There was only one News of the World to be had today. It was torn and soggy and lay abandoned on a shelf in Tesco, Sandymount. As always, LSB was first to spot it. “There’s one there, Katzi” he said, “but it’s a bit of a mess”.
I picked up the grubby scraps of newssheets and examined them carefully. I’d been into every newsagent between Rathmines and Sandymount and: nothing. Nothing but broadsheets brimming with supplements sealed in surround wrap, and boxes full of half-price jammy dodgers.
I wanted the last- ever copy. And scarcity is a great fuel to desire.
I wanted it so that in years to come – if this whole teaching-writing thing doesn’t work out – I can advertise it on e-bay as a journalistic artefact. A wealthy media tycoon will invest and my fortune will be made. In public, my friends will praise my foresight but privately they will deeply regret popping their own copies into the green bin.
On the other hand, if this whole teaching-writing thing does work out, I will be moving in the kinds of circles where possession of such a sordid journalistic relic will afford no small amount of Fleet Street cred. Either way, my quality of life will improve.
But I was in a bind. Nobody was going to want a dirty, torn copy, and by the time I was ready to sell it, there’d probably be a NOTW nostalgia app available for the iphone26.
I dropped it back on the shelf with an exaggerated sigh.
“You’ve never bought the News of the World before, have you Katzi?”, LSB asked tentatively.
“No, no of course not”, I answered- rather ashamed that LSB was made of more moral fibre than to suspect me of a mercenary motive.
“I suppose I’ll get the Sunday Times then”, I said, grumbling all the way to the self-service till, where I tried scanning the main headline in favour of the barcode repeatedly, much to LSB’s contained mortification.
“Katzi”, he whispered “you put the coins in this side”.
“Yes I know”, I answered briskly. “Obviously”.
As we were sipping our mocha (his) and cappuccino (mine) a little later, I had a look at the front page of the Sunday Times. I could not believe my eyes.
“LSB?”, I ventured.
“Is Amanda Brunker very famous?”
“Well Katzi She is quite famous as an Irish celebrity,” he answered, measured as always.
“Hmm”, I said.
“Why do you ask?”
“She was profiled in the Irish Times yesterday” I said “but I’d never heard of her. Has everyone heard of her?”
“I saw her video on youtube yesterday” I said. “She’s awful”
“Yes Katzi, she is”.
“How come I’ve never heard of people that everyone else has?”
“I don’t know, Katzi”.
I allowed a pregnant pause to occur.
“I should have read the News of the World more” I said with gravitas, tossing aside the Sunday Times Culture section and diving into my scone.