Happy BirthdayFacebook told me to “poke” my dad.  I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in California.

I have a larger problem with the terminology than the actual suggestion.  Who decided that “poke” was an acceptable way to get someone’s attention online?  In real life, poking someone is either rude or sexual, and yet Facebook wants it simply to mean, “Say hello to.”  That’s too big a leap for me.  And yet, it’s not as disturbing as when a gentleman with whom I work occasionally told me that he was going to tickle somebody.  I don’t know if you’ve heard this too, but I was certainly taken aback by it.  He used it essentially in the Facebook “poke” sense, saying that he needed to get back in touch with someone after a brief period of silence.  “I’ll make a note to tickle him later,” he said.  “As punishment for not returning an email?” I thought to myself.  Over the course of the next year, I heard this same person say that he’d tickle three or four other people.  Additionally, a completely different person said the he’d put something in his “tickle file.”  I don’t know if this term is generally accepted by millions of people and I just somehow didn’t get the memo, but I neither like it nor plan on ever hearing it without immediately judging the speaker.

Getting back to the word “poke,” I’m reminded of an article I saw online earlier this year: “What’s the Most Heartbreaking Song of All Time?” asked Entertainment Weekly’s site.  It’s not really an article as much as posing the question to the site’s readers, but the author says that a friend of his finds “Poke” by Frightened Rabbit at the top of her list of sad songs.  I know this song and agree that it’s particularly painful, but I doubt it would’ve come to mind.  In any case, there are 60 pages of comments by readers who list their own responses to the titular question.  Not 60 comments, but 60 pages full of them.

After reading through three or four of them and seeing the same types of comments over and over again (Song X is the saddest!  It always makes me cry – just look at these lyrics!), I saw an opportunity to add a little humor to the discussion.  “What’s the least heartbreaking song of all time?” I asked myself.  I thought about “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” but it was a little too on the nose for what I was trying to achieve.  “Happy Birthday” came to mind next, but I have a feeling some people actually find that song sad because it means that they’re aging.  So instead, I wrote the following:

“I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred makes me tear up every time. Can you imagine the inner torment of being too sexy for your shirt? How about Japan? Doing turns on the catwalk of life in front of way less sexy people…it must be hell on Earth. Great, now I’m crying again.

I meant to go back later to the site later to see if anyone either called me “funny,” “a jerk,”  or anything in between but I forgot.  I guess I’ll have to put that in my fondle file.

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