If you have ever flanced, the act of reading magazines for pleasure is cruelly snatched away and replaced with bitter misery.
You’re slightly sickened by the sight of what’s in front of you, but cannot tear your eyes away – like seeing really badly applied highlights. Reading a magazine to which you have not contributed is a curious, horribly addictive and depressive practice that makes the flancer feel subhuman and guilty. In this sense it is very similar to stuffing thick slices of discount Cheddar cheese smothered with Ezysqueeze mayonnaise into your face before you collapse in a weeping heap of dairy.
First; the feverish scanning of the gutter, terrified that you might discover that the sniffy, bone-idle workie who used to make you coffee that tasted as if it had been filtered through a roadie’s sock, is now, apparently features editor.
Then comes the absolute conviction that the magazine has seemingly ‘stolen’ an idea that you sent them (in 1986) and got someone else cheaper and (obviously less skilled) to write it. Just to spite you, the flancer. You seethe. Perhaps you swear at the saucepan rack. Perhaps you write an email pulsing with vitriol and hate – smearing the keys with cheesy mayonnaise as you go.
And then you delete it when your reason returns from its short holiday, leaving you vibrating with an unexpressed frustration that shrivels your very kidneys. You seek out more cheese.
Then!! Betrayal above all betrayals!! You spot a byline… and it’s one of your flancer friends, who swore she was as jobless as you! And she has two – TWO! – pieces in said magazine.
The betrayal bites deep and you will hold onto it for at least 7 months. She may as well have murdered your mother. You don’t – of course – avail her of your feelings but simply but make all future interactions slightly chilly. You will meet her for coffee, but she is essentially dead to you.
At least this sort of extensive emotional session can waste many beautiful hours. Arguably, those hours would have been better spent coming up with new ideas to send to said magazine.
But anyway, their content has really gone downhill lately. And Murder She Wrote has just started.