Organisers of the Harold Booker Literary prize have been accused of ‘dumbing down’, after the longlist was revealed to contain nothing thicker than a pamphlet.
With the label from a shampoo bottle being amongst the selected few, some think the list is just a collection of things Ron Ronsson reads while he’s sat on the toilet.
“Not a bit of it”, said Ronsson, clutching a packet of tampons. “All of the entrants are here purely on merit. And with 13 of the buggers to read before August, did you really expect us to squeeze in a novel?”
The Booker list is described as Harold’s ‘most diverse yet’, and reflects a growing diversity in the local community. “There’s a menu from a take-away, it says they do Halal meat”, enthused Ronsson. “I’m not sure what they are, but I bet they taste just like chicken.”
A panel of judges will sift through the pile of business cards, leaflets and flyers, assessing each one on merit and the quality of what’s on offer. “It’s amazing what you can learn from reading”, admitted Ronsson, “I’ve never felt so well-informed. For instance, did you know that you should rinse AND repeat?”
Ronsson was reluctant to reveal his favourite before he reached the bottom of the shoe box they’re contained in, but he did give away one or two clues. “At the moment, I’m really enjoying a Top Trumps card on scissors”, hinted Ronsson. “But I’m not sure who wins in the ‘serrated’ category. Is that a good or a bad thing?”
The winner of the prize will be announced in a full page advert in the Evening Harold, as well as on buses and the village’s only billboard. “Whoever wins, this prize will bring them much-deserved publicity”, said Ronsson. “I’ll just remind the village of that fact as I go about my business.”
Bookies have slashed the odds of a win for a keyfob entered by Clarkson’s Cars, after Ronsson was seen driving away with a brand new set of tyres on his Volvo. “Gripping, unputdownable and made from genuine leather”, revealed Ronsson. “It’s just a shame that they managed to spell ‘car’ wrong.”