Meet David Willis, from Dallas Texas. Last night, he basically got to live the dream, by getting locked in Waterstones, Trafalgar Square.
Did he settle himself down with Richard Flanagan's Booker prize winner? Or use the time to find out what all the fuss was about with Gone Girl? Or even avail himself of unlimited muffins from the Trafalgar Square coffee shop?
No he didn't, he only went and created a Twitter storm.
This is me locked inside a waterstones bookstore in London. I was upstairs for 15 minutes and came… http://t.co/EefA1antuG— David Willis (@DWill_) October 16, 2014
This is me locked inside a waterstones bookstore in London. I was upstairs for 15 minutes and came down to all the lights out and door locked. Been here over an hour now. Supposedly someone is on their way. #nofilter #london
Hi @Waterstones I've been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out.— David Willis (@DWill_) October 16, 2014
Pleas to the Waterstones Twitter account fell on deaf ears.
Thanks for the tweets today! We'll be back at 9am tomorrow to answer your queries :) Happy reading!— Waterstones (@Waterstones) October 16, 2014
Slowly, Willis started to draw a (virtual) crowd. Although not anyone with a set of keys.
If @Waterstones staff don't arrive at the shop to find their stock is now building material for "Bookopolis" it will be a wasted opportunity— Creep FAAARRRGH!nell (@thebrainofchris) October 16, 2014
My theory is that John Grisham's publicist is behind #WaterstonesMan. 'It's crazy but it's the best idea we've got. Get me a tourist.'— Louise Lamont (@LLMonts) October 16, 2014
#WaterstonesTexan prob trying to dial 911, hence why he's resorted to Twitter. Forgot to turn off notifications & it's now drained his batt.— Ronnie Joice (@ronniejoice) October 16, 2014
There was talk of movie deals.
Desperately rushing to write movie script about #WaterstonesTexan trapped in Waterstones before he's rescued. Hope McConaughey is available.— Leon McCarthy (@Leonade) October 16, 2014
And speculation on his reading material.
Just wondering if #waterstonestexan had time to finish The Luminaries while he was in there. Because someone should.— Ellie Cumbo (@EllieCumbo) October 16, 2014
I hope the #WaterstonesTexan is repeatedly swiping his Waterstones Card. If he does it 50,000 times he gets a free 'Little Book of Dreams'— Ben Archibald (@benarchibald) October 16, 2014
And veiled threats
Remember, authors on Twitter: if you're mean aby #waterstonestexan he'll move your books to the back of the display where nobody can see 'em— Gaby Hinsliff (@gabyhinsliff) October 16, 2014
Look for this book!October 16, 2014
Everyone was starting to get tired and overexcited, but we couldn't miss how this would end. AND NO ONE WAS TELLING US WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON.
I'm tired and need to go to bed, but I daren't miss the outcome of #waterstonestexan.— Paul Woolgar (@limeandonion) October 16, 2014
Won’t be able to sleep now until we find out how this story ends….. #WaterstonesTexan— J Marshall (@basculeteller) October 16, 2014
If you're just tuning in, this is the place for updates on THE breaking story of the year #waterstonestexan— Dan Hodges (@DPJHodges) October 16, 2014
I think the most distressing thing about the #WaterstonesTexan is the fact he tweeted 51 mins ago and clearly hasn't checked his phone since— Camilla Long (@camillalong) October 16, 2014
I need to know more about the #WaterstonesTexan. Rolling updates on his status. Is he alive? Is he reading? Does he have a bookmark?— Oliver Dyson (@OliverD22) October 16, 2014
It's like this guy has no idea we're all waiting for an update. If he's rearranging books then all is forgiven. #WaterstonesTexan— James (@OvertlyJames) October 16, 2014
Finally, his calls were heard, by someone who could actually help
We're pleased to announce that @DWill_ is a free man once more. Thanks for your concern and tweets!— Waterstones (@Waterstones) October 16, 2014
And confirmation from the horse's mouth.
I'm free— David Willis (@DWill_) October 16, 2014
Waterstones guy's out. Dazed, wrapped in foil blanket, helicopters overhead, couple of Catherine Cooksons down his Y-fronts— Michael Hogan (@michaelhogan) October 16, 2014
Reports that the #waterstonestexan was dragged from the building shouting "JUST ONE MORE PAGE!" have not been confirmed.— Martin McGrrraaaar! (@martinmcgrath) October 16, 2014
Well, that was fun while it lasted.
DWillz from Waterstone's now enters the Twitter hall of micro-fame, alongside Fenton the dog and Cat Bin Lady— Michael Hogan (@michaelhogan) October 16, 2014
Although his girlfriend is a) a bit miffed b) very amused
@DWill_ did you seriously just tweet before you texted me? 😔💔— Amy Mac (@Ames_Mac) October 16, 2014
And she filled us in on how much the guy actually panicked.
And how much she is loving this now.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said police were called at around 9.35pm "by a man claiming to be locked inside a shop".
He added: "Officers attended and following the arrival of a key holder the man left the building shortly after 11pm."
UPDATE: The Waterstones Texan has spoken to Good Morning Britain.
He didn't build a fort.
Or finish War and Peace.
"Right when I came downstairs I saw I had been locked in and I went to the door, tried to open it, the alarm went off. The alarm sounded in Trafalgar Square for probably 20 or 25 minutes," he said.
"The phone rang after about ten minutes or so. It was a security guard and I talked to him and I thought, you know, I'll be out of here in a few minutes. And a little more and a little more time went by.
"I finally said I'm going to talk to the police, I talked to them, and I thought I would get out from the police very soon.
"Then I just kept waiting and waiting, so eventually I went to social media.
"I'm very tired, I did not sleep much last night but it feels good to be free."
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