Facebook alerts me of the birthday of a close friend, commanding me to "Send him good thoughts!"
I write to the friend: "Tony, let me know in what general categories you'd like my good thoughts to be. Career? Romance? General Safety? Spiritual Health? Golf? I just want to be as helpful as I can."
But I realize I don't even know what "good thoughts" means in the first place, aside from the fact that the sender is an agnostic or an atheist who nevertheless believes in magic. (And as long as we're going to believe in magic, I'd rather be prayed for than sent good thoughts, because at least the boss is cc'd on the prayer.)
Still, what is a good thought? Is it, "Gee, Tony's a great guy," just sent up into the sky?
Or could it just be "CHOCOLATE MALT!" shouted in an easterly direction?
Or what about: "Dear Tony: E=mc2."
Of course, what Facebook means to say is simply, "It's Tony's birthday. Tell him happy birthday." But that sounds dumb.
As if "Send him good thoughts" doesn't.