Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pooh, Revisited


In Which Pooh Finds Out About Facebook, with Misgivings 

When Pooh (Winnie-Ther, otherwise known as Edward Bear ... THAT Pooh)—when he and I were talking the other day, I said casually, "People on Facebook like you." Pooh looked at me as if I'd said, "I enjoy eating onions." (Which I don't. Unless they're surrounded by something—like lettuce, tomato, hamburger, mayonnaise, and a sesame bun. Or soup. Or ... "Breath mints," whispers Pooh. "Exactly," I say.)
"What?" said Pooh.
"What, what?" I said. "The onions?"
"What onions?" said Pooh, looking around. "Are there onions?"
"No," I said. "There aren't. Unless you want some, of course."
"But if there aren't any onions, how could I want some?"
"Dear Pooh, how do you want honey when there isn't any?"
"That's quite a different sort of want."
"So it is," I said. "Now where were we?"
(Pooh whispers, "We were where you said something about people Liking me." He says it with a Most Humble Expression, which is easy for a Bear of Little Brain. "But difficult for People," whispers Bear, "with Big Brains. Write that down too, please, or people will think I'm Rabbit, or Owl, or somebody Important. Which I'm not." So I write that down. "Otherwise," he goes on, "they might NOT like me." Then he fidgets, and says, "But don't write that down, bother." So I don't. "But you have," he whispers hoarsely. "It's right there." "So it is," I say. "People will just have to ignore that part. That's why I've put parentheses around it. See?" He nods and says, "Ah.")
“About people Liking me ..." said Pooh.
"Yes, " I said. " They do. Very much."
Pooh looked very much pleased. Then he said, "How can you tell?”
“See what it says, right here?” So he saw what it said right here, and it said, “Like.” “When people click that,” I explained, “it means they like you.”
Bear scratched his ear, and said somberly, “I thought when somebody liked you they shook your paw or smiled or gave you something ... something sweet, perhaps ... sweet and—”
“But they can smile at you, Pooh. A smile on Facebook looks like this : )”
“Hm,” he said. “Two of those dot things.” 
“Those are eyes,” I said.
“And half a paren-thing, what you called it just now,” he said.
“Parenthesis. That’s the smile.”
 “Hm,” he said. “Two buttons you push.”
“Well, yes," I said. "Three, actually.”
He had Misgivings. It was easy to tell.
(Pooh is nudging me. “What’s Misgivings?” “Misgivings,” I explain, “is when you’re not sure about something.”)
“You push three buttons,” he said.
“That’s right.”
“To smile,” he said.
Then I was having Misgivings.



(Pooh is nudging me again. “Mr. Howell, it’s all right. I quite understand. Misgivings is like onions, only it doesn’t sound the same.” “Pooh!” I say, admiringly. “And as long as we’re surrounded by smiles” he says, “—these paren-things you call them—I don’t mind.” I give him the best smile I can. The real kind.)
“I’d still rather have honey,” he said.