The Girl on the Bus.
As an agony aunt I had to make up problems,
or my editor would fax ‘made up’ scenarios
on a Friday – requesting copy for Tuesday.
One Sunday afternoon, as my partner and I
sat in the summer house, The Daily Mirror rang
requesting a quick column.
The brief – Ten Ways to Save a Marriage.
We got as far as no 5, then scratched our heads,
and after a few cups of tea decided - sod it, it really
wasn’t worth the mental effort for fifty quid.
Now I hope this doesn’t destabilise you,
but the young woman who was terribly worried because
she thought her boyfriend wouldn’t love her anymore
if she couldn’t slim down, from a size 14 to 10, to fit into
her new Top Shop bikini, which she wanted to wear on holiday,
no doubt someplace warm – not in the UK (as she would be required to
parade about the beach) DOES NOT EXIST!
Occasionally, I would attempt to slip in a real problem,
that a real person might have, but it never got past the editor
who insisted that ‘the girl on the bus’ would not understand my
choice of vocabulary – finding a dictionary for unreal words was as hard
as finding unreal problems for unreal people.
But lately something weird has happened, it’s a bit like the Stepford Wives thing.
‘The girl on the bus’ is everywhere, smiling at me from reality shows, game shows, make-over shows,
magazine racks, pubs and clubs.
I reckon some new world order took over, heralded by the demise of The Bunty and Jackie and the rise to power of Sugar and Bliss.
And as for the Ten Ways to Save a Marriage – I still can’t get past five.