My So-Called Life: A bad case of false memoir syndrome

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The Independent Online

If the former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan can write his "retrospective" diaries, I figured, then so can I.

If the former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan can write his "retrospective" diaries, I figured, then so can I. My own memoirs, The Outsider: the Public Diaries of Almost No Interest Whatsoever, will be in bookshops shortly. Here is a taster, starting with the blurb on the back as written by myself but in the third person, to appear less cocky and less pleased with myself than I am, if such a thing were possible, which it isn't, because I am the greatest and that is that. Also, a lot of men are attracted to me. I think it is my rosy cheeks.

Blurb

At an age that is by no means record-breaking, and might even be embarrassing, Deborah Ross's low-flying journalistic career reached its apex when she became the oldest-ever editor of Bunty. After failing to revive the title by leaning to the left, which often led her to topple over, she was sacked when that picture - the one of the Four Marys pulling the ponytail of the blind, orphaned ballet dancer forbidden to dance by her jealous aunt - proved to be a hoax.

Ms Ross was instantly marched out the building and was not allowed to take anything with her, not even her super cut-out wardrobe with the tabs at the back. We now know, of course, that the blind ballet dancer forbidden to dance by her jealous aunt was being abused, and that the Four Marys are total shits, as well as thick, which is why they've stayed in the Third Form for 27 years. But this did not help at the time.

The fact that the diaries have been written retrospectively is not a problem, as Ms Ross has a clear recollection of all events, or would do if her memory was up to it, which it almost certainly isn't. Ms Ross, for example, makes phone calls and then cannot remember who she called, or even who she herself might be. Ms Ross's mother is the same. Ms Ross's telephone conversations with her mother go like this:

"Hello. Who's that?"

"No idea. Who's that?

"Who are you?"

"Who are you?"

This can go on for days.

Ms Ross lives with her partner and son, who could be considerably more supportive, but that is the cross she has to bear. She is most fond of cheese.

17 July (some year or other)

Get up. Have a cup of tea. Think of how many times I have met the Blairs. Number of dinners: 0. Number of lunches: 0. Number of drinks parties: 0. Number of run-ins by the crisps in Asda: 0. I can only conclude that I have never met them at all. Eat some cheese. Go back to bed. I love the adrenalin of this job!

20 August (same year give or take a few)

Same as above, in every instance, even the cheese, as I do like a portion of cheese every day. Being editor of a girls' weekly is such a high-wire act!

19 June (year before or the one before that)

Think I'll lunch with Princess Diana, or Cherie, or Max Clifford, or Sarah Ferguson, who's such a laugh, but when I call they say they've never heard of me. Is there anyone left whose memory isn't going? I think Max fancies me but I'm sure he wouldn't admit it, especially as we've never met.

September some time

Conference at Bunty. My news editor, May, 92, and formerly a one-legged, blind champion swimmer, with no parents and a three-legged pony that won the Grand National, has a fantastic scoop! It's vanilla, quite the best scoop you can get! Mandy and Tammy are going to go crazy! "Where did you get it, May?" I ask, with the adrenalin rush that comes with the adrenalin rushes of an adrenalin-rushing job like this. She says she got it from Luigi's van. Luigi is always good for scoops. She paid 80p, which is a lot, but worth it. We celebrate by larking about and having a go at Jeremy Clarkson: always amusing, until you meet him in person and he punches you on the nose, and then it seems less funny, but not much.

May is very excited, hopping around, bumping into things. I lean to the right, for a change, and find it more comfortable somehow. But then, then... the scoop melts before our eyes! Well, my eyes, but not May's, for obvious reasons. Have to tell our proprietor, the tycoon Rupert Bear, that we've lost our scoop. He is not pleased, considering what we paid. Good job he is eyeing me up as his next wife. The tartan pants will have to go.

Who knows when

Off to the Pride of Bunty Awards held at Monkey Business, just off the North Circular. These awards are not about us, or the soap stars the television cameras always concentrate on to the exclusion of everyone else. They are about the heroes among us, particularly the cute kid who calls 999 while his mum is in a diabetic coma. And what a turn-out! No Blairs, no Michael Owen, no Queen Noor, no McCartneys. This makes me sound like a brash name-dropper, but it is the truth. Followed my moral compass home but got lost, as it swings all over the place. Phone my mum and we try to remember who we are. Several days later, we are none the wiser.

May-ish

I think I had a baby today. I did try to visit myself at the Portland but couldn't make it. Welcome to the relentless grind of weekly girls' comics. No room for sentiment.

Wednesday next week

Since my removal from Bunty I've had time to think, particularly about cheese. I don't think you can beat a good cheddar.

'The Outsider' will shortly be available from some good bookshops and all rubbish ones

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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