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All the news you missed from Winamop. (in 2003)

On to 2004?

December 12th 2003

Shopping Frenzy breaks out.

Retailers all over the country have reported high levels of buying of all kinds of useless items such as confectionery and "gifts". This inexplicable wasting of money has flummoxed the experts, retail consultant Brett Garfield said: "We can't understand it. People seem to have been flocking to the shops and splashing out money on all sorts of items that we can't usually get rid of."
A full investigation is underway, Police suspect some kind of subliminal indoctrination has taken place.
Inspector Knacker of the yard advises: "Keep your wallets in your pockets, resist any urge to splurge and report any suspicious persons soliciting you to spend unnecessary money. We have had several reports that a gang dressed in red suits and long white beards may be behind this.
Go steady out there."



November 22nd

Police in pooch peril

Now that "hunting with dogs" is to be made illegal the Police fear that they could be locked up for setting their dogs to sniff out ne'er-do-wells.
They are to replace their packs of ferocious Alsatians with sniffer cats and ferrets.

A Police spokesman said "The dogs fall within the scope of the new law whereas cats and ferrets don't. We are thinking of using lions, and cheetahs etc as they'll probably be more likely to put the willies up the villains!"

Let's hope the huntsmen don't get the same idea.



November 1st

Bin Laden video criticised by Bush and Kerry

A recent video from al Qaeda has been criticised by both U.S. Presidential candidates:
Bush commented that the camerawork was shoddy and the lighting poor whilst Kerry pointed out that the sound quality left a lot to be desired and the editing was sub-standard.
An al Qaeda spokesperson, obviously taken aback at the stinging remarks, was defiant:
"We shall seek out the infidel cameraman and editors and tear them limb from limb, they are obviously not true followers of Bin Laden, his makeup had taken absolutely hours, and for what? I'm sick as a parrot I really am!".
Repeated ad infinitum on Al Jazeera TV.



October 15th

Polititian with "heart" shocker!

It has been alleged by medical staff in the last few weeks that Tony Blair has "a heart".
If this proves to be the case it will of course preclude him from holding high office in politics.

Gordon Brown awaits the result of the enquiry with interest.



30th September 2003

Trouble at the Labour party conference

A Winamop snapper managed to get this shocking photo of Gordon Brown giving Tony Blair the infamous "hand-o-nose" gesture behind his back at yesterday's conference.

Tony is said to have retorted "And yer Mam!"



28th September

Smart in space!

Smart 1 was successfully launched last night at 2314gmt.
Astronaut Fred Hargreaves is at the controls.

Mission control reported some early problems; The AA Road Atlas had slipped under the seat during blast off and Fred's Thermos flask lid was insufficiently tightened leading to a slight loss of tea.
Other than that all systems are go.
Next stop the moon!



And in Italy!

See August 15th.



27th September

New Euro Moon Probe Launch.

Today's the day the first Euro Moon probe "Smart 1" blasts off from French Guiana.

Smart 1 is to be powered by a revolutionary new propulsion system, Ludwig Hepplesteiner explains:
"Ze prrrinciple of photon prrropusion has been well explained by ze famous Amerrrican scientist Gene Rrrrrrrroddenberrrrry. Ve have adapted it so zat instead of photons being generrrrated by expensive dilithium crrrystals we will use a bulb. Ze light shining from ze lamp will be, in fact, a beam of photons which, by Newtonian physical laws, will push Smart 1 along."
"As you know, Smart 1 is basically a Smart car with the wheels rrremoved. So all we had to do was make the headlights stay on all the time, we had assistance from Volvo for zis, and drive ze car backwards."

We will keep you posted on the success of the mission....



22nd September

Dead Goldfish in moral outrage shocker.

I am indebted to the Daily Telegraph for bringing this to my attention.

It is good to know our morals are being protected.
Did you know that the humble goldfish bowl was a "distressing environment" for a fish? Better than on a plate with some chips I'd have thought, but not so the Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre.

They told ad agency TBWA that they couldn't show a dead goldfish in a bowl as part of their advert for oven chips.
The ad tells a tale of life's disappointments and suggests that a nice bowl of chips can soothe your psyche.

The dead goldfish was to be one of the disappointments.

And so it proved to be...

BACC decreed that the fish should not be seen floating dead in the bowl, not because a dead fish is not an attractive image, but because it was in the bowl. The "distressing environment".
Protestations that the thing was dead and couldn't get any more distressed if it was run over by a truck fell on deaf ears.

Other images we can't see in adverts are: dogs in the street with no lead, dogs in bicycle baskets and animals in cars without restraint (driving dangerously presumably?).
In the programs between the ads we can see all kinds of mayhem and debauchery but rest assured that the adverts are wholesome.

The crap they advertise however.......

I wonder what would happen if we tried to make an advert for goldfish bowls?



21st September

Less of your sauce!

Several types of supermarket own-brand pasta sauce have been withdrawn from the shelves after trading standards operatives discovered that they contained “flavour” and could possibly cause “enjoyment” in consumers.

“This kind of thing cannot be made available to the general public” Stated an official today. “foods of this type, containing flavour, are normally only available in special shops such as Harrods.”

A representative of Blandfoods PLC was contrite; “I unreservedly apologise for the oversight, who knows what would happen if we were to provide the supermarket shopper with flavoursome foods? They would become discontented with their usual tasteless bread and nasty rubbery cheese! The whole British processed foods industry would be in crisis…”

Shares in Blandfoods dropped 10 points.



18th September

Off the rails again.

Rail maintenance contractors Jarvis who recently had to apologise for shoddy work at Potters Bar, have surpassed themselves.
A train leaving King's Cross with 150 people on board came off the rails because.... there weren't any! Jarvis had forgotten to replace a section of track that they had removed during points maintenance.

You can just imagine the contractors on the way home...
"You going out tonight Bill?"
"Yeah, s'pose I might. Hey Jack, wasn't there something we were supposed to do before we went home?"
"Don't think so Bill, anyway it's too late now, here comes a train."
In unison: "Oh Shit!".

Rail bosses were told of this whilst celebrating the opening of the high speed rail link to the channel tunnel. It can carry passengers at up to 180MPH. Let's hope all the bits of that are bolted together nice and tight.....



14th September

McDonald's in good food shocker.

It seems that Ronald McDonald is in trouble. His profits have turned into losses and the only thing expanding is the waistline of the customer.

His idea is to sell more healthy fare: Baguettes and fruit (in plastic packs of course) are to come to a "restaurant" near you. It is hoped that this will attract a more affluent and sophisticated clientele.

Our local McDonald's could certainly do with a make-over, evidently the revolting plastic chairs are to go, but the most objectionable thing about the place, the packaging, will stay.
Haven't these people ever heard of crockery?

So as we pass "Macky D's" on our way to a decent eatery it looks like we'll have to wade through a sea of discarded burger cartons for the foreseeable future.
I'm sure the affluent and sophisticated clients will enjoy the experience!



10th September

Overcharging or what??

The RIAA attempted to sue a 12 year old girl for $150,000 because she'd been using Kazaa to download her favourite songs.

Naughty, but $150,000??!!
You can legally download songs for around a dollar a go so she'd have to have downloaded 150,000 songs to make the amount sensible.
At about 3MB each that'd be, err..., 450GB of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake!

Doesn't bear thinking about does it?

She settled out of court for $2,000.... (Well, her mum did.)

Go carefully out there.....



6th September

Directory enquiries fiasco.

Most 118 services couldn't find their bums with both hands... read our "in-depth" survey.



5th September

Croquet or criquet?

Shock waves have passed through the normally tranquil world of Croquet following a cruel slur by Lord Maclaurin. He implied that croquet was some kind of archaic sport and that cricket would go the same way if something wasn't done.

We at Winamop are avid croquet players and are incensed at the implication that croquet is outmoded, the sheer cruelty and bloody-mindedness of a good game has to be seen to be believed.

Surely it is a more fitting game for this age than the gentlemanly posturing of cricket? It's over more quickly too!



4th September

Hutton Inquiry Latest.

It has come to light that the Iraq WMD dossier wasn't "Sexed Up" it was, in fact, "Over Egged".

That's alright then!



3rd September

British Balloon Bursts.

Our brave astronauts failed to give Britain the lead in the space race when their balloon "Qinetic 1" fell out of the sky and went "FRRRRRRRRRRRP" all around the room.

"I had to duck as it came past me" complained tear-stained pilot Andy Elson, "I don't think we should have let my dad blow it up, he always spoils everything!"



29th August

Oh, it has!

See August 15th......



19th August

Exam shocker

English "AS" and "GCSE" examination results have not improved thus proving that standards in education are falling. This comes one week after the A-Level examination results, which had improved, proved that standards in education are falling....
That can't be right can it?

I demand a re-count.



15th August

Major Power Outage in the States

"It couldn't happen here." Say the government...

First with the news, Winamop contacts our man in New York...
Rod, can you hear me?

"Err... yes" (sound of stumbling about, bumping into things)

Rod, what's happening there?

"I don't know it's all gone dark. I'm just trying to find the staaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiirs!!!!" (Much crashing and banging).

Thanks Rod.




31st July

Ghastly prospect in the kitchen!

Warm weather threatens the consistency of British Marmite.

Snackers throughout the UK are finding their Marmite has gone all runny, leading to dribbles down the side of the jar and the inevitable "lid stickiness".

A spokesperson for Unilever Bestfoods UK didn't tell us "We are thinking of developing a thixotropic Marmite that won't dribble" because we didn't ask them.

Good idea though, what about a "potty putty" version of Marmite that bounces when dropped but spreads "straight from the fridge"? Mmmm!



30th July

The self-styled "comedy terrorist" Aaron Barschak, who gatecrashed Prince William's 21st birthday party last month, is about to launch his show "Osama Like It Hot" in Edinburgh. The show starts on August 2nd at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Evidently his costume consists of a pink dress and a beard. I'm not sure that this is a terribly convincing Bin-Laden outfit... are we sure he's not getting Osama confused with Eddie Izzard?



15th July

The Fabian Society, a "think tank" have today recommended some radical changes to the Monarchy.
Here at Winamop, our "thought bucket" has come up with these suggestions:

  • Economy:
    • Royal train to be scrapped and replaced by one of those lever-operated trolleys that Buster Keaton whizzed up and down railways on.
    • Royal car to be supplemented by rickshaw for local London trips (also quicker).
  • Modernisation:
    • Garden party cucumber sandwiches to be replaced with brie and parma ham wraps...
    • To be served by Hooters girls on roller-blades.
  • Street cred:
    • Pimms to be replaced by Vodka and Red Bull
    • Crown to be replaced with Craig David style "tea cosy" hat.
    • That bloke from "The Streets" to be given a knighthood.
  • Eco friendliness:
    • Roof of Buckingham palace to be replaced with solar panels (remove Brian May first)
    • Palace gardens to be filled with wind generators.
    • Scottish castles to be fitted with Charlie Dimmock designed hydro-electric generators.



3rd July

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has upset the Germans.
At his first appearance as leader of the European Parliament, he said that a particular German M.E.P. would be "perfect" for the role of a guard in a film about a Nazi concentration camp.
This Fawlty-esque outburst is to be deplored but British M.E.P.s must be prepared. Take a look at the list of our MEPs and place your bets as to which one will be first to be the butt of one of Silvio's notorious "jokes". (My money's on no. 59 in the list, Simon Murphy, a soft target I think you'll agree!)
Our secret weapon, John Prescott, should be sent out as soon as possible, Berlusconi will be unable to resist calling him a "fat pie-eating yobbo", then John can stick one on him!
It'll be just like Westminster.



22nd June 2003

A man claiming to be Osama Bin Laden gatecrashed Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle last night.
Security chiefs are "looking into the matter". I'll bet they are!

Turns out that the intruder was a "Comedy Terrorist" publiscising his Edinburgh festival show.

Phew! That's alright then. Obviously a real terrorist wouldn't have the skill to do the same, comedians are a breed apart..

What amazes me is that anyone noticed, in a hall full of Hooray Henries dressed up as King Um-Bongo of Umbo-Bumbo-Land another comedian should've been hard to spot.
Perhaps this bloke isn't very funny?



7th June

Tradition continues to come under threat from nouveau-rich incomers. Recently a popular pub and music venue, the Fiddle and Bone in Birmingham closed down. Its regular live music performances had proved too loud for the inhabitants of the nearby prestige apartments which have recently sprung up across the canal. The irony is that the sales pitch for these flats cited the lively night-life nearby as an attraction and they even held some of their publicity events there.
Meanwhile in the sleepy village of Stoke-Abbott in Dorset... well, not so sleepy actually, as the church bell rings 100 times at 7am every morning. Or rather, it did ring at 7am, now it rings at 7.45 to appease holiday makers who don't want to be woken so early. Ah diddums! Next they'll want the dawn-chorus delayed until 8am and that cockerel'll have to go....
Peace in the country? Don't you believe it!



5th June

Liverpool wins "European City of Culture 2008" after the hot favourites, Newcastle/Gateshead are pipped at the post. Our city, Birmingham, also in the contest, is pretty relieved that it hasn't won as it would have had to put up with the likes of Craig Brown in the Telegraph and the News-Quiz teams, dredging up a load of old "North of Watford" stereotypes. What these dumbos fail to realise is that "culture" is more than trendy, overpriced restaurants and Camden market. Good on yer Liverpool (but we was robbed...).



30th May

Tony Blair is under pressure to reveal the whereabouts of the weapons of mass destruction he was worried about during the Iraq invasion. Unfortunately he doesn't know where Claire Short and Robin Cooke are.



28th May

Euro-phobia rears its ugly head again. Read all about it on page 94. Note: Page 94 is becoming a regular rant. Contributions welcome!


24th May

Iraq flattened by Americans. "Thanks very much, that's much better" say dust-covered Iraqis. Saddam so far unavailable for comment. "A Glorious Iraqi Victory" proclaims Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf from his cell.
Connected item The Rumsfeld Doctrine by The Doktor.



24th May

British singers voted "Flattest in Europe" by an international panel. "A Great Performance" proclaims Muhammed al-Terrywogan from his soundproof booth.

Several football hooligans locked up for being tedious are on 24hr TV. Yes "Big Brother" is back and you haven't heard the last of it.....

A new web-site, said to be a "haven for literature" has gone on-line. Greeted with total apathy, the proprietors are re-thinking their future career plans.

And now the weather.
Oh goodness me. Someone's drawn lines all over this map! Hang on whilst I clean them off.....
That's better.
Errr, well there doesn't seem to be any weather today.

So it's goodnight from me and Brian. (starts shuffling papers, fixed grin slowly fades, lights dim, starts to walk off set, falls over mike cable, music rolls, prostrate presenter is hauled off set with a lighting pole).



T = True story

MT = Mostly true

L = Lies

LF = Lies based on Facts

Note: To comply with time-honoured journalistic practices, we only use single sources and never check our facts. If we cannot obtain firm information we make it up.
Rupert made us do it!

It may not be big, it may not be clever, but it's ours so please don't reproduce without consent (or at least acknowledgment).


© Winamop 2004