What a lot of fun we had at the Talking Newspaper this morning. I was overjoyed to find I had a dream team for the Farnham edition this week – the Evans’ and Di. All three very handy with a red pen and always up for a laugh.
As I was cutting out the stories before they arrived I came across a wonderful headline which read “Man hides spoon in underpants” or similar. I put it where June Evans usually sits in the hope she’d read it. I knew she’d do it justice. Boy, was I ever right.
The story itself was not particularly funny. It was about a heroin addict who was a bit of a loser. He’d been caught by the police for something and underwent a strip search. In his underpants, the police discovered his drug tools and promptly arrested him.
The news item was reporting on his appearance in court where he told the magistrate the sob story of his poor miserable life. Again, not particularly funny but the whole underpants thing ruined the rest of it for any sense of pity for the guy.
Anyway, my readers turned up and June sat straight down in front of the pile I had especially prepared for her and it wasn’t long before she announced to us all that she had a brilliant story about underpants that she was totally going to enjoy reading. In my head, I metaphorically rubbed my hands together.
In the studio, everything was going very smoothly. We’d just read the Letters to the Editor and were preparing to read another round of general stories when June started to read about the guy and his pants. It was hilarious! She had major problems keeping a straight face (particularly when reporting that the man’s drug spoon had a brown stain on it) and, by the last paragraph, completely lost it.
She was gasping for air, she was laughing so much.. The rest of us were just as bad. Our engineer had to stop the recording and go back to somewhere June could restart from. It took her a while to get enough control to read the final paragraph. It was brilliant.
When we finished the recording, all we could talk about was June and the Underpants.
When we emerged from the studio, the next group, who were busy editing away in solemn silence, asked what was so funny. June said “a heroin addict’s underpants.” This just set us off all over again. The next group just stared with incomprehension.
I enjoy all my Talking Newspaper recordings but today was one of the best. As I told someone the other day, if it’s not fun, what’s the point of doing it for nothing?