Lies, damn lies and steaming cowpats

In town, owners have to clean up after their dogs. So why shouldn't farmers clean up after their cows?
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The Independent Online

How well do you follow the news? Do you consider yourself adequately briefed on current affairs ? Think you could be quizzed on what's happening in the world and acquit yourself honourably? Well, now's your chance to prove it! Today I am bringing you six news stories from the last week. The catch is that one of them is completely fabricated. Can you spot which one ?

How well do you follow the news? Do you consider yourself adequately briefed on current affairs ? Think you could be quizzed on what's happening in the world and acquit yourself honourably? Well, now's your chance to prove it! Today I am bringing you six news stories from the last week. The catch is that one of them is completely fabricated. Can you spot which one ?

All right then - put away your newspapers, switch off your TV and prepare to pit your wits!

 

1) A man in Bristol was electrocuted by his own washing-line. Mr Simon Flint, 39, had invented a way of getting cheap electricity from a washing-line by using the exchange of energy involved in the drying of clothes. His Heat Exchange Mechanism line (HEM line ) involved hanging up masses of wet washing and converting the solar energy used to dry it into a weak supply of electricity, just enough for his domestic use. Unfortunately, the washing-line was not earthed properly and it electrocuted Mr Flint. "If it had been up to speed, I could have been killed," he said. "As it was, it was no worse than hot English mustard."

 

2) It is reported that a new organisation for world leaders is being set up at the behest of Slobodan Milosevic. The organisation will be open only to world leaders who have lost a national election and then refused to leave office or give way to the winner. Mr Milosevic has invited the rulers of Burma to join him in this new venture. They are considering asking Yasser Arafat to be an honorary member, as he is taken to be the leader of Palestine without having actually won an election.

 

3) A stockbroker from Harrow, who has recently moved into the Hampshire countryside, is suing his neighbouring farmer for not clearing up after his cows. "The local fields are an eyesore, not to mention a nosesore, with so many disgusting cowpats lying around," says Mr Arbottle. "When I lived in town, I had to clear up after my dog the whole time or face penalties, and quite right, too. Why should a farmer not have to clear up after a cow, especially in fields with public rights of way going through?" The local community is up in arms against this townie, but it seems that legally speaking, he may well have right on his side. If the farmer is forced to clean up his fields, it could utterly change the face of British farming.

 

4) Recently, the Chinese gave permission for the hit Irish dance show River Dance to be performed by a touring Chinese dance company. As the Chinese cannot easily pronounce the letter "R", the name was changed to "Liver Dance". A New York impresario, Abe Litoff, read about the success of the show and booked it but assumed from the title "Liver Dance" that it was a Jewish show, and was furious to find when it opened that it was just an Irish show danced by Chinese. He is suing the Chinese, even though the show has been a minor smash hit in New York under the new title of "Old Man Liver".

 

5) After a random drugs test, a dancer in the Olympic Games final ceremony in Sydney tested positive for alcohol and cannabis. He has been banned from ever dancing at the Olympics again.

 

6) A couple in Derbyshire got married six months ago and had their wedding photographs sent to the local chemist for processing. However, due to a mix-up at the laboratories, the precious wedding pictures were all lost.

 

Determined not to be down-hearted and to recapture the happiest day of their lives, the couple staged the whole ceremony again with the same guests at the same place, but with a different photographer. Unfortunately, after three months of marriage the couple began to have arguments and the recreated wedding led to their biggest one yet, each one blaming the other for the original catastrophe, and the expense of the restaged wedding. The couple have split up and have not seen each other since their "wedding", which turns out to have been their divorce party. They may well be the only couple who have a complete set of pictures of their divorce and none of their wedding.

 

Answer: The third story was completely fictional. But so were all the others! Oh well, that's journalism for you.

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