Saturday, November 03, 2007

A glass of red wine

IT was all hell let loose in the bustling newspaper offices of Wales on Sunday today. And it all centred around a tip off from a loyal reader. Smashy, who took the call, leapt into action - well perhaps leapt is a bit over-egging the pudding. More to the point, he wheeled himself a few inches on his chair, pivoted and announced, "Apparently Gatland (that's Warren Gatland, the man being widely tipped as the next Wales rugby coach) is down at the St David's Hotel in Cardiff Bay, meeting with some of the Union bigwigs."
Shutts turned the other way, and Wathanovski yawned. Then he realised that someone had to respond. After all, our chief rugby writer Roberts was high-tailing it to Leicester to watch a game.
Like the good team player Wathanovski is, he volunteered to go down and spy on the top-level talks. The only problem was they were taking place in a six-star hotel - and he was wearing a crusty old pair of trainers. "Anyone got a pair of shoes I can borrow?" he pondered.
It was left to Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes) to provide him with the necessary footwear and pad the corridors of Thomson Towers in his stockinged feet. And off went Wathanovski.
But what about pictures? Our snapper Mad Liz was off to some rugger game up the valleys, and all calls to freelances proved fruitless. Monsieur De Lebussier suddenly found all eyes upon him. At least HIS mobile phone was capable of taking pictures. Wathanovski's, like most company phones, was about 10 years out of date (our video players use betamax, too).
Grab a car, the aristocratic one was told. But, as seems the norm these days, there were no company cars. Fortunately, the editor of the South Wales Echo had moved on "to pursue other career avenues" on Friday, so his company car was still out front. Keys in one hand, phone in the other, off sped De Lebussier, absolutely clueless about who he actually had to photograph.
Just as he was approaching the hotel, Wathanovski called the office. "Yeh, they were here but they have just gone. Got in the same car and drove off."
No doubt they passed De Lebussier on the way. He probably didn't notice. Without the presence of his chauffeur the young trainee is, quite frankly, lost.
Wathanovski, meanwhile, was stuck in the bar, waiting to settle up his bill having had to maintain his undercover persona by ordering an extremely reasonably priced glass of red wine for £6 from the waiter.
Now, THAT'S how it's done News of the World.

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