Written in the 80s for the November issue of a new Listings Magazine covering Edinburgh-Glasgow, advertising & (p)reviewing what was on in the area, this article was ignominiously rejected. Still it survived  to see the light another day. The magazine didn't. Some of the then-topical references may be lost on contemporary readers but perhaps there's enough of the old Raving Reporter ideo-syncratic/ idiotic wit  in it to raise the ghost of a smile & an amused yawn...Also, a bit about Guy Fawkes Night.


No-thing to do, nowhere to go. Yes, you've guessed, it must be No-vember!

Calling all apathetic stay-at-homes! The time has come for us to go back into the closet & stand up (nay sit down!) for our right to refuse to be entertained. Rumour has reached me of a new & dangerous challenge to the sanctity of human boredom. I refer, of course, to the scandalous début of a publication, self-descriptively styled 'The List'.

The latest lamentable instalment of this continuing tale of two cities is to be seen brazenly displayed on bookstalls, accosting unsuspecting passers-by with its come-hither cover & seductive promises of a good time to be had by all.

I, for one, am not taken in. I remain, as I've always been, unashamedly listless. Moreover, militantly so. And I intend to put a stop to this harmful claptrap. If They had their way, we'd be perpetually gadding about in the self-indulgent pursuit of pleasure. Such gregarious cultural hedonism should be nipped in the bud. Antisocial, puritanical philistine I may be, but at least I know what I don't like. Why hanker after information when ignorance is bliss?

Out of choice, I try to avoid activity, preferring a dull, uneventful existence. However, the urgent threat posed  to stolid equanimity by this ignominious rag requires a response. Democracy demands that I, as unacknowledged representative of the Silent Majority, am heard. Thus, I have reluctantly had to resort to journalistic sabotage. The sorry sinking of the Rainbow Warrior & other acts of international terrorism will, when the true history of this 'low dishonest decade' is finally written, seem like damp squibs compared to the verbal fireworks I shall set a-flashing & banging.

As modest preliminary to hijacking the entire magazine, I have cunningly managed to infiltrate these few column-inches. Luckily, security was lax. No Molesworthian razor-sharp barbed wire wit protecting this base page! Being a crack computer hacker helped. Child's play gaining access to the electronic memory of their pathetically rudimentary word-processor. Besides, as a dab hand with scissors & paste, after I'd inserted my two pee's worth, no-one saw the join. It's unlikely that the staff, let alone the editors, actually bother to read the stuff they peddle.

If I have succeeded in lulling you to sleep, or merely raising a yawn or two, I shall count the exercise well worth the effort. Before I leave you to a quiet evening in, letting you go gentle into that good night, I suppose I ought to mention one topical pastime tradition grudgingly permits. Let it not be said that I'm a total killjoy. I don't object to a little innocent amusement in extreme moderation.

Yet, what with the recent inner-city riots, molotov cocktails & flaming police cars, Bonfire Night's not the same any more. Still, if you must hark back to those distant days of childish innocence, when holding a sparkler was the ultimate thrill & a Brock's Rocket the height of hi-tech whizzadry, or even if you simply wish to keep warm on the 5th, what better kindling for a merry blaze than last fortnight's issue of The List ? It's inflammatory material alright!

On second thoughts, though, the best advice is to stay safe indoors. Don't light the blue touch paper, just retire. You wouldn't want to get your fingers burnt. Remember, remember: Tedium is the Message!









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