A previous Two The Write Thing
2 The Write Thing
July 19th to August 15th 1997
STUART'S SUMMERTIME SPECIAL*
Hello everyone, and welcome to the first-ever correctly-titled "2 The Write Thing." J Nash is suffering an existential crisis, plus his crudely-stitched hands have fallen off, so it's me, Stuart, here with your top letters this time. Don't forget, proper grammar fans can also write to the ironically-addressed
as well as the traditional, less-correct address. But hey - on with the letters!!!
"BIELBY ERA AS FAR AS I CAN SEE"
Flossie is right, it is a conspiracy!
I just tried to vote for the Cam Winstanley Era and was told I had voted for the Matt Bielby Era instead. Smelling a rat, especially after reading Flossie's (is it just me or does the word "Flossie's" look strange?) letter, I continued my investigations by registering for most of the other Eras as well. Each one placed a vote instead for the Matt Bielby Era. As far as I can see, there are two explanations for this phenomenon.
1) Flossie is correct and a dastardly conspiracy is afoot to gain the Matt Bielby Era a landslide victory in these elections, possibly out of some misplaced nostalgia for those early days.
2) In a fit of ineptitude, laziness or sadism JN and Stuart have created only one vote-registering page - for the Matt Bielby Era - which is displayed regardless of the Era you vote for.
Of course, as Flossie and I are the only people who noticed this phenomenon it is also possible that our computers are crap. Which answer is correct? Only you can decide - OR can you? Or can YOU? OR CAN YOU?
Sam Skipsey, Deepest Norfolk
PS Sorry. (Is this running joke becoming too tedious? If it is, write in and tell me. If I get enough votes I may even stop.)
There can only be one Golden Age.
"ANYTHING WHY NOT LOVE"
I think AP2 should carry some sort of reviews. I bought AP for the reviews, after all. I didn't even play Amiga games. Except for the ones on the coverdisks. Natch.
Maybe the world is waiting for some big, blue games magazine - the be all, end all, mother of computer games magazines - but why just review games? Why not review whatever comes to mind? Music, or perhaps TV shows. Or both. Or anything. Why not?
Love and batter-dipped kisses to all,
Eponymous Gugger, York, Pennsylvania
On the other hand, why not just rant inexhaustibly on and on about matters of interest to maybe three or four people until entirely out of free web space? (That's the AP way, viewers!)
"BEINGS TCH AND NO"
Have any fellow AP2 readers seen issue five of N64 magazine? It is officially the worst one ever for varying reasons. For instance, the paper is no longer in the rough style of the first three issues and every AMIGA POWER ever so it fails to remove the bacon fat from your hands as you are reading it. My copy was also ripped (not a slight tear mind you but a piece missing) and I got it through the post! What was weirder was that the missing piece was nowhere to be seen in the bag.
It even had two mentions of the joint editors of AP2 (JN did a review, and Stuart helped with the tips) when I thought they were concentrating their whole efforts on this. (How could you think of heat, light and food? And we thought you were Mighty Beings. Tch.)
And, no, it's not because I'm upset that I didn't win the N64. After all I only came second and it's not as if I would've won if the two other clever people who came up with exactly the same idea hadn't. Oh no. It's not as if I can't afford tickets for Reading, a bass guitar and an N64 so I tried winning one, but came second and didn't win anything. Of course not.
Glad to clear that up,
Ben Hall, Cheshire School, RAF Bruggen. I mean, they put my name as Ben Hall, Cheshire School - didn't they realise I was the same Ben Hall as in the previous issue - whom they put as "Ben Hall, RAF Bruggen"? Gawd save ahr souals.
So, hang on - it's the worst issue ever because the paper's rubbish and we're in it? Well, up yours then, flyboy.
"ICKLE LETTERS GOD KNOWS"
CAPITAL LETTERS. ARE FUN.
After all, what else can you do with letters that's fun? Let me see.... Mss leters ot of selcted wrds?
write all in little ickle letters?
God knows and God cares for all I give a fig in a palm tree.
I'll never forgive you for not giving Exile the credit it deserved. It's better than Sensi, so there. What happened to Isabelle Rees? I adored her.
Please note: although I am from Sheffield, I have got absolutely nothing to do with Stuart N Hardy.
Alex Smyth, Sheffield
Didn't give Exile the credit it deserved? It was our Reviewers' Game Of The Year for 1991, and (barring a single blip in 1995) remained in our All-Time Top 10 throughout the entire history of the magazine. Interestingly, we recently uncovered the very first Isabelle Rees Letter ever published in the mag, back in AP25. It started "I love you, I love you, I love you! Hi" and proceeded through "I'm a slightly mad 15-year-old girl from Surrey" to "I know this letter is a load of crap," eventually concluding "I once had a poem printed in the school mag." Our lives are empty without her.
"INFLUENCE FASHION ADMITTEDLY"
Now just ponder, if you could somehow get hold of all 1,000 pages that the teletext system offers, perhaps you could set up "It's AP2 - but on the telly." It would certainly whip the kegs from Digitiser, who had the audacity to print a letter of mine, totally edit out anything funny and make it look like I was completely brown-nosing them (as opposed to just commenting that something they had said was, by an alarming coincidence, true), spell my name wrong and then say something like "We were RIGHT."
Or perhaps you could secretly take over the end credits of, let's say, Eastenders, and depict a "datablast" in true Bad Influence fashion. Admittedly, the credits would suddenly take at least two hours. Talking of Bad Influence, I have noted that while the granularity of the marking system lacks depth (only ten notches - Gnnnngh), it does actually have the brilliant ability to award exactly 0 points. That should have been Rise of the Robots' fate, but the opportunity was sadly missed.
Stuart "Kyzer" Caie, Aberdeen
Funnily enough, Teletext had an idea not dissimilar to this one a while back, but they don't pay very well and it was refused. Digi must be loved, however.
"INDEED BUT LO WHERE"
Advantageous Porcupine 2,
A mighty site indeed, but lo! where is the huge section devoted to large pictures of Lisa Kellett?
Yours in pseudonym,
A Perfectly Normal Beast, Northampton
We were just about to put it in, when - oh no! - out of space.
"TODAY AND LO THEY'RE"
Hairy here - just thought I'd drop a line to let you know that I run the Cult TV website - ("http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/ap2/" - Ed) - I looked on my chat forum today and lo! They're talking about Canoe Squad. Nice one, AP.
The Hairy Happening, Bath
"He's talking about Canoe Squad" would be strictly more accurate.
"MY THIRD NOTHING EITHER"
Oh happy day! AMIGA POWER, I can read you once more. I mourned your loss deeply having bought every issue from issue 13 when I bought my first Amiga, to your final issue when I departed with my third.
Nothing either in print, or on the internet could make me chuckle as you did. Many COPIED the TRENDS THAT YOU STARTED. Others would try to use a rapier wit like you but would fail. I would laugh at captions in FHM, chuckle at jokes, but nothing made me laugh as hard as when I saw the Four Cyclists once again.
Continue for ever, please. Never leave me and we shall never fight again.
Yours in admiration,
John Herbert, Harlow
That's fighting talk where we come from.
"ROBIN BUT MUCH MUCH"
Avoid The Lost World as if it was Batman and Robin, but much, much worse. Avoid it especially if there are crowds of ten-year-olds who insist on comparing it to The Land Before Time III and giving a running commentary. While sitting next to your left ear. For example.
I looked at Tim Norris's web page. Not really a lot there.
Matthew Garrett, Omagh
Actually, The Lost World is a strange blend of huge crass drivel and periods of genuine subtlety and excitement. Overall, certainly it doesn't justify being the biggest-grossing film of all time (but then, isn't every new film the biggest-grossing film of all time these days?), but it's not quite deserving of the colossal critical pannings it's been getting everywhere either. More of the same? Yes. Horrendous gratuitous ("Games." No, hang on - Ed) placement? Indubitably. A moderately pleasing way to spend a vacant Sunday morning in the front row of a big screen cinema? We think so. Children, generally, on the other hand, are another matter.
"I HAVE READ AP2"
Hello J Nash,
I saw your review in N64 Magazine yesterday. After your recommendation, I shall certainly seek out Go Go!! Troublemakers on its UK release without fail. (How is JD these days, by the way?) From what I have read, AP2 is one of your mightiest works so far.
Hope all goes well.
"BEELZEBUB TAKE IT FROM ME"
I am about to relate to you a worrying, bizarre and ultimately tedious tale. Be warned.
When the last issue of AP came out I rushed into Norwich city centre to purchase a copy. Sadly, AP was no longer stocked in either newsagents or games shops. After much searching I found a copy in Woolworths (near the Sega Saturn games for some reason). I returned home, read the magazine and felt sad. The only computer games magazine I had ever read that DID NOT LIE THROUGH ITS TEETH was no more. And Rise Of The Robots 2 was still being advertised.
The next month I resolved to throw away my old magazines, as they were taking up far too much space. I bravely threw out all my back issues, but I could not bring myself to part with the last copy of AP. I put in in a spanking new red folder and placed it in a drawer for future nostalgia.
Yesterday I decided to get out this all-but-forgotten tome and read again of the AP team's demises. But it was GONE.
The red folder is sitting on top of my monitor as I type this. It is empty. I do not know where the magazine is. I am the only person to have known I had a copy of the magazine, let alone where it was kept. Did I accidentally eat it in my sleep? Did the dark forces of Beelzebub take it from me? Was it made out of a quickly decaying radioactive element? I will never know.
Now I have no way to re-read the joy that was AP. And to make matters worse, I saw somebody this morning wearing a "Ocean - Team 17" T-shirt, advertising one of their elderly games, Worms.
Thank God for AP2. Keep it up.
You threw out all your old back issues? Then your punishment is just.
"OMITTED VERGE UM"
In your A-Z, you appear to have omitted Verge. (Um... do I say "Arf" now?)
Tony Mott, EDGE magazine
"I THINK THAT ONLY TRUE"
Having just downloaded the text of the pages and started reading it offline I must say that it rates among some of the funniest things I have ever read. I think that only true AP readers will get many of the jokes. A GOOD THING.
Thank you for some never-before-seen background and for such a good laugh.
John Herbert, Harlow
"QUALITY THINGS AP HOMICIDE"
"What this suggests to my hopelessly idealistic mind is that there's still, therefore, a gap in the market for an intelligent, mainstream games magazine." (Stuart, Two The Write Thing 2.)
Hurray - I can see it now: "From the makers of YS and AP - POWER - the only games mag you need."
Or how about taking advantage of the large number of Amiga owners who bought Playstations (including me) and the lack of a decent PSX mag by launching "AMIGA POWER Reviews Playstation Games." With such a catchy title it can't fail.
I thought AP was good because it credited us readers with a little intelligence. And gained amusement from poking fun at those readers and games producers and other mags that showed themselves undeserving of said credit.
It would be nice to again be able to put a games mag in the list of life's quality things: AP, Homicide - Life on the Street, Danny Baker's footy phone-ins, a pint of Black Sheep bitter, an afternoon at Valley Parade, and so on. (Just my perversions, of course.)
Paul Durree, Surrey
Except, of course, that slightly later in the quote I realised that there wasn't, in fact, a gap in the market for etc. APRPG (needs work, that) is a comforting thought to sit around with, but unless someone unexpectedly gives us £100,000 that we can't think of another use for, it's not going to happen. For sure, no one else is going to do it.
"IN LITIGATION SPOOK"
Flossie was on Digitiser this morning. Miracles continue to flourish. Entering Stuart Campbell in a search engine, I was surprised to find that one of the first entries was for a lawyer in America who "specialized in litigation." Spook!
Matthew Garrett, Omagh
I'm also a popular and successful gynaecologist. It's a busy life, but it pays the bills.
"DRY REVIEWS TO CRASH IN THE PIT"
Having read your page I have come to the conclusion that you hate the PC for being so damned technical and unfriendly, ignore the Mac for not doing much and reminisce fondly about the Amiga like an old dead pet. So are there any computers that you actually like?
I always thought it would be a good idea to trademark your own face if you were a criminal. Then, the police couldn't use Photofit or CCTV evidence because it would be a breach of copyright.
The concept review lives on! Recently in PC Format there was a concept review of Pandemonium and shock, it wasn't that bad. It consisted of an evil megalomaniac attempting to take over the world by releasing console like games for the PC. This would rot the brains of all the PC players, leaving the way clear for the conquest of the world BWA-HA-HA-HA. He was foiled by the fact that Pandemonium wasn't that addictive or innovative. And there was a good guy in there somewhere who didn't do much. If I can be bothered I might type out a whole transcript, just to show you that the PC magazine market is not completely doomed to spiral down in a series of even more boring and dry reviews, to crash in the pit of infernal normality.
Will Pearson, Exmouth
Actually, in France, people already do own the copyright to their own image (I think). We have yet to ascertain what effect this has had on the crime figures. The last computer we actually liked was the Speccy, for it was the last likeable one. Although JN has an inexplicable soft spot for the SAM Coupe.
Irritatingly, I had to follow some "links" to retrieve the speeding bullet of ESSENTIAL INFORMATIONEWS that is AP2. And did I start to cry when I eventually came stumbling into your realm of wise words (via a bizarrely constructed intro sequence)?
Natch. (Thank Simon Cooke for that.)
But, to coin a phrase, But anyway.
Well, this isn't an anorak e-mail - hell no. Just to report that YOUR SITE HAS BEEN DISCOVERED and, from this day forward, shall be the lucky recipient of a shower of hits from ex-Amiga has-beens, the likes of which you would neither believe nor comprehend (most of them being "European." I know. I talk to them daily in the Retro Amiga Channel Of Champions - (Dammit, we don't have an insular replacement joke for channel addresses. - Ed.) I am an "op" there.)
On an associated note, I am also a "site op" at the Old Amiga Game Leeching Site Of Champions, Lazarus - ("http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/ap2/" - Ed), fact fans. Here you will find a gang of atrociously ageing Amiga games ready for use with UAE/Fellow (the two Amiga emulators for the PC) and soon home to a "link" to your palace of excellence.
Gravity Power is among the junk in the archives. We haven't tracked down Doofus just yet.
People often ask about AMIGA POWER on our little IRC channel, normally in response to the question "Have you ever heard of AMIGA POWER?"
"No," they say, "what in hellblazing crikey is that?" But still, in my heart and in my soul, I know that there was only one magazine that reviewed Amiga games. And now there is another one. Of it.
Cheekily, we have brazenly adopted the "AP Style" for the forthcoming magazine section of the aforementioned site. We hope that you don't mind. And there's the fact that we didn't know that AP was about to be virtually reborn or anything. What would stand out as something truly excellent, however, would be if you could write some reviews for us In The Style Of... J Nash.
Please respond to me. Thanks.
We were already aware of your excellent work, and shameless plagiarism. We keenly await the uploading of Monster Business.
"PERPLEXED BY ALL THIS STUART"
"2 The Write Thing/APTwo" is clearly superior. Or is it? Or IS it? OR is... oh, you get the picture.
Anyway, it is indeed a lovely thing to find your website, although I am thoroughly perplexed by all this "Stuart and Tim for the younger set" carry on - as far as I recall, all Tim Norris (fluffy Etonian sweetheart that he was) ever did was wear unfortunate jumpers and talk nonsense.
AP was very much a case of Stuart and Cam for me, despite the fact that Cam once said that Trolls was more or less the perfect platformer. It should, however, be noted that this comment was pronounced in his previous "Mark Winstanley" incarnation. Thus he is forgiven. Or something
Take care, me lovelies,
Frankie McCarthy, theoretically in Edinburgh, but actually in San Francisco at the moment. As you do
I just don't understand. JN is normally so logical. Either "AP2" and "2 The Write Thing" (the clearly preferable pairing), or "Two The Write Thing" and "APTwo." You'd think he'd see. Perhaps he's suffering from some strange and consistency-robbing mental illness. Or just being awkward because I don't know anything about HTML and am at the mercy of his grammatical whims. Yes, that's probably it. Tch, eh viewers?
"SO PLEASED TO SEE SOMEONE"
I'm just so pleased to see someone somewhere still has some passion about computer games, I had to write to you.
It would seem to me that there hasn't been a single decent game released on any format in about three years. Yes, I know Ridge Racer was nice, and VF2 looks pretty, but I haven't seen a single game that's made me go, "Ooh, that looks interesting!" It's all so boring.
Actually, that's a lie. Sentient was an original idea (even if the character interaction on which the game was based looks primitive when compared to Captain Blood, say) and if Sony do release do finally release Parappa the Rapper then my faith in them will be marginally restored. I suppose Dungeon Keeper is an original idea too.
However, generally I would say that all new games are shit, and I don't care what anyone thinks. Tekken 2? Boring as hell. Resident Evil? Appalling FMV acting, and camera angles that make walking through doors difficult, let alone shooting zombies.
Ah well, as long as I've got my Spectrum and ST emulators I don't care about all this new crap that's clogging up the market. I advise others to do the same. Go and play Wierd Dreams, or Eliminator, or Jet Set Willy, or 3D Deathchase, and revel in the supreme gameplay.
We feel your judgement is unduly harsh. "Weird."
"JENS & JAN WITH LEVELS"
Gravity Power, eh? Yes.
Please put some levels and stuff on your "site." Or even just put a link to the official Gravity Force 2 site, lovingly constructed by Jens & Jan (with levels by myself and my brother to download) so others may know of its splendidness.
Andrew Crane, Bournemouth
We toy expressively with the idea of "links" even as you speak.
"AND A FURTHER TWO TO LOTS"
Amiga Format, issue 101, page 39, review of F15 Strike Eagle II budget re-release. Caption from second picture from top on left-hand side of page.
"You. From the front. Yesterday."
And they didn't even mention you in their issue 100 special, despite devoting five pages to a "Build your own minature issue 1 of Amiga Format!" feature, and a further two to "Lots of Amiga companies congratulating Amiga Format for still managing to exist."
No mention of AP2 on Digi this week. James Caygill made an appearance though.
Mario Kart 64, from my brief experiences of playing it before being removed by an over-zealous doorman, is rather good. Men in Black is also rather good. And, amazingly, appears to be successful.
The Lost World is a travesty on the face of humanity. Actually, I have a feeling that I may have mentioned that already. Yesterday, perhaps. A-ha ha ha. Yes.
Matthew Garrett, Omagh
We feel unable to claim credit for the "Yesterday" joke, as examples (of it) litter the Domesday Book itself. We are, on the other hand, immensely proud not be be considered by AF as part of its "history."
"CONURBATIONS LIKE A CAR"
Hello readers. You may have noticed that I am back on the internet after flitting between urban conurbations like a car going from town to town.
It's fair to say that within that time I've seen a lot. For instance, AP's influence on gaming in TV land.
In Brookside, a father wished to get his son out of the way so he could entertain a lady friend. (Relax, girls, he's getting divorced.) As a bribe, he bought a computer game. The game? The Marathon Trilogy. "Thanks Dad, but I'll still be there waiting for your lady friend," said the child, but we knew he wouldn't. And he wasn't.
Also, in Saved By The Bell you can see a Mr.Do coin-op in the corner.
Hopefully the Ben Hogan Points Of Dead will include the lines
It's a six under!
Feet, that is!
I also went to watch Batman and Robin and found to be ("Not as good as Men in Black" -Ed). My brother disagreed, but then again he didn't like The Italian Job when I showed it to him. However, he does keep singing "Get your skates on mate."
Has anyone else seen the advert with the "punchline" "The Make-up of Make-Up Artists"? What a strange twist on the X of champions.
Ben Hall, A loft, Harrogate
PS Glad you enjoyed the scans but currently my Uncle's scanner's on the blink so I can't send you the OJ Guilt-o-Meter for a while. (But we already have the OJ Guilt-o-Meter. - Ed.)
"THE AP2 READERSHIP COULD TAKE IT"
Just read the transcript of the great burning... I don't suppose you're selling tapes of it huh? We, the AP2 readership, could take it upon ourselves to recover the missing (unintelligible) dialogue!
Richard Franks, Glasgow/Edinburgh
Attention viewers! Stand by! Message ends.
"TREMENDOUSLY MAY IT RESURFACE"
Whatever happened to The Four Cyclists' Guide to the Apocalypse then? I was looking forward to that tremendously. May it resurface in electronic form.
Andrew Crane, Bournemouth
Such matters rest in the hands of one mightier e'en than they.
"NASH STICKS WITH ME VIVIDLY"
Did I ever tell you about the time I had a dream where I was being plagued by J Nashes?
Early in 1996 or so, as part of a series of attempts to turn myself into a more interesting and desireable figure to members of the opposite sex, I started eating huge amounts of cheese before bedtime. (I also used to wear elastic bands in my hair and wear T-shirts with pictures of cartoon characters on. C'mon, we've all been nineteen and desperate. Haven't we?)
Anyway, one evening, after a hearty supper of cheese slices, cheese on toast, and more cheese, I had this dream. I'm particularly bad at recalling my dreams, but the initial meeting with a long-haired Irish bloke in a Levellers T-shirt proclaiming to be J Nash sticks with me vividly to this day.
I awoke, noted my dream, and, having seen that it was still morning and remembered that I was a student, went back to sleep. The Irish figure returned, as well as popular nude musician Iggy Pop, a girl with a name-tag announcing that she was called Erica, an Indian gentleman, two blokes in West Ham replica tops, and, erm, some others. (These are the only ones I noted in my diary. I dread to think what the others were like.)
I would make an interesting and relevant point here about dreams not actually meaning anything, but I had a rather interesting one last night and I'd quite like it to come true.
Bye for now (if not for ever),
Flossie. From Dagenham. But who is currently in Luton. Oh, and I don't have a surname. Maybe you could make one up. I'm used to being humiliated, as 26 visits to my local benefits agency attempting to get my Jobseekers allowance has shown.
"FLUFFYCAT AND LOOK IF I WAS"
While on IRC due to the promise of the possibility of winning some stuff that later transpired not to happen therefore rendering the whole exercise useless, I discovered the the #digi channel still existed, and, incredibly, was being used. While there, it transpired that the majority of other people involved in this believed me to be Stuart Campbell, and would not be swayed by arguments such as "I've got a different email address"; "Why would someone like Stuart call themselves FluffyCat?" and "Look, if I was Stuart Campbell don't you think that I'd have something better to do than this?" Sigh.
Despite this, they appeared impressed that I had actually received a mail from this legend. Strange. While I see Stuart as a warm, cuddly sort of ex-AP writer, everyone else seems to see him as some sort of ruthless industry figure, worthy of "respect." Oh, what a funsome jape. They were practically begging to lick my feet after it transpired that I had actually come within three feet of Stuart at some World of Amiga show years ago. Fame at last, eh?
Matthew Garrett, Omagh
Actually, I hardly ever have anything better to do.
Readers of teletext's famous Digitiser will possibly have seen Stuart's recent 25-page PC diary, which examined in truthful, autobiographical detail how his £1,500 machine has, after a year of repairs and upgrades worth £4,500, still not quite been made to work properly. Stuart's conclusion ("Don't buy a PC, viewers") was terrifyingly interpreted by the Amiga-owning fraternity as an exoneration of their vocal defensive campaign, and, resultingly, Digi has once more been swamped by letters advocating buying the dead computer. This is probably almost exactly what happened to Perkin Warbeck.
"RAM IN CHUNKS"
Use a different program. The PC allocates RAM in chunks, and since the notepad (meant for readme-type files) only asks for one or two small chunks it effectively runs out of memory when you type a large file. Something like Word splices the small chunks together into one big chunk and can handle much larger files.
I could go into more detail, but then I'd be Amiga Format.
Eponymous Gugger, York, Pennsylvania
Of course. Why didn't I see it? It's almost as if PCs came without any kind of useful manual despite being easily the most complicated piece of equipment most people will ever use in their lives, and you were expected to simply teach yourself even the most basic principles of use from scratch, by guessing. Or. Some. Thing.
"THE ARTICLE THE SPINELESS"
Stuart, your PC article was superb. You cut through the bullshit surrounding the so-called wonder machine, and that has to be applauded. It's a shame that many people will ignore the article, the spineless computer nerds that they are. I just feel pissed off that I have use such overgrown junk piles...
All the best,
Ignoring it is apparently the last thing on their minds. Teletext tell me they haven't had such a barrage of mail since that time I accidentally said I hoped all Amiga owners died in a big chemical fire.
"IDIOT I'M SURE THE REASON"
Here's something so dull it will quite possibly make you impotent. Stuart wrote that his £6,000 PC has 40MB of RAM; this is a falsehood. Assuming that it's a Pentium (and so requires matched pairs of RAM), one cannot make up 40MB without going for the rather odd option of 2*16 + 2*4 SIMMS. Perhaps he is foolishly counting the onboard RAM of his graphics card, to the silent embarrassment of his friends. There's the possibility that "40MB" is hyperbole, but such a stunted hyperbole is not Stuart's style. Ergo, it's much more likely that he's an idiot.
I'm sure the reason his PC keeps running out of memory while he's writing is that once he starts he simply can't stop ranting until his words occupy all available space, at which point they crash across the Polish border in search of even more Lebensraum. The man must require specially produced, 6ft square Post-its.
But, as I love him (ignoring that, in the same piece, he appeared to be suggesting that the insipid mobile-phone-wank-mag FHM was "not shite"), I will hook arms with him and lead him in the direction of IBM's Voice Type Simply Speaking dictation software - £45 from all good stores and Dixon's. This has three great things to commend it.
1) It recognises much swearing straight out of the box. Hurrah for IBM for knowing that ten minutes after getting it you'll start f'ing to see what happens. Truly they beat Microsoft as the thinking person's bloated multinational of choice.
2) It comes with a little mike-flipping headset which allows you to draw the curtains when your girlfriend's out and pretend to be Captain Scarlet.
3) I sneezed while dictating, and it printed "Thatcher." Deft satire in itself, but also holding out the succulent fruit that a spontaneous coughing fit might magically produce an entire Morecambe & Wise sketch.
D Ream, Wolverhampton
Keep your hooky arms away from me, Ream, you freak. I do indeed have my two original 4MB SIMMS and two spanky new 16MBs. Want to make something of it? And when did I mention FHM in my epic expose, exactly? Eh? Anyway, the thing about capitalism as a monetarist system is that the useless, cretinous (Snip. - Ed)
AND ANOTHER THING...
He doesn't take his editorial staff on daytrips to Ingoldmells in the hope of taking photographs of them on donkeys.
How's this for your first concept letter?
Will Pearson, Exmouth
I'm wondering if this ironic censorship works in reverse, so if I say "Icy roads need sand and grit', it would be printed as "("Shit" - Ed.)." Perhaps not, but let's try anyway, eh, ("Bitches" - Ed)?
Stuart Caie, Aberdeen
Oh no! Now we're in trouble.
I truely am a deciple of AP, but how can i prove my illegence to the cause?
Oh and there's no entry in the lexicon for "Can I do my "Can I do my "X Joke" joke now" now?"
Ben Hall, RAF Bruggen
Yes, I do.
That thing about Marcus Dyson believing the 98% score for AB3D2 - please be true.
Alex Smyth, Sheffield
It's so true it's hardly even funny any m- actually no, it's still really funny.
Except Henry T Lion had a letter printed in AP65. Curses. And I'd have gotten away with it etc.
Matthew Garrett, Omagh
(Hello! And, er, oh. - JN.)
Another Two The Write Thing