Lynn Barber

Diary – 14 April 2012

Last summer when I was staying with my friend India Knight in Cornwall she said I absolutely must join Twitter. Besides being a Sunday Times columnist, she is a Twitter queen, No. 73 in the Top Twit 100, with 57,000 followers. Better still, she has a ‘peer index rating’ — whatever that is — of 58, which is higher than Alan Rusbridger’s, tee hee. I read some of India’s tweets and wasn’t convinced but then she said: ‘Look, Lynn, editors take it seriously. They think if you have 57,000 followers you have 57,000 fans; they see it as proof of popularity.’ ‘But I haven’t got 57,000 followers,’ I whimpered. ‘I haven’t got any.’ ‘Don’t worry,’ she said, ‘I will fix it.’ And so she did — wrote a great fanfare saying at last I’ve persuaded Lynn Barber to join, and blow me, when I came down the next morning, I had several hundred followers! All sending nice messages saying welcome to Twitter. Gosh, wow, fabulous, etc. There remained just one problem. What to tweet? I was having breakfast and thinking of going to the beach. Would that do? Mm, said India. ‘Do you have strong opinions about anything in the news?’ ‘No, never, not from one year to the next.’ ‘Well then,’ said India, ‘Twitter can be very helpful if there’s something you want to know, people will answer any question you fling at them.’ Aha! Blinding light. Something I’ve wanted to know for years. So when India had gone, I tweeted: ‘What is camel toe?’ And lo, about a dozen tweets came zinging back, often with links to photographs of Liz Hurley and her ilk. Camel toe, it seems, is a sort of notch in women’s front bottoms that appears if they wear tight trousers. It
is a brilliant metaphor and whoever invented it should take a bow.

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