Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Swine Flu helpline service recovers after journalists stop phoning with fake symptoms

The National Pandemic Flu website and helpline were today said to be receiving normal levels of calls now that the nations’ journalists had stopped phoning up with fake symptoms and had moved on to discussing the location of Michael Jackson's nose.

“The service peaked shortly after it was launched with some 2,600 journalists using the website each second,” said a spokesman for the NHS. “It takes each journalist four or five goes through the flowchart to then be prescribed the Tamiflu they don't need and it was this that caused an overload on the service.”

In addition to the website traffic the helpline received a further 10,000 calls from journalists impatient at a trial-and-error approach to the computer's questions and were hoping to be able to charm a call-centre worker - who has only had basic training - into agreeing to release one more pack of medication for a very weak strain of flu, just in case.

“This whole system is a complete sham,” said TV reporter Tessa Billingsworth. “After half a dozen goes on the website, and studying Wikipedia, I was able to waste valuable time and resources by phoning up with pretend symptoms from a completely different disease and they gave me Tami-Flu. To make sure we got different angles for the piece to camera I actually had to pretend to be several different people, it took hours and tied up at least three people's time. I was a disgrace.”

The National Health Service says that since the initial flurry of stories spread so quickly, call rates have dropped to a much more manageable number.

“Now that the kids have broken up for the summer holidays the chances of a last minute cheap deal have gone so we should see infection rates drop,” said a spokeswoman. “Especially as the airports are on the look-out to detect all the 'sick-notes' who have got themselves two extra week's holiday by getting their family to cough down the phone to the helpline.”

However the government re-stated its warning that infection rates are expected to pick up in the autumn as seasonal flu rates rise naturally and people fancy extending their summer by jetting off to the Mediterranean and need an excuse to take the kids out of school.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Docklands Light Railway to introduce new Business Class Section aimed at Goldman Sachs employees

London's Docklands Light Railway service is to introduce new premium sections in the hope of attracting more affluent travellers to coincide with the increase in capacity being offered by the planned “three car” project.

“The economy is improving. I think. I mean what with Goldman Sachs staff getting some £3bn in pay and bonuses,” said Jack Billingsworth, spokesman for Docklands Light Railway. “These city types getting on at Bank want to travel in comfort on the long-haul 30 minute run as far as Island Gardens – we don't expect any will travel south of the river on the new City Twat Express.”

The new business service will be introduced at the start of 2010 to occupy the new third carriage being added to the DLR trains.

“The clientèle will be young city bankers keen to spunk their bonuses on anything that makes them look successful, or at least like a smug bastard,” said Billingsworth. “The new seats will costs £4,500 return, which we believe compares very well with the comparable twat service from London to New York”

However many people have criticised the new business class as an inefficient use of space on a service that has seen great demand as the Docklands area has grown over the last two decades.

“That was then. Now, aside from Goldman living it high on all the bank bailouts, no one else can afford to top up their Oyster cards,” said Billingsworth. “The way the redundancies are going three carriages might be two too many. We might be able to put full double-beds into the other carriages.”

Docklands Light Railway confirmed that they are to offer a sleeper service on the 24 minute Bank to City Airport service, but denied it was to be called the “Inter-City Quickie.”

Friday, July 10, 2009

Women too fat to see their own feet complain M&S shoes make them look frumpy

The board of Marks & Spencer was today reeling from an onslaught of complaints made during the company's Annual General Meeting that its shoes make middle-aged women weighing over 18 stone look unattractive.

“I shop with my daughter, since we are both big boned and can only see each others' feet,” said Irene Billingsworth, shopping with her daughter, Jean. “No matter which pair we tried on, we both felt that none of them made us look like size 10 models.”

Marks and Spencer said that they were convinced that they had a wide range of shoes in their stores and that they attempted to provide stylish footwear for all.

“But, frankly, they are shoes, if you are wearing a size 20 dress you need a hall of mirrors to look good,” said a spokesman. “We sell shoes not bloody miracles.”

Shareholders also complained that the range of clothing on offer for shoppers who know where the escalators are, but not the stairs, was not flattering enough. They point to other retailers, such as Evans - the retailer for women who are pleased their stores are near Greggs pie shop, which has recently launched a new designer range.

“We are really pleased to announce the new Beth Ditto Collection,” said an Evans spokesman. “It is an especially good value range, having been derived from a former deal with Millets for a brand of floral print tents.”

The high street challenge of looking good is not confined solely to the female pie enthusiast, and it is hoped the new range endorsed by breakfast time news avoider Eamonn Holmes will provide for the larger gentleman too. The range includes an extra high desk and wide screen laptop to hide behind.