Mystic Deb

Next week's news, direct from the City's top speculator.
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The Independent Culture
Thursday 4 December

A new "eye-scanning" bank security device is unveiled, claiming to recognise individual customers by the appearance of the retina. But it fails initial trials on Barclays customers, who all have their eyes shut after having queued for so long.

Rumours that the world's richest man has bought himself a little property in West London are confirmed, when the area between Kensington and Holland Park is renamed "Notting Bill Gates".

Friday 5 December

Shares in Glaxo Wellcome soar again after the company withdrew its controversial diabetes drug because of potential health risks. Luckily, no sweeteners were involved.

Saturday 6 December

The new eye-scanning security device is installed in several High Street banks. Police are called after a daring raid carried out by three men with real beards but false eyelashes.

The minister in hot water over a multi-million-pound offshore investment arrangement reveals all in his scandalous new children's book, Swiss Bank- Account Family Robinson.

Sunday 7 December

A Sainsbury's spokesman announces contingency plans should a bomb be found to have gone off in one of the company's stores. It explains that it would reduce the bomb by 50p and put it on the "special offers" shelf.

Monday 8 December

Boosted by the seasonal buying frenzy, Marks & Spencer launches a new ladies clothing retailing arm under the name "Marks & Earl Spencer" - promising customers that if the suit they get from their husband this Christmas isn't large enough, they can exchange it for a bigger one.

Whitbread is forced to cancel the sale of its Threshers outlets, when the prospective buyer refuses to show them a proof of age card to confirm that he is over 18.

Tuesday 9 December

The clothing empire Levi Strauss closes 30 per cent of its manufacturing plants, describing the move as the launch of a new, fashionable, "shrink- to-fit" workforce.

As the deadlock in the strike between big-name actors and television voice-over companies continues, the actors' union relaunches itself as "Negative Equity".

The market for Spice Girl merchandise dips even further as the range of dolls fails to sell. Retailers admit that they are cheap, plasticky, shoddily manufactured and potentially harmful to small children; the dolls on the other hand are a high-quality product.

Wednesday 10 December

Hornby trains are repackaged to recapture the children's market following the revelation that most of their train sets are being bought by adults. The resulting range of "Alcotrains" proves a big Christmas seller.

Distillery companies celebrate a record year's profits by successfully organising a piss-up in a brewery. Eurotunnel bosses gatecrash the event, declaring themselves on a "fact finding mission".

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