Three minutes into a Sunday Olive Garden family dinner, third-year U of C English major Jeffrey Willis subversively turned the event on its head by posting topical and well-placed barbs on the popular social media site Twitter.
Willis, under the pseudonym @bigJ_Will, began offering his dry wit on a range of topics including the decorum of patrons around him, the quality of his meal and his parents' social skills to the bemusement of his 254 followers, as well as all users following the hashtag #suburbanirony.
"Yes, please refill our #olivegarden bread basket for the third time," Willis typed into his iPhone, oblivious to the majority of activity occurring above the table top. "I want to see the capacity of my dad's sweatpants elastic."
The 21-year-old witticist went on to reply to several retweets of his original post, garnering even more popularity for the young man who possesses no mental handicaps, but can usually be found isolated at all social encounters typing observations in succinct, 140 character messages.
"@palcoholic yeah, I asked him if the pasta was a house recipe," Willis recounted, to a fellow twitter user he has never met or seen yet feels more pressure to please than his own family members, after receiving his plate of Lasagna Classico.
After a brief moment when Willis raised his eyes to respond monosyllabically to a question from his brother Peter about his plans following post-secondary, the young man returned to his principal domain of pixels.
"Wow," Willis continued, tapping his suede Clarks desert boots in frustration with his father, the Twitter-user's sole source of monetary support and broadband access. "I didn't know you could still do a comb over if you only had hair on you back, you're a trailblazer dad #mydadisanidiot."
Most twitter users agreed that the scathing commentary was all the more poignant due to the vast majority of diners not only being completely unaware they were being viciously lampooned by a comedy genius, but ignorant luddites in regards to Twitter itself, a form of communication that many middle-class, well-educated 17 to 26-year-old westerners confirm will never go away or stop being incredibly, incredibly important.
"Guy at the next table, the 5 sec rule doesn't apply to a full rare steak, especially when it was on the carpet for closer to 30 #facepalm," Willis quipped, no doubt pointing out the foibles of others only as playful, good-spirited jabs in the hopes of drawing out the ability to laugh at oneself and not as a desperate attempt to elevate his own perversely low sense of self-worth by ruthlessly battering down hapless victims around him regardless of age, sex, circumstance or disability.
Meanwhile, the remaining members of the Willis family have continued their use of the outmoded verbal message format known as a discussion, a back and forth communication style without the benefit of spell-check, character limitations or tinyURLs.
As of press time they have yet to notice that the digital wizard sitting across from them, whose only real skills are unemployable in the backwards job market of the day, is not aware of their frequent and consistent taunts and personal attacks which have gone on to amuse themselves, other customers and wait staff.