A breakthrough for nuclear powered lunches
Belinda Sommers reviews this pile of toss
This week we look at Tourettes
The inner workings of nun manufacture
Punching singers in the mouth
Hello, you're though to the environmental health department. Yes, yes, that's right - we're the people you need to call if you have a pest control issue. Oh, it's you Mrs Whitney. No... no, Mrs Whitney. No, I didn't mean anything by that. Well I'm sorry if you thought there was something in the tone of my voice, I really... No, no - believe me, it's really great to hear from you again. Really great. How can we help you this time, Mrs Whitney?
OK, well... well let me see what we've got here. Yes, yes, I've got your records in front of me. You've, err, you've kept us quite busy, haven't you Mrs Whitney? Well no, actually you've called us eighteen times. Yes, it is, isn't it? No, no - not at all. We're always happy to hear from you. It's a topic of great interest here, Mrs Whitney. Every morning we come in and we say to each other 'Oh I wonder if Mrs Whitney is going to call again today.' No, Mrs Whitney, I wasn't being sarcastic. Well, I'm sorry if it came across that way. I really didn't mean it to. So... so, anyway, why don't you tell me how I can help you today?
Uh huh... yes... go on... OK, well... yes, yes. Behind your shed, you say? Sort of a scurrying noise? Well, OK - the thing is Mrs Whitney, tigers aren't really that common around here. Not at this time of year. And they don't really make a 'scurrying noise'. That sounds like it's more likely to be a mouse, or something.
No, of course, Mrs Whitney. I'm not suggesting anything, really I'm not. I'm sure you're perfectly able to tell the difference between a mouse and a... and a... Yes, the stripes are a bit of a giveaway. Mrs Whitney, I'm not casting aspersions here but you don't think that maybe, just maybe you might be letting your imagination run away with you?
OK, OK... please calm down Mrs Whitney. There's no need for that language, Mrs Whitney. No, I've never done that, Mrs Whitney. And I don't think anyone has ever done that, Mrs Whitney. I'm not sure where you've picked up these expressions, Mrs Whitney, but I don't think they're appropriate. I'm going to have to end this call if you don't calm down Mrs Whitney. That's OK. No really, it's all right. You're not the first person to call me that and I dare say you, err, you won't be the last.
Perhaps if you could just see the situation from our point of view? See, this isn't the first time you've called us with these kinds of tales, Mrs Whitney. Let's see now. First time you said you were being harassed by... No, no, that's fine. Our guys deal with birds all the time. Usually it's pigeons. An ostrich was a first, yes. Well, I don't know - I guess they'd just creep up on it and put a bag over its head. I'm not the expert, Mrs Whitney, although it's kind of academic, isn't it? See, when our guys turned up they found no sign of it. No I don't think it could have flown away, Mrs Whitney. Like I say, I'm no expert, but I seem to remember that the ostrich is a flightless bird.
Well now you're just being silly, Mrs Whitney. I don't know where an ostrich would get a jetpack from. Well, you say that, but I've never heard of any kind of bird, flightless or otherwise, that has an Amazon account. No, I'm not saying that it's impossible. No, I'm not saying that. No, I'm... look, Mrs Whitney, do you think we could get back to your current problem. It's kinda been a long day. Is that all right?
OK then, this 'tiger'... Sorry, can you repeat that? 'if it's not a tiger, where did the milk go?' Is that what you said? What milk is this, Mrs Whitney? Has this tiger been in your refrigerator? Well, I don't know, maybe it could sneak in when nobody was looking. Well, I appreciate that Mrs Whitney, but you can't be on guard all the time, can you? Maybe it had a giraffe friend keeping lookout for it?
No, no, no, Mrs Whitney, I didn't mean to be facetious. I'm sorry if it came out that way. It's like I said, it's been a long day and this is turning out to be a... well, this is turning out to be a long call. Look, tell me about the milk, Mrs Whitney. What did you mean when you said it had stolen the milk?
Oh, I see, not 'stolen'. You left the milk out for it deliberately? In a saucer? Why, err, why did you do that, Mrs Whitney? Well, no, since you put it like that, I suppose not. Well, we do that at home too - some seed and maybe a bit of bacon rind for the birds. But I've never heard of anyone putting out a saucer of milk for a tiger. See, that's kind of encouraging them, isn't it? You start with a saucer of milk for the tigers, then potato peelings for the rhinos, a few broken cookies for the crocodiles and before you know it your back garden is like a safari park. You're bringing it on yourself, really.
Oh Mrs Whitney, really, I'm not trying to tell you... of course, you have every right... no, it's not my place to... I just mean to say that... OK, yes. You know what, you're right. Mrs Whitney, I can tell you're very upset and my shift should have ended ten minutes ago, so here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to send the guys round right now. We'll make your tiger a priority. They'll have him out of there in no time. How's that sound? Yep, I'm sure it'll be fine. Nope, they're not gonna hurt him one bit - just coax him out with a bun then turn him loose in the country, I expect. That OK?
It's my pleasure, Mrs Whitney. No problem at all. Bye bye, then. Oh, and Mrs Whitney - do you think you could do me a favour. Next time you call, could you ask for Linda? Yeah, Linda - she specialises in this kind of thing, see. Either Linda, or Gary, or Andrew or Grahame. My name? Oh it's, err, I've forgotten. But you don't need to worry about that - just remember Linda, or Gary, or Andrew or Grahame and you'll be fine. OK then, bye bye Mrs Whitney. You take care now. Bye bye.
From The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2016
or read online
If your collarbone is there to keep your shoulders on and your shins give you somewhere to hang your trousers, what is your tailbone for? That's the question posed by Dr Leonard Skynard of the Museum of Groovy Piccalilli in Reykjavik and after five years of super-advanced number crunching he now has the answer.
"It's to stop your spine falling out," he told us. "The coccyx acts as a kind of endcap which keeps your vertebrae in place. Without it your backbone would just drop straight out through your arse. As a side note I'd just like to add that we suspect that early man developed elbows so that he could flap his arms about and pretend to be a chicken, but you really shouldn't quote me on that."
We asked Dr Skynard if he had anything else to tell us about this astounding revelation. "I think I've probably said enough," he said.
Geoff Geoffreys is thrilled to announce that he has invented the Geoffoscope, a revolutionary new device capable of pinpointing the location of people called 'Geoff' down to the nearest centimetre, wherever they may be on the planet.
"For too long Geoffs have been ignored by society, cast aside and denied the opportunity to glory in their essential Geoffness," Geoff told us. "Now at last we have the means to reach out and touch Geoffs who until now may have felt isolated and alone. We can encourage them to cherish their Geoffosity with pride, and empower them to confront Geoffism wherever it may be. Together we can build a true Geoffocracy where Geoffs can at last enjoy the respect and recognition that they truly deserve."
Initial trials of Geoff's Geoffoscope have produced mixed results, with the latest test run yielding just two Barrys and a Simon. "We may still have some way to go," Geoff admitted.
A technology company operating out of Stockholm has developed what it believes will be a whole new concept in printer technology. "Most commercially available printers have an inbuilt fear of paper and an inherent antipathy towards ink," says Edvard Persson, CEO of Draugr Technologies. "Ask them to print out a document and they will spend about ten minutes receiving data, another fifteen cleaning the print head, eight minutes telling you to wait for no specified reason and then ultimately they will inform you that the document cannot be printed because there is a paper jam.
"There is no paper jam, of course, but that won't stop the printer repeatedly telling you to clear it. You're then stuck in a stalemate - you obviously cannot clear a non-existent fault, but neither can you cancel the print job, since the machine will steadfastly continue to attempt to perform your instruction in spite of all your attempts to stop it. Short of taking an axe to the thing there is nothing you can do to persuade it to desist. And even then there's no guarantee - reduce the bastard machine to a thousand splintered fragments and each of those pieces will still retain the memory of the task you gave it to perform, even though there was never any intention of actually carrying it out in the first place."
Researchers at the company have spent the last four years trying to resolve the problem and have come to the conclusion that most modern printers are simply unequal to the task of coaxing a 0.342mm thick sheet of material through a roller and simply surrender before they even attempt such a Herculean feat. The plain fact is that, despite all the miracles that modern technology has achieved, no one has worked out how to put a piece of paper in one end of a printer and get it to come out the other without fucking losing it somewhere in the middle.
"It's frustrating," says Persson, "and we feel your pain. We've spent many, many hours shouting, cursing and screaming at equipment, but all to no avail. Turns out that printers are actually quite sensitive souls and react negatively to abuse. We have therefore initiated a programme to help empower our equipment and bolster its confidence. All of our printers undergo many hours of therapy before we release them onto to market, making them better able to cope with the stresses and strains of office and domestic life. By the time it reaches the customer it should be fully adjusted to its role as a printer and able to carry out that function without constantly issuing feeble excuses like the cringingly inadequate, badly designed, woefully engineered, shoddily constructed, criminally overpriced, laughably under-powered, pitifully ramshackle, embarrassingly shabby piece of junk that it really is"
In the market for a used policeman?
That second-hand constable could be stolen. Thefts of policemen are on the increase as criminals target serving officers to sell on the black market.
Police forces in the UK periodically sell off surplus policemen, but only through authorised outlets. That way they can ensure that all officers offered to the public are fully tested and compliant with current regulations.
If you should find a policeman being sold at a market, second-hand shop or car boot sale, the chances are that it's faulty, dangerous or bent. It might not even by a policeman at all, merely a reconditioned traffic warden or two car park attendants welded together.
So, if you're looking to purchase a cheap second-hand policeman, make sure you choose a retailer displaying the Copwatch sign.
Your Guarantee of a Quality Copper
See the full list
The National Sandwich Hotline
Talking rubbish for Britain.
We're very very sorry
Adventures in marketing
Because an inflated slug is a happy slug
Roly Coconut pays a visit
"A seething cauldron of violence..."
"We can't sleep at night and it frightens the dog..."
The latest security craze from the West Coast is nailing your property to a wall, or similarly sturdy piece of architecture. Don McCabe, vice president with security professionals Nail-It is confident that the technique will soon catch on in other parts of the world. "Theft is on the increase and naturally people are becoming more and more concerned about the safety of their valuables. Most burglars are not deterred by expensive wall safes or complicated alarm systems. But anyone who breaks into your home and sees your most prized possessions nailed to a wall is bound to think twice."
The system is cheap, effective and easy to install. Nail-It provide the hammer, a quantity of high tensile nails and clear, concise instructions on the best way to nail up that expensive jewellery, audio-visual equipment or antique furniture. Alternatively, they can send trained nailing professionals around to your home to do it for you. And for those requiring extra-security, gluing, riveting and welding are also options.
"So far," says McCabe, "our customers have been very pleased with the service we offer. And recently we branched out into a whole new area. One local businessman, whose identity we have been asked to keep secret, approached us recently after learning that his family had been targeted by a kidnapping gang. We were on the scene straight away and stapled his kids to the floor. Rest assured, those little fellas aren't going anywhere."
"It's always best to rest against something solid, such as a small horse..."
"One of the most controversial musicians of recent years..."
"A gentleman never fouls himself upwind of a waitress..."
"You're a miserable old sourpuss..."more...
Latest news from the county's roadsDragonwatch
New partnership tackles dragon invasionFishys
Poor little fishysFood Banking
David Chumbly, MP for WaitroseMore...
Stuffed with new material and old favourites, Recalled to Life is 280 pages of plumptiousness and very probably exactly what you need to prop up that wonky old table in the kitchen.
Find out more here.
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.