• 1999: No 3565


    Competition No 3565

    Richard Ingrams has wondered how long it will take before Internet Anonymous is founded to help addicts. We want scenes from a meeting of IA.


    (An addict tells the meeting his story.) ‘I never had a proper childhood. I was only eight when I started. I should have said “No”, but the pushers were persuasive – and frightening. There was a vicious brute called Blunkett, with a dog that bit your ankles if you didn’t log on.

    ‘His boss was Blair, who boasted he’d get the Internet into every primary school in the country. If Blair snapped his fingers, he’d roll over on his back – Blunkett, that is, not the dog.

    ‘Kids should be getting healthy exercise – a brisk stroll  down the off-licence for a few cans of lager. Instead I was getting hooked on Internet shopping and home delivery. Teenagers should be developing social skills and finding out about the opposite sex. When I should have been lying my way into over-18 movies, I was downloading porn. When I could have been in a warm, smoky bar, putting back a few pints, I was in a bleak schoolroom, searching for a list of all the real‑ale pubs in South Wales.

    ‘They should bring back hanging for men like Blair and Blunkett.’ (Hearty applause from all the teachers and nurses in the room.)