Bridget Jones's Diary

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Thursday 23 May

8st 13 (excellent); cigarettes 22 (bad); alcohol units 2 (marvellous); number of words spoken to men 2,457 approx (bad); number of times spoken to men without being spoken to 15 (v bad).

9.15am: Rebecca just called. "Bridget," she said, "you absolutely must read this book! It's just sweeping America."

"I don't want to read a book," I muttered, sulkily.

"It will change your life."

"Ooh," I said, "is it a self-help book?"

"It's a rule book."

"I don't want any rules," I said, suddenly realising what a free spirit I am.

"You need some rules, Bridget. Listen: 'Do you have a string of failed romances to your name? Yet another man who never called when he said he would? Are you single?' That's you, isn't it?"

"You're bloody single as well," I hissed. "What about Lennox St Laurent? He didn't ring you when he said."

"That was because I hadn't read Rules," purred Rebecca, "and because he was having sex with Jude at the same time."

10am: Just called Magda. "Don't listen to stupid Rebecca," she bellowed over the sound of children and nannies fighting. "Everybody has a string of failed romances unless they marry one man at the age of 20 and stay with him for the rest of their life while he enjoys a string of failed romances with worthless trollops. Ooh, listen! Fancy meeting up in Harvey Nichols? The adulterous bastard has given me back the credit card!"

Grr. Going to be late for work. Wish I could go shopping. Ooh! Something just popped through the letter box!

Huh, it was the bloody Rules book from Rebecca, saying "time-tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr Right". With some weird clock-timer thing. Don't want POW camp-style flat full of captured internal organs of horrible Mr Rights with side partings and Hush Puppies. Hate Rebecca. Have good mind to sleep with Lennox St Laurent to teach her a lesson.

9pm: Rules are marvellous! Way to have millions of men in love with you is simple: never to speak to the men unless spoken to; not to look at the men; never to ring the men and, should the men ring you, not to return their calls; to have long hair; and if the men do get you on the phone to set timer device for between three and 10 minutes then stay as silent as possible in order to be mysterious and announce you have a million things to do when the timer goes off.

Wait till Marc Darcy encounters new me doing Rules. Ha, ha.

10pm: Rules going well. Have not rung up any men or met their eyes. Am growing hair down to waist.

10.05pm: Bit on boring side, just sitting in flat on own, to be perfectly honest.

10.30pm: Hmm. Just went out for fags and was a bit tricky as bloke in petrol station completely ignored me. Normally would have initiated conversation, perhaps by saying, "20 Silk Cut, please", or "Is anyone bloody well serving around here?". But point of Rules is you must do them all the time to get used to thinking of yourself as "A Creature Unlike Any Other". Unfortunately, seem to have turned into "A Creature Unlike Any Other Apart From Invisible Man" as after standing there in sunglasses for four minutes two 19-year- old blondes with their midriffs showing approached and the man behind the counter instantly looked up and said, slaveringly, "What can I get you two ladies?"

Saturday 25 May

Weight (unimportant); number of calls made to men 0; number of looks in direction of men 2 (accidental); number of words spoken: much less than usual (vg).

Noon: Rules going vg. Went to dinner party with Tom last night, where created sensation with mysterious air, looking away from men when spoken to, leaving long silences. Was marvellous in manner of Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Pfeiffer, etc.

12.05pm: Ooh, telephone! Bet it is Shazzer.

12.15pm: Oh, my God. Was Mark Darcy. Quickly excused myself to go and get timer and set to five minutes. Then came back and paused for him to take lead and initiate conversation only he didn't say anything. Unsure what to do, just waited in case, as books suggests, he was having a fantasy about proposing to me, but after a few minutes he just put the phone down. Was unable to call him back as "never to call up men". The phone rang again. "What happened?" he said.

"Nothing," I murmured, mysteriously.

"Bridget, what in the name of arse is going on?" he said.

Just then the timer started to ring. "What's that noise?" he said.

"Well, I have a million things to do! Good-bye!" I trilled.

Hah! Brilliant! Can tell Mark Darcy is beginning to fall in love with me.

12.30pm: Tom just rang. Thought it was OK to pick up phone as Tom - though man - is pouff.

"Are you all right?"

"Mmmm," I said, mysteriously.

"Bridget, stop mucking about. After you'd gone last night they all said they thought you were depressed."

"Why? What?"

"Well, you didn't say anything all evening and every time anyone spoke to you, you looked in the opposite direction like some 18th-century wallflower retard."

"But ..."

"And I just bumped into Mark Darcy in the street and he said he just spoke to you on the phone and thought you might finally have gone over the edge."

I'm going to make Rebecca into nice soup garnished with the Rules book. Then be distinctly un-mysterious with Lennox St Laurent.

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