Friday, December 30, 2022

Tiktok Talk


 as shoppers

 rush to Aldi for

 energy drink' 

Yesterday I got a glimpse of what it must be like to be an animal in the zoo at feeding time, being peered at from the other side of the glass. I was having a quiet breakfast coffee in a chain coffee shop,  in a supermarket. Due to the holidays, the normal place was closed much to out chagrin.

It was eight a.m., and the three glass sides of the coffee shop were surrounded by a crocodile of teenagers accompanied by their very tired looking parents. The queue went on for some way round the cafe. At first I thought some charity might be doing packing at the tills but they normally have the kids in uniform, scouts/guides/ the youth football team. But no, these teenagers were impatient, bobbing around, eyes on the desk at the top of the queue that had two signs, ‘Opening soon’ and ‘Sold Out. One per customer.’ The parents looked at their phones, or at us, wishing they too were in a comfy seat drinking coffee and making notes on escap. In my case how person A escapes from the basement they have been imprisoned in. It was for a novel but the crowd surrounding us on the other side of the glass gave me food for thought.

 The lovely barista (he’s from Toronto!) told us what was going on. A tick talk ( my spelling and I don’t care) influencer had ‘put up’ that this store had the drink for £1.99.

I asked him what that meant in English.

Customers queue at 

Aldi at dawn for 


Hydration drink

It meant that ‘a young person’ had told other ‘young people’ that something that sold normally for £20 was selling for £2 and this place was the place to get it.

It was coconut water with a fruit drink added,  plus vitamins etc. I presume that the young person promoting this is some kind of health guru. If so, his followers could do with following him a wee bit closer from the look of them. It's an isotonic type of health drink, one would think it'd be targeted at distance runners and endurance athletes, marathon runners and the Grand Tour cyclists. Maybe it keeps the youngsters going while they wait in the queue.

I tried simple coconut water once. To me, it tasted like some specimen left by a dehydrated, pregnant wombat. But each to their own.

 The influencer on the Tick Talk thingy was mentioned by name. The other half texted his son, the 23 year old golfer (and generally hip and with-it dude) who texted back and seemed to know all about it, even naming the influencer by…errr… name.

 Influencer why? Talented at what? Famous for? These are the questions of this blog.

I think I know an influencer. Well I know his dad, does that count? The young chappie in question has a very good art degree and works as a photographic designer all over the world, but mostly in Paris, London and Barcelona and mostly for Vogue, Tatler etc. He pulls together the background scenes for photographic shoots. The model wears a frock, stands on the stairs and pouts, and this chap puts the props around the model etc. I can see he has a good eye for colour and style. He sees the world as a place of patterns and beauty. He could help folk like me who, as Victoria Wood says, always look as though they have stumbled up an embankment after a derailment. Or as Billy Connolly would have it ‘they wear good clothes as if they have stolen them.’ But then us folk who look like that,  look like that because we don’t listen to influencers. Or anybody else.

We don’t care. Why would anybody be interested in a 12 year old influencer when the influencer has no other discernible talent, apart from self promotion.

And what’s Tick Talk anyway? A help line for Lymes Disease?

Anyway, another friend of a friend has a child who is an influencer. That’s their full time job. This kid is not gifted at anything really, other than making Tick Talk videos. Or even Tik Tok but there’s no joke in that. There’s no skilled profession behind them, just a phone in their bedroom, and terrific self confidence that they are more interesting than the rest of their peer group. They have been engaged on and off, many times to the same partner, a side kick tic talker. It has got as far as booking the wedding venue twice. Then it gets called off. They don’t split up or fall out, they just disengage for a while then have another go.

 In general chit chat, I was told that this is what they do. It’s a way of merchandising. Promote clothes to get engaged in, places to get engaged, places to go to break up, clothes to wear when breaking up, clothes to when getting back together again. A whole life that marches to the beat of social media.

Its all very confusing. Is it normal? Is it healthy?

And what’s the matter with people.

 Who influenced me when I was wee? Agatha Christie. Ian Rankin. Kate Bush. Abba – the girls singing with their squinty teeth and not caring one Swedish jot. The odd Beatle or two. My modern studies teacher? Mark Spitz? Emil Zatopek? Eddie Merckx?

I wonder what they would have pushed on Tick Talk? Sorry TikTok ….triathalon mystery writing Swedish Noir with a Bronte soundtrack in a Liverpudlian accent....  

 P.S. There was a report in the newspaper that the drink was changing hands for £10 000 a bottle. I kid you not....


  1. Methinks they are 'under the influence', albeit from a non-alcoholic beverage. I hope this distraction didn't stop you from coming up with a means of escape.

  2. We've known for a little while now that The Matrix was a documentary...

  3. T-H-E W-O-R-L-D IS I-N-S-A-N-E. Thank the Lord we fit right in.

    Happy New Year to you and Alan.

  4. You're always good for an influence, Caro. Once again, you've influenced my vocabulary. Had to Google "squinty teeth." Now, I wish I hadn't...