He had many gifts but choice was not among them. Since its invention, he had written emails with such substance they had cured the terminally ill, saved many a marriage and even brought a monk out of a vow of eternal silence. Yet, when that one recipient disappeared, he ran on empty. Until the day by chance he BCC’d Doris Lessing.

And so “The Book That Never Was’ was born.


They say dogs resemble their owners. I say sofas do. My best friend, God bless him, has a sofa that is flat, soft, squarish and damn well-designed, just like him. My mother-in-law’s uber-comfy, cushioned, russet-red flop-slop is a fine reflection of her watching The Bill. My long, weathered, angular, awkward number is me in all but a pulse. Tonight, alone, unviewed by the knowing world, take to your sofa like a first time lover and see how you get on. Then kick back, light a ciggie and watch the DFS ads together.


Early on, at around ten weeks, she came face to face with an agapatha so deep in cobalt blue, it scarred her chromatically, for good. From that day forth, she saw all before her as nowt but blue.  At death, she was half buried, half cremated. Ashes to the sky, bones to the sea.


He chose not to wear glasses despite needing them so that everyone looked beautiful to his broken heart that failed to heal.


He read from an e-book, maybe Amazon Kindle, maybe classier. And he walked. He walked as a waiter walks with a laden tray in the palm of his hand. One bump and his $299.99 paperback would be silica gel stuck to someone’s shoe like the faeces of a hound. It was only his pony tail that counter-balanced the book, a ying to his arm’s yang.


Steve Bell, are you reading? If this man was given the entire Guardian to write as one long strip of acid-etched truth, we would all quit whingeing and start achieving once again. All facets of life would burgeon tenfold by the removal of the inhibitor gland that governs our rational being. The factoon form would seep into all forms of media and culture until we realise that only by ridiculing ourselves will we ever get the tough stuff done.

Pass the man a nib.