“...we shall see in 2020...”
Special Reports from The Ox-Fools
No Tinned Sardines at Tiffin
Towing the UK out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where it could be left to sink into the Central Canyon, would be expensive, cruel and unsustainable - but not outside the bounds of feasibility. A German plan to do just this was under serious consideration during the Battle of Britain, though the use of yellow submarines would not have been cricket.
“Curse of the Self-peeling Banana.”
Not two decades from the turn of the millennium, downing milk of water-buffalo to the strains of Radio Fork, we stumble across this saga of genetic manipulation in downtown Turnaround Town.
Orthodox science tells us bananas were never meant to self-peel. But the boffins who created this embarrassment were faceless ciphers, white-coated scone-heads dedicated to blurring the edges of technology. The question who on the planet needed bananas that could peel themselves went simply unasked. Blinkered by biology, they blundered into the work, never pondering why such flagrant autonomy should favour the semi-tropical fruit.
A typical banana of the Last Century would scarcely have dreamt of going naked into the negotiating chamber. But as they neared maturity, the first unsuspecting fruit were sold down the river into laboratories innocuously disguised as ripening sheds. Others were loaded onto eponymous banana boats. There they were subjected to degrading experiments, soaked in hormone rich baths, sprayed with libidinous chemicals, or even suspended in vapour-filled chambers to absorb the involuntary reflexives. A young, tender banana would then be laid voluptuously upon a ceramic or metal plate and left to expose itself.
Once effective methods of impregnation were successfully duplicated, small consignments of self-peeling 'nanas were released onto unsuspecting markets. The results were unequivocal. Ripe hands began exposing themselves in public and private venues throughout the target areas. In malls, shocked customers watched in helpless outrage as lithe young bananas eased themselves out of their skins to lie provocatively on counters. In homes, bowls of fruit assortment became the scene of lewd encounters as apples, quince and even greengages blushed in response to the spontaneous stripping of their elongated yellow colleagues. Schools and works canteens were not spared the shame brought on by batches of nude provocateurs.
Though many naked bananas were immediately consumed by shameless primates; others languished for a short time, browning off where they lay, glistening in the atmosphere and giving out a digestive stink. The temptation to gobble up these languid examples proved too much for even the most staid and hesitant feeders. Few indeed of the skinless bodies were allowed to turn black, even on hot and sultry days. And though payment was occasionally deferred, the guilty pleasures of most went hand-in-hand with token exchanges. Indeed, the way these treated bananas offered themselves up appeared to excite increased interest in the Musa genus; soon enough the entire first crop had disappeared, only the limp skins remaining where they had so flagrantly been discarded.
Having established first principles, the mad boffins turned their attention to the timing of a banana's strip. What should be the trigger? A variety of stimuli was applied: music and other audio signals, human proximity: odours such as sweat, perfume or after-shave; time of day, weather conditions, casting of suggestive shadows. Finally, the application of artificial intelligence was deployed, any given banana assessing the local conditions for itself to decide when, where and how to perform the act of lewd exposure.
Self-peeling bananas went on general release before an unsuspecting public with earth-shattering results. Traffic on a busy street in downtown Turnaround Town came to a halt when a truck shed its load of self-peelers. Crowds formed outside greengrocer shop windows. Matrons shrieked on wards. Schoolkids fretted over lunchboxes. Volvos skedaddled and collided with horse-drawn carts. Lone picnickers ran from park benches. Questions were asked in both Houses and the Prime Minister was summoned to The Embassy.
Large cooking bananas were not immune to the infection. Hard-boiled plantains, normally the butch and recalcitrant bedfellows of okra and sweet potatoes, proudly emerged from their thick green jackets to protrude from baskets of multi-coloured peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. The revolution was beginning to spread. Somehow, coconuts learned to eject their own milk. Peas turned self-shooters. Carrots, mandrake-like, leapt from the ground. Figs and strawberries swapped underwear. Ears of wheat, barley and rye threshed each other to the buzz of hayfever attacks. Thousands of pumpkins grinned in the fields, the twinkle of their candle-lit eyes shimmering in the cool evening breeze of Autumn.
Halloween was drawing on. With the infection fully out, the question had to be asked: what new Great Beast was about to be born?
the farce that sank a thousand ships
Once described as a musical without music, it's the show that has twice defied the critics to run and run like an open wound on the face of Boredway. It stars no one but himself, has them creasing in the aisles, snorting in the lavs and blocking the spittoons with false teeth & gum. Sawdust sprinkles from ceilings as rodents and woodworm roar on cue. Beamed live into homes & dugouts throughout the country, especially loved by the intellectually, emotionally and psychologically challenged: Cheeseboat - the triumph of crass over craft, of submarine over pondskater, the first brand of soap powder to challenge Oxymoron. Public fountains beware!
Soap Fountain Arrests
You snivelling little morons! Call yourselves hooligans? Can't you think of anything better to vandalise than a harmless urban water feature? Take them down and set them to work gumming up cracks in the pavements. Next case!
...and now, Down Your... Pan
Eee by gum, let's hoof it to the foot of our stairs, life's a rum & cloves affair, there's nowt so queer as folklore, and that bloody Nora....
As far as rabbits go, I've got little to say bar this: wouldn't chase one with a shotgun, and neither of our dogs could catch a wet stick let alone a furry animal. So when it comes to Alice tumbling into Wonderland, I'm with her in spirit only. Tumbling into bed at night is about all I can manage, and if I ever have trouble sleeping it's not sheep I'm counting, fingers drumming on the mattress, rain dripping from the chicken-house roof. What a July it's been! So, what does August augur?
No Say Cheese!