‘If I can stay in the dark and it helps people along the way then why stop?’
I am sitting in a well-known coffee/chocolate shop in the centre of Thame. A pot plant hides me from view.
By which I mean I am sitting behind it. I am not wearing it on my head. That would just be silly.
Just around the corner a gaggle of mature ladies are enjoying chocolate cake and coffee. I am trying to concentrate on some work but my ears prick up as one says “I read that article in The Thame Gazette every week.”
Ah, Alan Dee is in for a kicking I think, but no.
“Oh yes. I read that. I don’t understand it,” her friend says.
I feel like hurdling the table and going through the article in depth. What don’t you understand? “Oh I think he just tries to be entertaining,” says a third voice.
Yep, that will do me. “Tries to be entertaining,” nice.
“Oh I know the council is trying to find out who it is,” someone says.
I sink down into my chair and pull on a Groucho Marx plastic nose, moustache and glasses. “I wonder who it is?” someone asks. “You never know who’s listening…”
I would have loved to tell them, really I would, but I quite like my anonymity. I leave and within a few paces a lady stops me and asks me if I would like to wear a poppy.
I am proud to do so and as I pin it to my lapel she says “So you can write about it this week now,” and I shuffle away in a slightly flustered manner, like Clarke Kent with the telephone box door open.
Ssssh you lot. I am a person of mystery. I potter in my poppy and run into the captain of Oakley United FC. “When are you going to write about us lot and how good we are?” he asks in a slightly too loud voice.
He may be Thame’s most eligible bachelor but he talks too much.
About 100 yards further on and an old school friend stops me for a chat. “I am never quite sure if you are going to write something silly about what I say,” she tells me innocently, making me even more paranoid.
Do too many people know now?
Is it time to throw off my cloak and show my true colours?
That evening I venture into The Falcon and one of my articles is pinned to the wall like a Wanted Poster. (Cowboy version, not Boy Band. That would be even more silly).
Then I read the article on the wall and it has been pinned there because I praise the pub. That’s nice.
If I can stay in the dark and it helps people along the way then why stop?
The Thamensian will continue despite tests showing that 25% of people don’t understand it. Hurrah.
Oh, and Oakley United FC are brilliant.