David Roth once rightly pointed out that "It's greatly to Twitter's credit that no one has yet figured out a productive use for it," and in a global sense that sentiment still holds true. Certainly breaking news is addictively followed via Twitter, but that lone upshot hardly explains the other 14 hours of the day spent scrolling one's timeline in search of the perfect pithiness or #dogpic.
Excepting major news events, municipal police departments largely fall under that penumbra of fairly useless Twitter follows (with the lone exception of the Iowa City Police Log). If a governmental social media account doesn't experience some sort of public online meltdown, that government agency can call the day a success. It's remarkable, then, when a government agency's Twitter personality is halfway interesting, and it's doubly remarkable when that government agency is a police department.
Enter: The respective Twitter accounts for the police departments of Oxford, Miss. (@OxfordPolice) and Gainesville, Fla. (@GainesvillePD) for some good old fashioned social media scrapping. Following the Rebs' helter-skelter romp with Vanderbilt on Saturday, OPD went in on the social media engagement:
Good stuff! Emoji? Check. @-names of all interested parties included? You bet. Just your local police friendlies with a harmless shout-out ...
WOAH. GPD you took it there, guys. Are we bringing hands now? I think we're bringing hands now.
We got Herbstreit, y'all. You don't even wanna with us right now. Let's see, does GPD have a worthy rebuttal? Maybe dragging up some piece of Gator history that just won't die?
Ah, yes. That guy. Tim Tebow. "The Promise" of Tim Tebow and the 2008 National Championship. How could we ever forget. Any memories of our own from 2008, OPD?
Oh dear. They went there, Sports Illustrated cover and everything. Still, though, this is all ancient history as far as the college football annals are concerned. What about some current events, y'all?
There we go. Ross Bjork, WITH THE BELT. THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME. Now we're talking. The plural apostrophe game is maybe a little problematic but whatever. GPD, do you care to respond?
Alright, two things here. First, Faulkner. Read your damn Faulkner, GPD. "The Bear" is one of the best southern gothic short stories out there. Second, a Most Interesting Man in the World meme? I thought we were done with this 2008 stuff. Anyway, about that Gator mascot and the chomp-chomp ...
WITH THE HENDO IN YOUR FACE, GPD. BOOM. What'cha got for us now?
This is basically 140 fire emojis followed by another 140 fire emojis. That is a sick burn, GPD, and you know what, I'm not even mad. That's damn good. Let's see what OPD has in the cannon ...
15:29 Reported Auto Accident at/near RAFTERS BAR AND GRILL , 1000 JACKSON AVE EAST— Oxford Police Dept (@OxfordPolice) September 27, 2015
OK, so that's just a legitimate routine policing tweet, there. These things happen. Anyway, on to more important matters:
There it is. In case you had missed it, SECNetwork replayed the 2008 Ole Miss-Florida game on Sunday night and, well, that ridiculous madness is partially responsible for this ersatz rivalry in the first place. Let's flash forward a bit because good grief so many memes. How are things sitting over there in Gainesville?
So, @OxfordPolice: we heard folks had a tough time calling 911 to your department. apparently they couldn't find "eleven" on the phone dial.— Gainesville Police (@GainesvillePD) September 28, 2015
Ah, yes. The old "can't find '11' on the phone dial" gag. Perhaps OPD has a meme they'd like to plant into your timelines? Perhaps featuring a washed-up rapper with a skin salve name connection?
Good. Great. Well done, OPD. Why don't you add a little misinformation to the pile while you're at it ...
For those who have never witnessed the spectacle of football at Ben Hill Griffin stadium, opposing teams' penalties used to be met with a "move back, you suck" chant from students, until the Pride of the Sunshine put the kibosh on that lameness this season. So, point goes to GPD. Anyway, can we at least find some common ground here?
So promoting a positive, humanizing image of law enforcement is bad? https://t.co/tKX96PEfUS— Oxford Police Dept (@OxfordPolice) September 29, 2015
We're gonna go same team on this one. https://t.co/CPU8uEFMzv— Gainesville Police (@GainesvillePD) September 29, 2015
Finally, Mr. Don't You Have Better Things To Do With My Tax Dollars showed up. Love this guy, and especial kudos to OPD and GPD for recognizing what a lame stance this is. For the most part, no, college town police departments have absolutely nothing better to be doing, save for college football Saturdays when Mr. My Tax Dollars inevitably lands a public intox charge. Cram it, buddy. Any parting shots, OPD and GPD?
Excellent work, all around, everyone. Anyway, thank you Oxford and Gainesville Police Departments. May you ever tweet the most benign of insulting Willy Wonka memes to one another every four or so years. And may Houston Nutt's lone bright spot in Ole Miss history shine on forever, you whacky idiot.
UPDATE: Due in no small part to Red Cup Rebellion's dogged pursuit of this Twitter war, Ross Bjork has agreed to allow OPD's Twitter person to travel with the team to Gainesville this week:
RCR at your service, people.