The Sweet Science and the Tweet Science

I’ve never been a Twitter fan. I use it for work, but the idea that anybody’s going to be at all interested in my one-line pithy observations about what I’m eating for lunch or watching on television is one I can’t seem to get behind. This may seem strange considering how easily I took to blogging, but then again, when I read fiction, my tastes run to novels and I avoid short stories almost entirely. So since the advent of the tweet revolution, my reaction has alternated between complaining about it, mocking it, and trying to ignore it. But this weekend, I finally had to change my tune.

Saturday night, my boyfriend and I went over to the home of The Most Interesting Man in the World, who was hosting a viewing of the Pacquiao/Margarito fight for some of his friends and some of the folks from our gym. Boyfriend and I figured going there instead of hosting our own party saved us the cost of ordering it ourselves and it saved our friends the trouble of humoring me by coming over and pretending to be interested in it. Plus, the boyfriend had never met TMIMITW. For that matter, he’d never met my trainer.

We arrived a little early and my trainer put in a DVD of The Super Fight to watch before the fights started (incidentally, The Super Fight is a subject for a whole other blog post – more later). Around 8:30, we tuned into the HD pay-per-view channel to make sure everything was set. It was, and some boring-ish pre-fight commentary was happening. So we watched some more of The Super Fight and chilled until just after 9 when the first fight was supposed to start.

We tuned back into the PPV channel to find nothing but previews. TMIMITW clicked through a bunch of menus and was told by the screen that he had yet to buy the fight. Trying to re-buy the fight resulted in an error message. He called Time Warner and couldn’t reach anybody. A few times he’d be put on hold only to have the call disconnect. He called some super-special Time Warner VIP numbers and still couldn’t reach anybody.

Assuming this was not specific to TMIMITW’s TV, I decided to see if anybody out in the land of the Internets had found a workable solution, and for that, I had to turn to the miracle of real-time crowdsourcing known as Twitter. Using my iphone, within minutes I learned that Time Warner’s PPV servers were down across the board in New York City, tech support had a 900+-caller queue, and a lot of angry Pac-Man fans wanted Time Warner to go fuck itself. We tried a few more things, including some illegal internet streams, but no luck. Finally, we put another DVD in and settled in to wait. Meanwhile, I refreshed my search on “Time Warner” every couple of minutes to see if anybody had tweeted that it was back up.

At 10 p.m., we were ready to pack it in when someone finally tweeted that the regular, non-HD PPV servers were running. We tuned into the non-HD PPV channel, re-ordered the fight, and had no further problems for the rest of the night. We missed half the undercard, but we saw the important thing, which was Pacquiao handing Margarito’s ass to him so handily that he’s going to need extensive facial surgery to recover. It was a brutal, but amazing, fight – well worth staying up late and going through all that rigmarole to get it playing.

And if I hadn’t been able to consult a million strangers on the Internet who all felt the need to broadcast their every move to God and everybody, it would have been an incredibly disappointing evening that would have ended with us going home without having watched anything except a couple of DVDs I could have borrowed from my trainer at any time.

I’m still not sure this is enough to get me tweeting for myself in addition to the tweeting I do for work, but I definitely acknowledge that Twitter has made my life better.

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