The Hydra Files Regular Columns

One of the ways I ensured a high through-put when writing for Hydra was to have several styles and themes. And they are? Well the ones below obviously.

Rant 'n' Rave

Basically an excuse for me to moan about things - there was very little raving to be honest! It has to be said, the pinnacle was article two - deodorant!

In July 2002 Rant 'n' Rave was reborn as the name for my online journal/blog type thing. Which just goes to show that I'm really lazy and can't be bothered to think of new names.

Corporal Punishment

Corporal Punishment For many years my parents would get the Independent on Sunday delivered to the house. And for many years I would read it. And there was one column that I always made sure I spared time for - Captain Moonlight.

The Captain was (and indeed still is) a diary written by Charles Nevin. The diary format, for those unsure, is basically a roundup of the more humorous side of the week.

Captain Moonlight took this one step further by, well, being simply bizarre. His regular mentions of mention his political correspondent Una-Tributal for example may give you the idea.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is good as Corporal Punishment was a complete rip off of Captain Moonlight - even going as far as stealing his trademark "Next!" on at least one occasion.

Of course the concept of a weekly diary in a publication which was sold every two months, doesn't really hold stead, so the Corporal became a dumping ground for out of date news, bad jokes and references to the (then) late night Mark Radcliffe programme on Radio 1.

Whether anyone understood, or even cared about Corporal Punishment is another matter. But hey, I liked it.

The World of Supermarkets

After starting work in a supermarket bakery department, I decided to document the odd working world of the food store.

Sadly this is almost all based on reality - I recently had an email which said that it sounded very familiar to where the correspondent works right now. Good to see some things don't change.

The Mailbag

Every magazine has a letters page. Well everyone but Hydra.

It has to be said, we didn't have any letters, but then maybe that was because we didn't have a letters page. It was a vicous circle, and one which we needed to break out of.

The Mailbag was the first ever (maybe) Hydra letters page, launching in Easter 1995. It was vibrant. It was exciting. It was in your face. It was totally made up.

The style was supposed to be a mixture of letters pages of the time from two publications - the NME and PC Format. Whether it worked or not, who knows... But it did help us break out of the vicous circle. In the October 1995 edition, we actually got a real letter. Sent by fax none the less... After that it was just downhill... Hardly deludged by letters, the whole thing just went into a surreal farce...

What am I saying? It always was a surreal farce...


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