I was late to the tweeting party.
So late, in fact, that someone had already come up with the handle @latetotheparty. For two years, I shrugged at Twitter, joking “I find myself wildly entertaining, but even I don’t wanna know what I’m doing 24/7.”
Now, I look at that comment and see my father. Which makes me want to pull out my remaining hair. #TurningIntoMyDad
Twitter confounds me. I’ve tweeted legitimately funny stuff, yet they go nowhere. Maybe because I never say anything good about cats. I try to send tweets at celebrities immediately after they have tweeted, operating on the logic that they can probably see it. This has worked many times, meaning I know the targeted individual read the tweet. I know this thanks to the “favorite” option.
Celebrities love to favorite tweets. Talk about patronizing. A famous person choosing to favorite your tweet rather than retweeting it is internet equivalent of your mom saying your drawing is “interesting,” but not putting it on the fridge door.
Now, I understand that celebrities can’t RT every fan who tweets at them. And I don’t want these busy people to do that. I just want them to RT me. (My friend, author @MarkStAmant, and I have a running game to see who “wins” by getting more favorites. He is killing me.)
Numerous celebrities have taken the time to have a Twitter conversation with me, and I’m grateful for that. They include Travel Channel host @AdamRichman, singer songwriter @tedleo, actor @MrJoshCharles, ESPN host @marcelluswiley, New Yorker writer @BenGreenman, and SI Clicks founder @JimmyTraina. I’m not ashamed to admit being thrilled when I got the notification that they had replied to one of my Tweets.
That said, here are my four greatest Twitter moments, in ascending order:
Sitting in my parents’ living room on a Sunday afternoon watching Fox News, we saw a breaking report on yet another fire at an oil rig, this time one of Chevron’s. I commented, “Maybe we should just let Big Oil run the banks, and the banks run Big Oil.” The glares sent my way by my parents confirmed its legitimate comedic value. So I tweeted “I’ve got it: How about if Big Oil Monitors Big Banks, & vice versa? Can’t get worse. #ChevronFire,” at Adam McKay (@ghostpanther).
Amazingly, Will Ferrell’s go to director and funnyordie.com cofounder RTed it. And then Rob Delaney, the Twitter king, RTed McKay’s tweet. Immediately, my imagination burst into an inferno not unlike the Chevron fire. I’m gonna be up to, like, 100K followers in no time! Adam McKay will probably ask me to do a polish on the script for ANCHORMAN 2! Surprisingly, neither of those things happened. And it only got three other RTs. My folks didn’t care about my getting retwittered.
Supermodel Chrissy Teigen is as funny as she is attractive, which is really unfair to other humans. I mean, one or the other, right? She travels a ridiculous amount for her gigs, and often posts entertaining reports from airport bars.
After reading one of those posts, I tweeted, “@christineteigen, you should do a TV show called ‘Terminal Boredom’ where u interview fellow travelers in airport bars.” She RTed it immediately, adding her own commentary: “Fucking brilliant.” Then, Seton O’Connor (@himynameisseton), one of “The Dannettes” from Dan Patrick’s popular radio show (@dpshow), responded to me and his friend Chrissy, “That actually is a really good idea.” (Note: on the very same afternoon, Jim Rome read a Tweet of mine on his television show. So, I feel like I won Twitter that day, even though nobody tweeted as such.)
Amazingly, “Terminal Boredom starring Chrissy Teigen” has not yet aired.
Judy Blume tweeted something nice to her 70K+ followers. I responded with something “clever.” She answered me. I realized my initial tweet might have come off as douchey, so I tweeted back something apologetic and nice. Within seconds, I got the treasured “Judy Blume is now following you on Twitter!” email. I repeat, JUDY BLUME – who only follows 354 people – follows me.
In my role as co-editor of the Good Feed Blog at The Good Men Project, I was required to blog twice a day. The topic didn’t matter; it only had to be light-hearted. Oh, and if I could work some variation of “breast” into the title, clicks would increase exponentially.
On this day, I saw the pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin crying after winning his rigged election. This prompted me to start singing “Joe lies when he cries,” the classic heartbreak tune played on acoustic guitar and sung by Lili Taylor in SAY ANYTHING. Inspired, I wrote a blog “Putin Lies When He Cries.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t find video of the specific movie scene anywhere on the internet. Disappointed, I posted the blog anyway. But then I got what I considered to be a crazy idea. Maybe I can ask Cameron Crowe for it…
This marked the first time I recognized the potential power of Twitter. Sure enough, the famous writer/director of JERRY MAGUIRE and ALMOST FAMOUS had an account. So, I followed him and then Tweeted “@CameronCrowe, am I the only one to make the connection between Russian politics and SAY ANYTHING?” I included the link to the blog. Within twenty minutes, I got the “Cameron Crowe is now following you on Twitter!” email. Monday March 5th was cold and cloudy in LA, but, after reading that email, my apartment glowed like the doorways of a thousand churches.
Then, I got an even better email: “Cameron Crowe has sent you a direct message on Twitter!” This made me feel kinda funny where my bathing suit covers.
Giddy and disbelieving, I DMed him with my address. Ping! Almost instantly, he sent me an email. “Can’t believe I actually had this – Happy Monday, Jamie!” He attached an mp3 file of the scene from the movie. I quickly updated the blog with this incredible development.
Of course, Twitter has its dark side, as well. No, @jennyjohnson has never made fun of my baldness or any of my other nesses, unfortunately. But I did experience the “agony and the ecstasy” that the wide world of Twitter has to offer.
While enjoying lunch with Hollywood producer Sidney Sherman (@ssherman007) at John O’Groats, a low maintenance but great eats spot on Pico, I heard a familiar voice. Instantly I knew it was one of my favorite sports TV personalities: Rich Eisen. In the mid-to-late 90s, my roommates and I loved how Rich would work GOODFELLAS quotes into his Sportscenter highlights on ESPN. Now the face of the NFL Network, he is the envy of a lot of guys. Standing at the cash register, he chatted with the owner, with whom he was clearly friendly.
My latest book had just been published, and I knew Rich, with his great sense of humor, would dig it. “I’m gonna run outside and grab a copy for him,” I said to Sidney. My lunch date made an uncomfortable face.
“If we were in another town, yes, absolutely that’s the right move,” he said, letting me know that I was a tactless rube who would never make it in The Biz. “But here in LA? Maybe it’s better to not bother him, but reach out on Twitter…” Deferring to Sidney’s business savvy, I said nothing to Rich.
In my car after lunch, I tweeted “@RichEisen, didn’t want 2 bother u at J O’Groats, but I’ve got a new book out that u will fully appreciate…”
Driving home ten minutes later, my iPhone announced a text. Somehow, I just knew it was from Twitter. I was right.
I felt like Rudolph in the 60s clay-mation cartoon after Clarise flirts with him for the first time. “I’m cuuuuuuuute!!!!” Sidney the Hollywood insider’s advice had been spot on. Note to self: pay for Sid’s drinks for forever. I couldn’t wait to get home so I could DM Rich and ask for his mailing address at the NFL Network, where I’d gladly send a free copy. My mind raced with the possibilities. He has 300K followers, all of whom are sports fans. If he tweets the link to the book… YES! I’ll tell him he should become the Oprah of sports networks and that I’d be honored for him to make my book his first best seller! Driving, I kept waiting for the follow up notification telling me “Rich Eisen has sent you a direct message on Twitter,” just like Cameron Crowe had done. Strangely, I heard nothing. He musta got busy.
I sprinted – floated? – up the stairs to my apartment. Breathlessly seated in front of my Macbook Pro, I attempted to send Rich Eisen a DM. Something was wrong, though, as Twitter kept telling me DMs can only be sent to someone who is following me. Uh, hello. He IS following me! I checked the email again. It said he was following 307 people. Clicking on Rich’s profile, it said “Following: 306.” He’d followed me for ten minutes, then unfollowed me. Ooomph. I felt the same as I did when King Joffrey ordered Ned Stark’s decapitation. NOOOOOOOOOO! As Smokey Robinson might tweet, “A taste of honey is worse than none at all.”