Super-villain tells of recession woes

One of the world’s most terrifyingly evil super-villains has spoken of how the economic downturn has succeeded where many super-heroes have failed by shattering his dreams of global domination and leaving him a broken and bankrupt man. 

In an exclusive interview from his grandparent’s flat in Cannock, Doctor Nemesis told of how he foolishly ignored the financial danger signs.  ‘In order to hold the world to ransom I’d drawn up plans for the Nemesis Bomb.  However to build this fiendish new weapon I needed money.  Luckily I’d amassed a considerable fortune from previous criminal endeavours, some of which I’d stashed away in a Northern Rock ISA while the rest was invested in HBOS shares.’

‘Therefore I was devastated when these institutions went tits-up, but I at least had the good sense to have a backup plan – I’d step up manufacture of my patented Death Ray cannon and sell them to interested parties.’ Sadly for Nemesis, his foray into arms dealing coincided with a major shift in military geopolitics.  ‘Then Russia kicked Georgia up the arse and suddenly everyone was scared of them again.  The bastards cancelled their order and I was left with thousands of weapons of mass destruction that I was unable to shift.’

It was then that Nemesis was forced to vacate his Antarctic lair and relocate to the West Midlands.  ‘With fuel costs spiralling I couldn’t afford to heat my ice palace any more.  Also my landlord was struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments as the buy-to-let market collapsed and made it very clear that if I couldn’t afford the rise in rent I’d be evicted.’

Having to move his secret headquarters to his grandparent’s sheltered accommodation; Nemesis was faced with the problem of housing his army of zombie gorillas, but for once luck was on his side.  ‘My hench-apes all quit.  Apparently I was in contravention of the European working time directive by placing them on-guard 24/7 and when I refused to change their hours they left en-masse.  Apparently some have found gainful employment as nightclub bouncers whilst the rest are on a six month P.E.  teacher training course.’

Forced to sell his assets just to meet the grocery bill, Nemesis found himself with a plethora of evil schemes but without the means to carry them out.  ‘Have you tried to blackmail the western hemisphere when you don’t have so much as a firecracker to your name? I’ve had to downscale my activities severely.’ But even these modest ideas have backfired.  ‘I had planned an international atrocity by throwing green custard over Peter Mandelson, only to find someone had beaten me to it just seconds before.’

His latest attack on freedom and democracy has also failed dismally.  ‘I was going to knock on the door of Number 10 and then run away before they answered it, but unfortunately I was mistaken for a member of Fathers For Justice and arrested en-route to Downing Street.  It was only after I was taken to the nearest police station that the police realised I was an evil super-villain bent on global destruction and let me go with a caution.’

Doctor Nemesis, a sad figure indicative of today’s financial woes, is currently appearing as Captain Hook in the Gornal Amateur Dramatic Society’s adaptation of Peter Pan.

(Written Mar 2009)

Published in: on October 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Global Warming in comeback bid

News veteran Global Warming is set to make a comeback bid, it has been revealed. Russell Goldstein, publicity agent for the worldwide meteorological phenomenon, made the announcement at a packed press conference at the O2 Arena this morning.

Rumours of a comeback bid have been spreading like wildfire ever since Global Warming embarked on mini-tour of Australia earlier this year, which many saw as a warm-up for a far greater spectacle.

“I can confirm that the rumours are correct,” Goldstein told reporters, “My client, Global Warming, feels that the time is right to reclaim its rightful place in the news headlines. It’s time for headline-grabbing pretenders to the throne such as the economic downturn, conflict in Gaza and celebrity chef food poisonings to step aside.”

Goldstein then announced that Global Warming will embark on a gruelling tour of the Pacific Rim this autumn. Similar to its sell-out “El Niño Tour” of 2006, Global Warming will travel the Pacific Ocean causing freak weather conditions and untold misery for thousands.

The tour will then be extended to Northern Europe, where audiences will be treated to a dazzling live display of an unseasonably warm winter, melting ice caps and rising sea levels. This will culminate in an exciting torrent of flood water – always a firm favourite with Global Warming fans.

Tickets for the tour will go on sale at Ticketmaster next week, though additional tickets will be available at petrol stations, coal-fired power plants and aerosol factories throughout America, Europe and the BRIC countries.

 (Written 6 Mar 2009)

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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British Zombies bemoan UK brain drain

Britain’s zombies are feeling the pinch as the brain drain that has been affecting this nation for a number of years intensifies.  As the recession bites deeper and funding dries up, record numbers of highly qualified professionals are departing from these shores to settle abroad, leaving businesses and institutions bereft of talent and the undead of a quality food source. 

According to statistics there are now 3.247 million British-born people living abroad, of whom more than 1.1 million are highly-skilled university graduates.  The most popular destinations are English-speaking countries such as the USA and Canada, and holiday areas like France and Spain.  Countries, believes Ken Gregson of the RSPCZ, which most zombies cannot afford to emigrate to. 

‘When they die most zombies have their bank accounts closed and their savings shared between relatives and the taxman.’ he says.  ‘Those that do have some money stashed away in some mouldering sack find that their passports expired decades ago or that they are unable to get travel insurance on account of being declared legally dead.  Consequently many of our shambling cousins are unable to follow their primary source of sustenance.’

Zombie expert Professor Thadeus Hutton (1907-1986) concurs.  ‘Highly-qualified professionals are being actively targeted by countries such as Australia and New Zealand.  Tasty doctors, succulent teachers and hearty scientists are going in droves, leaving us with tasteless hairdressers, bland road sweepers and dull and insipid media studies students.  Our quality of ‘life’ is suffering as a result.’

Hutton is dismissive of critics who point out that emigration is offset by the large numbers of highly-skilled immigrants moving to Britain to replace those leaving.  ‘Your average dumpling-brained Czech or pickled cabbage Pole isn’t a patch on a light-yet-filling Cambridge physicist, and have you tried one of those Indian computer programmers? My backside was red-hot for days! Mind you I had accidentally left it lying on the radiator all week, but my point remains valid.’ he maintains.

 (Written 3 Mar 2009)

Published in: on October 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Musical theatre hit by cutbacks

Some of the world’s most famous West End musicals have been hit by the recession, it has been announced. 

 Budget constraints mean that production values for several shows have been pared down.  Consequently the productions have been renamed accordingly:

  •  The Duke and I
  •  Joseph and his Beige Coat
  •  The Starlight Shuttle-Bus Service
  •  We Won’t Rock You
  •  My Average-Looking Lady
  •  Singin’ in the Drizzle
  •  Cat

 Ticket prices will change in line with these cutbacks, with the average admission charge trebling in price.

 (Written 29 Jan 2009)

Published in: on October 1, 2009 at 9:15 am  Comments (1)  
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Job losses announced in supernatural sector

Britain’s ghosts have become the latest victims of the recession.  Redundancies have been announced throughout the nation’s haunted hotspots as employers are being forced to give precedence to their living-and-breathing workforce. 

 Several hotel chains have been forced to lay-off the spooks that lurk in their properties, including the Warner Olde Weir Hotel, Yeovil.  ‘We can barely afford to keep our corporeal staff at the moment.’ Said manager Susie Smith.  ‘I just can’t justify employing a spectral Victorian stable-lad to put the wind up our guests anymore, so See-Through Jim has to go.’

 Perhaps the most devastating loss is at The Fletcher’s Arms, Hereford, where landlord Peter Cumberland has had to fire an entire legion of Roman soldiers.  ‘They used to march through my cellar twice a day, regular as clockwork, but the brewery’s no longer prepared to keep a dozen Imperial cohorts on their books.  It’ll be a lot quieter down there amongst the barrels from now on I can tell you.’

 This latest wave of unemployed has also put extra strain on existing jobseekers, as competition for work increases.  ‘It’s bad enough looking for work as it is.’ Said unemployed furniture salesman Gary Kemp.  ‘And then you find yourself queuing up at the job centre behind a headless scullery maid – it ain’t pleasant!’ Aberdeen busker Mick McCron concurs.  ‘I can’t go to my usual patch any more ‘cos it’s been nicked by the phantom piper of Colquhonnie, and he can play 24/7 without even a toilet break – what chance have I got?’

 The Union of Ghouls, Haunters and Other Supernatural Trades was unable to comment on the recent job losses among its members, but a spokesperson has left this statement:

 ‘Whooooooooooo….’

 (Written 15 Jan)

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 7:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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