Last bonfire night I went out into London for the Million Mask March. On my way home I picked up a Big Mac meal, unaware that my wife had already cooked dinner. So I drank the coke, threw the fries in the bin and left the Big Mac in my bag. The next day at work, I opened my bag to find the said Big Mac. I thought about saving it for lunch but noticed that the bun was on its way to being solid as a rock. Eating it was out of the question.
Then a sudden wave of inspiration hit me: I could turn this into one of my Internet projects. I thought I had hit the big time with this idea. I'd read stories about people that had found old Big Macs years later and they still looked the same, but this was going to take that one step farther. I was going to document the Big Mac with daily photos. I also conceived that I would give the Big Mac a personality and take pics of it in different places, doing unusual things, like one of those gnomes that gets kidnapped and then the thief sends back photos of it all over the world. This was my gnome. I'd finally done something that would go viral.
I set up a Twitter and a Facebook for him (I started referring to the Big Mac as a "him") and began taking daily shots. I wanted to take one photo a day and then at the end one year I would be able to make a video similar to people who take pics of their faces every day for a year. Oh, the genius of it!
Life of Pet Big Mac
I didn't want to take the Big Mac home and have to explain to my wife why I was keeping and photographing a decaying burger, so I just kept it on my desk at work. I let a few colleagues in on the idea and a couple of them got quite into it and started helping me come up with ideas for what kind of photo to take next. I think mostly they just humoured me.
Then Christmas came and I decided I'd take Pet Big Mac home for the holidays. This meant bringing him with me to my mum's house in Bath, where my wife and I were going to spend Christmas Day. During the car ride from London to Bath, I confessed to my wife that I'd been keeping a Big Mac for nearly two months on my desk at work as part of a social media project. She was mildly interested, but being married to me means that she has become used to dumb ideas like this.
At home, my mum was vaguely bemused, but I kept at it, taking a photo (sometimes more) every day depicting a different scenario, all the while posting on Pet Big Mac's Twitter and Facebook page. I decided to hold off on the promotion of the pages because I was concerned about how people would react to it. Part of me thought that if I kept posting, someone would be bound to see it at some stage and then it would go viral.
I avoided following anyone except McDonalds and waited patiently for it to take off. I did a couple of retweets to my personal Twitter page to see if I could catch anyone's eye, but nothing was happening. I wasn't worried though because I was playing the long game. After a year, I would be able to come out with my video and be all like "Hey Internets I kept a Big Mac as a pet for a year and took a photo of it every day. BAM!"
But it didn't happen. On the way back to London, the Pet Big Mac's bun top broke in half. It was as if its stale head had been cracked open in a terrible accident. I was somewhat miffed, but this was what I needed to bring me back to reality. I realised then what I should have at the start: this was a stupid idea. Possibly the dumbest idea for a project I've ever had.
There it ended. The Twitter account had 1 follower (me) and the Facebook page had 1 like (actually not me).
The reason I'm sharing this now is because this idiotic project is really the story of my social media life. I have come up with numerous ideas for funny or interesting Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, all in the hope that one of them would go viral and rocket me to Internet stardom so I could make a living off doing dumb shit online. But really, none of these projects has worked.
A Twitter account pretending to be a small chow chow dog? No, that didn't take off. North Korean Olympics? I got bored of that pretty quick. EDM Bros? No that was never gonna be popular. There have bee a lot more. Many of them I can't even remember. Most of the time, I just lose interest.
Pet Big Mac taught me that I have a lot of bad ideas that are made even worse by my execution. The Internet has given every moron with a computer the false hope that he or she can be a viral sensation. It has not worked for me yet, but I will continue to try until I'm finally satisfied with something.
Current projects I have are an ironic foodie account, accounts posting old pages from the Argos and Kays catalogues, a gaming channel that requires far too much time to keep active, and my dubstep website. I am perhaps just one killer idea away from losing my mind completely. Cheers to that!