Circle jerks

Circle jerksIt’s probably unfair of me to single out Fred N., whose last name rhymes with Putin. I don’t even know him. I do know that he’s a realtor who sells property on Hilton Head Island, but only because I visited his Google Plus profile, and I did that only because he’d added me to one of his Plus circles. I wanted to find out if looking at his face would ring any bells. It didn’t.

I could just as easily single out David R. of Best Version Media in Palm City, Florida or Charles U. of Charles U. & Associates in Raleigh, NC or Brent P., who doesn’t disclose his company or location, but whose page states emphatically, “I WANT INSIDE YOU DEAR.” This might be a literal reference to his profile picture (an SUV with the tailgate open) or it might be reference to rear entry of another kind. One that involves black rubber also, perhaps. And various petroleum products.

“I am me I think or I might be that other guy,” says Balarama L. of Auckland, NZ. Noted. David M. of Zion Port in Racine, Wisconsin says, “I will design or redesign a professional WIX website for $5.” Surely in addition to other valuable considerations. Those involving black rubber, perhaps. And various petroleum products.

Among my other spurious connections, I couldn’t help noticing that Vivian L., whose page is completely blank, nevertheless has persuaded 626 people to follow her and has been viewed (so to speak) 15,055 times. The force is strong with this one.

And please let’s not forget احمد لال‬‎. Which is everything I know about him. Or her. Except that he has two followers. Or she does.

All of these people have added me to their Plus circles. They just … did it. Some, it seems, are hawking services (Five dollars, GI Joe? Really?), while others appear to be in the market for them. I don’t ask and they don’t tell.

With one exception.

Fred N., whose last name rhymes with Putin.

Notice of his magnanimity arrived within seconds of a LinkedIn request from James S., the Farmers Insurance agent whose title is “Senior Stewart at Freemasons of Texas.” That title should be “Senior Steward,” I think, but I know only as much about Freemasonry as it’s possible to glean from a 10-second Google search, so maybe he really is the oldest man named Stewart at his lodge.

Anyway, I flipped a coin – Fred N. heads, James S. tails – and Fred won. I sent Fred a polite email asking him to remind me how he and I know each other. I even told him how embarrassed I was about having to ask. At best, and purely as a matter of principle, I was hoping to get him to confess to not knowing me from Adam and to dragnetting Google Plus for prospective clients.

In my dreams.

Not that I really expect to hear from Fred N., whose last name rhymes with Putin. No more than if I’d emailed Brent or Balarama, David or Charles, or the elderly Texas Freemason.

They know that I know that they don’t know me.

Yet they encircle me.

Go figure.