That Time I “Tangled” With C.B. Forgotston

From The PublisherThe afternoon of Friday, March 27, was a lot more eventful than I had anticipated.

I was planning on being at least somewhat productive while preparing to portray Gov. Bobby Jindal for the fourth and final time (at least with him in attendance as the sitting governor) that evening at the 64th annual Gridiron Show. (I know, the resemblance is striking.)

Before I knew what had happened, though, I found myself in the middle of an all-out Twitter battle with blogger, lawyer, and cantankerous keyboard warrior C.B. Forgotston that raged on for most of the afternoon. As for what started the online skirmish, honestly, I’m still not quite sure.

He’d probably say it’s because I lied to him, which I didn’t. Some might say he just hates everybody. Others might contend he’s putting on an act, like a wrestling heel whose shtick is playing an irascible curmudgeon. Personally, I think the C.B. stands for “Completely Batshit.”

He’s got a “thick hide” and we don’t bother him? Then why the hell spend a Friday afternoon launching a Twitterwide inquiry into the motivation behind a tweet?

Whatever the case, C.B. and I apparently had quite an audience enjoying our protracted exchange. That evening at the show, as well as before and after Saturday night’s performance, almost as many people wanted to talk to me about the Twitter skirmish as those who wanted to talk to me about the show. So I decided to write this recounting of the episode.

A full 24 hours earlier, we had posted on our site (and Twitter feed) one of our signature, standalone/throwaway “News Shticker” headlines (basically one-liners with no connected story), this one poking fun at Forgotston’s usual tone on Twitter. He apparently didn’t get the notification of being mentioned in the tweet until the next day, at which time he replied, asking for clarification.

 

Ten minutes before that, he sent me an email asking for clarification:

CB-Forgotston_email-redshtick

 

A few minutes later, he asked his 2,500+ followers if any of them knew someone who worked for us, while including a hashtagged promise to protect sources.

 

According to a couple of our common followers, he also contacted them around this time, as well, and asked if they knew anything about this otherwise seemingly innocuous tweet. The man was burning up some bandwidth to get to the bottom of this throwaway joke about his online persona.

One minute later, after apparently figuring out my personal Twitter handle, he reached out to me to satisfy his surprisingly burning need to know the deeper meaning behind our claim that he had told Twitter to get off his lawn. I immediately responded.

 

One minute later, he then posted this tweet, after I had already replied to him:

 

He’s got a “thick hide” and we don’t bother him? Then why the hell spend a Friday afternoon launching a Twitterwide inquiry into the motivation behind a tweet?

FYI: Don’t try tweeting @RedShtickeditor. There’s no such account.

I also replied to his email, just for good measure, a whopping 38 minutes after he first contacted me. And they say young people have no patience:

CB-Forgotston_email-redshtick2

 

His young, “well-educated” sources told him we were likely making fun of his age? I guess they don’t have the balls to tell him we were calling him a grumpy old man.

And WTF did he mean by “picture of Gov’s Mansion,” I wondered. The only pic of the Governor’s Mansion we’ve ever used belonged to a recent story about Gov. Jindal renting it out on Airbnb to solve the budget crisis.

In any case, he also replied to me on Twitter, claiming — after an intense Twitter manhunt and in-depth investigation into the deeper meaning of a shitty joke of a tweet — he has a sense of humor.

 

At this point, I had two questions: “Why the fuck does he think we said he told Twitter to get off the Governor’s Mansion lawn?” and “Who the fuck invites another person — on Twitter, no less – to ‘tangle’ with him in 2015?” Actually, I had a third question: “Can I get a sarsaparilla with that tweet?”

The answer to the first question is, “After 15,000 tweets in his three years on Twitter, Forgotston doesn’t know how to distinguish between two distinct tweets on a timeline.”

Redshtick-twitter-jindal-governors-mansion-forgotston

 

In any case, 90 minutes after it had started, Forgotston called off the Twitterwide manhunt and reported to his followers the much-anticipated findings of his investigation:

 

So we’re cool, right? Or at least I thought so.

Unfortunately, I had already made the fatal mistake of sending him another email to clarify that whole “Governor’s Mansion” confusion. Someday I’ll learn to leave well enough alone.

CB-Forgotston_email-redshtick3

 

Can you spot in that email where I totally fucked up? No? Well, here’s Forgotston’s response to it almost 90 minutes later:

CB-Forgotston_email-redshtick4

 

I swear I thought I heard a needle scratch across a record when I first read that. What the fuck did I say to set him off?

We tweet a joke saying he told Twitter to get off his lawn; he says he’s cool with it (once he finally understood it). I send what I thought was a totally innocent email trying to clear up some confusion involving a picture of the Governor’s Mansion, and Forgotston goes apeshit.

So I tried to do some damage control, which I later found out — when you’re dealing with C.B. Forgotston — is like pissing on the Hindenburg.

Nevertheless, I sent him this email.

CB-Forgotston_email-redshtick5

 

Then it dawned on me: He probably thought I was being a smartass when I said “I do enjoy following you on Twitter.” So I sent yet another email.

CB-Forgotston_email-redshtick6

 

Look, I know that crazy coot Forgotston will never believe me, but I sincerely meant what I said. I wasn’t being sarcastic or patronizing in the least. I do enjoy following him. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done so for over a year as I have.

I wasn’t kidding when I said I find following him entertaining. Keep in mind, I also follow The Iron Sheik, and for pretty much the same reason. Although Forgotston doesn’t use language as colorful as the old wrestling legend from Iran’s verbiage, both are known for using Twitter to constantly call out people for their inadequacies, and I find some entertainment value in both of their styles.

Forgotston is like a human Twitter bot. If someone is on his growing shit list, that person can hardly post a tweet without Forgotston replying with some disparaging comment that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the tweet he’s replying to.

It’s like the online equivalent of watching my grandfather shout back at the TV during the evening news when I was a kid.

As best as I can tell, his primary shit list currently consists of LPB President/CEO Beth Courtney, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne. The latter two are also gubernatorial candidates. We’ll see if this article qualifies me for Forgotston’s ceaseless, botlike wrath.

And it’s not just people on his shit list whose Twitter notifications are constantly flooded with replies from Forgotston. Most State Capitol reporters who regularly tweet can expect at least a few replies from C.B. throughout the workday, as well. It’s like the online equivalent of watching my grandfather shout back at the TV during the evening news when I was a kid, which only further explains why I get a kick out of it.

Then I thought: Maybe he thinks I lied about following him through the @redshtick account. Perhaps Forgotston thinks we have someone on staff who handles our social media, when actually, it’s yours truly.

Then again, this is the same person who thinks @lpborg, the official Twitter account for Louisiana Public Broadcasting, is run by Beth Courtney.

 

I don’t know how much the poor sap who handles LPB’s social media makes, but it’s not enough to deal with this kind of shit. (And don’t even think about blocking Forgotston. Jay Dardenne’s people did that for a little while, and C.B. reportedly tweeted about it several times a day like it was the goddam Berlin Blockade.) I guess Forgotston also thinks @TheAdvocateBR is run by John Georges.

Whatever the case, Forgotston replied with an email dripping with indignation.

CB_Forgotston-email-redshtick7

 

Finally, I had had enough of his shit and finally said “fuck it.”

CB-Forgotston-email-redshtick8

 

That was the email equivalent of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination. It prompted a silly war with no one really knowing how it got started.

In no time, the Twitter tête-à-tête (“tweet-à-tête”?) was on like Moon Griffon.

 

Later that evening at the Gridiron Show, a couple of people remarked on the laughability of Forgotston’s claim he never picks fights but rather, only finishes them. That’s when I realized who that line reminded me of.

CB-Forgotston-Monty-Python-Black-Night-finish-Fights-quote

 

Anyway, back to the tweet-à-tête (or is “tweet-à-tweet” better? Either way, both are trademarked), with Forgotston’s first reference to “the rules.”

 

It was around this time a member of our live audience expressed his appreciation for our skirmish. (Also, note C.B.’s second reference to “the rules.”)

 

Again with “the rules”:

 

“The rules are: There are no rules.” Did I mention the C.B. apparently stands for “Completely Batshit”?

It was about that time when I looked at the clock and realized I needed to start getting ready for that night’s show.

 

True to his word, he did finish the fight with the last word while I began getting ready for the show.

 

An interesting thing about C.B. Forgotston is his motto: “Obsequium paret amicos, veritas paret odium.” He has it in his Twitter profile and is fond of tweeting it whenever people accuse him of being an abrasive asshole.

 

It roughly translates to, “In these times, flattery begets friends, truth begets hatred.” I say “roughly” translates because — according to a friend who teaches Latin at one of the top private schools in town — the correct quote (and spelling) is “hoc tempore, obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit.” At least that’s how Terence, the ancient Roman playwright, wrote it. Then again, what the fuck did he know about Latin?

If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear Forgotston takes pride in creating enemies, like it proves he’s doing something right: more specifically, speaking the truth. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the number of people he alienates is the sole metric he uses to affirm to himself that he’s contributing something useful to society.

However, as Chris Comeaux put it …

 

Or as Terence might have put it, “veritas inimicos parit, sed quoque esse asinus.”RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

 


 

About Jeremy White

Jeremy White is an engineer by education, but a smartass by birth. He managed to overcome the obstacles presented by his technical background, and has brilliantly devised a way to make a living making fun of people.

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