The enemy is listening for your flatulence. Watch your emissions.
Maisy Donnington is your guide to the wonderful world of cheese
The inner workings of nun manufacture
Turn that frown upside down
Keeping senior management out of trouble with colouring books.
Next week sees the start of a legal action which could auger a new age for the space industry. In the case known as Mr Alexander Cravat vs The European Space Agency, the plaintiff, Mr Cravat, is seeking damages against the ESA because one of their satellites has been casting a permanent shadow over his house for the last twenty years.
Lurkersat is an artificial satellite that was launched in 1997 to conduct long term studies into the presence of icing sugar in the upper atmosphere. Not only was this mission expensive, frivolous and entirely pointless, it was also apparently necessary to place the satellite in a fixed geostationary orbit above number 22 High Street, Shepton Bassett, and Mr Cravat has experienced a permanent eclipse ever since.
In a recent interview Mr Cravat said that the last two decades had been 'absolute hell'. Lurkersat, he says, has been responsible for drastically lowering the value of the property, has directly led to the breakdown of his marriage and has had a catastrophic impact on his health, mainly as a result of vitamin D deficiency.
"The most heart-breaking thing is that I can't even enjoy my garden anymore, " he told us. "I used to be quite a keen gardener. I even won prizes for my fruit and veg. But now my tomatoes are all soggy and my turnip has gone limp. It's very sad."
The European Space Agency has not responded to the complaint, nor has it issued a statement of any kind. They have given no indication that they are taking the action seriously and it seems unlikely that anyone from the organisation will be in attendance at the preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
Most legal experts concur that Mr Cravat stands very little chance of success unless he can prove that the ESA were negligent when deciding where to stick their satellite. Mr Cravat, on the other hand, believes that the issue of negligence doesn't enter into it. He is firmly of the opinion that the ESA deliberately placed their satellite in orbit over his house because he was rude to one of their staff during a booze run to Boulogne in 1991. Experts await the outcome of the case with interest.
The British Royal family are a great source of interest, both within the UK and abroad, with their wacky displays of precision waving, their practiced ease in unveiling plaques and their bizarre dysfunctional home lives.
But what of the cost? Running a Royal Family will set you back twenty million pounds a year just in hay alone, but on top of that you've got legal fees, medical costs, general maintenance, bungs to the press and Prince Andrew's weekly kebab allowance. So, with all that in mind, it's no wonder that any ideas aimed at reducing expenditure are given serious consideration.
One proposal currently on the table is 'Pop-Up Royals'. These would be flattened versions of our current Royals that would be cheaper to store, could be sent easily via courier or through the mail, and could be deployed quickly and with the minimum of fuss whenever there was a need for some important person to open a community centre, shake an old person's hand or be photographed ambling through a freshly painted industrial unit, pointing at things.
These Pop-Up Royals would be created by flattening our current batch of Royals and then pasting them onto a retractable banner, and the company presently tendering for the contract is keen to point out how painless the process will be.
"It won't hurt us one bit," laughed spokesman Luke Chorley. "Only joking! Honestly though, our precious Royals will hardly feel a thing. It stings a little when they go under the giant roller, but the discomfort soon passes. I'll be straight with you, the process does involve a bit of 'crumpling' but most of the Royal family are pretty creased already. In fact, I can think of a couple where it might be an improvement, eh, eh?
"Ahhh, just pulling your leg. Seriously, aside from the occasional unavoidable rip, they'll be fine. We know how important the Royal family is and we know how quickly the nation would grind to a halt if they weren't around to do all the many, many great things that they do, whatever they are. I think one of them flies a helicopter, yes?
"In fact, I'd go as far as to say that we'd have them pressed, mounted and back to living off the flat of the land in no time, ha, ha, ha, ha! D.you see? 'Flat' of the land? They'll be living of the 'flat' of the land. Ahh, don't mind me, I'm just the joker in the pack. Did you know I do stand-up?"
Sick of having to rely on specialist high street jar opening services?
There's nothing worse than being unable to open that oh-so-important jar at a party, family celebration or political rally. Well, almost nothing worse. Cutting yourself shaving is pretty annoying. Missing a bus is a real pain in the arse. Then there's catching a cold, or getting a boil, or, you know, leprosy and stuff.
Actually, there are quite a lot of things that are worse than not being able to open a jar, but that's not important right now. The point is you can't go on a course that will teach you to avoid missing a bus or contracting leprosy, but you can enrol on a programme to help you open jars.
Want to learn the secrets of the Jar Openers? Pop-a-Cap shows you how.
Oh yes, the Pop-a-Cap Programme is an intensive four day course which will introduce you to the secret jar opening methods of transcendental Buddhist monks. Practise little-known twisting techniques. Understand the importance of leverage and tapping. Master the ancient Tibetan death grip and learn how to remove stubborn lids with just the force of your personality.
Gain mastery over the laws of physics and become one with the cosmos.
Well maybe that's pushing it a bit far, but you'll certainly be better at opening jars, which is kind of a start.
Lifting the lid on the art of opening
Ask about our special juice carton and blister pack deals.
Residents are up in arms following proposals by West Devon Borough Council banning the use of cheese in mousetraps to protect rodents that are lactose intolerant.
"It's political correctness gone mad," said local big mouth Tracy Sponge. "I've been using cheese in mousetraps for over thirty years and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it."
Tracy, whose house is filthy and a beacon for vermin, has considerable experience when it comes to despatching rats, mice, foxes and the occasional small horse unwise enough to cross her threshold. She prefers to throttle them with her bare hands, but struggles to cope with the sheer volume and so uses traps to keep on top of the problem. She believes that a ban on dairy products will hit her hard.
"It's the loony lefty euro-bollocks do-goody health and safety brigade sticking their oar in again," she said. "It makes me want to spit. They've no right to tell me how I can kill things in the comfort and privacy of my own home. Phooey!"
Meanwhile, the council takes the view that it has a responsibility for the welfare of all animals in the borough, as their Head of Ants, Colleen Scratchit explained. "When we banned flypaper as a way of preventing insects from getting all sticky, there was uproar," she told us. "But in the twenty-first century we do have a responsibility. As a result of our actions the council was awarded a certificate. Yes, you heard me, a certificate. This kind of recognition is not something that you can take lightly and I think it clearly demonstrates that we are on the right track.
"Now we are looking to continue that good work and we are proposing this measure in response to the latest scientific studies - oh yes, scientific studies - on the effects of dairy products on mice."
Mrs Scratchit was referring to the recent work of a group in Cambridge which spent six months force-feeding Dairylea to a selection of small animals. What resulted from this experiment were significant numbers of listless gerbils, bloated rabbits and fat mice.
Mr Squeaks was unavailable for comment.
"You can't argue with facts," Mrs Scratchit said. "Because facts are facts, and that's a fact. We want to be leading the way on this, and I think by and large the public will approve. I mean, do we really want to see lactose intolerant mice wandering around, all blotchy and giddy and grumpy? No, of course not. Only by making certain that we avoid using dairy products in traps can we ensure that mice in the West Devon area are alert, vigorous and healthy when they get their necks snapped. And, more importantly, we might just be in line for another certificate."
In ugly scenes earlier today, Mr Ronald Hiccup, the mayor of Shepton Bassett, was removed from office. "We've known this was coming for a long time," said a member of the council. "We tried to warn the fat bastard to stop chucking pies down his neck and now it's finally reached the point where he couldn't get through the door."
Fire crew arrived shortly after 5pm and removed Mr Hiccup from his office using crowbars, sledgehammers and a considerable quantity of Vaseline. The process resulted in substantial damage to the fabric of the town hall, which is a Grade II listed building and a site of significant historic interest.
The rescue also resulted in some superficial damage to the fabric of Mr Hiccup, but he's not a site of significant historic anything.
See the full list
Relax with chickens
The word on the street
The latest in laser eye surgery
An actor remembers
"Comedy is something that occurs at a sub-atomic level..."
"A rancid, petulant wheelbarrow of death..."
Congratulations to Helen Dampney-Collier, who won a well deserved gold medal last week at this year's International Drowning Championships in New Zealand. She has become the first professional British drowner to win the event since 1974, romping to victory with a personal best of 10.4 seconds. Her funeral will take place this Tuesday.
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All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2016, 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.