RICHARD ORD: Woolly newspapers are the burning issue of today
How soon before the world’s first woolen newspaper lands on your doormat with a satisfactory thud?
‘Not soon enough,’ I hear you cry.
That would be my pitch to media executives looking to attract new readers to our market as energy costs soar. The all-wool newspaper. Or newsblanket as I’ve trademarked it.
There would, admittedly, be some cost implications. Wool is more expensive than paper, but not too much more in the grand scheme of things. Swapping all those printing presses for looms would probably be the biggest drain on resources.
You could read your paper and, when finished, fashion it into a hat to keep your head warm. You read it here first.
“Have you turned on your heating yet,” is a phrase currently being repeated 1,432 times a minute across the UK, according to the Office For National Statistics and is expected to rise over the weekend.
I was even asked by a date this week: ‘What’s your insulation status?’. She was referring to how well my home retains heat. Who said romance was dead? Your insulation status will soon be an option on your Facebook profile.
While the newsblanket is a work in progress, the humble newspaper is enjoying a renaissance thanks to the cost of living crisis. Where once its chief selling point was the news inside, today its combustible properties are of more interest. It ignites at about 451 degrees Fahrenheit and can keep you toasty for about four minutes. And they make great kindling. The wheel of history keeps turning.
As we all know, newspapers were originally known as budgiepapers. They were cage bottom liners at the height of budgie ownership in the late 1800s.
One wag thought it would be interesting to print some local news on the budgiepapers to give the pet owners something to read while they lined the bottom of the cages.
After the budgie purge of 1958 and subsequent rocketing in budgie prices, ownership declined, but former budgie owners continued to buy the budgiepaper to keep abreast of the latest news. Ironically, they were mainly read to find out the latest on the budgie purge and bird prices.
Budgerigar ownership declined, but the demand for news-on-budgiepaper soared. The name was later shortened to newspaper and the rest, as you know, is history.
Now please feel free to burn this column. It’ll give you a nice warm glow…