A Little Elon Gated
A short story about buyer’s remorse
The following short story is entirely fictional. All names and faces have been changed. Any similarities to real-world events is entirely coincidental. Apart from one element: all the tweets (in bold) are real, and written by a real person.
Fancy a game of meme tennis?
Little Elong sat in the early morning dark, mostly drunk-tweeting. The 69-inchTV hung on the wall, beaming kaleidoscopic light across his face. His face, contorted from the booze and the Ambien and the Adderall and the trolling and the furious poking at his phone and his intense concentration to spell his words correctly. Drunk-tweeting and watching shopping channels was how he unwound after a hard day of firing penis-shaped rockets into the sky.
Little Elong was philosophical and hopeful in one tweet.
I will not let you down, no matter what it takes.
Then, let’s say irreverent, in the next.
28,700 bottles of exquisite Burnt Hair perfume already sold!
Then, erm, Latin for no apparent reason.
Vox Populi Vox Dei
The shopping channel chirped in the background. This shopping channel, the early morning cheap jewellery show, tried to capture the drunks and the addicts and the gamblers after they’ve come back from a particularly degenerate night on the tiles. These types didn’t want to stop once they got home. They’d throw some leftovers in the microwave, open up another beer, forget they’d cooked the leftovers, and order a pizza.
The shopping channel had just sold out a thousand zirconia rings at a ludicrous high price, but apparently 40% off. They were coming up to the next listing. Little Elong poked his phone. His little Ambien-Adderall-Booze-elongated fingers furiously spidering across his little iPhone keyboard. His phone screen was cracked to the point where nobody else could read it but Little Elong. Looking through the cracks, he poked out another tweet.
Pitching my idea once again for a crossover of Das Boot & Boss Baby. “Das Baby” - Highjinks on the high seas!
“And now our next item. This one of a kind, diamond encrusted blue bird. I know folks, we never normally have one-off items on this shopping channel. But today, well, today is your lucky day for one special person.”
Little Elong focused his drunken tractor beam onto the TV. He looked like his ears should have pricked up, like a dog’s ears do when they hear the owner coming back from the shops in their car.
“Now, as I said, this is a very rare piece. Totally one-of-a-kind. Unlikely to ever come around again. We’re delighted to present this diamond encrusted blue bird at an amazing price. Have a guess how much we’re selling this for. NOT 60 billion.”
As the hopped-up-coked-up early morning jewellery shopping channel presenter says this, a graphic smashes onto the TV screen with a SWOOSH. It says 60 billion, then the hopped-up-coked-up presenter shatters through it with a virtual hammer.
“And we’re ABSOLUTELY not selling this for 50 billion either!”
SWOOSH. 50 billion. Shattered. Virtual hammer.
Little Elong has stopped drunk-tweeting now. His phone hanging on the end of his spidery fingers. Mouth agape. Eyes staring. Not because of the Ambien or the Adderall or the booze either.
“NO. This is AN ABSOLUTE STEAL at just...”
Little Elong leans forward. His phone slips out of his fingers and hits the floor. The phone screen shatters more.
Little Elong is already opening his banking app.
Checking if he can afford it.
He’s only got 30 billion in his current account.
He’s going to need to take out a payday loan or make a quick drunken early morning phone call.
He makes the call.
Secures the extra from some undesirables.
He needs this diamond blue bird.
He picks up his smashed phone up off the floor.
He attempts to dial the phone-in number.
Gets the number wrong.
Swears at himself.
Dials the number again.
Gets it correct this time.
Puts in his offer.
Gives them his card.
“...and, hang on, YES! We have a buyer of the diamond blue bird! Congratulations Eloooo
Oh. Little Elong wakes up. Little Elong had a terrible dream. Like always, he was struggling to remember the exact details of it. It was badthough. He had that feeling in the pit of his stomach, that heavy feeling, that feeling where the stomach knows more than the brain, and the stomach knows that this was bad, very bad. Little Elong thinks it was worse than that dream he’d had about buying a diamond blue bird.
Fuck. The diamond blue bird. He checks his bank account. Looks through the cracks of his phone to fill the cracks of his memory. Minus 44 billion. What the fuck had Little Elong bought this time? It was bad when he drunk-bought that golden cheeseburger and fries signed by Michael Jackson, but this was worse. About 43 billion worse. Wait. It was the diamond blue bird. But it can’t have been, because that was a dream.
Not dreaming any longer, he checks his email.
Notices he’s got an email from Twitter’s CEO.
Notices the email is thanking him for purchasing Twitter.
Notices the news stories on the other websites.
Notices the mentions of ‘overpaying’ for Twitter.
Notices he bought it for 44 billion.
Realises he didn’t buy a diamond blue bird last night.
Realises he didn’t drunk-call a shopping channel.
Realises he drunk-bought Twitter.
Realises he drunk-bought Twitter with other people’s money.
Very little positive had happened in Little Elong’s life as the result of a drunk-purchase in the early morning. There was of course the Michael Jackson golden cheeseburger. There was John Travolta’s handmade papier-mâché head, made by John Travolta, as observed and witnessed (and signed) by Jack Nicholson. There was the life-size diamond-encrusted toes of Nicholas Cage, individually wrapped. They wanted 500k more for the Cage foot, but that was too far for Little Elong. He wasn’t stupid. And now, coming in at number one on Little Elong’s worst drunk-buys: Twitter.
Panicking, he tweets.
My tweets are being suppressed.
Unfortunately, Little Elong’s Twitter wasn’t being suppressed. Little Elong could have benefited from his tweets being suppressed, especially in the weeks that followed his drunk-purchase of Twitter. Little Elong spent the next few weeks handling a monumental case of buyer’s remorse. It’s a bit like this. Imagine you bought an expensive car, but you used your friend’s money. Not only did you use that friend’s money, but you used allof that friend’s money. And that friend is also in the mafia. And that friend is protective of his money. And that friend is impatient. And that friend has unusual methods of reclaiming his debts. And you’d just used all of that friend’s money. And you’d overpaid for the expensive car. And you were never going to get that friend’s money back. And you’d used all of that friend’s money.
Between the buyer’s remorse and his Adderall and his Ambien and his booze and his penis shaped rockets, Elong racked his brains on how he was going to turn this accidental Twitter drunk-purchase into something good. How was he going to get the money back? How can he turn this into a success? He’d done it before. He turned to electric car doo dads into cool cars for dads. He’d turned the penis-shaped rockets into penis-shaped rockets that fired satellites into the sky. For his sins, he’d even managed to turn PayPal into somewhat of a success.
This was just another problem for Little Elong to solve.
He looked deep into his giga brain.
He’d got it.
He prepared a tweet.
He had the solution.
Trash me all day, but it’ll cost $8.
He’d had it specially made, just for the LOLs, as he said.
Taken from Wikipedia, for your benefit:
Vox Populi, Vox Dei (Latin, 'the voice of the people is the voice of God') was used as the title of a Whig tract of 1709, which was expanded in 1710 and later reprintings as The Judgment of whole Kingdoms and Nations: Concerning the Rights, Power, and Prerogative of Kings, and the Rights, Privileges, and Properties of the People. The author is unknown but was probably either Robert Ferguson or Thomas Harrison. There is no evidence for persistent attribution to Daniel Defoe or John Somers as authors.
“A night on the tiles” - colloquial British idiom. Meaning: to get drunk, sloshed, pissed, barbecued, trollied. See also: drinking alcohol to excessive limits. Thankfully, tiles were rarely involved with the process of getting drunk. They’d be too many accidents.
He professed it was an ‘Advanced Security Measure’.
A nice take on the “how did this happen” theme. I’m jealous of the way you incorporated real Tweets into your story. Tweets: “Dang, why didn’t I think of that?”
This is excellent. Such a fun read!