My copy of 'Shaggy Blog Stories' arrived in the post on Friday, and in the course of a return train journey to Manchester and back over the weekend I devoured it all.
Yes there are one or two typos, and it's true that some of the pieces selected for inclusion are stronger than others - but for a book pulled together in the space of a week the quality of the content and the physical product is impressively high.
Several of the posts I had the pleasure of reading "first time around": Jonathan's displeasure at the prospect of militant vegetables, Mike's vignette of middle-class one-up-manship, The Overnight Editor's tale of crushing embarrassment, Alan's encounter with some "hypno-breasts" and Paul's musings about which commentator he'd like to report on him having sex. There are also pieces from the likes of Anna, Richard Herring, Betty, Miss Mish, Robin and Meg.
But perhaps the greatest pleasure was in coming across unexpected gems aplenty, and thence hitherto unvisited blogs - most notably Alistair's traumatic hospital visit (OK, OK, new to me if not to you...), The Web Of Evil's insight into the perils of email, Dr John Crippen's failed anatomy tutorial, Tina's anecdote about excitable alcoholic goats, Moobs' undergarment-related misfortune, Katy's explanation of "Road Politeness", Mr Angry's forwardness at the supermarket checkout, Asym42's speed-dating misery, David's litany of stupid students and Deborah's tissue of lies.
But the final word has to go to JonnyB, whose contribution 'I Stand In The Lounge' contains the immortal lines: "Listening to banjo music is a bit like dressing up in women's clothing and masturbating in front of 'Bargain Hunt'. Everybody does it, but nobody ever admits to it". If being able to read that in print isn't reason enough to buy the book (for Comic Relief, lest we forget), then I don't know what is...