This post contains GIFs. Sorry.
“You even called me stupid in your verse, and I’m almost agreeing, for where stupidity is involved, you are quite an expert, friend.” – Franz Grillparzer
I had group therapy today; the Debbie group, not the Seeking Safety/Mary group. While I was waiting, two of the other group members came in. One is Shrill1 , the woman who has the history of five abusive husbands was talking to Cyberman. She was swinging her bottle of Pepsi Wild Cherry back and forth as she walked, which didn’t seem like the best idea, but I wasn’t going to say anything.2
Cyberman came and stood in front of me with his hand held out, like he wanted a high five or something.
Actually, I know him. Obviously. I have a nickname for him after all. We’ve been in groups together for a while and he’s talked to me one-on-one before, but he has this tendency to invade personal space, so it shouldn’t have shocked me that he thought this was okay. But it did.
Anyway, he was looking at me like he thought I thought that he had cooties–and he could have. I eventually stuck my hand in his hand. He said something about how it shouldn’t have taken me that long to stick my hand out. I made up some line about how it was due to him wearing a t-shirt promoting the University of Alabama on it. While that did play a part,3 the bigger issue was my haphephobia45 kicking in, but I couldn’t exactly take the time to tell him, “Dude, I don’t want to shake your hand or high five you because I’m nuts like that.”
Surprisingly, after I shook his hand, he walked away. He semi-introduced me to Shrill because he didn’t realize that I had met the woman before. I guess it was a good thing that she didn’t remember me because that would have been embarrassing for him. She would have called him on it. I turned away from them because, as I’m guessing is becoming more and more apparent here, I really don’t like them.
Two women came through the waiting room with this two year old boy. One was his grandmother and, like so many grandmothers, she had gum and he wanted it. She was trying to get him to introduce himself to these two nuts and he was scared. Good instincts, kid.6 Anyway, Shrill declared that the kid would grow out of his shyness. She also decided to announce to the room that she was never shy. I’m pretty sure that no one was surprised by this.
Before group, Shrill asked Cyberman if he had had cherry-flavored Pepsi before and he told her he hadn’t. She told him it was new7 and he told her that he was more into Dr. Pepper.8 She said that she was trying not to drink any regular Pepsi because she “saw on Facebook” how it had something “really horrible” in it and that she wanted to physically assault Obama because of it.9 Cyberman asked her what was in them and she told him that Pepsi contained the cells from aborted fetuses. She went on to say the whole spiel about the cells being used for flavor enhancement.
My dad and I were sitting there and I was trying so hard not to react, but I eventually turned toward her and said:
“That rumor was debunked about four years ago.”10
She looked at me and I realized that she probably didn’t know what debunked meant11, so I said, “It’s a hoax.” Again, this seemed to confuse her.12
“It’s fake.” She looked relieved and took a swig of her drink.
I guess she was having trouble controlling her Pepsi habit even though she believed that it contained aborted fetuses. Or maybe she likes them a little older?
Now that she no longer felt all cannibalistic for her continued soda addiction, she said, “Well, it was on Facebook.” I turned my head around before rolling my eyes about that. My dad was mumbling, “Facebook isn’t Gospel, people.”
Other people who were out of that conversation seemed to be shaking their heads, but this other woman who completely believed the line about the aborted fetuses said:
“Well, I saw this thing on Facebook the other day that you shouldn’t eat burgers from McDonald’s because someone got Herpes from their mayonnaise.”
Shrill said that she would no longer be getting burgers from Mickey D’s, because all other rumors from Facebook still have to be legit.
I have seen a lot of people fall for hoaxes online and it bothers me. It’s not that hard to debunk this stuff. I almost feel like making a guide for how you can figure this stuff out, except it isn’t even that hard. All you have to do is type in words from the rumor into a search engine and press enter.
To just find out about hoaxes with those keywords, you type “site:snopes.com” and the words. This stuff is so simple that small children could do this.
I know that not every person is internet savvy. My mom isn’t very internet savvy, but she does understand how Google works. If she can figure out how to do the whole search engine thing, then they can, too.
This is part of why I hate going to this particular group. I’m about ready to ask Debbie if she can just switch me back to individual sessions. They’re letting therapists do that again, so maybe that would be a better thing for me.