Saturday, August 30, 2008

Forum wiseguy takes the nerdy kids' lunch money

The Herald Times Reporter online community forum is an interesting place. Definitely the home of the good, the bad and the ugly. I've often likened it to an "old man's bar," where disenfranchised local yocals get to gripe and whine, believing or hoping that someone is listening and maybe even cares about what they have to say. There are, of course, a goodly number of engaged, intelligent and thoughtful folks who participate in the discussions but, by and large, it is the domain of sourpusses, sad-sacks and the ill-informed...the loud, the obnoxious and the stupid. And frankly, it can at times be entertaining.
As I do occasionally participate in discussions on the forum I also am at times subject to those who don't like what I have to say or the way I might say it. Those moments where someone tries to come after me tend to backfire for them as I confess that I take some measure of guilty pleasure in verbally smacking those ne'er-do-wells into submission. Most of them, after getting a taste of the lash, decide that retreat is the wiser option and are not heard from again...some, it takes one or two keyboard kidney punches before they tuck tail and slink off. In any case, they often provide some good fodder for the "Diary of the Daft."

Here's a recent series, with some background comments in blue (original spelling errors mostly corrected). My screen name is JavaTikiKing, although I often state my real name and have made it clear numerous times who I am (for some reason, the new forum would not allow me to use my real name like the old forum did).

1) The spark:
I too have went to a local business, numerous times, always had good food, then after bragging it up that I never had a bad meal there, we went and I had a bad steak, ok try again, bad the next week, well I talked to the owners and came to find out they were trying a new vendor and with all the complaints they changed back.
Posted by JethroB

The gal below, Huntersmom2, started a thread that did nothing but complain and criticize a local restaurant for a bad experience she had there. I suggested that rather than coming onto the forum and badmouthing the place she at least first bring her concerns or complaints to the management of the restaurant, giving them a chance to correct a problem that they may not have even been aware of. Kind of a Golden Rule approach rather than publicly raking someone without being dignified enough to address them directly first.

This initial discussion criticizing the restaurant continued for a few posts until JethroB's post (#1 above), at which point Huntersmom2 attempted a sarcastic reproach of me in her post below.

2) Huntersmom2 doesn't like me telling her to be nice:
I guess I know now why all of the others have discontinued posting their opinions. It seems like we aren't allowed to have negative feelings and express them on this forum. I like the others will not use this forum to post anymore. I am sorry if I offended anyone.
Posted by Huntersmom2

3) my reply to Huntersmom2
"all of the others"...? Wow, I am suddenly drunk with the power I apparently have to cause others to discontinue posting their opinions. All bow before my unbridled power!
Posted by JavaTikiKing

One of the forum's more impressively intelligent posters, carppy, chimes in with a pearl of insight and wit.

4) This is priceless:
Posted by carppy

5) my reply to carppy

Whoohoo! That's awesome carppy! I'm definitey going to use that line in some promotional marketing. While I've never met you or even had any contact with you on the forum I'd love for you to come in and introduce yourself sometime...we might have a position for you here, seeing as you have a gift for intelligent, mature discourse and fantastic sound-bites (see, you really can achieve something whether you graduate from junior high school or not!). So please do stop on in sometime and say hi.

Posted by JavaTikiKing

Carppy disappears...only to reappear sometime later on another thread concerning meat eating vs. vegetarianism:

6) carppy...conciseness is his forté.
You stupid fools killing is killing for luch or not.
Posted by carppy

7) Giving me the chance to needle him a little more.

Yeah, "stupid fools," right carppy? Or "morons," right? Yeah, I'm with you there've got such a way with language, after all, and no-one can counter your brilliantly worded arguments. Keep up the good work!

It's almost time for luch now...have to go.

Posted by JavaTikiKing

8) I like how Bradd picked up on the "luch" thing
It's luchtime!

Anyways, vegetarians are hypocrites too unless their vegetables are hand picked because very many field animals are killed by modern harvesting techniques. Cats, squirrels, rabbits, field mice, even a baby deer one time I have seen when I worked at lakeside. Even if no animals are hurt, what about the plants themselves? Plants have feelings too!!!
Posted by Bradd

Huntersmom2 and Carppy disappear for a while, until a discussion about Taco Bell develops, at which point Huntersmom2 jumps in with an unprovoked jab at me, following someone's comment on the lack of cleanliness at the Taco Bell. She's obviously been stewing over our last encounter, waiting for the chance to say something smarmy to me:
9) Now, now. Not a very good idea to express your opinions about restaurants food or cleanliness on this forum. People have a tendency to jump all over you. I wrote an article awhile back and some posters on here thought it is RUDE!!!!!!!! If you don't like the food or the service you should WAIT and speak to the Manager or Owner. They will correct the problem. Right Stumpjack???
Posted by Huntersmom2

10) Well, you ring the dinner bell, girl, you ought to expect someone to sit down at the table. My reply:
You're learning...glad I could help in your continuing education.

Although I would separate food and quality may be a matter of needing to be informed and/or educated, while lack of cleanliness is something we have little tolerance usually shows a lack of diligence or care.

But keep reading huntersmom, and don't worry about tuition as I'm more than happy to be of assistance.

Posted by JavaTikiKing

11) She is clearly pissed and overheated now...too funny (her misguided reference to Dave concerns another discussion she's somewhat clueless about). Love all the exclamation points and the all caps JERK!!!!
Shouldn't a coffee shop be swarming with customers at 7:30 in the mornin
g? When I ran my business for 13 years I didn't have time to sit on the computer and demean, criticize and make fun of people such as DAVE all day. And these same people can be YOUR bread and butter!!!!!!!! So if I were you I'd spend my many dollars on figuring out how to TREAT potential customers. And stop being a JERK!!!! I don't know who you think you are? Now put on one of your many HATS and get back to work!!!!!
Posted by Huntersmom2

12) My reply to Huntersmom2:

Swarming? You bet, my 12-person staff is on top of it right now, huntersmom, thus enabling me to enjoy this sparkling repartee with you. Thanks for the business advise, I'll be sure to log that little gem of business acumen into the handbook. Thank goodness you're here to edumacate me...I've felt directionless until that pearl of wisdom.

Don't worry about Dave and I. We've actually become pals of a sort now, and I'm sure Dave will stop in next time he's in town and we'll share a laugh over a cup of coffee.

Finally, who do I think I am? Well, I'm obviously the guy who gets your dander up. And frankly, I find that to be a little enjoyable too. Have a beautiful day, my dear, seriously.

Posted by JavaTikiKing

And Huntersmom2 was ne'er heard from again. It's funny how much these silly little battles make me's too easy and too ridiculous how easily manipulated people are (I'm no different in that regard, and am as susceptible as anyone to jumping the gun when I feel slighted...difference is, I'm just a much better marksman than most of these fine folks). Mess with the best, cry like the rest...