August 24, 2006 at 11:19 am (The office)

Must invoice the magazine I was at last week. Otherwise it amounts to voluntary work for a publishing company and there are worthier causes. Also, stop wasting paper. I just pressed “print” without noticing the number of copies in the dialogue box. Four A3 sheets I didn’t need. There is a recycling bin next to me, but I’ve killed a tree. Yesterday an editor made me recall copies of pages I’d put out to five people because of a minor headline change. Tree killer. I nearly bit her head off. After the Iraq war I became disillusioned with recycling. Imagine separating your cartons and bottles to better the world and then all that planned destruction. I had taken it up again, but then they attacked Lebanon. On a ligher note, a teacher, Mrs Hurst told me when I was 10 never to write “and then”. Then we spent a whole afternoon not writing “and then”. A few months ago, a section editor who I always see reading, handed me back a page reuniting in red “ands” with “thens” wherever I’d pulverised one. And then I thought to myself, maybe Mrs Hurst was wrong. She had a red face, a voice hoarse from the cigarettes she smelled of and once humiliated me for suggesting Buckingham Palace was a quadrangle. She laughed at me. Then, in a school production of Robin Hood, she allocated bit parts to everyone — I didn’t get one because there were no Arabs in the story. The only part left was Robin himself; it was me and my best friend at the time James Nelson. Naturally, James got the part. He lives in New Zealand now. I hope Mrs Hurst lived long enough to learn Buckingham Palace is, in fact, a quadrangle and that Robin Hood was Iranian.

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