Mystic deb: Next week's tales of the unexpected, as only a psychic could imagine them

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The Independent Culture
Thursday 4th June

A tearful nation continues to mourn the tragic, unexpected loss of Geri Halliwell. As a mark of respect, the other four group members lower their Union Jack underpants to half-mast.

Elton John releases a heartfelt tribute to Ginger Spice. "Cleavage In The Wind" becomes an instant Number One, knocking the Spice Girls off top spot in the charts.

Paul Gascoigne is rumoured to be suicidally depressed about his omission from the World Cup squad. Psychiatrists put him under 24 hour observation, just in case he decides to "do something intelligent".

Following an error in which several thousand BT staff were left unpaid, their chairman receives 10,000 Final Reminders and notification that if he doesn't pay up then all service will be withdrawn.

Shares in EMI fall dramatically in the wake of the Spice Girls split. Speculators, meanwhile, predict a bad time ahead for the Bare Market and no immediate return to a bum-and-bust economy.

The Spice Girls deny that losing Geri will affect their record sales. "The future's bright!" they declare... "the future's NOT orange".

Friday 5th June

A "Best of Ginger Spice" compilation is rushed into the shops. Fans eagerly hand over pounds 15.99 for an entirely blank CD.

The Spice Girls continue searching for a successor. They approach the only other red-haired recording artist currently in vogue. Po refuses, saying that he would rather stay with the Teletubbies and appeal to a more mature audience.

Paul Gascoigne denies using the F word when told of his dismissal. Lawyers for Gazza insist that the subject of "Fitness" never entered the player's head.

Saturday 6th June

Spice Girls fans are offered counselling to cope with the trauma - future concerts go ahead with "The Samaritans" as official Support Group.

The Labour Party takes delivery of its pounds 50,000 table for the Cardiff summit. "Pah! Ikea tat..." sneers Lord Irvine.

Sunday 7th June

A top Jewish leader resigns following controversy about his book Kosher Sex. However, the damage is already done - formerly abstinent followers are now alleged to be "at it like Rabbis".

Following reports that an active, well-exercised imagination is the key to a long life, the entire Estate Agency profession rejoices - whilst advertising executives start drawing up their Last Will and Testament.

Monday 8th June

Mo Mowlam gives up trying to reconcile Gerry Adams and the Unionists, and takes on an even more difficult task - trying to reconcile Geri Halliwell and the remaining Spice Girls.

Gerry Adams refuses to say why he turned down Mo Mowlam's invitation to a social event - explaining that this was "not a party issue".

Meteorologists announce that due to El Nino, the Earth is rotating more slowly. In an effort to solve the problem, Peter Mandelson appoints himself the planet's official spin doctor.

Tuesday 9th June

Victims of third world disasters are offered "stress counselling" by well-meaning therapists. Results are encouraging - they announce that their first patients are now in touch with their "inner orphaned refugee child".

House of Commons bar staff admit to taking second jobs at Butlins, explaining that it makes a refreshing change from working with a bunch of hopeless comedians who are paid to take holidays all year. They also add that at least in Butlins you can still spot the occasional red coat.

Prison warders defend their decision to give inmates more television sets in their cells - pointing out that this is by far the most effective way of getting the inmates to stay there.

Yorkshire Water admits that its debts are rising - although sadly, its reservoirs aren't. An anonymous insider describes the beleaguered company's position as "up sh*t creek without a puddle".

A new "theme hotel" opens, offering guests the chance to experience gruesome torture- chambers favoured by the Marquis de Sade. Guests familiar with Britain's one- and two-star hotels pronounce it "extremely comfortable and hospitable".