I had to pop to the shops today. Nothing special there. But before I did, I tweeted:
I have to go out to do the hunter/gatherer thing. Anyone want anything?
Madness, you might say. What a waste of time, and a weird one at that. But I spend most of my working days alone at a desk with my laptop. Twitter is my office. The real people behind those little words scrolling past in my timeline are there when I make a coffee: laughing about the world, being rude and shouty and hilarious and thoughtful and lovely.
There is a lot of playing on Twitter. Amid the horrible things about which we rightfully get outraged and angry, we often forget to play. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or clever. Sometimes it just has to be silly, and I’m never going to apologise for that.
So, I asked if anyone wanted anything. Oh boy, did they want things. This list is why I love the daft and frankly surreal exchanges that go on every day on Twitter, which are impossible to explain to anyone who isn’t there.
1) Fruit mentos
2) A boar (apparently because he already had mead)
3) A bar of Green & Black’s (she went on ‘if you’re going. Should request something for family’s dinner but, frankly, I’d rather have the choc’)
By the time I returned just over an hour later, I saw the conversations that had been running all the time I was out and felt my heart swell with the sheer generosity of people – some of whom I haven’t met in person – willing to take a moment out of their day to be utterly silly.
It went a bit like this:
– Poppets. Get me some of those. Or a mars bar.
– A Freddo.
– Me too. Mint poppets.
– I want mint / peanut and the toffee ones please. Or a Kit Kat. Skips crisps?
– Kit Kat tastes of cardboard. Space raiders, Salt n Vinegar. Thanks. PS You’re regretting asking, aren’t you?
– A bag of allsorts, a half kilo of turkish delight, and a bottle of gin, if you’re passing by any of that.
– Please, that is.
– oh yeah I want space raiders now please. Thanks. Also a Star Bar and a can of Iron Bru
– A Push Pop and some sour Chewits?
– 2 words: wham bar
– and UmBongo
– oh my god push pops! You could suck them until they were so pointy you could’ve pierced your tongue!
– deadly in the wrong hands. Did anyone else get addicted to Pop Tarts at some point?
– At some point? I would say 1996 – ongoing
– yeah we’d pretty much open a box and finish them same sitting
– I once bought ‘too many’ from Cyber Candy near Covent Garden. Big day.
Then they stopped. Until:
– Isabel, please confirm you did get me Chicken & Mushroom Pot Noodles?
So I sat here, laughing. Without a boar, or any dubious sugar-based snacks. And thought you ought to know, in case you’re one of those people who thinks Twitter is a waste of time and not real. These people are very real, and I don’t regret spending a single minute there meeting them.