Thursday, March 05, 2009

Titter Ye...Oh, Please Yerselves

Inspired by Shaggy Blog Stories, TwitterTitters is a book of comic writing, all the proceeds of which (less the production and postage costs) goes directly to Comic Relief.

You can read about it here and buy it here.

I won't be buying a copy as I bought two copies of Shaggy Blog Stories (embarrassed by the unfunniness of my own story and slightly amused a couple of times at others), I thought Phoenix Nights was bollocks and Chelsey: OMG! looks like a load of old shite. Maybe some of you lesser known *writers* are in it and can persuade me to fork out the nine quid.

But if it takes your fancy, go ahead and buy it. Christ knows Twitter's got to be good for something other than mentioning how you didn't get to sleep last night and that you're having a nice cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch.


  1. I like the mundane of Twitter

  2. TwitterTitters.

    Sounds more like a showcase of The Women of Twitter.

  3. Gets calculator and works out how many 'nice cheese and tomato sandwiches' she can buy for nine quid.

  4. Serendipity - I have enough mundane in my life. I want a bit of humourous banter. You don't get much of that on Twitter.

    MJ - The men are just Twitter Tits.

    Kaz - But don't you want to roll around uproariously with laughter knowing you've made Lulu and the poor a bit richer?

  5. Lulu needs the money? Enough to make one want to shout.

  6. I was going to say Lulu is a bit short these days.

    You could have done a poem about this Geoff - if only there were a word that rhymes with Twitter ...

  7. Arabella - She spent all her money on a printing press.

    Rog -

    I would be greeted by TwitterTitters
    Like parents welcome Gary Glitter
    On and on and on I'd witter
    'Til my rhymes could get no shitter

    Actually I've never tittered in my life. I can only imagine Beatrix Potter animals tittering, not humans.

  8. Twitterers are twittering twits who get right on my tits.

  9. I feel sad for you. I don't think you really have any right to pass judgement on a book you haven't read and have no intention of reading, nor to slag off our efforts to do something worthwhile to help the less fortunate in this world.

    How much money are you raising for Comic Relief from denigrating TwitterTitters? Or from anything else? Nothing, I'll bet.

    If you don't like Twitter, Phoenix Nights or Chelsey: OMG! that's fair enough. But it's somewhat pathetic to have a go at us for trying to make a difference to people's lives. Wet blanket is an accurate description of yourself.

    By the way, thanks for blogging about TwitterTitters. As we see it, all publicity is good publicity - you've undoubtedly just boosted our search rankings on Google, which means more people will find out about the book and more people will buy it.

    Bit of an own goal there, Geoff...

  10. Garfer - Most of them get on mine.

    Louise - That was the bloody idea, to publicise it and to ask if any of my talented friends were in it as I've got no idea who else is in it. Is there anybody funny writing in it because from what I've experienced since the beginning of Comic Relief is a load of stuff that just isn't funny? And actually, yes, I am sitting in a bath of baked beans raising money for Comic Relief whilst typing this and my wife is pissing herself laughing. But our tears of laughter are also tears of pain for everybody who is suffering in the world. You don't have to give money to Lulu to make a difference to people's lives. You can sit in a bath of baked beans like me! The beans will not be wasted as we will eat them for breakfast for the next six weeks. What I do on this blog is mostly media related and I don't have many good words to say about anyone. I saw your advertorial in the Metro. I hope you sell lots of copies.

  11. Well, as I said, we do appreciate the publicity but anyone can see that most of the comments above mine are pretty nasty, actually.

    Great if you're sitting in a tub of baked beans, although I'm sure it's been done to death, We've tried to do something different. And yes we do think the book is funny. Our judges, who included cult novelist Martin Millar, were instructed to find the entries that made them guffaw out loud and spray their monitors with coffee.

    We're not making a penny out of this - granted Lulu is getting its cut, but ALL the profits are going to Comic Relief and, speaking personally for myself, if I were to tot up the amount of billable hours I donated to TwitterTitters over the last four weeks I think I'd find I'm several thousand pounds poorer.

    Meanwhile the book will continue to sell and, it has to be said, we've had only positive feedback on the quality of the writing to date. Until your blog post appeared.

    And for the record, what was in the Metro was emphatically not advertorial, which implies we paid for it. It was editorial and Metro gave us the plug because a) they know a good cause when they see one and b) they thought we've achieved was interesting enough to be worthy of writing about it.

    Still think you don't look small-minded?

  12. I'm biased as it was my idea but yeah I do hope people find the stuff funny - we had to try and get a mix as everyone laughs at different stuff and the judges couldn't agree on all entries! I think it's fair to say a piece about Stephen Fry being accused of being a cult leader cos of his Twitter following has gone down the best so far. Not everyone is going to love it but the stories all either made me laugh or smile and touch wood, people who have been in touch to say they have bought the book have said they've loved it. I think my favourite is the one about the conjoined twins linked by a toenail, but there's no accounting for taste.
    Cheers and I hope your beans don't stuck in too many places you'd rather they didn't.

  13. Sorry meant to say - you've highlighted a problem I was on the midst of mulling over, possibly - I've been enticed by the angle of the high-profile comedians/writers involved and using that to get attention, really we should be saying more now about the *new* writing included so I'll go away and have a think - it is only £4.99 to download and you can only buy the one cheese and ham sandwich with that round these parts. All best.

  14. Louise - I'm sorry I called it an advertorial - maybe I meant good PR work. And I can see you've put a lot of effort into the project to promote it. Maybe Shaggy Blog Stories would have sold more copies if there'd been more people with contacts to promote it without charge.

    Linda - It would be nice to have a list somewhere with links to all the writers' blogs or Twitter sites. Otherwise you're paying for other people's tastes in humour.

  15. The TwitterTitters blog has lots of links to those writers included in the book who have websites and/or Twitter profiles. In the book itself, we included the Twitter profile of all the writers as part of their biog.

    And we have also regularly tweeted the Twitter profiles of the writers through our @tweehee feed.

    Maybe you just need to look a little harder...

  16. Louise: I wasn't aware that charitable endeavours had statutory immunity from criticism. Surely it's quite feasible to admire someone's efforts to raise money, while pointing out the qualitative shortcomings of the product? I mean, I'd rather stick pineapples up my arse than watch 20 seconds of Comic Relief, but if you can raise cash for a good cause by appealing to the lowest common denominator, well, good for you.

    And Geoff's baked bean stunt may be a bit passé, but Betty's sponsored urination is pretty cutting-edge.

  17. I'm in the book, Geoff. And I can exclusively reveal - yes, right here on (Contains Mild Peril)! - that my piece is a re-tweaked account of the time our cottage was photographed for a feature in a posh interiors magazine.

    Congratulations and good wishes to Linda and Louise for getting the book into print (and for being waaaay more confident and PR-savvy about its promotion than we ever were with Shaggy Blog Stories - sometimes you've just got to grasp the nettle with these things).

    I know from direct personal experience how much time/effort/stress must have been involved - but the worst part of the whole experience, as far as I was concerned, was dealing with a) the cynicism and b) the bitterness (*) which ensued. To be honest, some of that still upsets me to this day (but then I'm a sensitive little flower). So please, readers of (CMP), do cut them a little slack, yes?

    (*) This latter from a few people whose contributions didn't make the final cut. One of them even said he'd punch me in the face if he ever saw me walking down the street. So, you know, obviously no "dealing with rejection" issues there!

  18. Tim Footman, you are indeed entitled to criticise - IF you have actually seen the book. If you haven't, then frankly you don't actually know what you are talking about because you can't point any shortcomings if you don't know what they are or even if they exist.

    Or are you just bitter because you submitted something and it was rejected? I personally didn't see any of the entries until I received the judges' selection for editing so I have no idea if this was the case or not for you.

    No one's forcing you to watch Comic Relief, or stick pineapples up your arse, or even buy the book. But unless you have actually bought it and genuinely think it's shit, then slagging us/the book off simply makes you look childish and incredibly petty and mean-minded.

  19. Hiya Geoff, yeh that's the next thing on my list, I'm gonna put a breakdown of what's in it on the blog as soon as I get chance, am pretty strung out with it, tbh.

    I'm smiling at what Mike has written in his comment, I'm still smarting from the bloke who told me 'up yours' after I agonised over an email which explained that his piece hadn't made it in, I wouldn't have minded but every bugger I told it about seemed to think it was funny - and no I didn't consider putting it in.

    I submitted a piece for Shaggy Blog stories and it didn't get in -but I really admired the idea behind it and wanted to try something similar, people may think I'm naive, but I just wanted to do something positive and helpful. I know everyone won't agree on what's funny and what isn't but I've never let the fact that I think say that Ricky Gervais is a smug **** stop me donating to Comic Relief.

    The best feedback for me though has been about the quality of the writing - someone told me this morning they were nearly crying laughing at Spikey's contribution and a story about someone's midlife crisis has also been roundly praised.

    All the best.

  20. Gadzooks.
    What's all this then eh?

    There are prolly 6 Million people on the planet who are hif*ckinglarious and another 60 Million who are funny-as-hell...
    t'ain't no big thang.

    There are many different types of Humourvolk...
    aside from Galen's standardized FOUR:
    the brave artsy Sanguine
    the persnickety idealistic Choleric
    the morose Melancholic and the
    the emotionally-detached Phlegmatic..

    and they are ALL funny in their own way.

    They might not GET each other's "humour" but somebody else does.

    Ever wondered why so many great Comedians commit suicide?

  21. Louise: I haven't seen the book - as Will Self said of Richard Littlejohn's novel, it may turn into Tolstoy half-way through. That's not my point. I'm simply saying that good intentions, even good outcomes, do not and should not preclude criticism. Live Aid raised funds and awareness that saved thousands of lives in Africa; it also heralded an era of music that was bland, pompous, lachrymose and atrociously dressed (and this is surely the only reason why a second-rate Byrds cover band like the Stone Roses felt like new Messiahs at the time).

    As to the notion that I might have submitted something, and might be disgruntled at my exclusion; I think not.

    Please, carry on with the project. Good luck with it. Hope it makes lots of money that gets put to good use. But don't pop a gasket at the faintest whiff of criticism, that won't do anyone any good.

    (btw, I read Donn's last comment as "Ever wonder why so many great Canadians commit suicide?")

  22. "Strung out" is exactly how I felt after Shaggy Blog Stories came out, Linda. It was a weird feeling: exhausted, proud, anxious, still surfing on nervous energy, but with an undercurrent of suppressed hysteria. (None of which was helped by having a ceiling collapse on us, the day that the book came out. We had the humidifiers in for MONTHS.)

    I love the fact that not getting into Shaggy Blog Stories has helped inspire you to run a similar venture - now, that's how to turn a negative into a positive! And I was chuffed that you contacted me privately before launching the project, to check that I was OK with it.

    So here's to YEARS AND YEARS of equally chucklesome and tattifilarious charity blog-books, stretching to infinity and beyond! Feed the world! :-)

  23. Louise - I've tried. I still can't find them.

    Tim - Other than Chris Moyles breaking his neck on the mountain, there's really nothing I want to watch. Lenny Henry with a red nose AGAIN and that disrespectful Morecambe & Wise t-shirt make me physically sick. We were just in Sainsbury's and one of the staff was sitting in a tub of baked beans. It fucking stank the shop out.

    Mike - I saw Shaggy Blog Stories as a celebration of the diversity of humour on blogs written by non-professional writers. Only some of it was to my taste but that's the nature of the whole thing - blogging is an overwhelmingly middle class pursuit and I don't really get most middle class humour. The charity aspect was not important to me, though of course it was only correct to donate the profits to a charity. I can understand the disappointment at being left out if you think you're better than other stuff that got accepted but threatening behaviour is taking yourself a bit too seriously which isn't a good trait in somebody who is supposed to specialise in humour.

    Louise - Nobody's criticising what we haven't seen. I've seen Phoenix Nights and a clip from Chelsey OMG! and found both extremely unfunny so I deduce from that I wouldn't like other writing by the same writers. All I want to know is is there anything I'd find funny in the book? Humour is a personal thing, one person's meat is another's poison. I have bought and enjoyed a Tim Footman book, btw. But then I knew I liked his writing.

    Linda - Maybe he has been rejected before and he's got a big ego. Constant rejection must be awful if you think you're good at something and you don't get recognition. Blogging is enough for my ego - I don't want to go through the process of having my writing judged. I do this for a laugh with my fellow bloggers. Give me Ricky Gervais over Peter Kay any day of the week.

    Donn - I can't think of any suicides of comedians I like. Musicians - now you're talking!

  24. Oh bloody hell, can't we continue this down the pub?

    I'll be the one in the corner getting pissed with nothing to say.

    Tim - Live Aid was so fucking awful I didn't donate any money.

  25. Geoff, you said "Nobody's criticising what we haven't seen" yet Tim on his own admission says "I haven't seen the book" and yet thinks it's fine to criticise it by "pointing out the qualitative shortcomings of the product"! I just don't see how that can be justified.

    If anyone's read the book and thinks it crap, then fine, you've earned the right to slate it. But to attack it sight unseen is mean-minded.

  26. Just want to state that there's no way that I would allow Geoff to sit in a bath of baked beans, let alone eat the grimy remains afterwards for the next six weeks. If Geoff did get into a bath full of baked beans, I would attempt to forcibly remove him/start divorce proceedings, or both.

    The sponsored urination is also a complete fabrication. Obviously Footman has been watching those golden showers flicks for Friday night *relaxation* purposes again.

    Best of luck with the project, btw.

  27. Geoff, it's your round I think, mine's a Taboo.

  28. Anyone been in?

  29. I think you are all wonderful warm human beans.

    I ometimes wish the earth would swallow me whole, but it may miss that bit out.

    I'm doing a 24 hour bean sit with Dave Lee Travis on Radio Trent. Anyone who wants to criticise that is just a sad human bean.

  30. Linda - Cheers.

    Rog - LOL. We've all been sleeping it off.

    Wifey, I'd warn you if you're sharing a bath with Dave, his beard isn't the hairiest part of him. Or the greyest. He also smokes his pipe in the bath.

  31. I still like the mundane!

  32. HAHA My Dear Mr Footman, Canadians are self effacing pillars of politeness and we would never ever consider committing suicide?

    We are too passive aggressive, we prefer to perfect self loathing for 80 years so that we can savour it..and "offing one's self" would be a very public display of unsportsmanlike conduct, not to mention bad manners.

    btw A "Great Canadian" is a Bacon & Double Cheddar Pizza.