Friday, 5 December 2008

Absence, Honda - Sorry, Can’t Think Of A Headline For This One

The world of Formula One was left reeling today by Honda’s announcement that it would be withdrawing from the competition and putting its team up for sale.

“Credit crunch definitely to blame, not three years of crappy results,” explained Honda’s unfortunately-named president, Takeo Fukui. “You want Jenson Button? He real cheap. He boring drip, but possibly make good tea. How about Barrichello? He nice guy, he do washing up. He washed up at Honda for years.”

FIA President Max Mosley said there was a “serious danger” that other teams might follow Honda, although traditionally that was a position only taken by Force India and Super Aguri.

“Unless we can get costs down, the Formula One community is going to feel a lot of pain in 2009,” he said. “Personally, I can’t wait.”

Power-crazed midget Bernie Ecclestone was sanguine about the news, however, pointing out that there were plenty of motor manufacturers in the developing world, eager to raise worldwide awareness of their products.

“I’m sure the grid would be shaken up by exciting new cars like the Hindustan Ambassador and the Mahindra Jeep,” he said. “And the introduction of a little electric runabout like the G-Wiz would certainly break the deadlock over engine restrictions.”

Lord Wogan Abdicates Eurovision Throne

The BBC has ended months of speculation by announcing that, after 35 years in the role, the revered Lord Wogan has decided to end his reign as silly-commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest. His place (and sherry) will be taken by Graham Norton, another irritating Irishman well past his sell-by date.

“According to a little-known rule of the European Broadcasting Union, the UK’s commentator must come from Ireland,” said a BBC spokesman. “Sadly, that puts Nick Griffin of the BNP out of the running. Don’t be too upset, though - the same rules mean that eleven other countries must have British commentators moaning about the entries, the hosts, the sets, and the voting system. For example, the considered opinions of art critic Brian Sewell have the Russians crying with laughter, while Germany ponders the uproarious wit of Basil Brush, Serbia respects the brutal authority of glaring slaphead Ross Kemp and Israel is just plain baffled by Mark Lawrenson. Meanwhile, the French get Jeremy Paxman, and serve them right.”

Vulgar camp stereotype Norton had to beat off stiff competition from other Irish funny-men to grab the proud post, however.

“Dylan Moran was ruled out at an early stage, as his brand of nihilistic despair might lead particularly grief-stricken viewers to commit suicide,” explained the spokesman, "And while Dara O’Briain’s whimsical sarcasm might fit well, many of our older viewers tend to confuse him with Uncle Fester from the Addams Family. Conversely, thanks to his starring role in My Hero, Ardal O’Hanlon is a firm favourite with that age group - but millions of Father Ted fans would like to kill him, for the same reason. And anyway, he’s already been hired by Lithuania.”

Easily-pleased, cloth-eared Eurovision addicts are already bouncing up and down with glee in anticipation of next year’s contest, leading to record advance sales of tranquilisers in the residential care sector.

Meanwhile, Lord Wogan issued a statement calling for “a bloody good war“.

Consumers Warned Over Deadly Exploding Pseudo-Nintendo

Customs officials have warned consumers against buying cheap counterfeit Nintendo DS consoles for their children this Christmas.

“These fakes are absolutely 100% lethal,” said a stony-faced official. “You might as well put a grenade in your child’s hands and pull out the pin. All right, so you might have saved yourself sixty nicker - but can you live with the certain knowledge that your misguided thrift will leave your precious little darlings blind and limbless for the rest of their lives? What kind of a sick Christmas present is that for a child? You callous, penny-pinching bastards. I hope you get hit by a bus.”

The police told stingy consumers not to panic if they had bought a fake Nintendo for £40, but to dial 999 immediately, remain stationary, breathe very softly and wait for the bomb squad to arrive and demolish their home.

A spokesman for Nintendo explained that the danger lay in the fake console’s external power supply being of inferior quality, leading smarter skinflints to conclude that a £6.99 adaptor from Maplin’s ought to do the trick.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Queen’s Speech Causes Uproar

The Queen caused a serious breach of protocol today by cracking up in the middle of delivering her speech, during the State Opening of Parliament for five minutes before it closes again for the Christmas recess.

Her Majesty had been visibly struggling to keep a straight face during the reading of the proposed ‘Get A Job - Win A House!’ Bill. Next, as she made an heroic effort to deliver the line, ‘My government's overwhelming priority is to secure the stability of the British economy', she tittered for a few seconds before bursting into a fit of uncontrolled laughter. Members of Parliament and peers of the realm shuffled about in embarrassment as the monarch slid from her golden throne to the red carpet, with tears in her eyes.

Having glowered furiously through five minutes of sobbing laughter, Prime Minister Gordon Brown strode forward, hauled the helpless Queen to her feet and frogmarched her from the chamber. Before flummoxed royal footmen could intervene, the PM threw her unceremoniously into the corridor and slammed the door.

After several minutes of guffawing heartily and gasping for breath, the still-giggling Queen was picked up off the floor by flunkies, pushed into the royal carriage and driven off to Buckingham Palace, leaving a little puddle behind on the carpet.

Meanwhile, Parliament had descended into uproar, with the cabinet and many Labour MPs demanding an apology from the palace for what they called ‘a shocking display of contempt for the authority of parliamentary authority’, while senior Tories were calling for the Prime Minister to be summarily executed for laying hands on the reigning monarch. Constitutional experts say that the only precedent for such uproar is the dissolution of Parliament, to be followed by a period of intense civil strife.

The police are reported to be uneasy, saying that some of them have not yet been issued with 10,000-volt Tasers. Meanwhile, the armed forces have yet to declare for the monarch or parliament - although many of the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were said to be looking forward to coming back to Britain early, and drawing lots to see who could have the honour of tying the Prime Minister to a post and shooting him with a chain gun.

US Military Unveils Revolutionary New Land-Based, Laser-Firing Airliner

The US Missile Defense Agency has reported the first successful test-firing of an anti-ballistic missile laser gun mounted in a converted Boeing 747.

The crucial test was conducted on the ground at Edwards Air Force Base, with the multi-megawatt Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser beam travelling the length of the aircraft at 670,000,000mph before emerging from the nose-mounted turret and striking a diagnostic array, which lit up and flashed ‘TILT’.

“Gott in himmel!” exclaimed project leader Dr Strangelove. “This is a glorious day for the fatherland. This system will soon be able to shoot down Soviet - I mean enemy - missiles in the early stages of their flight trajectory, by superheating their fuel and causing the missile to explode.”

Twelve years into the project, one problem the team have yet to overcome - or indeed recognise - is the practical difficulty of getting a lumbering, subsonic airliner close enough to the missile within the first few seconds of its launch. Dr Strangelove was, however, undaunted by doubting voices.

“At the moment, ja, we are only capable of shooting down parked vehicles and nearby buildings,” he shouted, “But this revolutionary system has many other uses. For example, my evil brainchild could be used to devastating effect against particularly unmanoueuvrable enemy aircraft. It would also shoot down any UFO foolish enough to loiter in its immediate vicinity, as long as the alien invader remains in the forward arc of the 747 and doesn‘t move around much."

“Finally,” he screamed, “This scheme will also create jobs in a time of recession - which ought to be enough in itself to justify any defence project, no matter how outlandish. Already I envisage the setting up of a matter-teleportation division within the nation’s motor industry, securing employment for up to ten thousand car workers whose jobs are at risk, albeit mostly in Mexico. Heil Dubya!”

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Menezes Coroner Rules Out Blaming Police

The jury at the inquest into the fatal shooting of innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes by the Metropolitan Police has been instructed that it cannot deliver a verdict of Unlawful Killing. Instead, coroner Michael Wrong indicated that he would only consider a verdict of either Alive or Missing.

“I have heard with great sympathy the moving testimonies submitted by my very good friends, the police,” said the former high court judge, “But I have to say that I am extremely disappointed by the contemptuous disregard shown for this hearing by Mr de Menezes, who has not bothered to turn up once, let alone give his version of events. We have all squirmed uncomfortably in our seats at the sight of his poor mother, sitting here every day under her sombrero, cruelly abandoned by her uncaring and unspeakably foreign pot-head of a son and reduced to uttering piteous cries of ‘Ay! Caramba!’ at intervals.”

“As the only evidence, plausible or otherwise, has come from our dedicated upholders of the law,” he continued, “I must direct the jury to cast from their minds any emotionally-clouded thoughts of the credit crunch, Baby P and the disgraceful pronouncements of Mr Barroso regarding the pound and the euro; these matters are beyond the scope of this inquest. I am, therefore, instructed by the Home Secretary to rule out any possibility of accepting a verdict of Unlawful Killing. In its deliberations, the jury must restrict itself to the pertinent facts in the case, which are these: Mr de Menezes is either sitting comfortably at home in Brazil with his feet up, laughing at the colossal waste of time and effort he has caused by dragging Britain’s glorious forces of law and order through a degrading farce of accountability - or he is lying low somewhere, probably as part of some nefarious plot to defraud his insurance company. I therefore direct the jury to deliver one of two possible verdicts: Alive or Missing. Then we can all go home and let the police get on with their public duty of hunting down those desperate criminals and enemies of the state, the Conservative Party.”

The coroner also lambasted the Crown Prosecution Service for not issuing an arrest warrant for Mr de Menezes over the theft of seven bullets from the Metropolitan Police.

Pop-A-Bye Baby

Modern mothers are turning their backs on traditional lullabies, according to a poll by the Baby Website, preferring instead to frighten their babies to sleep with tuneless renditions of unspeakable chart pap.

Spokesman Kathryn Crawford said the results suggested that “most mums put the radio on when at home with the baby and the banal, tedious lyrics make it impossible to sing anything else at bedtime.”

She also stressed that the results were limited to those mothers who had enough basic intelligence to browse the internet. “Christ knows what some of the fuckwits out there are singing to their unwanted brats,” she added. “Perhaps they’re delivering some twisted rap about offing cops, dealing drugs and beating up hoes. God help us all.”

A senior paediaphile said that babies needed rhythmic, ambient sounds that reminded them of being in the womb, and recommended Simian Mobile Disco’s ‘Sleep Deprivation’. “Not only will its repetitive analogue bleeps and squeals calm the baby to sleep, but the fact that it is entirely instrumental means that no child need be disturbed by its tone-deaf mother’s tortuous caterwauling.”

“Rammstein are good, too,” he added. “German is such a soothing language. Try ‘Herzeleid’ on your child tonight.”

Net Fraudsters Finally Target Smug Mac Users

Apple users are being told to install anti-virus software, in the wake of increasing online attacks directed against Mac users.

“Until recently, Mac owners could laugh at the plight of lowly, common Windows users and their constant battle against cyber-criminals,” said an Apple spokesman. “However, it seems that the world has finally had all it can take of Mac users’ insufferable smugness. Even previously law-abiding net users are feverishly writing viruses that will wrest control of a Mac and write “Wanker” all over the screen.”

Apple are recommending McAfee VirusScan and Norton Anti-Virus to their army of self-satisfied customers.

“These security programs cost way over the odds, just like your Macbook did - so don’t worry, you can still sneer at your scummy, proletarian PC-owning friends who are so unspeakably poor that they have to rely on charity handouts of free anti-virus software like AVG,” said the spokesman. “We would also like to reassure our discerning, creative users that we are working day and night on launching a dinky little lapbook Mac, because we realise how galling it must be for you to have some chavvy underling banging on about how their stylish little ultra-portable that runs on Windows or even - ugh - Linux makes your treasured MacBook Air look like a ruddy great, overpriced brick.”

Monday, 1 December 2008

You May Not Actually Be Worth It, Claim Scientists

In a shocking report that spells certain death to the cosmetics industry, a team of scientists from University College London has suggested that women who frantically trowel gallons of cream onto their creased, pock-marked faces may not look 17 forever after all.
The researchers manipulated the genes of nematode worms into eliminating so-called super-oxides, or free radicals, from their bodies - but found that the test subjects still aged at the same rate as unmodified worms.
“Look out, girls, here comes the science bit,” said Dr David Gems, a bespectacled man in a white lab coat with an aluminium clipboard. “That bollocks you keep hearing about anti-oxidants means absolutely sod all, since all available evidence indicates that women are not in fact susceptible to rusting.
“It may also come as a surprise to many of you, but even those eye-wateringly expensive ones in tiny jars that you buy in wanky boutiques are as predictably useless as the glorified wallpaper paste your gran buys by the bucket in the pound shop.
“Anti-oxidant diets? They’re a load of absolute arse, too,” he went on mercilessly, pointing to an impressive computer animation of a kidney bean morphing itself into a pair of saggy bum-cheeks. “You can eat beans till they’re coming out of your ears, ladies. Just because you’re farting like a herd of cows that’s overdosed on Rennie, it doesn’t mean you’ve magically reacquired the wrinkle-free skin of your childhood.”
Tragically for middle-class women who read the Guardian, this is just as true of macrobiotic fair-trade beans grown by happy, indigenous hill-farmers in Africa as it is of a tin of GM crap from the Tesco Value range.
The UCL scientists say they are planning to move on to researching whether painting your hair matt black makes you look like anything other than a wizened old crone who still thinks in guineas and believes that buying lottery scratchcards in bulk is in some way a valid use of the little time remaining to her while she waits for her long-overdue appointment with the Grim Reaper.
“You are getting older. We all are. Get used to the idea,” urged Dr Gems from under a tropical waterfall, before hurrying off to explain to a cute, wide-eyed toddler that there was no such person as Father Christmas.

Inverness Chosen As First UK Site For Mass Storage of Souls

In a joint venture with Satan, the Prince of Darkness, Microsoft has chosen Inverness as the location for the UK’s first cloud computing centre. Central to the revolutionary concept is the idea that people should give Microsoft unrestricted access to their souls, rather than having to go to all the bother and expense of storing them on their own computers.
“Personal soul storage has never been so expensive,” explained a fork-tailed spokesman for Alchemy Plus. “Why go to all the trouble and cost of a memory stick or a pack of DVDs when, just by signing a simple contract with a tiny drop of your blood, you can let us keep your soul totally secure forever on a giant, multi-user web?”
Inverness was chosen partly because of its chilly climate, which will help to cool the vast banks of computers needed to store all the souls.
Stewart Nicol, chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Horrors, said: “This project will really put the city on the map for developments in damnation technology. And living in Inverness is pretty close to hell anyway.”
“Ow! Careful with that pitchfork, ye wee red bastard,” he added.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Met’s Finest Sent To Help Mumbai Police

British police officers have been sent to Mumbai to help their Indian counterparts, in the wake of this week’s terrorist attack, Scotland Yard revealed.

“Our top anti-terrorism officers are giving the local police the benefit of our accumulated knowledge and experience,” said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. “We have already told them to look out for any Brazilians with multimeters, and recommended that future attacks can best be prevented by arming all their officers with Taser grenade launchers.”

“Meanwhile, back in Britain we have discovered disturbing links between the gunmen and the Conservative Party,” he added.

Mandelson To Identify Businesses Worthy of State Lifelines

With the economic downturn growing worse by the day, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson is reported to be drawing up a list of businesses that the government will consider bailing out with taxpayers’ money.

“No-one can foretell how short or long, how painful or painless, the recession is going to be,” he explained. “On the one hand Woolies has gone tits up - never set foot in one myself of course, but very popular, very popular with the little people, I’m told; and yet on the other some mad doctor cheerfully blows a quarter of a million on a very nice kennel for her dogs, would you believe? All quite, quite contradictory; markets very edgy; businesses looking for guarantees, looking to government for leadership.”

Rather than consulting the Treasury or the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Lord Mandelson is understood to have taken the unusual step of asking the Labour Party’s treasurer, Jack Dromey, for a list of corporate donors and sponsors.

“Lots of work to do; very busy, very busy identifying key players,” said Lord Mandelson. “Early days yet, of course; but I think it’s safe to say that Sainsbury’s and Tesco will turn out to be pretty recession-proof, along with British Aerospace, Shell, NestlĂ©, Patrick Stewart and Banksy’s art dealer. And if Eddie Izzard should happen to find his credit lines a bit over-extended in these trying times - not saying that he is, of course; very astute chap, Eddie, very ethical; a bit too much make-up for my tastes, but each to his own - well, it’s only right that the taxpayer should support this world leader in the cross-dressing comedy export industry.”

Leading Scientist Michael Caine Solves ‘Italian Job’ Cliffhanger

As the Royal Society of Chemistry launches a competition to find the most plausible solution to the ambiguous ending of classic British movie ‘The Italian Job’ in an attempt to raise public awareness of science, Sir Michael Caine - the 70-year-old star of the film - has claimed that he knows how his character, Charlie Croker, and his gang escaped from their deadly predicament, teetering on the edge of a cliff in their precariously-balanced getaway coach.

“I crawl up, switch on the engine and stay there for four hours until the petrol runs out,” he said. “The van bounces back up so we can all get out, but then the gold goes over. Strangely, it wouldn’t occur to me that, if I should somehow manage to crawl to the front of the coach, the others could follow and we could all jump out safely and recover the gold later,” he went on. “And, now I come to think of it, the Italian police would probably have caught up with us long before I burned off all the fuel, wouldn‘t they?”

“Sorry,” he concluded. “I‘m a complete tit. Not a lot of people know that.”