Discarded in a Travelodge

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While I was eating my peppered steak slice yesterday lunch time and feeling sorry for myself because I had a cold, I got a press release through. Unremarkable in itself, since I get them all the time and they’re usually the results of bullshit surveys (commissioned by travel insurance firms about how people get injured and robbed on holiday, for example), but this one was pretty good.

It was a list, released by Travelodge, of the top ten books abandoned in their hotel rooms this summer. Pleasingly Piers Morgan is in there (for the second year in a row), along with Cherie Blair’s ‘Speaking For Myself’. Presumably detailed information on her contraceptive practices proved too much for the punters. If by some miracle young Leo was not previously bullied at school then he almost certainly is now.

Among a bunch of predictable shite by the likes of Ben Elton, Katie Price and Alvin Hall, Russell Brand’s ‘My Booky Wook’ (worst title in the history of publishing?) is a bit of a wildcard. Life-affirming book, the Secret, is also there. I’d not heard of it before I read a friend’s glowing review the other week, but apparently the worldly clientele of the Travelodge weren’t nearly as impressed by its message. Either that or they were sharing the love, sort of like new age Gideons.

Top of the list though was a personal favourite of mine – ‘Prezza: Pulling No Punches’. John Prescott’s ‘autobiography’. I did actually request this for my birthday, and Lozzer said he felt more embarrassed taking this fine volume to the counter at Borders than he did with the smut novel he bought me last year (‘Desperate Duchesses’ by Eloisa James, if you were wondering).

Anyway, I’m baffled by why the Travelodgers weren’t sold on this one, since it’s fucking brilliant. How a cross between BA Baracus and Father Jack made it to deputy prime minister I shall never know, and the book doesn’t really clear it up. I’d share some choice excerpts but it really needs to be read out loud in a gruff northern accent. One chapter begins, ‘Of course this was not the first time I had punched someone on the campaign trail…’

The press release ends with a few special finds. Southend-on-Sea Travelodge discovered a copy of ‘The best 50 love making positions for the over 50s’, while some lecherous rascal, almost certainly in media sales, left behind two books in his room in Southampton: ‘How to be a Gentleman in Seven Days’ and ‘The Kama Sutra for Dummies’.

I don’t know whether these findings are depressing or hilarious, but they amused me.

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