The seven days between Christmas and New Year is always tricky for a weekly newspaper. Reporters are on holiday, everyone’s had too much sherry and no one is out there creating news.
This also presents a problem for the front page cartoon. There’s usually a broad sweep of smaller stories, with nothing specific to focus on.
It started out like that this week. A story about Britain’s Got Talent star Steve Hall giving up the day job, another about a hospital radio station trying to beat Chris Moyle’s 52 hour continuos broadcast … And then, just as I was losing the will to draw, gold dust.
This is not your usual tobacconists (do those still exist?) but one selling pro-smoking t-shirts. Sales of these will, apparently, raise funds so that he can lobby parliament to overthrow the ban on smoking in public places. According to the campaigner, “Smoking is one of the last remaining pleasures for the working man … “
Possibly the working man should get out more.
As smoking is one of the topics which brings out the Jeremy Clarkson in me, I enjoyed working on this one. In fact, only the looming presence of my deadline prevented me from pitching more ideas than the seven shown below.
To see which the editor voted for, rush out and buy The Westmorland Gazette, or blow across to my website.
"Must be the comedian I get whenever I ring up to complain about my broadband."
"That must be for the number of sexist remarks made in a 2-hour broadcast."
"That must be the new pro-smoking shop."
"It's from the pro-smoking shop - now I can smoke in public places."
"I work in the new pro-smoking shop. Ironically I have to come outside to smoke."
"That should make the auld grey town a little greyer."