Monday, October 23, 2006

A cheesy rice cake


THE Genius has left the building. The Genius is a young lady from Neath who is so desperate to get away from our motley crew that she is heading for Dubai to take up a post on a newspaper there. Best of luck, Genius.
So why is she known as The Genius? It's probably because "Genius" is her favourite adjective, describing anyone who can, well, breathe really. If you can tap out a tune on a pair of old spoons:? "Genius!", If you can talk absolute rubbish on a blog every day: "Genius!" If you can get up in the morning and run gel through your hair: "Genius!" Even if you can make a cup of peppermint tea, for God's sake (well actually, that is one of the skills I've yet to master - do you want milk and sugar with that?)
My best recollections of The Genius will be the strange prepubescent schoolgirl friendship she had with Shutts who, let's face it, at 6ft and a lot more is bigger than your average prepubescent schoolgirl. Walk down any corridor in work, any day of the week, and you were likely to bump into these two playing pat-a-cake, or waltzing together, or maybe just informing each other of the latest goings on in Lazy Town (kids' programme, don't expect you've seen it, but I've no doubt Shutts Sky-pluses it - pretty intelligent for a man with the outlook of a six-year-old girl, don't you think?)
The other endearing quality about The Genius, also one shared by a number of six-year-old schoolgirls I imagine, is that nearly every member of the opposite sex is fanciable. I say nearly because I expect there are a few exceptions - me, withers...
To run through the crushes The Genius has had reads like an A-Z of so-called celebs in a tabloid newspaper: Gavin Henson, David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Jens Lehman (yeh, really, the German goalkeeper with the porno perm), Homer Simpson, The hunchback of notre dam, that little North Korean guy who wants to blow up the world (and his puppet from "Team America, World Police") etc, etc.
How do I know this? Because quite often in a studious and quiet newsroom the shout goes up: "He's goooorgeous!"
"That guy on the front of the Sun... oh, and he's a genius - he's making some nuclear weapons!)"

The Genius had her leaving do on Friday night. The normal card went around and then there was a presentation. Most interesting entry on the card came from the Robot.
"When you are back in the country pop in and see Shrimpy," he implored her.
"Shrimpy?" Now a lot of boys have names for their thinga-me-jigs but that is hardly the most flattering.
Turns out the Robot was actually talking about the baby - his partner is due to give birth at Christmas. Phew!
After that we ended up in the Yard. It was a pretty good turnout and a decent enough session. By the time I got home I was not really in the mood, or the state, to cook. What's in the cupboard that's quick? A packet of cheese rice cakes. One of those will do.


THE day from hell on Saturday night, but I think we got away with it. Sam Hammam, the Lebanese businessman who has owned Cardiff City for six years, has sold the club. Rosey hears the rumour while covering the Bluebirds' game at Carrow Road and from that moment all the pre-made plans on a busy pullout sports section disappeared out of the window.
When Rosey first contacted me at about 4.50 it was just a rumour circulating. From that moment we had to think of how we were going to handle it on the desk (well, how I was going to handle it, because my desk jockey colleague Owenov was off for the week and because of cutbacks we're down to the bare bones - thankfully Bram was on hand to help and put in an extra hour) and how best Rosey could take the story on.
Basically, it all came together throughout the night and neither of us had a chance to breathe. He was making phone calls from buses, trains, London cafes etc and having to write up anything he had on the spot. The story changed about five times throughout the evening, leaving me to rip up headlines and stories, shift things around in the paper to make way for breaking news, and source and send down pictures to match the story. It was hairy stuff. Rosey, you're a genius, as The Genius might say...

By the time I got in it was 2am and I was still buzzing. There was some pasta a la vodka left in the fridge which went straight into the microwave, then I sat down to watch the later stages of the first game in the world series: Detroit v St Louis Cardinals. The Cards triumphed 7-2. I only managed a couple of hours sleep then found I was awake by 8. Bugger.

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