Monday, 11 July 2011

End Of The World Found On Moon

So the News of the World is no more. I can't say I ever saw a copy of it, except maybe when I was about 14 and preoccupied with behind-the-bike-shed ethics and practices. Sleaze was more gentlemanly (and no doubt more ladylike) in those days: the NOTW's genteel in-house euphemism for sex was 'intimacy'.

E.g.: 'Witness Miss F. , a hotel employee, having knocked at the bedroom door while carrying the breakfast tray, understood the sounds from inside to be an invitation to enter. As she did so she observed intimacy was taking place.'

I regret more the passing of the Daily and Sunday Sport, not for the unending diet of sleaze but for the occasional inspired, indeed poetic, zaniness of its headlines.

E.g.: 'Statue Of Elvis Found On Mars'
'Bus Found Buried At South Pole'
'Rose West Ate My Guinea Pig'
'WW2 Bomber Found On Moon'
'Mum Gives Birth To 8lb Haddock'
'Man Fights Shark With Wife's False Teeth' .

I nearly bought a copy once, one afternoon when I was wandering rather disconsolately round Lee on the Solent with my daughter Patroclus, killing time before the night ferry from nearby Portsmouth to Le Havre. The Daily - or it might have been Sunday - Sport headline in a newsagent's window was 'Hide And Seek Champ Found Dead In Cupboard'.

Mightily intrigued by the implications of this, I was all for going in and buying a copy, but Patroclus restrained me most insistently, claiming that she would rather have her teeth pulled than be seen in close proximity to her father carrying a copy of the Sunday Sport. Or words to that effect. So I gave in.


patroclus said...

Apparently the Sunday Sport's usual defence when challenged on its veracity was 'well, our readers tell us it's true, and who are we to doubt our readers?'

I should point out for any newbies to your blog that my name isn't *really* Patroclus, just in case anyone was wondering about the extent of your parental japery.

Mike and Ann said...

Even the best of newspapers can be guilty 0f ripe humour in its headlines. Some years ago the Daily Telegraph (!) printed a small article on its front page about a vet who was instructing some vererinary students about the digestive processes in cows, and the amount of methane produced by them. To prove his point he tubed the blunt end of a cow and then set light to the resultant methane gas. The cow, alarmed by this procedure (as well she might be) broke free and galloped (still pursued by a flaming tube) through a nearby barn, setting light to it. It eventually burned to the ground, and this led to my favourite Telegraph headline :- 'ARSON FIRE ?'

moreidlethoughts said...

I do love that the Torygraph should trump the News of the Screws.
Thankyou. (Has anyone informed Vicus?)

Sarah said...

What are the chattering classes going to read now? one wonders.

Christopher said...

'Patroclus': Parental japery. Oh dear. Always drawn to capering and frivolity, a terrible weakness.

M 'n' A: Good story. And a very good introduction to rocket science, wouldn't you say?

MIT: Vicus hasn't been seen for days. I do hope he wasn't the 'hide and seek champ' referred to.

Sah: Welcome back. EADT?

Dave said...

I have never read the thing, nor (as far as I know, although doubtless I have come close on occasions) have I featured in its pages.

Christopher said...

Yes, Dave, you assured me once that you weren't the Rector of Stiffkey and I believed you.

Hector said...

Re Mike and Ann's heading - Brings to mind a heading in the Scotsman many years ago following a fire in a stately home in the Scottish Borders -

Ancient Pile Destroyed

Christopher said...

Right, Hector - fundamentally this is one of those Ayrshire Bacon jokes.

Z said...

One I liked from The Sun was, when Eric Cantona did a flying kick at a spectator who heckled him was "Shit Hits The Fan." I rather wish I'd bought a copy.

My daughter's name really is Weeza.

Hector said...

Or the time a well-known (to Christopher) weekly newspaper concluded the report of a golf tournament with the line "Miss B...... laid the field at the 18th tee". The keyboard operator denied a deliberate mistyping of the text which should of course have read "led the field"

Christopher said...

Good one, Z. And Cantona is now an honoured (by some, at least) citizen in the land of Merde.

But was a correction ever made, Hector? If so I hope it was in the spirit of a New Zealand newspaper crime report which carried the remark 'the defective branch of the police force'. After complaint this was corrected to 'the detective branch of the police farce'.

Rog said...

The classic NOW reporter's line when things heated up in the bedroom was "The Reverend East started exposing his cassock - at this point I made an excuse and left".
A pity Rebekah Brooks has only mastered 50% of this technique.

Christopher said...

I see. So Dave's coy hints above aren't without foundation (garments)?

Martin H. said...

During its early days, the Sunday Sport's editor, Michael Gabbert, offered me a job. I've never regretted saying no.

Vicus Scurra said...

1) Are Mike and Ann the world "Cheddar Gorge" champions?
2) I have been seen many times these last few days - hence my absence from the internetual world. So you are wrong.

Christopher said...

But, Martin, don't you regret all those missed adventure travel opportunities? South pole (by London bus)? The moon (by Vickers Wellington)? Mars (by afflatus of popular acclaim)?

Vicus: 1) Yes. 2) I looked in all our cupboards without finding you in any of them. This was both a relief and a disappointment.