Parts of the UK are being battered by rain and fierce winds of up to 82mph that have brought down trees in Wales and south-west England and left 10,000 homes without electricity.
Our roving reporter, Timothy Flaps, is on the line from Torquay seafront, which is somewhere in the South West.
“How’s it going down there, Tim?”
“Well, it’s surprisingly quiet, not many people around today but I can see one elderly resident who may wish to give me an interview. Excuse me sir, can you tell me where everybody is?”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t help noticing there’s nobody about?”
“It’s Torquay, mate.”
“Is everybody huddled indoors, without electricity, hiding from the storm?”
“No, I told you; it’s Torquay, it’s always like this.”
“You’re obviously an old, salty seadog; have you any advice for people in this sort of weather?”
“I’m a retired bank manager but my advice to you would be not to stand so close to the sea wall.”
“Surely it’s perfectly safe h…..”
“Tim? Are you there Tim?”
First posted 10March2008 but relevant many times since!
Dr Francis Fesmire won the Ig Noble prize for his work on stopping hiccups.
Runaway electrical impulses in the vagus nerve cause intractable hiccups, so Fesmire attempted to block them by stimulating the nerve.
“Gagging, tongue pulling, sinus massage and pressing the eyeball all failed, and my wife was getting pretty fed up with me testing those on her,” said Fesmire. “Then I discovered that digital rectal massage (inserting a finger into a patient’s anus) did the trick.”
“It worked, and the rest is history,” said Dr Fesmire. “Next time one of your work colleagues or family have an attack of the hiccups I recommend that you sneak up behind them and administer DRM, you will be astonished by their reaction.”
Workplace Health and Safety officers will be expected to learn this new technique.
“It’s not as simple as it sounds,” said a government spokesman, “In tests we found that in a stressful hiccup situation many people become all fingers and thumbs. I’d welcome back the days of drinking a glass of water upside down, or a cold teaspoon down the back.”
Dr Fesmire has published his results in the Anals of Emergency Medicine.
Do you know what’s really started to annoy me?
Well, hang on a second I’ll tell you. Hang on.
Okay! I’m going to tell you. In a moment. Here it comes:
It’s the way that tv programme hosts and judges put that annoying pause in before they tell you who has won, or who has been evicted, or whose bun tastes the best.
“And the winner of Channel 4’s Granddad of the Year Show is …..”
The host pauses, staring down at the results card, a slight frown creasing his brow as if he can’t actually believe what he is reading.
The camera shot switches between the tense and anxious faces of the three granddads who have managed to survive eleven episodes of the vile program to get to the final cull.
The host finally speaks:
Granddad Arthur lifts his head expectantly.
“…it might be you.. Granddad Bobby….”
Granddad Bobby shoots the host a desperate look.
“..it’s not you.”
The host looks around for Granddad Elvis but he has already left the building. He hasn’t got enough life left to waste time with this crap.
For God’s Sake! For a reason that I forget I decided to waste several hours of my life watching your cookery competition, hair dressing contest, survival test, antiques sale encounter or whatever it bloody was and now you think you can improve my experience by keeping me hanging like a dog begging for a sweet.
Well I’m going to tell you where you can stick it! Just hang on a minute.
Bit longer. Bit longer…….
Bill Gates with 58 billion dollars is now only the third richest person in the world. In at number one with 62 billion schamoozles is Warren Buffet, no doubt known in his local pub’ as ‘Bunny Buffet’ and in the ladies room as ‘Rabbit Hotpot’.
Like Gates, he has promised to give away most of his vast fortune or, if that’s not possible, he’s going to put it all on the seventh horse in the seventh race on the seventh Sunday seven years from now (put it in your diary).
But don’t be jealous, gentle reader.
Take a look in the mirror and think of the incredibly complex and devious set of circumstances, played out over millions of years, that have gathered together your particular stack of atoms so that you can stand here in the 21st Century. If you have access to a computer and time to read this drivel, then more than likely you have warmth, can eat every day and have received an education.
Don’t look enviously to Bill and Bunny, or even to number two in the world’s list of rich people (whoever that loser is). Instead, look down at the mind numbing number of people who over the millennia have lived and died further down the list than you.
When Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars,” he wasn’t talking about reading ‘Hello’ magazine or watching the ‘Oscars’.
I see that the MSN News page is having a ‘Battle of the Stars’ so that we can vote on which celebrities we hate the most.
Here are some of the current ratings:
- Britney Spears 81%
- Heather Mills 80%
- Michael Jackson 77%
- Lindsay Lohan 74%
- Paris Hilton 72%
- Naomi Campbell 71%
- Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Stalin) 1%
- That man off the Myspace page (Tom) 1%
I’m not sure what the percentages mean, perhaps Paris Hilton is hateable 72% of the time and the rest of the time she’s quite nice.
Anyway, don’t forget to vote. I put a vote in for Stalin (even dead he annoys me), and I gave my second vote to Tom who claimed to be my friend, but I swear I’ve never met the bloke.
Apparently, they had a “Which Celebrity do You Love Most?” Vote as well and surprisingly the results came out exactly the same, except that Pope John Paul George Enringo overtook Stalin for sixth place.
Natalie Portman has admitted she wants to grab her co-star Scarlett Johansson’s breasts, reports The Sun newspaper.
“Seriously, I would really want to grab Scarlett’s breasts,” the actress is quoted as saying. “She’s got beautiful ones.”
Yes, I’d like to grab them too, but unfortunately I’d get forty hours community service and vilified in the press, whereas Natalie is admired for being a wacky, slightly out-of-step yet sexy actress (she doesn’t mean it, she’s just joking us around).
“I didn’t mean it,” I shout as they drag me off the red carpet and into the police van. “I was just being wacky, I hate touching actresses breasts! Honest!”
What is it about The Sun and breasts? Does The Mother Magazine give us the latest casualty figures from Iraq, the sports news and comment on the latest interest rate rise? What’s that you say? It does?
Sorry, I didn’t know, I haven’t read it; I only buy it for the pictures.