by Joe Buonfiglio
My quickie Twitter bio @JoeBuonfiglio reads as follows:
Writer & Literary Absurdist
Karma Extractor: On-Call Nihilist Evacuations.
Sure I have OCD; but man, do my toilets shine!
Location: I’m here. Where are you?
Naturally enough, you would think this would attract a certain type of person to “follow” me; that my offbeat, eccentric tweets would have a limited appeal within the realm of dark, absurdist, Bizarro-genre humor. That’s what I thought, too.
We’d both be wrong.
For me, as a self-declared “Literary Absurdist,” the Twitterverse is a weird and wonderful place. I am fascinated … abso-fucking-lutely fascinated … by the eclectic— No, the out-and-out bizarre mix of folks who “follow” me on Twitter.
Now, over the years, my literary style has been described as “ribald academia,” “locker-room intelligentsia,” and even the “dirty Dave Barry.” (I’m quite certain that Mr. Barry would not be pleased.) And more often than not, this twisted humor is reflected in my tweets. This is why I was not surprised to find “the usual suspects” following me; the absurdists, dark-humorists and literary types you might expect to appreciate my spin on craft.
The “follows” all seemed to make sense at first. They tended to consist of close friends, relatives with an appreciation for my often “potty mouth” humor, the occasional writer already familiar with my variety of keyboard-disgorged product, or that aforementioned fellow absurdity aficionado. But as my numbers slowly crept above a thousand followers, it all seemed to take on a life of its own in a manner that escaped my simple mind’s comprehension abilities.
Pastors and potheads, pornographers and ponderers, pessimists and paranoids, pacifists and parasites, patriots and philosophers and provocateurs and politicians and psychopaths and Portuguese and peasants and prudes and pugilists and poets and prophets and phonies and Progressives and punks and psychologists and parents and and and and…
God help me, I even worry there’s a pedophile in there somewhere.
And this leads me to wonder: “Who the hell are you people following me and just what the hell are you thinking?” What is the mindset behind the art of the follow?
Writers and readers of absurdist humor; I get that. We share a kindred spirit as we drive along the Bizarro Highway at midnight. But, what about you social-media comrades not conveniently slipped into an easily categorized box? What’s your rationale?
Those of you for whom I cannot seem to comprehend what you could possibly find of interest in what I have to say appear interconnected in a manner that causes the hair to stand up on the back of my neck. And while I am EXTREMELY grateful for all who deem me follow-worthy; the collective of those I can’t quite “figure out” sometimes generates that exhilarating, yet uncomfortably strange feeling I get walking down a back alley alone at night when I stop, spin around in a panic, but find nobody is there. Even confronted by no one, I mindlessly knee-jerk react with the scream…
“WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE FOLLOWING ME?!”
To the exhausted mother of young children who tweets in the afternoon about struggling to pick up one kid at soccer practice, and then the other kid at ballet rehearsal all the way across town; but then late-night tweets selfies of her tits from atop the dryer in her apartment-complex’s basement laundry room: Why are you following me?
To the South Dakota pastor who keeps inviting me to his church “for some good, old-fashioned soul-saving” when A) I don’t live in South Dakota; B) you know I’m an Agnostic; C) you also tweet your Tumblr nudie shots of you and the church secretary dressed up for naughty-vampire cosplay; and D) I DON’T LIVE IN FUCKING SOUTH DAKOTA: Why are you following me?
To the marathon-running health nut who has been a vegan since his cancer went into remission 13 years ago, but who knows damn well I’m charcoal-grillin’ boy-cow and swilling stout ale as I compose my tweets: Why are you following me?
To the middle-aged woman-child who just can’t seem to donate her 80’s style rainbow overalls to the homeless shelter thrift shop and drop all the “Hello Kitty” bullshit even though she has been “street legal” in the sex department for decades: Why the hell are you following me?
To the Second Amendment-misinterpreting war-mongering guy who not only wishes Sgt. Slaughter was still a comic-book character, but would like to see him introduced into the “Grand Theft Auto” videogame series; who also still believes 9-year-old girls should learn to shoot Uzi submachine guns and knows I believe in gun-control laws: Why are you following me?
To the wannabe gangsta-rapper who doesn’t understand that there is a difference between a “dick pic” and a “dick joke”: Why are you following me?
To the Satanist who wants to know if Craigslist is a good place to book a clown and buy a pony for his daughter’s upcoming birthday party … or would Angie’s List be better: Why are you following me?
To the lover of garden gnomes, the hidden-camera anal fanatic, the president of the “My Mother the Car” fan club, the Renaissance Fair used-footwear collector, the college “Ethics in Food Processing” professor, all 26 members of “The Topless Sherlick (Yes, “lick”!) Holmes Society, the “Buy 20,000 Twitter Followers for Only Twenty Bucks!” guy, “Big Ed” the Zamboni driver, “cockman,” “clitgirl,” the Atheist Faith Healer (WTF?!), my mom (Come on, mom! It’s embarrassing!); the South London Mr. Whippy-truck lady, that fucking guy who only tweets in Sanskrit, and the nonunion children’s puppeteer who keeps DMing (direct messaging) asking me if I want to buy tickets to his next sunrise performance of “Fred and His Magical Funkytown Undies” at the United Methodist Godatorium in downtown Tacoma: Why the fuck are you all following me?
Oh, and to the positive-reinforcement “There’s good in all of us” “Love is the answer” “Do something kind for someone every day” 50’s loving romantic: Why … WHY! … would you ever think following me was a good idea? … … … No, seriously.
I just don’t get it. Hell, my wife won’t even follow me on Twitter. And yet, you people see something all the “normies” out there don’t.
To be honest, it all makes less sense to me than that fucking cornhole game. Isn’t that just the old bean-bag toss game we used to play as kids, but with more Jack Daniel’s involved?
Wait a minute. Hold the proverbial phone while the heavy-breather cliché moans into the archaic landline while he satiates his fantasy with a rhythmic motion harkening him back to his boyhood singing of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” in Mrs. Prickle’s kindergarten class.
Okay, admittedly, that was a little fucked up. But what I’m trying to say in my habitually warped style is that I think I’m starting to understand. I … get it.
You. Are. All. FREAKS!
All of you! Or, you’re freak-adjacent with voyeuristic tendencies. Either way, that must be the common chorus we all sing! That’s how we are all linked! It’s all a carnival freak show and I’m just your barker.
Welcome, my friends, to the https://twitter.com/JoeBuonfiglio tent. I’ll take your tickets. Come inside, come inside…
© 2014 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.