Damian McBride’s new book, Power Troll, looks set to scoop a handful of gongs at the Young Online Bully Awards, after he proved himself an inspiration to a rising generation of amoral psychopathic sadies. McBride was hailed as ‘the troll’s troll’ by a pandemonium of devils, ghouls and other fiends in human form, but it is the example he has set to young people that has really excited the online community of the vindictive and small-minded.
âWhen young people see political leaders acting like this, it sends a clear message to Britain’s youth,â said the spirit of a Victorian baby farmer inhabiting the body of Alistair Campbell. âWhat we’re saying is, there’s always justification for being a bully. As long as you say politics is a dirty business, you can get away with anything.â
Sales assistant Fiona McAndrew was left in a state of shock earlier today after a man approached her checkout in the Trowbridge branch of WH Smith carrying a copy of Classic Bulldozer in one hand and a five pound note in the other.
‘I asked him what he wanted and he âTo buy thisâ. It took me a while to take it in,â McAndrew told reporters. âSo I said “You mean you want to give me money for it?”. Then I asked him whether he had got lost and had actually meant to be standing around with the other several dozen people reading all the magazines for nothing. He said no, he wanted to take it home and read it.â
Remembering her training in sales prevention tactics, McAndrew asked the customer if he wouldnât rather have a half-price chocolate orange with a six foot long receipt plus a another piece of paper offering 20% off everything except anything you want. Eventually, however, she accepted his money, which earned her a severe reprimand from the manager. The customer was later sectioned to prevent him causing any more distress to WH Smith customers and staff.
âPeople have less time to cook these days,â said Wallâs chief developer, Brian Cleat, âso what could be more refreshing on a hot day than licking an uncooked frozen sausage? After the first couple you learn to suppress your gag reflex, and a surprisingly high number of people can eat raw pork without life-threatening side effects. Plus itâs less than a third of the price of a Magnum.â
However, the launch of the new product has seen a war of words break out between Wallâs Ice Cream and Wallâs Sausages.
âWe spent years developing the hand-held, multidirectional wooden interface that all our lollies come on,â said one worker from Wallâs Ice Cream. âAll the guys in the meat department have done is take that and make a pigâs ear of it. Tests show that compared to the âLolliporkâ, our range of frozen desserts and treats is far less prone to viruses, salmonella and dry retching.â
But Wallâs Sausages claim the âLolliporkâ is nothing new. âIt wasn’t a big step for us to breathe on the end of a Lincolnshire banger until it melted, and then push a bit of wood up it. It’s just a natural development of the corn dog.â
Until the internal divisions are healed, Wallâs has halted development of itâs latest product, the iScream, calling for a âtotal brain freezeâ. Instead the company is said to be focusing on a vegetarian accompaniment to the âLolliporkâ, the âQuornettoâ.
The scam was running like clockwork after the gang initially succeeded breaking into the system and stealing ÂŁ1.3 million of customersâ money. However, things started to go wrong after an unsolicited call from Barclays investment arm offering to double their money through derivatives trading.
Despite the plausible sales patter, lead hacker Julian Brown revealed that by the end of the first week the Barclays traders had lost them ÂŁ4 million. âWe were then hit with ÂŁ500,000 in unauthorised overdraft fees. The man rang back and said we should double up as we could make a fortune betting on something called the Libor. It all sounded too good to be true but we were in too far to say no.â
The hackers were shocked to discover that in the second week Barclays traders lost them a further ÂŁ9 million as someone had apparently fixed the Libor rate. âIt was just such bad luck, of course we were then charged ÂŁ1.5 million in overdraft charges, interest and returned direct debits. We nearly had our broadband cut off, which would have been embarrassing for the reputation of an international group of computer hackers.â
To add insult to injury, the hacking group had their identity stolen and a further ÂŁ4 million was removed from their account while they were on their way to give themselves up. Complained Brown: âOur card was skimmed when we got some cash out for the taxi to take us to the police station. Itâs disgusting, you just canât trust anyone these days.â
A Barclays spokesman said: ‘We offer all our customers the same terms and conditions, whether they are legitimate customers or fraudsters. We should remind you that investments can go up and down and we like to think of losses more as commission opportunities. By the way, there is a charge of ÂŁ50 for the letter we will send out tomorrow to repeat all these points in a slightly less comprehensible way. Itâs all in the small print, you know.’
Following a proposed plan to ban smoking inside Britain’s jails, thousands of hardened prisoners are facing the seemingly impossible task of trying to make the e-cigarette, an alternative to real smokes, look ‘tough’.
Prison officials, who have responded to claims of potential legal action by staff who have suffered the effects of passive smoking, have announced that a pilot is expected to begin next year, with a ban likely by 2015, leaving inmates with little time to work on pulling tough-guy poses whilst puffing on e-fags.
‘I could make Chihuahua dressed in a pink tutu look hard, but even I might struggle with this’, explained convicted armed robber and kidnapper, Tommy ‘Snakes’ O’Sullivan. ‘I’ve got a rep to look after in this place, not to mention a string of pen-wives to excite. I’m hardly going to send pulses racing with a plastic stick in my mouth with a blue light comically flashing on the end. No chance, my son’.
‘E-fags just don’t do it for me’, said Trisha Perkins, currently dating a serial killer in HMP Altcourse, Liverpool. ‘I don’t seek dangerous partners behind bars for their “healthy living lifestyles”. I want a muscly, spitting and swearing, chain-smoking hard-nut, not an e-fag-puffing health geek’.
In a further assault on the classic prison hard-guy image, plans are also in place to ban visible tattoos, which are set to be replaced with the more visually pleasing ‘henna transfer tattoo’, an organic and none-permanent alternative. Prisoners will be given access to a catalogue of designs to choose from, which can include classic Asian peace and love symbols, and various lovely floral designs.
The Labour Party has applied to the High Court in a bid to overturn the injunction currently in place on all political media coverage of Ed Miliband. The originalÂ gagging order was taken out the day after Mr. Miliband became leader and is due to be lifted shortly before the next election.
Deputy Leader Harriet Harman revealed that the injunction had been accidently placed on Ed Miliband when he became leader back in September and now explains how the oppostion has managed to keep the identity of their leader a total secret over the past eight months.Â âIt was a cock up with the paperwork in the office â you know how these things are.Â For months weâve been racking our brains for why we can never get him in the newspapers or on Newsnight â and now weâve finally worked it out. Nick Robinson pretended not to know who we were talking about â âEd who?â he kept saying.â
Ordinarily the press would fight such an injunction on the grounds of free speech, but it turns out they happily accepted the Labour Party’s mistaken application. The editor of The Sun, Dominic Mohan, stated, âWe decided not to contest the Labour Party in this move despite being supporters of the Conservatives who would have clearly benefited from almost any story featuring Ed Miliband. We did it because we couldnât contemplate a future in which Labourâs nominal leader was given even a single column inch. So the best way to achieve this was to effectively gag ourselves, just in case the urge arose in some mad young hack to try to slip a story past us.â
Jeremy Paxman of Newsnight was another supporter of the injunction after confessing he was never sure which Miliband was which. âI know one of them left frontline politics while the other one seems to have completely disappeared. So Iâm in favour of the injunction whoever it relates to.â
Harriet Harman says that while the order prevents any mention of Ed Milibandâs policies, she can reveal what he has been doing since last September. âAs some of you may know he is shortly to marry his long-term girlfriend Justine Thornton. Claire Short is going to be a bridesmaid, so we are expecting to get as much media coverage as Pippa Middleton.â
Hen parties, tree-bound felines and infernos throughout the UK have been put at risk by the paucity of âfitâ fire-fighters. Those in active service are expected to pass strident examinations in âoxygen consumptionâ, âbody waxingâ and use of âdouble entendreâ. Not only have 10% of the UKâs fire service recently failed an exercise test, but most have displayed allergies to baby oil, thongs and Velcro.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) (whose motto is âteaze not sleazeâ) is one of the worst offenders for âfitnessâ; trying to substitute high-class party entertainment with novelty gorilla-grams, topless waiters and one petulant dwarf in a kilt. One disappointed bride said: âWe called 999 in response to bonfire getting out of control. When the crew arrived they made no attempt to extinguish the flames, remove their clothing or rub their genitals on my faceâ.
The Chief Fire Officers Association has promised to introduce a nationwide fitness standard which will include âweight trainingâ, âwhipped cream guzzlingâ and âgyratingâ for an hour to âItâs Raining Menâ. Fire-fighters have long used part-time work to supplement their income and stripping is the easiest way to pay your way through college. An SFRS spokesman said: âIf our members want to continue to show their members, they need to buff up. Public safety can only be guaranteed if we quickly tackle fires and fire our tackle quickly. We need to return to our proud roots as sensuous, well-built strippers with an intimidatingly large hoseâ.
When cool dude Zac Jones (20) visited his local HMV store’s easy listening section he didn’t know he was being observed by cool guy Jeb Jobs (19). ‘Zac’s a mate,â said Jeb, âand I thought I knew him well, but I had to take a second look when I spotted him looking through the easy listening stuff. Man, I was well gutted.â
Zac’s girlfriend says she has decided to give him another chance but has banned him from visiting HMV unaccompanied and is monitoring his iTunes purchases. Although Zac claims he was just looking for a CD for his grandmother’s eightieth birthday, Jeb is dismissive.
‘I know Zac’s granny and she’s still into post-punk,â he said.
A piece of art by Damien Hirst has set the new record for a single item at auction. The piece entitled âOh Shitâ fetched ÂŁ2.3bn after frantic bidding by an anonymous investor. The work, which features a Merrill Lynch employee suspended in a tank of formaldehyde secured the highest price yet paid for a single piece of banking history.
It was believed that it was purchased for a private exhibit, and is unlikely to be put on display to the public or auditors, in the immediate future. âPay Dayâ, a piece comprised of empty envelopes and which was expected to make between 4,000 to 5,000 people happy, eventually went to administrators Price Waterhouse Coopers for well over the asking price.
Art critic Mathias Van-Leer praised Hirst for his courageous decision to sell all these works from his Financial Meltdown period. ‘It is a remarkable that Damien has been able to command these sort of prices,â he said, âespecially as we are seeing a lot of similar pieces suddenly coming onto the market.’
The success of the Hirst auction is in contrast to the fortunes of artists and brothers Jake and Dinos Lehman who were unable to find a buyer for their latest work, âWhite Elephantâ. This has led some art experts to claim that the market will be unlikely to secure the same sort of money for other historic banking institutions, and some predict that the bubble will burst sooner rather than later. Daily Telegraph art critic Mark Walker-Brice is one of the sceptical voices; ‘I mean weâve seen this all before, havenât we? I mean, this is just Northern Rock Bank Clerk, given a transatlantic sheen and passed off as the next big thing.â
Meanwhile, Hirstâs agent said he was delighted at the amount raised by the sale of his latest work. âAlthough weâre a bit worried about where he should deposit the cheque.â
Julian Wordsworth, a middle aged man currently residing in Surrey, has recently admitted to friends that he has become ‘consumed’ by the process of going over arguments he had a long time ago in his head, often obsessively imagining clever and pithy retorts he should have said at the time.
‘It’s beginning to get unbearable. Sometimes I can’t sleep for all the witty things I’ve missed the opportunity to say.Â Now I sometimes find myself fabricating whole conversational strands just to manufacture the chance to make one of these smart remarks. I say ‘speaking of…’ when the conversation’s had nothing to do with whatever I want to make a quip on. In fact, when rehearsing these past feuds, I sometimes even imagine stupid things other people might have said, and argue against them rather smugly. It’s hard to keep up with what I’ve actually disagreed with people over! If I’ve been recalling a particularly irksome incident with a friend in the run up to seeing them again, I often find I’m unintentionally rude or unpleasant to them without knowing why, which often results in another argument, and, well, you see how the cycle perpetuates itself…’
‘The main problem though’ he concluded, ‘is that I always end these arguments in some great animated diatribe, saying something like “Well I don’t even care, anyway!!!” which feels suitably snarky and superior, until I realise I had this argument eight years ago, and several of it’s participants are now dead.’
This is perhaps not so rare and unique a case as some might like to think. Mr.Wordsworth says that he believes himself to be ‘past the point of no return’ and has settled down to the idea of being plagued with this pathological-pettiness for the remained of his life. However, he hopes that by coming forward and discussing his issue, he might help others realise the dangers such seemingly innocuous habits can have in the long run, and give them the courage to come out and talk about it too.