Monday, October 30, 2006
Eileen Billingsworth is excited about her forthcoming trip as part of the first tranche of residents to spend a few weeks in each other’s towns.
"Well, the massive public interest that followed the story meant we actually had a few offers for twinning and we will be pursuing all of them as much as we can. We will use Cabot Cove as a pilot and then we are looking to set up links with the Bailiwick of Jersey – our Chief Inspector has links with Jersey police."
However, it is not expected to be all plain sailing out on the nautical East Coast of America. "This isn’t the first link up we tried - that was with St. Mary Mead, however the first town meeting ended after the Vicar was found drowned in the town hall – so there is a lot riding on my trip going safely and me not getting killed to death."
"The return of the exchange will see Mrs Fletcher, from Cabot Cove, staying with me in Midsomer." added the recently widowed Arthur Jenkins, looking slightly nervous, "she is a writer, apparently, so she is sure to have a few tales to tell!"
New England police and the Midsomer constabulary are said to be looking forward to the extra overtime they expect to earn.
Friday, October 27, 2006
"Initially I thought, no we have to get onto digital" explained Gerald Billingsworth, head of Light Entertainment at Granada. "but once my secretary had asked her assistant to sober me up, I realised the boffins were talking about Alien television and, well really that was much more exciting."
Hillary Binsworth the Head of Video Rental Selection at Five was equally enthusiastic. "To be honest, most of the public has yet to realise it, but some of us in the heart of the industry can see a day soon when we have run out of programme ideas. Reality TV is dead and we can’t rehash the format with celebrities too much. There are only so many ways to dress up programmes based around text voting and, well we have done them all. Celebrity NHS Face Transplant Postcode Lottery might be the very last before the quality drops. So if we can pick up Alien TV we might at least be able to copy some of their ideas. Or at the very least buy them on tape and play them, which is really all we do at the moment."
Mr Billingsworth was more enthusiastic "Their porn will be something we can show at any time, after all it will be just like the Discovery channel, although obviously they will look a lot more human - but greener, possibly with an extra eye and, we all hope, an extra breast."
Will Brongstroh, head of Poaching Programmes from Rival Broadcasters at British Sky Broadcasting was equally enthusiastic "We at Sky have always striven to keep up to date with the latest TV technology and, since already have satellites in orbit, we expect to be the first to be able to relay the Alien TV as it happens, or, failing that, we will let a rival build up a customer base before we nip in and pinch the rights."
Mulder Fox-Anderson, of the Truth is Out There Foundation, removed his tin foil helmet and gave a few words to the press from a crop circle in Yatesbury, Buckinghamshire. He commented, somewhat predictably, "We have known for a long time that Aliens exist and that they might one day appear on our TV screens, after all a quality of intellect and professionalism such as Ant & Dec can only have come from Uranus."
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Councillor Billingsworth was commenting on a recent planning application for more renewable energy power generation and the plans that have been proposed for two new sites in the Cumbrian Mountains.
“Being born and bred in a rural area, I absolutely support any action that helps the environment. Renewable energy is vital to that. But really? A Wind Farm? Up on the majestic hilltops surrounding Keswick and Derwant water, which some people say is the most mystic and tranquil of the wonderful lakes? Really its madness!” she ranted.
“Obviously it would be an eyesore, but it isn’t even practical. Have you been up there? It is windy enough for God’s sake! What do we need more wind for? The gusts get up to over 100mph and some lunatic wants to put bloody big fans the size of tower blocks up there to blow more wind around. Madness I tell you!” frothed Councillor Billingsworth at the planning meeting in Kendal.
“And where are you going to get the energy from to power them? You are going to need a bloody big power station to power those fans!” she screamed as she was led away.
Representatives of the Keswick Kite Krew were said to be lobbying in favour of any plans for “Big Wind Generators”.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
John Reid and David Davis squared up to each other during the "Endless Talk" show on the new channel Sky Political News 7. Dr Reid took the opportunity to poor scorn on Tory concerns "It is gratifying that the Tories acknowledge that as the economy is growing we need skilled workers. Since everyone else is going to university to read media studies rather than having any tangible talent it is vital to the British economy and the nation’s finances through taxation that we have an influx of new talent"
David Davis countered that "thousands, if not billions, maybe, of murderers, it says in the Daily Mail, will just come in to the country through our open immigration policy and work illegally. These proposals do nothing to address that."
The Home Secretary responded, "Any illegal workers will be employed by small businesses – your key voters."
"Are you accusing my voters of breaking the law?" was the response from a slightly incredulous Shadow Minister.
"No you are, you are saying they will work illegally – so who is going to employ them?"
"Crumbs, " blushed the inexperienced Tory, "I hadn’t thought of that, it is tricky this government lark – I guess that is why the Tories have been so bad at it. Tell you what, I’ll just get David to ask Boris to shag another social climber, that will get all this off the front pages."
364 men were left in isolation and allowed to use their mobile phones as normal before having their sperm count and quality tested at the end of the day. The results showed a direct link between the amount and type of mobile usage and the quality of their sperm.
Those who used their phones the least had the most active sperm with the highest counts. Indeed they were also abreast of current affairs and able to hold engaging conversations with female lab assistants.
Those who used “video text dating services” were found to have moderate sperm counts with only a small number of inactive or badly swimming sperm. They were also reasonably amiable and not at all flushed in the face or tired and their mobile phone bills were deemed to be “manageable”.
Those who used their phones heavily, over 4 hours of the day, in addition to the text services had very low sperm counts when tested, had no idea what was going on in the world and were a bit groggy. In addition the psychometric analysis revealed a progressive feeling of guilt and self loathing.
The final group had been given hands free kits. These men had to be woken at the end of their isolation and were found to have the lowest sperm counts of all - described in the report as “almost empty“. They were barely coherent and had no idea even what the time of day was. As a consequence they were unable to take the psychometric tests at all and they had no desire to talk to female lab assistants. In addition their mobile phone batteries were “exhausted” and their phone bills “astronomical”.
“What this shows, ” explained Dr Heidi Billingsworth, “is a direct correlation between men’s usage of mobile phone services and their fertility. I think this research correlates with many women’s experience of returning home to men who have retired to bed with the flu and only their mobile phone for stimulation.”
Monday, October 23, 2006
The current Hungarian government then proceeded to re-enact the events of 50 years ago by firmly suppressing modern day dissent and protests using tear gas and water cannons.
"It was a great success," commented Prime Minister Gyurcsany, "we were able to really bring home the trauma and terror of half a century ago, especially at the railway station. Hopefully tonight I shall be able to get some tanks onto the streets and perhaps some live firing into crowds. I don’t know if I can guarantee a fully fledged massacre but hopefully a few petrol bombs can really light up such a special day."
The Hungarian Government has been roundly criticised for the nature of these events as 50 years ago Budapest was adorned with Soviet style posters and statues which have long since been removed. "It just isn’t authentic," complained student Jozsef Danks, "Half a century ago my grandfather was in this very spot and through the smoke and the agonising streams of tears he was able to see a genuine outpost of Stalinist oppression. All I see is a modern city and the government has not even provided any papier-mache statues of Uncle Joe for me to decapitate."
Fellow protestor Emese Mohar confirmed the disappointment. "So far we have only had to dodge rubber bullets, but I have heard the PM is going to pull out all the stops if we gather tonight and so much as mention freedom or democracy. You know we really might be in fear of our lives."
Friday, October 20, 2006
"It works by bending the electromagnetic waves around the object, rather than letting them reflect off the object, thus is in effect invisible to anyone that looks at it." Explained Professor Billingsworth at the unveiling of the device to the worlds media. "Thus not only can you not see it, but it won’t show up in any photos. In fact the casual observer, or journalists, or even our all important sponsors and benefactors won’t be able to see the fruits of all the time and money used in its creation."
Photos of what appears to the untrained eye as an empty glass case are expected to make the front page stories of all tomorrow’s newspapers.
One observer at the news conference noticed that when the power was switched off to the display case that nothing actually appeared as would be expected as the device became visible again. When challenged about this Professor Billingsworth confessed that the box was empty during the press demonstration as the actual device had fallen off a table in the laboratory and rolled across a floor. "No one has been able to find it, yet, but it really does exist."
Thursday, October 19, 2006
"It was like the movie Groundhog Day where the lead character – played by the arrogant Ghostbuster – had to relive the same day’s events over and over again." said a clearly relieved Bert Billingsworth upon returning to conventional time.
Bert told a press conference at Humberside Police headquarters how he had retired to his bed, in Beverley Road in Hull, with some Lemsip and nodded off whilst watching Home Improvement on the Freeview Digital channel ABC1.
"I remember it quite clearly, because it was the episode where Tim ‘the toolman’ Taylor was infatuated by an attractive TV reporter and I could relate to how his wife Jill felt as she also had the flu too. But, when I awoke, I found that despite having had a really good long restful sleep the same episode was just starting on the TV."
Humberside Police said that there were no reported atmospheric conditions, such as lightning or spectacular rips in the space-time continuum at that time of the morning.
Bert continued to relive his ordeal. "A bit later I had flipped over to UK TV History and there was a programme on about the Coast by that bloke who wanders around in the same clothes all the time getting lost because of old inaccurate maps. He was going on about flooding and I remember finishing a nice warm toddy as he banged on about the Thames Flood Barrier and how a load of cockneys were doomed to get wet carpets or something and I must have nodded off. A few hours later I woke up to find that the programme was only just starting again!"
Bert was confused but not overly concerned, he said, until he turned on More 4. "I had suspicions now, but wasn’t sure that I was in fact stuck in the time warp until I decided to have a look at a movie. To my horror the one on More 4 was a bad thriller about a flimsy secure facility for biological warfare. Problem was I took the piss out of it the day before! I really was just reliving the same day over and over again. Needless to say my third whisky, for medicinal purposes, calmed me down. But when I awoke I knew it should be Tuesday and yet Noel Edmonds told me it was Monday in that game with the one winning box and that drawn out process of picking all the other numbers."
His flu symptoms had now lessened and this enabled Bert to escape the confines of his bed and raise the alarm.
"I was proceeding in a westerly direction away from the coffee shop and continuing my patrol towards the chip shop when I was accosted by Mr Billingsworth," explained PC Billingsworth (no relation) of the Humberside Police. "As he collided with my scalding hot coffee it jolted him across from his temporal paradox across the parallax and back into our phase time."
Bert is now trying to piece together what happened in his missing days. "The police can’t really help me, after all there has been no crime really committed."
A spokesman for UK TV History said "Well, actually it’s pretty simple, we only have about 8 episodes for 3 different series. We just keep recycling them as fillers for ads for debt consolidation and personal injury firms, and whatever else we can flog to house bound unemployed people. But even then we don’t expect them to watch all day. I guess we would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for a normal gainfully employed person taking to their bed." A spokeperson for ABC1 denied they had any plans to show Scooby-Doo repeats endlessly.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Toby Billingsworth had been helping his mum work out how much money she was saving in the sales on a recent trip to the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. When after 6 hours Toby struggled and blurted out "it's less than zero" Amy realised something may be wrong.
"I have been over it with my girlfriends and none of us really understand the maths of it. When I go shopping in the sales I look for stuff – you know half off. Now clearly what this means is that I can buy something twice as good for only the same money and I am saving half the cost. See, say I would normally spend £80 on a pair of shoes, in a 50% off sale I can buy £200 pair for £100, thus saving £100. But Toby explained that I was not saving anything because by his calculations I was spending more. I really don’t understand how that can be."
We asked Gill Binsworth of the Women’s Academy of Logic to analyse Toby’s research. "Well, the little chap is a dab hand with a crayon, and to be honest the maths is a bit complicated, but clearly if it is a 50% off shoe sale then Amy is saving 50% regardless of what she buys. Toby’s using numbers to prove facts, but that isn’t how it works with Shoe Theory. Now if you excuse me, Bluewater closes in two hours."
Amy’s husband Dave remarked "I have given up to be honest. Obviously to save money you have to spend less on something you would have bought at full price. Spending the same amount or even spending more on something normally more expensive isn’t a saving. As Toby has proved, even a five year old can work this out, but it is clearly beyond a woman in a shoe sale."
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Sources within the Institute have hinted that the table will have a radical expansion from its current arrangement of sliced bread at the top and everything else ever invented in joint second place. A senior official, who did not want to be named – but was probably called Billingsworth – revealed that the more conservative members of the seventy-eight year old institute are likely to fight strongly as since its inception the comparative standard has always been "best thing since sliced bread".
"The thing is," Professor Maureen Billingsworth confided, "it has always been a pretty easy arrangement. Since 1928 the Institute has been based on the Rohwedder Rating. This re-appraisal will mean extra work and, well no one likes that as much as they liked having to use a bread knife back in those dark ages of the early 20s."
Comparison watchers have long been expecting this development and believe it is well overdue. "This is the best news since the announcement of a bread cutting machine that also wrapped the loaf," said Bill Worthings of the Society for Comparative Studies, "for too long now we have had this frankly decadent standard. I mean exactly how useful really is sliced bread in the great scheme of things? Now we have the opportunity to get a proper scale in place rather than manufacturing tortured references to being second place to baked dough divided uniformly across the longitudinal axis."
Bort Wingshill, Director of the Campaign for the Primacy of the Wheel, was said to be overjoyed at the announcement on his Meso-American awareness tour – "A wheely good thing".
Speaking today, from his office in 1920, Colonel Wilson said “The situation such as the Mosul uprising has been caused directly by the mandate issued by the ‘League of Nations of the willing’. I believe that when this rebellion has finally been put down - 86 years ago - that British troops would then be able to withdraw from the area and perhaps be home in time for ‘The White Horse FA cup final’ – assuming the Empire Stadium at Wembley’s roof is finished in time.”
Colonel Wilson said that whilst there were many people that felt the initial occupation may have been about securing access to the vast oil fields of Mesopotamia it had caused a disproportionate effect on Empire subjects home and abroad or the other interests of the Empire around the world. “Indeed,” he said, “soon our political leaders will attempt to solve the problem of the growing unrest in Palestine and this will be more difficult to achieve with an occupation force in other Arab lands.”
Colonel Wilson was then questioned regarding the viewpoint of the 1920s that the Empire’s culture was superior and that it had a moral right to intervene in the running of other, less developed nations, to both guide them into civilisation and to the way of Jesus Christ. Colonel Wilson replied that ‘This is very much a Victorian viewpoint that held sway at the dawn of the 20th Century as you or I knew it. 86 years later the world has moved on and this idea of such superiority is not one that the people of Great Britain subscribe unquestioningly to anymore. Fortunately for religious fundamentalism of all flavours, the emerging power of the United States of America is about a century behind with its values and attitudes and so can assume a blinkered cultural and religious superiority for the 21st century.”
Henry Billingsworth a journalist for 21st Century affairs reporting for the Manchester Guardian wrote. “It was initially confusing as the Colonel alternated between the past, present and future tenses whilst discussing his views for events of the day, whether it was 1920 or 2006. However it soon became clear that whether he was referring to events of mine and his time of the 1920s, or those of your time, dear reader, It amounted to talk of far off future troop withdrawals. A timescale of 86 years for completion works in either context – especially regarding the construction of the roof at Wembley!”
Saturday, October 14, 2006
“The problem is that I spend a lot of time ego surfing - you know looking for references to yourself on the Internet. I search for reports on my efforts to save the Planet Earth but quite often am frustrated to find the report is about STTNG, a shorthand for Star Trek: The Next Generation, rather than myself STING. Many other people out there in internetland must be similarly confused as it is me that is saving the galaxy, the earth or humanity, not a group of highly trained vocationalists from the future.” complained the one time Geordie.
Sting confessed that he had only recently got over the disappointment of not having won any major wrestling honours. “Don’t talk to me about Steve Borden. When I realised I wasn’t him I had to have a lie down with a good counsellor.”
Sting refused to take questions regarding a rip in the space time continuum that had formed near his home, nor that the reason for several Police songs focussing on the human condition was that the drummer was in fact an android that wanted to experience emotions. The press conference ended abruptly when Sting and his publicist left abruptly in a sparkling blue glow.
Following Sting’s denouncement reality show pop wannabe STAA claimed that it was facile to assume that Star Trek Animated Adventures were not part of the canon. “In many ways that art form is liberating for a science fiction television show cancelled because of its large budget. Let us not forget those cartoons brought space exploration to American TV screens at a time when all the public had was the Apollo moon landings and the Skylab missions.”
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The report stated that “Her Majesty’s government has noted the increase in road traffic, especially the increase in bus services on routes between local areas of habitation. Some of these bus routes run similar paths to the extensive interconnecting narrow strips of land that are marked with parallel metal lines.
“The historic usage of these metal ‘rails’ has been hotly debated. What is known about them is that they were built by the Victorian industrialists but the purpose has been lost. Her Majesty’s Government proposes to make use of this mysterious infrastructure to provide direct services at high speed using electric powered carriages.”
The plans could see trains of carriages travelling at speeds over 100mph between local and inter city destinations.
Motoring organisations have expressed dismay at the proposed plan. Angie Billingsworth, spokeswoman for the Society of the Bus and the Motorcar, was incredulous. “The plan to use 150 year old technology and some sort of Electromography system of propulsion is ridiculous. It will never surpass our current 100 year old technology powered by dead dinosaurs. People do not want to sit in clean and spacious mass transit vehicles travelling to transport hubs, they want to sit cooped up in smaller vehicles heading directly to smaller locations. And anyway, the Bus and motor car transport in London, for example, currently travels in compact nose to tail formation at the maximum speed possible of 10mph, any faster and people would start to suffocate.”
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
All over America there were complaints to teams, and sports radio phone ins were deluged by callers who suddenly realised what a great waste of time most of the game was. Indeed one of the biggest websites of this year has been 36outof53.com – a reference to the proportion of gameplay to elapsed time that occurs before the all important fourth quarter starts.
Kurt Billingsworth, Chief Commissionner and President of Shareholder Relations, today announced to a packed media conference – “Well, the game is up and we have been well and truly found out on this one. For decades we have managed to build this business and its franchises up on the illusion of speed, excitement and drama, but really it is a charade and it was inevitable we would get found out. To that end we have changed the rules of our version of Netball to be more transparent and honest, which I think is the corner stone of our world in these troubled times.”
“Once the game starts,” Billingsworth continued, “ the players will remain on the bench for the first 3 quarters whilst the cheerleaders have the court. During the half time interval the players will perform some of their fancy basketball trickery in the manner of the Harlem Globetrotters until the girls come out for the third quarter. At the start of the fourth quarter the scoreboard will be set to 80 points each. Really it could be any number, but we know that the American public believes high scoring is more exciting and therefore our shareholders would not support an initial score of zero as it might lead to a dull 20:22 final score rather than the truly spectacular 100:102 we have become accustomed to.”
Zach Willingborthski proprietor of the 36outof53.com website, recent dot com millionaire and darling of sports radio phone ins over the summer, commented enthusiastically about the shake up. “U S A, U S A, U S A” he said for some time.
Monday, October 09, 2006
A pensioner from Fort William in Scotland today claimed that dogs were a mistake of creation.
"It happened when I was in my early thousands and I was living on another mountain, in Greece," said Mr Zeus (8342) interviewed in his retirement home at the foot of Ben Nevis. "I was filling out a lot of requisition forms and, you know how it is, you get tired, and in between lightning schedules I must have typed out the wrong order."
Scholars of pre-history have long debated the origin of dogs – especially given their only use being to fetch sticks.
"Egyptologists disagree about the significance of dogs, " commented Bill Billingsworth from the Sidcup Centre for Pantheonic studies, "but they are just Anubis fetishists. Clearly the evidence has always pointed to a mistake, unless jumping into icy water for no apparent reason is a skill without which the earth could not survive."
However Mr Zeus said he had to come forward now as mankind was making a further mistake in their analysis of the mythological past.
"I read an article in ‘Gardener’s Weekly’ claiming that my mistake happened when I was ordering Gods, and ended up with dogs. This is not true. I had no need for more gods. I mean as soon as I opened the crate for the first one I knew that there would only be scheming and plotting amongst them. Especially that Aphrodite," said the former king of the Gods.
Mr Zeus explained that all the white marble on Olympus made the place cold and so he intended to order millions of logs. "Well, the cold gets to my bones you know, and togas are draughty. The problem was the dogs were no use for heating the place; it’s not like I could just set fire to them. That is why I had to create Korean restaurants."
Sunday, October 08, 2006
A recent research paper has identified a link between masturbation and a reduction in secretion of neuro-stimulators in the part of the brain responsible for language development.
Dr John Thomason, reviewing the report, commented "This ground-breaking study finally explains why seemingly intelligent people are often reduced to using bad grammar and forms of poor communication."
It has long puzzled education and medical professionals alike why people who, in every other way, appear to be capable of intelligent conversation suddenly lapse into confusing use of English.
"The problem has been noted in many areas of society, but is especially severe in those areas related to marketing and project management," explained Dr Thomason. "Often their language is made up of bad metaphors and contractions. The study shows that for those who masturbate the most language becomes totally dependent on communicating with people who already know all the detail of the conversation and can make sense of queries such as ‘What is the deal with the budget?’"
In addition to the biological links, the researchers discovered several telltale indicators that indicate the reduction of required neuro-stimulators in the brain, and consequently high level of masturbation. These include phrases such as "a big ask" and "doable"
"Extreme sufferers, actually use English so bad it is more complicated than the message they are trying to get across," says Dr John Thomason. "They will, for example, say things like ‘low hanging fruit’ in place of ‘quick wins’."
The paper’s author, Professor J. Scott Billingsworth, has recently returned from a conference in Las Vegas where he announced his findings saying that weeks of gruelling research had been worthwhile.
"It was a big ask. We wanted to know what the deal was with the you know, lack of pretty word speak, and fortunately I was able to touch base with some of the best blue-sky thinkers in, like, the world, you know?" he tried to tell us. "We were able to synergise a shrink wrapped solution. No longer do we have to ask ‘What’s the deal with the you know, problem’. It was just there, like low hanging fruit really."
"This is great news and something that is well overdue," commented Mick Crippin, leader of the British Nasty Party, "we have been campaigning for these types of measures for years and now Great British industry has said enough is enough and banned these people from their shops. I can only hope that retailers join forces and ban not only Czechs but other eastern Europeans, coming over here and taking our jobs. They should take a leaf out of Thailand's book - I read that they changed government recently without going to the Poles."
Mr Crippen was questioned regarding any potential confusion at a local party meeting in Welling, South East London and remarked that his party was "not concerned with your alleged facts - we make our policies based on sound British values. Now this is a private meeting and my Budvar is getting warm."
Saturday, October 07, 2006
"In today’s fast paced media world, our members have to get their soundbites in at the first attempt before the next advert break, weather report or shameless book plug."
A leaked memo reveals the policy is in fact a simple matter of forcing both the topic of conversation and the answer into a single thirty second response from the interviewee using a standard set of opening gambits. These include "How important was …", "How devastating has …" "How angry are you …" or the more tabloid "How gutted are you … "
Mr Billingsworth was unrepentant about the policy. "In the past journalists had degrees and years of experience in their subject matter. Nowadays our members are reality TV stars cum chat show hosts or retired sportsmen. They can’t be expected to learn the craft and so we devised the easy to use LAZI system for them".
The leaked memo reveals that the policy is being tested in the area of sports and if proven successful will be rolled out to other forms of interviewing. The trial is being lead by Hazel Irvine who, media watchers observed, based the whole of her Ryder Cup coverage on LAZI interviewing.
Egyptologists today revealed details of what is believed to be the first example of a ‘big-boned’ skeleton ever discovered. The ‘big-boned’ ...
In a shocking revelation it was today revealed that rather than having been killed in a car crash in the tunnel at the Point D’Alma in Paris...
The group of miners who have been stranded underground for months, and face further months under the ground, have expressed their sympathy f...