Twitter Titan @profanityswan in Hull

In an attempt to dial down the testosterone Head in a Book, Hull’s monthly Free Visiting Author Event, have booked Twitter titan @profanityswan. In the real world he is a mercurial writer type from Sunderland, called Andy Dawson. And he’s got a new book out called Get In The Sea! rather aptly published by Penguin.  

It is May 2015 the aforementioned Mr. Dawson is feeling a bit fed up, a bit down in the dumps, so to amuse himself he creates a fake twitter account and begins taking pot shots at feckless celebs: easy targets to begin with like Luisa Zissman entrepreneur wannabe, on Lord Sugar’s televised firing range. Within a week #GetintheSea had gone viral with over 30,000 followers.

Each day Andy would find a new target to rail against chosen from societal events, news stories, fads, trends and newfangled ideas, and put them in the proverbial sea. Now with a mammoth 850,000 followers @profanityswan has collated all the entries and put them in a book. It’s the kind of book you might get given as a gift; auntie are you reading this? 

In a previous life Andy was the deviant soul behind @dianainheaven, which saw the People’s Princess communing with long-dead celebrities, whilst spurning the amorous advances of Jimi ‘BMX riding’ Hendrix. An amusing abstraction where Diana appears to have spent eternity sweeping through the Elysian Fields like Cruella De Ville. She’s a bit cranky I guess. With the recent spate of celeb deaths Mark murmured about bringing her back in order for her to meet Bowie and Prince at the pearly gates. 

Andy reads to a buzzing Hull audience from his new book, which results in fits of laughter. Through gritted teeth, raising his voice to a snarl, ranting over the microphone he condemns Bear Grylls to a watery demise, for suggesting that we rename the ‘alarm clock‘ as an ‘opportunity clock‘ to do away with the negative connotations of the word alarm… FFS.  

Apoplectic with rage he yells GET IN THE F*CKING SEA BEAR GRYLLS! to the sheer delight of the audience. Two guys in the front row are bent double from laughter. I have to admit I’d forget my elbow was still holding him under, if he tried some cockamamie shit like that.  

This is one of those list/guide to life books, that you can pick up at leisure, read out loud to your friends, whilst detaching yourself from the cretinous place the world has become. Other targets include:

  • People who write the ‘cybershite’ in online newspaper comment sections, he likens them to Nazi art thieves. 
  • hipsterpreneurs – purveyors of crisp sandwiches, cupcakes, cereal, tea in pubs… 
  • soft play areas for adults
  • experience-led eateries eg: pop-up restaurant selling school dinners
  • pushchairs for dogs
  • people who use ‘me thinks’ on social media
  • people who ask whether it’s wine o’clock yet 

The book has top twenty lists of some of our most imbecilic public figures, including damning indictments of some of our more moronic politicians and the reasons why each should Get in the Sea. 

A gentle probing by our genial host Russ Litten, as to the psychology behind the book and the rules for ‘knocking down these sacred cows‘ reveals Andy not to be a raving madman, firing insults at the populace at large, rather someone who employs Northern wit and well-aimed satirical edge, to punch up/punch across, rather than punch down: he isn’t out to cause anyone any real pain. Followers can now submit their own entries to be considered for #GetintheSea and Andy looked to the audience for new suggestions for consideration. I don’t think he was quite expecting the first candidate, put forward for a good sousing. 

Lately Andy has been working with nineties comic surrealist Bob Mortimer on @AthleticoMince, a vehicle that seems to have begun life as a football podcast, but has gone somewhat off-piste of late. The live show at London Podcast Fest in November has sold out, but stay tuned we might just get him back here for a special Hull show around the same time.

Get In The Sea by Mark Dawson published by Penguin Books.

Get In The Sea by Andy Dawson published by Penguin Books.

Whether Andy Dawson is like a modern-day Charles Dickens, with character assassinations in 140 characters or less, is very much open to debate. The cover appears to be showing a mandolin player, what on earth can he have against folkies? You’ll have to read the book to find out, then go have it out with him on Twitter @profanityswan … I’m sure he’d be well up for that. 

Buy Get in the Sea! – An Apoplectic Guide to Modern Life – by Andy Dawson

Details of next Head In a Book event @hiabhull  

Head in a Book would like to thank The Arts Council of England, The Library Service, The James Reckitt Library Trust and the City Arts Unit for their support

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