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As a local businessman and owner of a convenience store supplying goods to a small town and the surrounding area, I wish to express my absolute support for the current government's drive to stifle the local economy. Slashing benefits to the point where people are forced to rely on charity or resort to subsistence crime has played a major part in the success of enterprises like mine. Now that nobody can actually afford to buy anything, my turnover of stock has sharply decreased and significantly reduced my paperwork.
What's more, cutting the amount of money available to local authorities has had a similarly positive effect, leading to the deterioration of unnecessary services like street lighting, litter collection and the upkeep of roads. And, of course, the council is no longer able to subsidise rural transport links.
In short, even if somebody has money to spend, and they're not put off by the fact that the town is now a near-derelict eyesore, they probably wouldn't be able to get here anyway. And I'm absolutely overjoyed, because with fewer customers to dirty up the place it means that my premises have never been cleaner.
As a local businessman and employer of nearly eight persons, I wish to express my absolute support for the current government's drive to get more people back into work. I regularly receive applications for employment from people who are fit, able, hard-working and enthusiastic. Clearly this is not acceptable.
What my business really needs are individuals who are obviously too ill to work and would pose a serious risk to their own health and possible a hazard to others if they were forced into roles which were beyond their capability.
Failing that, we need people who are workshy, slovenly, untrustworthy and incompetent. It is only right and proper that these people should be obliged to apply for the many many positions that are waiting to be filled and, like most employers, I am more than happy to favour them over more suitable applicants. Or, at least I would be if we actually had any vacancies at the moment.
Once again we welcome award-winning blogger, bestselling self-published author and antique jelly mould smuggler Maisy Donnington with some more of her award-winning, self-published lifestyle tips.
Maisy Donnington here and this time I'm going to talk to you about stress. If you're suffering from stress, my advice to you is not to get worked up about it. Whenever you feel yourself getting anxious, simply stop worrying and everything will be all right. Easy!
Of course, many people lack the ability to suppress their innate emotional instability and psychological dread with the overwhelming force of their unshakeable iron will. Mrs Bradshaw at the chemist's, for example. Whenever she gets into a tizz I find that a few sharp slaps across the face does a world of good. Even if Mrs Bradshaw herself doesn't feel the benefit, I at least find it a wonderful way of releasing tension.
In fact, random acts of viciousness, abuse and general mischief are really a most effective way of discharging pent-up energy and I believe that it's absolutely essential to let off a little steam now and then. Most of you are not award-winning bloggers, like what I am, so you won't appreciate how gruelling it is to be tied to your keyboard for anything up to two hours a week, churning out articles on bringing up kids, wacky pets or those oh-so-important lifestyle lists. Keeping my many followers mildly entertained with a never-ending succession of witty brain-spurts is a task of almost Dickensian hardship. So, if you've been staring at that screen all morning, it's so important to recharge your batteries by taking ten minutes every now and then to be unnecessarily cruel and/or irritating.
One of the things I like to do is throw things at my neighbour's cat. I've got a really good view from my window and I can easily see it messing in my rose bed. I keep an assortment of suitable items on my desk so that I can pick up something and throw it whenever the mood takes me - old boots, plant pots, unwanted ornaments and a ceremonial assegai that a relative brought back from Africa. You should see the look on the filthy moggy's face when that thing comes hurtling through the air and thuds into the ground right where its backside has been just moments before. Priceless.
Inevitably, there is a limit to how much fun you can get out of persecuting domestic animals, so it's important to keep your routine varied. For example, I have recently taken up making obscene phone calls, a pursuit which I find tremendously satisfying. There is, I must add, nothing frivolous or witty about these calls. I realise that there is a vogue for so-called 'prank' calls in which the recipient is made to appear foolish or absurd. I find such activities to be quite childish, which is why I limit my communications to pure abuse and threats of extreme violence.
It really is most cathartic and I would heartily recommend you give it a try. I find that if I spend maybe one or two hours in the morning making disgusting and unpleasant calls to random strangers, what follows is usually a really productive afternoon. I say 'random strangers', but in truth most of these calls end up being to my neighbour.
He, of course, has lately become extremely stressed, and inevitably this has more than a little to do with my ongoing hate campaign. It's a shame of course, and I really feel for the man, but whenever I start feeling anxious about it I simply nip out and slash the tyres on his car and the feeling goes away. After all, there's no point in losing sleep over it, is there?
Bloody kids! Some little tyke down our street has just been given a pogo stick for his birthday, and I'm sorry but I just don't hold with them. Oh I appreciate the engineering and the ingenuity that went into the design and development of the pogo stick, but I personally think that the whole pogo thing was a bit of a scientific blind alley.
Back in the twenties when Charles Pogo first invented his famous stick, we were told that it was going to be the latest thing in travel. The day of the motor car was over. The train was a thing of the past. Even the jet aircraft was going to have trouble keeping up, for the only hope of an efficient, economically viable integrated transport system lay in the pogo stick. People would commute into work on pogo sticks; they would travel the length and breadth of the country on vast, three-laned pogo highways; there would even be pogo services across the Atlantic - London to New York in a single bound. At one point London Transport was considering getting rid of all the trains in the Underground and replacing the tracks with smooth, pogo-friendly paving, until it was pointed out that there was a very serious danger of the pogoers smashing their brains in on the tunnel roofs.
Of course, it never happened. The trouble with pogo sticks is that you can't really carry a lot of luggage on one. Neither can you install a CD player, air conditioning or reclining seats. Plus, for the many people who suffer from travel sickness, cars are quite bad enough as it is - leaping about the place on a dirty great spring is going to do them no good at all.
They also don't do a great deal of good for my carrots. Let me explain. I am currently in the process of developing luminous carrots that can be seen in the dark, and I was growing my first experimental batch in a patch of ground down at the bottom of my garden. And they were doing quite well until the other day, when that little sod from down the street lost control of his birthday present, came bounding over the garden fence, mashed my prize carrots to a pulp then flew off and sailed right through the greenhouse.
Well, it's not on, is it? It's not right that people should be allowed to go careering about, smashing up people's vegetables with wild abandon. Something has to be done. Unfortunately the pogo stick is here to stay - there's nothing I can do about that - but there are a couple of modifications I can make to render the damn things safer for all concerned. Firstly, I have noticed that pogo sticks don't have brakes. This is a serious problem. Obviously it's very difficult to stop them once they get going, so I have suggested that all pogo sticks are fitted with an anchor, which can be hurled out behind the rider and bring the stick to a sudden stop.
However, an anchor is only really any good if it is able to hook onto something fairly hefty, such as a railing, a car or a large dog. If it should fail, the only option available to the pogoer is to abandon the vehicle. This is where my second modification comes in: the pogo stick ejector seat. When activated, this will launch the rider clear of the stick. A parachute will then deploy and the rider can float gently back down to earth, hopefully well away from my greenhouse.
With individual personal debt having increased drastically over the past few years, enforcement officers are being kept very busy. But, like vampires, UK bailiffs cannot enter your home uninvited. Also, they have an aversion to garlic and they can't be seen in mirrors, but that's not important right now.
What this means is that since, in many cases, bailiffs don't have the power to force entry, it makes it very difficult for them to seize goods. There are, of course, loopholes. For instance, it is perfectly legal for them to limbo into your home through a narrow gap, but since most bailiffs are recruited for their ability to smash through doors rather than slide beneath them, their bulk usually makes this a practical impossibility.
In the absence of a plentiful supply of flat bailiffs, officers are resorting to other means, including coercing family pets to deliver up valuables, fishing for them through open windows and using highly-trained seagulls to infiltrate the debtor's premises. More recently, one firm has hired famous mentalist Uri Geller to teach its enforcement staff how to attract debtors' assets to them just by using the 'overwhelming animal magnetism of their personality'. The initiative was only partially successful in that quite a large number of items were taken into possession in this way, but sadly the resale value of a bunch of bent TVs is next to zero.
Nevertheless, the situation looks set to change following the launch of the Suckotron Personal Asset Stripper. Based on NASA technology used to suck astronauts out of crumpled rockets, the Suckotron employs a powerful vacuum hose which draws items out of inaccessible properties through vents, chimneys and any other available opening.
Many firms have already adopted the device and seem very pleased with the results. "It's fantastic," said one anonymous enthusiast. "We can clear a debtor's home of every stick of furniture in a matter of minutes. Ok, most of it ends up a little bit broken, but when you're trying to suck a dining room table out through someone's letterbox, that's kind of inevitable. The important thing is that it gets the job done and it really is so much fun!"
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of the Bleeding Obvious
All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2015, 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.