You may say - and there is possibly a grain of truth in this - that I'm wussing out of the Daily Mail Day, by opting for a day in which Richard Littlejohn doesn't make an appearance. But there are a couple of faces that have turned up who turned my blood to gravy. Here's the first one:
Aaargh! Look at his biiiiiiiiiiiiiig faaaaaaaaaaaaace. Look at that grin. It's the kind of self-satisfied grin that says: "Yes, it's me, I'm here, and I'm going to write some stinky old cod for you about what I saw when I was doing grown-up things in the House of Commons and that! And you are going to love it. I said something funny once, got me a regular slot on the Daily Politics. Hurrah for me! Has Cook made scones yet?" - at least, in my mind it does. Which is why I have to admit that I didn't read the article beneath. Not a word of it. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Look, it's him. Maybe it's one of those rare occasions when he's suddenly produced something brilliant out of nowhere, but do you know what? I'm not going to take that chance. Fuck that.
Instead, let's plough on with Liz Jones.
"Jones Moans". Ew. Is it just me that thinks there's something vaguely sexual about that? The very thought of imagining Liz Jones moaning in that context makes me feel like I've just had half a pound of raw liver slapped in my face. But we must soldier on through this. Come with me now. We'll do it together, my friends.
A point of order first. Jones says she's buying 'out of season' produce such as strawberries (though I think the main reason she brings this up is to use the word 'expensive' - well good for you Liz, I'm jolly glad you can afford strawberries and basil on your Mail salary; enjoy the basil and strawberry tart), but on page 3 of today's Mail (I don't have the photo to hand, but trust me, it's there) points out that early-season British strawberries are in the shops now. Just a small factual thing. Not that she gives a shit, I daresay, but I thought I'd just flag it up.
Now. To the rest. Liz is upset that people tell her not to bring her dog into places, but she says that poor people are dirty, so... well I don't understand it actually. What is the point? She should be able to bring her dirty dog into shops to piss and shit everywhere, because she once saw someone lick their fingers or scratch their head?
I wish I could tell you there's more to it than that, but there isn't. It all finishes with the flourish of "Erggh!" which I rather like actually. (I couldn't not like it, seeing as I use "Aaaargh!" all the time, and have even done so earlier in this entry). I think Liz gets a bad press sometimes from people like me. She's not there to be clever, or good, or interesting - and it's a bit silly for any of us, her critics, to imagine that she aspires to those lofty heights. No. She is just there to put across the persona of a somewhat naive and exasperating twit who is blissfully unaware of their own daftness. Whether she does this deliberately, or through it being her real personality, is the question we've never been able to answer.
Having never met her, I don't know. I imagine we'll never know. But I'll tell you this - I was able to finish her entire column, whereas Quentin Letts's masterpiece remained entirely unread by me. You might harshly say that's because hers is a fucking void of all intelligent content, merely newspapery candyfloss in which this witless fool gets to pointlessly pontificate about the tiny sparkly things that dance around in front of her eyes.
But I wouldn't go that far. In the big scheme of the Mail, it's certainly one of the least head-deskingly awful things you'll read all day. Is it any good though? Well no. And it's certainly not the 'funny' or 'outrageous' stuff we're promised. When she's writing about banal subjects like this, it's perfectly tedious rather than hateful. I'd just say it's crap. Not offensive crap. Not unpleasant crap. Just crap.