Monday, December 24, 2007

Chaos over Christmas due to faulty navigation systems

This Christmas has seen a record number of complaints from households the length and breadth of the country due to a batch of faulty 'ChatNav' systems.

“Christmas and New Year are a time when millions of people travel across the country to be with loved ones,” said Professor J. Scott Billingsworth. “When we get to our destination we are tired and facing another few hours of tricky navigation through a minefield of conversation subjects and it seems the 'Chat Navigation' systems that we have come to rely on have let us down.”

The festive season is a always a notoriously difficult time as families get together for possibly the only time of the year. Many people struggle to navigate the tricky path through family history whilst avoiding known incident blackspots at frosty receptions which may involve long journeys across thin ice.

“Of course at Christmas the problem will have been exacerbated by alcohol,” said the Professor. “This can cause people to drive headlong into areas that are best avoided. Indeed Christmas drinking can engender a desire to get to the point as fast as possible and can cause reckless behaviour and lead to the one driving the conversation to misread even the most unmistakeable of warning signs.”

Our increasing reliance on technology such as ChatNavs means that without the systems many people are helpless. Men in particular are notorious for refusing to accept help when driving a conversation in a completely inappropriate direction oblivious to any suggestion from wives and girlfriends keen to avoid any looming obstacles.

It is believed that the problems with the latest generation of ChatNavs were caused by a failure with the worldwide GPS – Grievance Prevention System - although the approaches taken by previous generations are frequently routed through treacherous territory.

“We have known for some time that many 'chatnav' systems used by older family members can lead to huge meandering diversions down memory lane,” said Professor Billingsworth. “Some of these can lead to many extra hours of pointless meanderings culminating in blow-ups on the way home.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Political party leader admits to lack of faith

In a radio interview the newly elected leader of the Liberal Democrats has revealed that he does not believe in the legendary figures central to the Christmas festivities.

“I do not believe in Father Christmas, however I have enormous respect for people who do believe in imaginary figures at this time of year,” said Nick Clegg.

The new Lib-Dem leader also revealed that whilst his wife shares in non-belief - as a Catholic she does not believe in rights for women – he said he would not be forcing his non-belief on his children, who are instead being brought up to revere myths and superstition.

“My children are also being brought up as Catholics and therefore do indeed believe in invisible and imaginary men with bushy white beards who are said to be continually watching every child’s behaviour. They call Him God,” said Mr Clegg.

The election of Mr Clegg makes the Liberal Democrats unique among political parties in having a rational thinker as leader. The previous New Labour leader, Tony Blair, has admitted that he kept his own irrational belief in superstition in the background whilst in office for fear of being labelled “a nutter”. His successor, Gordon Brown, is rumoured to be a “Young Earth Re-creationist” who refuses to believe that there was anything happening before June 2007.

However the leaders of some of the major groups who see Christmas, with Easter, as their busiest period said that Mr Clegg's disclosure regarding his lack of belief was unhelpful to their work in spreading important messages about the true meaning of the festive season.

“Each Christmas millions of people come to us in desperate need of help to make sense of the complexities and pressures of modern life. Nick Clegg may not be a believer, but through traditional teaching we are able to provide millions of families with a renewed sense of direction,” said a spokesman for Tesco. “Such as a new HD TV for under £400 and three boxes of mince pies for the price of two.”

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Company offers themed gifts for those barely known friends and family

It is always difficult to know what gifts to give many members of the family or friends at this time of year. One Leeds based entrepreneur has moved to fill a niche in the market for those of us with a long list of people to buy for, of which we have limited personal knowledge.

“A lot of people at work, or branches of the family we only see at Christmas, know little about me other than I play golf,” said Martin Billingsworth. “Every Christmas or birthday I receive a collection of various golf-themed socks, or a couple of tees with a Golf ball patterned hip-flask. Whatever the BHS Christmas section is selling really.”

It was the problem of buying for distant family members or unloved friends that gave Mr Billingsworth the idea for his own range of themed presents. His company 'Ticking Box Gifts' has thousands of re-branded items to help those shopping for people that they don't really know that well.

“We probably have the gift to match that small basic piece of information which is all you know about someone,” he said showing off his company's versions of time-honoured games.

“For example, for the Uncle you barely know because he has been away from home for so many years, we have ‘Monopoly: VAT Fraud Edition',” said Billingsworth. “We cater for all age and price ranges with games such as ‘Snap: Alzheimers Quick-Play'. That is from our 99p range, the deck only has two cards.”

Mr Billingsworth denied charges that he was profiteering from people's misfortune and treating potentially serious issues with a lack of respect.

“I am helping people with that difficult Christmas purchase for those awkward family visits. What else could you buy someone when the only thing you may know about them is that they suffer from a learning difficulty?” he asked holding up the Dyslexic Edition of Scrabble ‘With extra Zs and Xs'.

However, despite Martin Billingsworth's protestations to the contrary, public outcry has caused Ticking Box Games to withdraw a hundred thousand units of ‘Operation: Childhood Leukaemia Edition'.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Children in Chinese sweatshop create fund to help Kent based middle-managers

Xiao Birrings, an 8 year old worker at a clothing factory just outside Beijing, has become the world's youngest leader of an international charity.

“When I heard of the plight of the middle-managers in South East England I was in tears,” said Xiao during his five minute lunch break. “Of course that could also have been caused by the noxious fumes from the dyes we use to make Western Children's clothes,” he added.

Master Birrings said that he could really empathise with the group of IT professionals who were faced with having to travel an extra ten miles by heated transport to get to work each day or face redundancy.

“I know exactly how they feel,” said Xiao who leaves home at 4am each day to walk, barefoot, the ten miles to the factory job he uses to support his six younger siblings and his elderly grandparents. “I too have only known this one job for most of my life and know what a trauma it would be to lose it.”

Xiao said that he was lucky to have his fourteen-hours-a-day job of repetitive manual labour in sweltering conditions and fully understood why a five figure sterling payout was scant compensation.

“I understand that some of these poor people have spent years doing the same thing over and over again,” commented Xiao as he he lay on a stretcher waiting to be carried to the make-shift infirmary. “I think it is difficult for someone in a textiles factory in China to fully appreciate how difficult it is to sit operating a computer all day with only the prospect of a high standard of living as compensation. After all we, in China, have the diversion of darting in and out of working machinery to unjam looms whilst they are operating.”

Xiao and the other members of his factory said that the plight of those in Kent was a warning to people around the world in the struggle for more equitable working conditions.

“Next week all this is being demolished to make way for the Olympics,” he said whilst biting down on a wooden peg during surgery. “At my age I don't know if I will get another opportunity at forced labour, but I have to try as I don't want to suffer the horrors of a job in IT.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Unemployed man declares himself to be “working from home”

Fed up with constant questions from working friends as to what he was up to on his career break, IT consultant Jericho Billingsworth has declared himself to be “working from home”.

“You know what the modern office is like, half the time no-one actually comes in, they say they are working from home instead,” said Mr Billingsworth. “We all know that involves checking a few e-mails whilst sitting in your underpants, watching loads of daytime TV – that just happens to be on – and taking the chance to do your washing and free up your weekend. Well, that is just like being unemployed.”

Mr Billingsworth said that not only was his 'working from home' more honest than most of those salaried employees that use the description, he also claimed he was more productive.

“To be honest, if I had an office to go to, I wouldn't achieve as much,” he said via telephone over the traditional background noise of the busy home office – the clatter of cups in the local Costa Coffee. “I would probably sit in several meetings talking about the mechanics of work that no one has time to do because of Human Resources processes. If I actually did do any actual work it would probably be to rewrite a document or two for projects that will never get implemented. Blogging and falling into an endorphin-induced sleep during Baywatch on Channel 5 are definitely more productive!”

Mr Billingsworth said that as a confirmed 'homeworker' over the winter he has had no need to have recourse to the subterfuge of an off site meeting in order to ensure he can get a round of golf in while the light allows, unlike many of his working friends.

Indeed during a two-hour-long phone interview with Mr Billingsworth the background noise was filled with the traditional minutia of office life that permeates millions of phone conferences everyday, the length and breadth of Britain. There were the sounds of a washing machine, the splashing sound as a document is being retrieved from beneath the suds of a bubble bath and the muffled debate on the distance to the green on the tricky dog-leg 12th hole.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Resurgence of older porn stars

The actors' union, Equity, today revealed surprising figures regarding the growth of what the adult entertainment industry refers to as OAPorn.

"As the population gets older we are seeing an increased demand for Adult 'Art Movies' that the increasingly ageing consumer can relate to," explained Fiona Knight, Equity spokeswoman and former YouTube actress. "The genre has seen great demand for actors who make convincing widows and 'Meals On Wheels' deliverymen. Ever popular are elevator fantasies, where the user and their care assistant are trapped in the wheelchair lift."

Equity says that as demand has increased from today's more active pensioner it has enabled porn actors to prolong their performances in the genre.

"Now that NHS joint replacements have become so efficient and recovery so quick the adult film industry is able to chase the grey porn pound," said Ms Knight. "It can be quite lucrative, especially for actresses that have had a double hip replacement."

The level of demand is such that many who thought their film careers were over have found a new release, allowing them to easily penetrate the traditionally tight circle of the pornographer that is now wide open to receive them.

"The older porn stars now bring greater life experience to their roles, something that the audience really appreciates," said Ms Kniight. "Who of us does not have an fantasy about being trapped with someone sexy on a broken Stannah Stairlift?"

Ada Billingsworth (76) agrees. With her husband Albert she has become one of the first megastars of OAPorn with the hugely successful 'Granny's Pearl Necklace' series of films.

"Sucking all those Werther's Originals really kept my cheek muscles in shape, which has been invaluable," said Miss Billingsworth during a break in filming. "What's more as an actress it is good to be able to explore new creative outlets, I never thought I would take part in a spit-roast at my age!"

Friday, December 07, 2007

Man lost in canoe without paddle reveals decade long memory loss

Today the man feared lost and adrift in a boat without a paddle gave a more detailed account to the Police of his mysterious amnesia regarding the events of the past decade.

“The last thing I remember was coming to grief in a turbulent meeting in the Granita restaurant in Islington in 1997, where my course to take the helm of the country became floundered by 'Typhoon Tony'.” said Gordon Brown, the figure at the centre of investigations into financial wrongdoings. “The next thing I know I am in central London amid a storm of controversy over my party's finances and with the political tide turning against me.”

Mr Brown's motivations for this disclosure are unclear, however Police believe he is being more forthcoming since he learnt that his long term partner had retired to the middle-east on the ill-gotten gains of the last decade. The Prime Minister is believed to be keen to take his predecessor down with him after evidence that he is enjoying the lucrative rewards garnered after having jumped ship.

“I have blanked the events of the last ten years out of my mind,” said Mr Brown. “Which is why, despite even photographic evidence of my involvement at the very financial centre of daily life, I behave as though nothing happened before June this year.”

The country was shocked to see the extent of Mr Brown's mental disappearance during a recent Prime Minister's Question Time in the House when he crashed heavily onto a treacherous rocky outcrop known as 'Abrahams Gift'. It was at that point it became clear he was truly up shit-creek without a paddle.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Famous figures deny donations as Labour Party appoints new funding Tsar

The controversy surrounding the transparency of Labour Party fund-raising was ratcheted up another notch when the Prince of Darkness, a noted non-British citizen of ill-repute, denied being the true donor of several millions of pounds given through numerous proxies.

"Whilst it is true that I act through others, especially those whose hands are idle," said the supernatural being who is also known as Beelzebub. "I would never wish to have my name linked to an organisation with the reputation of New Labour. After all I have been a life long Conservative supporter."

Despite ongoing reforms to political party funding, it has been a long-standing tradition for donors to use assumed names or proxies so as to reduce the publicity their donations generate. For example, tens of millions of pounds have been received by all parties from people claiming to work in the Defence Industry, an assumed name for the world's traders in deadly offensive weapons and torture equipment.

Cynics argue that this new found openness by those who have the ear of the powerful is an attempt to distance themselves from the incompetence of the handling of both the party funds themselves and the controversy they have generated.

Barnaby B. Billingsworth, a spokesman for the Disney Corporation gave a brief press conference denying that the company was in anyway implicated in the controversy. "Walt Disney," he said, "would never wish to be associated with such a Mickey Mouse organisation as the Labour Party."

Gordon Brown's appointee as the replacement for his disgraced former General Secretary, Peter Watt, spoke of his eagerness to get down to the task at hand, whilst hanging from a doll's house suspended below a first floor window at his local adult education centre.

"I’m very pleased that his Prime Ministerness has offered me the job. My mother always said I had a lot of mmm experience at seeking out trouble," said Mr Frank Spencer. "Mmm, can someone call my wife Betty, I am in a spot of bother!"

After falling onto a passing lorry, Labour's new General Secretary wasted no time in beginning his work on party funding by crashing on roller skates through the window of the party’s Victoria Street HQ.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

“Muhammad” Teddy Bear to be flogged

The teddy bear that was previously named Muhammad by schoolchildren was today sentenced by judges in Khartoum for its part in the controversy that led to the imprisonment of English schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons.

“We take any insults to our religion very seriously, ” said Ali Billing-Laden an Islamic scholar who gave evidence at the bear's hearing. “Once again the west has insulted the Great Prophet, peace be upon him, and this will no longer be tolerated.”

The bear, formerly known as Muhammad, has been sentenced to be flogged on ‘eBay Sudan’, with no expectation of a reserve. Postage and packing has been set at a stinging £400 however the bear is likely to be simply placed in a cardboard box and lashed with bubble wrap.

A statement from the Unity High School in Sudan, where Ms Gibbons worked, said that there had never been any complaints over other toys that have been named by the children.

“Those are completely different to this insult,” said Ali Billing-Laden. “Why should anyone complain about ‘Jesus the Monkey’, who clings onto a piece of wood? The children love their little robotic ‘stars and stripes’ pig called ‘Infidel’ that wallows in its own filth.”

The Sudanese government denied its decision to flog the teddy bear, previously known as Muhammad, was cruel or malicious.

“It's better that the punishment is a short 15 day auction than spending months gathering dust in an Oxfam shop,” said Billing-Laden. “This way it is all over and done with quickly and the bear can be forced into the loving arms of a young jihadi.”

Feelings are running high in Sudan’s capital Khartoum with protests on the streets, determined to ensure that true Islamic law is followed in the case of the Teddy Bear Formerly Known as Muhammad.

“This issue over the bear must be resolved through a strict application of Sharia law and Islamic culture,” said Mr Billing-Laden. “Once it has been flogged on eBay, it shall be stuffed with explosives and set unto its glorious mission at the Infidel ‘Disney Store’. Only then can it attain martyrdom, ascend to paradise and receive 72 virgin Care Bears.”

Monday, November 26, 2007

Iranian and Zimbabwean Presidents refuse to speak at Oxford Union

The Oxford Union's recent decision to allow BNP leader, Nick Griffin, and convicted holocaust denier, David Irving, to take part in an upcoming debate has been cited by two of the world’s leading experts in matters of racial and religious oppression as the reason they are refusing to attend the free-speech event.

"Frankly if that debate goes ahead with the leader of a tiny party of fairly nasty people and a revisionist historian, then it isn't the debate for me and is a pretty weak showing," said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "My Holocaust conference had hundreds of deniers at it! Hundreds! What's more I could phone around and get another hundred who want to lead a new Holocaust right now!"

The Union has always had a provocative platform and been unafraid to engage controversial speakers, however the recent furore has cast a cloud over the learned institution.

"There was a time when the debates were attended by leading figures who had direct expertise of some of the most contentious issues and opinions. Look at the guest list now. These people are just theorists of mass brutality, and poor ones at that! Even if I was asked, I wouldn't want to be on a stage with such minor players as Nick Griffin," said Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe.

The Union says that the quality of debate is still as high as ever, and denies that it had been forced to invite second rate speakers for shock value.

"I think it is unfair for people to describe Mr Griffin as an overweight, stereotypical, racist leader of a small and inconsequential party," said student representative, Herbert Billingsworth. "I believe he has slimmed down recently."

Mr Billingsworth lamented that the BNP leader and David Irving were in fact replacements due to the unavailability of the Union’s preferred speaker on matters of free speech.

"We drew up a short-list of attendees who not only have first hand experience of the limits of free speech in the media but that we felt would be able to appeal to Oxford Union members as intellectual peers," said Billingsworth. "Unfortunately Jade Goody was unavailable."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Search is on for new England Manager

The Football Association today embarked on a recruitment drive to find a replacement for Steve McClaren, who was sacked after England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

“We are currently reviewing an exhaustive list of all those that believe they could do a better job,” said Brian Barwick, FA Chief Executive. “In fact we started just after the final whistle yesterday by interviewing some of the fans leaving Wembley Stadium.”

Radio phone-in shows have been inundated with people offering suggestions about who should be the replacement for McClaren. Predictably bookmakers have made Jose Mourinho and Martin O’Neil favourites to take the job, but at 4 to 1 is ‘Paul from Formby’ a caller to a Radio 5 phone-in who had watched the match in his local pub.

“’Paul from Formby’ talked a lot of sense, certainly as much we ever hear from any football manager,” said Mick Billingsworth an Odds Compiler at William Hill. “He expressed succinctly, if perhaps a little coarsely, what he thought were the problems with the English game. It’s likely he was cut off mid-call so as not to give too much information to competing nations.”

‘Paul from Formby’ has an extensive track record in football phone-in management at all levels of the English game and has become a familiar fixture on Saturday evenings.

“We know many people agree with the views of ‘Paul from Formby’ who is certainly never frightened of giving an opinion on a wide range of issues,” said Mr Barwick. “However we won’t have finalised our choice of manager until The Sun tells us who to give the job to.”

Mick Billingsworth said that whilst other English candidates may have a higher profile than Paul, none had proven themselves as comprehensively in international competition.

“We have reduced his odds sharply simply because Paul always gives a great performance whether it be a domestic match or even a tense Champions League away game in the knock-out stages,” said Billingsworth. “He always knows the right playing formation and team line-up for every occasion, against all opposition, complete with a comprehensive post-match assessment of every player's ability. The FA will realise this insight is too value to be restricted to the pub.”

However the FA have said that they had no need to be rushed into a decision over a replacement manager for the national team.

“The next England match is not until March,” said the FA Chief Executive. “We need that time to search through some CDs we have received, containing the details of 25 million people more qualified than Steve McClaren.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Loss of 25m records by HM Revenue exposes government plans

The government today announced a radical new plan to stabilise the troubled mortgage bank Northern Rock and instead spread the load from any panic in the financial system across all high-street banks.

"By letting the bank accounts details of half the population of the UK fall into unauthorised hands we hope that this will cause everyone to panic about their savings," said the chancellor Alistair Darling. "This will make queues of panicking savers outside Northern Rock seem normal."

The Chancellor was speaking after the announcement that CDs containing a copy of the entire child benefit database of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs had been mislaid in the post.

"I would also like to make it clear to the Great British public that there is absolutely no evidence that this data has fallen in the hands of anyone who might use it to steal money from you," said the Chancellor of the Exchequer. "I haven’t got the CDs and neither has the Inland Revenue."

If the announcement proves successful, and panic-stricken savers trying to withdraw their money swamp the entire retail banking industry, the government plans to extend the initiative and reform other areas of the welfare state.

"As this panic dies down we plan to lose the details of all those collecting incapacity benefit," said Mr Darling. "Once the news of that gets out we will prosecute anyone queuing for hours in the cold, since they must clearly be fraudulent claimants."

The Chancellor brushed aside criticism of a proposal to lose the personal details of known paedophiles in the UK.

"It is worth exploring," he emphasised, "Panicking parents removing their children from school would certainly help with class sizes."

Concluding his statement in the House, Alistair Darling said that an investigation into HMRC’s procedures was underway.

"We are going to get to the bottom of the government’s procedural confusion between Risk Strategy and Basic Obligations (Legal)," he said. "It is clear that this New Labour government cannot tell its RS from its L- BO."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

ITV apologises for “I’m a celebrity” mix-up

In another blow to award winning* broadcaster ITV it has emerged that the entire first week’s filming of the new series of "I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here!" has been lost due to an extremely embarrassing error by producers.

"We are so very sorry for the dreadful mix-up, and rest assured that it was a mistake that was easy to make and at no point, this time, were we trying to defraud anyone." explained Chief Executive, Sir Gerald Billingsworth. "The irony is that our efforts to be honest may have caused the problem."

The programme’s producers explained that since it is another vehicle for Ant and Dec they have been forced to devote so much time to ensure that there are no further irregularities with phone vote revenues that they failed to check the results of each day’s filming.

"For the last week we have inadvertently been showing footage of the staff from the five-star hotel next door to the filming location," explained Sir Gerald. "It was a risk we should have identified up-front, given that none of the cameramen knew any of the celebrities involved in the programme."

The problem of identification of the supposed ‘celebrities’ was apparently compounded by the real footage also being composed of hours of people moaning while cooking and doing the laundry.

"I would like to emphasise that our team was focussed on preventing a repeat of previous frauds and was at no time distracted by Ant McPartlin’s hairline," said Sir Gerald Billingsworth.

To remedy the situation the broadcaster announced that it would be adding a new catch-up programme, which viewers can automatically miss via ITV1-1, called "Am I a celebrity? Get out of here!"

* ITV recently picked up the award for "Most piss-poor waste of bandwidth, 2007" for its entire ITV1 output.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

REVIEW : Bush “Presidential” Radio

Said to be the first portable radio capable of receiving AM, FM, DAB, CIA and GOD broadcasts, the “Presidential” is a recent entrant into the high-end market from the consumer electronics company Bush.

First impressions are of a retro and unsophisticated appearance, harking back to early wireless or even pre-war sensibilities. However this simplicity belies some underlying sophistication.

The device contains some of the latest station seeking technology, including a function to quickly locate the most strident of Christian broadcasts and the first commercial use of 'Wavelength Modulation Decoder' searching that will generate music to the listener's ears out of even the strongest noise. Furthermore, if you want to Blair your news out loud, it can be programmed to add a catchy back-beat to “sex up” reports.

In tests though, we felt that the audio processing of the Bush Presidential consistently enhanced the warmest sounds, making the rich richer, whilst ignoring others, and for some quality of broadcasts actually made the poor, poorer.

Whilst in many ways the controls are in keeping with the unsophisticated stylings of the Bush Presidential, we found that there are some extremely disappointing build quality issues. For example the volume control, bewilderingly labelled as the 'Loudificationator', is a basic speech processor with an extremely simplistic linear control called the 'Axis of Level'.

However the really important test is the performance of the Bush Presidential on the road. We have tested it around the world and its reception has been patchy at best. Without a doubt it performs best in North America although there are reports that after prolonged use, say about 4 years, the user may elect to choose a different station and find that the Bush Presidential refuses to leave its current position. There have also been reports from angry Presidential listeners in Latin America, especially in Cuba and Venezuela who have been frustrated by its output. We also discovered that the version of the Bush Presidential launched in late 2001 turned out to be incompatible with Europe. However, its worst reception by far was in the middle-east where its Victorian sensibilities were found to be completely inappropriate.

This poor build quality and patchy performance isn't just nit-picking either since the device does not come cheap and consumes a lot of energy – it will cost the citizen at least $87bn a year to run.

The Bush Presidential, in summary then, promised a whole new technological approach but ultimately delivered an old fashioned performance based on an out-dated design that has generated a poor reception around most of the world. It is, however, the best receiver for messages from God.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

At last, what you have all been waiting for!

In a desperate attempt to keep my inbox at a manageable level and to follow the old adage of “give them what they want” you can now buy a compilation of the first 6 months worth of stories (101) from the wonderful Surreal Scoop (The World As It Should Be), in a handy portable format that you can easily read off-line - a book! It is what a short bus ride or a trip to the loo was invented for.

So get it here : The World As It Should Be – Volume I It is priced at just £7 (plus P&P)!

So, with Christmas coming, and all those tricky problems of what to get someone who has a discerning idea of humour and a desperate need for satire or silliness full of contemporary cultural references, and knob jokes, then get in quick before the Royal Mail goes on strike again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Repeat offender blames his model parents

Tony "the Spanner" Billingsworth, a homeless, unemployed man who has a history of alcohol related problems was last week convicted of mugging a pensioner and remanded in custody. It will be his sixth stay at her majesty’s pleasure totalling some twenty-six years, a pattern of offending that Mr Billingsworth blamed on his childhood and the actions of his parents.

"My parents were loving, caring people, who worked hard to give their son the best possible start in life." Tony said through his solicitor. "At no time did they ever mistreat me or abuse me in any manner. They made me understand the value of hard work, money, right from wrong and the importance of education. They made many sacrifices to ensure that I had a good start in life. The bastards!

"I have no excuses. I haven’t been beaten, sexually abused or grown up with alcoholic parents who were always on the take," his statement continued. "I have no excuses and thus no way of turning a jury in my favour. I have no emotional leverage to exert on the court or prosecution services. The probation services see me for what I am: a work-shy, lazy, drunk who is not only a persistent re-offender but a crap burglar who is always getting caught."

Tony lamented the start he had been given and said that it was this upbringing that had led to him spending most of his adult life behind bars.

"If my parents had cared more they would have provided me with emotional baggage and excuses for the terrible qualities of my character and given me many justifications I could use to pull the wool over people’s eyes," Mr Billingsworth shouted as he was being led away. "Just to have been forced to sleep in my own filth in the dog kennel once would have been something! I may have got off without the ten year stretch for defiling those puppies."

In a shock turnaround following a judicial review ‘The Spanner’ was released from prison and ordered to serve 3 hours community service, despite his repeat convictions for violent crime.

Speaking after the review Justice Willingborth said, "Today’s emotional legal culture fails people like Tony. What with him being a useless and aggressive twat."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Latest iPhone launch sees breakthrough for Apple

Apple today announced that the launch of their new iPhone had achieved a breakthrough in queuing miniaturisation and produced a hyped event with the world's shortest queues of desperate early-adopters.

"Apple has always prided itself on a mantra of usability, usability, usability," said company CEO Steve Jobs. "Today with the UK launch of the iPhone we have seen the iQueue reduce sizes to barely twenty people waiting in line. This is easily the smallest queue for over-hyped technology and easily surpasses the previous smallest of Sony's PS3 launch."

At Apple's store in Bluewater in Kent, Graham Billingsworth had arrived in the early hours of the morning.

"I got here about 2am, set out my folding chair and went to sleep. When I awoke as the first normal shoppers arrived I found I was still the only one in the queue," said Mr Billingsworth from his apple branded chair. "In fact aside from the Apple staff I didn't have anyone to gush about the iPhone with until about 2pm. The iQueue was that miniature."

Graham said that as with all revolutionary breakthroughs, it would take some people time to adjust to the new miniaturised Apple queue.

"I had no one to mind my place when I went to the toilet," said Graham. "Fortunately for me, even though I stopped to have something to eat in the food court, and have my haircut, by the time I returned I was still the only one waiting."

The hyped queue had grown somewhat by the hyped time of the hyped launch arrived with about twenty people all hyped to get into the store.

"I suppose the queue isn't too bad. I hadn't realised they were launching the iPhone today, I just wanted to get a new padded sleeve for my iBook," said Jake Wingsborth, who was at Bluewater to visit the cinema. "I do hope they actually are selling normal stuff in there when they open the door."

However some early adopters, whilst pleased with the miniaturised queue, where unhappy with other aspects of the iPhone service.

"I got here just as they opened the doors and I joined the back of the line. Even then I was in the shop in about a minute. It was marvellous," said Bill Insworth a self-proclaimed 'designer builder' from Kent. "But I had to wait nearly two hours to pay whilst the Apple Store went through all this showy première nonsense. They don't tell you about all that when you join one of their new-fangled iQueues."

Mr Jobs said that whilst many industry insiders felt that Apple would over stretch itself with the iQueue launch once again the company had proved its doubters wrong.

"On this the greatest day in the history of the world, on the day of the launch of the most important invention ever, look at the line of people outside the Apple store, " said Steve Jobs. "It's a tenth the size of the queue at the Starbucks next door."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Two years compulsory knife training for 16 year olds

The government today announced more details of its plans to extend the school leaving age to 18 and the format of proposed curricula.

"It is clear that young people today are at risk from knife crime," explained Education minister Ed Balls. "Therefore we plan to instigate two years of compulsory training in knife fighting for every 16 year old."

The government also announced a programme to improve school infrastructure on top of the recent expenditure on buildings.

"We plan to install airport style metal detectors at all schools to scan for the presence of knives," said Mr Balls. "This government plans to ensure that every child is equipped for the modern classroom and so any child found not to be in possession of a suitable stabbing knife will be issued a temporary replacement."

The courses will cover areas important to the futures of young people, such as how to conceal the knife in public, the best way to dispose of a knife should the police arrive and the appropriate street gestures to make behind visiting opposition politicians.

The government said that it was acting in response to the wave of outrage from parents and newspapers over recent teenage stabbing victims. The new curriculum would ensure that as well as the tactics of knife fights students would learn to understand the theory of safe handling of knives.

"Health and safety will be a vitally important part of the curriculum," said the minister. "This will include wearing appropriate head gear, such as a stocking, when preparing a melee."

Teachers welcomed the news of the new investment, which they believe will really inspire those pupils disenchanted with education. It will, they say, offer a chance for those struggling with basic skills to be taught a proper lesson.

"Some of the kids, right, they is like well aggressive and like forcing them into two more years, right, of school is well gonna piss them off, like. But a few of them, right, they likes to play with knives, so they will be well up for it. Know what I mean? One or two of the year tens, right, they has been well arksing for it and disrespecting me and some of my bi-atches," said Douglas Billingsworth, a physical education teacher in southeast London.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Minogue reveals relationship torment

The sister of the phenomenally successful Australian pop goddess, Kylie Minogue, has spoken of the difficulties that she has had asserting her own individuality and holding down relationships.

"As many people with famous family members know it is difficult to live in the shadow of the constant comparison and the unstated insinuation that any success I have is because of my name," said Dannii, coat-tail riding sister of the wonderful Kylie. "In my case that is not just professionally but in my personal life too."

Dannii revealed her thoughts exclusively to readers of both 'Ya! OK?' and 'Wotcha!' magazines during a photo-shoot of her squeezing into some of her sister's stage costumes and posing with a Jason Donovan waxwork.

"Obviously reporters are forever comparing my career to that of my sister," said Kylie's less successful sibling. "But my personal life is strewn with failed romances with men, who I am beginning to think, only wanted to use me to get as close as they can to Kylie."

Dannii, who can be seen on ITV1's X-Factor offering hollow showbiz advice to contestants without a famous and stunning sister, spoke frankly about the effect it has had on her love life.

"It is amazing how many men have a fantasy involving me kneeling and wearing a blonde wig!" said the delectable Kylie's younger (not that you would guess) brunette sister. "And it is getting a little suspicious that during lovemaking men often yell out my sister's name."

As the interview drew to a close, and she hurried to get the last bus home, wotsherface revealed the stunning revelation that a difficult romantic life is a burden to both Minogue sisters.

"Only the other day I got a call from a jet-lagged Kylie on her way to Rio complaining about the same problem - of men's shouts during sex. In her case it is often 'My mates down the pub will never believe me!'"

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bidding war for latest Internet sensation tops $1Trillion

A new website is taking the Internet by storm in a craze the like of which has not been seen for at least three months. Productivity in offices around the world is being severely reduced due to the phenomena known as ‘Pocket Watching’.

"It really is a great site, with a great community of dedicated users," said technology watcher Mr Bloggy. "It has surpassed YouTube and MySpace. Pocket Watching is now the cool way to idle away several hours a day."

The new site,, is now attracting more hits than YouTube and Flikr combined. Indeed one video, of the palm of a user's hand as she made a 'phone call about her test results, has now been viewed over 7 billion times – easily ourstripping even quality artistic endeavours such as YouTube’s 'Man getting hit by football’.

"I am very surprised at all the fuss," admitted the site’s creator Victor Billingsworth. "It started out as me just publishing a load of useless photos. I was doing some house keeping and I realised out of 234 pictures on my ‘phone, I had only intentionally taken 6. The rest were accidental shots caused by the ‘phone bumping in my pocket.

"It turns out everyone has loads of these things and at every visit to the site you will be surprised by what people are watching. Some are just photos of pure blackness, some with spots of CCD flare. Some are washed out pictures of the sky, or out-of-focus shots of tree canopies," explained Mr Billingsworth. "There are videos of the close-ups of a hairbrush bouncing into a box of tampons in a viewer's handbag, or the blurred bounce across the passenger seat of a car. Some are just rubbish."

Internet technology watchers are hailing the Accidental Photographer as the future of entertainment, given that it is not just possible for anyone to create content but they can now do it without even trying.

"I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that the Accidental Photographer represents the end of the road for the traditional quality media outlets such as YouTube," said Mr Bloggy.

The site born of frustration with the camera on Victor’s mobile ‘phone is now part of an aggressive bidding war between Yahoo and Google. The latter’s latest bid is $1Trillion, six islands in the pacific, the services of every female employee and is promising to re-brand itself Billingswoogle.

Accidental Photographer’s most viewed video of all time is shown below :-

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Zealand suffering high Orc unemployment

In a debate in the New Zealand parliament, Michael Cullen, the country's finance minister, was assailed by a barrage of questions regarding the recent influx of immigrants and the effects that they were having on the economy.

"What we wanted the Minister to understand was that these Orcs are not integrating well into our society and it is starting to have very adverse implications," said Winston Billingsworth of the New Zealand First Party.

Several years ago there was a great influx from the middle-earth into New Zealand. They were brought with promises of a great future in a land were the trees are strong and their roots go deep, where they could forge a new order in the fires of industry. However the reality is that many are struggling to learn English or to find a trade.

"As you walk around our great cities from Auckland to Wellington to Isengard, you are never far from being accosted by one of these Uruk-Hai black-fellas asking you to spare a few cents," said Mr Billingsworth. "They carry an air of menace about them as they brandish their rusty scimitar under your nose."

Whilst New Zealand by its very history is welcoming of immigrants into a land of opportunity, many Kiwis feel that their country is being over-run and their way of life threatened.

"It isn't just the cities, the hills are covered with thousands of Orcs all massing and drinking cheap liquor." said Billingsworth. "They aren't capable of getting a job and though the Government denies this, they are responsible for nearly all scimitar related murders. I don't think the rise in victims of cannibalistic disembowelments is unrelated either."

New Zealand, a sparsely populated country with ten times as many sheep as people, is a mainly rural country and it is in the small towns that the feeling against the 'people of wretchedness' (as they prefer to be called) is strongest.

"To be honest, it was OK when they kept themselves to themselves," said the MP for Orthanc. "Indeed their battles with the Elves were very spectacular and provided a great source of entertainment. Now that they have nothing to do they are just turning our towns into ghettos filled with hard drink and ironmongers. They certainly don't want to learn our language so we have to make signs in 'Black Speech’. And don't get me started on their cooking! Those rituals involving beating an animal to death with its own severed limbs, it’s just not New Zealandian."

Those living near the Orc communities say that the quality of their lives and the value of their homes have been reduced since the influx from Middle-Earth.

"How many times a day do we have to put up with the constant roaring of battle cries? The sound of the slaughter of their animals is horrific. Now they want planning permission to build a shrine out of the bones of their victims. It is making the residents of the old folk’s home nervous," said Billingsworth. "Mind you some communities have it even worse. Christchurch is full of Australians."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Showbiz’s leading grumps to retire

Albert and Ada Billingsworth are to finally hang up their wide range of scowls, frowns and grimaces and retire from the world of Television and Film after a career spanning four decades.

"We have been very lucky and stood in the background behind some apparently great young stars," said Ada. "Being in this business so long we have had a chance to play all of the truly great parts, from disapproving and unhappy to angry and confused. It's time to hand over and give someone just slightly younger than us a chance."

The Guinness Book of Records confirms the couple as having the most credited and scripted appearances in film and television, having appeared in every genre including comedies, sit-coms, comedy sketch-shows, and comedy variety shows.

"Our main pieces of business are to look on disapprovingly as the star does something novel or outgoing," said Ada whose most recent appearance was during the recent car test through the crowded streets of Liverpool on the comedy-magazine show TopGear.

"I have worked with all the greats: Robert De Niro, Dame Helen Mirren, Jade Goody. Well, I have seen most of them at any rate, since I am always in the background," said Albert. "If I am honest, I don't really like extroverted people, what with all that jumping about. What really gets my goat are dance routines with the stars prancing about all over the street furniture. I guess I am just a natural for my role."

The couple, who got their big break during a comedy TV news report about the mini-skirt, have not decided how they are to spend their retirement. Like many that retire from show business they are concerned about their future standard of living.

"We are used to getting paid five hundred grand for an afternoon's work," said Albert. "The state pension won't provide for nearly enough charlie for me to sniff off Ada's tits."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vodafone to announce new “Call Moaning” tariff

The world's largest mobile phone company today announced a new tariff in the white-hot competition for subscriber minutes.

"We have analysed the hundreds of millions of calls made through our network each day and we realise that what our customers really want is a tariff suited to their calling patterns," explained Darren Billingsworth, senior marketing executive at the mobile phone giant.

The new call plan, known as "Call Moaning" will allow unlimited downbeat conversations for a fixed monthly fee. Computers will analyse the tone of the conversation and the caller will only be charged if it is in anyway uplifting or light-hearted.

"Most mobile phone conversations are based around the bus being late, it being raining or a word by word account of what Chanelle told Sharon that Billy had said about her," said Billingsworth. "These are important facets of life that we in the communication biosphere feel need to shared."

Rival mobile phone firms said that whilst they were not in a position to offer sophisticated voice analysis they would be launching competing tariffs. Orange have said that callers can bundle a group of free calls into their talk-time which will be activated by detection of key phrases, such as "I am on the train." or "Oh my God, shut up."

"It is important that everyday detritus is allowed to fill the world of the commuter else they may feel cut off from the knowledge that most other people lead drab and boring lives too," said Billingsworth. "We want to encourage this shared morose as schadenfreude makes us all feel better."

Vodafone said this was just another example of how the connected world was enriching our lives by ensuring that none of the minutia of everyday life goes forgotten or unsaid.

"It is difficult to imagine how we used to live, but it wasn't that long ago that you used to get onto a train and worry only that someone next to you might fall asleep and loll onto your shoulder," said Darren. "Now with 'Call Moaning', you can listen in as someone angrily breaks up with her boyfriend over some triviality and rest assured that she will not run out of credit and can fill the entire journey with a series of tearful and repetitive phone calls to her girlfriends."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Secret to hit song “3 times a lady” revealed

Lionel Ritchie today surprised many by finally revealing the meaning of his hit song “3 times a lady” which topped the UK charts in 1978. The song is one of the most speculated about in history, with all sorts of theories about the cryptic lyrics – everything from an attack on then US President Jimmy Carter to the exposure of faked moon landings. However the ballad, says Mr Ritchie, is about the struggles of a trans-sexual friend.

“Charles Billingsworth had always felt more comfortable as Charlotte, but to us was always just Charlie,” said Ritchie. “However back in the 60s there wasn't as much acceptance of her condition as there is now.”

Ms Billingsworth underwent her first sex-change procedure in 1965. However she found it difficult to continue her job as a bricklayer during the construction boom of 60s Las Vegas, whilst also auditioning as a showgirl.

“Charlie had no other trade, apart from some very lowly paid work as a pole-dancer,” said the former member of The Commodores. “But her income dropped dramatically when a law compelling dancers to remain six feet from customers was abolished. She underwent re-constructive surgery, back to male. This was only partially successful as Charlie needed to sit down to pee, and looked less masculine than the female shot-putters that were taking part in the Munich Olympics,” explained Ritchie.

Charlie retrained as a ship's welder to pay her passage to Thailand and raise enough money to have what she thought would be her final gender re-assignment operation.

“She felt so much more accepted out there, with so many lady-boys,” said the singer-songwriter. “She was now twice a lady.”

However, despite acceptance as a trans-sexual by Thai society she was not able to return to either career as an exotic dancer, or as a welder.

“The steel game is a man's world, and although the surgery wasn't bad, Charlie never weighed less than 250 pounds. You know that fan dance? She couldn't afford that many ostrich feathers.”

Forced to have another cheap medical procedure, Charlie thought she would have to spend the rest of her life as a woman trapped in something resembling a man's body.

“There is a limit to how much the body can take and now she looked like she'd been in a truck crash with a cargo of ugly sticks.” explained Ritchie.

Charlie decided to write her life story which later became the hit movie “Flashdance” about a steel-working dancer. The income from the screenplay enabled her to get the life that she really wanted.

“To be honest, Charlie was never happy about the production of the movie, but in a way that mirrored her life,” explained Ritchie. “Both took years to finish and were hacked about from every angle!”

The proceeds from the film enabled her to get the finest surgery available and Charlie Billingsworth was able to finally, on the third attempt, become a lady.

“It is as simple as that, once, twice, three times a lady.” said Mr Ritchie. “Although you could never drop a bucket of water on her like in the movie, her tits would come off."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

'Leaning' Tower of Pisa is a fake

Officials in the historic Italian town of Pisa have shocked the world by admitting that their iconic tower is in fact not leaning at all. The revelation was made after queries following the 'Euro-Level 2007' exhibition at the town's convention centre.

“We had the finest spirit level manufacturers from all over the world with stands at the exhibition and many of them simply could not get their stands set-up squarely”, said Pierre Facturations-Valeer a member of a French delegation.

Delegates at the convention reported that those stands with a view of the famous 'leaning' tower were unable to be set level on the convention centre floor. This led to an impromptu survey of the town by delegates and a report to the then mayor of Pisa, Jarno Valore di Fatturazioni.

“We admit it,” said former Mayor Valore di Fatturazioni. “The game is up. We here in Pisa are, how you say, ‘not on the level’!”

The mayor has now admitted that it is the town of Pisa rather than the famous tower that is sloping.

“For centuries we have maintained this horrible secret, but in many ways it is a relief that the truth has come out.” said Signore Valore di Fatturazioni.

The former mayor revealed that a secret religious order, known as 'The Inclinati' have infiltrated the world’s scientific and construction communities to spread their inclinations and ensure that all building works within view of the famous tower are constructed at a 5.5 degree angle. This gives the impression to bystanders that it is in fact the tower that is leaning.

“The tower is absolutely vertical. All of the nearby museum furniture is built, how you say, 'lop-sided'. The museum curators all walk around wearing one platform shoe, so they appear to be standing up straight on its sloping floors.”

Signore Valore di Fatturazioni also revealed that the formerly secret Inclinati were launching a travel company for visitors who wish to “Tour the Leaning Town of Pisa”.

The town council has come under criticism regarding the large amounts of money that has been spent by both the Italian and European authorities to supposedly stabilising a monument that in fact is in no danger at all of falling.

“It is not true that the money has been wasted,” said Valore di Fatturazioni, speaking from the formerly secret headquarters of the Inclinati deep within the Vatican. “All over Pisa are areas of the town built on slopes that have cost huge amounts money. As does the fabulous collection of Ferraris that the Inclinati store beneath them.”

Monday, October 22, 2007

Royal mail adverts insists “it is business as usual”

The Royal Mail today took out a double page advert in the quality papers to help clear up any confusion that customers might have following the recent mail strike.

“Many people have become confused about the service we are offering,” said Sally Billingsworth, a service manager at Royal Mail's Old Street headquarters in London. “We wanted to ensure customers that the service is back to the standards they expect.”

The open letter, signed by the Chief Executive, Adam Crozier, is aimed at ensuring to customers that they can expect to receive the quality of service that has been available since he took charge in 2003, the text of which is reproduced below:

There may be some confusion now that our staff have returned to work following the recent strike:

  • Unlike the Victorians you will not be able to get your post before you leave for work

  • Unlike 30 years ago you will not be able to post a standard A4 envelope without queuing in a post office.

So, back to business as usual!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ripper loose in Westminster

Following the most recent high-profile knife attack on an elderly man out innocently running his party, the Metropolitan Police have revealed that they are now searching for a serial attacker after linking a series of recent knife attacks on men in London.

"There have been a series of high-profile knife crimes in recent months and we now feel we have found the evidence needed to link them together," explained Detective Inspector Patrick Billingsworth. "The recent attack on Sir Menzies Campbell is the fourth in a series of attacks on high-profile Scotsman in Westminster.

Friends and relatives of Sir Menzies say that his attacker came from nowhere and distracted him with talk of rallying behind him, it was at this point that Sir Menzies felt the plunge of the dagger into his back.

The manner of the attack is enabling investigators to pinpoint older unsolved woundings and murders that fit the same pattern. It seems the attacks focus on men born in Scotland and living in the London borough of Westminster.

The attacker is believed to have struck many times over the last several years but it was thought he had gone to ground following an attack on a fellow party go-er from Scotland. The victim, after a long lunch, was attempting to make his way unsteadily through a proposal on tax reform when the attacker struck.

"Fortunately I'd had a couple of drinks which enabled me to overcome the shock of having been stabbed in the back and I could seek recovery with a lucrative book deal." said Mr Kennedy.

Police say that a couple of his other victims have only been lightly wounded, such as a Scottish man from Downing Street who suffered a minor injury from the ‘Westminster Ripper’ which led to an embarrassing infirmity and re-assessment of priorities.

"It gave me quite a scare, and did make me consider the whole issue of inheritance," explained Mr Brown from his recuperation in Portugal.

People on the streets of Westminster are concerned not only that the Ripper might strike them but that they could fall victim from copycat crimes.

"The real worry is that all of the victims have been born in Scotland. Let us hope that the Police can catch him before he strikes again. Especially if he becomes confused over Englishmen who simply have Scottish surnames." said local man, David Cameron.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Threat to world vowel population

Today, literary climate experts published a report on the world's native vowel population. The report says that the common vowel is coming under pressure as their natural habitat is being steadily eroded.

“All over the world vowels are becoming harder and harder to find,” explained Professor J. Scott Billingsworth, one of the reports authors. “With the spread of modern communications the vowel is coming under increasing pressure. The vowel is quite a sensitive creature and depends on a sophisticated set of conditions for it to flourish, unfortunately these conditions are the victims of our faster paced lifestyles and commerce.”

Experts believe that if current trends are continued the vowel may well be extinct as early as 2020. Globalisation is said to be driving force pushing the vowel towards oblivion.

“As western culture becomes ubiquitous we are finding an increase in global warming towards English, Industrialised English has decimated the vowel population at home and abroad,” said Professor Billingsworth.

The US has come under fire as being the largest single contributor to the destruction of the vowel, with American spellings leading to widespread devastation of previously successful colonies. In addition the vowel is now believed to be on the brink of extinction in instant messaging and SMS text message environments.

“One of the key reasons the US would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol is the extended vowel usage and their belief that technology can produce image based communication. Enforcing vowel quotas is cumbersome and a drag on the US economy,” explained Billingsworth at a press conference at the Jeremy Kyle University.

Scientists say that the future of the vowel may be in captive breading programmes and the successful release of new groups back into the environment. Precipitous coastal escarpments are seeing a veritable vertiginous increase in proclivity towards the water vowel, for example.

“A lot of good work has been done in Wales,” explained Billingsworth. “In fact it has been so successful that there are far more vowels than necessary in any given sentence in Welsh.”

Monday, October 15, 2007

Al Gore to lead obesity campaign

Fresh from his victory at this year's Nobbies in Oslo, where he walked away with the Nobel Prize for Film making, Al Gore says he is now prepared to help the UK government in their battle against obesity that they have likened to the fight against global warming.

“Obesity is a challenge we all face and is something close to my heart,” said the big-boned former vice-president of the United States. “It is a big challenge, and one that is getting bigger all the time. Let's face it, what fatties don't want is an increase in global temperatures, which is another piece of the pie.”

Mr Gore said that he would embark on a lecture tour, sponsored by the new Haagen Dazs offsetting scheme, whereby, for every tub of posh ice cream that you buy, someone in India runs a lap of a forest. He is also planning a new movie on the perils of obesity, entitled 'A Big Fat Fact'. He also revealed that his work with the British government would be a new solo project.

“I feel I have gone as far as I can with my backing group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” he said. “You know how it is, artistic differences. The rest of the group has these pretensions at doing thoughtful work.”

The Peace Prize winner also brushed off criticism from the High Court of being alarmist and using misleading evidence.

“If it is alarmist and incorrect to say that we are all going to die when the whole of Mount Kilimanjaro melts on us, then I don't want to be right.” he said at the Vanity Fair after-ceremony party in Oslo.

The Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, said that Mr Gore's Nobel Prize winning talents of public relations, spectacular computer models and exaggerated claims were exactly the things needed to complement the government's action plan for combating obesity.

“Obesity is a problem that will have an impact on all areas of society, at home and at work,” said Mr Johnson. “We will need stronger sofas, and sturdier office chairs. Mr Gore's Oscar-winning talents will be able to connect with obese people right where it matters; sitting in the cinema, behind a jumbo bag of popcorn.”

Friday, October 12, 2007

Anti-Environmentalist 'Brown Life' campaign gathers strength

Anti-environmentalism is a new reactionary movement whose followers believe that the green lobby is distorting the current scientific evidence regarding Climate Change. The movement is gathering strength from those who feel angered by overt environmentalism.

"Frankly it all disgusts me," said Frank Billingsworth, a retired army Major from Surrey. "All these tree-huggers telling us what we can and cannot do. It's not right. It's a free country and I am free to be an anti-environmentalist."

Mr Billingsworth said that as a reaction to the green movement he is now actively taking steps to use more energy and increase his level of pollution.

"You know, it is the little things that count. Nowadays I don't leave my TV on standby when I am not watching it. Now I just leave it on. Especially overnight. I turn it up loud, turn the brightness right up and just stick ear plugs in."

Mr Billingsworth said that it was becoming increasingly difficult to lead a "brown" lifestyle as technology improves and our lives become naturally more energy efficient.

"When I hear friends talk about their carbon offsetting, it makes me pleased." said former Major Billingsworth. "It means that when I go home and put both the air-conditioning and the heating on I am undoing all their good work."

Perhaps surprisingly Frank's wife Elsie drives a Toyota Prius hybrid car, but is still keen to help her husband's cause.

"We co-ordinate our journeys in terms of their environmental impact," said Mrs Billingsworth. "Frank uses the Land Rover only to go to the supermarket to buy in-organic veg and veal cutlets that have been flown in overnight from New Zealand, whereas I only use the Prius for long motorway journeys. It takes longer to get to my sister's in Edinburgh, but I refuse to get out of second gear or take the handbrake off. Of course if I was going a shorter distance, say to visit my children who live near Gatwick I would just drive to Manchester and fly back down."

Whilst many people argue that even if you don't believe any of the Climate Change evidence it still makes common sense to be energy efficient and cut down on pollution, Frank disagrees.

"God gave us dominion over the Earth and all the beasts of His Kingdom," said the Major. "So it is no business of any do-gooder how much sulphur there is in the tyres that I use to barbecue my Tiger Steaks in winter. Sure it would be nice if the trees were still alive in my garden, but the palls of black smoke are a price worth paying for our principles."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Google's gPhone: in-conversation adverts in exchange for free calls.

Details are being released of the long expected move by Google into the consumer electronics market with the highly anticipated gPhone. Initial specifications reveal that the phone will be coupled with Google's industry leading technology in the provision of targeted advertising and placing context sensitive adverts directly into a conversation in the form of audible 'calls to action' in exchange for free voice calls.

“Having had a chance to play with a prototype I think it is clear what Google's intentions are but by using their web technology they risk transferring existing problems across to the new platform,” said technology pundit Mr Bloggy.

Below is a sample transcript from a test conversation on the gPhone prototype and the manner of Google's interactive advertising.

Mr Bloggy :- “Hi, Sally it's me!”

Sally : “Hi love, where are you?”

Mr Bloggy : “I am on the train, just going past Denmark Hill”

Automated Voice : “Ads by Google : Press 1 for cheap flights to Europe”

Sally : “You are on a plane, I thought we were going for an Indian tonight?”

Mr Bloggy : “No, that was the new phone. I am in South East London! Just a couple more stops then home, I am starving!”

Automated voice : “Public Service Ads by Google : Press 1 to help the millions of children who will go hungry today.”

Sally : “We don't have to go mad I suppose. I guess it is a bit of a luxury.”

Mr Bloggy : “Don't be silly! It's this phone I am testing, it's a right pain in the arse.”

Automated voice : “Ads by Google : Press 1 for cheap haemorrhoid cream”

Mr Bloggy : “Oh my God, I don't believe this!”

Automated voice : “Ads by Google : Did Jesus exist? Press 1 to find out!”

Sally : “That phone really does sound like a load of crap”

Automated Voice : “Ads by Google: Press 1 to press the fart button. You know you want to.”

The gPhone has experienced delays due to the complexity of performing contextual analysis of billions of text messages and free text messaging is a feature many analysts feel will be missing from the initial versions of the phone.

“Google has experience of search in over 150 languages including those that use non-Latin alphabets,” said Mr Bloggy. “But they have struggled to make any sense at all of text messages sent by teenagers.”

Three years later, and The Onion brings us the Video version of this technology story:-

New Google Phone Service Whispers Targeted Ads Directly Into Users' Ears

Saturday, October 06, 2007

ITV announce new “ITV1 – 1” channel

Following the success of channels such as 'Channel4+1', which show a conventional channel's programme stream delayed by one hour, ITV has planned an innovative service of its own.

“We realise that viewers want increased choice and flexibility from their broadcasters, so we plan to introduce a new service enabling our viewers to miss our programmes more easily,” explained Gerald Billingsworth, head of Light Entertainment at Granada. “Unlike Channel 4 which has provocative and innovative programmes, compared to our cheap derivative offerings. We will be introducing 'ITV1 -1' so that viewers can tune in at the scheduled time and have the wonderful surprise of having missed the programme that was broadcast an hour ago.”

ITV is working closely with its broadcast partners Virgin Media and Sky to integrate sophisticated programme skipping functionality into their respective V+ and Sky + personal video recorders.

“We have talked to the ITV viewer and they have spoken loudly and clearly, they want a 'Record nothing like this' option,” explained Billingsworth. “The boxes will also offer a 'calm' option whereby the user can choose to have inadvertent recordings of our schedule replaced by pictures of a waterfall and whale music.”

However it is the expanded channel range that is really exciting the mandarins at ITV. If 'minus one' proves to be a success then they are preparing for the launch of 'ITV1+8' as a real breakthrough in the '+1' channel format.

“This would give the people of Great Britain the chance to completely miss the latest prime-time vehicles for Ant & Dec,” said Mr Billingsworth. “On 'plus eight' programmes such as 'Britain's got talent','X Factor' and the like can safely be shown in the small hours of the morning meaning no one need suffer.”

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Daily Express news article template leaked

There are red faces in Lower Thames Street today after the template for Daily Express news articles was leaked onto the internet from an unknown source. An internal investigation is believed to be under way and focussing on any journalist who has shown any pride in their work or expressed any fondness for traditions of good journalism.

The template (front page shown - click for larger image) contains not only the format but also suggested text as well as placement of adverts. Directions to the editorial staff are shown in square brackets ([ ]) and include references to holidays, further content and legal considerations.

“The template is believed to have been in use for sometime and was last updated this summer,” explained Costa Billingsworth, 17, Chief Media Analyst at consultancy Tornado Snail. “Given that the Express has an editorial policy review every 50 years or so we can expect more stories using this template for some time to come.”

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