Ever make a harmless mistake that gets blown out of proportion? British politician Ed Balls has, and that's why the Internet is celebrating "Ed Balls Day" today. On April 28, 2011, the Labour M.P. and Shadow Chancellor sent out this tweet, assumedly in a mix-up while trying to search for his own name:
An honest (and funny) slip-up, surely, but the Internet isn't exactly known for its collective ability to let things slide. As of writing, it has been retweeted over 44,775 times. April 28th is now "Ed Balls Day," an ironic pseudo-holiday where revelers celebrate on Twitter and share their #EdBallsDay memories and well-wishes. “I’ve no idea what to make of it,” Balls says in an interview. “It’s obviously helped by the fact that I have a memorable name." To his credit, Balls is a good sport and has played along on his eponymous day of honor:
But, being a politician, Balls can't win. "There’s one group of people who think if I don’t engage somehow on the day, I’m a bad sport. And if I do engage, there’ll be another whole group of people who’ll say, ‘Oh, God, he’s ruined it,’" Balls tells the New Statesmen.
While "Ed Balls" the tweet now has a life of its own, Ed Balls the man has no choice but to find the silver lining in all this insanity. “Who in postwar British politics has had a day named after them?" he says. "You take what you can, really, don’t you?”