So, we did it. And there's a nicely completed feeling to it all, because the Mail, which bleated on so pathetically yesterday morning about putting rubbish in the wrong place, is now in exactly the right place: the recycling bin.
A £1,000 fine for chucking the Mail away? I should get a £1,000 reward. But it's been fun, these past 24 hours of scouring through the dead-tree edition. Monkey, as inscrutable as ever, will confirm that I definitely read it from cover to cover
and I can confirm that I didn't really tremendously enjoy it.
But what did we learn? Well, in part 1 we learned that the Mail keeps pursuing its rubbish agenda, while giving undue credence to people like the Taxpayers Alliance.
In part 2 we learned that the ads are the most (unintentionally hilariously) enjoyable part of the paper. And now I want a fumble-free off switch for my glow-in-the-dark temperature-telling alarm clock!
In part 3 I discovered that Quentin Letts is more horrific a prospect than Liz Jones, who is either deliberately or unwittingly creating a comic persona of a ditsy idiot who doesn't understand why she might upset other people.
Part 4 saw me try, and fail, to decode Jonathan Cainer's horoscopes, which had a 3-2-1 feeling about them.
Part 5 - my favourite - saw me discover that the Mail were cheerily reporting the Government being ticked off by the ASA, while seemingly repeating a type of promotion that saw them ticked off by the ASA themselves a short while ago. Naughty!
In part 6, it was my sad duty to report that the Mail's attempt to represent Gordon Brown looked like a mid-vomit Adrian Chiles, and that Fred Bassett was bewildering shit.
The dark oozing heart of the Mail came to the fore in part 7, where letter-writers were allowed to blithely tell stories about immigrants and label them all as dirty; and someone else could quite cheerily slag off fat people. There was a bonus bit of Straight to the Point, or as I like to call it, No Fucking About With Niceties.
Part 8 - Can't be fucked to Google it? Scared of the internet? Don't worry, the Mail has a lo-tech crowdsourcing option for you.
Part 9 was something I actually enjoyed. More of this, please!
In part 10 we learned about the sheer bathetic banality of the Ephraim Harcastle diary column.
Part 11 looked a the word 'foreign' and a couple of scary stories about doctors who aren't from *whispers* around here.
And then there was Women! in part 12.
What else did I learn? I learned that writing 14 blog posts in a day is tiring on the brain and on the fingers. I learned that the dead-tree Mail is something which seems dusty and outdated, and you have to wonder whether it's going to survive tremendously well in the next 10 or 20 years, given the demographic that its advertisers are targeting. I learned that the things that should encourage you to pay that 50p to get the paper, rather than just read it online for nothing, don't seem that great - though perhaps the puzzles pages, which I didn't try, are worth it. Leaving aside the political differences someone like me is bound to have with the Mail, it just didn't seem that much fun to read at all. There wasn't much that was gripping, or interesting, or that I felt I wouldn't get elsewhere; and what original unique content there was left me pretty nonplussed.
I don't know. I think I had been secretly hoping that the dead-tree Mail was really better than it really was. At least then you could understand people buying it for the quality. But I don't think they do. I think they buy it out of habit more than anything else, out of routine and familiarity. It gives them something familiar, it provides a dailiness. And, yes, I suppose it reinforces those well-honed expectations and prejudices as well.
But that's all for now. If you enjoyed all this, please share far and wide. I'm knackered now, it's 2.39am and I'm going to bed. And I won't be buying the Mail tomorrow. And probably never again.