The Princess Diary


Coffee mornings always leave me feeling so drained and wretched. But I have to show up.  I organise them for the Partit (well, actually, it’s because my friend, who is the secret mistress of the tenth-in-command swears by my organisational abilities and inter alia owes me a couple of favours and thinks she compensates by throwing a few hundred Euro my way every so often…).

I know full well that if I am not there they will gossip about me, just like they chinwag about absentees. In any case, attending means I get to know what is happening behind the scenes and (almost certainly) everywhere else.

In the end, it was the digital trail that gave me away.”  Silly man, “I always-intended-to-keep-my-mouth-shut” Joe Muto, recently outed as The (erstwhile) Fox Mole.

They knew that someone, using my computer login, had accessed the sources for two videos that ended up on Gawker over the past few weeks. They couldn’t prove it entirely, but I was pretty much the only suspect.”

You’d think a grown man, a journalist to boot, would have had more sense than that. Let us forget (or not?) for the moment, that in Malta some p-people do have a predilection for checking whether colleagues have left their social sites and e-mail accounts accessible when they go to the canteen.

Nobody can trace a rumour back to me, because I never put anything in writing – I just rely on my super-duper, photographic, magnetic memory that preserves images and conserves sound-bites perfectly.

I am adept at giving non-committal replies and asking leading questions.  I could make a fortune if the Partit knew that I am not really the numbskull they take me for.

I am a weasel, a traitor, a sell-out and every bad word you can throw at me… but as of today, I am free, and I am ready to tell my story, which I wasn’t able to fully do for the previous 36 hours. Mr Muto could have learned a thing or two from me.

At last Thursday’s Gathering (I refuse to call them Morning Coffee or Coffee Morning because they are such naff terms), I learned a couple of things that will stand me in good stead, whichever way the next General Election goes. Some of the rest of the blether, as usual, was just run-of-the-mill conjecture of the “his book is ghost-written” and “she buys bourbon by the case” type.

Nobody knows why a person sometimes resorts to subterfuge intended to make people think he is a writer, just as nobody understands what drives a person to seek comfort in alcohol when to all intents and purposes her life appears perfect.

Being the sole heiress of millionaire parents, I can afford not to work. This does have its benefits. Indeed, in my nominal job as CEO of a business conglomerate, I make a meal out of donating time and money to causes that I support – and little do these people know that I am writing a book about it all –which, I am sure, will be a best-seller, especially since I am going to name names.

Before you ask – not, I am not going to turn it into a script and try to sell it to a local television station. Not that I don’t have the right connections to get my work accepted… but I think the local section of the ether is already over-saturated with sex, truths and videotape.

I have had enough of the ranting and raving in high-pitched voices, prima donnas who sulk when they are to given meaty parts (and that’s just the men) and people who want to film the general area of Wignacourt Aqueducts in Notabile Road.  I have stopped counting how many times they appear in different local productions.

I always intended to keep my mouth shut. The plan was simple: get hired, keep my head down and my views to myself, work for a few months, build my resume, and then eventually hop to a new job that didn’t make me cringe every morning when I looked in the mirror.

Well, Mr Muto, I have news (sorry!) for you. Keeping your mouth shut and your head down etc. does not involve writing a blog about your workplace on a pc that screams your name. It means raising an eyebrow when someone mentions a “very big wedding” just one year after the bride ditched her ex-fiancée, and asking after the absentee father of an Asian-looking child, ever so innocently.

That was years ago. My cringe muscles have turned into crow’s feet. The ten resumes a month I was sending out dwindled into five, then two, then one, then zero. No one wants me. I’m blacklisted.

Now we know that twisting yourself into a pretzel does not always work. You have to maintain a deadpan expression when making atrocious puns because laughing at your own humour is self-destructive as well as vain. You have to plant rumours where they will flourish; yet you also have to preach to the choir, to maintain their faith. At the same time, you have to maintain your image as a goody-two-shoes image so that no one will accuse you of having hidden agendas.

Never once believe

Rumour, gossip and tattle –

The devil’s radios.

“Joe Muto is fired effective April 12. Once the network determined that Mr Muto was the main culprit in less than 24 hours, he was suspended late today while we pursued concurrent avenues.” No mention of the need for a copy editor, one notes.

In my case, I have the perfect cover.


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