A nostalgic penchant for the Yellow Pages and analogue days



What a week. My descent into madness began on Monday as I closed the garden gate and peeked across the road at the bus stop. He had been graffiti.

It was not the work of Banksy, the acclaimed street artist who in recent weeks has taken a whirlwind tour of British seaside resorts, leaving a series of eye-catching works in its wake.

Rather, it was the spray-painted numbers “55” next to what I think was supposed to be a football trophy, but looked more like a male appendage – or the phallic-shaped rocket that Jeff Bezos had. used to take off into space.

Hopefully the advice will be there overnight to remove it but, in the meantime, my google search history is a long screed of “how do I remove spray painted graffiti?” like a panicked teen in a slapstick comedy who threw a house party while her parents were away.

This, in turn, fondly reminded me of the Yellow Pages ad from the early 1990s where a guy with a hangover had to hastily seek out a French polisher to fix a nasty scratch on a living room table after a frenzied evening at the family home.

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Which then got me thinking about how I hadn’t seen yellow pages in years and how these days JR Hartley would probably get his grandchildren to order his out of print fly fishing book on the internet. rather than calling many stores.

I suddenly felt old. Old. And in the rabbit hole, I fell. I briefly felt better on Tuesday as I did an interview with a double actor and reminded them that they had been pals for 30 years.

“Not 30,” half the duo said. Then he did the mental math. And, like me, is probably going through an existential crisis over the galloping decades.

The son of a friend who spoke enthusiastically about starting college reminded me forcefully that it had been over a quarter of a century since I left to begin my own studies.

I spent the previous summer working at a greasy spoon transport cafe near Broxburn, frying square sausages and buttering buns.

We had the radio on all day. That was 1995. This means that last week marks exactly 26 years since “The Battle of Britpop” – Blur vs Oasis – was in full swing. Country House vs Roll With It. Which, at the time, naively sounded like the Rolling Stones vs. The Beatles equivalent.

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I was fervently Team Oasis and spent my hard earned money in their cafe for their single. Ultimately, however, it was Blur that dominated the charts. Such was my emotional investment in this silly fight that the disappointment was overwhelming.

I’ve been listening to both songs for the last few days and frankly nothing special either. Humdrum at best. Certainly no Beetlebum or Champagne Supernova.

So, that has been my week. Coming soon: My tired ode to analog continues.

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