Friday, August 31, 2007

The tenth anniversary of the tragic death of a controversial figure

Today, to mark the tenth anniversary of the tragic deaths of 31st August 1997, a series of commemorative events will be held across the world as people from all walks of life remember a lonely figure, chased by paparazzi in the seconds before death.

One of the key events will be a candlelit vigil at the Pont d’Alma tunnel in Paris, the site of the car accident that claimed the life of someone who in death has become even more famous and controversial than in life.

In Paris and London special services will be held to mark the passing of Henri Paul. Mr. Paul, whose death sparked an extended period of mourning in Britain, in France and around the world will be remembered in a special tribute by his employer at the time, Mohammed Al-Fayed.

Mr Al-Fayed, who has maintained over the years since Henri Paul’s death, that his chauffer was killed by a secret service plot sponsored by the Duke of Edinburgh, will be determined to lead the high profile media events marking the anniversary.

Mourners are expected to converge from all over the world on various sites of deep relevance at this time, such as the bar in the Paris Ritz where Henri Paul spent the last few hours of his life before being unexpectedly pressed into action on that fateful evening.

"Without Henri Paul and his actions that fateful night in Paris, I would not be able to come here, to Kensington Palace, to lay flowers, or make my pilgrimage to the memorial in Harrods or Hyde Park," said Hillary Billingsworth of Newton Abbott. "I never met Mr. Paul, but I could tell from his smile on that security video that he really was the people's chauffeur."

A wide range of memorabilia is available for those wishing to commemorate the death of such an historic figure. These include Ritz branded shot glasses bearing the chauffeur's signature, and a children’s Mercedes “stunt car” set complete with pose-able action figures.

The Daily Express is to mark the anniversary with a special edition filled with extensive allegations, rumours and innuendo detailing the conspiracy surrounding those fateful events on that tragic night, the life of Henri Paul and the establishment cover-up of his death that continues on both sides of the English Channel. Included will be a special colour supplement containing hundreds of paparazzi photos from the life of Mr. Paul and his celebrity acquaintances, including royalty and famous heirs.

Also on this day in 1997 the deaths of Dodi Al-Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales are remembered.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Inmates complain of poor Prison Service

The effects of the lightening strike called yesterday by the Prison Officers’ Association has tainted the image of the Prison Service with the strike's effect on many of its most loyal customers.

“It really wasn’t what I had come to expect from the Prison Service,” said Tony ‘The Spanner’, a regular resident who has had several stays at Her Majesty’s pleasure over the last two decades.

“When I arranged my stay, by assaulting and robbing a shopkeeper, I expected that I would be catered for by experienced and professional staff,” said Tony. “However today, with this strike action, the Prison Service has been shocking.”

Governors had a skeleton staff and instituted lockdown procedures. At HMP Walton in Liverpool, where Tony is currently staying, this meant that not only were prisoners restricted to their cells but lost other privileges.

“I expected my lunch to be around one o’clock with the rest of the lads,” said Tony. “You can imagine my annoyance at having to wait until three in the afternoon, and then to be offered only a cold sandwich. It’s a disgusting way to treat people, like something out of a Russian Gulag. Or Butlins.”

Tony said that he was not the only one to lose out on what they had become accustomed to receiving in Britain’s hard pressed prison service.

“Gerry ‘The Nail’ is convinced he has lost his place in the XBox rota. He said that someone is bound to overwrite his saved position on ‘Gears of War’,” explained the exasperated criminal. “For me, it was just such a lovely day that I wanted to take advantage of a tour of the historic yard here at Walton but couldn‘t without supervision. That’s the Nanny State for you.”

‘The Spanner’ said that his experience of today’s Prison Service might re-evaluate his future choices of where and when he stays.

“Well you know, there are certain expectations and, well, they aren’t being met. Still I am not a bitter man and I will document my feelings and communicate them as it traditional,” he said before his phone card ran out. “I will smear my own faeces on the wall of my cell and set fire to my mattress.”

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scientists disappointed by reaction to latest planetary discovery.

It has been revealed that the astronomical community has become dismayed at the level of coverage it is receiving in the mainstream media and highlights the dearth of coverage surrounding the latest breakthroughs in imaging the planet Uranus.

“Frankly we expected at least the Daily Star and The Sun to lead with some sort of pun regarding 'Rings around Uranus'” explained Professor J. Scott Billingsworth. “Really it was quite disappointing. We made the discoveries in January, but held the announcement over to the quiet summer 'Silly Season' especially for the tabloids, but there wasn't even a mention.”

Scientists have long claimed that media interest in their progress focusses on their torturing of small defenceless animals, or perhaps Frankensteinian references to the latest batch of killer tomatoes rampaging across our countryside.

“Really, that is all we get nowadays. We have eradicated terrible diseases, extended life expectancy, brought the universe into our living rooms and enabled distant travel and communication to the common man,” said the Professor. “But know one cares. No one even giggles when we mention that 'fans will be able to see a marvellous full moon during the Rugby', or when we notify the amateur astronomer that they can use their telescopes at home to view 'a heavenly body such as Venus and her impressive globes'.”

Astronomers have employed marketing gurus and comedians expert in the use of the 'double entendre' to make their announcements as enticing as possible, but the media seems resolutely disinterested.

“We recently renamed a whole Nebula after a leading female pop star so that we could make capital out of the celestial features within, which was partly successful,” explained Professor Billingsworth. “The mainstream media ignored us as usual, but the Internet search engines went crazy for our images of Beyonce's Black Hole.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

“Fit and Fat” campaign launched

Campaigners who are fed up with what they say is constant negative stereo-typing of the overweight have launched a new on-line campaign to publicise their claim that being a 'person of size' and physically active are not mutually exclusive.

"For too long people of size have been told by the conspiracy of so-called 'Doctors', 'fitness instructors' and the paramedics and firemen - that assist us when we pass out in shopping centres or get stuck in escalators - that our weight is a problem," said Michaela Billingsworth. "That is why we have launched 'Fit and Fat’ to spread the truth, that we don’t all have to be Lance Armstrong. People of size are as fit as they need to be."

The campaign is based around a YouTube channel were members can share their success stories through video diaries and give each other training and diet tips.

"We are leveraging the power of the Internet to help the 'FAF' community fight back against all those groups that have it in for us." explained Miss Billingsworth. "Without it most of our members would not be able to meet, on account of them being unable to fit into the deliberately small cars that are designed to keep us from spreading the truth."

Miss Billingsworth said the campaign had started via YouTube as it enabled members to overcome their computer access challenges.

"Computer manufacturers don't consider people of size when they make small fiddly keyboards which our fingers are too large for," she said. "Furniture manufacturers are also against us, since it is a stretch to reach the keyboard at all being jammed into small chairs. This way I can just yell into my webcam."

FAFers have posted videos explaining how they would be deemed by society to be obese but can in fact conduct normal lives as good as anyone.

"I defy any so-called thin person to come cycling with me," said one poster under the name JigglyJim. "I can cycle at least 2 miles to my local donut shop easily, as long as I take the flat route around the hill. In fact I have worn out several bikes through all my cycling which just shows another part of the conspiracy against people of size. Bike manufacturers should make frames and seat posts as strong as the gears – which never seem to wear out."

Another poster said it was possible to have a healthy diet despite the pressures of our modern fast paced lifestyles and gave a selection of tips that he said enabled him to get fit enough to use a normal toilet unaided.

"All of us have to use elevators, since it takes too long to walk up the stairs in modern office buildings, what with having to have a shower afterwards," explained BigBoner69. "For lunch I always get the 100% beef burger. However you need to balance that up with some fat and carbohydrates such as with a McFlurry. Or three." However he warned against dangers of over exertion. "Remember it is best practice to drive to your local KFC. You shouldn't do heavy physical exercise, such as a person of size walking, after eating a large meal."

Miss Billingsworth said that the media portrayed ridiculous stereotypes that people could not live up to, especially targeting businesswomen who might be vulnerable about their body shape.

"Why do adverts always show women in sleek business suits holding doors open for their male colleagues? You don't need to be able to reach the handle if they are automatic and sweat pants are so much more absorbent"

The YouTube channel is growing in popularity with new videos added daily, only some of which are obituaries. A popular area is that of the advice to "big boned" people to make sure they get the help to which they feel entitled.

"People of size often suffer from problems with their feet," says BigBoner69 in another video. "So make sure you ask the advice of the trained shoe shop assistants as to whether or not you have any slippers on."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Apple announces the “all new” iGimmick

Chief Executive Steve Jobs today announced the latest in Apple's range of consumer products. The product itself has typically been shrouded in some secrecy, although industry watchers had been following rumours circulating on the internet that company executives have found it difficult to cope after the climax of their iPhone hype.

“Our company, with its proud track record of producing the technological equivalent of old wine in new bottles, can now reveal the latest in technological marketing,” said Mr Jobs. “With our latest product we hope to push the envelope of gadget hype with the iGimmick and prove the strength of the Apple brand.”

Technology analysts today praised the innovation from Apple saying it was the natural evolution for the brand experience in long gestation, high desirability products such as the iPod, the iPhone and the much heralded Apple TV. Marketing analysts said it was pure genius of the company, to make the announcement when the product was only a name.

“Apple has always been at the forefront of promising to repackage existing ideas by announcing them early and then cherry picking the features of those that are quicker to market,” said technology blogger Mr Bloggy. “The timing is perfect since I have got my iPhone being shipped to me, so I need something else to camp out on the pavement for. Just talking to you now makes me want one, and no-one even knows what the product does! In fact I can feel myself developing a need that only the iGimmick will be able to satisfy.”

“We want our assure loyal customers, who perhaps could not see the inevitable arrival of our iPod Nano and so may have an iPod and iPod Mini gathering dust now that they have their iPhone, that the iGimmick will take years to get to market and be available in sufficiently small numbers so as to make sleeping on a cold street for three days seem worth it,” explained Mr Jobs during a press conference after this announcement. “The iGimmick will also continue that great tradition of the Apple brand, it will cost at least $100 more than our competitors' similar products, whatever they may turn out to be. However early adopters can rest assured that we know what you want - which is anything with the Apple logo on it.”

Apples denied rumours it was working with the Meteorological Office in each of its launch markets to select a suitably rainy launch date for the iGimmick.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Racist “overwhelmed by all the alternatives”

A long serving member of the British National Party has declared that he is now confused as to the plethora of choices on offer for his hate and how the changes in society mean that he isn't sure who is 'like us' and who isn't.

“When I was growing up, in the 1920s and 30s, it was fairly straightforward,” said Archie Billingsworth, 86. “I worry about the younger members as nowadays it is much more confusing as to who are the acceptable immigrants. I am too old to hate everyone.”

The pre-war years saw Britain as a nearly homogeneous society. The slums, tenements and desperate working conditions in factories were endured by the same ethnicity that was exploiting them. The prisons full of home grown murderers and rapists.

“There was only the Irish to hate,” he said. “We just had to make do with that and you had to be a lot more creative with your discrimination since they, by and large, are just like us.”

Archie said that later, with the influx of immigrants from the Caribbean, lured by the full employment era and the plethora of jobs in London Transport in particular he was able to easily expand his outlook towards new cultures.

“Well you know, it was a bit easier back then Obviously I would still not stay at a B&B that didn't have a 'No Irish' sign outside, but it was also easy to see of if they would let coloureds in,” he said. “You would think it would be easier nowadays, what with foreigners of all colours and creeds being here but it is quite complicated knowing where to focus my irrational feelings.”

Mr Billingsworth, like many of his generation, was startled to discover that not all sections of the Asian community like each other.

“Well, you don't know where you stand do you? Apparently some are from India, some Pakistan – they all look the same to me – but if they hate each other, well I don't know if I like that, some might have the same feelings towards each other as I do. That just isn't right.” said Archie.

He said he felt let down by the BNP leadership who unlike the nationalistic parties of the past were not being descriptive enough with dreaming up new problems.

“I have been a follower since I was old enough to join, from the British Union of Fascists, through the National Front, all the way to today's BNP. The thing is I need guidance from the BNP leadership otherwise how do I know which type of Asian to make assumptions about? Does all their food smell? Which ones cook in open fires on the floor of their council houses? By and large they keep themselves to themselves, so if the BNP don't publicise these stories how will I be disgusted?”

Archie says that he has not given up on the leadership of the BNP, he was pleased by their stance on immigrant workers, for example.

“Well it is full circle isn't it – like with the Irish when I was a lad. But apparently young people don't have a problem with them nowadays. It's very confusing. Take those millions of eastern European murderers I keep reading about in the Daily Mail that are taking the low paid and exploited jobs that are beneath an Englishman,” said Mr Billingsworth. “If I met one in the street I wouldn't have any reason to dislike them if it wasn't for the newspapers.”

Archie has been retired for over a quarter of a century and says that he has few creative outlets for his bitterness.

“Well you know, I am up for most kinds of prejudice. Nothing makes you feel better about yourself and your own lack of achievement. But I need to know clearly who it is that we are all hating. I have hidden in the mob all this time and I am too old to have my own opinion,” he complained. “In times as complex as these there needs to be more direction for the rank and file bigot.”

Despite some disillusionment with the direction the current BNP is taking, Archie sees no reason to change his allegiances as they approach their 60th year.

“Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the BNP leadership,” he said. “Some of my best friends are racists.”

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hillary Clinton in Penis Scandal

A storm has broken over the campaign of Hillary Clinton for US President when it emerged last night that Mrs Clinton does not have a penis. A college friend who is now working for the Republican Party revealed the shocking news.

"A group of us were on a hiking trip back in ‘68 and we were up in the hills chatting " explained Kurt Billingsworthski. "Hillary joked that it is OK for us guys to get ‘caught short’, we can stand behind a tree, but you know squatting in long grass isn’t fun if you're not sure what is in there."

Mr Billingsworthski had largely forgotten about the whole incident, until it became clear that Mrs Clinton was to run for election to President.

"Well I felt I just had to come forward and let the people know," he said. "President is such an important job. I know that this is 21st century America, so you know, we have to make sure all types of people get their chance. But this is such a major political issue for any man running for President."

Hillary Clinton has not commented on the matter, but the flames of controversy were further fanned upon news that Hillary was the parent of a child with a similar affliction. There has also been further speculation that Mrs Clinton may also have been born without testes.

"You see, this is it, you are either with penis or without. The American way of life will be threatened if we let people without a penis into a position of power," said Kurt. "All American Presidents have had a penis, just like all the people they represent. It is clear that the record of George W. Bush owes a lot to testes."

Supporters have argued that Mrs Clinton may in fact simply be a woman, a condition said to affect over half of US society. They add that rather than being ostracised people such as Hillary should be welcomed into the mainstream to add their diversity to the richness of American politics.

"That is the kind of unchristian, un-American talk that we are fighting everyday in this war on terror!" screamed Mr Billingsworthski. "These heathen people want to destroy our way of life – they want to ruin our Eden once more by giving a woman power. As a good Republican I know that, as sure as the earth is 6,000 years old, politics should only be conducted with a penis."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nation's last “left lane” driver retires his Hillman Imp

The last driver known to conform to good lane discipline on Britain’s motorways today announced, on his 75th birthday, that he was to hang up his driving gloves.

"I have been driving for over 55 years and recently have happily travelled everywhere in my little 1966 Mk II British Racing Green Hillman Imp," said Harry Woods, speaking to BBC Radio. "However the time has come for me to call it a day. I am not as young as I was."

The news was greeted with mixed reactions as a great many people lamented the inevitability of the human condition and car enthusiasts mourned one less roadworthy classic in daily use.

"It might not be capable of more than 50 mph, but it is reliable, come rain or shine," said Harry. "I don't like motorway driving – in fact I only use the short stretch between junctions 9 and 10 of the M25 - about six miles - so it doesn't bother me that I can't get out of the left hand lane."

However Francis Billingsworth, from Thurrock in Essex, said that she was unmoved as to the impact this announcement would have on her life. Francis, who drives a 2003 Ford Focus explained that it was people such as Harry that were the cause of her predilection for the middle lane of the motorway.

"I think I had to change lanes to overtake a green car on the M25 a couple of years ago. I haven't been in the slow lane since." explained Mrs Billingsworth. "I heard Harry's interview on the radio as I drove to see my daughter in Cobham. Well you know I turn off at Junction 10. So I got straight into the middle lane when I got on the M25 - about 40 miles early - just in case."

The RAC said today that as far as they are aware, Harry and his classic car represent a dying breed of motorist.

"It is the old traditions that are dying out," said a spokesman. "The classic car, the classic colour, and paying due attention to driving standards and proper lane behaviour. It is all from a different era."

Mrs Billingsworth was unrepentant, however, claiming that her motorway driving technique, of remaining steadfastly in the middle lane regardless of road conditions, was the safest approach.

"If I drove how so called experts, like the RAC, say is 'correct', then I might have to change lanes to overtake slower traffic, or perhaps to let lorries and green cars onto the motorway. Well it is difficult enough just keeping to my lane and not hitting the car in front if I am chatting. And before you go saying I am an 'unsafe driver', I should point out that I have been driving for over 30 years and have never had an accident," she said. "Although I have seen plenty in my rearview mirror."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

God condemned by senior figures

An open letter condemning God for the mysterious manner of His behaviour and the impact it is having on the reputations of senior community members was published today in several notable newspapers, including the London Chronicle and the New York Herald and was notable in being signed by authority figures from religion and popular culture.

“We felt that we had to express our disappointment at the lack of action that He is taking in terms of the behaviour of His followers,” explained Father Chris Mass, the group's spokesman. “It's all very well maintaining an air of mystery but we feel that the constant lack of guidance given to His followers is now starting to reduce the effectiveness of other figures of dubious provenance, such as myself.”

The letter says that whilst God (also known as Yahweh, Jehovah or Allah) is accepted as being omniscient and aware of all sins, and has historically favoured mass collective punishment in the manner of floods, fire and plagues, He has remained silent over the past two millennia. This has led to much heated speculation on subjects as diverse as: which of the sets of supposed 'Ten /commandments' is canon; whether it is correct to offer your daughter's virginity to settle debts or placate a mob; and if the VIP area of paradise does indeed bestow the prophets and martyrs 72 virgins each for their efforts in enhancing the believer/non-believer ratio in a given community.

“I take my work very seriously,” said Father Mass, “I make a list and I always check it twice, even though I know what all the children are doing all the time. Then, at the end of each year I can give them their behaviour reports – a toy if you are good, a lump of coal if you aren't. This leaves the children that believe in my method in no doubt as to where they stand.”

The Tooth Fairy said that she also felt that God's silence will not only affect the reputations of all figures of dubious provenance but would reduce her authority as a punisher of bad behaviour.

“I give regular feedback on the behaviour of younger children, in terms of the value of their milk teeth that I leave under their pillows, “ said Ashley Nymph.

“I am aware, like Father Mass, that as time has gone on children are ceasing to believe in me at earlier and earlier ages. Clearly without faith I am nothing . However today's child believers are tomorrow's adult evangelists and moral guardians. If God persists in leaving adults with no feedback as to how they are behaving one can only assume that they might stop believing and start letting each other live in peace and harmony in this life.”

“Despite my annual performance review for every child, delivered at great personal risk of alcoholism and high cholesterol I might add, children just aren't that concerned that their behaviour has consequences,” said Father Chris Mass. “They are getting their gifts elsewhere I think. I blame the parents myself. But in the future who is going to condemn homosexuals and pray to be teleported up to a celestial temple when the rapture comes? It's political incorrectness gone mad, I say.”

The letter suggests that God has a 'Duty of Care' over His adult charges and that He should fulfil His role as the signatories fulfil their duties for children. It is this work, the letter states, that leads people to express more evidence for the existence of Father Mass and Ms Nymph than for the Lord Himself.

“His believers are struggling to fit the entire fossil and geological record into a six thousand year old time frame,” added Ms Nymph. “If He doesn't provide some guidance soon, people might start to think it unbelievable that one man and a boat saved two of every species - whether herbivore or carnivore and whether water, ice or land based - from a large flood.”

God, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, were unavailable for comment however numerous people claiming to be their spokesman all dismissed the letter as preposterous, despite several of them claiming not to have read it in the first place.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Teenager discovers headphones

Tyler Billingsworth, 14, is now a local celebrity in the Stoke Bishop area of Bristol after making a chance discovery that has improved the journeys of everyone heading into and out of the city centre.

"The 1 and 54 bus routes are much more pleasant now since he showed his discovery to his friends," said Ada Fraser, 73, of Blackboy Hill "Although they still spend all day walking around in what looks like their pyjamas."

It was at the end of term and Tyler was on a school trip to the Science Museum in London when he noticed something interesting in a display of the changes in consumer goods throughout the 20th century.

"It was really boring so we were just hanging around playing music on our phones, but I couldn’t hear mine because James has the Sony Ericsson W610i, which is slightly louder," said Tyler, explaining the moment when he made the discovery. "I noticed that in the display was some ancient thing called a Personal Stereo, and it had these headphones on it."

When Tyler got home he asked his Dad about Personal Stereo’s and was amazed by what he found out.

"Yeah, in the olden days my Dad had one and he said he used it to listen to music on something called a tape. Apparently you downloaded songs from the radio. But you had to wait for it to be played!" said Tyler. "He also said that before personal stereos him and his mates used to listen to little radios that produced a really crappy tinny sound and the personal stereo was way better."

Tyler, frustrated by having his friends tinny music drowning out his own, discovered that the "hands-free" kit that came with his phone could act like the headphones on the old Personal Stereo.

"To be honest the sound quality still isn’t great, but I think that’s because most of the music I listen to has a lot of whining, shrieking vocals and using the headsphones at least I don't get embarrassed, unlike the other kids that people at the front of the bus snigger at," he said. "Funny, all this time I thought that those hands-free things were just for calling £1-a-minute 'quickie relief' lines."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Printing to be outlawed in public places

The government’s moves to ban printing in public places, following the revelations that the small particles of toner that are emitted can do damage to the lungs similar to that caused by smoking, has met fierce criticism from civil liberties groups and the National Union of Secretaries.

"I have been using laser printers dozens of times a day for nearly 20 years now," said Gregory Billingsworth an accountant at a large city brokerage house. "I need a good printed spreadsheet with my coffee to kick start the morning. As the day goes on there is nothing better to relieve the stress than to print out a nice memo or two."

Under the new legislation, which will take effect from the start of next month, it will be illegal to print in all public buildings. Anyone wishing to do so will have to make use of designated outdoor printing areas.

Campaign groups such as the People’s Union for Liberty in Printing (PULP) have rallied against the new legislation saying that it could have severe implications for not just the social interaction at the office printer but also for the larger economy in general.

"Printer manufacturers will suffer and the ban will do nothing to improve the health of the nation," said a representative of PULP. "People will probably catch their deaths standing in the cold and rain whilst their daily status report is printed."

Assertions that the new laws will provide a safer working environment for all concerned and hasten the march to the long awaited ‘paperless office’ have not convinced serial printers.

"I have used everything from the original HP Laserjet back in the mid 80s to the latest full colour multifunction devices and I will continue to enjoy printing documents," said Mr Billingsworth. "The law is draconian, making normal citizens spy on each other. Where will it stop? Next someone will say that if I am working late in the office I can’t light up a cigarette after faxing my secretary."

We've been here before