Dylan Thatches*, A 28-year old man from Clam Falls, Wisconsin who wears a friendship bracelet on his ankle, has just returned from a backpacking trip across Europe which he described as “so interesting” and “totally different from Wisconsin”. He added that the “Choritho” from “Barthelona” was “life-changing”.
Unfortunately, that’s not all that was life-changing.
“I watched that Minimalist documentary whilst I was away and it suggested that getting rid of my cell phone would really clear my head. So I asked myself, does this device I carry everywhere really bring me joy?” Anklet-fan Dylan pondered.
“I just wanted to experience life without being tied to, what is basically a security tag. You don’t know how much you miss when you only absorb life through a lens”, Dylan said. “Also, the way the news is, the way it’s reported, the actual content, it’s all so depressing these days. I feel like I’m being manipulated no matter what news source I click on. You can formulate your whole opinion on the world based on the tone of a newspaper. How wild is that! Why should I let that happen?”
Little did Dylan realise, disconnecting himself would change his life forever.
On Friday, November 24th, 2017, Dylan returned to the United States.
His family noticed the differences in him immediately.
“He just didn’t seem like himself from the get-go”, Sister-in-law Sam* said. “I knew something was off from the moment I saw him come out of the gate”.
“We were all welcoming him at the airport. We made a big sign and everything! It actually worked out really well! We get all of our laminating done on Black Friday so we had to stop at Staples on the way to the airport, the deals there are insane!” Dylan’s Mother, Denise* said at the scene.
“It all seemed ok at first’, said Ashley*, Dylan’s girlfriend of six years. ‘We hugged and laughed all the way home. We asked him what life without technology was like and he said it was great but he admitted that there was a day where he broke. He mentioned that someone in a hostel was watching the new Stranger Things so he saw the whole thing in one sitting. Which is, of course, fine! Then, there was something a little off. He said that he thought that the best episode was Episode Seven. The rest of us looked at each other and laughed nervously. Episode Seven? The one with a 6.2 rating on IMDb? It’s amazing how out of touch some people are”.
I decided to speak to Stuart Mckeon*, an Assistant Professor of Comparative Media at MIT and he had this to say: “Episode Seven was ok. But then, once we all had a chance to read the critiques and talk to our friends, we decided to really hate on it as a civilisation”.
We as a society move in packs. We look on Bozzfeed*, we see that we should feel very strongly about sweet potatoes or Beauty and the Beast and then that’s what we do.
A story of this magnitude rarely comes about so there is not a lot of precedences. How do we as reporters report on the unimaginable?
As Philosopher George Berkeley once said: “If a tree falls in a forest but it deleted its Facebook, does anyone hear it?”
Berkeley made a good point. Can an invisible person go missing? Or more importantly, can an invisible person return, and then be really annoying?
Dylan’s horrified friend, Marshall*, breathlessly recounted how the rest of the night unfolded: “We were all so happy to see him. I mean, we’re good guys. I don’t know how we got caught up in all this. We just wanted to hear about Europe. Apparently, Marrakech is amazing! But then he just started spewing all this poison. I swear he was trying to offend every single person in the house”.
Reports say that the group were in a ‘YouTube spiral’ when Dylan’s behaviour went from “strange” to “sadistic”.
Dylan’s best friend of 22 years, Mike Anderson* described the ordeal: “So, everyone’s taking turns picking something on YouTube, you know how it goes. I believe Ashley just played that ‘I like turtles’ kid video. Anyway, I put on a Jimmy Kimmel segment called ‘Foreigner or Not’ when Dylan chipped in.”
“Ahhh let’s not? Jimmy Kimmel sucks. He’s kinda mean-spirited”.
“We all froze. Jimmy Kimmel sucks? The man who single-handedly saved healthcare? How dare you” Now ex-girlfriend Ashley recounts.
Just what exactly was Dylan thinking? Have we managed to find someone who offends absolutely everyone without once mentioning politics or religion?
“Naively, I thought I could just not watch or read the news anymore” Dylan said. “I tried just telling everyone that I hadn’t seen or read any American news in three months so there were likely to be things I wasn’t fully caught up on but everyone was just so content with being angry”.
But Dylan’s reign of terror was not over just yet.
Tom*, Dad of the Thatches clan*, had this to say: “We do the Post-Thanksgiving Thatches-Family Touch-Football tournament every year. A lot of families do it on Thanksgiving but I can’t be running ‘round on Turkey Day! I got a bird to eat and a game to watch! We touch (football) the day after T-Day in my household, and that’s the way it’s always been…until now”.
Several corroborated eyewitness accounts state that the teams (The Thatches vs Cousins) wrapped up their stretches at 15.38pm. At 15.39pm, Denise opened the back door and pointed the speakers towards the players. She hit play and the National Anthem began.
That’s when it happened.
“I swear to god I was just tying my shoelace!”
Dylan decided to kneel for the national anthem.
“I wasn’t kneeling, Christ. I didn’t hear the National Anthem, my Mom was playing it from the desktop speakers. You could be sat next to those and not hear a thing”.
But that’s not how Dylan’s Uncles* took it.
Denise explained how it went down: “I mean, we are not a political family. But a couple of my brothers interpreted Dylan’s kneeling as disrespect to the flag, and all hell broke loose”.
Reports say, as of 10pm last night, Dylan’s family haven’t spoken to him for eight hours (zzz).
*Names and locations and content have been changed to protect subjects safety