Champaign, Ill., is an interesting place, in a soap opera kind of way.
It's the sort of town where intrigue throbs beneath the surface like the bubbles of cheap Cava.
It's the sort of town where the marrieds are numb and the singles roam the streets late into the night, in search of other single roamers.
It's the sort of town that has one very fine restaurant called Bacaro.
On the other hand, there's Drew's Pizzeria. This slightly doughy establishment decided to drum up a little business, using Twitter as its foundation.
Its now-deleted account expressed an innovative method to attract both business and attention.
For, as the local Smile Politely blog described, Drew's Pizzeria ran a Twitter promotion of which it should be chest-puffingly proud.
It asked local women to walk in and get a free pizza.
Oh, I almost omitted to mention that in order to get the free pizza, lady customers would have to reveal their breasts.
Please let me offer you some sample tweets, lovingly preserved.
Sample one: "FREE PIZZA#uiuc #DrewPizzaCU for the next pair of nips right now, ladies only!"
Sample two: "WE WANT MORE T**S!!!! #showusyourt**s #uiuc FREE PIZZA."
There were, indeed, more. But perhaps these two sufficiently reflect the subtlety of the scheme.
Certainly there were those who objected to the promotion as revoltingly sexist. How could it be, they argued, that women were being offered free pizza, and not men?
More Technically Incorrect
Others stopped to wonder whether it wasn't the depth of ill-thinking to consider that women should be incited -- late in the evening -- to come by a no-doubt illustrious pizzeria and bare their chests.
However, one employee of the pizzeria, Brice Hartmann, defended the promotion to WICD-TV: "If someone comes in and says 'I'm drunk. If I flash you can I get a pizza, yeah, sure why not? It makes everybody happy. It makes the crowd happy."
If we can't make the crowd happy, how can any of us be happy?
The unnamed and alleged owner of Drew's told WICD-TV that his employees are never late for work. They must be happy.
Just as Kenneth Cole is happy to use Twitter to promote his shoes on the back of bloodshed in Egypt and Syria -- and just as AT&T is now not happy to have used September 11 to seemingly feature the BlackBerry Q10.
Oddly, the promotion has now been covered up.
There were one or two people who thought that asking women to bare their breasts for an $11 pizza was a touch tasteless. They expressed themselves on Twitter and Facebook.
You live by the crowd, you die by the crowd.