My parents [the Times columnist Libby Purves and Paul Heiney] are in broadcasting. Does that make things any easier? Only in the sense that it gives you a little comfort in leading a freelance life.The Bitch drops the paper. Is she kidding? Only in the sense that it gets you a two-thirds-page column with a colour photo (all that free publicity) in Mummy's paper!
And those brackets have alerted The Bitch to what she should have realised all along: that this is one of those dishonest supposedly first-person accounts a journalist has concocted out of an interview (in this case Dominic Maxwell). The Bitch now imagines the scenario:
Dominic (down phone): Rose, both your parents are in broadcasting. Does that make things any easier?
Rose (thinking, Oh god he would come up with that one! Now no one will think I have any real talent! Defensively, with heart sinking and imagining the reaction of readers like The Bitch): Only in the sense that it gives you a little comfort in leading a freelance life.
You can imagine the conversation which led to this airily smug little paragraph, which even while she understood what was going on made The Bitch sneer:
During the day I'm actually writing a novel... I've got an agent for it and we're hoping to sell it at the start of September.
It gets worse, though, much worse:
It's a difficult situation for me and my parents at the moment [Heiney's brother Nick committed suicide in June after suffering from depression for years] but I don't mind talking about it, it's such an elephant in the room. I didn't consider cancelling the show.At which point The Bitch was no longer sneering at Rose Heiney's apparent self-serving glibness but ready to bop Dominic Maxwell on the nose.