Chasing Papers

Saturday mornings are about sipping extra-hot lattes, the occasional trip to the gym, and chewing the fat with the husband. But more than anything, Saturday mornings are about reading the Guardian Weekend magazine.

I love the Guardian Weekend magazine. I love the fashion pages; I love the weekly photograph competition; I love Sali Hughes’s beauty advice; I love the Let’s Move To… section; I used to LOVE Jon Ronson’s column (before he was succeeded by the dour Tim Dowling); I’m less interested in the gardening pages but you can’t have it all. I never miss a copy.

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This Saturday morning, I went to buy my Guardian as usual from the Co-Op and they didn’t have any! While I was in there, a woman came in and said she’d been to two shops in the area and no-one had the Guardian.

What was this? A national shortage of the Guardian? I decided not to panic at this point. We were going into town that afternoon and I figured I’d be able to secure a copy from there.

We parked up and on a whim decided to go to Everyman (‘posh’ cinema where you can recline on sofas, neck bottles of wine and tuck into the stingiest box of over-priced popcorn you’ll ever see). We watched Blue Ruin (gruesome, pointless plot, the husband loved it).

‘I must get the Guardian on the way home,’ I said to the husband, as we headed for a bite to eat (Nandos, natch).

I’d read somewhere that there was an interview with Diane Kruger in this week’s Guardian. I’m a bit obsessed with Diane Kruger. She’s just very, very cool and also dates Joshua Jackson, my favourite ever Dawson Creek character (who I once met at a film premiere when I had a cool job but then acted very, very uncool in asking for a photo with him. Sigh.).

Pulling up at home at 10pm, I suddenly realised I’d forgotten to track down a copy of the Guardian.

It was late and I was worried that the already depleted national supplies might make the mission almost impossible. But it made me even more determined.

‘I’m going to look for a Guardian,’ I said to the husband, grabbing the car keys off him and jumping in the car seat.

The husband simply shook his head in a ‘my-wife-is-deranged’ manner.

I drove to Tesco petrol station. No Guardian. Another Co-Op. No Guardian. Sainsburys Local. No Guardian but wait… What was that behind the counter? A great big bundle of the buggers. Bingo!

‘Please can I have one of those Guardians?’ I said to the shop assistant, pointing to them.

The officious shop guy shook his head.

‘I’m afraid it’s too late,’ he said. ‘They’ve been counted and tied up to be sent back.’

‘Is there no chance you could just sell me one?’ I said. ‘I’ll even pay double!

He shook his head in a way that said, ‘it’s-completely-out-of-my-hands-I-don’t-make-the-rules’.

I decided to go for a new tack.

‘Forget the paper itself,’ I said. ‘I just want the magazine bit.’

‘I’m not allowed to,’ said officious shop guy. ‘If there’s one missing, they will phone up tomorrow and want to know where it is.’

‘You’re not seriously telling me that the Guardian are going to call you up tomorrow, on a Bank Holiday Sunday, demanding to know where one of their missing magazines is,’ I cried, a bit hysterically.

‘The magazine bits go missing ALL THE TIME. In London, they just leave leftover papers dumped outside shops!’

Behind me in the queue, was a gaunt Scottish man, eyeing me with disdain.

‘Listen love, why didn’t you just buy one earlier?’ gaunt Scottish man said peevishly.

‘I tried! But due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to acquire one,’ I said through gritted teeth.

He bared his teeth in an ugly smile.

‘Good luck with your newspaper,’ he sneered, scooping up his four-pack as he exited.

Officious sales guy and I had reach deadlock. We eyed each other determinedly, the huge pile of Guardians sat on the counter between us.

But I had come this far. I wasn’t going to give up.

Officious agreed to go in to the office and phone the nearby Sainsburys Local to say if they had any Guardians left and, if so, whether they had already bundled them up to be sent back – like he had.

As he begrudgingly trudged into the back room, I did something bad. In the full glare of the CCTV camera, I grabbed hold of one of the magazines sticking out of the bundle. I tugged and tugged and it came free!

Heart racing, I snatched the magazine and fled the shop, leapt into my car and bombed off at speed, half-expecting officious shop guy to give chase.

As I put some distance between us and my heart began to regain its normal rhythm, I checked my rear view mirror for flashing blue lights. The cops weren’t onto me – yet. I felt an overwhelming sense of victory.

‘This is how Winona Ryder felt,’ I thought. ‘She steals purely for the buzz’.

Back at home, I clambered into bed, turned on the light, and picked up my stolen Guardian Weekend magazine with a contented sigh.

And then I saw the front cover: ‘Diane Keaton: I Slept With A Peg On My Nose’.

Keaton?!

Not Kruger, after all.

3 thoughts on “Chasing Papers

  1. I hope you don`t get cast into the pit for this escapade. Lucky for you CCTV is lousy definition and it will take them weeks to track you down. Ted

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