Tuesday, January 30, 2007

United States reacts to new European Leader

There were mixed reactions across the United States of America to the news that Michel Platini had been elected as the new President of UEFA. In bars and truck stops across the land the talk was all about the implications for Europe, relations with the US and the future of the Middle East.

"Well its good to see them using their new democratic powers that we gave them," commented Kurt Billingsworthski, a trucker from Ohio. "Having a Frenchman in charge, though, well that just turns them further against us."

Indeed, this was a sentiment echoed by Fox News, which led with "Europe votes for surrender – Frenchman elected as President!" in its evening broadcast. "This is further evidence of a weakness at the heart of Old Europe further turning its back on the United States." added political firebrand commentator Bill O’Reilly.

President Bush said that he welcomed the show of democracy within Europe, but warned "We must continue this fight on all fronts, Europeans must remain steadfast in their desire for freedom."

However whilst the layman was focussed on the news with regards to high level principles and values, others within George W. Bush’s administration seemed to be aware of more of the detail of the electoral issues. Condoleeza Rice commented "From an economic perspective we can work closely with our European partners, although we would hope to free up the regulatory framework around proposals for a salary cap. However the US is steadfast in its belief that reducing the number of qualification places for the Champion’s League can only be balanced by an increase in weaker league representation which would dilute the overall quality of the competition."

Back in his favourite bar, "Old Glory", Kurt felt that as the dust settles, the existing world order would not change substantially.

"Well, you know, internationally, the US team is still the envy of the world, and back home it has the finest, most sophisticated, richest and most entertaining league, " said Kurt. "Heck we now have that Damon Bradman coming from Spain. He will have to be in the prime of his career to compete in the MLS."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Consumer was neither stunned nor amazed

Confused consumer Beth Billingsworth is campaigning for a greater understanding of "normal" people in society.

"I first started to suspect something a couple of months ago when I picked up a mobile phone in the shop and was able to look at its styling and understand its features completely. The product display said it was stunning yet I was in now way deprived of consciousness by looking at the phone. In another shop I looked at a computer, and whilst I thought that the features were very good for a model at its price point I was in no way overwhelmed with either surprise or wonder. In fact if anything I felt quite assured that Moore’s Law was in fact still pertinent some forty years after he proposed it."

Beth was perplexed and felt there must be something wrong with her. "The advertising industry spends millions each year on TV advertising that states quite clearly that not only will we all make an emotional connection with some product or service, but that we will become unable to deal with the intensity of such feeling – hence the usage of superlatives.

"I sought treatment but, although I spent quite a lot of time reading astounding self help books and I attended a couple of seminars by ‘wonderful’ speakers, I was never at any point filled with a sense of awe that would leave me bewildered as to the message that was being delivered," said Beth shaking her head.

Beth has now come to realise that she is in fact, "perfectly normal" and that most advertising is in fact "complete bollocks".

"It is total bunk," announced Beth, "I mean of course some people fall for it but then they are the kind of people who wear clothes with overt logos on them and say ‘like’ every other word. Normal people don’t do any of the above and we are clearly being disenfranchised – we just want nice clear information that enables us to make purchasing decisions."

Lin Wiblongth, partner at leading advertising firm Smith, Smith, Smythe, Schmidt, Smed and Szmyt gave a statement on behalf of the advertising industry. "This fantastic campaign will provide an amazing springboard into the outstanding experiences of normal people. It is a truly stunning revelation that I think all of us in Adland will take on board. My colleagues found it so amazing we only needed three pictures of Margaritas at our last creative meeting. Astounding." She than sat comatose staring out of the window.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Government created religious consensus spawns new peace group

"It is another wonderful achievement for New Labour," claimed Ruth Kelly, Communities Secretary. "We have managed to achieve what many people have thought impossible, a genuine consensus across all faiths. It is an historic milestone"

Ms Kelly was speaking after the Church of England backed the Catholic Church in its desire to continue discrimination against gay people in response to new legislation banning the withholding of services based on sexual orientation.

"Isn't it wonderful? We also know that Muslim groups don't want to have to print leaflets or let facilities to people who are good with colours either."

The gay community, whilst wanting to do all the things heterosexual people do but without having arguments over the position of the toilet seat, announced it had plans to capitalise on this unique position and launch a new role as peace broker throughout the world.

"Essentially, no matter whether they are black, white, Christian, Muslim or Jew - a lot of people seem to have it in for us, " explained Peter Billingsworth of Stonewall. "Not in a good way either."

Gay associations are offering to mediate in domestic and international disputes with a new voluntary group of "Common Enemies". In areas of conflict the new teams will arrive in the area in a fleet of pink Volkswagen camper vans bearing the trademark rainbow flags. They will set up camp bases between the conflicting factions.

The idea is that once the militias have focussed their hate on the newly "out" gay community a longer term dialogue can begin, moving from the starting point of spite filled scripture and aiming towards true reconciliation. One of the first areas to be offered the new "Common Enemies" service is the middle east - a flashpoint of Muslim, Jewish and Christian hatred.

"We think we can unite these communities pretty quickly," said a volunteer who wished to remain nameless. "It will probably take only one Gay Pride march. We hope we don't have to resort to using local costumes with the arse cut out, but we hold that in reserve if we have to."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Government moves to ban catchphrase humour

Yesterday, in the House of Commons, Tony Blair announced proposals for government legislation to ban catchphrase humour, a “blight”, he said, “on creative writing and humorous thinking that has plagued British society for too long”.

“It is time now to bring to a close the seemingly endless round of two dimensional characters filling our screens with yet another way of saying the same tired old message. This is a national problem, not a local one for local people, and government must intervene.”

The debate in the commons reached fever pitch as the opposition benches clamoured to take New Labour to task.

“British comedy is the envy of the world, and generates loadsamoney for the economy,” said Conservative leader, David Cameron, “Yet, we have known for some time that such an institution is not safe from this politically correct government, we knew that you just wouldn’t let it lie, would you?”

“Yes, but, no, but you shouldn’t listen to that George Osborne,” retorted the Prime Minister. “His figures don’t add up at all. You know, being PM is the hardest game in the world, it is. I been PM for ten years, man and boy.”

Sir Menzies Campbell attacked the lack of opportunity for the public to voice their concerns over the proposed changes to comedy. “You don’t want to do it like that,” he said, “ you want to do it like this: form a select committee to hear testimony from members of the public and distil policy out of informed focus groups with proper overseas fact-finding.”

The Labour party itself is showing a united front. When challenged on Newsnight as to which of Mr Blair’s policies he would be proud to take through as the future Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said he wanted “that one”. When pressed by Jeremy Paxman that such comedy provided reassuring predictability and comfort to those in society less confident as to be able to discern humour in a social situation, Mr Brown reiterated, “I want that one.”

Sources have revealed that a constitutional crisis was averted by the Queen, indignant that this should be introduced into an already busy Parliamentary session. ”How very dare you!” she exclaimed. “One is having a fag!”

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Museum of the Double Entendre to close

The nation’s only museum dedicated to ribaldry has announced that it would be closing at the end of the month.

“Attendance figures have become flaccid in the last few years, I guess British humour has just changed,” commented Herbert Billingsworth, the museum’s founder. “We tried to follow society, but in the end we just couldn’t keep it up.”

The Museum of the Double Entendre was opened in Bristol in the late 60s and has dedicated itself to documenting and preserving Britain’s rich history of ‘seaside humour’.

“We have a wonderful collection of postcards, and of course we have the Benny Hill wing which is popular with American tourists,” explained Billingsworth.

“We first had the idea for the museum in the mid sixties. Originally we had hoped for two museums with one for stage and screen and the other for printed materials. We got into position in ’69 and opened up pretty quickly. The initial few years gave us great hope to construct a purpose built facility forming the pair of Bristol’s leading entertainment venue.”

The museum prospered for its first ten years or so. However the second building was never built, as British humour moved away from the saucy ‘Carry On’ movies and into the ‘Alternative’ movement of the 80s. The last major acquisition was original artwork from Viz, before the money dried up.

“We had to shelve our plans for the second building. It was going to be a magnificent erection. We always had problems with queuing and we designed the new building with two entrances, you could enter from either the front or the back but we made sure you would get the same satisfaction whichever way you came.”

The exhibits from the greats of British humour such as Tommy Cooper, Morecombe and Wise, the Two Ronnies and Jimmy Carr’s agent - to name but a few - are now up for sale.

“We do hope buyers come forward, we have some great assets that I know collectors would love to get their hands on,” implored Herbet. ”We have Barbara Windsor’s heart bikini from ‘Carry on Doctor’, for example. It is a national treasure, and it would be a shame to have to take it up the back passage - to the charity shop.”

Mr Billingsworth said that one of the saddest things is that future generations of comedy writers would not have such a comprehensive collection to study from.

“I myself had always hoped to move into comedy, and I wanted to learn from the masters, hence the museum,” smirked Billingsworth. “Still I will always be thankful for the mammaries.”

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Maths teaching to be made more practical

Following on from recent developments in language teaching based around the use of smuggled cigarettes, the Department of Education is now taking a similar approach to the area of mathematics.

“For too long Maths has had trouble engaging with youth” complained Jane Billingsworth, government spokeperson on Youth Culture. “In classrooms all around this great land we hear the wail of ‘But sir, when am I ever going to use that’. Whether it be trigonometry, fractions, long division, it always seems to unrelated to their lives”, she continued, speaking in between runs on the half-pipe at Stockwell Skatepark.

“What we propose is to revolutionise teaching in Maths. Fraction teaching will be based around how to work out how much a quarter of hash for yourself and an eighth of Jamaican black for your mum will cost. Number theory will be taught with the conventional number line but the milestones will be “number of months until baby born, council house application” and so on. Estimation will be taught based on scratch card and cider purchases and the number of days until giro day.

Ms Billingsworth explained, after her third and successful attempt to complete a frontside 360, that if the changes to Mathematics are as successful as expected this approach will be extended to other subjects.

“Physics will still focus on the Newtonian laws of motion, friction and so on, but with practical application to avoiding the Filth, the best cars to nick and their associated physical driving characteristics.”

However the changes are expected to only see improvement in academic performance.

“Hopefully this will engage young people. But we don’t expect miracles, teenage boys will continue to dress as though they are wearing their pyjamas and girls will continue to smell like Cuban ashtrays.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Man awakens from long period of hypnosis

Mark Billingsworth, 38, an IT manager for a large financial institution, explained how he had been awoken from what appeared to be an extended period of hypnosis.

“I am still in a bit of a daze really. “ he explained “It was only yesterday morning that I came out from under the influence.”

Mr. Billingsworth said that he was not sure how long he had been hypnotized for but believed it may have been as a long as several years.

“The last thing I remember I was in my early twenties. I was young, slim, had a full head of hair and used to love touring on my motorbike.” He reminisced. “I remember playing the guitar in a band, we were pretty good I think. We could have got somewhere, although I remember considering being a writer more than a performer.”

It appears that after undergoing hypnosis Mr. Billingsworth traded his motorbike in for a people carrier, and spent his subsequent weekends not at music festivals or bike rallies but at B&Q and Ikea.

“When I wasn’t on my bike, or with the band, I remember being quite sporty. I used to hate golf and love football. Now it appears I am a member of the local golf club and its social society!”

The changes in his hobbies appear to have been even more wide-ranging.

“I can’t play the guitar very well anymore. I don’t think I have been to a drunken after-show party in years. I am now an IT project manager following a structured development methodology, not changing the world through subversive writing.”

Mark also explained how he came out of his seemingly decades long trance.

“Well it was yesterday morning. I was startled out of the trance when my two year old son threw his breakfast into my face and my apparent hypnotist asked me why I hadn’t put the shelves up in the study.”

Friday, January 12, 2007

Man hospitalised attempting to complete a year in a month

Jason Billingsworth, 26, was today reliving his last few days for the press after being discharged from Barking Hospital. “Well you know, we all live a fast paced lifestyle these days,” said the unemployed van driver from Dagenham. “I had read all these facts in the newspaper, like, about how much we eat and drink in a year. Well you know I thought that must take a lot of time.”

Mr Billingsworth explained that he decided to free up as much time as possible later on in the year by consuming his total amount of food and drink in the month of January.

“Think of the time I’m gonna save not shopping, eating or crapping. It was a blinding idea.” he explained. “I was even more clever than that too. I read that a packet of crisps a day was a equivalent to five litres of cooking fat. Well I like my crisps, but I know I can drink quicker than I can eat. So I got myself 5 litres of cooking fat and polished that right off.”

Mr Billingsworth explained further ingenuity. “The 45 portions of chips was a challenge. Its two meals a day that. But I had lots of chip butties which put a massive dent in the amount of bread I have to eat.”

“Of course I was really looking forward to all the beer,” said Jason, whilst smoking 3 cigarettes at once. “100 litres in a month! Marvelllous! I am not sure how much I got through, because I passed out an ended up in the hospital. It must have been a fair amount mind, as I was in their toilet for four hours pissing rusty water out me arse.”

Mr Billingsworth is undaunted by the trip to A&E, as he said that was on his list anyway.

“I have to get off home now, as the pizza boy should be arriving soon with the low-loader.”

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Price of Euro notes rising

Following a spate of revelations regarding the contamination of Euro notes with cocaine, the street price of the notes is now rising above face value.

The most prized notes are those from the Republic of Ireland, where a recent study found that 100% of the notes have traces of cocaine. However also prized are Spanish notes, as they are almost certain to contain the class A drug.

Patrick McHugh of the Central Bank of Ireland raised concerns over the money supply. “It is a double whammy, to be sure. Notes are being taken out of circulation by people trying to get their hands on the cocaine, this is putting a huge pressure on the amount of coinage in circulation. That is what is really getting up my nose.”

Garda Inspector Bill O’Reilly said that the effect on street life in Dublin was immediately noticeable. “Its pretty amazing watching people trading in the streets,” he said. “They are bartering way above market rates to get their hands on the notes. It just isn‘t normal to see people wandering the streets of Dublin with a pig under each arm. Normally the left one is empty.”

Fifty Euro notes seem the most prized as they contain the most cocaine. Currently they are have a value of €67each on the streets of Dublin.

Madrid Police say that their experience is similar to that of their Irish counterparts, only slightly less frenetic due to the lottery aspect of the clean 6% of notes. Spanish issued fifty Euro notes are currently trading on the street at €54.

“At some point the price going to be reflected in the markets when the big international money men get in on the act.“ explained Mr McHugh. “That is when we are really going to go high”

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Controversy over leaked footage of the Iraqi version of “The Apprentice”

There has been continued outrage in the media regarding footage from what is believed to be the Iraqi version of “The Apprentice” that has been posted onto several websites in the middle east.

Internet blogs reveal that the format has changed to make it more relevant to the Iraqi viewer. So now, instead of competing to be a salaried lapdog of a 1980s entrepreneur who now concentrates on media exposure, the Iraqi version has contestants competing in a series of trials to determine their future role in the reconstructed war zone.

The leaked video footage shows the result of one of these trials in which the contestant remonstrates with the series judge in an executive courtroom. Controversy, however, surrounds the manner in which one contestant, known in media circles only as “Saddam” left the series and the unsubtle way that the celebrated catchphrase of “You’re fired!” has been replaced with “You’re dropped!” and is even acted out in the final scene.

“The Iraqis have taken this franchise and distorted it too far from its roots, “ complained Sir Alan Billingsworth, a former governor of the BBC. “What they have in Iraq is nothing like what we have in the west and what we tried to give them. I believe there was talk of sticking with ‘You’re fired!’ but the producers refused to act that one out. Mind you, I hear that a local Baghdad channel has a lower budget version where they have ’You’re axed!’ as the catchphrase. That really is extreme TV.”

Channel 4 said that they always keep a close eye on developments within the reality TV format but denied that recent construction work on the Celebrity Big Brother house is related to the leaked video. In contrast a source close to the production company Endemol said “Well our version has got a bit absurd, and maybe a ‘below stairs revolution’ could be a way to finally kill off Jade Goody”.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dossier reveals world leaders’ real concerns about Global Warming

A leaked dossier has revealed the concerns of the secretive Bilderberg group regarding the impact of Global Warming on western governments.

Minutes of last year’s meeting of the group, a 50 year private enclave of some of the most powerful political and economic decision makers, revealed that they are fearful of revolution and turmoil due to the lengthened summers and reduced rainfall in many countries.
Denis Billingsworth, a retired journalist who has studied the Bilderberg Group has had access to the document.

“Its pretty simple logic, really,” explained Denis. “The Group is concerned that historically revolution and riots against the establishment have all taken place in good weather. People don’t like to go out in the rain. So, if the Earth warms up and the summers get longer and hotter, if there is less rain, then there will be more revolution.”

Mr Billingsworth pointed to history to illustrate the Bilderberg Group’s concern, highlighting the major revolutions and when they happened.

“The French stormed the Bastille on 14th July, right in the heart of summer. The American’s declared independence on 4th July. The Bolshevik’s made sure their revolution was finished in October, before the weather turned nasty in Russia.”

Mr Billingsworth has also looked back at Britain’s own recent history for more evidence to back up the Bilderberg Group’s concerns.

“Look at recent riots in the UK: Brixton flared up in April; Toxteth rioted in July and it was a lovely sunny day in London when the poll tax protestors kicked off at the end of March,” he pointed out. “People don’t revolt if they have to take an umbrella with them.”

Many now believe that the increased environmental awareness of politicians comes directly out of the thinking of this influential group. “They are worried now. They don’t really care about the polar bears or the frogs in the Amazon. They look at Iraq or anywhere in the middle-east for that matter, and they see Washington, Paris or Norwich in a couple of decades time,” said Billingsworth. “It’s always sunny and warm and not a day goes by without a Molotov Cocktail being hurled. That simply would not be the case if the insurgents lived in Aberystwyth.”

Friday, January 05, 2007

Escaped agent reveals Polonium clue

A mysterious man in his late seventies was revealed today as a significant clue in the investigation into the poisoning of ex-Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.

The man wearing a dishevelled jacket in a naval styling was found near his Lotus 7 motor car after it ran out of petrol. He would not give his name and claimed to Police to have escaped from a mysterious village.

“He was pretty incoherent most of the time. Mainly ranting about being a man, not a number,” said Detective Inspector Patrick Billingsworth. “We found him yesterday, he had been circulating Parliament Square until his car ran out of petrol. He claimed he was being chased by a Rover -although his description of a spherical vehicle did not match any model we know of.”

Police did not take the man seriously initially, until he explained that he was formerly a British secret agent who had resigned his post for reasons he would not reveal.

“Well naturally that sparked our interest. I mean, we all like a good spy story down the yard. When we told him the date he revealed he had been imprisoned in this mysterious village for forty years. During that time he claimed to have been drugged at least two dozen times through a variety of means. Looking at his frail body, and the fact that he had lost all his hair, we noticed immediately the resemblance to Mr Litvinenko‘s condition.”

D.I. Billingsworth revealed that the mysterious old man became abusive when being questioned. “He wouldn’t give us much information and as we asked more he got a bit nasty, claiming we were all talking ‘Number Twos‘. ”

The authorities revealed that they found traces of polonium-210 on the man’s clothing and are awaiting the results of blood tests. Police task forces are now concentrating their searches on North Wales following the man’s description of the place of his captivity.

“His descriptions match those of the Italianate village of Portmeirion, although he was a bit incredulous when we suggested it to him,” explained D.I Billingsworth. “We are undeterred even though he said that it couldn’t be in Wales as the Village had running water and electricity and the inhabitants could read a newspaper.“

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Britain's only losing gambler dies

Bookmaker's in Britain were today in mourning after the announcement of the death of Henry Billingsworth. Mr Billingsworth died yesterday at the age of 94 as the man with the reputation of being an amiable loser.

"It is a black day," said Arthur, a regular at Connolly's Turf Accountants in Formby, Merseyside. "He was a chipper chap, was Henry, everyone liked him."

Henry was known as a character in his local, the Red Lion. As beers were downed and the stories of the day's gambling exploits unfolded, it was indeed the case. No one seemed to have come out a loser.

"Aye, I did OK in the bookie's today. Held my own," said Arthur who was a bit flushed having run into the pub. "Guys, can anyone lend me a couple of quid, That roulette machine next door is bound to pay out soon."

"Up and down, up and down. Came out OK" added another, avoiding Arthur's gaze.

"Doing alright. I had a ten-to-one winner three weeks ago.Won £50 I did." said Mike rummaging through his change at the bar to buy his final pint of the day.

"I had a good day, ended a little bit ahead" said Jim, another regular. "I remember Henry. Quite often he would say that he had lost. Sometimes he had ended the day ahead, but quite often he was down."

"Of course I am a bit worried, not a good start to 2007" said David Connolly, the local independant bookmaker, buying a round of drinks at the bar from a bundle of £50 notes. "Henry was a really nice, honest chap and if he was losing some money, he would tell you. If you ask any of my regular punters, they rarely lose and none of them are ever down on the day. I wish i had their luck. Maybe then I could afford a bigger Villa in Spain than the one I currently have and my Jag is getting on for two years old now."

We've been here before