Saturday, September 16, 2006

Paper plague

I stayed at work a bit later tonight, and rather than rush off decided to wander down to Hammersmith for a post work coffee (which actually turned into a post work caramel hot chocolate, but that's sorta irrelevent).

Anyway, I was wandering down Hammersmith high street when I noticed something. A sea of people dressed in purple. What was this, I thought, some bizarre cult of... purpalists? No, it was not, I soon realised.

For those who don't live in or around London, let me fill you in on recent events: London is a warzone, and the combatants are free newspapers.

We used to just have the Metro, a free (and rather excellent) newspaper available in the mornings at tube stations. Now there's two new evening freebies - TheLondonPaper and London Lite. And the streets are pratically jam-packed with greasy little people trying to ram them into you hands as you go about your evening business. I reckon I had about five offers in two minutes (for free newspapers, I mean).

And where TheLondonPaper people are standing, London Lite people move in - and vice versa. I actually thought two newspaper numpties might start beating each other with wads of free papers. Well, hoped more like - I could've recorded it on my phone and popped it up on YouTube. There's nothing more exciting than a bit of newspaper-based happy-slapping.

Anyway, I took a copy of TheLondonPaper to read in Starbucks; it was OK, but, and please excuse my editor's eye here, poorly designed and a bit lacking in content. It clearly thinks it's the next best thing in bringing news to the masses. Well I've got news for you, buddy: the internet does it better, quicker, and on better quality paper if you print it out on photographic stock.

As soon as I binned my copy, two purple-clad news warriors zeroed in on me to try and give me a replacement. I gave them the patented Sparky withering glance.

I did not checkout a copy of London Lite, but if the front cover is anything to go by I think the Cockney-rhyming slang online dictionary could have a new definition for shite.


Junk mail is also a growing problem at Sparky Towers; when I bought my house last year, Sparky Ma gave me a 'NO JUNK MAIL' sticker for the front door. And it worked for a time. Then it began to curl at one corner so it kind of read 'O JUNK MAIL' as if I was declaring some sort of breathless exhilaration at the prospect of junk mail.

However, it's continued to curl a bit more, so it now simply reads 'JUNK MAIL,' which suggests that I've designated my letter box as a repository for any and all forms of unsolicited post.

Either way, I've pledged that if I'm ever here and someone tries to push a load through my door, I'll take it straight back out to them, shake my fist in their face, and call them an imbecile. Mark my words - I've learned my lesson from the only previous occasion on which that's happened: by the time I'd unlocked the porch door, picked up the supermarket-based junk mail, unlocked the front door, and noticed in a quick glance at the offending mail that Budgens had six packs of Pepsi Max on a two-for-one special the sneaky bastard had gotten away.


Will said...

I love the design of Thelondonpaper! Way classier than London Lite.

Just posted an article about junk stuff if you're interested...

Tim said...

Really? I just thought it seemed a bit gappy and (being really picky here) I hated a lot of the fonts they used!

I didn't think it was a patch on Metro... what do you think?

I'll have to checkout London Lite, but I'm really not expecting much!

(Am heading over to your blog now to take a look at your article. I'm hoping you've posted a miracle solution to getting rid of junk mail...)

skillz said...

Those purple guys are really annoying, luckily the guy outside the station at work knows not to give me one.

Metro does just fine, thanks.

Dinah said...

One thing I love about being at school is the abundance of free newspapers. And the opportunity for flavoured hot chocolate. I can't wait for candy cane hot chocolate.

Tim said...

Skillz - Good to hear that you've trained the paper guy. Metro is a quality paper; the only downside to driving to work is that I don't get a copy anymore! That said, the purple dudes were shoving multiple copies through car windows yesterday - I couldn't believe it!! If they tried that with me I'd have to get biblical with them.

Dinah - I was never a fan of flavoured hot chocolate before, but this new Starbucks one has won me over. The flirty barista lady gave me lots of cream on top because she wanted to see me get it all over my face, the cheeky thang!

Miss T said...

Yes, you must speak more of this hot chocolate phenomena people. The best one I've experienced was a white chocolate with coconut in it. Mmmmm.

Oh, and my two cents about Balok: I kind of miss the little guy. But what's this about Gentle Ben? Did he grow up and star in that show with the bear?

Tim said...

White chocolate? Let me tell you my experience with a white chocolate hot mocha, Miss Haversham...

Basically, I went into a Starbucks, thought the white chocolate mocha sounded nice, so I ordered one. The girl who served me was 'training,' and she dumped hella loads of white choc syrup in the bottom of the cup - but didn't mix it in.

I merrily strolled down the high street, taking sips and thinking 'this doesn't taste very white chocolatey' - until I hit the bottom inch! Oh, god, it was horrible! TOO. MUCH.

Has put me off white chocolate beverages for life...

As for little Clint Howard... Why yes! He was Gentle Ben's best friend in the series of the same name just one year after he appeared in Star Trek! And the IMDB has just informed me that Disney made a new movie of the series in 2002 - sadly without Clint Howard still playing a little boy, but rather with TV's Dean Cain and Corbin Bernsen!

Muchos excitemondo!