Here, female confessional journalist LARA CRUMBLE wonders aloud why all the other confessional journalists are after her commissioning editor.
Two weeks ago I strutted into a brasserie off Kensington High Street called Le Lapin Mort - fashionably late of course! With a freshly blow-dried do and a pair of killer heels strapped to my feet, I felt ready to go hip to hip with Kate Middleton in a shimmying competition - and win!
I strode up to my burly commissioning editor and planted a flirtatious kiss on his stubbly cheek. Imagine my horror when he made an expansive gesture with his arm - revealing the other 20 freelance confessional journalists who also work for the same middle market tabloid I do.
All of them were wearing the same kind of fake smile that my cleaner does when I give her the annual £1 Christmas tip. Like her, they too looked like ungrateful b***hes. I wanted to stab each of them in the eye with my mascara pencil.
I turned to my commissioning editor and pouted: "But I thought I was the only one of your freelance female confessional journalists you'd invited to the Christmas party this year. No fair."
He slugged on his Bordeaux and winked at me: "Lara, my darling, I invited them all so you could write me a piece next week about how you hate all the other freelancers because they keep trying to get work from me. You can use that quote! Or just make one up. Everyone else does! If you can't be bothered, don't fret - the sub will make one up for you!"
Suffice to say it was a long night. Sheherazade flicked her hair and laughed at CE (that's commissioning editor)'s jokes, shouting: "I can't even remember how to write in the third person any more!"
Ismereldia wore an indecently low cut top that her décolletage threatened to spill out of every time she jumped up and purred at a smiling CE: "I've got a great pitch about how every mum I see on the school run - and the teachers too - are all after my handsome hubby!"
Delililahh meanwhile wore a dress as flimsy as a négligé and wiggled her bot in front of CE's face at every opportunity. She looked like she wanted to be f****d in the f**** by Fr*nchman. Probably one of the ghastly waiters who misheard my foie gras order as escargots.
Lately it's felt like every other female confessional journalist in the world has been trying to steal my commissioning editor's attention - and commissions - from me. Whether they're young, cheap interns or saggy old mums who've been freelancing at the paper for years. Either way - these chicks just don't understand the meaning of the word 'sisterhood'. Thank God I do.
But it wasn't always this way - when CE was just a jobbing journalist the girls didn't bat an eyelid. But now he's got the power to commission them, his stock has risen. "Fight amongst yourselves ladies! That's the point - can't you see?" he laughed heartily, before ordering another Scotch.
But then I remembered something so important I had to stand on my tip toes and belt it out at the top of my voice: "YOU'RE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND BEST CONFESSIONAL JOURNALIST IN THE WORLD LARA!"
The restaurant went quiet.
CE looked over and smiled. "Lara, the confessional pieces you write for us are increasingly sliding into a fantasy world populated by elves, trolls and misogynists. You probably need to see a therapist. I think we're starting to go through the looking glass here. But you know what darling? I wouldn't want it any other way! Your pieces get thousands of comments on the website. Give me 700 words on why you hate all the other female freelancers by next Monday. And keep up the good work!"
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