We are all familiar with the monumentally successful book series Harry Potter and the subsequent film adaptations which have captured the hearts and minds of children and adults alike since the late nineties.
What you may not know is that, with every release bringing more and more notoriety and the possibility to make some serious wizarding moolah, an almost infinite series started being planned, keeping Harry and his friends in a never-ageing, never-changing magical stasis, while each new title flew off the shelves to the sound of cash registers ringing. The idea was eventually scrapped however, as Rowling realised how much of a contradiction minefield the fictional world would create and was in a meeting with Bloomsbury, was quoted to have said, ‘Fuck that!’
Here at TPCA however, we have managed to unearth a shocking list containing just some of the hundreds of provisional titles that were being held in consideration for this new look, leviathan book series. We must warn you, it is clear that attitudes towards the nation’s beloved wizard had taken a turn for the worse, presumably as a result of the constant media storm surrounding Rowling and the imminent release of the film adaptations. Some are vicious, others just plain lazy, and some, well they’re just absurd.
So here, finally available for public viewing, is the forgotten list:
Harry Potter and the Effervescing Elf
Harry Potter and the Vandellas
Harry Potter and the Half-Pound Mince
Harry Potter and the Sartorial Disaster
Harry Potter and the Wizarding Occurrence
Harry Potter and the Ghost/Werewolf/Bad Wizard
Harry Potter and the Time Shit Got Real
Harry Potter in the Hood
Harry Potter and the Time He Didn’t Win
Harry Potter and the Disappointing Ending
Harry Potter and the Blood Test Mystery
Harry Potter Goes To Washington
Harry Potter up The Khyber
Harry Potter and Ron’s Dad: An Unlikely Team
Harry Potter and the Need to Prove Himself
Harry Potter and the Penetrative Sex Scene
Harry Potter and the Satisfying Toilet Read
Harry Potter and the Rehashed Plot
Harry Potter and the Muggle Genocide
Harry Potter and the Trip to Alton Towers
Harry Potter Sings the Classics
Harry Potter and the Hate Crime
Harry Potter and the Band of Nerds
Harry Potter and the Suggestive Robes
Harry Potter and His Merry Men
Harry Potter and the Spiked Drink
Harry Potter and the Incredible Likeness of Being
Harry Potter and the Victimless Crime
Harry Potter and the Wand Fest
Harry Potter and the Overzealous Friend
Harry Potter and the Crushing Weight of Expectation
Harry Potter and the Legend of Ron
Harry Potter and the Exile of Ron
Harry Potter and the Seducing of Ron
Harry Potter and the Long, Drawn Out Affair
Harry Potter and the Inevitable Film Adaptation
Harry Potter and the Wizard’s Sleeve
Harry Potter and the Dorm Room Diaries
Harry Potter and the Scandalous Revelation
Harry Potter and the Troubled Boy Comes Good Storyline
Harry Potter and the Unerring Lack of Emotion
Harry Potter and the Taciturn Hand
Harry Potter and the Steroids
Harry Potter and the Burning
Harry Potter and the Inexplicable Reliance on Owls
Harry Potter and the Complete Reading of ‘King Lear’
Harry Potter and the Surprising Omission of English, Maths and Science from the Syllabus
Harry Potter and the Massive Bereavement
Harry Potter and the Banana Hammock
Harry Potter: Neville’s Story
Harry Potter: Hedwig’s Revenge
Harry Potter and the Dutch Rudder
Harry Potter and the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe
Harry Potter and the Silly Dog
Harry Potter and the Never ending whimsical magic shenanigans
Harry Potter and the Mystery of Ron’s Face
Harry Potter and the Yay or Nay List
Harry Potter and the Viagra Potion Calamity
Harry Potter and the Statutory Rape Trial
Harry Potter and the Chastised Boggart
Harry Potter and the Underwhelming Performance
Harry Potter and the Crippling Adolescence
Harry Potter and the Straight to TV Movie
Harry Potter Unwavering Erection
Harry Potter: My Perfect Sunday
So there you go. The shocking list of unused book titles from an abandoned money spinning scheme. We believe that this list has barely scratched the surface and that there hundreds more just like it, hidden away from the public. It is our duty to uncover the truth and expose what might have been to the world. If anyone manages to dig out one of these lists of shame, please contact us and we will publish to the world this near literary travesty.
Thank you for reading and please get in touch.
Sometimes, the service that you receive is just not good enough. Sometimes, things have gone so wrong you can’t simply ignore them and carry on with your unsatisfactory meal. Sometimes, we all have to break out of our truly British fear of causing a fuss and take the risk of not keeping calm and carrying on. Generally this takes an obscene amount of error and an incredibly low standard of service to even begin to light the fires of annoyance in most rebellious of Britons. Let’s put it this way; the phrase “I’m sure it will be just as nice” is a far too regular between mistreated diners.
But for some people, the typically British, debilitating fear known as fussophobia is not an issue. No, these emotional expats have broken free from the vocal shackles and rebelled, much to the annoyance of bungling waiters, such as myself, who have had it easy for so long.
The problem now is that complaining, like drugs (stay with me on this one), becomes an addiction which gets harder and harder to feed. In the early days, a simple free coffee or glass wine from a few disgruntled looks is enough to scratch the itch for the customer. Soon though, the need to be unsatisfied and paid off with freebies and apologies becomes greater and complaining is no longer something you might do every now and then with your mates at the weekend, it becomes a compulsion.
Soon, every restaurant is too hot or too cold, too busy or too quiet. A steak can never be cooked right, and all drinks leave a certain bitterness in the mouth that only a freebie can relieve. And when it comes to service, well, that’s just a rich vein of irritants waiting to be tapped to fuel the fires of annoyance. Complaint junkies stagger around town centres and shopping malls, high on discounts and apologies from unsuspecting waiters, sniffing out their next hit from the plethora of naïve restaurants. Torn up bills litter the streets and meals sit solemn and half eaten on deserted tables as the scent of artificial dissatisfaction lingers within each victimised eatery.
Now though, we are learning. We are becoming wise to your excuses and tricks. We know that this…this problem that you are suffering with, is not a choice, but an illness. And we can help. “Why should we?” Cry the thousands of dismayed waiting on staff who still burn from the injustice they have faced. “Why should help those who persecute us?” Because who else will? That is the reason. It is our duty to set these poor souls free from their infliction, to relieve them from the curse that ruins every social event they may encounter. For too long we have stood idly by, feeding their addiction through confused service technique and, of course, laziness. Now we, the enablers, have to stand tall in the face of adversity and adopt the tough love approach.
The next complaint you receive, stop and think, don’t apologise, don’t offer any compensation, just offer pity. Reach out to a stranger, be the good Samaritan and hold firm. No is the answer, stick up for your staff and your restaurant. Tell them that you know of their illness, and their distorted view on the dining experience you offer, tell them nothing is wrong with anything that has happened in your establishment, except for them. Remember your right to refuse service to anyone and don’t feel bad, tough love is still love, right? It might be feel wrong to be so forceful with customers, and it might not go down particularly well with the people who have been denied their fix, but one day they’ll thank you for it. And you can feel good in the knowledge that you have helped your fellow man by freeing them from the grip of dependency and giving them back a decent meal, and a full priced bill.
Just a quick note to all those sufferers and past-sufferers on behalf of the thousands of people who work in the catering trade but have never had the chance to say it: You’re welcome.
The Deep Winter Surf Trip
“You’re crazy!” they said.
“You’ll freeze to death!” said others.
“I’ll come with you.” Said one, although that somewhat detracts from the previous two exclamations.
But I didn’t think about the craziness, I thought about the burning inside, the pull of the ocean in my heart, and also the two days off work. Me and my two friends were going surfing, and nothing was going to stop us.
At 5:45am on Sunday morning there was a knock at my front door. This was my friends, bleary eyed but excited to embark on a six hour drive on the off chance there were some decent waves about. I quietly bumped and smashed all of the household objects I could whilst dragging my board through the house to attach it to the top of the car. We set off, staving off the tiredness with excitement, and a 5CD compilation of indie anthems.
We faced and overcame the ice plains of the M6 and watched the sun rise on a misty land of adventure and travel, only stopping occasionally for lattes from Starbuck’s. We knew it wasn’t as good as the Costa that could have been but nothing was going to stop us now. Besides we would have had to drive another seventeen miles for the Costa services and that was just far too far.
Most surf trips don’t include narrowly avoiding death and destruction, this one however was different. As we entered Devon we noticed that the surfboard, tied up with roof straps (cheap roof straps I might add), had slipped slightly and so we planned to pull over to sort it out. As soon as this idea was even formed however, the board was wrenched from the roof (I must stress they were really cheap straps, honestly, the cheapest money could buy) and sent hurtling into the air. We all stared, including the driver which is a bit reckless in truth, as the board spun and hovered above the dual carriageway. Time stopped and my heart raced (nice bit of juxtaposition there), images of death, mangled cars, and shattered surf boards flashed before my eyes. Then it came down, off the road thank God and onto the grass verge. We pulled up and sprinted (well tried to, we had been driving non-stop for a good few hours and our legs were all seized up and achey) back to the crash landing, I feared the worst.
To my amazement, my board lay there, intact and unscathed apart from a few scratches, and as an added bonus, no one had died. Thoroughly shaken, and with the surfboard now uncomfortably stowed inside the car, we set off again to search the sea for waves.
We arrived in Newquay and instantly faced the horror of driving in a seaside town (one way systems all over the place). We found our apartment and began the slow, tortuous procedure of putting on our wetsuits. What seemed like hours later, we were ready to take on the Atlantic Ocean and ride the fringes of the Earth’s super power. We grabbed our boards, and made our way down to the breaking waves, surveying the peaks to find the best place to wait and pick off the longest rides. After a couple of minutes we reached the conclusion that there were no better places to go so we just got in to face the messy rubbish that Tolcarne Bay was producing.
What followed was a heavy beat down and after two hours of being put in my place by the sea, I decided to head back and have some tea and scones (What? It was free, don’t judge me for it). The waves had won this round, and the rugby and then the football were on, so a bit of time was needed to recoup but we would return. Sadly, the same happened again.
After a bit of recovery time, we decided to head in to town to find some sustenance for tomorrow’s full day of surf. Instead we found that it was two pound a pint in Bellushi’s so our early night plans quickly deteriorated. We returned home tired, and as drunk as teenagers on school leaving night.
The next day looked promising, while we still all slept. When awake and just functioning we made our way to Watergate Bay, I won’t bitch about it but I had to walk up a massive hill while the other two went in the car, not cool. The fresh winter sea is one of the best ways to shake off a hangover and we discovered this as thousands of litres pummelled into the sea bed over and over again. We lasted a couple of hours, until all our pride and determination had ebbed away with the tide. We got out, got changed and got on our way home.
So there it is, our surf trip, full of fun and excitement, although somewhat lacking in the surf department. Would I do it again? You bet your sweet ass I would.