I recently accepted a Facebook “friend” request from another of my old Dungeons & Dragons’ buddies, Sam Waters. After adding him to my small but growing roster of friends, I checked out his profile. It was pretty sparse on details but did feature a photo. Funny how people can look so different after a mere twenty-five years or so. The picture showed Sam with a fully shaved head (a far cry from the shaggy blond rug I recalled). And judging by the surprising array of muscles depicted, it seemed as though Sam had exchanged his Twinkies for protein bars somewhere down the line.
Yesterday, I logged onto Facebook and observed a post from Sam at the top of my news feed. Ever the irreverent kidder, he’d posted a link to a website owned by a fun loving group known as the “Aryan Brothers.” He’d also added a comment to the link, soliciting “all pureblooded brothers and sisters to join the movement, and take America back from …” I won’t repeat the rest of it here. Even as an obvious joke, I thought the “colorful” references to Jews and African-Americans more than a bit tasteless.
Nonetheless, I decided to play along with Sam’s joke. So I posted my own comment regarding his shared link: “Sign me up! I have Himmler’s old recipe for Bundt cake, and I’d love to enter it in the next Aryan bake off.”
Frankly, I was taken aback by the 103 responses to my comment, many of which contained variations of the question: “What the fuck?” The balance asked the slightly different: “Who the fuck?” How odd it seemed to me that Sam had chosen so many Facebook friends who didn’t share our peculiar brand of warped humor.
Last night’s events resolved my confusion though. I received another “friend” request, from another Sam Waters. The request included a message reminding me of the old days playing D&D together. Sure enough, a quick perusal of the second Sam Waters’ profile depicted an older, but clearly recognizable, version of the pudgy and bespectacled kid I remembered.
I won’t deny it; I freaked out a little. Shouting for Sophia, I told her about the case of mistaken identity which resulted in me inadvertently befriending an Aryan Brother. She did her best to calm me down: “Relax, Richard. Just de-friend the guy or block him. There’s no need to panic.”
I begged to differ: “Honey. You want me to reject the Jew-hating neo-Nazi who has my name, picture, location and telephone number?”
Now, both of us are freaking out.