I've been having a massive clear out this week and came across an old issue of Sneak magazine from November 2004. I'd kept it because it represented the one and only time I wrote a letter in to a teen magazine.
That summer Dragostea Din Tei (Ma Ya Hi / Numa Numa) had been a smash hit across Europe and I was desperate for anything I could get on the Moldavian band behind the song, O-Zone. I downloaded all their songs on LimeWire - remember that? - and did postal swaps with girls in Russia and Romania for pictures and posters. I even read all the badly translated fanfic I found on their fan forum.
What I really wanted was some coverage in a homegrown magazine that I could just pick up on the newstand. I wanted every teen girl's favourite weekly Sneak to print me a poster. So, I decided I was going to write in and, in hope of my letter attracting their attention, doodled over a brightly coloured envelope for maximum impact.
This ended up also being my first experience with a tough editor. The letter they printed bore little to no resemblance to anything I had actually written and, worst of all, they didn't even mention O-Zone!
(Or Dan Balan. I'd have settled for a picture of Dan Balan.)
It did win star letter though. But did I get the promised Sneak goody bag? Did I ****
A total washout all around, I think you'll agree!
Still, enjoy a few scanned pages to help you relive 2004... Across town Anthony would have loved this issue; not only was there a poster of Ben McKenzie to pull out and keep, there was also an O.C. wordsearch. (One day I will tire of mocking Anthony's unironic love for and annual rewatching of The O.C. That day is not today.)