Girthy veg: the legend of the LinkedIn leek

When my LinkedIn post about an unusually large leek (featuring the hashtag ‘Girthy Veg’) was particularly popular, I really didn’t know how to follow it.

That’s the unexpected situation I found myself in last week, when a simple ‘mishap’ with my online grocery order ended up with some serious social media traction, a handful of new enquiries, and a couple of creepy comments from people who wanted to show me their ‘massive vegetable’.

Let me explain

I did my online grocery order last week and requested a ‘small leek’ ‘cos I only needed a few slices for a recipe.

(Bear with me. This gets better.)

Instead, I received the biggest vegetable I’ve ever clapped eyes on (or attempted to put my fist around) in the flesh.

Evidently, it was done for a laugh and, once I’d got a refund (‘cos you obviously pay by weight, and the leek was 3kg) the Tesco customer service guy and I had a pretty good laugh.

Because sharing whatever’s in my head is usually how I roll on LinkedIn, I posted it online alongside the cracking gurning photo you see here.

I also made a (somewhat tenuous) link to copywriting skills. The Tesco guy said he’d write ‘overtly excessive width’ on my refund notes rather than something bland like ‘item not as expected’. So, I reminded people they can add a bit of humour into their customer complaints emails if and when the time is right.

I used #GirthyVeg and whether for that reason or many others, it was my most ‘successful’ social media post so far this year.

Top responses included:

1)            Two reactions of ‘support’ for my wide leek.
2)            A couple of questions about the validity of the leek. Turns out everything on LinkedIn is up for debate.
3)            Innuendo. OBVIOUSLY. I invited it.
4)            Someone telling me ‘It’s clear someone has my back’. I don’t know how to respond to that.
5)            Limericks (a selection. Some good, some less so).
6)            Pictures of other people’s massive vegetables (yes, I know what that sounds like. But THANK GOD there were no images of anything you can’t cook with).
7)           Far too many jokes related to Thames Water and sewerage.
8)            Recipes for soup. I wasn’t expecting my gurning face to inspire people to eat but hey, it’s a weird world.

Reader, I ate the leek.

In the end, just as the leek began to morph into something even more alien, I ate a bit of it. It was rank. I’m not sure whether that was because I’d been put off it by some of the responses or whether it’s because it was so vast it couldn’t fit in the fridge and had gone off.

I can’t run a business entirely off the back of a borderline pornographic image. (Shocker. Although apparently the hashtag ‘Girthy Veg’ was an original, so bravo to me for that.)

So not just for the person who messaged to ask me to stop using the word ‘girth’, I announced the end of my content about vegetables. Not that anyone really cared, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

The moral?

There isn’t one really, save to say I made some friends. I received legitimate, non-pervy connections, some lovely enquiries, and a couple of actual bookings (for copywriting, not potentially phallic visuals).

Turns out showing up and writing something enjoyable gets you clients who think you’re fun.

Feel like you missed out on the girthy gurn? Check out my leek here.