Monday, 30 January 2012

Book Review - Sunday Supplement

Greetings. I come to you today as I sit in my fine leather chair in the drawing room, puffing on a pipe in my smoking jacket and slippers, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the latest book for me to review. That’s right, I bet you never had me down as a literacy critic did you? I’ll have you know that I have given a professional critique of some of our most acclaimed classics, including Where’s Wally (‘a contemporary masterpiece of minimalist charm’) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (‘a rip roaring ride in which a ravenous insect devours all in his path’).

Any moment now, I will hear the soft pat of my latest arrival hitting the hessian welcome mat, covered by The Sunday Times. I have been an avid reader of their Sunday supplement for many a moon now. I appreciate the numerous branches of narrative which stray into celebrity culture, a synopsis on the week’s television schedules, and how to avoid cankles. To collate this into one unique and intriguing package is utterly sublime, and I hope that this week’s instalment manages to wrap up the story arc involving Michael Parkinson’s life insurance.

Do you need a life first before you take out life insurance?

It’s here! After throwing away the actual newspaper (who wants to read about bikini models giving away free money in the local park?), I am greeted by a glossy article of wonder. They say the first mistake of being a book reviewer is to judge a book by its cover, but I reckon I’m in for a treat today!

The inside cover has a note from the editor, which is rather sweet. If only more authors took the time to acknowledge their fans. Then a contents table helpfully guides you through the meat and bones of the novel. I wish Lord Of The Rings had something like this so I could have skipped all those damn descriptions about travelling and gotten to the bit where that bald mental kid falls into a volcano (oops, spoiler alert).

On page 4 is a pull out supplement on Ian Beale’s relationships. For those not in the know, Ian Beale is a character on one of those gaudy, depressing prole-pits called soap operas. This is handy if you find Eastenders so confusing that you need a pictorial diagram in order to follow the current plot. Then, there’s a roundup of the latest reality TV, with many wonderful pictures of chiselled presenter, Phillip Schofield. His contributions to television are nothing short of fucking awful. Sorry no, what’s the word? Legendary.

Then there’s an article about love and relationships, where readers write in (oddly enough, in an identical style and form to each other) to discuss all the sexy sex they’ve been having. This is where things get a bit blue. Apparently, Clive in Berkshire is knocking off his girlfriend’s dog, but the dog doesn’t even know its happening! He wants to know whether he should buy the dog a valentine’s gift or not. Oh-ho Clive, you filthy beggar, you! After that, there’s a woman who has had a bad vajazzle, making her beef curtains taste like oxtail soup. The agony uncle reckons they should kill themselves, then each other.

On the next page, awww it’s a lovely picture of a porcelain dog! Apparently, the dog was engraved especially for Princess Diana’s birthday, and can be mine for nothing apart from 24 monthly payments of £17.99, plus postage, plus labour, plus tax, plus dog handling charges, plus sky plus subscription. Where’s the scissors? I need to cut this bad boy out right now!

I gotta have that bitch!

Right, now let’s get on with the rest of the review. Next we arrive at the fashion pages. No mention of those cankles promised from last week (which I why I won’t be awarding this week’s edition 5 stars), but there are some handy hints for dressing to your body shape. I tend to spend most of my time in a smoking jacket and thick gardening trousers, but apparently I should be wearing a slim, A line dress with horizontal stripes if I’m an apple shape. Court shoes are so out this season, so I’ll need to skin a cougar and make it into trendy boots. I’ll also need to grease my thighs with bacon juice for that “celebrity shimmer” when I’m going out with the girls. I wonder what my wife’s sisters, Marlene and Doris will think of my new look? I tell you, you don’t get useful advice like this from reading Dickens!

Then there are the TV listings. A brief synopsis of each programme is elegantly written giving you the facts, and leaving plenty to your imagination. My mind soars over the possibilities left to chance when I read that on Tuesday there’s a mysteriously intriguing programme named “Coppers”. What could it be about? Perhaps it’s about the fall of the Mayan empire. Maybe it is an insightful documentary on molecular physics. Who knows?

The back cover is another postal order for a commemorative plate for the Queen’s jubilee this year. I reckon that this week’s supplement is more than worthy of four star status, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys cutting out and sending off for things in the post. Now where did I put those bastard scissors?


  1. Damn. It gets funnier every week. Awesome stuff! Cankles, bald mental kid falling into volcanoes and Bacon Juice celebrity shimmer being some of the winners this week.

  2. Buy the dog! And then buy more scissors!

  3. Hi, I came by your blog via the A to Z challenge, I too get the same paper, I am a wee bit fed up seeing commercials about life insurrance for after we're gone. One knows we need assurance but at my age don't want to be reminded that life "Isn't Forever".

    Good luck in the challenge.


  4. First, I would like to say that I am an Easterner and frankly, I have no idea what the hell they are thinking watching those shows. If you haven't checked out The Jersey Shore or The Bachelor, you should, as I believe they illustrate that Americans have clearly run out of ideas and that if it is on television, most of us really will watch anything.

    Next, I would like to warn you about the bacon juice. While you do get that glamorous shimmer, you are taking your life in your own hands if you walk by any hungry animals. However that may be the perfect gift for the guy looking for a Valentine's present for his dog. They both, um, win.

    Unlike DWei, I am against buying the dog. It is impossible to find a good dog walker for a porcelain dog and it is very hard to get them to eat.

  5. Sorry, I know that this is awfully childish but 'Beef curtains'. Hee hee hee!

  6. @Flip - Thanks. Now the pressure is on to be funnier next week!

    @DWei - I've worn those scissors down to the point where they don't cut anything. I'm using them as hair crimpers.

    @Yvonne - Life doesn't last forever? Damn, I've wasted 25 years of my life! If I'd have known I'd have done something about it!

    @Shay - Good points. I think you're confused about Eastenders though. It's a soap opera in the UK where cockneys repeat the line "Get out of my pub" over and over.

    @Lily - Not as childish as writing it and displaying it proudly on your blog.

  7. I want to hug you just for using the phrase "beef curtains." Few filthy phrases make me laugh as hard as that one. :D

  8. This sounds like the depth of my typical reading.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  9. Good gawd, you're absolutely funny!
    Am so glad I am here ... (snort, chuckle, snort!)

  10. So glad I stumbled on your blog! Hilarious, thank you for making milk come out of my nose!

  11. @Mich - It bodes well for me that filthy phrases impress you.

    @Arlee - I'd love to say I read more highbrow things, but I'd be a liar and a fraud.

    @Psycho - Glad to have you here.

    @Tracie - I'm going to put up a warning "Do not read this blog whilst drinking milk".

    @Rambler - Yeah, it's not great on a hot day when it starts to boil...

  12. I have a dog like that that I'd PAY you to take. He still craps on the floor and he knocks over EVERYTHING. The artist that captured the 'elegance' in that pose knows nothing about the clumsiness of an Italian Greyhound.

    Also, I love talking about cankles. I always call my ankles cankles around the wife, not because I'm fat (quite the opposite) but because it pisses her off so damn much.

  13. Thank you for writing a review of our wonderful magazine. Please feel free to confess any kinky sexual proclivities you may have so that we can include them in the next edition. If you can't think of any the porcelain dog you ordered is actually insertable and if it were to break while inserted would provide just the kind of problem our agony uncle thrives on. Send photos and we'll even put your name in print! Thank you once again.


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