A not-so-sexy story

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The old publishing scams go on and on. Julie Smith rang from her Spar in Solihull to say that she had received a call recently, telling her that the £90 she pledged last September to the Teenage Information Bureau for books for schools was now due.

She had a problem with this because last September Julie had learned that One Stop (ie Tesco) was moving in nearby and her concentration was on seeing off this threat so she wouldn’t have agreed to forking over money when it was likely to get a bit tighter. But they insisted and she thought, did I? Didn’t I?

So, she said, send me the book. They did and she was not impressed with the lurid pictures of genitalia (ahem, warts and all), venereal disease, pubic hair lice you get the picture.

“It looked cheap, tatty, nasty,” says Julie. “And it’s far too lurid to nominate a school to receive 90 copies!”

Apparently, the bloke who rang to harass told her he would take her to the small claims court. Well, he’d better have a complete tape of the whole supposed telephone conversation.

If you have any concerns, as the official broadcasters always say, then consult the website. Actually just google ‘books for schools’ up there. Shedloads. I counted 136 complaints about various ‘titles’, including Teenage Information Bureau.

And, to update you on Julie’s Tesco fight she’s doing everything possible to remind everyone that One Stop is actually Tesco. Her latest move is to put tables and chairs outside her store. This will make the council come knocking when it gets round to noticing. It’s against the rules, tables and chairs.

Once they get on her back she’ll ring the local paper to tell them that she’s doing everything possible to compete in the face of unbeatable odds and also point out that she does deliveries to the elderly. A formidable foe is Julie.

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