As a comedy news writer who quite frequently veers into the world of politics, I've often worried about what might happen the day I offend someone really big. So far all of the people who I have taken pot shots at in the name of satire seem to have enjoyed the fun because they've never complained.
Not even the British government, when I wrote a spoof news story about how they were all created in Margaret Thatcher's basement after a chemistry experiment, involving Zombies, went wrong. I did get banned from the Conservative Party Facebook page but I think that was because my stories weren't in keeping with any of their chosen conversation topics. So as you can see, people have a sense of humour. But all the same I was worried.
I became especially worried about this when I read an article by a serious female political writer for the New Statesman, last year talking about all the abuse she had received. I began to worry about the fact that my abuse might be just around the corner. But it never came, and so I forgot about it...until this morning when I found out that the American government had started following me on Twitter.
I instantly began to panic. What have I done? How have I offended these people? What have I written lately that they feel makes me worthy of observation. I went over to my writing desk and looked through all my files going back to 2009, when I first started writing Barack Obama stories.
The first headline was "Halloween Pirate Boy Makes £1 million in one night". That was about Barack Obama being kidnapped by a nine year old Pirate boy called Jack who subsequently demanded a ransom. The next story I might have written about him possibly included Aliens and a trip to the moon. But then Ed Miliband came along and I started writing my "Ed Miliband/George Galloway Superhero duo take on the Tory zombies" adventure series, so I forgot about Barack Obama for a while and concentrated on British Politics.
But none of those stories were worthy of observation. So I tried to think of what I'd written lately that I might have forgotten about. Sometimes that happens. I have a few drinks and suddenly get a great idea for a story.
So I tried to remember what I did the last time I had a few drinks. My suspicions began to fall on New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve? New Year's Eve? What did I do on New Year's Eve. Did I write something on News Years Eve, after that last glass of celebratory Champagne? Did I write a story about Barack Obama...Oh MY God, yes I did.
What did I write, though, that could have offended the most powerful government in the world. I couldn't remember, so I went back to my desk again, flicking through the files on my desk top. And eventually I found it...and it wasn't offensive. It was fine. It was just a story about Barack Obama thinking about banning the year 2013.
But in an election year, every story gets attention. The Democratic Party seem to be following me just because I've written a story that probably made them smile. They liked what I'd written, and that's why they're following me. And I can understand why. I'm a slightly left of centre satirist who has sympathies towards people who are trying to help people who are having a tough time. So they're welcome to follow me if they want. Now I know I've got a new audience to pander to, I might even write them a few more stories as the election year rolls on.
If you'd like to read that story that amused the The American government or how Margaret Thatcher created David Cameron in her basement, just visit my Deltapanda Twitter account where I will be re-posting them over the next few days. You can also check out that follow by The American government's Democratic party, as proof that they're following me. Maybe if you follow them, they might follow you too. But before you do accept their follow request, you'll have to ask yourself, do you really want to be followed by a government? Em...err...of course you do. It's fun.
Follow Catherine Graham on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Deltapanda