Themanwhofellasleep is on an outing this month - a virtual book tour in which he'll spend twenty days jumping around the blogosphere doing interviews and talking to people about his book. Thinking we'd leave the Q&A's and reviews for other legs of the trip we asked Themanwhofellasleep instead to talk a little about what's been going on in the press of late...
Hello, this is Greg aka Themanwhofellasleep. You may know me from my weekly tube gossip column, made popular in Time Out London. You may not know me at all. I can’t blame you. I’m supposed to be doing a little “amusing, sideways” glance at the news, a bit like What the Papers Say, except that I don’t have any newspapers, I’m not a famous journalist and there are no actors reading out the headlines in silly voices. Also, I tried looking at the news from a sideways angle, and it gave me a bit of a headache.
General Pinochet is dead! Yes. I am largely indifferent to this news. He was probably a bad man but I take no great pleasure in old people dying. He as 91 so he’d had a good innings. The phrase “a good innings” always confuses me. Is 91 a good innings? I’m sure Geoffrey Boycott would lambast the likes of Pinochet for getting so close to a century but not managing to hold on. “Typical English batting,” he’d say, ignoring the fact that Pinochet is Chilean. Also, batting averages in cricket seem to be going up, so innings and ages no longer really correspond. Just last week Paul Collingwood managed to score over 200 against Australia, which was a good innings. But no-one lives to be 200, do they? Not unless they are Biblical characters. Something must be done about it. In future, when someone dies, you should say “He’s had a good innings, but not a great one. And anyway, cricket is a team game. It’s no good one person having a good innings if the whole of the middle-order collapses.”
What else is happening? The police have found a third body in Ipswich. This is the dead prostitutes story. All rather depressing really. I think that there should be a clear distinction made between two kinds of prostitutes. Those who work in brothels and those who work on the streets. They seem to enjoy very different kinds of lifestyles. There’s a woman who emails me – she’s a fan of my website – who runs a brothel in east London. She speaks very highly of the girls, and is very protective of them, and they seem quite happy and at ease with their lot in life. They even have a website explaining that they welcome disabled clients. Whereas prostitutes who work on the streets seem to have pretty horrible lives. It’s all drugs and pimps and beatings and sad, sallow skin. So there really does need to be a proper classification system for prostitutes. It’s a bit like drugs. They are always addressed collectively, as though cannabis was the same as heroin (it’s not, is it? I’m not very good with drugs). So, people need to come up with different words. Maybe bedstalkers and streetwalkers.
I think I’ll take a look at some local news. My local online paper is the Muswell Hill Journal. The news is pretty similar every week. There are generally two kinds of stories: one about parking, and ones about phone masts. It seems that the inhabitants of N10 spend up to 85% of their free time protesting about phone masts. They spend the remaining 15% of their time complaining that they can’t get decent reception on their mobiles. Actually, in the last month Muswell Hill has been the centre of a proper international new story, as it’s where dead Russian Alexander Litvinenko lived. Poor fellow. Still, the local paper hasn’t managed to unearth any leads that evaded the broadsheets. The big story this week has been the chilling burglaries at the Shepherds Hill allotments in Crouch End. Garden mowers and grass strimmers worth hundreds of pounds were stolen. I find it quite heartening that in this day and age, people still have allotments. As a child I would watch Eastenders and Arthur would toodle of to his allotment and all was well with the world. I’ve never quite seen the point of a tiny patch of garden miles from your home, but good luck to the green-fingered gardeners of N8, and let’s hope that the police catch the bastards behind the robbery before they strike again.
There you go. You learnt something new today. Now, go out and buy my novel. It’s called A Year in the Life of TheManWhoFellAsleep. It’s good.
It is too. You can buy it from any good bookshop (and probably a couple of the bad ones too). We like it because Greg is honest even when he's making stuff up. For example, as he says above he doesn't take any pleasure in old people dying - he just sends out cards about it instead! Here's the one he sent us to celebrate Londonist's collective birthday:
You can read the first seventy pages of a satirical, depressing, funny look at life, death, public transport and the banality of living in north London here (pdf file).