Online Comments

Believe there are two sides to every story? It would appear not and online comments seem to support the theory advanced by my friend Mary Margaret, “There is my side and the wrong side”.

I read  online comments on a variety of sites to see what other people are thinking. I thought I would find an enlightened exchange of ideas. I was wrong.

Initial comments  posted in response to a political situation  usually offer a reasonable explanation from a different point of view. After the first few posts, the opinions descend to a level that present evidence of an alarming lack of gray matter. Some are creepy.

The same is true for comments posted to our local newspaper. One fellow in particular can be depended on to launch a diatribe against the columnist, labeling one “left-wing Lily” and the others left wing liberals. His comments are always hateful personal attacks and fail to present a rational explanation for his point of view. He is so offensive I would not allow this person to breed.

Even worse  his comments lead uninformed observers to believe he is representative of Texans. Those who claim Texans set some sort of record as ignorant illiterates need go no further than the internet to discover otherwise. Online comments on other sites confirmed our local hater has tons of kindred spirits nationwide.

Many of these rants conjure a picture of some nut living in an underground bunker, surrounded by bullets, camouflage and freeze dried food  hacking out manifestos between swigs of moonshine. Surprisingly, religious post contain the most inflammatory and unforgiving comments.

I’ve tried to determine a reason for this type of behavior.  Could it be we are modeling political talk shows, reality television and congress?

Your comments?

A Tutorial on Apologies

 

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Life just gets better and better. I discovered  templates for apologies on the internet. When you owe someone an apology and don’t have a clue , not to worry.   Check out the templates, select one, copy and paste into an email and you’re off the hook.

Merriam-Webster defines apology as “an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret”. Not as simple as one might believe. That definition provides quite a bit of wiggle room for an offender.

There are several categories of apologies. In the event someone is unclear as to which template to use, I have provided examples of the circumstances that might require an apology.

When common sense fails: I’m sorry I shoved that tiny, elderly woman with a walker, accompanied by her service dog, with her arm in a sling, as I charged onto a crowded elevator.

When common courtesy fails: I’m sorry I failed to share as I guzzled the last drop of pinot grigio on the patio, out of sight, in the dark, at midnight.

For a mistake:  I’m sorry I forwarded an email from a collection agency to all of your financial institutions.

When you did not know better:  I was not aware that was your husband, when I mentioned the hairy lout, swimming in the adjacent lane, required breast reduction.

Non apology – apology: (Offered when injured party requests an apology. Does not express responsibility, regret or contrition. Use when butt is in sling or potential legal action a possibility.) I’m sorry you feel that way.

Shift the Blame Apology:  I’m sorry about your fractured ankle, but if you had been more observant you would have noticed that box in the middle of the floor.

The beauty of this system is if you send the wrong template and receive an irate response, you can select a different template. If the offended party refuses to be placated, let it go. Grab the pinot grigio, don’t share, take a huge swig and everything will be fine soon.

If you did something so unforgivable that a public act of contrition is required, click over to www.letmeapologize.com.

Isn’t the internet wonderful.

 

 

 

Oh No – Bat Guano

Bats rule in Texas

Bats Rule

I did not believe this past month could get weirder, but when a friend came home from work greeted by a colony of bats it occurred to me it might be time to start wearing garlic.

Imagine arriving home after a hectic day wanting nothing more than to put your feet up, enjoy the quiet and maybe an adult beverage only to discover  interlopers of the creepiest kind luftwaffing throughout your home. The sighting of the critters prompted the family to speed to a hotel until their heart rates returned to normal.

There was the immediate issue of safety concerns to include the family getting rabies vaccinations. This would prove to be the least of my friend’s problems. At some point they would have to address the removal of the bats and their guano (poop).

Bats are a protected species. A consultation with bat experts revealed the critters have more rights than the homeowner. Persuading the bats to take up residency elsewhere was not an option. Bat exclusion is not permitted May through August as bats are on maternity leave. Mother Nature provides a family friendly work environment and a summer evacuation could cause the death of baby bats.

Texas women are resourceful. We have survived legislation (mostly guano) passed by batty politicians over the past eight years. My friend, a native Texas woman, is resilient. It would take more than a colony of bats hijacking her home to defeat her.

A satisfactory reconnaissance throughout her home resulted in an easing of hostile relations with the bats, followed by dètente. The bats could remain in confined quarters until time for their departure. The householders would return home and sleep with the lights on until the bats vacated.

The homeowners have no protection other than to duke it out with their insurance company for the payment for removal of bat guano, cleaning and disinfecting their habitat and repairing damages.

This has been a difficult experience for my friend, but the most difficult part was accepting that in Texas, women have fewer rights than a bat and that is no guano.