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And so I bid a fond farewell to you all; Happening The Urbanite.

Byline: Spiky and atypical musings from David Cottrell

A PAIR of castanets and a Pot Noodle horn. Three seashells and a sedimentary rock. A miniature bottle of Mateus and a sachet of mayonnaise. A signed photo of Earnie Shavers and a picture of Stevie Gerrard and Didi Hamann attempting to revive Jamie Carragher in the Sir Thomas Street Hotel the night after Istanbul.

The full transcribe of Peter Cook's appearance on The Clive Anderson Showin 1992 as sagacious football manager Alan Latchley. Several hundred CD Roms, mostly containing pictures of chairs and tables you'd only buy if you had more money than sense, some glitzy invites for unattended launch parties and the odd defaced copy of Space (curly moustaches scrawled on beautiful female models, speech bubbles by the mouths of important-looking men in sober suits saying things like "I dance for money").

What else? A letter of complaint about a python-skin handbag recently featured in the magazine, one authentic example of hate mail (you can tell it's hate mail because some passages have been written in red marker pen) and a DIY postcard from someone who signs himself Hezekian Cheese wright and waxes lyrical about the public sculpture of Liverpool.

Actually, I know this man. This same correspondent periodically leaves messages on my voicemail, posing as one Seymour Clearly and claiming to have won pounds 7m on the Lottery, half of which he'll give to me if only I ring him back. I always do, I'm still waiting for the cheque.

And this is before I get to the emails and all the junk on my computer. Sorry, I should explain.

This is me leaving, clearing my desk and clearing off. My 155th and final column for this esteemed publication. Finis, end of, lights out, last stop on the Fun Bus. Not quite pastures new, more old ground 200 miles down the motorway. But I'll be back.

I'd bid you an eternally grateful and profoundly moving farewell, but underneath a stack of magazines in the bottom drawer of my desk I've just found something squishy inside a tatty old envelope that I'm frightened to look at, and to be honest it's ruined the moment.

Tomorrow's the leaving-do. Earlier in the week, I duly fired off a begging email to all and sundry. "Everyone's very welcome," I wrote. "It'd be great if you could make it", etc. Which roughly translates as, "Look, I know there are a couple of other leaving-do's on the same night, but just come for one drink and I'll pay, so I'm not sat there all night like Billy No Mates." So far, I'm pleased to report, only a handful of replies along the lines of "Sorry, who is this?"

Will I awake on Saturday morning with a slightly hazy feeling of contentment having bowed out gracefully the night before, shook hands, slapped backs and hugged soon-to-be former colleagues, clutching pounds 10 worth of Net to vouchers and a card crammed with genuinely heartfelt messages of goodwill?

Or will I wake up in Wapping Dock with short-term memory loss, a nagging feeling of self contempt and someone else's false teeth, meticulously wrapped in a burgundy napkin, in my coat pocket?

I'd love to tell you all about it next week, but it's someone else's turn to shoot the breeze. Thanks for reading, it's been a blast.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 8, 2007
Words:559
Previous Article:Football: Everton closer to Goodison exodus.
Next Article:New city centre apartments; Happening.


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