The twitter war yesterday between basketball legend Bill Walton and Hawaiian Airlines was an all-timer. And while it really shouldn’t surprise, like most things in his life, we learned Walton’s twitter game is fire!!
Most people go to Hawaii to get away, to lay out, to get their bronze on, to surf, to drink, to eat, to take in the culture, and to relax. Bill Walton goes to Hawaii to ride his bike. His road bike is an extension of him. He’s called his bike, “the most important thing I have. It is my gym, my wheelchair and my church all in one.”
And for a 6’ 11” dude with almost 40 surgeries to his name, you can understand why those two wheels and a frame mean so much to him. That bike, in part, probably saved his life. That bike is his life.
But Hawaiian Airlines did what most airlines do and somehow lost Walton’s bike. How the hell do you lose a bike? Especially a custom bike big enough for a dude damn near seven feet tall? How do you lose track of that?! A small bag that could have been carried on, sure. But a bike?!
Which I’m sure is what Walton was thinking. I know this. He was pissed. And thumbed out a tweet from the Honolulu airport that read, “Will the people of Hawaiian air in Honolulu please give me my bike back? I love my bike. I need my bike.”
That got retweeted close to 500 times and picked up the attention of Hawaiian Airlines who asked him to direct message them his e-mail address. And this is where Walton turned up the heat.
From Hawaiian Air to Walton: “Can you send us your e-mail and confirmation code in a pm?”
From Walton to Hawaiian Air: “Why, are you going to e-mail my bike?”
Hawaiian are was probably on the loudspeaker; everyone! Retreat to the safe room! We’re under attack!! Repeat, we are under attack! Why are you going to email me my bike!
At this point Hawaiian Air probably wanted to delete their account and ground all flights for the rest of the day. That’s the kind of tweet that makes you frantically close the lid of your laptop, push your chair back, and take a week off from social media. That’s the kind of tweet that makes an airline think, this is why we have no business being on twitter. No one is ever going to tweet how awesome we are. They’re only going to tweet at us if our flights are delayed or we lose their crap. Who’s the idiot who suggested we go on twitter?!
But, all’s well that ends well. And nearly five hours later Walton’s two-wheeled whip turned up and the big man thanked the world, “my bike is back!! Things are a lot better now. Thanks twitter and Maui cyclery for your help. I’m off to the volcano.”
Bill Walton, ladies and gentlemen. Just a dude on two wheels who wants to pedal to a volcano. He doesn’t have time for e-mails and confirmation codes. The man just wants his bike and a paved path to some Hawaiian lava.
As for Hawaiian Airlines? They better block out a whole damn row for Walton’s bike to ride up front with him on his return flight home to avoid the fire that is @billwalton. You’re lucky he even flies with your bastards, leave Bill Walton alone!!!