The bottom line

14 Dec

IT’S morning conference and Big Bernard, the chief reporter, is sitting in front of the Editor’s desk, a grin splitting his face.

Big Bernard: “Hey Boss. Before we start conference I need to ask you a question.”

Editor: “Ask what you like. So long as it doesn’t involve money or sex I’ll give you anything.”

Big Bernard: “Ah . . . Then we might have a problem. And it doesn’t concern money.”

Editor, sitting back in his executive chair with his hands clasped on his stomach: “Go on.”

Big Bernard: “Have you glanced lately through the classified adverts section on our splendid Nitherley Observer and Bugle website – the fantastic website that allows readers to interact by submitting their own, unvetted adverts?”

Editor: “No. In fact, I didn’t even know we had a classified section that allows readers to interact. Sounds like a great idea.”

Big Bernard: “Well, someone at the Daily Mail has been glancing through it – obviously in search of a bargain, the tight-arsed southern Tory twats – and brought to our attention an advert, placed by a reader in Beverley, that I think you should be aware of.”

Editor: “What, the real Daily Mail? The one in London?”

Big Bernard: “Yeh. They’re doing a story about the malignant spread of sex advertising and its adverse effect on the community and have asked us for a quote regarding this advert we’re running.”

Editor, slightly alarmed: “What fuckin’ advert?”

Big Bernard: “The one submitted by our Beverley reader in our unvetted write-what-yer-fuckin’-well-like interactive classified section on our brilliant NOB website. This is what it says: For sale. One set of anal beads. Never been used. One pound or nearest offer.”

Editor: “A set of anal beads for sale on OUR website?”

Big Bernard: “For a quid. Never been used. Sounds like a bargain to me.”

Editor: “But we can’t advertise stuff like that on OUR website.”

Big Bernard: “But we are. The punters are uploading their own adverts. This is the future. Roll up, roll up for your anal beads. What do you want me to tell the Daily Mail?”

Editor: “Jesus Christ. Tell them to stick their story up their fuckin’ arse.”

Five minutes later . . .

I’m sitting at my desk when the Deputy Editor leans over and whispers in my ear: “Pssst. That bizarre conversation in there just now. I don’t want to seem naive, but what are anal beads?”

I reply: “Anal beads are a sex toy consisting of multiple spheres or balls attached together in series which are continuously inserted through the anus into the rectum and then removed with varying speeds depending on the effect desired.”

He nods politely, pats my shoulder and wanders off down the office. And really, I should have told him that I was reading the description directly from a Wikipedia page on my computer screen. Because I didn’t know either.

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