Given that she's become an "author", by which they mean she's had a children's book published, The Sun has made Geri Halliwell a "reading ambassador". God alone knows why The Sun has decided it needs a reading ambassador; it's like Bernard Matthews appointing a spokesperson for vegetarianism.
Still, Geri is delighted by her new role as book-learning-spokesperson:
Yes, you've empowered yourself through "the power of education and reading". Like all the reading you did when you were in the porn magazines, and the time standing by prizes on a Turkish game show. And The Spice Girls, of course. How the crowds would gather at what we now realise was a late 20th Century reimagining of the Workers Education Assocation.
Geri, you see, loves books. She says so:
“It’s got such poignancy and heart. I cried when Aslan died. I love it that a book can make you cry."
It's true, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe can make you cry. When you're six. It's funny that Geri doesn't seem able to think of a book that she's connected emotionally with since she was that young, isn't it?
It's not entirely encouraging that the "reading ambassador" doesn't seem to have a clue what children like to read; nor that she can't speak English - what books are 100 to 150 words long? The Mister Men? Or did she mean "a review of between 100 and 150 words" rather than the book?
It turns out that Geri's not very good at maths, either:
One out of every two people living in Britain are single-parent mothers, are they? So, since every single parent mother must, by definition, have a child, that would account for the other half. So there are no men, no childless adults, no married families in Britain. No wonder the kids are having trouble with reading.
Having realised just how insulting and hideous it is for a multimilionaire to compare herself with a single mother in Oldham struggling on benefits or minimum wage, she does so anyway.
Still, is the book any good? The signs aren't encouraging:
“As a girl I’d be writing little stories beside this outside toilet at school when I was waiting my turn to go. I’ve got collections of diaries. It was a way of expressing myself.”
Oh, god, god, god.
The Sun helpfully provides the first chapter of this "bonkers wackiness":
Ugenia leaped out of bed with even
more enthusiasm than usual. She couldn’t
wait to get to school! This was because it
was Valentine’s Day next week and Ugenia
had been chosen to be the class Valentine’s
Disco Coordinator, which made her feel
Maybe this year is going to be different,
thought Ugenia, remembering how last
year she didn’t get even one Valentine’s card
from any secret admirers.
Surely being Valentine’s Disco
Coordinator would mean that this year
she’d get heaps of cards through her letter
box; or maybe even mountains.
Although Ugenia was delighted to be the
Valentine’s Disco Coordinator, she hadn’t
quite worked out what the job involved.
At morning break Ugenia recruited her
best mates – Rudy, Crazy Trevor and
Bronte – to help. Ugenia hadn’t known
Bronte for very long, but she was becoming
Ugenia’s NBF (new best friend). Bronte was
one of the cleverest girls in the class. She
wore square black glasses, she always had
her nose in a book and she was very well
Yes, the "clever" girl reads books and has "square black glasses".
Inventive, there, Geri.
dancing?’ asked Bronte.
Eh? Are we supposed to believe that this "clever" girl - who wears square black glasses - would need to have it confirmed that there would be dancing at a disco?
The chapter carries on in this style, of course: the way that adults who think they're still "young at heart" write - simpering half-witted stuff that assumes children are more like brain-damaged adults than individuals in their own right. Does Geri really think this is on a par with CS Lewis?