Tech-savvy bumpkins embrace Twitter for their bizarre ramblings

Britain’s once sleepy countryside has been thrust into the forefront of the communications revolution, with the adoption of social networking tools such as Twitter by the nation’s village idiots.

Prolific bloggers have gained hordes of followers: popular Norfolk idiot ‘@Dougie’ regularly holds thousands in rapt attention with tweets like ”ello Brian, you not trouserin” today?’, ‘Bloody Rich Tea biscuits – I told ’em!’ and ‘The buggers! Hahahahaha!’ ‘It’s like a window into a whole new world,’ one subscriber revealed, ‘an insight into the simple, uncomplicated life experienced by people whose brains are permanently in neutral.’

Reports of mentally disadvantaged inbreeds spasmodically tapping on their Balckberries, iPhones and notebooks in the corner of pubs, bus shelters and on stiles have skyrocketed in recent months, while traditional idiot pursuits such as incoherent babbling, unsettling ear-to-ear grins and shaking ones fists at the moon appear to be on the wane – a development which worries many rural commentators.

‘Muck covered, smock wearing imbeciles have been a feature in our rural areas for centuries,’ explained sociologist Deborah Shanwick. ‘Village idiots perform an important social function among close-knit societies by providing a lowest common denominator against which we can anchor our own standing within the community. Their increasing use of cutting edge technology is threatening to undermine this delicate balance.’

Hilda Thorpe, postmistress in the pretty Wiltshire village of Lower Cradley agrees: ‘As a source of entertainment, ridicule and occasionally mild embarrassment, our village idiot Harry Bunn has been second to none. But seeing the ease at which he flicks his nicotine-stained finger around that new phone thingie of his makes us all feel uncomfortable to be honest – most of us can’t even program our own video recorders, let alone send a text from the middle of a field.’

‘It’s definitely a problem around here,’ concurred another resident, ‘we used to keep our kids away from Harry for fear of them catching fleas, but nowadays he’s the only person in the area who knows how to successfully crack apps – whatever that means – and can regularly be seen shambling along the lanes with an entourage of admiring teenagers in tow. The youth group’s gone for a Burton for a start.’

Others however have hailed these cognitively challenged individuals as pioneers and leading lights in the spread of wireless connectivity in rural Britain. ‘The likes of @Dougie and Harry Bunn are digital adventurers,’ said Paul Bonfield, head of BT’s 3rd Generation Networks team, ‘and with speeds of up to 50Mb/s, we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what village idiots can do.’

‘Eeeeoooohpiggypoooo!’ countered @Dougie in his latest tweet, ‘we’re miles form the nearest exchange and the crappy aluminium cable network hasn’t been updated for years. 50Mb/s broadband round ‘ere? And ‘e calls me a bloody idiot!’

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Splinter group threatens English Heritage/National Trust ceasefire

The impending rapprochement between warring factions The National Trust and English Heritage is in danger of being scuppered, after the emergence of a hard-line splinter group which has threatened to disrupt talks between the two conservation bodies.

‘The British Heritage Trust is vehemently opposed to the peace process,’ a volunteer spokesman declared, ‘and will not countenance any kind of deal between English Heritage and The National Trust. ‘We hereby withdraw our membership and cancel our direct debits with immediate effect.’

English Heritage and The National Trust have been at odds for several years as competition for the lucrative tourist market increased in line with the number of ‘staycations’ throughout Britain, revealed historian David Marsh; author of several guidebooks on the conflict. ‘Ever since an NT member was found selling flapjacks at an EH property, tempers have been high – it’s unsurprising that not everyone is willing to accept a peace deal.’

The talks, to be held at EHs Isle-of-Wight stronghold at Carisbrooke Castle, have already stalled once while leaders considered the symbolic gesture of a special admission fee of £6.50 (£5.00 concessions) for NT members. They have also been overshadowed by the refusal of Wales’ equivalent organisation Cadw to join the dialogue, due to the lack of bilingual signage at the Castle and the inability of negotiators to translate ‘unilateral disarmament’ into Welsh.

According to Marsh, BHTs intransigence constitutes a nightmare scenario for the authorities considering this background controversy. ‘A number of conciliators have already been targeted with threatening and inflammatory leaflets, while an unmarked package of homemade chutney found outside National Trust headquarters last week had to be disposed of by the Bomb Squad.’

Only yesterday, police discovered a Tudor manor house that had been opened to the public by the BHT in retaliation for the arrest of ‘Commander’ Mrs. Margret Davies, leader of the BHTs Tour Guides Brigade. Interviewed in her cell at Bellwood Prison, Davies remains unrepentant: ‘I have no regrets about my incarceration. Isn’t it funny how you only go to these places on holiday and never visit the local attractions? Considering that I only live a few miles down the road, the joke’s on you the Historic Building and Monuments Commission!’

Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Simon Cowell blasts BBC for X Factor / University Challenge clash

Television producer and music impresario Simon Cowell has hit out against the BBC’s decision to schedule their ratings blockbuster University Challenge opposite Cowell’s lesser-know ITV show The X Factor, for the second year running.

The entertainment mogul is once again in danger of being left red-faced and beaten hands down in the ratings war: repeating last year’s farce when the X Factor finale drew in a measly 150 viewers, as opposed to the 25 million who tuned in to watch Kings College Oxford beat plucky underdogs the University of Wolverhampton in a thrilling last-minute beat the buzzer climax that turned Chris Mainwaring, reading pre 19th century architecture, into a household name.

‘I’ll never live that down,’ Cowell recalled, ‘I usually struggle to get my projects off the ground – the talent show format has always been an acquired taste with the viewing public and always will be – but I thought I’d at least pull in a round 200. I probably would have done too if it wasn’t for that cheating bastard Paxman,’ he continued, referring to recent allegations of ‘autotuning’: the practice of ‘tweaking’ a contestant’s answers to make them seem more erudite.

‘The X Factor may well cater for a minority of viewers,’ he admitted, ‘but while not everyone is interested in watching me belittling would-be pop starlets while they sing their hearts out in an attempt to gain a lucrative recording contract, putting us up against such high-brow populist BBC2 fare is not only unfair but downright damaging. I mean, Leona Lewis singing ‘A Moment Like This’, or Gail Trimble on Pre-Raphaelite tapestry – it’s a no-brainer isn’t it?’

Cowell, 50, has revealed that he ‘practically had to beg’ the BBC to consider a change in time slot. ‘I told them how niche programs such as the X Factor have a hard enough time in today’s world of competitive TV and how we don’t stand a chance against such a popular behemoth like University Challenge, but they didn’t seem to care. They have this obsession with competing with us – they’re being pathetic, childish and are doing a disservice to people who pay the licence fee. Although to be fair, the same can be said for the contestants, and indeed the judges, on the X Factor as well.’

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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William Hague ‘not bald’

William Hague has issued a strongly-worded statement, dismissing allegations that the Foreign Secretary is, to all intents and purposes, completely bald, as ‘utterly false’.

Hague was forced to make the public rebuttal after rumours spread about the state of his coiffure and his supposed ‘improper’ relationship with special adviser Christopher Myers, after it emerged that the pair shared a comb whilst on the campaign trail.

‘I feel it is necessary to issue this personal statement in response to press and internet speculation over the last 10 days,’ he wrote. ‘Yes, I did borrow Mr. Myers’ comb once – we were out campaigning and I was finding it difficult to control my long, flowing locks with the small travel brush I had packed. Chris very kindly lent me his – and that is as far at it went. Allegations that I also cadged some sun cream, or, as some have cruelly suggested, polish, off him are completely baseless.’

Speculation that Hague’s pate may be hairless has been fuelled in recent months after the former leader of the opposition emerged from the political wilderness sporting a flat cap during a visit to his constituency in Richmond, Yorkshire – which he steadfastly refused to remove in public. ‘My hair is naturally luxuriant and shiny,’ he once told reporters at an election photocall, ‘it’s quite a windy day and I’ve only just had it done.’

A recent radio appearance has also cast doubts on Hague’s pate, after he told Desert Island Disks presenter Kirsty Young that his ideal castaway companions would be Bruce Forsyth, Russ Abbot and Ted Danson. ‘There’s just something inspirational about those guys – you can really tell they’ve got something going on up top, you know?’

Unfortunately, any hopes that his statement might scotch further rumours have proved unfounded, after Hague appeared on the front page of the tabloids this morning after being snapped by photographers while out walking with Christopher Myers, wearing his now trademark baseball cap and a T-shirt bearing the legend ‘it’s not a bald patch, it’s a solar panel for a sex machine.’

Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Vuvuzela ban and rise in unlicensed yard-of-ale competitions ‘no coincidence’

Real ale campaigners CAMRA have blamed the ban of vuvuzelas from certain premiership grounds and Uefa-sanctioned games for the sudden increase in unregulated yard of ale drinking competitions across the country, as people look to find an alternative use for the plastic trumpets bought during the long-passed and prematurely halted World Cup frenzy.

Drinking a yard of ale is a dangerous pastime, best carried out in a controlled environment by a trained real ale connoisseur, warned CAMRA spokesman Trevor Wotniss: ‘What we’re talking about is more of a traditional craft than a sport. Staged ideally in a country pub with a roaring fire and a few fusty old Labradors, you have to be a seasoned and preferably middle aged imbiber of real ale to handle the glass – a yard long receptacle with a bulbous end – properly. And yes, I’m well aware I said ‘bulbous end’ thank you very much.’

CAMRA has expressed its fears for what it describes as ‘amateur’ drinkers: ‘we are receiving reports of so-called yard of ale competitions throughout the UK – mainly in inner city areas and council estate pubs where the only convivial ambiance is supplied by the music from the slot machine. Would-be yardies, some of them barely under the age of 45, are making a mockery of the sport by guzzling fizzy pop like Boddingtons or Tetleys Creamflow from oversized polyurethane hooters with tins glued to the bottom,’ said Wotniss. ‘Boddingtons! I mean, come on, I wouldn’t give that to my dog!’

This latest craze of impromptu ale-related vuvuzela usage has also led to certain worrying social trends, Wotniss claims. ‘We’re seeing increasing numbers folksy youths with beards and beer-stained pullovers, wandering around city centres at night singing ‘all around my hat’ at the tops of their voices in a pathetic effort to emulate their real-ale drinking heroes. My message to these kids is simple: stop – I’ve heard that song sung properly a thousand times by yard drinking balladeers throughout the Lake District and frankly, I’d rather have a plastic horn blown in my ear hole at the next Man U game than endure that again.’

Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Satirists spend 4th week trapped in Chilean miner meme

Rescuers are battling to free a team of 33 professional comedy writers, who became trapped when a seam of potential satire that they were exploring collapsed after being practically mined hollow.

According to colleagues, the team began digging for material following the news that a group of Chilean miners were trapped underground. ‘The theme of several men, stuck for months down a mineshaft… well, it’s no surprise that these writers chose to exploit it,’ explained one leading internet satirist. ‘With all due deference to those miners and their families, that’s comedy gold that is.’

Experts have accused the satirists of probing the meme without first taking the necessary precautions. ‘The situation had already been extensively mined by amateur joke writers and freelance bloggers, so the whole thing was shaky from the start. Scraping any useable punchlines from the bottom of the meme would have taken the kind of skill that many writers lack. At the very least they should have secured the services of a physical comedian and used props to keep the ceiling from falling in.’

The satirists are currently said to be in good spirits and are maintaining morale by coming up with ideas for a new topical review show, provisionally called ‘Down the Tube – a sideways look at being trapped down a mineshaft’. They are also being regularly supplied with copies of Private Eye and tapes of Mock the Week. In response the trapped writers have sent up a recording of them singing their national anthem – the theme tune to That Was the Week That Was.

Leading the rescue effort is Hilary Shearbourne, producer of Have I Got News for You? Her crack team of stand-up comedians has started to drill a relief shaft through a nearby stratum of Pakistani cricketing news, but has found that the going is tough. ‘It looks like we might have hit a hollow pocket of binned cat jokes, which might compromise the entire operation unless we can divert the drill into Tony Blair’s memoirs sometime soon.’

Rescuers are said to be considering a back-up plan, where proof readers from the BBC Writers’ Room will send rejected material from a BBC Radio 7 topical sketch show down a supply chute. ‘If this doesn’t force them to claw their way screaming back to the surface, nothing will.’

Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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