A Simples Life, the spoof autobiography of Aleksandr Orlov, a cartoon character from a TV advert for car insurance, is set to become number one in the hardback, non-fiction chart, as thousands of dullards, unable to think of a more appropriate present for some ‘hard to buy for’ relative, submit meekly to the marketing hype and cling to the remote possibility that a cynical, pointless, ghost-written, ‘humorous’ book will help to add a little festive cheer on Christmas Day.
The nation’s charity shops are braced to receive bags full of meerkat books, unappreciated and unread, as soon as they open again after the holidays. Recycling centres in supermarket car parks are being equipped with extra bins, where shoppers can dispose of their copies, discreetly, before stocking up with groceries.
At a busy refuse site, in North London, the incinerators are being fired up, to prepare for the anticipated traffic in unwanted meerkat-related gifts. Bill Trimble, site manager, explains why these contingency plans are necessary. “By separating out these novelty items from other household waste, at source, we’re hoping to reduce the pressure on the nation’s landfill sites.
“For unimaginitive people, stuck for a present, books like this may seem like ‘just a bit of harmless fun’, but for those of us who have to clear up after the Christmas festivities, they’re a major headache. To deal with the sheer number of superfluous books, we’ve decided to re-introduce book burning, an extreme form of literary criticism that’s largely gone out of favour since the end of the Third Reich, to transform piles of trashy books into something comparitively useful... like a pile of hot ash”...