Monday, 23 March 2009

FROM THE ARCHIVES: One more zebra-legged angel in heaven tonight

Charlie “Lord” Bunsenby, the celebrated proprietor of many of Britain’s best-loved travelling curiosities, has announced the tragic death of his most popular performer, Bartholomew the Zebra-Legged Boy.

The news follows several weeks of intense public concern and compassion, which manifested itself in the form of large crowds, gathering to watch Bartholomew gasp and grimace on a specially constructed platform in Trafalgar Square.

Among those anxious to pay their final respects to Bartholomew was Elspeth Chrome, a mother of nine from Chipping Sodbury.

“He’s been so very brave, letting everybody share his final, agonising moments,” she said. “It must be so terribly hard for him – almost as hard as it is for us. So we have to keep watching. He can’t be brave if nobody’s watching.”

Vesuvius Bloom, another admirer, added: “I feel like this is the end of a very personal journey I’ve taken with Bartholomew. I was there at the beginning, cheering him on as he slipped around in his own filth, trying to stand on those hilarious legs of his. He stole our hearts.”

Mr Bunsenby also used the announcement to hit back at those who have accused him of exploiting a vulnerable young man.

“Bartholomew was a very canny fellow, who had the good sense to surround himself with experts like me, whose only desire was to protect his interests. He frequently acknowledged his own lack of discernable talent, education or breeding. Despite these lowly beginnings, he died in his own cage, with a good supply of straw – if anything, he exploited me, the wily fellow!”

Monday, 2 February 2009

Tories hail Cameron's celeb policy love-in

The Conservatives have announced a further raft of celebrity appointments to key policy positions, in a bid to reinforce the message that the Brown Government is “out-of-touch with hard-working British families”.

First up, Kerry Katona will lead a new healthy eating task force, with the aim of helping individuals live on under £5 a week, by reintroducing them to the simple pleasures of traditional British fare.

Squawked Katona: “Blimey! Thirty kilos of scampi-style breaded bites for £2! And look at this! Half a metric ton of mixed BBQ meat for under a tenner! Helps growing kids get plenty of vitamins Y, U and M!

“At least,” she added, “if mine are anything to go by!!!

The key role of senior healthcare adviser goes to Derek Thompson, best known for his role as nurse Charlie Fairhead in Casualty.

“I love the NHS, but it clearly has a long way to go before it meets the expectations of the modern patient,” he commented. “As a matter of priority, we need to ban all office Christmas parties, helicopters and canning factories, because they always end up with someone holding their guts in with a wad of dirty napkins. I’ll also be working closely with our counterparts in America, to look at how we can increase the simmering sexual tension in UK operating theatres.”

Completing the line up, Vinnie Jones will lead a strategic review of defence spending, Joanna Lumley is to co-author a white paper on social justice with Martine McCutcheon and, finally, Jamie Oliver will head-up a ten-year study into why he’s such an insufferable, moon-faced prick.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

UK urged to "play to its strengths" as pound is shelved

Sterling imploded this morning, after Chancellor Alistair Darling temporarily forgot what century it was and threw “the full weight of her Majesty’s Pound” behind the UK’s astronomically indebted banks. Instead, it was announced, the country’s economy will now be based on impotent, directionless rage.

Retailers immediately scrambled to adjust to the surprise change of currency. According to the big three supermarkets, a broad consensus has now been reached on pricing, with 500g of standard beef mince costing a resigned sigh and a comment about “broken Britain”. A whole line-caught Alaskan Salmon, on the other hand, will set shoppers back by anything from a tirade about city bonuses, to a lament on “complacent civil servants and their gold-plated pensions.”

The move has already caused controversy in some quarters, with several noted economists observing that everyone in the South East of England is now a multi-billionaire.

However, the Chancellor remains bullish, dismissing opposition accusations that the move was simply a knee-jerk reaction to the crisis.

“This was a necessary, strategic adjustment that had to be made for the long-term stability of our economy,” commented Darling. “Of course other options were considered. We examined the feasibility of everybody clubbing together to buy a Euro, but someone would have had to go to France to collect it and they may have needed to buy lunch. Plus Uganda wouldn’t lend us the fare for the Eurostar.

“Then we looked at switching to a bartering economy, but realised that would basically consist of millions trying to swap value-added media market intelligence for processed cheese.

“We in the UK have a proud history of making the most of what we’ve got – and we’ve got more ill-informed, temple-throbbing bile than any nation on Earth. Let’s use that.”

Bush staffers 'prank' incoming administration

Keeping a long-standing US tradition, outgoing President George Bush and his staff have reportedly “trashed” the west wing of the White house, leaving numerous light-hearted traps and practical jokes for President-elect Obama when he takes office this afternoon.

Long-time senior strategist for the Bush White House, Jeb Alsman commented: “When we arrived in 2000, there was mostly just a lot of Champagne bottles, donuts and used prophylactics lying around the place. We were still pulling brassieres out of the ventilation system in 2004. Without wishing to give too much away, I’d like to think we’ve been a bit more imaginative.”

Another source close to the Bush administration went further, hinting that President Obama might find a “hilarious” national debt of over £10.6 trillion in the closet of his official residence and that the US Army has been hidden “somewhere hot”.

Commented the source: “All I’m saying is that we massively over-ordered on Tip-Ex in 2001 and had easy access to the Bill of Rights. He might want to take a look at that pretty quickly, if you get my meaning.”

It has already been confirmed that, particularly during his second term, President Bush enjoyed using an alcove in the Oval Office as a lavatory, though this is not being considered a prank, as such.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Banks not sleeping with your wife

The UK’s high street banks fiercely denied sleeping with your wife this morning, despite being caught running from your bedroom, wearing your dressing gown and furtively wiping their chin. After initially refusing to comment on the incident, the banks later released a statement, claiming that instances of sleeping with your wife remain at 2007 levels.

“We understand that, under the circumstances, anecdotal evidence that we are having it away with your old lady – those sex tapes in her wardrobe, for example – might be taken to indicate some sort of trend. However, a detailed statistical analysis shows everything is absolutely fine and that you’re just being oversensitive for some reason.

This latest incident comes only a week after HBOS and Barclays were challenged over claims they could turn base metals into gold, which Barclay’s John Varley continues to insist he does “all the time – but not in front of anyone you know.”

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Brand offered government role

Disgraced shock jock Russell Brand has this morning been offered a new role as the UK’s first Minister for Public Rage, after being sacked by the BBC only hours earlier. The new Ministry, whose offices are to be built in the beautiful and protected New Forest National Park, will be staffed entirely by slave children and drug fiends. Receiving an annual salary of £7.2 billion, Brand will be called upon during times of crisis, to leave unimaginative abuse on the answering machines of elderly celebrities.

Despite continuing chaos in the global economy, soaring unemployment in the UK, and humanitarian catastrophe in an African country the size of Western Europe, today’s headlines were once again dominated by the spat between Brand, a retired sitcom actor and a burlesque dancer.

Speaking from the steps of Number 10, Gordon Brown said: “It’s at times like these that Britain is at its best. Rallying together, to focus on what is important. These are certainly perilous days – our generation’s Dunkirk, if you will – but we have never been a nation to shy away from evil. And, though the struggle ahead may be long and arduous, it is important we are not distracted by other trifling matters. Just keep watching the hairy, shouty man - he’s got your licence fee.”

Brand has already accepted the role and is reportedly on standby. In the event that Congolese rebel forces take the key city of Goma, he will immediately call the answering machine of Peter Sallis, 87, who played Clegg in Last of the Summer Wine and leave a song about bumming his niece.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

King urges imaginary approach to financial crisis

The Bank of England has estimated the credit losses suffered by global financial institutions could total a staggering £1.8 trillion in imaginary money, up sharply from its previous arbitrary guess. The banks, which spent the 90s lending huge amounts of cash they did not have, to borrowers who could not pay it back, are now in the grip of “the worst existential crisis since the great ‘meat balloon’ of the 1950s”, confirmed Bank of England chairman Mervyn King.

“The financial services sector has grown massively in the past 20 years, on the back of entirely imaginary money,” said King. “The more imaginary money it made, the happier its shareholders were and the more imaginary wealth filtered down into the general economy. Unfortunately, this encouraged a lot of people to look at how much imaginary money their bedsit was worth, get jobs which paid £50k a year to make imaginary things and then go out and spend that on real stuff, like rotating hub caps and smoothie makers from China.

“Fortunately though, many of the world’s most imaginative minds are hard at work imagining additional funds to plug this growing gap. The recent conjuration of £300 billion in the UK, for example, will allow the banks to begin lending again to those people who have lost their jobs.”

King concluded: “Fundamentally, the £1.8 trillion has not been lost – we’ve simply stopped believing in it. Therefore, we are today proposing a new global initiative to kick-start the system, under which everyone just closes their eyes and wishes really hard.

“Come on everyone… One… Two… Three!”