Monday, July 31, 2006

Au Revoir? No Neil, It's Goodbye!

Synchronicity I
Last Wednesday when I was cleaning the house, I noticed my contract with the Daily Record was due to expire on August 1st. At first I swithered about reminding them in case they’d forgotten but eventually, after two unsuccessful phone calls, I dropped them an email to see if they fancied renewing it with an unfeasibly large jump in salary. Ho, ho, ho.

About an hour later, a comment appeared on this blog from a girl called Lindsay whose column space (oooer missus) in the newspaper I took over last year. Her nice words (you can read them here) concluded with the phrase “keep up the good work”.

About an hour after THAT, the Features Editor from the newspaper called me (in the middle of my nap I might add) to let me know that my email had pre-empted her call and there was some changes in the offing; new blood and what not and she really did like my writing style and everything… oh, and whatever you do, please keep in touch with any ideas and so on but for now, next week’s column will be the last.

Fair enough I thought, that’s the nature of the business but a bit weird that I should hear from Lindsay on the same day don’t you think? Unless of course she knew all along? And the comment was part of her fiendish masterplan to take over once again? Aaah, I’m on to your oh-so-clever game now little missy and I will stop at nothing to reclaim my rightful position… oh bollocks to that. It’ll be nice to have Sundays off – along with all the other days of the week I have off at the moment.

Anyway as a special treat for both of you loyal internet readers, (and because my computer at home doesn't work) the final column is reproduced below, a day or so earlier than usual.

We need to talk. There’s something I have to tell you so I think you’d better have a seat. While you’re at it, grab a couple of hankies. I’m sorry for doing this but I know it’s for the best. Are you ready? Sure? Okay here it is - this is my last column.

By the time you read this I will be long gone. I’m not sure where exactly but I expect I’ll be clutching wildly at the Opportunity To Pursue A Career Elsewhere that presented itself last week. I know it might come as a bit of a shock to you – especially since things have been going so well – but in truth, I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time; three whole days in fact.

If my instincts are correct, I’m sure you’re feeling a mixture of misery and anger right now. You’ll no doubt have an overwhelming urge to rush to your keyboard and fire off a strongly worded note to The Powers That Be demanding that I be forced to stay on at double my current salary. Knowing you, you’ve probably conjured up a pithy little phrase as a subject matter for your correspondence; something like “Tuesdays will never be the same again” or “It’s the end of the world as we know it”.

But please don’t despair or ask all your friends to compose similar letters. And please don’t blame yourself. Honestly, it’s not you, it’s me. I think I just need a bit of space and time to lay out my model railway track in its entirety.

I know it can’t have been easy conducting a relationship with me in this manner, having to listen to all my golf stories and being constantly reminded to keep your CDs in strict alphabetical order. To be perfectly frank, I think we’ve been growing apart ever since I caught you drooling over a photo of that other columnist who appears on a Wednesday. The hurt I still feel – not to mention Scottish libel laws – prevent me from naming him but let’s just say that Cam Towan will never love you the way that I did. For my part, I apologise once again for not being as attentive as I could have been. When you asked me what colour your eyes are I didn’t really mean to say “round”. I know now that they’re white.

So I think it’s obvious that we’re not right for each other and want different things out of life. You say tomatoes and I say “where’s the remote?” You’re a fun-loving Pisces and I’m a rugged old Jedi. You like to sit down for a nice cup of tea and I like a four-shot, venti Caramel Macchiato with skimmed milk TO GO.

It’s clear that you want someone who is sensitive to your needs and knows just when you could do with a hug. You want someone who can open up and talk honestly about his feelings without fear of letting go once in a while. You want a loving commitment from someone who will be there for you through thick and thin until death do you part. I, on the other hand, want pizza. Without mushrooms.

It seems hard to imagine but eventually these feelings of hopelessness and utter rejection will pass and you’ll be able to look back and remember all the good times we’ve shared over the past fourteen months. The Star Wars trivia quizzes for one. The silly debates about whether the toilet paper should hang with the flap over the front or the back for another. (For the last time, the answer is “the front”.)

All I can say now is that I really hope we can still be friends and I’m sure someone else will come along to take my place and make you happy. You certainly deserve it.

I will always be here for you. Well, not HERE exactly but you know what I mean.

Neil x

P.S. The Beatles CDs should be filed under ‘B’ not ‘T’.

Synchronicity II
On Friday, I went for a walk on the other side of town while my car was getting MOT’d. In doing so, I walked passed a flat that I used to share with someone 15 years ago. (She lives somewhere else now.) On the way back to collect my car, she drove past me with her young six-month old son. Weird huh?

Synchronicity III
On Friday night I had a dream about eating pizza. On Saturday night I ATE A PIZZA. F#ck me, I’m buying a ton of lottery tickets this week!!!


At 30/7/06 11:58 pm, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

Neily Neil,
I am flattered you finally dedicated a whole post to me, remembering I am pisces and also remembering the debate we had about the toilet paper. Sorry about the mushrooms in the pasta. But anyway, just wanted to say sorry to hear that your time is up (with the paper I mean) and I hope that doesn't mean you are going to stop posting. Maybe you need a holiday. In Barcelona. You lazy git. How the hell can you still be solvent?

At 31/7/06 10:02 pm, Blogger DC said...

Neil, This is my 3rd try at posting a comment - the first 2 were really funny.

Tough luck mate - at least you're used to being dumped

At 2/8/06 11:50 am, Anonymous Lindsay said...

Nothing to do with me! I swear, I had no idea. Honestly.

That's a bit mean of them. Although, I like to think that they are a mean paper, dropping me at 18 for being too old and all (don't get me started). I too was told to keep in touch with ideas and so on, but they never seem to like my ideas. Which generally revolve around "Can I interview McFly PLEASE?"

But, yeah. That's a bit crap. I am sorry to hear that, your column was really good. I'm sorry to hear that that's your time up, but at least now you can do as I do and go about shouting, "I used to write for the Daily Record!"

I've found it works a treat in attracting the opposite sex, because they seem to think I'm famous. Which is stupid really, because I'm not, but the Danny from McFly lookalike in the pub can think it all he likes if it makes me more attractive.

I'm rambling again. And I wonder why they took my column away from me... Hmmm...

But, yes. All the best, and keep up the blogging!


At 2/8/06 7:54 pm, Anonymous wendi said...


At 2/8/06 8:48 pm, Blogger Lena said...

I've the words "If it wasn't for coincidence life would go smoothly." running through my head right now. I don't know if it's a common saying or not, but I used to believe it. I'm not so sure in this case......

Sadly, I'm afraid I've never read too many Daily Records to be able to say whether they've made a mistake by letting you go or not, Neil, but judging solely on your blogs here, I'd still be buying a copy on the appropriate day, if I'd discovered you sooner.

At least there's always this place. Mind you, you might not get as many readers, but I like it cosy. You can rant and rave here as much as you like without the worry of getting lobbed......!

Take heart, Neil. I'm sure there's others out there that still love ya.

At 2/8/06 10:27 pm, Anonymous Deborah said...

Yes, I'm still out there(here) and I love you (ya).

At 2/8/06 10:53 pm, Blogger Neil said...

Aw shucks... thank you all for your kind words. (Not YOU Donald.) I took your advice Deborah and wrote to The Times - no reply yet but I guess it takes time to draw up a lucrative contract.

At 5/8/06 9:05 am, Anonymous Deborah said...

Good, there must be someone perspicacious on The Times who'll snap you up .... I remain optimistic!

Charles Bremner mentioned RLS in his blog the other day and a very funny piece on 'modern' art .... deadpan.

Fingers crossed.

PS Six months old? a boy? That must have craned your neck somewhat.


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