The Grey Cardigan 11.11.05

A NERVOUS management has decided that The Boy Wonder, our recently
appointed schoolboy editor, needs help in these difficult times. Enter
a new deputy, to be henceforth known as The Brute.

Now I’ve
worked with – and for – hard men in the past. I’ve seen typewriters fly
out of windows and over-eager fingers impaled by scalpels on the stone.
But this bloke is a bit special.

The bastard son of Al Swearengen
and Kenneth Tynan, he introduced himself to the newsroom by putting a
work experience student in a bin. The boy hadn’t moved quickly enough
when The Brute demanded coffee.

He then came across Reg, one of
our antique but much respected subs. Now Reg has a daily routine. At
12.45 prompt he gets out the Tupperware container in which Mrs Reg has
packed his lunch, eats his corned beef sandwich and then quietly goes
to sleep. At his desk. Exactly 21 minutes later he awakes and resumes
subbing with his usual professionalism. We call him The Dormouse.

Now
The Dormouse has carried out this harmless routine for as long as any
of us can remember. It was unfortunate, therefore, that The Brute
arrived alongside Reg at precisely 13.04.

Placing his foot in the
back of The Dormouse’s chair, The Brute pushed hard while bellowing,
“Wakey, wakey, you miserable piece of shit.”

A sleeping Reg was
propelled forward into the desk, folded over and impaled on his spike,
which, ironically, he’d hidden from the Health and Safety Nazis during
their last purge.

Once the bleeding had been staunched, Reg was
sent home. But before he went he managed to find time to carefully
insert the wrong crossword grid in tomorrow’s paper. Well done, that
man.

I’VE BEEN trying to think what The Mail on Sunday’s new live!

magazine reminds me of.

(As
ever, the red-socked twats who design these things have dispensed with
upper case as if our precious language was a mere inconvenience.)n It’s
the covers that ring a bell. Kelly Brook, caressing a camcorder.

Lizzy
Jagger wearing a pair of Bluetooth sunglasses. Myleene Klass fondling a
telescopic telescope (or is that tautology?). Sex and gadgets, toys for
the boys.

Then I remember. My favourite American magazine during
my stint Stateside was a publication called True Police Cases that
always featured a half-naked girl clutching a gun on its cover. Think
Colts and cleavage, Smith & Wesson with suspenders.

The design cues are clear, as the picture above illustrates.

THE
DECISION of Home Secretary Charles Clarke to allow Sun Myung Moon, head
of “the church that breaks up families”, into the country brings back
memories of the epic libel battle between the Daily Mail and the Moonie
cult in the late 1970s.

The Mail’s proprietor, Viscount
Rothermere, backed his editor, Sir David English, despite the prospect
of crippling costs and damages.

It’s a shame that Vere’s son, the
boy Jonathan, hasn’t been as supportive of the five top-ranking editors
forced out of the regional titles he owns in recent months.

I
UNEXPECTEDLY bought The Times on Saturday (a free Hitchcock DVD) and
was surprised to come across Julie Burchill on page 12, misleadingly
labelled as “News”.

Dear reader, I tried. Oh, I tried. But across
three badly written pieces of convoluted grammar mangled by
expressionist punctuation, and littered with more dog’s cocks than a
hunt kennels, I couldn’t understand a fucking word. It’s a great shame.
I remember when she was good.

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