Deborah Ross: Our Woman In Crouch End

Now it's Bono this and Bono that, and 'don't sit there, that's Bono's chair'
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The Independent Online

Oh boy, all this fuss about Bono that, even now, just won't die down. It's Bono this and Bono that, and "don't sit there, that's Bono's chair", and "don't use that mug, Bono has used that mug". And "don't step there. Bono has stepped there. This square of office carpet is now 'The Official Bono Square of Office Carpet' and no one is allowed on it, apart from Bono. And maybe Condoleezza, but only if Bono says so, and only if she promises to tiptoe across it without lingering. Only Bono is allowed to linger on the 'Official Bono Square of Office Carpet'. Oh, that's right, jump on it and do a silly dance when you think no one is looking. That's very mature."

I don't get it, all this fuss about Bono. Do people think I don't care about Africa? Do they think I haven't often thought: I wish the war on poverty would just get rolling? Do they think I don't find Big Issue sellers adorable, even though I don't always buy the magazine? Do they think I don't have top-level contacts? Just scrolling through my phone quickly now, I find I have direct lines for both the Accurist Man and my Auntie Pauline. Do people think I couldn't set up a conference call between the Accurist Man and my Auntie Pauline just like that? And it's not as if Bono is that charitable. You know, for years I've been trying to get NatWest (Golders Green) to cancel my debt but every time I phone them they laugh in my face and pretend to be Indian and then hang up. Often, I have thought: "I should have got Bono to do it."

So I left him a Post-It note that said: "Dear Mr Bono With The Sunglasses That Go Round The Head, please call NatWest, Golders Green, to cancel my debt. Thank you." But did he do anything? No, Bono did NOTHING ABOUT IT AT ALL! I take no pleasure in saying this, but this is what Bono is really like.

And yet? And yet? He gets to edit this newspaper. Do people think I couldn't edit this newspaper? Do they think I don't have a proper handle on the news, or can't interpret it in my own unique, in-depth way? When you first read "Sharon has stroke" did you think: "Bloody hell, who'd have thought Ozzy would outlive her", as I did? That's how deep I can be. I have, of course, written to the editor, making my position clear. Dear Mr Editor, I would like to edit an edition of this newspaper one day. It would be very, very special, believe me. I can't promise it will be inc(red)ible or requi(red) reading because the whole "red" in brackets thing has kind of been done now, but we could do a "deb" thing in brackets. I appreciate it is harder to get "deb" into a word but couldn't we have a competition to give away a nice si(deb)oard? I'm sure we will raise a lot of money for (deb)t relief, but maybe nearer to home this time? Here are a few items that I have already prepared:

The Independent shares a conference call with Auntie Pauline and the Accurist Man to share their vision for this moment in time, precisely, as the Accurist Man doesn't do the future, which makes him a bit of a wanker, but it's said his heart is in the right place:

The Accurist Man: "At the third stroke the time sponsored by Accurist will be 12:28 and 50 seconds."

Auntie Pauline: "Who is this please?"

AM: "Beep, beep, beep..."

Auntie Pauline: "Ah, is this the Accurist Man, wanting to share his vision of the present with me?"

AM: "At the third stroke the time sponsored by Accurist will be 12:29 precisely."

AP: "You have a lovely voice. We could meet in - where is it you told me I should say I'd meet him?"

The Independent: "Auntie Pauline, you know we have not prepared you for this conversation and will not interfere in any way. Lindy's."

AM: "...beep, beep"

AP: "Lindy's."

The Independent: "Which is two doors down from NatWest, Golders Green."

AP: "Which is two doors down from NatWest, Golders Green."

The Independent: "Sortcode 600905."

AP: "Sortcode 600905. You bet!"

AM: At the third stroke, the time sponsored by Accurist will be 12:29 and 20 seconds..."

AP: "Can I go now? I hate foul language, but I am bored shitless all the same..."


* Are you really selfish or is it just compassion fatigue?

* Supermarket packers; a First World curse or blessing?

* Pudsey; what is it about him that makes you want to poke his other eye out?

* Cheese; just how do they make so many different types?

* How much would it cost a rock star to pick up the phone?


As chosen by someone really important like Kofi Annan if only we'd had his number and then bothered to dial it:

1) U2; 2) U2; 3) U2; 4) U2; 5) U2; 6) U2: 7) U2; 8) U2; 9) U2; 10) The Rolling Stones. (Only because it would otherwise look suspicious, as if we wanted to butter Bono up for some reason).

Mr Editor, I hope you will take this request seriously. In delivering this letter I took the long route so as not to step on that special carpet tile. PS: We could also offer a wil(deb)eest. Everybody loves a nice wil(deb)eest.