Meet The Angriest Man in the Shire
The Hexhamite began life as a blog called The Angriest Man in the Shire, a blatant ripoff of The Angriest Man in Holloway, from Nick Hornby’s novel How to Be Good. It was intended to be a spoof of the long running Hextol column in Tynedale’s weekly journal, the Hexham Courant – central to the ‘joke’, being the fact that, although I was born in Hexham, I’ve never actually lived there!
The idea was simple: I, as The Hexhamite, would be a cantankerous country gent and every week I would vent my spleen over some ‘issue’ which had outraged me. ‘The rules’ were that the weekly piece must be exactly five hundred words, and the gripe had to be expressed in the most pompous, overblown language possible. The Hexhamite was a byword for verbosity!
Sadly the idea ran out of steam. I loved writing The Hexhamite, but it became too much of a chore – it was simply too exhausting getting myself into the right frame of mind to write the damn thing! In the end, I just wasn’t angry enough.
Strangely, a few people (who really ought to have known better) started to take it all a bit too seriously. I thought it was fairly obviously a spoof, but even with the addition of the byline Tongue-in-Cheek Musings About Life and an Exasperating World, it was obvious that some people weren’t getting the joke, so I called it a day.
Anyway, here are some of the best bits.