Few reliable details are known about a man in Shreveport, Louisiana who attended a house party and then abruptly decided to leave. Before the incident, little was known about the man — who he was, where he came from, or where he went. But his early exit, or “shmexit”, as critics with an internet connection are now calling it, has caused quite the stir.
“One minute he’s chugging a Miller Lite, the next minute he’s gone,” says Ed Snoogle, who hosted the party out of a need for social contact and a feeling of belonging. “I don’t understand. Everybody else was enjoying the party. I’m not sure why he just up and left.”
None of the guests knew much about him, except that he came from Britain, and they know where that is. A few additional details pieced together from random conversations paint a somewhat murky picture of the mystery guest. He had a German Shepherd and his name was Brett Braxton.
“He spoke with a funny accent,” said party attendee John Murica Smith. “He claimed to be from Australia, but his accent sounded more British. Maybe cockney.”
When asked what a cockney accent sounds like, Smith shrugged and said, “I’m not totally sure, but I think it’s a lot like that guy sounded.”
Many of the guests had met Brett throughout the evening. One had a discussion about chess. Another talked politics. One gentleman showed him where the restroom was. One partier recalls that he was a cowboy, but another said he was a construction worker. The one thing they could agree on was that it was incredibly rude to leave the party.
“I really don’t know jack shit about him or his situation, but it’s just not right to leave the party, you know?” said 41 year-old Margaret Jeepers. “We were all having such a good time and we wanted to sing some songs. When you’re having a big party you feel better if there are more people there, and if someone leaves, it just feels like why did they do that? It kinda bothers you.”
Shreveport residents were so irked that someone didn’t want to be a part of a party that took place somewhere near them that they immediately took to social media to ridicule the perpetrator.
Fred Grunter wasn’t at the party. But his sister’s friend’s brother heard about it on Facebook. When Fred learned of the Shmexit, he was outraged, and couldn’t keep his vexation to himself. He created his own Twitter hash tag and checked it every few minutes to see if people had the same opinion that he did or not. “When you’re at a party, you’re supposed to stay at the party. You’re not supposed to leave,” Fred said. “Everybody knows that.”
Even five year-old Kenny Jordan, who recently just learned how to swim, was appalled by the fact that Brett would leave the party. Although, Kenny doesn’t know where the party was, who was involved, or why it matters, he didn’t let that stop him from expressing his anger during drawing time. He drew this picture of the incident which skillfully gives voice to public outrage.
“People can’t do that,” said Eddie Vegan, guitarist for rock band Pearl Slam. “If everybody thinks you should stay and no one says you can leave, then you’re an asshole if you leave.” Eddie was unavailable for further comment because he left for his I Got an Opinion on Everything Tour.
Steps have already been taken to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again. Shreveport Police Chief Donald Rumpkins says, “We’re concerned for people’s safety and we want to make sure that people stick together. There is strength in the herd, you know. If Mr. Braxton leaves, others might leave, and pretty soon you have anarchy.” Rumpkins said that if one person is allowed to leave, then others could follow. “Pretty soon, everybody’s camaraderie is in serious jeopardy.”
Rumpkins declined to give specifics about the procedures put in place to curtail future similar behavior. However, he did have one thing to add. “The main thing I can tell you is to get on social media and give your opinion. Share a meme or a link. Even if you don’t know anything about the incident, it’s always best to get involved,” Rumpkins said.