Pitching the World vs. The Great Gatsby. UPDATED

I’ve been busy today. Mostly, I’ve been busy being ill. Oh, I’m excellent at it now: two weeks of illness and I show few signs of getting better. In the shop I’m known as ‘The odd man who buys Ribena and notepads.’ That’s all I do, buy Ribena and notepads. It’s no life. You should see me in the shop though. You’d like it. I’ve had so little contact with other people over the last couple of weeks that I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to interact with other human beings. I’m no good at it anymore. I go in there, pick up my Ribena and notepads and then completely over-egg my personality when it comes to the exchanging of money and pleasantries. I grin loudly and fizz and crackle and make small talk that makes me appear madder than I actually am. Like I say, it’s no life.

But I’ve not just been busy being ill, I’ve been busy doing other stuff too. Today I began work on my book, a book loosely based upon Pitching the World. This involved putting all of the posts to date into a document and marveling at how I’ve managed to write 90,000 words about not pitching magazines. It’s quite something. What is also quite something is The Great Gatsby, which I’ve been writing out for a feature that I’m working on. All afternoon my words, then Fitzgerald’s. Mine, then his.

His are better, aren’t they? His words. Better. But are they? I have to believe that mine are better than his, better than anyone’s if I’m going to write this book. So, I thought I would put down some extracts from The Great Gatsby and some from the archives of Pitching the World and have what I suppose is a quiz. Or a competition. Or something. Certainly it’s fun. Can you tell who wrote the following: Me or Him? There might be prizes if you can.

1. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction – Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.

2. That’s what I do with my friends: Fuck them in bins.

3. I have been drunk just twice in my life, and the second time was that afternoon.

4. I desperately want to become Barry Manilow.

5. “Your eyes have gone weird. What’s happened to your eyes? You look mental.”

6. “It’s a bitch. Here’s your money. Go and buy ten more dogs with it.”

7. Somehow, I’ve found myself in a situation where I’m living in an expensive house on top of a hill looking after cats. I don’t know how many. Two? Ten? A number of cats, anyway. And a dog.

8. Never think that anything is either untouched or promising.

9. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

10. I’ve flapped around and fucked up everything I’ve ever tried and I’m not going to flap around and fuck this up.

How did you get on? I told you it would be fun. I had lots of fun. Answers tomorrow. Or perhaps Wednesday. Who knows? Who cares? You’re probably not even reading this bit and if you are you probably want to stop.

Until tomorrow, then. Or Wednesday. Thank you.

AN UPDATE: It’s Wednesday, so time for answers. You’ve all been waiting for this moment, haven’t you? What do you mean you haven’t? Frankly, I refuse to acknowledge the lack of appetite for the above quiz and will stagger on with the answers regardless. Here goes:

1. Fitzgerald, obviously.

2. Me, obviously.

3. Fitzgerald.

4. Me. (and it’s true)

5. Me.

6. Fitzgerald.

7. Me.

8. Me.

9. Fitzgerald.

10. Me.

And that, thank God, is that. More quizzes tomorrow. In fact, quizzes every hour from now on until people agree that it’s a good idea.




19 responses to “Pitching the World vs. The Great Gatsby. UPDATED

  1. I SAID THEM ALL. Dinner’s paid right?

  2. Say Pitchy, old sport, it’s almost impossible to tell. I’d say old Fitzgerald could learn a thing or two from you, you know. Certainly you’re funnier than he ever was, no quiz required to prove that. Perhaps he lacked the combined sense of humour and adventure required for bin-fucking with friends? The fool.
    P.S. Terribly sorry if I’ve given the game away with that one.
    P.P.S. I do so hope you feel better soon, do you need us to send you a nurse?

  3. Thanks very much Daisy B. And you’re right, IT IS almost impossible to tell. Not sure if I need a nurse or an undertaker. Oooh hark at me, with the drama. X

  4. I never knew that Fitzgerald used ‘fuck’ so much. Amazing!
    BTW, you look remarkably like someone I used to know but, for the life of me, I can’t remember his name. Well, it wasn’t you anyway, so don’t worry.

  5. Number 8 is actually rather good. Sorry, can’t think of anything funny or clever to say, other than: number 8 is actually rather good. That is all. I liked number 8.

  6. Dom! Lovely Dom! Those screamers are in honour of you. Thank you. Funnily enough (and it’s a riot) I was just thinking to myself, ‘It’s been a while since Dom’s been on here, displaying his sharp mind’ and up you pop. What are the odds? Pretty big, I reckon. This comment is in danger of meandering.

  7. Oddly I only do screamers when I write letters of complaint. But point taken! And thanks for calling me lovely! I think you’re lovely too!

  8. I think you misread my comment. I never said that “I didn’t know that Fitzgeral used TO fuck”. I’m sure he did on the basis that most people do.
    Oh well, never mind – or should that be fuck that?
    No, you’re definitely not him. I’ve only ever known one guy named Steve or Stephen or something. He was a Scouse guy from Liverpool and taught computer stuff, so it’s not you. Anyway, he didn’t look like you (either in the before or after pictures).
    I liked the quiz. Do more.

    • It should be fuck that. It should ALWAYS be fuck that. Actually, it shouldn’t; I barely know what I’m talking about half the time. You know what, Andy, I think I will do more quizzes. Glad you liked it. Thanks.

  9. Who said these pearlers, you or me (or is that me or you, fuck it).

    1) they’re a bit like valium

    2) can I have some

    3) sure

    those were the days xx

  10. Last one was definitely Mary Hopkin.

  11. Whenever I feel my phone vibrate with an email I always get excited it’s another PTW…

    Pull your fucking finger out, tart!

  12. I heard he was found floating face down in a purple jump suit, rock and roll style, but I could be wrong

  13. Feel bad now hope he wasn’t found floating face down – purple is so last year.

  14. L and Phil, I appreciate your concern almost as much as I appreciate your vivid imaginations. I mean this.

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