A TIME to Twitter

shaq_vs_boykinsI was in the doctor’s office today, waiting twenty minutes for the nurse, who first called me ‘Nancy Shurr’ and then ‘Carol Share,’ until I perked up and spoke aloud as none of the other patients ever seem to do and said, “I’m Cheryl. Do you want me?” She did, but, that aside, in the meanwhile, I was catching up on good old TIME magazine, which I only read while waiting (which honestly isn’t a very good advertisement for TIME, now is it?)

In my semi-annual reading of TIME, I learned of the death of dapper author/journalist Dominick Donne (which struck me as interesting, as he is the brother-in-law of Joan Didion, whose book, The Year of Magical Thinking, chronicles her year after the sudden death of his brother, her husband). I discovered (to my cheer) that Delaware is no longer the first state of cancer (a distinction which now belongs to Kentucky). I read page after page about why Leno’s new 10 pm variety show on NBC is doooooomed to fail—but destined to go on.

I should mention too that TIME informed me that currently indicted, longtime Republican, and former US Representative Tom DeLay will be appearing on the next season of Dancing with the Stars, a show I will not not not not not not not ever be watching (no matter which political points of view may be represented).

The most interesting piece I came across this TIME was an essay by erstwhile (love that word) E! reporter Joel Stein, entitled “Shaq vs. Joel,” in which Stein discusses Shaquille O’Neal’s new show Shaq Vs.. The idea of the show is this: Shaq challenges champions at that which they are best: Shaq swims vs. Michael Phelps; Shaq spikes vs. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh; Shaq cha-chas vs. Tom DeLay (ugh, no.). The idea of Stein’s essay is this: Shaq writes vs. Joel Stein.

The subject matter of the writing contest is Twitter (the social networking/share your every fleeting thought site on which I have never been). Shaq is the Number 10 most followed figure on Twitter. Stein is Number 195. (Readers of this blog may be wondering where Roger Federer ranks on the Twitter front, but I’ve got no solid numbers on that one.) The challenge, thrown down by Stein, is 400 words on Twitter, with the winner decided by an online vote.

When you check out the essays, you’ll find that Stein is a pretty snappy writer. You’ll find that Shaq seems to have stopped using the letter ‘w.’ You’ll find that Stein may become a challenge if you have rated G sensibilities (yes, if that’s you, stop reading Stein right after he mentions E!’s Hottest Hotties of Hotliwood; I may vote for Shaq just because of the nonsense that follows). You may really enjoy Shaq’s endearing honesty and dedication to his Twitter following…almost as much as you enjoy the way Shaq refers to himself as ‘diesel’ (at least I think that’s what he was talking about).

As for me, I’d like to challenge prima donna Shaq to the ultimate waiting room challenge: see how long you can sit there without Twitter to keep you company. I have a feeling that for Shaq it might be a welcome change.

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