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.