I had no intention of ever buying a scarf that retailed for $500 until Oprah Winfrey cyberbullied me to do so for weeks. It was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. Here’s how Oprah cyberbullied me.
I had never spoken to Oprah and I never thought I would. You can only imagine how surprised I was when she sent me an email out of the blue. Oprah wrote that if I didn’t buy a $500 scarf she recommended on her website she would spread compromising photos of me around the Internet. I don’t know how she could’ve obtained the photos since I have done nothing wrong and have never taken any lewd pictures of myself. But she is Oprah. I suppose she has the means.
I received her next threat two days later through a direct message on Twitter. She said, “You will buy the scarf. You will wear the scarf. You will be a fancy boy in the scarf. I am Oprah.” She did not mention the compromising photos. Did she ever have any? I was beginning to doubt it.
I already have a scarf. I bought it for $7 at Ross. I don’t need another, let alone one that costs $500. But then Oprah wrote “buy the scarf” 507 times on my Facebook wall, one time for each dollar I would spend on the scarf, plus shipping and handling. I was disturbed enough to add it to my shopping cart in her web store.
I received a text message from an unknown number that read, “Hello, is scarf there?” I knew it was Oprah from the television show using a clever trick to inquire whether or not I had bought the scarf. I suspected she would know that I hadn’t, but I figured I’d give deception a shot. I replied “yes.” Then she asked if she could speak to the scarf. I panicked. What would a scarf say? I was as clueless then as I am now. So I said, “Hello this is scarf.” She texted back the word “LIES” in big capital letters, and then again several more times. I did not sleep that night.
I didn’t hear anything from her for two weeks. Then one night as I played online video games with my friends, a voice that sounded suspiciously like Oprah’s cut into our private chat at the exact moment a player named “TheBigO” entered our game. She told my friends embarrassing stories from my childhood while repeatedly killing my character and squatting on its face. She told me things were only going to escalate if I didn’t spend $700 on the scarf. The price of the scarf had gone up $200. I tried explaining to Oprah that I didn’t have that kind of money for a scarf. She reported me and I have since been banned from playing the game.
Oprah deleted every picture from her Instagram feed and replaced them with images of my head atop the back-ends of various animals. Only the $700 scarf separated my chin from, say, a rhino’s butt. There were dozens of them. Baboons, alpacas, capybaras, porpoises. It seemed the entire animal kingdom had my face and her scarf atop its butt. I didn’t understand the message of this particular humiliation but it hurt all the same.
Oprah created a Facebook account exactly like mine in every way, down to the spelling and punctuation errors in the status updates, which she used to mock my indecision over the scarf. The account quickly gained a following larger than my own. Posing as me, Oprah would say, “oh I’m not going to buy the scarf because I’m a big dumb idiot” and “scarves are for losers which I am” and “I am a big dumb boy with a big cold neck.” The scope of creativity was fairly narrow and not at all anything I would say. Yet, my own friends and family praised each mocking status update with a laughing face emoji. I had no choice but to give in. I purchased the scarf if only to remove myself from Oprah Winfrey’s dangerous game. I have not heard from her since. In her defense, the scarf is very comfortable.