Toronto man Karl Addams has been having a particularly rough year, as he keeps making the mistake of expecting people to ask him “What’s up?” when they greet one another. His preprogrammed response for this question has always been “Nothing,” but this curt response for avoiding small talk and strange glances has been foiled by younger coworkers and flatmates. Nowadays, Karl is caught off-guard by the much cooler way of asking how people are doing: “What’s good?” He has responded “Nothing” to this question multiple times now, and it is causing both Karl and his friends to question his mental well-being.

The story does not stop there. After one embarrassing encounter in which he replied “The sky” to this new inquiry, Karl has had to reflect deeply on how he is doing. Last Thursday night, his apartment-mates found Karl with his hand pressed up against the window, muttering “What really is good?” while looking out at the lackluster Toronto skyline. If his responses weren’t enough to worry his limited number of contacts, his newly developed reticence has deepened their concern that nothing really is going well for the man. His friends, Kevin and Todd, took a look at his computer for clues. Kevin stated: “Well, it’s pretty clear Karl is lost, but it’s not shown explicitly.” Todd chimed in, saying: “I think you can tell he’s not doing so well by the fact that his few Facebook conversations consist only of links to memes and his only notifications come from his mother excessively tagging him in flash photographs of their family dinners.” We took a look at examples provided by our correspondents, and confirmed the steaks to be over-charred and the flash photography to be quite unflattering.

Though Karl has found himself in a strange social limbo, he is still clinging—oftentimes quite desperately—to his optimism. He has been observed by his flatmates to be practicing greetings in the bathroom mirror, often waving finger-guns at his reflection and winking unnecessarily. He has also started compiling some evasive techniques, such as saying “Hey-how’s-it-going” extremely quickly, and declaring “Gotta love suffering on this fine [insert day of the week] morning!” with what he believes to be a convincing ironic tone. The community is quietly rooting for Karl Addams. After all, Karl may be socially awkward, un-photogenic, and unable to cook a good steak, but what’s stopping him from trying to keep up with the times? Nothing.