Fisting Twitter and the birth of “trend fisting”

Twitter bird cartoon by Hugh MacLeod

Oh dear. Where do I start? Last night, on a whim, I challenged the people who follow me on Twitter to make fisting a “trending topic”. It worked. It worked very, very well.

Start at the beginning, I guess.

Saturday night. I was catching up on my reading. In quick succession I came across News Biscuit‘s Countryside Alliance furious at ban on badger fisting and The Bloggess’ I kind of wrote about this on twitter already so technically this is a re-run but you probably still need a refresher, also about fisting.


Screenshot of my first tweet about fisting

So, at 1948 on 28 February 2009 Australian Eastern Daylight Time (that’s 0848 UTC), I tweeted: “Yeah, why not? Official challenge! Let’s turn fisting into the trending topic of the hour. Retweet please.”

Well, retweet please you did…

Seconds later three friends with high numbers of Twitter followers had retweeted it. Others followed within minutes. Then more. And more.

An otherwise boring Saturday night, Australia’s larrikin sense of humour, the peer pressure of people competing to invent ever more amusing or inappropriate ways of using “fisting” in a sentence, the delicious naughtiness of using a “bad word”… It was the perfect storm!

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David Hicks, Australian larrikin

Whatever you think about the political issues, Australian David Hicks, currently a long-term guest of the US government at the exclusive Guantanamo Bay health resort, does seem to have a sense of humour.

As reported in Crikey today (though not included on the free-to-view website), Hicks has been stirring the pot in a typically Australian fashion.

Hicks obviously speaks some of the language of the people with whom he’s lived, trained and fired weapons, but many of his comrades had little or no English when they arrived at Guantanamo. So they begged Hicks for knowledge of suitably dark and vicious curses they could hurl at their infidel American jailers, something that would really annoy the Servants of Satan?

The guards were subsequently met with an enraged chorus from the “worst of the worst”: “Gidday mate howareyergoin’, gidday mate howareyergoin’, gidday mate howareyergoin’“

I wonder what the guards made of that!