Thursday 26 June 2008

Narrowing horizons, fading light

13st 10lb again, surprisingly; perhaps 11.5 units of alcohol yesterday, on the conservative assumption that each of the gins I was served at The Castle contained a triple measure; 1,318; Obscurity.

I woke early today, with the consciousness that I had a terrible hangover. It persisted all morning, and I felt able to do little more constructive than reading accumulated back numbers of the local newspaper, including that guide to the “500 Most Influential People in the North East”. True, it does include such titans as all the obscure “chief executives” of every about-to-be-abolished district council, but it also includes every columnist in the region’s leading daily paper apart from me and Willy Poole. And, when I finally summoned up the energy to walk down to The Castle, pick up my car and collect today’s newspaper, I found that it included a poignant final column from the aforementioned Poole, whose services have clearly been dispensed with after 11 years because he is just not influential enough.

There must be a lesson there, if only I felt well enough to work it out.

I had lunch in a fine pub with another PR man who has read my columns (do it while you still can, I say) and concluded that I might be the ideal person to collaborate with him in a new business drive, thereby enabling me to fund the higher living costs associated with having a girlfriend and occasionally leaving home to meet her. He might have got a more positive reception if only I had felt a little better, though he was partly to blame for claiming that a pint of Bombardier is the ideal thing for a hangover. It isn’t. Seven or eight might be ideal for causing one, but one certainly doesn’t effect a cure. In fact, it makes things slightly worse.

At least we ate well, and we had an interesting and wide-ranging discussion on PR, the press and women. Mainly women, if truth be told, but he did helpfully advise me that I should be taking vigorous action against one national newspaper. As revealed here on 6 June, and repeated in one of my columns published yesterday, they had Photoshopped a picture of one of my few remaining clients to make it look as though as he was brandishing a huge wad of cash in the style of Harry Enfield’s Loadsamoney. If I let them get away with this, my professionally minded friend argued, what was there to stop them Photoshopping a picture to make it look as though he was wearing a grubby raincoat, clutching a bag of boiled sweets and beckoning at children in a playground?

True. But then on the other hand I can’t be arsed to do anything about it and the suggested child molester picture would (a) give me a laugh, and (b) allow my client to sue the paper for millions. Which is, of course, what there is to stop them doing it. I wish I’d thought to say that at the time, but I was too hungover.

Maybe I’m no longer cut out for PR or drinking.

Which sadly doesn’t leave an awful lot I can do, if truth be told. Apart from writing an obscure and unread blog.

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