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A 27-year-old woman in Lexington, South Carolina — home of all the fireworks my cool uncle used to smuggle into New Jersey for pyrotechnic Fourth of July celebrations — climbed the digital mountain that is Facebook and proclaimed from the social media site’s lofty peak that she trashed her ex-boyfriend’s house, trashed it good. Especially the pool table — she ripped that fucker to shreds. Then, predictably, she attracted the attention of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the Sheriff Department’s report, the woman entered the home of her 30-year-old ex-boyfriend on the pretense of collecting some of her things, but ah-hah! Once she had cleverly infiltrated said erstwhile boyfriend’s home, she rubbed his pool table down in vegetable oil, snapped the pool cues, and threw the billiard balls every which way, something I’ve always wanted to try but never had the temerity (or a pool table of my own) to do. The damage totals $500 and the alleged vandalism is still under investigation.
Helen A.S. Popkin of MSNBC’s Digital Life blog muses on the woman’s place in the pantheon of criminals caught through hapless Facebook posts, and that’s a fine topic to muse on because the curious social media urge to overshare has seemed to have dire consequences in the amateur criminal underworld. Where’s the empathy, though? Sure, broadcasting a crime on Facebook isn’t very sharp, but maybe it was more impulse than conscious thought. Maybe the woman’s boyfriend was one of those comically serious gentlemen who carries a collapsible pool cue around to different bars in a leather satchel so that every one of the couple’s nights out turned into a pool-shooting exhibition. She would languish at the bar and watch her boyfriend mouth-breathe his way to victory after victory, him thinking all the while, “I am just like Paul Newman in The Hustler” and her thinking, “I am just like Tracey Ullman in Small Time Crooks” in that she’s dating a delusional buffoon. How many months of such a tiresome routine would it take before the pool table became a talismanic symbol for everything she despised about her boyfriend, before her loathing had whittled away everything else about him until there were only two words: pool table?