PAPS has always fancied himself as a bit of a public speaker and thrives on an audience, but I don't think he ever dreamed of appearing in his own version of a Hollywood blockbuster: How To Lose Friends And Alienate People. Yet that is exactly what happened when he made a farewell speech to Katie 'the body' Bodinger last night.
The Body is off to that great job creation scheme otherwise known as the BBC. And Paps, who is rather fond of his former cub reporter, decided it was time to give her a right royal send off. Unfortunately his attempts at humour turned into a major character assassination that left people thinking that all The Body had spent her time doing on the Echo was getting legless and projectile vomiting. I understand from the lady herself that some of the stories were even made up! Now this blog has no truck with those who wish to fabricate the truth.
Anyway, having painted The Body as someone who might have been leaving because of a pre-arranged three-month incarceration at The Priory, he then managed to make things worse. Finally admitting that The Body was a good reporter he added the rider "and we haven't got many of those". Cue dark looks on the faces of his entire reporting staff.
Of course, what he meant to say was that the number of reporters in the newsroom was quickly dwindling - but by then the damage was done. I can already see Lisa "The Terminator" Jones and James "Snake" McCarthy (the Voice, to regular readers of this blog) planning all sorts of tortures for their esteemed leader.
The leaving do at the Copa (venue where Wren and I had our first date, so I view it with affection) was full of MeejaWales old and new. One of the more recent arrivals at the Hub made a particular impact.
I had never really encountered Shinpads Sian, the only female member of the sports desk, in a social atmosphere when three sheets to the wind. Normally this quiet, modest professional goes about her work calmly and efficiently with barely a squeek passing her lips.
Not last night. Shinpads, obviously well lubricated after starting the celebrations a bit earlier than the rest of us, started laying into people left, right and centre - and before long the bodies were piling up. The Fugitive took both barrels for not treating Shinpads like "one of the lads" and failing to invite her on his regular detours to The Yard. And Danny Boy (the Poipes, the Poipes) was virtually accused of stealing a Wales on Sunday job from under the nose of the feisty female.
And then it was my turn. Shinpads decided that she didn't find my red and blue England cricket baseball cap to her liking. "Girrit 'ere, Rippers, I'mgunaburnnit... Sccchnot a goolook, Rippers". I barely escaped with my life.