Today I received some very unsettling news. I don’t know when it happened because I wasn’t able to spend much time on Twitter last night and most of today, but when I logged on to catch up I saw something and flipped my world on me. What’s on my mind can’t be expressed in 140 character bursts, so I hope you’ll excuse me if I interrupt my story to get this off my chest.
I saw someone had posted some RIP Ham_Tornado tweets and the first thing that came to mind was that it was a joke or a hoax. Within seconds I realized it was not a joke or a hoax, and I desperately wished it were.
When I joined Twitter back in 2011 I had no preconceived notions that would make any real or lasting relationships with anybody on there. Not for the last time since joining I was proven wrong. Among the first of the people who I started messaging back and forth with was Jason AKA @Ham_Tornado. What started out as disgusting jokes back and forth turned into real conversation over my short period of time on Twitter.
I’m laughing to myself now since I don’t think we’ve ever referred to ourselves as our real names, Jason and Dan. Always our twitter nicknames Hammy and Budgie. Come to think of it, I don’t know if he even knew my real name. I still have the same lump in my throat even now that I’m smiling about the fun we’ve had busting each other’s balls or making blatant homoerotic jokes at each other’s expense.
It turned out Hammy and I had very similar viewpoints on a certain subject and it sparked many conversations between the two of us. I’ll have to admit most of the time was me asking for advice since my situation was so close to his own. Quite a few times he invited me up to his area (it was probably only a 2-3 hour drive) with the hopes to have a drink or two and have a real face to face encounter. Due to scheduling conflicts (which were all my fault due to a manual OT job, a wife that worked nights and weekends, and a daughter) we never did get to meet in person. I’m starting to get the feeling I am really going to regret that fact.
Hammy was not only good for homoerotic ball busting or lifestyle advice, but he was entertaining as hell too. I knew when I saw his handsome face on my twitter feed I would be laughing, and he never disappointed. I also loved him on my favorite podcast The Hobo Shack where he was first mate to Nate AKA Hobosexual. This is where I got to hear a whole new side of him when he would share his favorite music, conspiracy theories, or personal stories.
It wasn’t advertised because it wasn’t due to air for a few weeks, but I recently recorded an episode of The Hobo Shack with Jason and Nate. I wasn’t supposed to mention it until it was set to air, but I don’t think that matters at this point. Even if it never airs, doing The Hobo Shack was probably the most fun I’ve had with any of the friends I’ve made since joining twitter.
I really hate to admit this, but I am currently in hiding from my family typing this. It’s slightly embarrassing to be this upset over someone I’ve never met, and I hate myself a little for it.
All that being said, Hammy wasn’t just a follower or an online acquaintance or even a personality on a podcast I love. Hammy was a friend, and I am genuinely and wholeheartedly going to miss him.
RIP Hammy. This really won’t be as fun without you.