Football referee Mike Arneyval told our correspondent that Vuvuzela noise is now part of FIFA’s training sessions for officials in South Africa.
"When we’re doing our training exercises Fifa are playing recorded sounds of vuvuzelas through the speakers. For three hours a day we’re exposed to that noise.”

“And are you worried that there may be side affects, Mike?”
“No, I don’t drink Cider thank you.”

“Won’t it damage your hearing after some time?”
“It’s about half past two.”

Although many football fans have complained about the vuvuzelas  drowning out the commentary and keeping them awake during England matches, those watching the BBC coverage have asked for the volume to be increased during the parts where Mark Lawrenson is speaking.

Referees and linesman are not allowed to officiate in matches that their home teams are involved in. They are sent home if their country manages to get through to the later rounds.
“That’s not something that I’m losing sleep over,” said Mike.


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Drop dead gorgeous

Harrods are now stocking a high security fashion range that includes bullet proof dinner suits, polo shirts and denim jackets.  The clothes are priced according to protection value, the most expensive can stop automatic rifle fire, and the cheapest may stop one of those plastic sporks that come free in ice-cream tubs.


Miguel Caballero, the self-styled ‘Armani of bulletproof clothing’, designed the combat couture.  Apparently, he is now so confident in his work that he shoots his employees.


“The clothes are so beautiful that all our employees wear them.  Look, I will shoot one now so you can see!”




“Now why isn’t he getting up?”


“I don’t think he’s one of our employees, Mr. Caballero.”


“I should’ve guessed, I wouldn’t be seen dead in what he’s wearing.”


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Pony excess

In a week where the Global Financial Markets are going down the pan the top story in the Shires concerned a greedy pony who became inebriated after eating fermented apples, then fell into a swimming pool, and was unable to get out.


Fat Boy the pony escaped from his paddock during the night and broke onto private property where he gorged himself on cider rich apples.  Making his unsteady way across the garden, he staggered over a tarpaulin not realising that it was the cover to the pool.


The resulting commotion awoke the owner, Mrs Penhaligon, who, not knowing the nature of the emergency covered every base by calling the fire brigade, the police, the RSPCA, and X-Files actor David Duchovny.


“I asked the fire brigade what the pony was doing in my pool and they said ‘the breaststroke’ which I didn’t find very amusing,” said Mrs Penhaligon.


“That’s what we in the Brigade call ‘Sardonic Wit’,” said chief fire office Mike Lackson.  “At 3 o’clock in the bleeding morning, struggling to pull a fat horse out of a cold swimming pool, she’s lucky we didn’t resort to ‘Derisive Put Downs’ which a less tolerant Brigade may have done.”


Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers said, “Fat Boy’s problems were caused by his own greed, he is clearly a simile for the fat bankers and his fall into the pool is a metaphor for the fall of the stock markets.  Now, stop bothering me, I have to finish these chocolate croissants before my morning swim.”


Fat Boy is reported to be in a stable condition.

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Around the block

Britain‘s laziest man takes his dog for a walk while sitting in his car.  Kevin Pyle gets his son to drive him round the block while he leads four-year-old pet bullmastiff Bruce alongside. 


Our reporter offered to interview Mr Pyle but he inferred by the use of two fingers that it was too much of an effort.  His son, Karl, answered on his behalf.


“Yeah, dad used to take the dog for a walk with the dog actually sitting in the car with him,” said Karl.

“And what happened then?”

“Well the dog kept farting so dad put him out the door window and dragged him by his lead and at first that worked fine.”


“But then…?”

“Then one of the neighbours complained about the fur and that on the pavement so dad had to drop his speed from 30 to 5mph. 

But Dad was getting bored with going slow so he got me to drive so he could relax, read the paper, and knock back a few cans.”


“So if you’re driving, why does your dad bother to come with you?”

“He’s only fourteen!  I’m not bloody irresponsible you know!” shouted Mr Pyle from the sofa.


“Hey, if you think the dog walking’s lazy, you should see how dad tops up the goldfish bowl!” said Karl proudly.





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No answer

A letter written by Oliver Cromwell in 1642 has been unearthed in a council office.


An Essex council spokesman said: “In the letter, dated March 1642, Cromwell recommends a Captain Dodsworth for promotion.  Unfortunately, the letter was put in our ‘Pending’ tray by a 17th Century Council administrator and one of his successors has only just got to it.”


Other letters the council have just got around to opening include a note from Farriner’s Bakers in Pudding Lane, London dated 4 September 1666 stating, “I think I’ve left the oven on, please check,” and a 1939 letter from a Mister Adolph Hitler saying “Sorry about the bad feeling, let’s stop now before things get out of hand.”


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Money for old rope

A black, iron machine about the size of a single bed stands in the middle of the Dragons Den.  The latest contender climbs the stairs and turns to the four Dragons.

“Hello, I’m Joe Punter and I’m here to get funding for my new business machine.”


The Dragons look disinterested.  Duncan yawns without covering his mouth.  Peter is scratching a stain from his trouser front.  Theo, curled like a snake in his chair, snores softly.  Deborah is examining her nails but she looks up briefly to say;

“Go on then Joe; show us how the bloody thing works.”


“It’s easy.  You put a big piece of rope in this end, turn this handle and money comes out the other end.”

A shower of £50 notes falls onto the floor of the den.


The Dragons go into freeze frame, like cats spotting a mouse.


“My name’s Duncan Bannatyne, and I’m going to tell you where I’m coming from,” says Duncan Bannatyne.  “Your machine is crap, your business plan is weak and I don’t like your tie.  But I’ve been around the block a few times, I’ve had my share of ups and downs and I recognise a gullible punter when I see one.”

He pauses for dramatic effect.

“So I’m going to offer you twenty five pounds for twenty five percent of your business and I think the other Dragons will come in on the same basis.”


The other Dragons nod eagerly.


 “I should just warn you about one thing,” says Joe.

“Go on,” says Duncan, warily.

“The process is illegal and will put a lot of families on the bread line.  Most of your employees will be made redundant.  You’ll just have to keep one person to operate the machine.”


“Thank God for that,” says Duncan “For a horrible moment I thought I was going to have to turn that handle myself!”  


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