I am sarcastic. I grew up around sarcastic people. My mom was the queen of sarcasm, my step father had no clue. He was a literal thinker who ruined all the sarcastic good times. I learned, early on, that what was being said was a cover for something else. It hones your comedic senses to be raised by a sarcastic mother. She’s been dead for forty years and so I can’t remember exactly what kinds of things she’d say but I know I had to think quick to keep up with her wit.
This brings me to today. Being sarcastic in an ocean of literal thinking jerks. Yes, jerks who expect me to apologize and say “I was just kidding...” I have a rule and it’s a good one. I never, ever say to an adult, “I was just kidding.” I cut kids some slack because they are, well...kids. My kids however, for the most part, are exempt from this practice. I almost never tell my own two kids “I was just kidding.” I let them sink or swim in my ocean.
I was recently brought to think a lot about sarcasm and how some literal thinking jerks can ruin a good time. Once upon a time I had a boyfriend. This was way back when I was about twenty two. He was or I should say, is a very talented musician and I often wondered what became of him and his friends and band mates. I decided to Google him. I found his email and sent a friendly note. He wrote back and we exchanged about 3 emails when I decided to inquire about some old, lost mutual friends whom I believed he may still be in contact with. In my good natured (yes it was) sarcastic way, I asked; “I’ve often wondered what happened to “Question Mark Man” (fake identity is used here) I imagine he is probably in a federal prison doing time for scamming charitable organizations out of their money. And about “Mr. Bass player” I imagine he has lost all of his hair and got real fat, and about “bass player’s girlfriend” I’ll bet she is a meth addict. All of these were supposed to be in jest, since I had no idea what really became of these three individuals. It was sarcasm and it was obvious. But not to literal-thinking jerk-ex-boyfriend. He didn’t read the rest of my email but he read the three sentences about the long lost mutual friends and his answer went something like this; “Question mark man” died last year of cancer, bass player still has his hair and is in good physical shape and bass players girlfriend is, “doing quite well.” I sent back an email that went like this; “I was close.” he didn’t answer. So, I sent back another email; “I guess I can forget that career as a psychic” - the internet tubes were silent. No reply. Literal-jerk-ex-boyfriend was waiting for an apology for being sarcastic. Uh-uh. No way would I send an email back saying “Obviously, I was just kidding! I was just joshing. Please, please, please forgive my insensitive inquiry about your dead best friend whom I remember fondly. I didn’t mean any of that stuff about scamming charitable organizations out of their money. It was supposed to be funny but I can certainly see how badly this effected you since your friend died of cancer and there I went, being sarcastic, I was just kidding.”
Literal-jerk-ex-boyfriend is an ex-boyfriend for a reason.
The advent of the social network on the internet has brought out the literal-thinking-jerks in droves. There’s even emoticons to address this. I also refuse to use these annoying, little symbols to represent an obviously, sarcastic remark. Let the literal-thinking-jerks flap in the breeze of my sarcasm. Hang ‘em high in the ever shifting wind that blows from my fingertips onto my keyboard and blesses the pages of facebook or other blogging sites with the beauty of my sarcasm. I know I type things that the literal-thinking-jerks will never understand. I have been blocked from some of these peoples walls or blogs or pages. I should have a chalkboard in my office with tally marks where I keep score of the people who unfriend me. Literal-thinking-jerks should all band together and leave us sarcastic people to our own world, our own parallel universe, where we all “get it.” In my parallel universe, sarcasm tags and emoticons would not exist because we would not need them. When I typed “Japan moved twelve feet closer to the United States in the aftermath of the big earthquake. They are still trying to sneak up on us.” no one would gasp in horror and unfriend me. The people in my universe would smile and understand the true meaning of friendship (and sarcasm.)
Oh, and bass player’s ex girlfriend probably did become a meth addict, so there.