Yesterday, having conquered the lofty heights of 500 facebook likes I turned my attention to Twitter.

Despite what you may have heard, Twitter is a mine of information, and, like any mine worth its salt, its passageways are dark, slime covered tracts of treachery. Yesterday, it was through this house of horrors, shod in my green wellies, I skwodged; arm trembling, lantern held high, straight into a cesspit.

You see, Twitter relies heavily on hashtags (#). In a nutshell, a hashtag represents a following, a connection, a gossamer fine thread linking tweeters together. Without them, your tweets largely echo down empty halls and what’s the point of that? Now they’re not called hashtags fer nuthin: as you blunder down the twisted  tunnels of the Twitterverse you can easily make a hash of it. Like I did yesterday….

Yesterday, #Redneckabook was trending. It was beautiful. People were tweeting things like #Redneckabook Lord of the Fries, or, #Redneckabook  To Roadkill a Mockingbird. Sheer poetry….

The sounds of merriment gambolled along the cold walls to my ears and I hurried towards the embrace of this cheery little bonfire. I nestled my way into the circle, nodded at the good folk on either side, rubbed my mitted hands together and poured myself some Cab Sav. We chinked mugs and chuckled. I took a shlurp, waited for an appropriate opening, leaned forward and dealt my finest card…#Redneckabook I Am Hillgrim….I leaned back with a satisfied shake of the head….

Doh! The Twitterverse drew breath. All movement ceased. And then, from the deep shadows across the trembling flame, a soft voice.

“You makin funna me, boy?”
“Ah sayed, you makin funna me, Boy”
“I, uh…”
“Don’ be callin no Redneck, no Hillbilly, BOY!”

A rush of blood flushed through my innards and I bristled, about to vent my indignation, but there was something in that voice… something that made me think twice… made me think I better get me some ammo first.

I whupped out muh Google and slapped Wikipedia open and, well…blow me down with a feather, according to Wikipedia a Redneck is not the same thing as a Hillbilly! They are, in fact, two distinct species. Easily offended; never to be confused!!!
Intrigued, I read on. The Redneck, it seems, hails from the Southern US States while the Hillbilly’s favoured terrain is in the East, encompassing the Appalachian Mountains, which makes sense if you think it through….I thought it through.
I did not know that.

I looked up. By the flickering light of the fire, I could see eyes, dark, baleful eyes, all focussed on me….and, disturbingly, off to the left, a glint of steel.

I grabbed my lantern and my papsak and bolted like a mole from an owl as fast as my wellies allowed. The howls of derision coming from behind overtook me easily, and, thus spurred I followed them back into the black obscurity of the catacombs.

Twitter, a mine of information…just mind your step.

About iantennent

Ian was born in Durban in 1973 but grew up in Zululand and loved it. Thereafter, he got himself a degree, a wife and a child (in that order). He's lived and died several times in the UK and now he and his family are back in KZN, where they belong. He can play squash but he can’t kite-surf; he can make beer but not biltong. View all posts by iantennent

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