D’ya hear yer man

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Adios amigo

As of this Monday I can no longer poke fun at Clint.

Okay, so that’s not strictly true, but now when I poke fun at Clint it will have to be in my own time.

With Clint having taken up a new position as regional editor of the Ulster Star/Banbridge Leader, I can no longer make disparaging remarks about his love of Star Trek, encourage others in the ‘MAIL’ office to do likewise, then pass it off as a team-building exercise.

Nor can I make light of his passion for airsoft. For those of you not familiar with the pastime, airsoft involves grown men disguising themselves as trees and bushes then running around the great outdoors taking pot shots at each other with mean-looking military assault rifles that fire harmless air pellets.

It’s hard to believe I’ve worked with Clint for nearly eight years. As far as relationships between editors and reporters go, I think Clint and I have struck a great balance between work and play. I fear sounding a bit sentimental, but I think we made a great team.

Sometimes, when I allow my imagination to run away with me (it happens very quickly and it’s hard to stop), I picture myself and Clint as two superheroes. I’m not asking you to form the same mental image - what with my fair complexion and Clint’s big-boned frame - we wouldn’t exactly look good in low cut spandex or skin tight leathers.

However the advantage Clint and I have over, say Spiderman and Batman, is that when we’ve finished fighting for truth and justice, we can take off our masks and share a few pints as Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne.

I’ve learnt a lot from Clint over the years, some of it could even be termed useful.

If it hadn’t been for Clint you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now. It was Clint who gave me ‘license to ramble’ when I first suggested penning a weekly column. He believed in me and gave me the confidence to become the journalist I am today. I’d like to thank him for that and a whole lot more.

We bid each other a fond farewell with a manly handshake last week. There were no tears. Tears are for babies.

I told him the office wouldn’t be the same without him. In turn, Clint said he’s going to miss me. I can believe that. I have it on good authority from his airsoft buddies that he’s a terrible shot.

Counting the cost

I found out the cost of the accident I was writing about in this column a few weeks ago.

Just to jog your memories, it involved me reversing into a mini in the Xtra-vision car park. A mini that had been painted a lovely shade of invisible blue.

The bill to repair the damage came in at £300. I suppose it could have been worse, but it also could have been a lot better if I’d never went near Xtra-vision in the first place.

Upon reflecting on the accident I considered why I was at Xtra-vision in the first place.

Three months ago I cancelled my subscription to the Sky Movies package. They weren’t showing enough films that tickled my fancy, and for me, an untickled fancy is grounds for divorce.

Were that not reason enough for reducing my package, I also had the more quantifiable excuse of trying to save money. Sky Movies was costing me £8 a month for, at tops, three movies, only one of which was likely to be halfway decent.

On those calculations I decided it would be cheaper to go to Xtra-vision when I got the rare urge for the home cinema experience.

You can probably see where this is going. So far a single trip to Xtra-vision has cost me £306.50. For the same amount I could have paid for Sky Movies for three years and had enough change left for an extra large bucket of popcorn.

In saying that, if I’d have gone for the easy option, it would have left me 32 lines short in this week’s column.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: the maximum amount you can draw from the money-filled top hat is £305 - three £5 notes, three £10 notes, three £20 notes and four £50 notes. I only wish that I’d been given the chance to draw from such a top hat as it would have neatly covered the amount I had to pay out following the accident at Xtra-vision.

Here’s this week’s teaser: which is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t represented by an animal?