Some villagers in Harold have been left distraught by Haroldbook’s decision to start charging users for sending messages to village celebrities outside of their circle of friends. Haroldbook has become a tremendous success since its launch last year by management prodigy Simon Kettle (14) with nearly everyone signing up to the website which allows them to post status updates, list their friends, anonymously harass their enemies and create a fabulous online persona entirely at odds with their real lives.
Haroldbook has been the alleged cause of rows, family break-ups and, last July, a riot when Eddie, landlord of The Squirrel Lickers’ Arms, posted that there would be no more lock ins or take homes. Peace was only restored when it was discovered that Eddie had meant to type that there would be no more Look Ins or Take Hearts as he was throwing out part of his extensive eighties children’s TV collection to make room for a job lot of Thundercats he’d got off eBay.
Being included in the standard price bracket of 71p has upset many Haroldites. ‘I give my all to this village,’ complained Councillor Ron Ronsson. ‘If you cut me open the word “Harold” would be written on my heart. 71p is alright for the likes of Nina O’Neil who has broken election promise after election promise: oppose Sunday School tuition fees will you, love? No, I didn’t think so. For her 71p is more than she deserves but for a prominent citizen like myself it is an insult. And a real one not like what I said about Councillor Chukwumerejie which was obviously just a joke and I don’t know why people got so angry about it.’
One villager, Clive Morris, Head Teacher at The Shining Future Academy and IT Achievement Haven (formerly Harold Comprehensive) was horrified to be included at all. ‘Does that mean they can get at me at home?’ he asked the Evening Harold when we bumped into him as he wondered on the recreation ground in his usual haunted and distracted manner. ‘At work, I mean I have to talk to the little sods at work but my home is my sanctuary, my fort. Please don’t let them get me there!’
He was led away by friends and last seen at The Squirrel Lickers’ sipping a half and looking almost cheerful.