sad

Please accept our sympathies.

Congratulations! You’re on Facebook again! But oh, what to do? So many status updates to like, so many vacation albums to love, so many injustices to earn the ire of your >:(.

Before all that, though, there’s a link in your feed from the local paper: “Youth Critically Injured in Lasagna Explosion.” This requires your immediate attention. Click the link and, ugh, take the survey, blaaaarffffff. Stick it to the Man by lying about your preferred dish soap. Yeah, EAT it, sucka!

All clear!

Hmmm, the story doesn’t name the victim because of his age, but, gosh, he sounds familiar. In fact, doesn’t your friend Alice Fergentool have a grandson recklessly obsessed with Italian cuisine? Wasn’t he arrested once for snorting risotto?

Only one way to find out!

Do you:

A.) Scroll through your smartphone’s contact list and call Alice.

B.) It’s not 2004 anymore, dummy. Alice doesn’t answer the phone; she thinks her ringtone is an angry cicada living in her purse. She’ll notice you called, however, and figure it's some dire emergency, so 10 minutes later, she’ll send a text: “sory phone was under my foot sup???”

C.) Respond with a text of your own: “WAS THAT UR SWEET GRANDANGEL IN THE PAPER CALL ME SIS IF U WANA TALK.” Resume watching “The Chew.”

D.) Hey, you’re on Facebook, that great, immediate communications tool. Alice has a Facebook account, too, right? Why, isn’t that her playing “Dolly Slots” right now? Hit the “chat” strip and engage/commiserate privately. Be sure to use plenty of sad-puppy GIFs.

E.) Move directly to the posted story’s comment field on the newspaper's home page and rattle Alice from her grief by putting her on tag-blast. Be sure to season your query with enough empathy and weepy-cons to conceal the fact that what you’re really doing is publicly flaunting your proximity to others’ misfortunes: “OMG ALICE FERGENTOOL, is this your lil tonybaloneycakes [tag him if you can!] :( :( I am here 4 u girly stay strong u got this thoughts n prayers n hugluvs 2 u all xoxoxoxoxoxo <3 <3.” 

Keep in mind that although this is about Alice and her family, it also presents a lucrative opportunity to further promote your Online Brand as a sensitive, connected, informed and compassionate leader. I say “leader” to stress the importance of BEING FIRST. You don’t want to be the broken record among your social circle, forced to “like” the winner’s comment, parrot his or her sentiments, or link to an appropriate Florida Georgia Line video. You want to care FIRST. After all, caring FIRST means caring MOST. And the LOUDER you care, the BETTER. Why sympathize anonymously, when no one can see how awesome you are? Without third-party witnesses, did you actually care at all?

The correct answer is F: Log off, shatter your mirrors, eat nothing but takeout pizza, and hope your seventh consecutive Meat Lover’s Special takes you out before Armageddon does.

Cory Frye believes the answer is always "F."

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