Facebook has (possibly) issued the following alert for Houston:
To: Our FB friends Re: Level 3 Emoticon Overload warning
Today is the first day of school for the Houston school district. As such, countless moms will be sending off their children to their first day of kindergarten.
In the past, this has mostly resulted in momblog entries that all described -- to an uncannily similar degree -- the fact that the child in question used to be small but now is old enough to attend school.
Recently, however, these moms have shifted to Facebook. We welcome them, of course: Without them Farmville would be just another failed idiotic idea. Now it's a gold mine.
However, the shift of Moms to Facebook brings with it a vast increase in the use of emoticons. We expect this to reach exceptionally high levels today, as moms will find themselves congenitally unable to avoid hitting the colon and open-parenthesis keys.
Research has shown there is little that can be done to stop this phenomenon, short of keeping children out of school until they are teenagers and the moms will be begging to get them out of the house.
So we are asking the rest of our FB friends to help us in dealing with this crisis. There are several commonsense steps everyone else can take:
1. Don't use parentheses today. Although we feel confident that use of the close-parenthesis will be relatively light today, any sapping of the parenthesis function could be harmful. Use em dashes instead, and screw the style police. (Note: This doesn -- shit!! Sorry.)
2. Stay off Farmville today. It will be a depressive, gloomy day on the farm. You don't want to go there.
3. Astro fans, do not talk about the team. Or the management. Or the farm system. Or the future. As with the first day of school, we have found it is impossible for even males to do this without resorting to sad-faced emoticons.
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Houston, of course, has one of the earlier school-opening days in the nation. Other cities can expect rolling emoticon brownouts or blackouts until all schools have opened.
We thank you for your cooperation, and together we will get through this.