How Tweet It Is

7 March 2011

Like all people who remember small box, black and white TVs (ours broke when I was still in grade school, and my father refused to fix it for 3 years, resulting in my a) reading more than most of my peers growing up in Levittown, New York, and b) suffering from terminal embarrassment when my 5th grade teacher gave us an assignment to watch “Death of a Salesman” on TV, and I had to lift my hand to admit I not only didn’t have a color TV {to this day I think peacocks are black and white), I didn’t have A TV) I suffer from TOT – Terror of Technology.

Thus, when my agent and publisher told me I would have to learn all the Black Arts of marketing my book online, I immediately began to dream (in dramatic, Italian primaries) of being caught in endless “Help!” loops, such as:

Help Desk: Okay, you need help! You’ve come to the right place! Now, tell me a little bit about your problem. Is it one of the following?

(a list of 30 common problems, followed by “none of the above”)

Rupert: None of the Above

HD: Okay, it’s none of the above. So let’s try to be a little more specific. Is it one of the following:

(a list of 300 less common problems, followed by “none of the above”)


HD: Okay, I can see you’re getting a little upset because you have switched to upper case with one exclamation mark. I’m not going to actually help you until I see more exclamation marks. Is your problem:

(list of 3,000 very uncommon problems, including “I am trapped in Libya, in a cross fire between the rebels and troops loyal to Muammar Khaddafi”, and “none of the above”)

Rupert: NONE OF THE F##*&%$@$%$$%%$%G ABOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HD: Okay, great. I can see you are now blaspheming me, but you’re doing it with symbols, so you’re not quite at the boiling point yet where I MIGHT put you in touch with one of the three of us who run this help desk for a client base of 98 million, but only via a no reply email. I also see that your curse word is appearing in blue and showing as a link. Fascinating! I didn’t know it could do that? How did you do that?

(a list of 3 million completely ludicrous problems, including “I’m beginning to wish I were never born”, and “none of the above”

Rupert: Thank you accessing Rupert’s Help Desk! I want to help you, I really do! Is your question…..

Note: I actually am going to attempt to set up a Twitter Account. Stay tuned! Watch for me on the evening news being led away by the Men in White! I will be the one struggling in the net like a Luna moth caught in a butterfly net.

Rupert Scofield


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