THE OSBOURNES, Bog Society, Sunday (NTN) — A survey by fraud investigators has revealed their top ten worst excuses used by the evil benefit cheats depriving you, yes you, of valuable pennies you could have put toward your next pint.
- “We didn’t realise the NHS needed that six billion quid, we just had to make a few million phone calls.”
- “Don’t tell me you give a shit about the tax your supermarket pays if you get your milk 2p cheaper.”
- “It was a necessary and unavoidable cost of doing business to route every penny through Switzerland.”
- “Kate Moss on my arm or you getting to study. I mean, let’s get serious here.”
“Benefit fraud is no joke,” said welfare reform minister Lord Fraud, “and yet our investigators are routinely dealing with barefaced cheek and ridiculous excuses for stealing money from the taxpayer.
“Fortunately, they’re mates of George’s, so we can get on with scapegoating victims we’re fairly sure probably can’t fight back. You weren’t limping on the way in here, were you?”
DOOM, Spawn Camping, Saturday (The Word) — The Lord God, the Creator of the Universe, offered His commiserations to every soul in His Creation that they had failed to reach the standard of faith required for Rapturing today.
Thousands of dedicated Christians were not uplifted bodily to Heaven, in a wave of Rapture circling the globe at six o’clock in the evening local time.
“The Manual is extremely clear on these points,” He said through His Voice, Metatron (“I keep telling you, I’m an angel, not a Transformer”). “You mix fibres, you eat shellfish, you defecate closer than a mile from the city, you sit on a chair that your wife has ever sat on when she was on her period. And you have completely ignored the detailed instructions in the first chapter of Leviticus on how the Lord likes His barbecue.” It shook Its head in exasperation. “You’ve had the Book right there, for years!”
Atheists, originally revelling in snide and superior schadenfreude, were more than a little chagrined by the actual Voice of God quite unambiguously revealing Its existence and telling the world what it had got wrong by direct communication into the soul of every human on Earth. Millions have now signed up for the Church of Reluctantly Conceding, All Right, I Have the Verifiable Proof I was Asking For, Just Don’t Get Cocky About It, Okay.
“Never mind,” sighed Metatron. “We’ll give it another go next December, all right? Just please read the blessed Manual by then. It’s not like it’s hard to get a copy.”
ONE INFINITE LOOP, Purgatory, Wednesday (NTN) — Neuroscientists have found that religious fervour lights up the same parts of the brain as waiting in line for your devotions at the Apple Store.
The scientists were interviewed by a BBC programme exploring the fantastically lucrative and popular brands springing up around the supernatural. Religions such as “Christianity” parody the story of the semi-mythical Steve Jobs’ virgin birth, adoption by a humble Silicon Valley family, founding of Apple, expulsion from the fold, decade in the wilderness and triumphant Second Coming, in which devotees were led to enlightenment, glory and hipness.
“We suspect religions may be memetic parasites latching onto the areas of the brain evolved to appreciate Apple products,” said one scientist whose name is being withheld for protection from outraged Apple jihadis. “The scans of ‘religion’ appear remarkably similar — the adrenal glands are stimulated and the same areas of the visual regions light up. Somewhat in the shape of an apple. No, really! Apple-shaped brain stigmata! I’ve contacted Cupertino with news of a miracle, and put the scans up on eBay.”
Cupertino’s response was frosty. “To have the sacred enlightenment of the products of our saviour Steve maligned by comparison to mere witchdoctor cultist mumbo-jumbo is no less than a calculated insult. One important difference is that our stuff works. … If you hold it right.” The spokesman then compared the neuroscientist’s mother to a PC.
“The comparison is ridiculous,” said “religious” leader Joe “Happy Heil” Ratzinger. “We’re just out to make an honest buck like anyone. Well, fairly honest.”
WOLMAR, Beeching, Thursday (NTN) — A review has found that rail fares in Britain need to be brought down using a combination of magic beans, flying unicorns, farmyard fertiliser and, of course, cuts to services and wages.
The cost of running the network is 30% higher than other European railways. Stated reasons include the gross irresponsibility of continuing to provide wages and services, though massive and ongoing PFI subsidies to private railway operating companies for running networks into the ground was strangely not mentioned.
The report, sponsored by the previous government but to be ignored just as hard by this one, also recommends giving track maintenance back to the private companies who had done so well at Potter’s Bar and Paddington.
The railway franchise operating companies expressed concern at the report, and particularly for whether they were getting value for money from their donations to the Conservative Party. They also suggested new “capsule” carriages allowing peak-hour customers to be stacked in tubes on flat-bed trucks, with first-class passengers getting a tube to themselves.
Passenger advocacy groups gave up at this point, having worked out that sponsoring a charter helicopter flight for daily commuting was faster, cheaper and safer.
CATHEDRAL AND BIZARRE, Waterloo, Monday (NTN) — Research in Motion have broken new barriers with the PlayBook tablet, a BlackBerry that can’t read email. And needs to be tethered to a phone.
“We feel a technology preview is just the thing we need to fight iPhone and Android in the consumer market,” said founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. “The missing core functionality should be seen as areas of spectacular potential. Also, the board has ascertained that you should stay away from the brown acid, it’s not so good.”
The PlayBook has launched remarkably, with thousands of the devices being recalled for crippling operating system bugs straight after release.
In a double-tap Osborne through the head, the PlayBook uses the new QNX BlackBerry OS, which does not run current BlackBerry apps, will not be available on phones for another year and will not work on any current BlackBerry device. This is separate from OS 7, to be released soon, which will also not work on any existing BlackBerry. RIM’s present mobile carrier partners were “overwhelmed” to be stuck with so much already-obsolete stock.
RIM led the world into the smartphone era, several years before Apple’s iPhone turned everyone into the sort of twat you only ever used to see carrying a BlackBerry.
Technology industry rumours suggest a Microsoft takeover of RIM, considered an excellent match in competence and vision. “Synergy’s just another word for two and two makes one!” said Steve Ballmer. “We will assimilate your technological stench of death into our own.”
PARLIAMENT OF SLIGHTLY BRUISED DREAMS, Westminster, Tuesday (NTN) — The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has followed up his spectacular success in the alternative vote referendum with exciting reforms for the House of Lords that no-one will care about either.
The plan involves 300 members, 80% of whom are elected in a process involving, remarkably enough, an alternative vote, with the first vote to take place in 2015.
Mr Clegg presented his plan in such a manner as to alienate even those MPs who already thought Lords reform was a good idea, while David Cameron stood back and maintained a fixed smile of slight embarrassment for his colleague. A number of MPs, seeing their own prospects for a peerage fade away, suggested the proposal be put to death by referendum.
“All three parties backed Lords reform in their manifestos,” he said with a frustrated whine, as if manifestos had anything to do with what parties did once elected.
Mr Clegg showed some exasperation at his colleagues, and at the voters for not being educated and informed enough to care about how logical his plans were in the face of minor inconveniences such as a completely fucked economy occupying their attention.
O’GARA UFO FIELD, Armonk, Monday (NTN) — With the final humiliation of the SCO Group and the retirement of Pamela Jones from Groklaw, Microsoft has stepped in with sponsorship to fill “a much-needed gap.”
CrockLaw will be “a place where lawyers and geeks could explain things to each other and work together, so they’d understand each other’s work better,” said Sandy Gupta of Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group, formerly of SCO. “We need to crowdsource the work of patent suit production. The attack from Linux is in full swing, and Microsoft’s clear ownership of the number 17 must be vigorously defended.”
“It is crucial to foster openness and create an environment where a choice of standards is available,” said Steve Mutkoski, Senior Standards Strategist. “Specifically, a choice of our standards.”
“Also,” added Gupta, “we can gather leads on tracking down Mini-Microsoft.”
Volunteers have gathered to the site from across Microsoft, as employees desperately try not to be in this year’s bottom 20% ranking with 50% of their co-workers.
The site runs on SharePoint, with site members’ licence fees being generously discounted by the company. The site has “cracked six figures” on Alexa.
The “PJ” department at IBM issued a sigh and requested an oil change before manufacturing a new birth certificate for President Obama and seeding the skies with alien chemtrails in preparation for Project Blue Beam.
OH FUCK NOT HEALTH, Bullingdon, Monday (NTN) — The Prime Minister, David Cameron, yesterday categorically denied every intention the Conservatives have had toward the NHS for the past sixty-three years.
“There will be no privatisation,” he declared, “no cherry-picking from private providers.” Other Tory dreams he denied included a US-style health insurance regime, the poor dying for lack of £200 antibiotics and A&E departments doing credit checks before treatment.
“Our changes are a logical extension of tried-and-tested policies initiated by governments of all parties in recent years,” he noted, alluding to Tony Blair’s previous attempts to sell off the NHS to American insurance companies.
Mr Cameron noted what a tremendous help the NHS had been to his own family, and that to let it carry on further beyond this apotheosis of perfection was a betrayal of its artistic potential. “Better to shoot it through the head now than let it linger on, touring into its seventies like the Rolling Stones. Let it be remembered for its best.”
The Daily Telegraph condemned Mr Cameron’s plans as hopelessly wishy-washy, noting that not publicly whipping accident victims for visiting A&E would constitute an insupportable moral hazard and make Britain excessively tempting to Eastern European people smugglers, and blaming Nick Clegg’s malign influence on Mr Cameron’s otherwise-pure Tory soul. Mr Clegg assured the press that he would agree with everything Mr Cameron suggested in a vigorous and muscular manner.
HOT HOT HOT, Forever Alone, Thursday (NTN) — 35% of US smartphone users admit to using apps before even getting out of bed. Doctors advise the other 65% that it is “entirely natural” and “nothing to be ashamed of.”
The most popular in-bed activity admitted to is accessing “social networks,” as respondents called it, doing air-quotes. The most common complaint is that the screen is too small to display photos properly, and that it does not wipe clean sufficiently well. Many were tempted to buy a tablet next.
Smartphone vendors and app writers have tried to capitalise on the bedroom market. Vibrate mode is particularly popular and is thought to be driving the accessories market for protective silicone cases.
“Social networking” (air-quoted) remains important when people first wake up, since most are alone and will forever stay that way. 20 percent do a last “check-in” (also air-quoted) before going to sleep at night.
Sociologists suggest the bedroom “apping” phenomenon will be self-limiting, given the effects on fertility of carrying a microwave transmitter in your pocket all day right next to your gonads.
TIME, Dark side of the moan, Wednesday (N! News) — Both remaining members of Pink Floyd have announced the launch of the “Why Pink Floyd?” reissue campaign, wherein literally every tape containing a detectable grunt or squeak is pressed onto CD, SACD and 5.1-channel DVD-audio.
“This is the last chance for really nice packaging,” said drummer Nick Mason, “because even in 2011, it’s remarkable what you can charge for a physical object rather than a download. Even a FLAC. You could make the complete collection, which of course you’ll be wanting, into a ring of standing stones for the lounge. You’ll have to rebalance your speakers to compensate for the gravitational pull, of course.”
Dark Side Of The Moon will be reissued as a six-disc “Immersion” box set, disinterring the horse and hooking it to the remains of the carriage. A five-disc Wish You Were Here follows, with a seven-disc The Wall disinterring the coachman as well and arranging his bones on the remains of the carriage in a humorous fashion. And yet another best-of to follow.
In going through material for the additional CDs and DVDs, Mason found himself drawn to the tracks that emerged “from the very back of the cupboard,” material that is as far from marketable as possible except that it can just about legitimately be branded “Pink Floyd” and fills out a stupidly bloated box set nicely.
There are no plans for David Gilmour and Roger Waters to work further on music together, although Mason says conversations about money seem to go well.
John Lydon noted that these releases reiterated the essential argument in favour of punk rock much better than any mere words could, while glossing over the five times so far he has repackaged the exact same recordings from Never Mind The Bollocks.