Ross Alan Norris (28 June 1981 - 22 February 2010) was a media coverage analyst.
Birth and early life
Norris was born in East Swinton to John and Eve by caesarian section. He was often wont to explain how this meant he could kill Macbeth, an example of what he erroneously held to be some kind of learned wit.
Norris attended East Swinton Parochial School where he married the love of his life, Julie Taylor, on no fewer than three occasions, including once as Joseph to her Virgin Mary.
The most noteworthy events of his primary school career were coming second in a sunflower growing competition and coming second in a urinating up a wall competition. Norris would maintain that the former was due to the eventual winner, Claire Chadwick, having an extra day to grow her flower, and that the latter was due to Gary Hunt filling up on Tizer in the run up to the finals, Tizer being a substance long since banned in the Norris house, along with crisps, sugary cereals and ITV. Norris's biographers have long speculated on the impact on an impressionable mind of his near failure in two events involving trying to reach a certain height up a wall.
It was during this period that Norris met the boy who would go on to become his closest companion and, according to unfounded rumour, his closet companion: his best friend, Nicky Nolan. Their first encounter was not an auspicious one, as Nolan pushed Norris to the ground and loudly broke wind in his right ear, perforating an eardrum slightly. A quip about being the only boy in the North West whose ear smelled (and whose nose, therefore, heard) was to become a comic mainstay of Norris's formative years.
Norris attended East Swinton Secondary School, whose stirring motto, "A first-rate education for a first-rate future," has been shown to be almost entirely inaccurate.
Due to his parents wanting to take an extra day back from their holiday in the south of France, Norris started school a day later than every other child in his school. As well as putting him at a significant disadvantage during the crucial process of finding a social niche, this also meant that his PE and Technology options for his first term were limited to Country Dancing and Needlework, respectively, which compounded the previous problem. Upon leaving school, Norris would be haunted by a dream in which he was made to go back to school as an adult make up this missing day of his education.
His academic record was, however, exceptional, and could have been even more so had he not spent lessons hiding at the back of classroom, trying not to appear too clever, and staring at the bra straps showing through the blouses of the girls in front of him. Norris would be 18 before he finally saw a bra strap without intervening blouse, and 20 before he saw a breast unfettered by either.
Norris holds an East Swinton Secondary School sporting record, which remains unbroken to this day: Boy Most Often Last Picked in an Academic Year, which he held from 1994 to 1997.
Norris is understood to have been the last boy in his year to gain pubes, even after the unknown boy who had an undescended testicle.
Norris attended the University of Warwick to study English, or as he memorably put it, "to read reading" - the memorability owning more to three years' constant repetition than anything else.
While there, he was a contemporary of journalist John Grey, Conservative parliamentary candidate Kate Hatfield, actress Ellie Castle, and TV producer Johnnie Collingwood. However, he knew none of them.
Norris graduated with a 2:1, his hopes being awarded a first having been dashed by now-customary bouts of procrastination, culminating in an attempt to write a 10,000 dissertation over the course of two days, sustained only by Red Bull and chicken satays, the one food, he reasoned, that could be eaten with one hand while he typed.
Norris infamously failed to proof read his final essay once he realised he had no recollection of six hours' writing. However, the paper was relatively well received, with his tutor praising Norris's bold use of stream of consciousness and a Joyce-like abandon with punctuation as a way to marry subject and object.
Upon graduating, Norris took up a position at a London media evaluation agency, where was paid by PR agencies to attempt to analyse the value of media coverage generated by said agencies, so their clients would pay them, allowing them to pay Norris's company. This is in no way a conflict of interest. It was a job that Norris never knew existed and would often wish it had remained that way. [Article continues]