How to write badly and how to quickly insult people in two English towns

cropped-pencil2.jpgOne hint about how to write well is not to be pretentious and, ultimately, not to over-use adjectives. Clearly (see below) I fail on both counts.

I do not really have time to write a blog today, so I looked around for something quick to post and stumbled on this e-mail I sent to a chum in June 2001. 

In a previous e-mail, she had told me she had been to the seaside town of Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire. This was my reply.


When visiting a schoolgirl who burped the National Anthem in Louth (for Surprise! Surprise! in 1985), I once passed an hour in Mablethorpe and thought I had entered a time-warp. Men with knotted handkerchiefs on their heads were watching little girls ride donkeys along the sand while chubby mums ate candyfloss. I could almost hear Housewives’ Choice on the wireless.

The nearest thing I’ve encountered is Bolsover, which was like walking into a DH Lawrence novel but without the semen. Ape-like men in dark clothes and stark white shirts had fights in fish-and-chip-shop queues while men with bloodied faces were sick in the gutter. And this was at lunchtime! When night’s cloak descended, I suspect there was a smell of incest drifting in the silent soot-flecked air.


Another guideline for good writing is not to rely on the computer’s spellcheck and predictive text.

When I wrote above
One hint about how to write well is not to be pretentious and, ultimately, not to over-use adjectives

the computer corrected what I wrote to

One hint about how to write well is not to be pretentious and, ultimately, not to over-use handkerchiefs.

How it made this linguistic jump I do not know.

We live in a world where computers have discovered surrealism.

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