A Guy Complained No One Had Wished Him Happy Birthday On Twitter And Things Got Weird

Note: This is a summary. It’s still very, very long. The full, magnificent saga can be found here.

2. On 13 January, Daniel was a bit miffed because people hadn’t wished him a happy birthday.

3. Now you need to meet Twitter user FrogCroakley.

He’s Daniel’s friend in real life.

4. For Daniel’s birthday, he sang him a song.

6. Which got a bit weird.

@daniel_barker HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LORD YOU MUST READY THY SWORD A MONSTER AWAKENS IN A CAVE UNEXPLORED

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

7. This continues for a great many tweets.

.@daniel_barker HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME IT'S MINE NOW, YOU SEE BECAUSE I HAVE TAKEN YOUR IDENTITY

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

8. And he was still singing the next day.

.@daniel_barker @aanand HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SON A NEW DAY IS BEGUN I HOPE YOU ARE READY FOR MORE BIRTHDAY FUN

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

.@daniel_barker HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU TO YOUR INSTINCTS BE TRUE THE TIMER IS TICKING RED WIRE OR BLUE

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

10. He also introduced some clowns. They would become a running theme.

Smash cut to me smacking a stick against a shipping container, rousing 15 weary clowns to begin a second day of @daniel_barker 's birthday.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

11. Day three, and he’s still singing.

@daniel_barker HAPPY BIRTHDAY - IT'S IN YOU THAT FIRE IN YOUR SINEWS IT SHAN'T BE EXTINGUISHED WHILE THE PARTY CONTINUES

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

12. Daniel’s birthday is now taking place in what he describes as a “stricken, alternate London”.

200 emaciated clowns toil at a vast capstan, clanking as it hauls a banner reading "HAPPY BIRTHDAY @daniel_barker " over all of East London.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Hunched workers hurriedly don party hats as they pass police checkpoints; @daniel_barker glowers from behind a cake on titanic billboards.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

A leaden bell tolls under a heavy sky; in an echoing stone hall, @daniel_barker weeps softly as expressionless butlers haul in another cake

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

15. It’s day four now, and the tone of Mr Croakley’s tweets is becoming increasingly nightmarish.

@daniel_barker HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR HEART WE MUST ALL PLAY OUR PART IN CHEERING YOUR BIRTHDAY TIL OUR NECKS FALL APART

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Dawn over London; a rusted, umanned zeppelin drops another load of confetti over the lifeless city in honour of @daniel_barker 's birthday.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

17. It’s now day five. Daniel had been told, via text message, that the tweets would stop. But…

@daniel_barker ...

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

18. …this was a lie.

@daniel_barker HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONCE MORE WE'RE ONTO DAY FOUR THERE'S A HULKING ALBINO WITH A CAKE AT YOUR DOOR

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

19. If anything, London has become even more of a dystopia.

In tallow-lit catacombs beneath London, 4,000 withered orphans begin their daily toil on a mile-wide tapestry of @daniel_barker's face

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Sat on a marble throne, @daniel_barker frowns. The Scottish delegation's birthday offering is poor; they will be ushered into The Microwave.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

I hope that everyone will do what is right, and join me in wishing @daniel_barker a very, very happy birthday.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

22. It’s day six now, and Daniel is, in Mr Croakley’s words, “a despot reigning over a world depleted and enfeebled by constant and joyless celebration”.

A scowling man stalks a slum, ringing a bell; bowed commoners bring forth the meagre cakes they are obliged to bake daily for @Daniel_barker

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Meanwhile in orbit, a vastly expensive operation reaches its zenith, as a captured asteroid spins end over end and hurtles toward the moon

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Ejecta from the impact spells "HAPY BIRTHDAY", twinkling in the dawn. @daniel_barker has the man responsible for the spelling error drowned.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

25. He has also begun to drink the blood of animals.

As the day's celebratory meal begins, @daniel_barker takes a weary gulp from his chalice of leopard blood, and beckons for his party hat.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

I sincerely urge every one of you to remember that it is @daniel_barker s birthday today.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

27. People are now joining in.

Guys it is @daniel_barker 's birthday today, you should all wish him well :toots party horn, clowns fall over:

— Casey Andromeda (@Wangleberry)

28. Some haven’t got the joke.

@Wangleberry @daniel_barker Happy birthday, DB! Hope you have a great day.

— Anna yeah (@Thiefree)

29. Right, let’s take a moment and break for tea.

From this point on we shall be condensing even more.

30. Day seven begins. There are a great many tweets on day seven.

Day 7 of @daniel_barker's birthday. A gunmetal grey armoured truck, a stencilled '~' on its flank, grinds to a halt in a bombed out street.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

31. Daniel is no doubt reassured by this tweet.

@daniel_barker this is my way of saying I like someone

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

32. Day eight, and things are getting odder.

Day 8 of @daniel_barker's birthday. An orbital tug, crewed by 10,000 stunted mutants, drags a 500km wide ribbon toward the moon's north pole

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Earlier in @daniel_barker 's birthday, the amazon rainforest & 1,000 convicts were sacrificed to fix a 10,000km stick to the moon's surface.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

"Happy birthday @daniel_barker " sighs the chief mutant over skype, wiping sweat off his face tentacles as his filthy crew shiver behind him

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

"As requested; the moon on a stick" he intones. There is a long silence, as @daniel_barker regards the screen with an expressionless face.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

"I do not care for the colour of the stick" says @daniel_barker, reaching for a red button. The mutant's eyes bulge as the connection severs

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

37. This goes on for some time. But let’s skip to day nine. Now things are really grim.

Day 9 of @daniel_barker's birthday. As manacled clowns sweep up the night's confetti, the citadel gates open for the next wave of guests.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Commoners from the foundry district, chosen by lottery, are handed tattered finery & herded past steel menhirs bearing @daniel_barker's face

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

39. More animal blood.

"Greetings!" shrieks @daniel_barker, gulping a mug of eagle blood as he capers down a spiral staircase in an icing-smeared general's uniform

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

An organist with hammers for hands begins a foul rendition of "happy birthday" as unsmiling clowns wheel forth chairs & @daniel_barker claps

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

41. God.

Without warning, @daniel_barker draws a pistol and shoots the organist stone dead. As the shot echoes, the commoners scramble for the seats.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

A leering brute emerges from a low passageway with a leopard on a rope; the lights turn deep crimson and @daniel_barker cackles in ecstasy.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Happy birthday @daniel_barker.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

@FrogCroakley I'm going to have to put "it isn't actually my birthday" in my bio, aren't I.

— ~ (@daniel_barker)

45. By day 11 there is fan art.

The Mob Gathers At the Gates of @daniel_barker's Palace. Inspired by @FrogCroakley

— Nathan Baboonicorn (@Baboonicorn)

46. Rioting has begun in Daniel’s kingdom.

Day 11 of @daniel_barker's birthday. Bottles smash against the palace walls, shards twinkling in firelight under a sky dark with candle soot

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Happy Birthday, @daniel_barker - I hope you will forgive that my tribute was so rushed

— Casey Andromeda (@Wangleberry)

48. By day 14, a short radio play.

Aww. @daniel_barker got a birthday shoutout on the radio! https://t.co/mXvT7edFWJ

— Prof. Bison Sexhorn (@Brainmage)

49. By day 16, Twitter users are accepting Daniel as their lord and producing propaganda.

let's all wish @daniel_barker a happy birthday! please ignore any treasonous rumours, our lord is still in his palace

— Constant Badthoughts (@allwrongthink)

PLEASE NOTE; failure to properly celebrate @daniel_barker 's birthday is punishable by DEATH

— Constant Badthoughts (@allwrongthink)

51. Day 17, and there is “full on mecha carnage”.

Suspended on cables beneath them, @Daniel_barker sneers into the wind over the armoured collar of Iron Clown, his war exoskeleton.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Ladies and gentlemen, happy birthday @daniel_barker

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

The rebels strike; ragged men rush to ensnare @daniel_barker in nets as a stolen tank with "MANY HAPPY RETURNS" daubed on its hull emerges.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

54. By day 22, this was Mr Croakley’s word cloud.

Out of interest, here is how my recent descent into barking madness has changed the wordcloud of my tweets: http://t.co/MZ2vh4PqCx

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

55. Day 23 was a bad day.

Hooray I've been fucking burgled!

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

BUT IT WON'T STOP ME WISHING @DANIEL_BARKER A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

57. But we were soon back on track.

Day 23 of @daniel_barker's birthday. The enormous rocketship, fashioned in the guise of a leopard, hurtles through the void trailing bunting

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

"Show me the good bit again" @daniel_barker commands his Video Clown, as he reclines in his ape leather throne & sips tortoise spinal fluid.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

59. Day 37, and Daniel Barker is on Mars.

Day 37 of @daniel_barker's birthday. A lone figure in a spacesuit casts a tapered shadow over Martian dunes as it treks into the sun.

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

Sipping stale porcupine blood through his helmet straw, @daniel_barker squints into the ghastly disc of the sun & mutters savage obscenities

— Regular Frog (@FrogCroakley)

61. The whole thing is here. We are 38 days into Daniel Barker’s birthday and it shows no sign of abating.

When – and how – can it possibly end? Mr Croakley tells BuzzFeed News: “The ongoing threat is that I won’t stop until he holds a massive birthday party, in character, with us all dressed as clowns. Apparently some people are seriously looking at venue hire for this.”

And Barker? He says: “I did wonder how long he would keep going. I said a few weeks ago, ‘Surely you’re going to have to kill me soon.’ But who knows?”

Oh, and in case you were wondering, he tells us: “I had a nice birthday this year – didn’t do much for a change. Was actually quite happy with people sending birthday wishes on Twitter.”

And what’s the whole experience been like? “Well, it’s certainly odd to get such attention for something that isn’t my doing at all. But it’s been great fun. And now I just expect people to wish me happy birthday when I see them. Which is a weird thing to have in your brain.”

On Mr Croakley, he says: “He’s a good friend and a very talented writer, so mostly I just enjoy it along with everyone else. And feel only slightly resentful that nothing I tweet ever gets that kind of attention.”

62. “I stand by this as a description of his work, though.”

@FrogCroakley christ, it's like something Hemingway would write if you dug him up fed him ketamine and forced him onto Celebrity Big Brother

— ~ (@daniel_barker)

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Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.
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