Stop Press! For I Am Trapped Inside

It was Thursday. The Sunday papers having reached sufficient size to extend several days either side of their publication date by sheer bulk, I resolved to buy one.

I reached the paper stand without incident. I bought the Sunday Times. I returned home. The extra effort of carrying the paper caused my muscle mass to increase by fifteen percent. The extra effort of carrying my increased muscle mass caused my muscle mass to increase by a further five percent. Soon my muscles ballooned out of control. By the time I returned I was exhausted and my thighs chafed.

I disgorged the paper onto my waiting coffee table. The table disintegrated instantly. Through the cloud of wood dust I noticed that the floor underneath was holding firm. I quickly lowered the rest of the floor by two feet and six inches to compensate, and sat down to read.

In the distance, wolves.

I examined my purchase. For a pound and thirty pence I had acquired a territory greater in surface area than the Palatinate of the Rhine. One day, my son, all this will be yours.

Once more I picked up the paper in its entirety. Supplements cascaded to the floor. I wondered whether they were numerous enough to constitute a drove.

Experimentally, I picked up the Business section. An equally large number of supplements fell to the ground. The Business section remained the same size.

I picked up the International Business section with similar consequences. Some of the consequences were in Japanese. I noted a small Japanese dictionary helpfully included. I examined the dictionary. It included a free copy of the Sunday Times, in Navajo.

The International Business section had also contained the Driving section. I approved of the logic absent from this arrangement. On reflection, I picked this up too. Supplements descended gracefully to the floor. I observed with some satisfaction that my planned recarpeting was now neither necessary nor possible.

I chose a different tack. I searched for many days for the travel section. By the time I discovered it, sandwiched between Cookery and Book Reviews, it was Sunday and the news on the front page was now relevant.

Opening Travel, I noticed a large bear attempting to escape from page thirty-one. I placed the Travel section in the recycling bin. There, new bears could be made from the old. On reflection, I weighed it down with the Home, Ecosse and Appointments sections, in case the bear should emerge and beat me to the crossword.

I turned my attentions to the advertising material. After four days I had still not discovered what products were being advertised. By this stage I had been driven to levels of desire to buy whatever was apparently on offer that rivalled the loftiest heights of evangelism and epiphany, and had eaten most of my foot. The advertising inserts were returned to the floor, which was now approaching the ceiling. Had my coffee table not collapsed and I not lowered the ground earlier, my carpet would now be some distance above the ceiling, and my flat would be upside down.

In the distance, wolves. The pages stirred softly.

I noticed the Appointments section had been placed in the recycling bin without a thought as to its contents. Flicking through, I was struck by a newly available post for travel guides at the Sunday Times. The post involved navigating pages forty through to forty-six of International News. Locals were preferred.

Set free by the decrease in weight on its head, the bear reemerged. Fortunately I was able to beat it off with a wedge of Travel Supplement supplements. It retreated to the horoscopes, specifically Pisces, although being a large beast its tail extended to March 26th and thus into Aries.

I perused my weapon. It appeared to be the European Travel conglomerate. Inside I found the UK and, further in, Scotland sections. Curiosity led me forth. Within was a booklet about Edinburgh. A leaflet inside detailed the attractions of my council ward, and a pull-out guide inside that gave a comprehensive traveller's reference to my street. As I held the guide, a gust of wind dislodged a single-page map of my house. The reverse explained that at this point the main attraction was the occupant of said house reading the paper. I replaced the hierarchy of inserts neatly.

It was late and I was tired. The bag of magazines had reached a pinnacle of sheer style where they had dispensed with all colours except a uniform shade of mauve. I had not the mental energy to extrapolate from the teasers in the other sections what the articles, written in mauve text on mauve paper, might say. I unfolded the Culture supplement and opened another series of inserts until I found the smallest of all. It was a little over a centimetre square and comprised the word "tirade". I crawled into the page, wrapped it around me, and slept.

In the distance, wolves.

By morning the crossword had been completed.

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