THE wonderful Withers is looking wonderfully withered of late, thanks to some new shoes from George of Asda which fit him like a crumbly old vice. He bought them two weeks ago in the wilds of Crewe, afraid to tell the shop assistant they didn't fit because he used to work with her and she could recall some rather unmentionable details about his sordid past (which involve a small Chinese man, his p**is and... but, no, honestly, I can't tell).
Anyway, thrusting the £20 into her hand, bowing his head and mumbling "bye" to avoid further embarrassment, he quickly departed the store... and has been ruing his haste ever since.
Withers, though, is not one to own up to the error of his ways. And he's too tight a b*gger to throw away a pair of shoes which have set him back an exorbitant 20 quid. So instead he has been hobbling into the office like some inexperienced cowboy who has had a rather nasty time trying to ride a particularly feisty stallion over a treacherous mountain path.
It's become quite fun, though, to wait for the traffic lights to turn red on the way to the pub, then shout: "Quick! Come on!" and watch as he hobbles across, looking anxiously left and right like the Dustin Hoffman character 'Ratso' Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy. Hope he doesn't peg out on the flight to Corsica in a few weeks time.
It makes it worse that Withers is this week acting news editor. It means he has to move from one side of the desk to the other every five minutes to check Kempy's e-mails. Trying to look authoritative when your face is screwed up like one of those Chinese Shar-pei dogs with piles isn't easy, I can tell you.
We had a nice treat on the desk yesterday, a box of jellybeans of every flavour imaginable. There were toasted marshmallow flavour jellybeans, margarita flavour and even jalapeno chilli flavour, which were particularly nice and gave off quite a bit of heat. Thanks to the generous contributor who supplied them.