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A Flock of Seagulls Walks Into a Bar (Or, Why Twitter Doesn't Fly for Me)

On Life

Ruminations and provocations.

A Flock of Seagulls Walks Into a Bar (Or, Why Twitter Doesn't Fly for Me)

Stephen H. Provost

Elmer Fudd walks into a bar. ...

Stop right there. I don't want to hear another joke about someone - whether it be Elmer, Kermit the Frog, Cardinal Wolsey or Tyrion Lannister - walking into a bar, pub, tavern or similar establishment. The thing is, I really don't care for bars. They're either deader than the cellphone I lost under the couch five years ago or so loud I can't hear anything but what sounds like a flock of seagulls being attacked by a swarm of bees.

And I'm not talking about the '80s band with the weird hair. At least those guys could carry a tune as far as MTV land. A lot of people in bars can't, even though some karaoke night wannabes wind up singing "Love Shack" in a voice even more strident than the original. (The lyric "tin roof, rusted"? I think describes some of their vocal cords.)

That's the only reason I ever went to a bar: for karaoke night. I never joined a band because I worked nights. This is what I told everyone and is, in fact, quite true. To a point. The real reason (which I'll never tell anyone - shhhh!) is that I was too lazy to learn an instrument and not quite good enough with the microphone to get within a mile of a recording studio. I suppose that's why I always finish third or fourth or worse in those karaoke contests.

Still, karaoke is fun. Going to a bar for any other reason is not. Yeah, you get to drink. Whoop-de-doo. You have to pay something like four times as much for a beer as you would if you got it at the supermarket, and then you have to find someone to drive you home after it's all said and done. In the meantime, you're getting screamed at by a those angry seagulls and buzzed by those pesky bees. If you stick around long enough, two drunks will probably get into a fight, and you'll swear you're on Pit Road at a NASCAR race. That might be fine for some folks, but did I mention I'm not a big NASCAR fan? They just go 'round and 'round in circles, and occasionally, there's a crash. Pretty much the way people operate at a bar.

Now, you might say that going to a bar is all about the aforementioned birds and bees: It serves a purpose in the mating ritual of the species known as Libidinous Solitarious. Having evolved to take the form of Libidinous Matrimonius, I have no use for such rituals at this point in my middle-aged existence. In fact, I never did, because they never worked for me. (You might assert that this is because I was simply not a member of the subspecies Desirablus, to which I would counter that, had this been the case, I would likely never have evolved to the status of Matrimonius.)

The simple fact is, bars just aren't and never have been my scene, which brought me to an epiphany the other day about why I don't like Twitter.

"Now, that's a bit of a leap," you may be saying.

But stay with me here. The connection between the two came courtesy of my friend John, who offered the following analogy: "Twitter is like talking to yourself in a busy pub with a gang of mates stood round you, sometimes they'll answer back, sometimes the random stranger stood next to you at the bar will answer back instead, with the person who's just nipping past to go to the toilet chipping in a few thoughts on his way past ..."

John's from England, and being in England might make being in a pub tolerable simply for the novelty of it. At least they have darts there. But as to the mode of conversation John described? Well, it wouldn't exactly make me feel special to be a detour on en route to a porcelain pit stop, and I've got zero interest in chatting up random strangers. (This probably accounts for why I never met any romantic interests at a bar. Not that I regret this: The people you meet at bars invariably start out as strangers, but I'm convinced that most of them are better off staying that way.)

John's analogy, for me, was spot-on. Whenever I've gone on Twitter, it's always felt as chaotic as a bar scene. The bees swarming. The seagulls flocking and squawking.

And me? I just ran. I ran so far away ...

When it comes right down to it, though, there's another reason I don't like Twitter. Just count the number of words in this post (if you're a masochist), or better yet, trust me.

"I don't like Twitter because it's too chaotic." That's 39 characters. I could have used Twitter if I'd wanted to and saved you all a whole lot of time. But I didn't want to. Where's the fun in that when you can engage in the sort of unrestrained verbosity I've exhibited here?

I think I've made my point.

As Elmer Fudd said when he stumbled out of the bar, never to return: "A-ba-dee aba-dee, a-ba-dee, that's all folks!"