Mystic deb

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The Independent Culture
Next week's big stories, direct from the City's top speculator.

Thursday 19 February

Australians pledge support for a bombing raid on palaces belonging to the dictatorial regime. Having decided how to tackle the Queen, they go on to discuss Iraq.

William Hague announces that half the Tory membership will soon be under 36. He refuses to clarify whether this figure refers to age or IQ.

Damages are finally awarded to a man concussed by a falling Conservative campaign poster during the election. The man admits, though, that he suffered no serious mental side effects. He still voted Labour.

Researchers develop a computer which can actually sense the emotions of a human being and respond appropriately. But they are thwarted in attempts to find a computer programmer who can do the same.

Friday 20 February

Food technologists develop a box of chocolates that can stay fresh for up to two years. Thousands of female customers ask "WHY?"

Michael Winner is banned for life from Le Gavroche. A delighted Michel Roux announces that his restaurant is now fully booked until the year 2050.

Saturday 21 February

Australians issue another statement regarding Saddam Hussein's threat to Kuwait. A senior diplomat announces: "Neighbours, Everybody Needs Good Neighbours, Just a Friendly Word Each Morning ..."

The identity of the enormous reclining figure in the Millennium Dome is finally revealed. Ken Clarke is said to be "extremely flattered".

Robin Cook is asked to stay away from Montserrat, when residents complain that what they wanted was golden elephants, not ginger pygmies.

Sunday 22 February

American scientists perfect a method to heal the pierced ears of mice. The technique could have major implications for Mike Tyson's future opponents.

Harold Pinter attacks plans for military intervention in the Gulf, calling for an immediate pause in hostilities.

Monday 23 February

Ruud Gullit speaks out about being given the sack. He insists: "Only if it's got three million quid in it."

The crackdown on drug-abusing motorists continues. Hundreds of drivers are asked: "Just blow your nose into this bag, Sir."

Tuesday 24 February

American scientists perfect a technique for artificially replicating human limbs. Saddam Hussein demands the right to inspect their hi-tech arms capability.

A shock survey reveals that many schoolchildren are working for as little as 33p an hour. Teachers deny this, admitting they have to pay most kids at least a fiver to get their essays in on time.

Debbie Barham

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