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06 May 2016

Anti-Assertiveness Classes

Are you constantly being told that you're an annoying, loudmouthed, over-opinionated pain in the arse?

Do you find that your sound judgement, insightful observations and expert analysis are constantly being ignored, no matter how relentlessly you forcibly inflict them on your friends and colleagues?

Do people, in short, think you're a bit of a jerk?

If the answer to these questions is 'yes' then the solution to your problem, my friend, is simple. What you need is...

Dr Friedrich Harpic's Anti-Assertiveness course

Dr Friedrich Harpic first developed his revolutionary Anti-Assertiveness programme back in the sixties. At the time he was forever thrusting his barely comprehensible theories and philosophies on unwilling and unappreciative audiences, often descending into a frustrated stream of guttural mutterings as he endeavoured to persuade his rapidly dwindling circle of associates to recognise his wisdom. It was only when a close friend, in a fit of uncontrolled candour, told him that he was being 'a real prick' that Dr Harpic recognised he needed to shut the fuck up.

Experimenting with a range of different self-degradation techniques, confidence-sapping exercises and humiliation workshops, Dr Harpic soon managed to 'knock the wind out of his sails' and, in consequence, became a much more agreeable, modest and humble companion. In fact, he became so meek that it took him a further fifty years before he summoned up the nerve to tell anyone about his ground-breaking discoveries.

Today Dr Harpic tours the world, delivering Anti-Assertiveness classes to all manner of self-important, long-winded, conceited, pretentious, overbearing, boorish, immodest and bombastic fuckwits. And he personally guarantees that he can turn you from an arrogant tosser into the embodiment of politeness and discretion after just a few short sessions.

Well... maybe 'guarantee' is putting it a bit strong. I mean, we think most people could benefit, but we wouldn't like to impose our own opinions on anyone. It's up to you, really, and whatever you decide is fine, really it is... you know... okay...

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05 May 2016

Under the Weather

The recent decision by Sir Malcolm Balls, CEO of ailing pharmaceutical giant Poppapill PLC, to award himself a £3M bonus this year has surprised many city analysts and greatly disappointed shareholders. Coming so soon after a string of misfortunes and questionable decisions, Sir Malcolm has come under much pressure to justify the award. We were fortunate enough to let him speak to us for a little while.


Sir Malcolm, good evening.


Who are you?


We, er, we called your office earlier. You said that you'd -


Yes, whatever. What do you want?


We hoped you might like to make a few comments about the £3M bonus that you recently received. It seems to have excited quite a lot of comment.


Well it would. It's three million quid. That's a lot to get excited about.


Yes, it is a lot. Do you think you deserve it?


Well that's not really for me to comment on. The decision was ultimately the responsibility of the chief executive officer and I think it would be the height of ingratitude for me to question his judgement.


Yes. Of course... you are the chief executive officer.


Coincidentally, yes, but the decision was made purely in my official capacity, in the interests of bolstering the performance of the company on the stock exchange.


How, exactly?


Well it's a very public display of the confidence we have in the management. People see that we've splashed out a hefty bonus and they think 'Hello, here's a company that must be doing well'. The share price goes up and everybody's happy.


But everybody isn't happy. The share price has plummeted, your market share has shrivelled to one tenth what it was before you took over and for the fifth year running you have posted a loss.


Yes, but this is all just a matter of opinion.


It's a matter of accounting.


Exactly, it's all just numbers. What's it really about, eh? I mean, isn't it more important that everybody is happy?


And is everybody happy?


Well I am. I'm delirious - I've just landed three million smackers. Kerching!


It's been suggested that you could have made a lot more people happy had you stepped down and allowed someone more competent to take over.


How are you defining 'competent'?


Someone whose actions were calculated to improve the fortunes of the company, rather than drive it to the brink of collapse.


Harsh but fair.


Perhaps we can consider some of your own decisions and see how they measure up?


Let me just stop you there. Tell me, have you ever seen a man bitten by a scorpion?


No. Now, what your shareholders want to know is... Bitten? Surely scorpions sting, they don't bite?


Normally they sting. But when they bite, it's worse. I saw a chap bitten by a scorpion and it wasn't a pretty sight. Nearly took his arm off.


Sir Malcolm, are you trying to avoid answering our questions?


Yes. Is it working?


No. Tell us about your decision to move the company headquarters to a narrow boat on the Trent and Mersey Canal.


I've always believed that a company needs to keep moving forward. And we certainly did that. That's probably why we didn't get any mail for three years.


OK, moving on. For twenty years Poppapill manufactured the leading pain relief brand in Europe, Poppadin Plus. In 2013 you ordered production to cease. Why?


I didn't like the colour.


What colour was it?




What colour would you have preferred it to have been?


White - but a different white. Sort of a creamy white, but the chaps in the lab couldn't get it right. You know how it is?


No. What about your deal to sponsor primetime weather forecasts the following year?


Nothing wrong with that.


You only agreed to sponsor bad weather.


Ah yes! A shrewd move, I thought. Seeing as we have so much bad weather, I figured that we'd get more air time.


And you did, but it also meant that the company came to be associated with drizzle, darkness and wind.


Precisely. Since, at that time, we were heavily promoting a product designed to ease flatulence, I thought an association with wind would be advantageous. Turns out it wasn't. Who knew?


Your competitors, obviously, since their stock rose considerably after agreeing to sponsor the good weather. Sir Malcolm, it's quite clear that your leadership of Poppapill has been a complete shambles and throughout your entire time with the company -


Now look here, I simply will not have this! I'm the boss of a major international corporation. I have a great deal of responsibility. I have skills and talents that are beyond the comprehension of most people.






Such as?


Such as the ability to guide the business through a six vector engagement strategy without incurring any operational loss whilst simultaneously doubling pre-forecast efficiency scheduling.


Well that sounds very impressive, but -


I have also successfully negotiated five - count 'em, FIVE - marginalisation reduction programmes, each of which incorporated a fully ratified system of exponential inflation control.


Again, that's something I think most people would probably be proud of, but it doesn't alter the fact that -


But do you know what really makes me stand out in the crowd? Do you know why I'm a genuine asset to anyone who hires me?


No, go on.


I'm the best bullshitter in the business. And that's worth something. Right now it's worth three million pounds. I'll let you know if that changes. Goodbye.

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04 May 2016

Peasmould Apology

Yesterday we ran an advert for a Tree Warden at Broxborough Borough Council. Following a communication from the council, it has come to our attention that this advertisement was erroneous and that no such vacancy exists. The council has informed us that Mr Peasmould, who describes himself in the advertisement as the 'Chief Environmental Officer', no longer occupies that post. Indeed, he left the authority as a result of an unspecified incident at a local donkey sanctuary, following which the council was quick to terminate his employment and make earnest apologies to all the donkeys involved.

The authority would also like to correct any misapprehensions that may have arisen with regard to its attitude towards trees. Broxborough Borough Council extends a cordial welcome to visiting trees and assures them that they can park in any of its dedicated parking bays without fear of interference. Stories about elms being clamped have been greatly exaggerated.

Finally, the council is at great pains to stress that, while it welcomes applications for employment from all interested parties, it would prefer that potential employees download the appropriate application forms from its website rather than sending in pictures of themselves in their pants. This method of selection was discontinued for all but the most senior positions some twenty years ago. Whilst it is gratified by the recent surge of interest, Broxborough Borough Council requests that applicants consider the feelings of the poor girl employed to open the mail and desist from submitting such communications in future.

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03 May 2016

Tree Warden

Situations Vacant

Tree Warden
Ref: BRX/16/9875
Salary Details: Grade 5 - £20,253 to £22,937 per annum
Job Term: Full Time
Appointment Type: Permanent
Hours: 37
Location: Environmental Services Unit

Hey you! Yes, you. Take that soppy look off your face and listen up. Have you ever wanted to really make something of your life? Don't you want to be respected? Admired? Haven't you ever yearned to be somebody? Well now here's your chance - your chance to sign on as a Tree Warden!

Yeah, you heard straight. Broxborough Borough Council is looking for trainee tree wardens to help stem the flood of illegally parked foreign trees pouring into our region. Think you've got what it takes?

Hey, I'm talking to you! Wipe your nose, stop mumbling into your coffee and answer me, boy. Do you have what it takes to keep your cool when you're ordering a European Larch to move on, or trying to slap a ticket on a Sweet Chestnut? Do I hear a 'Hell Yes!' boy? You reckon you can hold your ground in the face of an aggressive Norway Spruce? You got the balls to outwit a Purple Willow or look a Sycamore in the eye and tell the woody bastard to vamoose? Hell, I know a sycamore don't got no eye, just answer the damn question!

Good. That's more like it. You could be just the person we're looking for. To apply, send a photograph of yourself in your pants to:

Mr J G Peasmould
Chief Environmental Officer
Broxborough Borough Council
Corporation St

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25 April 2016

Digital Vicars

One of the greatest mysteries of the Anglican faith has finally been revealed. The question of how vicars communicate with each other over distance has puzzled ecclesiastical scholars for centuries. For a while it was thought to be a variation of nun semaphore but now the Church of England has finally answered the question by explaining that it is essentially a form of shortwave prayer.

Whether you believe that prayer gives us a hotline to The Almighty is very much a matter of faith, but it's a fact that vicars have been using it to converse with one another since the reformation. They claim that it's more reliable than modern phone networks, more convenient and the data roaming charges are much more reasonable.

The exact mechanics of the technique have yet to be fully explained but it's understood that before he or she is ordained a trainee vicar will undergo an intensive course of instruction in vicar-to-vicar prayer. By the time they assume their parish duties, each is able to communicate almost instantaneously with vicars anywhere in the world. Some archdeacons can also send images and most bishops support video conferencing.

So far inter-denominational prayer has not been possible, meaning that if a Church of England Vicar wanted to communicate with a Roman Catholic priest, he'd probably have to resort to email. But the introduction of new digital vicars and the gradual phasing out of old analogue models means that this could soon change. There are also plans to turn the Archbishop of Canterbury into a Hub so that anyone within his immediate vicinity will also be able to use the network, as long as they know the security prayer.

Digital Vicars

Firstlode the vicry kneelys in the churchy polpit, with the vestlodes all arrayed splendiciously, and offlys up the prayer unto the magesticaly firmament, most celebraty, deep joy.

Through the wonderol powwow of the gangly spiral the humbly wordals are transpoddled over the ether, all speedymost, and received in gladiole through the thrips streepy. Remarkabold, truly remarkabold!

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The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2016

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