The internet can sometimes be a mean place, where mocking people for being from a different generation can be online sport. But when a Facebook group dedicated to a certain brand of mockery came upon a man who needed a liver transplant, they banded together to raise money for the person.
The story starts with a Facebook Marketplace ad that Uniontown, Pennsylvania resident Gary Rider placed online last week. It read, “Older air compressor, working as it should.i need a liver transplant.procedes go twords it,” and included his phone number.
A private Facebook group named “a car club where everyone acts like boomers,” appearing to make fun of Facebook postings like the one Lyons put up, came across the listing.
As Jalopnik noted, “This whole group is a giant joke comprised of mostly younger car enthusiasts poking fun at old-timers and the hilariously predictable ways those old-timers navigate the automotive scene.”
But the group members decided to help rather than mock. “People came together and did something out of the kindness of their hearts for somebody they don’t even know,” member Patrick Thompson said. “It’s amazing. There’s a lot of good people out there.”
The group did still, to be fair, poke fun at the syntax and capitalization that older car enthusiasts tend to use while posting online. But they did so in comments accompanying donations to a GoFundMe page that’s now climbed past the $50,000 goal.
“HE’LL YEAH BROTHER,” one donor mistyped in all caps. “YOU KEEP THAT AIR COMPRESSOR AND GO GET THAT TRANSPLANT.”
“BARB CANT GET HER GRIMY HANDS ON THIS 20,,,,,” wrote another wisecracker with a heart of gold. “WERE GONNA GET U 2 LIVERS,,,,, GOBBLES GARY,” with “gobbles” being a variant of “God bless,” which the group uses to poke fun at how the car enthusiasts end conversations.
It was signed “Mike,” identifying as both “WALMART GREETER 2002-2018)” and “(COSTCO GREETER 2018-).”
Rider took the joking in stride, touched that so many people reached out.
“I’m about as redneck as a person can be,” Rider told the Jalopnik writer. “I live in an old coal patch town. My house is only worth about $15,000. I had planned on selling my house and everything to fund this.”
“There’s nothing wrong with some silliness here and there, and I also see that there’s a lot of love there,” he added. “I mean, for somebody that doesn’t even know me. I’ve sold that air compressor probably 400 times.”