Okay, you need to hear the context. I was responding to him randomly in the middle of a long tweet conversation he was having with his fans about who was nicer, him or Eric Idle. I told him that, while I was sure he was very nice, Mr. Idle is a particularly nice person.
That was his answer to me.
I am taking it in the way that I am positive that a comedian with his obvious sense of humor meant it. Not as an insult, just as a joke. But either way, I am still counting it as a win.
For those of you who are new here, maybe I should past in an old post here that explains why I started stalking celebrities on Twitter in the first place…
It all started, as a surprising number of things in my life do, as a harmless joke. A little more than a year ago, when my older daughter Jessica was still in college, I found out that she was on Twitter. So I did what any dad does… I tried to figure out a clever way to both bond with my daughter and simultaneously annoy the crap out of her.
My plan was simple. I would follow a bunch of celebrities and tweet them funny pictures and clever sayings until they got so frustrated by the attention that they would tweet me back just to tell me to leave them alone. Then I got Jessica to promise that she would get on Facebook and admit that I am cooler than her if I could get an actual reply.
Somehow, I got Dana Carvey to follow me. And I got a bunch of tweets from Eric Idle, which was when Jessica did indeed get on Facebook and say I am cooler than her… and then she since stopped doing Twitter, for whatever reason…
I have also gotten replies from William Shatner and Ricky Gervais and James May from Top Gear, who replied and also retweeted a poem about a car I sent him. Lady Gaga and Marc Maron both favorited tweets I sent them.
The thing about Eric Idle is that the first time he tweeted me back was because I came up with a brilliant and desperate ploy. I asked him how we could be sure he was the real Eric Idle. This was before I learned about the little blue check mark that Twitter uses to distinguish celebrities from fans who use their names. It turns out that celebrities are often worried that maybe they aren’t as famous as they ought to be, so he retweeted to try to convince me he really was him.
But the thing is… oh awesome thing, there you are… that I really did need to talk to someone in the Python group to ask permission to use a bunch of lines from their skits, because in my action/humor science fiction series of novels, our hero meets an alien in book three, being edited now, who learned to speak English by listening to old Monty Python broadcasts, and he can only speak using bits of those skits. It is both amusing and heart-breaking when he explains that he is the last living member of his race by quoting lines from the famous dead parrot sketch. I don’t want to be sued for using their material, especially since I have only sold a hundred or so books so far and can’t really afford it, but I wanted permission to use this material before book three comes out.
Mr. Idle has been more than helpful and tweeted me a number of times, but for some reason I never could get ahold of the person he told me about. This time he asked for me to send him my email address in a private message and I have high hopes that this time it will all work.
Because he is so nice and helpful and patient, I sent him this picture to amuse him while we worked out the details of me contacting the Python publicist…
That’s him on a talk show. I added the extra lines. I guess he liked it, because he retweeted it, and now it has been favorited about 30 times and retweeted a handful more, and then I noticed that he is now following me .