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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

So last week I sent out an invitation to Twitter followers to post funny, witty, or thoughtful messages on our Web site, in no more than 140 characters; that's Twitter forum. Now, in just two hours, we got more than 200 responses. We've whittled them down to 10.

Tim Siedell is known as Badbanana on Twitter. He made the cut. He posted so many funny tweets, we asked him to share his and to help us go through the others.

Tim Siedell joins us from member station WUCV in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Tim, it's good to meet you.

Mr. TIM SIEDELL (Creative Director): Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: Should I call you Mr. Banana?

Mr. SIEDELL: Tim would be fine.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Okay. Now, you're creative director at an ad agency there in Lincoln, right?

Mr. SIEDELL: Correct.

SIMON: Let's start your post, if we could. Why don't you read it to us.

Mr. SIEDELL: There are now 14.9 million Americans unemployed. That's a lot of new blogs.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: That's bitter laughter there.

SIMON: We're trying to learn from this experience and we found out that almost everybody who posted something is familiar with our show. But it's interesting. The first two tweets say that they're more likely to follow us on Twitter. Let's listen to their submissions.

Ms. JOANNE KALOGERAS: I'm Joanne Kalogeras, SFGreek. Trust is overrated. Shrink keeps wanting to talk about it. She's going away on holiday for two weeks. Asked her why she's avoiding our sessions.

Ms. AMANDA ELEND: Hi. My name is Amanda Elend. My Twitter handle is @AmandaElend. Here's my tweet: I'm finding myself extremely thankful that the public library system already exists. Imagine trying to get that one past Congress.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Tim, how do you write an effective 140 character message? I don't know anybody who does it better than you.

Mr. SIEDELL: Well, I'm a copywriter by trade. Coming up with ideas and headlines and keeping things brief, that's kind of what I've always done. I think a good tweet has a twist. So, as you're kind of going through your Twitter stream and reading everyone's thoughts, you get to one, you kind of read along, and then it just kind of punches you in the gut at the end.

SIMON: Of course current politics was a concern of a lot of our posts. Carla Naumburg, who goes by SWMama, posted: You know it's time for health care reform when your company's health plan is flu shots and V8 juice.

Next couple of posts we have referred to Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

Mr. PHLIP DE OLIVEIRA: This is Phil de Oliveira. My Twitter name is Composer91 and my tweet was: I wonder how much controversy would have been avoided had Joe Wilson simply tweeted, You lie, to Barack Obama.

Ms. CHARLEE HUTTON: My name is Charlee Hutton. My Twitter I.D. is @Ellagreeneyes and my tweet is this: While it is true that governmental heckling goes on in other countries, it sounds so much classier when members of the British Parliament call each other names.

SIMON: That's one of my favorites.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SIEDELL: You know, one of the great things about Twitter, Scott, is that it's immediate. Things that happen in the news right now, somebody can comment on it. Jokes can be passed around. It used to be you had to wait until 10:30 or 11:30 at night for the comedians and the late-night shows. Now it's happening at 2:00 in the afternoon.

SIMON: There are those who use Twitter as kind of a source of reflection. Barry Hoekstra tweets as Barryhoek, says this...

Mr. BARRY HOEKSTRA: When I always send my twin brother a belated birthday card, am I being passive aggressive or simply denying my own age?

SIMON: I read that and I thought about that for a long time.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SIEDELL: You know, I'm actually loving hearing this in people's real voices. That's one of the things that's lost on the Twitter stream. You just see all this bland words flying by, and this is pretty fascinating.

SIMON: We did invite people to give advice, if that's what they wanted to do. Barry Breedlove from Sacramento passed on these words, he said from his father: Eat a toad each morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SIEDELL: (Unintelligible)

SIMON: Well, that's usually true, I guess.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Sandie Foster tweets from Florida under her name, Sandie Foster, says...

Ms. SANDIE FOSTER: One thing about being a baby boomer, you're never alone. You got a problem? You can bet a million-plus others got it to and it'll be a headline somewhere.

SIMON: And baby boomers do not keep their problems silent.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: No suffering stoically for a baby boomer, been my experience. Last one, okay, Tim?

Mr. SIEDELL: Mm-hmm.

SIMON: David Hodges or Davidbdale, as he's known on Twitter.

Mr. DAVID HODGES: If you wear shoes that shouldn't get wet, you might not understand shoes very well.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: That's a good one. You can - that adds to your life. Doesn't it?

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. SIEDELL: Absolutely. A lot of us are spending our day all day in front of computers, and Twitter is sort of a lifeline in that occasional smile or that occasional nod of a yes. I experience that too. I think that's really powerful for a lot of people right now.

SIMON: Hmm. Tim Siedell, Badbanana, thanks very much for joining us.

Mr. SIEDELL: Thanks, Scott.

SIMON: And at our Web site, NPR.org, you can read all of the 140 character messages we received. You can also follow me on Twitter, nprscottsimon, all one word.

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