Thursday, 17 October 2019

My party piece

As much as I love a novel entry mechanic, especially a collaborative one, the absurdity of Twitter parties is something I just can’t escape.

Semantics, of course, is a classic stumbling block: I’m not a “party” person. For a start, I get nervous when backed into social situations and am expected to maintain fluid conversation under pressure; for a second, I’m still processing the trauma of being forced to play postman’s knock at my sister’s sixth birthday.

I’m also unclear about terminology. Are Twitter parties something one attends, partakes in or just does? Am I an invitee, a delegate or just a passer-by?

But these are just personal hang-ups that I need to work through. The really absurd part is the party itself. In real-life, the closest approximation would be a launch party for some intricate widget, where the host is up on stage, elaborating on the finer points of said widget’s exquisite filigree detail, while the guests are all tangentially gibbering among themselves, hashtagging their every burp. Case in point: I’ve just sat through a Twitter party about temperance, and before you could say virgin martini, the secondary conversation had slurred into a bonding session for milk-loathers.

Half an hour of gratuitously hashtagging jibber jabber is normally quite enough to get a hashtag to trend. For the promoter’s marketing team, this ticks a very important box; unfortunately, it also leads to gatecrashers hijacking said hashtag in an attempt to hawk snake oil and penis pumps. That’s when you know the show is over. That’s when the promoter pulls down the shutters and literally starts paying people to leave. To be sure, I’ve been to worse parties - I’ve hosted worse parties - but not ones planned to pan out thus.

But comping isn’t real-life; it makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do. And in that respect, it’s not unlike Special Brew - albeit Special Brew with prizes. For example, in this instance, moving outside my comfort zone won me a £50 Amazon voucher - my biggest prize this year, and exactly what I need now that the Christmas shopping season beckons.

 [16/10 filed late]

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