Folks, recently I stumbled across a pair of old friends and even better, I didn’t owe them any money!
The fact they were magazines probably had something to do with it.
Last week I’d ambled into a newsagents/gift shoppe/betting agency/toy store to see if they still sold newspapers. Happily, they did.
But the number of people waiting to buy scented soaps and fill out lotto tickets meant I had to go the end of a surprisingly long line back in the bowels of the store.
Scanning the shelves, I noted they were chockfull of cooking, home reno and knitting magazines, then my eye caught sight of my two old mates, a Readers Digest and a National Geographic.
Amazed, I picked up Geographic first and thumbed through it, same glossy pages, great photos and ads for cameras. Then I pawed through the Reader’s Digest and was immediately time-warped back to the 1980’s.
Back then there wasn’t a kitchen or coffee table, toilet, lunchroom, barbershop or Doctor’s surgery without at least 20 of these well-thumbed mags in them.
Every month a National Geographic would appear in our letterbox and, it’s hard to believe now, we actually fought over who got to read it first.
I’d inherited (stolen) Dad’s collection of Digests’ and Geographics’ and carted them from house to house for years. How I never ruptured myself lifting those crates of magazines during our numerous moves is a mystery. Eventually, after I trimmed my eye-popping collection down to a mere 50 much cherished favourites, Long Suffering Wife banned me from buying any more.
With that in mind I put the National Geographic back on the shelf, picked it back up, then put it back again. My indecisive shuffling must have gone on a touch too long because the bloke behind me muttered something rude.
In the end I bought the Reader’s Digest, because it would be slightly easier to smuggle past my wife. Later, I sidled off to the smallest room of the house with the condensed literary treasure tucked under one arm.
It’s good to spend quality time with old friends.