It?s been observed that an iPhone, connected to Wikipedia, is essentially the promise of Douglas Adam?s Hitchhiker?s Guide to the Galaxy, but pocket-sized and less condescending. An iPhone connected to a lanky Brit with a Twitter account and a yen to circumnavigate the globe in 30 days, however, is the Twitchhiker. And no, this isn?t some horrid cross-pitch a la The Hitcher meets Web 2.0. Be assured, writer, raconteur and Twitterati Paul Smith is not a psychotic Rutger Hauer. Rather he is a disarming world traveler with innate media savvy whose film right?s I tried to purchase for the price of a pint (if I recall, Smith granted me domestic, but kept foreign in search of a better deal ? the lush).
As Smith explains at Twitchhiker.com, he is attempting to ?travel as far around the world as possible in 30 days, relying only on the goodwill of people using Twitter.? At present writing he?s in New Zealand, by way of Los Angeles, by way of Sonoma from which ?Sommelier to the Stars? Christopher Sawyer and I attempted to launch him with a wine country hangover.
All the while, Smith has used his burgeoning celebrity (his international media cred is staggering), to raise awareness and funds for Charity: Water. A contributor to the Guardian UK among other affiliations, Smith is armed with a Wildean wit (fortunately, not limited to a mere 140 characters), which he evinced on his blog with this backhanded compliment clad in a velvet glove:
You can?t meet a man called Daedalus and let it pass without comment. Dressed in black, with that curious stub of beard under the bottom lip (it?s called a soul patch, dontcha know), Daedalus was a full-on, good-looking hipster who?d lived a media life in LA. All things considered, a man with such a ridiculous name, dress in black on a beltingly hot day, with idiotic facial hair should have been nothing short of a prize tit. He wasn?t. He was a stupidly handsome guy who liked wine and made short films and was utterly charming to me all day long. Bastard.
It?s true, I was utterly charming to Smith all day long, though I eventually devolved into a ?prize tit? by nightfall courtesy of Chris Benziger, Jeff Bundschu and a raft of other former Wine Brats imbibing at the Swiss. As for ?stupidly handsome,? I suppose it?s better than being handsomely stupid, which I am more often than not. I blame the soul patch (send the Twitchhiker his own soul patch by clicking here).