Villagers in Nottinghamshire are celebrating after raising over £4000 to help fund vital research into locating a set of keys lost over ten years ago. The East Bridgford Find My Keys Project was set up in 2003 after semi-professional jelly mould designer Keith Mortice mislaid his keys following an evening at a local nightclub.
Initially funding the search from his own savings, Keith spent three days turning his house upside down, during which time he undertook a thorough investigation of the gap behind the fridge and a systematic analysis of the cupboard under the sink. These efforts having proven fruitless, he subsequently widened his area of activity by retracing his steps back to the club. However, the money soon ran out, bringing Keith's efforts to a halt, and it was only after receiving donations from concerned locals that he was able to resume.
To date the East Bridgford Find My Keys Project has raised enough capital for Keith to conduct extensive searches of five counties, has paid for the services of a private detective, facilitated the commissioning of a spectrographic analysis of Keith's garage and finally provided the means for him to replace the carpet in his front room.
So far no trace of the missing keys has been uncovered.
Despite the lack of success, Keith remains hopeful that his keys will eventually be found, and is delighted that the influx of cash from this latest fundraising effort will allow him to extend the search still further.
"I'm flying out to the Seychelles tonight," he told us when we found him at home, trying on the new beachwear that he'd just bought. "I've had information that my keys were spotted lying in a rock pool on Assumption Island and I want to check it out before the tide has chance to wash them out to sea."
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It was just over a year ago that the first case of 'house pox' was reported. It came to light in Sunderland after Mr Iain Bolan noticed a series of small, regular bulges in the brickwork of his bungalow as he left for work one morning. By the time he returned home, these bulges had broken out into a pattern of swollen red marks.
Neither Iain's doctor nor any of the local building firms could offer any help or explanation and eventually Iain had to contact a fancy house doctor in that there London. The house doctor diagnosed the outbreak as a new and dangerously virulent strain of property pox, told Iain to slather the walls liberally in calamine lotion and charged him three hundred and fifty quid.
Since that time, numerous other cases of house pox have come to light, affecting residential properties, public buildings and businesses. At the time of writing, reports are rapidly approaching epidemic proportions.
Vaccinations for houses are available, but sadly no one has yet developed a syringe sturdy enough to deliver them. For this reason it has been suggested that a cull is the only practical way forward, meaning that properties deemed to be most at risk of infection will be bulldozed, even if they currently display no symptoms of contagion.
This action, the government believes, will prevent further transmission of the disease, but there remains considerable concern that the proposed demolition sites are predominantly in deprived areas of low-cost and social housing.
When this was pointed out to the minister in charge, his reply was "And?"
A local council in the south of England has come under fire after failing to fill in a pothole at one of its busiest road junctions. Complaints about the pothole have risen sharply in recent weeks in the wake of numerous reports of damage to vehicles, further erosion of the road surface and the disappearance of a small dog.
Nevertheless, in spite of the outcry, council officials claim that they have been prevented from dealing with the problem because the pothole has been declared a site of special scientific interest.
"We had some chap turn up from the nearby university," said borough surveyor Mr Walter Theodolite. "He brought along all this shiny and expensive-looking equipment, poked around, took some measurements then told us that our pothole was not a pothole at all but a quantum fluctuation in the fabric of space-time and that we weren't to touch it. He also said, cosmically speaking, that patching it with tarmac was very unlikely to provide a permanent solution in any case.
"Well, we thought that was that, but not long after he shuffled off some fellers from the local army base arrived and a major general type, with a seriously intimidating number of medals, tells us that it's not a quantum fluctuation at all but a portal to another dimension - and that we're not to fill it in until they've had chance to come back and drop a couple of mortar bombs down it, just in case.
"So they toddle off and hot on their heels are some hippies from 'Friends of the Radish', or something - nice people, even if one of them seemed to have something nesting in his beard. Now, he pooh-poohed the idea of a quantum fluctuation, and he ridiculed the notion of it being a dimensional portal, but he was deadly earnest about it being a blowhole for Mother Earth and that if we filled it in the planet would suffocate."
And there the matter would appear to stand, much to the dismay of local residents and the embarrassment of local councillor John Bull, member of the 'I'm Not Racist, But' party, who campaigned on the problem of potholes in the last election, desperately alleging that immigrants were using them to enter the country illegally and steal our benefits.
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Stuffed with new material and old favourites, Recalled to Life is 280 pages of plumptiousness and very probably exactly what you need to prop up that wonky old table in the kitchen.
Find out more here.
Across the Atlantic by land
Keyreading for beginners
"Going round the world by elastic..."
Relax with chickens
The word on the street
"Conclusive proof of the existance of cheese..."
The National Meterological Front (NMF), the para-military wing of the Met Office, have stepped up attacks on civilian targets following broadcasters' recent refusals to acquiesce to their demands. The NMF is disatisfied with five minute weather bulletins following the news, and wants these expanded into full half hour programmes with higher production values, special guests and dancing girls. It wants all its presenters to be accorded similar status to other TV stars and given their own dressing rooms and parking spaces. It is also looking for funding for a film based loosely on the day-to-day life of an ordinary TV weatherman, who gets involved in a mob shooting whilst forcasting a belt of low pressure over Scotland. If they don't get what they want, the NMF promises further outrages, similar to the recent thunderbolt attack on a shopping mall in Lincoln. There may also be severe hailstorms moving in from the west, giving way to scattered showers later in the day - so be sure to wrap up warm, won't you.
"The world's fattest man suffered a fatal earthquake in the early hours of the morning..."
"Welcome to today's edition of Diagnosis..."
"The police haven't always taken such a proactive approach to enlistment..."
"It's always best to rest against something solid, such as a small horse..."more...
of the Bleeding Obvious
All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2014, and may not be reproduced without the express permission of the author. All characters, companies and organisations are fictitious, and any similarity to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.