“Does anyone know a guy named Terry from the Pier?” Ronnie Talbot wrote in the Facebook group dubbed Cape Breton Rant Room.
“He’s got a stupid f---ing haircut if that helps.”
Talbot went on to say that he believes Terry “and another young fella” stole a flat of beer out of the back of his pickup truck while he was using the washroom at Tim Hortons.
“I was on my way out when I saw them jump into a green Pontiac Bonneville,” Talbot typed a few minutes before midnight.
“The lady at Tim’s said all she knows is he’s a young fella named Terry. He may tint car windows for cash; someone may know him from that.
“So help my Jesus, Terry, if I find you you’re f---ed.”
And with that simple screed, the floodgates opened. Talbot’s post about purloined suds had garnered hundreds of reactions and comments.
While many of them contain expletives not suited to a family newspaper, lots of people who waded into the fray feel the beer thieves need to learn a little respect.
Justin Campbell from Sydney pretty much summed it up with this post: “Dirty f---in’ beer badger.”
Others are sympathetic for Talbot’s loss.
“God bless you, Ronnie, and God help Terry,” Kari Grant typed Friday morning in response to the string of commentary that has been entertaining Cape Bretoners all week.
“Ronnie, my husband and I never laughed so much as we did at your post,” said Chris Laveck-Bonnar of Thorold, Ont.
“I think you should become a comedy writer. Thanks for the laugh. . . . We needed that.”
The beer theft has prompted such sympathy for Talbot and his simple desire to crack a cold one that one supporter set up a crowd-funding page to raise money to buy him another case of beer.
David Jones of Sydney turned to Go Fund Me with a simple goal of raising $60 to buy Talbot another case of Keiths. By Monday night that effort — gofundme.com/get-
ronnie-talbot-a-new-24-a-keiths — had raised $370 and garnered 1,900 shares on social media.
Talbot chimed in Friday, asking Jones to donate all the cash to the Whitney Pier Youth Club.
“We don’t want anymore young fellas growing up like Terry and being pricks.”
The hashtag #24forRonnie also appears in many of the missives on the forum for Caper tirades.
One poster sympathized so strongly they proposed selling T-shirts in the Tims parking lot to compensate Terry’s victims.
“Good ol CB at its finest!! Oh how I miss ya,” posted Sheila MacDougall, a former administrator at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.
In an interview during his lunch break Friday, Talbot said he’s surprised at how much reaction his post garnered.
“It’s a shitty situation,” he said.
“I figured I’d get at least a little bit of a laugh between the people in the rant room. I never expected to gain any traction.”
The 47-year-old warehouse labourer is happy his post will help raise some cash for the youth club.
“If everybody can have a laugh and donate a little money, why not?” Talbot said.
He never figured out who stole his beer and doesn’t expect to ever find the culprit.
“And, to be honest, who knows if his name is actually Terry?” Talbot said. “It’s a younger guy from the area, I would assume.”
Talbot liked the fact his post tickled the funnybones of Cape Bretoners far and wide.
“I guess it makes them feel a little homesick,” he said.
“Everybody lives away and they kind of forget about our little island. So it’s a little humour from home, I guess.”
He’s not sour about the stolen beer.
“At the end of the day, I didn’t have a two-four. That’s all right. We’ll get another one.”
Though he likely won’t store it in the back of his truck.
“I think I learned my lesson on that one,” Talbot said.
“I don’t think a two-four will ever see the back of my truck again.”