Quaking news

The sleepy Shires of middle England were rocked last night by a terrifying earthquake measured at 5.2 on the Richter scale.  Thousands of people were woken from their sleep at just before 1 o’clock in the morning and each and every, bloody one of them had a story to tell. “I thought the Germans had started the third one,” said Second World War veteran, Joe ‘Killer’ Kidler from Kidderminster.  “Still, let them come, I’m ready for them!” the old stalwart shouted, waving a two foot bayonet ‘souvenir’ from 1945.

“I guessed my mum had fallen out of the top bunk-bed, so I didn’t bother getting up,” said Ann Onimos, a nobody from Nottingham.  “She might have broken her pelvis again and I was too drunk to cope with that last night.”

“Last time I felt a tremor like that was with Bobby Shyster in the field behind the ‘Dog and Duck’ in the summer of ’76,” said Margaret Shortstop.  “God bless that boy”.

And so the startling and fascinating stories of the survivors flooded into newsrooms across the land.  Several film crews filmed a damaged chimney in Barnsley and a man in Peterborough missed his bus.

I went to my local Homebase to buy a Richter Scale in case there’s another ‘quake tonight.  The assistant said I had to queue up behind the girl who wanted the striped paint and the man who had asked for a Long Weight, so I didn’t bother, I don’t like standing around like an idiot.


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Not the nine o’clock news

Hoorah!  It’s time for the Oscars again. It seems weeks since they were last here. How we’ve missed the over dressed, over paid army of silicone enhanced, desperately emotional sycophants on the red carpet – The News Reporters.

Of course, this is ‘news’ in its loosest sense.  The fact that a pale, anorexic starlet is wearing a dress that costs $20,000 is mentioned every year, as is the fact that one or more of the dresses on display is a ‘fashion disaster’ i.e. it’s a tablecloth with diamonds glued on.  It’s just a different starlet and a different tablecloth than last year.

The annual game of ‘Who Can Catch a Star’ also fails to go away. 
This morning Susanna Reid from the BBC Breakfast Show was determined to interview a bigger and better star than her rivals from Good Morning TV.  Wearing a Greek style tablecloth she tottered on her heels along the red carpet after Stevie Wonder, shouting in a shrill voice:
“Stevie, Stevie!  BBC, BBC!” As if the magic acronym would cut a path through the heap of reporters from lesser companies such as CNN and CBS.

Fortunately for Susanna, the scrum gathered around a more exciting morsel and Stevie, realizing he was about to be ignored by the rest, sidled over to her.  
“Stevie, Stevie Wonder.” 
She repeated his full name just in case she was interviewing the wrong six foot seven, blind, black singer.
“Yes?” replied Stevie.

After all the effort of the evening, not to mention the philosophy, law and politics degree and the years of working her way up at the BBC Susanna was going to dig deep for an incisive question:
“Stevie, what’s it like to win an Oscar?”


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In a continuation of these pages interest in the planned shooting down of a rogue satellite, we can now reveal that the US went ahead and did it last night (GMT).

“We’re pretty sure we got it,” said a Navy spokesman.  “We definitely hit something and it blew up.  It was the satellite.  Probably.”

Citizens of Earth can now rest assured that a small number of people will not be hit by large pieces of satellite; instead, a far greater number of people will be hit by small particles of space debris.  NASA has denied that this will be a problem but have stated that if you see a work colleague slumped over their desk you should check their body for tiny holes before assuming they are asleep.

“It’s some sort of cover up,” said an Internet Nerd, “surely it can’t be a coincidence that the day the US shoot down a so-called ‘satellite’ is the same day there’s a full Lunar eclipse, and the same day the Civil Aviation Authority announce new flight paths for aircraft over the UK!”

Yeah, very strange.  I also notice that Man’ United player Ronaldo was dazzled by a laser beam during their so-called ‘soccer match’ against Lyon last night. 

Curiouser and curiouser.


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Stitched up

‘Ok Doctor Albee, before we start operating on this guy we need to run through the checklist.’
‘What checklist is that, Doctor Beulah?’

‘The Surgical Safety Checklist, of course!  Weren’t you listening at the W H O lecture?’
‘To be honest Beulah, I was chilling to some tunes on my iPod, those world health guys are so boring.’

‘You should’ve been paying attention – six questions that could save  half a million lives a year lost during surgery.’
‘Most of ‘em in this place I reckon.’

‘Question number one: “Do you know the name and job of everyone on the team?”’
‘It’s just us two Beulah. I serve ‘em up and you carve.’

‘Two: “Has the anesthetic machine been checked?”’
‘Yep, it’s still over there beside the George Foreman grill.’

‘Three: “Are the patient’s oxygen levels being monitored?”’
‘Well as long as we’re breathing ok i guess he is.  We’re all in the same room and we’re working hard whilst he’s just lying there.’

‘Four: “Are you operating on the right patient?”’
‘He’s definitely one of the right patients. He was first in today’s queue.’

‘Five: “Are you performing the right operation?”’
‘We’re performing all the right operations, not necessarily in the right order.’

‘And the last one, number six: “Have you removed all instruments from the patient’s body?”’
‘He was holding a trombone when I wheeled him in, but I’m not too sure where that’s got to.’

‘Ok Doctor Albee we’re done, pass my pen and I’ll tick all the boxes.’
‘I can’t see your pen Beulah. It was here with your phone, just before I sewed him back up, but they’re both gone now. Strange.’

‘Where’s that ringing sound coming from?’


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 The US Navy is on standby to shoot down a falling spy satellite before it enters Earth’s atmosphere.

Several missiles may be used in case the first one misses, the technical term for this is a ‘volley’ or ‘shower’ of missiles.  Some scientists are worried that the missiles that fail to hit the satellite will fall back to earth and explode in our cities. A bit like in that film, ‘Our Own Missiles are Falling into our Cities’.

However, Russian Education and Health spokesman, Iva Bunnka, stated:
“Citizens of the World have no cause for alarm. The Russian Health service has its own glorious missiles locked onto the missiles of the decadent US Navy.  We will launch a shower of anti-missile missiles that may or may not resolve the situation.”

“But what if your missiles fall back to earth?” asked a fledgling reporter from “The Planet” newspaper.

“Do not worry about that,” said Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the back of the hall, “I have the perfect solution.”


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True Grit

The UK is gripped by another, immense, 4 inch deep, deluge of snow and a new urban myth has emerged; the ‘Phantom Gritter’.

As the local councils run out of road salt and argue amongst themselves about whose fault it is, the government purloin supplies of the precious minerals that were destined for the Germans and the general public panic and stay at home to watch day time TV.

God Help Us All.

But during the night, as the populace huddle beneath their blankets in front of their gas fires and portable convector radiators, the low growl of a large motor vehicle and a flashing emergency light tempts them to peer from behind their John Lewis curtains.

“What is it daddy?” ask nervous children, cowering behind their mothers skirts.

“That my child is what we call a ‘Gritter’,” says dad. “In the old days the Gritter lorries would spread rock salt and sand onto the roads to stop them becoming icy and dangerous.”

“Who drives the ‘Gritter’, daddy?”

“Nobody knows that, my child. The shadowy figure in the cab of the Gritter is an unsung hero. Even though there is no longer any Grit he still drives all around the town every evening.”

“Why does he drive a Gritter with no Grit daddy?”

“To give the residents hope. And because of the special Overtime Rate that will be applied to his extra hours.”

“Will you have enough hope to try and get in to work tomorrow, daddy?”

“Isn’t it time you were in bed, son?”

More than 4 inches

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