So Saturday night dinner was running a bit late, and I walked into the kitchen and picked up a nearly empty package of potato chips, or as they say in the UK, a package of crisps.
The package had been folded over and sealed with a clothespin, but they were getting a bit stale. I shook a few of the small bits in my hand and ate them, and then repeated this; the second time noticing something in my hand that looked like a dead ant.
Panicked, I said to my wife, “I think I’ve just swallowed some ants.”
Of course, I have no reason to believe this; it just existed as a possibility.
I quickly tore the package apart and there was in fact, evidence of some other dark thing among the crushed chip bits that remained.
Mrs. W. continued quietly cooking dinner.
And that’s when it hit me.
If I had a Twitter account, I could simply say something like, “I think I accidentally swallowed some ants.”
Surely that would garner the sympathy I was looking for.
And then something else hit me.
This is exactly why people have Twitter accounts. To share the minutia of their lives with people who for some reason have decided to follow them because there is in fact some perceived value in knowing the minutia of their lives.
Like the intern who decides to shadow the Kramer character in the television series Seinfeld, large numbers of us apparently want to thought-monitor both friends and people we will never meet in person; and equally large numbers feel compelled to share this information. Our interactions are now thousands of miles wide and a millimeter deep.
(Note: The previous sentence mixes metric and non-metric measurements and uses a spelling of the word millimeter that is largely unacceptable to people who actually use the word on a regular basis.) (Wow! What an astute observation. I could totally Tweet that.)
All this to share one very important principle:
You should look at what’s in your hands before you put it in your mouth.
(…Of course if you spell it millimetre, then you also spell it minutiae.)