Tim Siedell has a confession to make: He really does live in Nebraska.
“Why would I make that up?” asks Siedell, better known to his 300,000+ Twitter followers as badbanana. And yet he says people continually doubt his whereabouts. Although he exists to many as a clever, quippy Tweeter (“I say bring back Kevin Bacon for the Footloose remake. Same role. The creepy factor will add interest”), Siedell is also an average guy who works as the creative director of a brand communications studio and spends lots of his time at his daughters’ soccer games and track meets.
But he’s a perfect example of how the technology behind Twitter can create a somewhat-anonymous persona. The person Siedell projects via Twitter is him, but just one layer. After all, his profile photo isn’t even of him—and he requested we not run his actual photo with this article, since the ones he has are “too boring.”
“When I set up my account, I just happened to have this picture of David Ogilvy, the famous advertising guy, on my desktop, and I just threw it in there thinking someday I would replace that,” Sidell says. “But every time I’ve tried to replace it, people yell and scream, and it’s almost like it’s funnier coming from that picture.”
Ogilvy avatar or not, Siedell is a funny guy. So funny, in fact, that we included him in our 10 Funniest Twitterers round-up one year ago to the day. After all, with tweets like, “Eighty percent of the appeal of monkey bread is the name. Same for Michael Bublé,” and, “Now that the initial shock has worn off, you have to admit Tiger Woods and his 15 mistresses make a cute couple,” how could we resist? But we’re not nearly his most enthusiastic fans.
In addition to the one or two marriage proposals he gets each week, Siedell hears from some impressively high-profile folks. “I get weird responses from famous people,” he says. “I’ve had a prominent director reach out to me and want a screenplay. There’s a big thing in the works that I can’t talk about that involves a few famous people who also reached out to me.”
Overall, Siedell still seems rather baffled by the following his Twitter account has collected—and comforted by the mask it offers. Even though one of the Go-Gos tracks him on Twitter and celebs have direct-messaged him, Siedell hopes the fellow parents beside him at his kids’ sporting events aren’t following him on Twitter.
But really, Siedell insists, he’s been making offhand comments like the ones he tweets long before Twitter entered his life. “I was doing this kind of humor before Twitter came along, but it would be in forms of e-mail to friends, me talking to people at the water cooler in the office, going up to homeless people by the dock and just annoying them,” he recalls. “I used to do that before Twitter, and I just found Twitter allowed me to get some of those thoughts out of my head and be a creative outlet.”
It’s an outlet the hundreds of thousands of us who look forward to Siedell’s tweets every day—about anything from drunken Arbor Day excitement to hiding in his neighbors’ closets to bashing Coldplay—are sincerely glad he’s discovered.
On the following pages, Siedell has picked out 10 of his favorite tweets so far…