Team GB Success Causes Medalmania

With the runaway success of Team GB at the Rio Olympics, British people are now expecting medals for virtually every activity.  The phenomenon was first observed after Adam Peaty took the gold for the 100m breaststroke on day 2 of the Olympics, whereupon a fight broke out between two pensioners at the early-bird swim in the Wavertree Aquatics Centre in Liverpool over the pool attendant’s refusal to hold an award ceremony using some benches and a stack of floats as a podium.

Initially, the problem seemed to be confined to sporting activities.  The Hull Ladies’ Crown Green Bowling Club hired local lad Reece Shearsmith at great expense to decorate them for their victory over the Humber Bowling Demons Ladies’ team, choosing to play Housemartins hit ‘Happy Hour’ instead of the national anthem during the ceremony.  In Cornwall, a last-minute sprint gave Mevagissey man Dan Polter a victory over Devonian outsider Alan Hammond-Jones in the charity egg-and-spoon race at the parish church of St Kentigern, before a ceremony on the village green, attended by local dignitaries and Derek Thomas, the Conservative MP for St Ives.

However, as the Team GB Rio medals have stacked up, so has medalmania in the UK.  The insistence on being given not only a medal, but an accompanying solemn ceremony with a podium, a flag and music, has now spread into less obvious pursuits.  Police had to be called to a branch of Aldi in Cardiff when a woman demanded to see the manager after she claimed to be due a gold medal for getting her shopping into the bags at the same speed at which it had been fed through the scanner.  She was charged with common assault, fined and banned from all branches of Aldi in Wales for twelve months.  Further incidents of medalmania include unrest caused by people who were upset at not receiving medals for ‘getting a Renault Captur into a tight parking space’,  ‘putting a USB stick into the slot the right way up first time’ and ‘understanding all of the lyrics of Come On, Eileen’.

While many of the incidents of medalmania have been dealt with in a timely and relatively trouble-free manner, the authorities are concerned that the attitude could become ingrained in British culture, adding billions of pounds to the cost of an already strained infrastructure.  An emergency session of parliament was called to discuss the growing crisis.  Michael Fallon was awarded the gold medal for ‘shouting for the longest before being told to pack it in by the Speaker’.

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North Pole to be relocated to the South Pole

In an unexpected announcement, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Norway and the United States have revealed that the Arctic region is to be transported southwards until it becomes a continuation of the Antarctic.  The unprecedented accord between traditionally hostile countries has been brought about during specially arranged discussions over a period of months and orchestrated by a United Nations special committee.

“It seemed logical to combine the two areas for a number of reasons” said a spokesperson.  “With the ice caps melting, there have been large gaps between ice fields and these can now be eliminated.  Furthermore, exploratory expeditions don’t need to pick one area to travel to because they’ll be going to both poles at once.  It’s very economical.”  It had been suggested that the motives for stripping the North Pole of its ice might involve making access easier for oil drills but this has been hotly refuted by all parties.  “If it happens to make things easier for Shell, then that’s an unintended side effect.” remarked one member of the special committee, who declined to reveal how many of its number have shares in the controversial oil company.

northpole

The Arctic in its present location

Conservation groups have issued statements of concern over the fate of the Arctic fauna, such as the polar bear and the Arctic fox; while the specific concerns have yet to be addressed, a brief rebuttal was issued, claiming that the mathematical projections have been promising for most animals ‘apart from the penguins and there are loads of them’.

 

 

Discussions have yet to take place regarding the name for the newly expanded region, although there have been a number of ideas generated by Twitter users.  At the last count, the most popular possibilities were Biarctica, Panpolia and the Northern Powerhouse.

Conspiracy theorist thwarted by Lemmy’s birthdate

A professional conspiracy theorist from Kent has expressed disappointment that Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, of the band Motörhead, didn’t die five days earlier, when he was still 69.  Dan Lessing, 44, claims this ruined his chances of fabricating a perfect conspiracy theory from the tragic coincidence of both David Bowie and Alan Rickman dying aged 69 from cancer, the disease that also killed Lemmy.  “I’m totally devastated at the deaths of these giants of the entertainment world.” Lessing told us, “But as they’re gone anyway, it’s just a shame I can’t make their passing a little more dramatic and sinister with a rumour that dark forces were involved.  Or the royal family, which is much the same.”

The father of four, who gave up his insurance sales job in 1997 to focus on perfecting a conspiracy theory about Diana, Princess of Wales, said he had considered trying out a couple of theories regarding Bowie and Rickman, but added “Everybody knows there have to be at least three for it to catch on.”

Mixed success

Some of Lessing’s better known conspiracies include the Wingdings font predicting the 911 attacks, cars which run on household rubbish being suppressed by the oil industry and the existence of a cure for the common cold since 1968.  While these have gained considerable support, many of Lessings attempts have fallen flat:

  • In 2004, he said that David James had died in a car accident and been replaced in the England squad by a female lookalike from a rugby union club in Hull
  • In 2010, he claimed there was evidence that Ken Bruce was the Grand Master of the British cadre of the Illuminati
  • Since 1999, he has cast doubt that the Battle of Hastings happened, insisting that the Bayeux Tapestry was just a big comic strip, intended only for entertainment purposes

In spite of experiencing these setbacks, Lessing sees great hope for his profession in the future due to the rise of social media.  “In 1997, I spent weeks sending letters to newspapers and telling people in the pub what had really happened to Diana – God rest her beautiful soul – and it cost me a fortune in stamps and beer.  Nowadays, I only need to tweet once and it turns up everywhere.”

When we asked him if he was working on anything at the moment, he said he was keeping a close eye on some 69-year-old celebrities and had a ‘special project’ in the pipeline; he refused to elaborate much due to fears that someone may steal his theory. He hinted, however, that it involves Jeremy Corbyn, a Russian cloning laboratory and a reported grave robbing at Highgate Cemetery in 1948.

A Guide to Health and Safety in Christmas Songs

Many Christmas songs contain lyrics that might lead revellers to do things that have a high level of risk.  In the very popular ‘The Christmas Song’, for example, the lyrics make ‘Jack Frost nipping at your nose’ seem like a harmless winter occurrence, whereas it is actually very dangerous to allow extremities to become frostbitten and can lead to tissue loss and permanent disfigurement.

As a precaution, I have highlighted some of the most severe examples of health and safety violation in some of the most popular Christmas songs.  Be safe, people.  Happy Christmas and I’ll see you in the New Year – if we all survive!

songsafety

 

Jeremy Corbyn (For Michael Hogan, with apologies to The Beatles)

(To the tune of Eleanor Rigby)

Ah look at all the Labour people
Ah look at all the Labour people

Jeremy Corbyn, picks up the votes
In the race where Liz Kendall has been
Lives in a dream.
Reading the papers, then he finds out
That he’s been slagged off by Tony Blair
What does he care?

All the Labour people
Where have they all come from?
All the Labour people
Where do they all belong?

Here’s Andy Burnham, toeing the line
And pretending he didn’t wimp out,
He has no doubt!
Look at him working, selling himself
As the one that can make a breakthrough.
But is it true?

All the Labour people
Where do have all come from?
All the Labour people
Where do they all belong?

Ah look at all the Labour people
Ah look at all the Labour people

And Yvette Cooper?  Haven’t a clue what she stands for
Because she won’t say,
Out loud anyway!
Look at Liz Kendall, swearing she’s red
When it seems to the world as if she’s.
Tory instead!

All the Labour people
Where have they all come from?
All the Labour people
Where did it all go wrong?

Breakthrough in Hipster Study

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire have published the results of a long-term study into the effects of wearing unnecessary glasses and the habitual overuse of irony.  The study was funded by the NHS because of a widespread syndrome, termed Chronic Hipster Affective Disorder (CHAD).

Beards and hats

The problem has been observed in both sexes up to the age of 72, but most commonly affects males between the ages of 17 and 30.  Symptoms include heavy beard growth (mostly males), a propensity for using archaic language forms and a strong inclination to wear hats.  The report details how researchers recognised a strong correlation between reading late 19th-century German poetry and listening to Finnish harpsichord music and the early onset of CHAD.  Initially, volunteers were persuaded to take part in the study as it was the first of its kind; however, as the study moved into its second year, only those volunteers prepared to take part in an ironic way remained and after two years, scientists were forced to carry out their observations in the sufferers’ natural environment.

The hipster environment

According to the chief researcher, Dr. Elizabeth Barker, the main problem with this new approach was the difficulty of tracking sufferers, as one of the predominant effects of CHAD is to blind the individual to their own condition.  However, the team used an ingenious approach; they set up a number of locations likely to attract suitable candidates, such as an old cinema in which they only showed films made in Sweden between 1928 and 1953, an organic vegan café and a pop-up shop selling broken pre-war typewriters, photography equipment and bicycle parts.

Tainted evidence

Although the study was able to confirm a strong connection between CHAD and an obscure taste in entertainment and wardrobe, Dr. Barker stressed that the team had been unable to ascertain whether CHAD caused these issues or whether the issues led to CHAD.   One of the UCLan team volunteered to sample some German poetry, embark on a macrobiotic diet and wear hand-distressed skinny jeans for a 6-month period, but by the time it was confirmed that he was a CHAD sufferer, he was claiming that he’d liked these things before he’d begun the trial and, in fact, before anybody else liked them.  This claim skewed the evidence, making it unsuitable for inclusion in the report.

A cure for CHAD?

While not in the remit of the study, UCLan believes it could pave the way for finding a way to control, or even cure, the syndrome, which claims millions of work hours each year, due to ennui and corduroy shortages.  In an unexpected twist, one of the subjects appeared to make a sudden recovery when he accidentally observed footage of himself explaining why he only ever buys music on vinyl.  According to Dr. Barker, the subject was heard to exclaim “What a tosser!”, before buying larger trousers and a smaller coat.  The report is available as a download from the university website and has also been published in The British Journal of Psychology.  In the hope that it may reach those in need of help, UCLan have also allowed the findings to be included in ‘Cucumber’, an arts magazine sold only in upcycling centres throughout the UK.