Reclaimed Quinoa (Instructions For Tossers)

I can't actually believe I'm writing this. Right. Here goes…

Some months ago now, a friend of mine was having some very scary real life problems. I KNOW. Mad shit. In an effort to cheer her up one rainy day, I bought a packet of Quinoa… who am I kidding, it was in my cupboard… and made a new label for it. It was entitled "Quinoa (Instructions For Tossers)".

You see, she and I had this joke that we also shared with another Twitter user. They would made snide remarks about people who ate Quinoa, whilst I joined in with self-deprecating middle class jokes about how I loved it and that they both should block me. All silly, innocent stuff.

I sent her the packet and it made her laugh. The mistake I made was tweeting a picture of it before I posted it. Now, I would like to point out that I'm not one for many visual gags on Twitter. I don't have Photoshop, nor do I write letters to myself. I leave that to the really funny guys who do this brilliantly. Indeed, I didn't expect much response. I did find it funny myself (I wouldn't have made the label if I hadn't), but those that know me either on Twitter or otherwise, know that I'm more likely to be trying to get paid from writing than trying to raise laughs on Twitter. And that's not meant as a dig towards anyone – I'm just in a stressy financial place and I'm finding less time for Twitter than I used to. This actually saddens me… but that's a whole other story. I'm far more likely to come on Twitter to chat to my pals at the moment, and at least let them know I'm not dead.

However, after I tweeted it (and this was probably around four or five months ago now?) the picture went viral. It was picked up by The Poke, Buzzfeed etc.

And I didn't mind this, really. Did it bother me that I wasn't getting credit for it? If I'm honest, a little bit, but I haven't been losing sleep over it.

Then, on Monday, a friend sent me a text about an article in the Independent on Sunday. The journalist Simon Usborne had written a piece about Quinoa and had quoted some paragraphs from my instructions.

I admit, at this point, my hackles started to rise. I was described as an "Anti-Quinoa Wag". I'm not. I eat the stuff all the time. He also said the picture was posted by it's creator on Monday. This was factually incorrect. I posted it months ago.

I'm a struggling writer trying to get paid, and it grates on me a little that another writer has been paid, quoting some of my ideas. That's all it is. 

Actually, no. There's more to it than that, and this part has NOTHING to do with Quinoa or Twitter. I'm going through a period in my life when I'm having to learn to say no to people – people who have been coming to me for ideas and help (who sometimes are then going off and earning with those very ideas and help that I've given).

It's linked to that, and that part has nothing to do with a silly gag on Twitter that everyone else is welcome to enjoy.

But I have "redone" the picture with my Twitter username on it, as per advice I've just received. And, by the way, Simon Usborne was kind enough to apologise to me. 

Now, back to work. Thanks for reading.



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