Thirty-one-year-old Carlos Herrera was minding his own business on the famed Amtrak northeast regional route when he looked up to find a repulsive sight.
“This basic-ass girl sitting in front of me was posting a story on Instagram. It was a picture of some shitty egg sandwich with homefries and she had typed in the letters “IYKYK” on the screen. She spent 15 minutes toggling between different fonts, colors, and backgrounds for the letters.”
“IYKYK” is a popular acronym social media users employ which stands for “If you know you know.” It suggests that the user is in touch with an exclusive thought or experience that only a small percentage of other users can appreciate. In spite of this acronym’s suggested particularity, it is often applied to depressingly-generic experiences like an egg sandwich or an iced coffee.
Herrera says it was precisely this contradiction that led him to projectile vomit directly into the faces of 12 of his fellow passengers, killing them all.
“I started getting nauseous around the tenth “IYKYK” iteration which was in all caps with green lettering and a pink background. That was the moment where the supreme basicness of the situation – her baggy white-washed 90s jeans tucked into high white Nike socks, her iPhone 12, and her ‘vocal fry’ style of speaking she had used when the conductor had scanned her ticket and she acknowledged him with “theanks bye-eee,” overwhelmed me. It was like watching a rat have sex with another dead rat inside of a pile of shit stuffed into an old bag of Doritos on the New York subway tracks.”
Although Herrera has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and is facing the prospect of serious jail time, he is comfortable with his fate and optimistic about the potential impact of his case on societal norms.
“This wasn’t my fault, so involuntary manslaughter is definitely the right charge. Besides, if I have to be a martyr for the cause of ending basic-ness, then so be it.”
While Herrera understands this may sound extreme, he doesn’t expect everyone to get it.
“It may sound crazy, but hey, if you know, you know!”