After almost five years and 242 columns, it’s time for me to say goodbye. This is my final Metro column. We’ve lost so much and so many in 2016 that this might just be the final straw. Please don’t do anything hasty. If we got through the Toblerone thing then we can get through this.
Who am I kidding? I will never get over the Toblerone thing.
The world seems to have taken leave of its senses, so it is appropriate that I take my leave now, to spend more time with my family before that orange finger reaches for the button.
I started writing these back in early 2012 when we were planning our wedding. It will surprise a lot of people that the marriage has lasted longer than the column or that either commitment was more than the six weeks I was originally booked for (that’s for the Metro column, my wife wouldn’t settle for less than a guaranteed two months).
I have enjoyed accompanying you on your morning commute whilst I lay snuggly snoozing in bed (at least until the birth of my daughter two years ago) and really loved hearing your comments, both from those of you who have enjoyed these lightweight rambles about inappropriate social behaviour, sex robots and the Shepherd’s Bush Post Office and those of you who have found them infuriatingly unfunny. At least I will finally have written a column that will make the latter group happy.
I have loved meeting readers in the street, at gigs and on public transport. I am sure that you’ll soon forget about me but if you find yourself wondering what I am up to then you can check out my daily blog on my website. I’ve written an entry every single day for very nearly 14 years now, so there’s plenty to catch up on. And I am touring throughout the spring of 2017 doing my favourite 90 minutes in a show called “The Best”. Why not tell Santa to put some tickets in your Christmas stocking?
There are some changes ahead for me too. In January we’re finally moving out to the countryside, so just thank God that you will be spared the stories of pastoral idylls, the antics of badgers, troubles with my lawn mower and me slowly going insane with boredom. You have to be Metropolitan to write in the Metro.
I’d like to thank Sharon my editor for giving me this job in the first place and also The Boy Fitz Hammond whose cartoons have livened up the column for the last couple of years and whose research into what I might have been wearing on each occasion bordered almost on the stalkerish. If he works out what I am wearing as I write this then I will know he’s got cameras in my house. Thank goodness I am moving.
Who am I kidding? I love putting on a show for him.
It’s difficult to know how to end it….
When Not the Nine o’ Clock News ended in 1982, the cast signed off with a song called “Kinda Lingers”. As a naïve 15 year old I took the refrain at face value. The next morning on the walk to school, Mark Webster said, “You know what that means right?” and I pretended that I did, laughing along at the idiots who didn’t see the double meaning.
To be honest I am still not sure. All I know is that Rowan, Mel, Griff and Pamela were right. Goodbye is the hardest word to say, so let’s just say “kinda lingers,” readers.
2016 really has had some shocking days, where I have been in a torpor with sadness. Last week on 9/11, like many others I was depressed and scared. But that evening I drank a load of booze and watched “The Secret Lives of 4 Year Olds” on Channel 4 and Dave Gorman’s “Modern Life is Goodish” on Dave and laughed my socks off. I suggest you do the same. Especially the boozing. Good luck everyone.