The pursuit of cold, hard cash took me up to the capital recently.
There, you cannot walk down the street without being accosted by increasingly desperate distributors of the many free newspapers that have sprung up of late. London Lite. The London Paper. Metro. The Daily Bollocks.
"Free paper, sir?"
"Free paper, sir?"
"Free paper, sir? And would you like to rub my tits too?"
"I'll think about it. Have you got a sister?"
"It's a deal."
And these people, it turns out, earn more than the poor, hard-pressed hacks employed to write the content.
London, it seems, has passed the Free Newspaper Event Horizon, where the capital's entire economy relies solely on purple-clad goons handing out the latest comic from the Murdoch stable.
If there's one consolation, no bugger reads the increasingly barking Evening Standard these days. Which can only be A Good Thing.
While we're here, a quick note to the editors of London Lite: Just because you use the word 'blog' on every other page, it doesn't actually turn your publication into a weblog. It is still a freesheet newspaper, and not a particularly good one at that.
That is all.
Oh go on, vote me up, then
Thanks to my trying - and failing - to hold simultaneous MSN conversations with no less than four people yesterday evening, I got rather less writing done that I would have liked, and this week's Thursday vote-o is limited to a paltry three - count 'em - THREE Tales of Mirth and Woe for you lot to choose this week. Hang your heads in shame, for you all know who you are.
Any road up:
* Take a Break: Ann Noreen Widdecombe had no idea what was in those teabags she had purchased from Camdem Market. However, taking a half-time dump in the centre circle at Arsenal's new stadium proably wasn't top of her plans when she woke up that morning. At least, she recalled with some relief, she had the presence of mind to wipe thoroughly.
* Hospital: It was at that exact moment, sewn up in a buffalo hide, and hung up to rot, that Jason Donovan learned that the bushtucker trials on this series of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" were that much harder than before.
* Conk: "And then she fell into the arms of her brave Grenadier and surrendered herself to true, precious love. The End." Barbara Cartland dictated her latest book to her long-suffering secretary, and barely pausing for breath, the prolific author launched straight into her next project. "Now then, Liz: New title. 'Dear Fiesta, you won't believe the most incredible thing that happened to me at the army barracks the other day...'
A free night of sin with the zombie Cartland for every tenth voter.