A war of words has broken out between two groups of Petersfield ‘tweeters’ – each laying claim to the sobriquet.
Last Thursday evening a group of individuals who use the social network site Twitter met in The George for what they described as a “Tweetersfield Tweet-up”.
And over the weekend birdwatchers from across the south gathered in Moggs Mead and turned their cameras and long lenses on a tree in search of an elusive specimen. They also claimed to be attending a “Tweetersfield Tweet-up”.
Word spread quickly Friday evening and Saturday morning that the rarest of species, a lesser-spotted, working-class waxwing, had been spotted in the town and dozens of people with nothing to do and too much money to do it with arrived in the town clutching their expensive cameras, and wearing fatigues and wide-brimmed hats.
A spokesman for the latter insisted they were the only group entitled to use the word ‘tweet’.
He said: “As bird-watching has been around for hundreds of years surely ‘tweet’ is our province. These Johnny-come-latelies with their inter-web chitter-chatter should call themselves something else otherwise it gets confusing.
“Two of our members rushed into The George on Thursday night, cameras at the ready, believing somebody might have spotted a drink for under £4. And on Saturday morning a teenager with his underwear clearly visible over the waistband of his denim trousers frightened off the waxwings with his constant typing of inane messages on some fruit-based mobile phone.
“The working-class waxwing is hardly ever spotted this close to the Surrey commuter belt. We feel the group may have been blown off course by the hot air generated by the letter writers of the Petersfield Proust. They perched in the trees looking aghast at the richness of comestibles available on the various bird tables.
“Such working-class species are used only to scraps, not smoked salmon blinis. It was a big day for us. Our missing members will be heartbroken and it’s all down to this other group.”
A spokesperson for the social-networking group – which allows messages of up to 140 characters to be sent anywhere in the world – explained: “We all use the Twitter service and our messages are known as Tweets. This fitted in with the words ‘Petersfield’ and ‘meet’, so naturally we (message truncated)”
The driver of a four-wheel drive BMW, held up by the overspill of bird-watchers in Moggs Mead added: “I don’t know about Tweeting, but if they don’t get out of my bloody way I’m going to start twatting some of ‘em in a minute…”