, every time you opt out from one hawker who ruins your dinner, another pops up in its place. I don’t even understand why, or how, folks send out these invitations. Do they get something free in the mail for every fool they sucker into joining the fun?

I don’t usually repost memes, except the occasional gem that ridicules a politician, but even then, I’m careful about who “sees” them. I’ve already been semi-disowned by the more conservative elements of my extended family for questioning Sarah Palin’s intellectual prowess. I don’t need any death threats from right-wing strangers. And I don’t like those sneaky private messages that encourage you to post cryptic messages that will pique the curiosity of other readers. It usually doesn’t work.

But occasionally, the most valiant and concerted efforts come to naught, and last week, I got took on the Timeline. The friend who suckered me was Linda (Brown) Caldwell, and the game was one everyone on Facebook knows about by now. Someone posts things about himself or herself that most people don’t know, and if you click “like” on the post, you get a number – and you have to post that many things about yourself that most people don’t know.

Linda at first gave me a high number, like 31, and regular readers of this column will understand the futility of that assignment, since I’m a “TMI” (too much information) kind of person, anyway, and couldn’t possibly come up with that many factoids people don’t already know. I’ve already confessed my phobia about swimming pool drains and how I can’t eat chocolate Easter bunnies. That significantly narrows the list of oddities. So I asked for a lower number, and got a 5. I assured any potential “likers” of my post that I would not give them a number (a few commented “thank God”), and warned everyone not to hit me with one of those “send-this-to-five-people-or-you’ll-die” or “If-you-don’t-repost-it-means-you-don’t-love-Jesus” things. I really hate those.

Linda – as I explained in my list – is friend I’ve known the longest out of all the people with whom I still keep in touch. We went to kindergarten together at Choctaw. My family then moved to Fort Gibson, and her family moved back to Fort Gibson, where she has lots of kin, and where I have none, except my parents, and at that time, my siblings. When we were in kindergarten, Linda’s brother Mike – the state representative – put a locust skin in my pigtail and tried to get me to stick my hand in a can of used motor oil. I refused. Linda likely was on the scene as well, wearing a cast on her arm, which she had broken somehow.

When she read this revelation the other day, she said it was a good thing I hadn’t put my hand in the can, because it probably contained a dissected frog or dead bugs. That made me wonder if a few of those idiots at the statehouse haven’t found surprises in their desks.

I used that story as one of my “things-you-don’t-know,” and I also came up with another trait high on the weirdness factor: I have no idea how much I weigh, and I don’t want to know. For the past 18 years, my doctor’s nurses have been under orders to weigh me with my eyes closed, set the scales to zero before I dismount, and not tell me the results. They are allowed to tell me if I’ve lost weight, but not how much.

When I first started doing this, I would take off my shoes and my coat, if I was wearing one, and anything else I could reasonably remove without attracting unwanted attention. Finally one pragmatic nurse asked, “If you don’t want to know how much you weigh, does it really matter if you make yourself seem lighter?” I had to admit she was right. Then she said, “At least you’re not like this other patient we have. She takes an enema before she comes in to get weighed.”

“I’m not the only one, then?” I asked her.

“Oh, no,” she said. “In fact, there’s another lady who closes her eyes like you do, but when I get her weight, she makes me push these little thingies” – she pointed to the metal gauges on the beams that indicate the numbers – “to add up to 130, every time. I guess she’s fooling herself, because she weighs about 300.”

So I’m not that unique, I guess. Unless it’s unique not to have a bathroom scale in your home. Ours hasn’t worked in years, and I’m thankful for it.

Kim Poindexter is managing editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press.