By COLLEEN LEDDY
The intricacies of Facebook led to a video posted by my cousin Mario to appear in my newsfeed because my cousin Diana commented on it (I’m friends with her but not him). She was replying to a comment by a guy named Pete. That brief little exchange led to a one-thing-after-another clicking excursion.
Curiosity about Pete is what started it because Diana commented that Mario’s grandfather (and mine and hers) was Pete’s grandmother’s brother. When I hovered over his name I saw that he was from Milton, New South Wales.
I had no idea that we had relatives in Australia. I suppose it makes sense that relatives I know exist in Liverpool, England, aren’t necessarily going to stay there. But, still, it was a surprise, and I would have wanted Maddie to drop in on them when she was in Australia a few years ago.
Curious about this new-to-me relative, I popped over to Pete’s page and read this exchange of comments from March regarding a photo of an older man (apparently Pete) and a younger one, both smiling broadly and joyously, arms over each other’s shoulder, each holding what appears to be a bottle of beer:
John: Hello Peter. Nice ta see ya on Facebook. Your lookin well
Elizabeth: Great photo
Steven: Peter who's the big Knuckle at the side of you [smile emoticon]
Pete: Alex dragged me growling and wailing by my chain out of my pitch black cave, don't like the light too much, want to go back to my cave and swamp, will take me a while to forgive her for this!!!
Pete: Just kiddin kid, be right when I get my head around it, how are you this fine morning
Phil: certainly seems ya got ya head round it 'n' goin full power now [wink emoticon]
Pete: Doddle hey
Pete: Too easy hey Phil
Phil: yeyah, hasn't got a spot on a good old face too face, pint too pint, meet up though.
Phil: Still, very good for long distance
Pete: Yeah nothing like a chat over a Pint, especially after few years
Phil: Hells Yeh, so you thinking of visiting bristol on your excursions? want me to line up something special [wink emoticon]
Pete: For sure, we'll make arrangements when I'm over there
I have no idea what they’re talking about, but I love the photo and I love what sounds like good-natured ribbing, love the imagery of Pete’s complaint about “Alex.”
“Alex dragged me growling and wailing by my chain out of my pitch black cave, don't like the light too much, want to go back to my cave and swamp.” “Alex” is a beautiful blonde woman who appears to be a younger relative of Pete’s.
As I read through the comments a second time, I think Pete is referring to his recent entrance on Facebook, apparently assisted by Alex. As much as I resent Facebook for its time-sucking abilities, as Alex says, “it’s a whole new world.” It keeps you connected to the people you love and gives wonderful glimpses into the lives of people you may not know, but may one day meet.
When I look at the Facebook pages of these relatives, they all seem to really love life, much like my cousin Mario whose video of a wild boat party on his, and a flotilla of other boats attached by rope to each other, featuring scantily-clad women sparked the exchange of comments between Pete and Diana.
Pete straightened out Diana in those comments. Diana was a generation off. My granddaddy was his mother’s brother, his uncle. Diana invited him to visit and stay with her anytime and Pete thanked her for her “lovely generous offer” and “will be looking forward to take you up on it.” Who knows, maybe I’ll get a chance to meet Pete, too—and the knuckle next to him.