Spot the odd one out in our news quiz

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The Independent Online

It's time to test you on your knowledge of the news again.

It's time to test you on your knowledge of the news again.

Yes, this is the monthly examination in which we, The Independent, find out how well, you, the readers, have been paying attention to what we have been telling you.

It's very easy. I bring you four news stories from the past week. One of them has been made up by me. Can you spot which one it is?

1. David Blunkett has secretly joined the pressure group, Fathers 4 Justice.

As Home Secretary, he deplores their ingenious but disruptive tactics.

As a possible father of Mrs Quinn's children, he feels intense sympathy with their cause.

He has compromised by joining the group, but in conditions of intense secrecy.

Already he has agreed to take part in one of their high-level publicity stunts. This month he has agreed to appear publicly at one of their meetings and speak in their favour.

What he doesn't know is that the "meeting" will take place on top of the Severn Bridge, and that he will be left up there clinging on for dear life.

F4J says the publicity will be incalculable.

2. There was a time when potato crisps were plain. Then they started being given flavours such as cheese and onion, and smoky bacon. More recently, they have been given more exotic flavours such as barbecue, salsa, garlic 'n' rosemary, and black peppercorn.

Nobody thought it could get any worse. But now a small hand-made crisp firm in Oxfordshire has pushed the envelope a lot, lot further. It has started to market a three-course dinner-flavoured crisp. The flavours involved are prawn cocktail, roast chicken and sherry trifle.

"People say that the three flavours shouldn't be mixed," says the managing director of Banquet Crisps, Tom Verreker. "But we mix all three together when we're eating a meal! It's all mushed up in our stomach! Why shouldn't a crisp do it and give us the impression of an entire meal?

"In fact we are seriously thinking of extending the effect and giving the crisp a lingering aftertaste of coffee and after-dinner mint ..."

3. The rate of suicide among Japanese teenagers is horrifyingly high, so much so that some terrorist organisations have shown interest in recruiting them.

Their reasoning is that suicide bombers are always difficult to get hold of, so it would make sense to recruit people who are already disposed to suicide, and then give them the necessary training in driving trucks and detonating bombs.

"Also," said a spokesman for an unnamed cell, "nobody would suspect them to look at them. They would think they were just Japanese tourists."

4. We all know about product placement in films.

What happens is that the makers of a certain whisky, which we will call Glen McCurdle, pay good money to the film people to ensure that when the hero takes a slug of Scotch, and licks his lips, it is from a bottle of Glen McCurdle.

But now a new phenomenon has entered the scene: product displacement. The way this works is that the company pays good money to the film people to see a competitor's product ridiculed. So when the hero asks for a whisky in a bar and is poured a glass of MacBooty, which he then spits out in disgust, you'll know that the makers of Glen McCurdle have paid for it to happen.

This is taken to extremes in a new horror movie in which the villain takes a drink of Coca-Cola and shrivels to a small pool of grease. The episode is paid for by Pepsi Cola ...

Well? Did you spot that I made up the news item about David Blunkett and F4J? Well done !

Did you also get a funny feeling that the other three were phoney? Spot on!

Honestly, you can't trust anyone these days, can you?

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