OK, Twitter. You know I have always been a friend to you. I have always stood by your side, championed your cause, defended you when others put you down.
But there are some things, Twitter, that are indefensible, and today you hit a new low.
For today was the day when Twitter reached such terrifying subterranean depths of stupid that we may never get out again. So, so stupid did Twitter become that it sucked the real world into its maelstrom of idiocy and suddenly everything was inside out, black was white, up was down, and Denise Drysdale was a small Welsh village.
Here is the story. You may have heard it.
Chapter One: A young woman in America started a Twitter account with the username "@theashes". Apparently this was a nickname bestowed on her by her boyfriend. Who knows why? Perhaps he is a cricket fan. Perhaps he is a pyromaniac. We shall never know; or rather, we probably shall know, and then wish we didn't because it is so boring and stupid.
Chapter Two: Some people start putting @theashes in their tweets about The Ashes, as in the cricketing series. This is presumably because they were too dumb to know the difference between a hashtag (#) and a reply (@). So the first REALLY stupid part of the story comes here, where not only are those people stupid, but for some reason the dominant meme does not become "these people are stupid".
Chapter Three: Awash in cricketing tweets, the young woman quite reasonably asks that people stop tweeting her about cricket, because she is not a cricket match. People do not stop. Getting annoyed, she repeats her request in more robust language.
Chapter Four: Large numbers of people then decide that what would be REALLY funny, would be if they all bombarded the woman with tweets, just to annoy her, because harassing strangers who've done nothing wrong is the real reason for Twitter's existence. Stupidity quotient then increases, as once again, the dominant meme fails to be "This is REALLY freaking stupid".
Chapter Five: It being decided people were really being quite mean, some Twitter users then decided that, just as the solution to a small peper-cut is to cover your entire body in bandages and dive into an Olympic swimming pool filled with antiseptic, the way to redress the situation would be to start a campaign to #gettheashestotheashes. Or, if we look at it another way, it's possible the intention was to redress the situation by making fun of it. Which wouldn't be so bad, BUT...
Chapter Six: The campaign took off, and QANTAS ("getting you to your destination with less than 25% of the plane exploding and/or falling off or your money back") decided oh wouldn't it be a delightful lark if we...if we...
GAVE THIS WOMAN A FREE FLIGHT TO AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!
She has a FREE TRIP TO AUSTRALIA!
For her USERNAME!
She named herself @theashes - and therefore she gets a free flight to Australia!!!
Now, it's not that I wish this girl any ill. Good luck to her, she's a winner out of this.
But the stupid...it BURNS.
It may be the stupidest reason anybody has received free air travel in the history of the world - way stupider than when Virgin Blue flew a flock of sheep to Tahiti as a sacrifice to Ra.
It's like a mighty Stupid Auction - having put in an impressive opening bid by harassing a woman because of her username, Twitter then outbid ITSELF by getting a woman to travel to Australia because of her username.
WHAT MADNESS IS THIS? AM I to be the last sane man left on earth? Shall I wander the land lonely and terrified lest the maniacal idiots surrounding me engage in conversation?
Note: this "Twitter celebrity" is not a celebrity because of anything she's done. Or anything she's said. Or anything she's tweeted. Or anything she IS. Purely and simply because of her username.
"Oh, you're @theashes? Better get you to The Ashes then, right? Logical next step."
SHE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CRICKET.
This is so stupid. It's like a great ocean of stupid, teeming with stupid fish which are caught in stupid nets hung from the sides of stupid trawlers manned by stupid fishermen.
It's a vast galaxy of stupid, full of enormous stupid stars around which rotate beautiful and mysterious stupid planets, yet to be explored by intrepid stupidnauts who have gone into suspended stupid animation for the long stupid flight to uncharted space.
It's a mountain of stupid, unclimbable apart from the very stupidest mountaineers, who will plant their stupid flags on its stupid peak and proclaim they claim this stupid mountain in the name of Stupid, thus allowing stupid miners to later come and mine the rich seams of stupid running through the mighty stupid mountain, until they run foul of the stupid orcs who live beneath the mountain and prey on the hapless stupid miners, who are forced to arm themselves with stupid weapons and drive the orcs stupidly back into their stupid caves so they can mine in stupid peace, until one stupid day they delve too stupidly and awakwen a stupid Balrog, who kills them all stupidly.
Please, please, Twitter, don't be so stupid again. Or I am going to have to leave you.