Branch, paper, gate – repeat.

Funny what brings the past back. I was helping to deliver some of our community newspapers to a local store. The initial batch had gone like hot cakes – kudos to my colleague Lucy.

The store is one of many in the local area that is a drop-off point for the paper and as I regularly visited this store, which was on my way home I had offered to help with the resupply run.

OK, I initially left them at work – ‘bank holiday distraction head’ was on, sorry Lucy.

But come Tuesday I was there – delivering those papers.


My memory was tugged as I lifted the papers, in their cross banded protective paper case.

I was 15 again and I delivered papers – my ‘living’ – my first job as a post boy.

Back when I tried entrepreneurship, caused gate war and battled branch boy.

I can’t recall why I started posting papers. Maybe parental guidance, independence or the greed of earning lots, but not really!

Maybe it was even the classic paperboy video game – I swear when that first appeared in Swansea’s gaming arcade the queue was equal to the bar at a darts match!

I wouldn’t say the area I delivered to was rough but I would say it had some characters – some with anger issues. Unhappy souls who thought the release was to torment naive post boys.

One distinctive memory was my body flying over the handlebars of a sudden stationary bike as a ‘cheeky rascal’ launched a branch between my front spokes. Who needs the hulk when you have branch boy and his bike breaking branch.

I bet he felt Marvel owed him a superhero job. Well played my friend.

Possibly that was why I felt reinforcements were needed.

Entrepreneurship was an avenue. I needed someone to deliver papers while I reap the rewards.

And while Alan Sugar to me at the time was more about making crappy spectrum wannabes, I should have realised and capitalised on his approach to getting people to make him rich.

I tried to work a deal with someone to deliver half my round for a fraction of the payment.

It worked for a day or two until he realised there’s money in paper and ended up a competitor. So I was back to posting papers in a branch threatening area.

Possibly that was why I was rushing when I left someone’s gate open. Just once.

The next day he, as I later learnt in my adult life, was called an obnoxious dick. Ok, I left the gate open but I didn’t shoot his dog. It came down to a telling off at paper headquarters, he had won.


I went on to gleefully leave his gate open every now and then. Yes, it won’t light the flames of rebellion but it gave me personal satisfaction!

So as I dropped the community newspapers to the local shop all those memories came back, but there was still one biggie.

Because Saturday evening for any kid was about a certain bad ass TV series.

Nothing could stop me completing my round on a Saturday, not even branch boy or gate issue man or my increasingly successful competitor and because of these heroes.

In my adult life, I realised they couldn’t shoot for shit!

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