I thought I would tell a story about a time I did something very silly and got to watch it blow up beyond all comprehension. At the time I was very worried about either the subject, his fans or the press hounding me so I removed my connection to it. Today I reveal that I am in fact, Stevie Wotsit.
In the UK we have a rapper called Dappy. He is part of a group called N-Dubz, my only memory of them is a song about Facebook. It was bad. Dappy was even worse than that song. Perhaps to make myself feel better about what I did, I’ll point out that he is officially a bastard with a history of doing horrible things like spitting on people, sending abusive text messages and fighting.
One morning I discovered that Dappy had been kicked in the face by a horse. The internet was full of excitement over this. He wasn’t seriously hurt, there were rumours it was cover for a nose-job and.. it was funny.
I spent five minutes creating a petition on Change.org to Award the horse who kicked Dappy in the face for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ at next BRIT Awards. It was a silly joke for me to post on b3ta and make some other silly people giggle.
It wasn’t very long before someone linked me to NME’s website where they had made an article about my petition. The signatures on my petition were growing quickly, and some of the comments from people were brilliant:
Our music has been systematically raped until it has become devoid of any merit. I applaud this horse for taking a stand.
The horse showed class, discernment and good aim.
I was enjoying myself. And then Reddit happened; this was before I posted on Reddit or even read… it. The post made its way to /r/all and my little petition started to snowball.
I had made viral things before, such as my End Of The World Notification Service and many odd Flash games, so I knew how mad these things could get. And here I was potentially enraging a man known for wearing silly hats and punching people, proudly linking my full name and location to it. I quickly changed it to stevierar and then to Stevie Wotsit when I realised that my stevierar username links straight back to this very website (I am not very smart).
Once I felt suitably detached from it, I sat back and enjoyed reading what people were saying about it. About 1% of people were quite offended but everyone else seemed to take it in the humour intended.
The first big publication to talk about it was The Huffington Post. I enjoy reading that so I was happy to be there. It wasn’t long before The Metro also had an article. It was even in The Mirror. I was hoping, really really hoping, that it’d make the Daily Mail and that they’d choose to be outraged. I’ve always wanted a Hated By The Daily Mail badge. It didn’t happen.
It was also insanely popular on Twitter. And, I’m proud to say, Jimmy Carr stole my joke and was even called out on it.
Paddy Power, the betting website, gave the horse 250/1 odds of winning.
I spent the week under a constant barrage of messages from friends telling me where they’d seen it, that unconnected friends at their work had been talking about it (apparently that’s quite weird), even that it was on the radio. By the end of the week I assumed it had all died down.
But then the very best thing that could have happened did happen. I was tagged in a photo on Facebook of my Dappy petition in The Sun. I excitedly asked the person who had posted it if was today’s paper or not and it was! I ran (I may have skipped) to Tesco and bought a copy.
I expected to have to spend a little while digging through the Showbiz pages or at least have to delve quite far but no. There it was! Next to Poppy, 23, from Somerset on Page Three (nsfw; pixelated boobs). I was delighted and Stevie Wotsit was even mentioned by name.
That was the last bit of excitement before it really died down; sadly the horse was not nominated but I did at least have a lot of fun. I was also very happy to have quickly unlinked my name from it!