Tweeting with 'Star Trek' actor sparks kitchen fire

It was only a matter of time before this Twitter madness leapt from merely hypnotizing the masses and bastardizing the language to causing real-world mayhem for those (like me) caught in its seductive clutches.

Here's what happened: Curt Monash, a technology analyst and Network World blogger, was twit-chatting at 1:30 a.m. with actor LeVar Burton -- Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Kunta Kinte on "Roots." For the fiery details we turn now to my Q&A with Monash, which Twitter users should note approvingly consists of questions and answers stretching no more than 140 characters, putting aside the windier blog excerpt. (Update: Burton responds in first comment below ... and, yes, it's really him.)

Buzzblog: Please describe the sequence of events, beginning of course with telling us your Twitter platform of choice.

Monash: I still Twitter from the Web interface. Tweetdeck's data corruption is intolerable.

From a "The Monash Report" blog post:

On the whole, I'm not apt to be particularly celebrity-struck.... I thought it was cool to be Twittering back and forth with LeVar Burton, of Roots and Star Trek fame, especially when he sent a direct message that read, in its entirety, "Exactly!!! Well said." But unfortunately, that wasn't the most interesting part.

While I was tweeting away in the middle of the night, I heard a shout from (my wife Linda Barlow). It turned out that we had a fire on our 49-year-old electric stove. A burner had failed to turn off, a plastic cutting board had fallen onto it, and flames had started.

... The fire left a small part of our house destroyed, a large part uninhabitable, and the rest uncomfortable. The insurance company happily feels obligated to set things to rights.

Buzzblog: How would you rate Twitter's combustibility risk alongside those associated with, say, laptop batteries and indoor barbecuing?

Monash: Twitter is entitled to hum a few choruses of "We Didn't Start the Fire"

Buzzblog: How seriously do you see this fire hampering Twitter's ability to fashion its long-awaited revenue model and/or attract a buyer?

Monash: Any excitement could serve as a distraction.

Buzzblog: Given that it was tweeting with a celebrity that ignited this blaze, should we all stick to Twitter nobodies from now on just to be safe?

Monash: You're confusing correlation with causality. Are you a chiropractor?

Clearly smoke inhalation has clouded the man's appreciation of how seriously he's been wronged here and I presume liability lawyers will be lining up to set him straight.  

In the meantime, Twitter owes Curt Monash a new kitchen ... and LeVar Burton might want to think about tossing him one of those Hollywood fundraising galas. 

(Update: Reader/Twitter chum Julia @kindlejunkie Taylor alerts me to the fact that Burton, in addition to contributing to kitchen fires, has recently become embroiled in a "Twitter war" with funnyman Michael Ian Black. My money's on Burton, who has declared that "It may be necessary to go Kunta on his ass!")

(Later update: Confronted with the "Twarson" allegation by one of his 130,000 Twitter followers, Burton hides behind Clintonian obfuscation.)  

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