How I Archive My Paperwork

The new Idler magazine is handed to me by Hanson, dutiful postie to our Scottish Belle Ombre.

Hanson’s excited because the chap from Sleaford Mods is on the cover and gurning at us through the cellophane.

Tearing off the wrapper, I turn first, as is human and natural, to my column. It’s probably my worst one yet. It’s all about how I archive my paperwork.

I don’t recall what hurry there was on the day I wrote the piece or in what flavour of spiritual funk I found myself, but in terms of ideas I was clearly running on vapours. I must remember that the column is one of my most consistent and important outputs and I resolve to do better.

Still, there are two lines I’m quietly pleased with:

The idler prevails by putting her feet up and leaving them there.

And, to describe the joy of throwing things away, I describe my paperwork as:

snuggled down warmly in the landfill.

Maybe I’m being paranoid, but these conjoined minuscule moments are probably why I didn’t get fired or spiked.

As it happens, today is filing day for the December issue and I’ve been asked to write about winter clothes. I do have a way to tie this to the column’s “escape” paradigm and I have already sprinkled it with what are hopefully some enjoyable and unpredictable turns of phrase, but I’m still left thinking of Will Self’s term for this sort of thing: “the new glib.”

As I say, I must do better, even if it means defying the idler’s credo of trying harder. And I will!I will!


  1. l liked that one, because as a fellow anti-librarian who thoroughly enjoys “weeding”* (as it’s known to insiders), I can relate

    *vape-themed pun intended

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