If there’s one positive thing that can be said about the youth of today it’s that they’re considerably less likely than their predecessors to be led a merry dance by the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
For those unfamiliar with the story of the Pied Piper I will try to sum it up in a single paragraph.
In the 13th century a brightly-dressed piper was hired by the people of Hamelin to rid the town of a rat infestation. His method of extermination involved playing a song on his pipe that caused the rats to follow him into the river and meet their watery end. However the Pied Piper did not receive the payment he’d been promised. As a result he once again played a song on his enchanted pipe which caused all the children to follow him out of the town, never to return.
It’s a chilling legend and an extremely harsh lesson for anyone who reneges on paying a tradesman.
If the same thing happened nowadays I’m fairly confident that no children would follow the Pied Piper.
Firstly, today’s kids are a lot more wary of stranger danger. Secondly, the vast majority of children wouldn’t hear the Pied Piper’s song because they would have their headphones in. The precious few children who would hear the piper’s flurry of notes would simply point and laugh assuming him to be a simpleton. He would quickly learn it takes more gadgetry than a whittled pipe to garner the attention of the youth of today.
Not many people are aware that the Pied Piper made a return in 2013 with a brand new strategy in order to get the most out of his diabolical scams.
Given his penchant for attracting followers he chose Twitter as his stomping ground.
You may think no one would want to follow a mad piper on Twitter, but when you consider Charlie Sheen, a man who claims to have tiger blood, has got 11.2 million people hanging on his every word, then it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to learn that a man with a magic pipe won over the hearts and minds of nearly 250,000 people.
For pity’s sake, you only need to look at my Twitter profile to see that people will follow anyone. Somehow I’ve got 470 followers, though one of them is an organisation called Alcohol Free Times, so clearly they don’t know me.
Anyway, back to the Pied Piper, and through a series of well-placed tweets, clever hashtags and insightful posts he gathered up quite the following. The photos he leaked of the cast of Downtown Abbey in the buff also helped boost his followers.
The next step for the Pied Piper, who incidentally tweets as @true_piper7, was to cook up a fiendish dupe to teach the users of Twitterland a lesson.
Having led the rats of Hamelin to a watery demise he wanted to do something similar with his Twitter followers.
But there was little hope of getting his followers - his rats - to walk headlong into a river, stream or even a brook.
And then it came to him, if he couldn’t bring a horse to water, he’d bring the mountain to Mohammed.
So, in a move so brilliantly twisted that he amazed even himself, the Pied Piper came up with a plan to get people to willingly soak themselves with buckets of ice cold water comforted by the premise they were being charitable.
Sadly that’s as much of the story as I can share because the Pied Piper is currently involved in a law-suit over a unregistered patent.