A Tabloid View Upon the Recent Inclement Weather

snow on soho square

Just as Britain emerges battered from its hovel, frozen and hungry like a frosty shrew with its eyes blinking into the bright morning sun, warnings are again coming over the long wave radiograms that we face yet another week of arctic blasts, snow storms and frost. Panic shoppers, grit spreaders and tabloid journalists are working themselves up into a lather over what some members of the fourf estate are referring to as ‘Britain’s toughest week since the Blitz’. If only Hitler had thought of 4 inches of snow and a red-top. Still, although The QuFF considers reporting upon such matters as beneath its august appeal (and boy does august seem appealing right now) we are more than happy to syndicate the pen-wumblings of our local tabloid, The Fluv y’bust’d:

Regards,

Fluffer

fluv


Snow-where to Run!!!

There was panic on the street of Quindley & Fluff last night as the Met Office issued another severe weather warning for the Quindley-Fluff area. Panic shoppers, grit spreaders and even this reporter sought immediate shelter from the impending storm as winds of over ELEVEN miles an hour and ‘MODERATE DRIFTING’ were threatened. Shopkeepers boarded up their windows to protect them from the wrath of Mother Nature, and probably ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS and that, as the warnings grew more and more dire.

“Four inches of snow predicted…..” “Five inches of snow predicted…” “FIVE AND A HALF INCHES OF SNOW PREDICTED” the radio announced at regular intervals. The tension mounted throughout the evening as the flakes grew in size. Mr Crimp, a stalker from Yonder Bognie, claimed to have seen snowflakes the size of golf balls raining down from the sky, although this was largely attributed to his being found drunk and in a state of undress on the seventh fairway of The Quindley Links. Clint O’Click, local tobacconist and town racist, told The …bust’d that “The flakes was lak ******** sick man, dey was twice lak as big as lak dat fing dere wiv dat bare fings blud”. This reporter actually saw a cow literally exploded a bit by a mega-snow-flake, its brain-slop becoming a STRAWBERRY SLUSH-PUPPY in the slag-heap of mush-ice that was being trampled into the field by a panicking contingent of local government workers and art students.

Local amenities and emergency services were TAXED to the limit as literally dozens of calls were logged on overTAXED switchboards. One locum actually ate his own arm due to the pressure he was being put under by the crisis, and probably by INLAND REVENUE and that. An ambulance driver (whose identity we cannot reveal for legal reasons but whose name is an anagram of Jank Frones) lost his wife’s birthday present during the palaver and hasn’t been seen since. Mayoress Olivia Alunfuratena (see p.3) of nearby Squint Cilbojembly has described the Fluffs’ plight as “Not cool, well cool climactically but certainly not groovy, yes, it sure isn’t bo-diggidy”. Former Prime Minister ‘Tony’ Tony Blair has sympathised with the Fluff cause, citing himself as another fictitious entity with a contrived past and thus unnaturally attuned to the fate of our SMALL, CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY.

Who is to blame for this arctic weather, this unseasonal wintry blast? Read on for The Fluv y’bust’d Says:

The Fluv Says:

At the end of the day the buck can only stop with one man. The Met Office has attributed much of the chilly weather of the last week to our once-upon-a-spin Great One and Beneficent Chancellor, citing the fact that under him it is “Always winter and never Christmas”. Gordon Brown, one time saviour of the world (and to whom our paper will always be grateful for strangling the ghost of Adolf Hitler and kicking Lady Thatcher in the hamstring) and THE BEST CHANCELLOR WE EVER HAD has quite clearly lost the plot. Overheard last week weeping “This is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this Heir to Blair!” into his Presbyterian Lucozade, he has through tremendous incompetence allowed Britain to slide headfirst into winter. A mistake Blair never made, and the first true winter since the ERM debacle, Brown now is surely paying for his lack of foresight in failing to control Britain’s climate with his political career. Now ‘Fluv’ readers may seem to remember that this paper has been a long-term supporter of this Son of the Manse. If so, they remember wrong-like. David Cameron, who like Blair has an intuitive understanding of us DECENT, HARD GRAFTING WORKING CLASS FOLK through his family having employed a considerable number, is a working man at heart and should be applauded for his directness in condemning “sheet ice, hail-stones and the European Union” as axis powers. The Government has missed a trick by not importing good weather on a time-share basis from Hugo Chavez, an idea of our maverick rogue Ken Livingstone’s,that was initially mocked in The Evening Standard. It’s OK to bail out RICH BANKERS but not Britain’s climate it seems, Mr Brown. Meanwhile Alistair Darling is probably planning ways to levy taxes on smiling and INCREASING PETROL DUTY etc. Many Britons were doing Queen & Country proud today by protesting the poor weather outside specific branches of Thomas Cook, holding home-made LOCAL placards demanding “Temperate Weather for British Jobless” and “Better Temperatures for British Manufacturers”. The real question is, will Mr Brown listen to our readers?

AS THE NATION ANTICIPATES AN ELECTION NEXT MAY THE FLUV URGES THE PRIME MINISTER TO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES.

You have been told what to think.

*A two minute hate for Baroness Thatcher will begin at noon today with jeering expected to finish around a quarter to one.

Syndicated reporting by: ‘Gaz’ Bill from The Fluv y’bust’d

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A February Wish From Fluffer

The Quindley-Fluff Frontiersman (C) 2008

The Quindley-Fluff Frontiersman (C) 2008

Buried under the frosty swells of a powdery winter morning the average British home shall start Tuesday 3rd February tuning in to the inane patter of local radio station DJ’s as they ring out the successive orisons of school closures, cancelled train services, closed motorways and thinly veiled threats from local employers. It is the time of year when headmasters, elderly persons on public transport and American tourists question the nations inability to deal with what, to a considerable part of the world, is part of the normal course of events each winter. “Snow is certainly not unprecedented it must be acknowledged?” they say. “Surely there must be contingency arrangements for when that first flake hits the live rail asides from hitting the panic button and cancelling all services between Bognor and Waterloo?” they cry. “If man can go to the moon surely he can meander his way to work before three in the afternoon due to a heavy frost?” they mimsy. Fatuous questions all of them, for they all ignore the truth of the matter and threaten to expose us all. The truth is simple and twofold:

1. 1. It really is too much like hard work to battle an element that is so impatient as to have in most cases completely evaporated within 36 hours and…

2. 2. Snow days are our compensation for the paucity of Bank Holidays, our revenge against the British working calendar.

“Worst snow in 18 years? Fantastic! That’s good for at least a day off work, perhaps two… three would be pushing it… I am the manager after all. We’ll see what the weather forecast says tomorrow…”

If this is truly the only way that Britons get to experience any kind of quasi-continental work-life balance for the near future then here at The QuFF we offer all of our readers this heartfelt wish: that if you’ve some place to go, let it snow let it snow let it snow.

Sing Celery,

Fluffer,

The QuFFer-Een-Cheef

North Sea Hyperbole Stocks Running Low

The QuFF has gained exclusive access to a deeply worrying Parliamentary Committee for Media Overactivethyroidicity report, due for publication next week, into the dwindling stocks of North Sea Hyperbole. The Minister for Cutlery and Chair of the committee, Lord Lentil of Nether Wallop, has in recent times been a lone voice in warning of the ‘fast dwindling supply of gosh’ and his findings come as no surprise to the government or, indeed, to the opposition. Sections of the media are, however, already expressing their dismay at the timing of the report, one anonymous journalist from The Observer (pardon the tautology) describing it as ‘the worst event ever in recent times of all time there has been some of’.

Scientists (ALL OF THEM) have been examining the issue for some time. Opinion has been divided, however, as to the efficacy of some of the data, with the New Scientist describing the Office for National Statistics figures as ‘about as thorough as a baboons obituary’. The Scientists Pope, Hansard Gary, is known to have misgivings about much of the government data harvested over recent years. However his position is known to have softened since the increasingly evident understatement manifesting itself in the British tabloid press. In recent years there have been intermittent decreases in sensationalism not seen since the end of the last ice age. The Sun, for example, described a recent incident of theft as ‘unfortunate’ and The Mirror described Margaret Thatcher as ‘quite unpopular in some circles’. Although these currently stand out as isolated incidents amidst a recent torrent of ‘up-bigging the writted word’*, as the world thrashes about like a drowning wildebeest in the treacherous currents of global financial meltdown, they must be interpreted as part of the wider course of events. We are on an inevitable downward trajectory towards what is referred to in pseudo-science as the ‘modesty-singularity’. One day, some say, we shall undoubtedly run out of adverbs.

Greenspeaks, the global movement for the conservation of oral reticence, is to today take out a double page advert in the New Statesman warning of the dangers of over-hyping the credit crunch. Their ‘Empress’ Dr Henrietta Blandings in a recent interview with The QuFF said:

“This credit crunch is not the end of the world. It is not ‘Global End Game’, it is not ‘The Death of the West’, it isn’t even ‘The Great Depression Two’. Economies boom, economies bust and that’s the way of the world. The abuse of the English language by journalists and politicians has got to stop, or you’re all really rotten people. Honestly!”

She is back on her medication and is said to be making progress.

The Prime Minister is expected to make a statement to the Commons next week regarding potential word rationing. He is expected to have cross party support for a move which, some say, could lead to the country being ‘adjectively self-sufficient’ until at least 2013, by which time the government hopes to have ‘Exaggoturbines’™ gathering hot air across of much of Westminster. They are the invention of one Mr Jeremy Plimp of Market Snodsbury who has described them as the ‘world’s first renewable resource of gumph’.

If word rationing were to come into effect it is expected that the tabloid newspapers will be granted the lion’s share of available hyperbole, although The Daily Telegraph has asked for special dispensation whenever they publish an article on Lord Mandelson. Gordon Brown is thought to be sympathetic to their case. The Sun, however, does not consider word rationing to be the solution to the issue, publishing a 400 word response to the proposition in their ‘Sun Says’ column consisting entirely of adverbs. The Daily Mail, too, has today published its own critique of the move under the headline ‘WHAT WOULD MOSELY THINK?!!…?’ Elaborating upon these points, The Star is thought to be preparing their own response through the medium of soft pornography. An unpopular move it seems, although one not entirely lacking in support.

Greenspeaks included, over six organisations have pledged their support to the move if it were to become a reality. British Aerospace are even naming their latest concept aircraft The Quite Good as a show of solidarity with their state paymasters. The Spectator and The Times have also lent their support, although some commentators think that they may just be trying to get the Prime Minister’s hopes up just before Christmas. It is an old media technique known as ‘getting people’s hopes up’, and has worked numerous times before. Just ask David Cameron.

If hyperbole were to run out what would it mean for Joe Public, the erstwhile cretin? Here’s The QuFF’s 10 point guide to:

“THE MEGADEATH OF HYPERBOLE!!!!!!”

 1. Reading the newspaper shall become a very dull affair as the news shall consist largely of information.

 2. The tabloids will all become dry cleaners or something in order to remain solvent.

 3. YOUR LIVES SHALL ALMOST CERTAINLY BECOME INTOLERABLE.

 4. Politics shall become that most disgusting of things- the rational debate of what ought to be the best course of action for the nation as a whole.

 5. England could disastrously win the World Cup.

 6. All the lawyers will most likely shrivel up or something (an undeniably good thing, actually).

 7. ‘Zoroastrianism’ will be the only good word left in the English language.

8. All the works of the romantic poets shall turn into Rubik’s Cubes™ and return to their home planets.

9. People will forget that there is a France at all, including the French.

 10. Nobody would fall in love ever again.

Whatever happens we can rest assured that no generation in all of human history has faced circumstances quite so unbearable and challenging as those which we as a people now face. EVER. SERIOUSLY.

Report By: Juzzble McDroganaigning

*Max Hastings, The Daily Express, 11/08/08

Satirists Fear for Future in Obama’s America

11/11/2008, New York, 15:50 PM.

An autumnal gust sweeps across central park carrying with it the detritus of a Pin Oak Tree and a clutch of paper hotly pursued by a man in a purple overcoat. He was one of perhaps four-dozen chilly bodies scattered upon a vermillion carpet of leaves, each with pen and paper held aloft like gavels and weapons of war. This scene is not of students or tourists but of some of the finest writers and performers in the English speaking world. The World League of Satirists is holding its first emergency meeting since the 1970’s, and it is in response to probably the most important piece of news in 2008. Barack Obama has been elected the first black president of the United States.

This is widely perceived as good news across America. It is evidence of a growing maturity among its people, a willingness to remember the past but embrace the future; a final acknowledgement that the issue of race is no longer important to most Americans in the 21st Century. A message of hope and opportunity has galvanized a people and brought the nation closer again to the global community, certainly a positive. Yet there are those for whom Mr Obama’s victory carries the threat of doom, be they hardcore Republicans, latter-day Clintonistas or people terrified of such swift and radical change. The group with the most to lose, however, are the satirists.

The election of George Bush in 2000 provided perhaps the richest seam of material for political satirists in the modern era. Not since Richard Nixon has the global media been able to make such great play of a President. John Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Frank Caliendo are some of the beneficiaries of Bush’s beneficent imbecility. A President almost beyond parody, he has made himself so easy to mock and such an available hate figure that American comedians have barely had to break a sweat to gain a laugh at his expense. Indeed he has always seemed to have had a gift for humour himself as his various malapropisms seem to attest. Lines such as “I will work to end terriers and barrifs everywhere across the world” and “I understand small business growth- I was one” seem to suggest a surreal comic genius to rival Peter Cook’s, or at least an intellect so backwards as to qualify for reverse-genius. And here lies the problem; it has all been too easy. Even foreign comedians have made great play of the 43rd President of the United States. Shows such as Bremner, Bird and Fortune and Dead Ringers in the United Kingdom have made Bush their stock-in-trade as a guaranteed laugh between sketches. Adequate comedy is rendered merely by adding an “ification” and country boy drawl to any poorly conjugated verb. The situation is thus: Bush has been a blessing to razor sharp and lazy comedians the world over.

Stewart, Colbert et al made it crystal clear who they wanted to win the election on November 4th. Publically at least an Obama victory will be celebrated, but privately media funny men are biting their fingernails. Where do they go from here? And that is why the World League of Satirists have called this emergency meeting.

Proceedings began in the usual fashion, with all members placing their hands upon a copy of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal and chanting the words “If there be emiction to educe, our pens shall resteth not, and where there be chance to rest, then may our pens educeth emiction”. This was followed by the traditional ‘hounding of the moth’, the moth being replaced by a tethered sparrow due to the Fall clime. After the preamble the assembled comics got down to business, ‘Honcho’ Gibbons, Chair of the League, opening the ‘Jesters Synod’ with a statement oozing with gravitas: “Gentlefolks, satire is imperilled”. The watching throng nodded agreement as the Chair continued. “We are facing a period of want unknown to us in the jolly wing of the fifth estate, a bleak time of hardship with the lack of funny material biting hard. Americans are happy with their President Elect; we have ourselves endorsed this man. People who were easily divided are now united under the colours of a mixed race Commander-In-Chief. He is magnanimous, his PR polished, his mantra we have trumpeted. What are we to do?” The ensuing silence revealed the paucity of ideas amongst the world’s jokester class.

Yet it could all have been so different. Although Mr McCain is widely respected both amongst his fellow politicians and the global media, his age and slightly stuttering manner of address would have provided comics the world over with easy, oft-repeatable material. He himself at times seemed an alumni of the Class of Bush, such as with the glorious phrase “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”, a quote more likely to ignite a comic arsenal than a military one. Although not as soft a target as ‘Dubya’, there was certainly potential to a McCain administration.

McCain, however much the goose, was not the golden egg. Only now are elements of the media waking up and realising what an opportunity they have missed in Sarah Palin. Kenny Pelengu’rzoi’oi of the Chicago Bathbun & Mattress recently put it thus:

“She had the potential to be the greatest of them all: political bungler, gun slingin’, red-blooded yet domestic, mother of 35, rich but poor hockey mom aspirant and mental deficient with a talent for inconsistency and gaffes, Sarah ‘Ladies and gentlemen there’s a whole ocean of oil under our feet!’ Palin. And to think we had all that material and STILL we voted for Obama! Aaah!”

Some satirists are hoping that some of Obama’s appointments over the coming weeks prove to be disastrous. Indeed, Jimmy ‘Jim’ Cheyrou, political commentator, humorist and Delaware bus driver has ventured the suggestion of one or other of the Clintons forming part of an Obama government, although he suggests that it is “…more touch than go”. Many Republican humorists are still smarting that Hillary never got the Democrat nomination, as a Clinton win- although for them morally unendurable- would have guaranteed their financial security. A Clinton appointment by Obama would throw out a lifeline to satirists everywhere, showing an administration’s support for an industry on the brink of collapse. Indeed, UK unemployment would stand at around 1.92 million if satire were to collapse. It is important to note, however, that that figure is only fourteen greater than if it were to survive.


Although Obama cannot be said to beyond criticism it is, for the short term at least, very difficult to imagine a receptive audience for ‘Obama-ripping’. America has its swagger back, a nation confident overnight as a consequence of the events of last Tuesday. He is yet to put a foot clearly wrong and is well received across much of the media. Although one or two journalists fear that they may be mildly constrained in their criticism by the fear of appearing racist or bigoted, in truth it is more the cathartic nature of his victory than a fear of prejudice that has swept him to almost unparalleled political popularity. There is the glimmer of hope for satirists. When the euphoria of Bush’s departure and the arrival of a multi-racial President starts to fade and the honeymoon is over, when campaigning stops and government begins, Barack Obama will lose much of his sheen, and then perhaps may reveal amusing quirks or even, heaven forfend, make mistakes. Will people try to turn utopia into dystopia? Will comedians pounce?

Sir Tucket Mayflodonk, famed for his play ‘Whither Nether Whether Nither Thither?..’ thinks not. “I think that it is highly likely that, all things considered, we will either just go even harder for the Republicans or just invent a new hate figure. George Lazenby, he only made one Bond film, could it be him? We could uncover something about the Queen I suppose, perhaps even that she tried to shoot Gandhi and ate Ant & Dec or something. You never know- that’s the wonderful thing about political humour- politics never stops to use the bathroom or crochet or anything!”

Such optimism is clearly not evident amongst the League members in New York. Such is the threat to satire that their sworn enemies, the Satirists Global Alliance & Dairy Subsidiaries, has suggested a “meeting of thinks”. Few suggestions manifest themselves in response to the Chairs question of what is to be done. One man, Claude Tote, ventures: “Brainwash Jon Stewart into being a die-hard Republican. No, better yet, make him think he’s a clan member”. He is presented with the ‘Metaphorical Satsuma of Stupidity’ and sat on his own. As the sun begins to sink behind the crimsoning trees, painting the bordering man-mountains a kingly gold, voices intermittently and hesitantly submit desperate propositions. Finally a man in a purple overcoat suggests: “We could all work a little harder. You know, hold a government to account properly this time around”. Fortunately for the Chair, Satsuma’s come cheap by the pound.

Writingification By: Christopher O’Donnell, reporting from an imaginary New York.

The Quindley-Fluff Frontiersman would like to extend its hearty congratulations to the invigorating President Elect Barack Obama and commiserations to the magnanimous John McCain. Toady toady.

©The Quindley-Fluff Frontiersman 2008

First Editorial: Who Breaks Mosquitoes Upon A Wheel?

For the past week the British press has been dominated by the story of two comics, a grandfather and an answerphone. Blandrossgate has proven to be the scandal of 2008, a full scale media storm still raging, embarrassing Brand and threatening Ross’s BBC career. Although UK readers will be familiar with, and indeed most likely sick of, the story by now, The QuFF shall elaborate for our international readers, most of whom would have wasted their week reading about events in the Congo and Syria.

Two comedians, Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, left a series of increasingly controversial messages on the answerphone of the popular comic actor Andrew Sachs, 70, during Brand’s BBC radio show. Mr Sachs is most famous for his role as ‘Manuel’, the Spanish waiter in John Cleese’s Fawlty Towers. The messages related to Brand’s having slept with Sach’s granddaughter, each successive telephone call becoming more vulgar and explicit, with Ross occasionally interjecting “He’s f***ed your granddaughter!”. The telephone calls were later broadcast despite Mr Sach’s insistence that they should not be.

Brand has subsequently quit the show and Ross has been suspended without pay for three months as the media frenzy builds. The BBC licence fee is under government review, the Conservative Party are proposing a streamlined corporation; it is perhaps the most damaging event in Auntie’s recent history. The people are questioning whether the BBC is providing value for money and fulfilling its public remit. Elements of Murdoch’s press are calling for the abolition of the state broadcaster and the heads of Ross and Brand. The QuFF, however, marches to the beat of a different drum.

It is the opinion of this newspaper that Messrs Brand and Ross are the victims of a campaign so vitriolic and illiberal in nature as to shame any free society. After all, all they did was to publically humiliate a young woman, bait her grandfather on national radio and attempt to extract humour from their pain. Schadenfreude is perhaps the greatest comic tool of the modern era and this episode is merely another step towards furthering the boundaries of comic endeavour. The two most popular British comedies of recent times- The Catherine Tate Show and Little Britain– are expert in identifying members of society unable to command a riposte and picking them apart mercilessly.

It is common knowledge that all jokes that can be written have been written. The Duke of Kent is said to have mumbled the last new joke in 2002* and since then comedians, in order to survive, have had to siphon diesel from the metaphorical petrol tank of ‘edginess’. When seen in this light what Brand and Ross did was not in fact a mean spirited prank by two ageing men finally exposed as talentless shock-prostitutes without an ounce of wit between them, but in actual fact a trail-blazing, valiant attempt to save British comedy from extinction. It is pertinent to remember that humour is down thirteen percent in the last year alone causing some scientists to link the chief cause of laughter with bumble bees. They are rather funny.

Some people have drawn a parallel between this episode and the public outcry against Chris Morris and Channel 4 for the infamous broadcast of the bitingly satirical Brass-Eye Special in 2001. That comparison is not very good.

This former hyper-quadro-broadsheet also considers the calls for trimming the BBC farfetched  and extreme. After all, who can truly argue that shows such as ‘Dog Borstal’ and ‘Snog Marry Avoid’ do not meet the BBC pledge to ‘inform, educate & entertain’? It is also important to consider the BBC’s commitment to catering for audiences of all ages, young and old. They have gone to great lengths to target the youth audience and should be applauded for doing so. Indeed, these middle-aged men running the corporation have proved themselves time and again to have had their finger on the pulse of youth culture, and their conclusion that all those under the age of twenty-five in Britain are mentally deficient glue sniffers who want to watch programs called “Can Fat Teens Hunt?” is both accurate and fair. Furthermore they are correct in deducing that the current generation of young adults are just too stupid to be in any way interested in or informed about the world, as “knowingness of things is unhip, boyakasha, brap and kiss my chuddies…” as the fifty-one year old presenters of Radio One, in no way like the creepy, strangely old people at teenage parties, often say. After all, the only teenagers lying in the gutters and looking up at the stars in Britain today are binge drinkers and drug peoples. The Daily Express said so, so there.

There are some who feel that what Brand and Ross did just isn’t funny. Indeed, there are those who see Brand and Ross themselves as painfully unfunny. To utter such mouth-incorrectnesses though is, although forgivable, to miss the point. They are not funny in a conventional sense. The BBC has branded their humour as ‘edgy’ and catering to ‘different’ tastes. Quite evidently, then, nobody got Brand’s infamous ‘dressing up as Osama Bin Laden less than twenty-four hours after 9/11’ jape. Therein lay the lapse- not in Brand’s judgement, but in people’s tastes. Just because nobody saw these telephone calls as funny does not mean that they weren’t. It just means that the youth of today just aren’t in touch with themselves, that is all.

The consequence of this lapse in public taste is that two pioneers of wit are left with their careers temporarily besmirched. It is all well and good that people have taken time to spare a thought for Andrew Sachs and his family, but has anybody considered Mr Brand and Mr Ross in all of this? Brand has had to surrender his radio show, leaving him with only television, publishing and stand-up engagements to occupy his time. He must be wondering where it all went wrong as he reluctantly fields bothersome telephone calls from tabloid editors offering him annoyingly heavy piles of cash for the exclusive rights to his side of such a long and boring story. Why, he must be wondering, does nobody find hoax calls to the emergency services funny? Russell, a prophet is never welcome in his own kingdom, remember that. You are ahead of your time. And as for Ross, labelled cruelly by some as “…a parasite sucking upon the public purse”, his fine of £1.4m pounds will leave him with a mere £16.6m on his contract. And during the credit crunch too.

Whilst people watch and jeer as all that is contemporary British comedy is torn to pieces and unravelled before their eyes, as the BBC flounders and struggles to maintain the public licence fee and the political vultures circle, The QuFF is moved to ask; who breaks mosquitoes on a wheel?

“Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,

This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;

Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,

Yet wit ne’er tastes, and beauty ne’r enjoys”

Alexander Pope, 1735

*”Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Doorbell Salesman

Doorbell salesman who?

No, you’re not supposed to say that bit, that was the joke…”



Wordifying: Fluffer, The QuFFer-In-Chief


©The Quindley-Fluff Frontiersman 2008

QuFF Wins ‘Blog Of The Day’ Award

In other news, exponentially expanding ego kills 17 in southern England.

The QuFF would like to thank the jolly good blog ‘Famous Blogs: Blog Of The Day Awards’ for this fabulous honour.

Stay tuned for an addition to the QuFF’s writing staff.

©The Quindley-Fluff Frontiersman 2008

Blog Awards Winner

Run On Iceland As Global Markets Act Very Silly Indeed

Iceland was plunged into further chaos last night when Prime Minister Geir Haarde told gathered journalists and foreign diplomats the news that all who had gathered had feared. Ominous, portentous of doom, his voice reminiscent of Satchmo at his peak, Haarde held the media throng agog as he confirmed the fearsome rumours. There had indeed been a run on Iceland.

It is perhaps an inevitable consequence of the financial tumult engulfing this small island nation -with the banking crisis fuelling national debts of over 150% of GDP- that such a scenario, so unlikely 12 months ago, should come to pass. However, in the cold light of day, as yesterdays bankers and fishermen stare grey faced at their raw herrings, last week so appetising and this week so un, they will demand to know what is to be done. That is the question that Haarde and his associates must answer.

It could all have been so different. In 2004 Iceland was booming, the benefits of free market capitalism and membership of the EEA leading the UN to declare it “…the best place to live and that”. The population, although small, was certainly secure and indeed had seen an element of growth due to many European and Asian expatriates taking up residence there, lured by the musky smell of cold hard cash. This is, however, where Iceland overreached itself. So confident were they in their newly mustered national strength that they began to export large numbers of their own citizens for little financial return. The most notable ‘exportees’ are sportsmen such as Eidur Gudjohnsen, actors such as Anna Briem, musicians such as Sigur Ros and Björk*, and even the entire cast of television programs such as ‘Lazy Town’. Although in the short term it brought about the era described by Henry Kissinger as “The Age of Icelandic Global Cultural Hegemony”, the longer term legacy has been to wipe up to 90% off of the value of Icelanders, a critical drop.

Realising too late the precarious position they were in the government of Iceland attempted to redress the balance, importing 8,488 Poles. However the move proved to have little effect as the vast majority of migrant workers are not professional musicians, footballers, actors or production companies. In 2006 Alan Greenspan sought to sooth growing international fears about Iceland by saying:

“Man, you don’t even need people to have a prosperous nation. You just need a bucket full of optimism and an awareness of when to pretend things aren’t there. I remember in 1943 when one man in my home town by the name of Jones accidentally cloned himself 13,243 times. The government was afraid of there being rampant Jones inflation and set about drafting even elderly Jones’ across the state, but at the end of the day we got through the crisis by pretending that his name was “”, and that kinda solved the problem. Of far greater moment to me right now is where those damned ‘Reeses Pieces’ have got to…”

However, despite this noble attempt at intervention the moment the markets got jumpy, so did Icelanders. Get jumpy I mean. Not noble.

By the 17th of the month some econosociolosophers predict that as many as 48,000 Icelanders will have tried to withdraw themselves nationwide in a bid to protect their own physical integrity. The problems arise, however, when there are quite simply not enough people, and parts, to go around.

In 1998 the government of Iceland came up with a revolutionary new idea; organ-time-sharing. The idea was to make more efficient use of the organic resources integral to the human experience. Some saw it as a liberating idea almost on a par with the Thatcherite sale of council houses, and it did indeed generate a great deal of wealth, at least initially. Poorer manual employees working in the fish packing factories, for example, would rent out their olfactory organs for much of the day, firstly because the smell of decaying cod was unedifying and secondly because there was a considerable market for it. Cat-smellers, gastro-obsessives and taxmen would pay very high rates to rent or partially own an additional nose. As demand grew supply stagnated causing rampant nose, foot and elbow inflation. Indeed, by 2005 ankles and bottom cheeks were being sold outright on ebay for as much as $230,000(US). These levels, fuelled by debt, proved to be unsustainable. In the final quarter of last year as much as $2.4m of finger loans went unpaid, the assets being seized by banks, occasionally even by force. One man from Arborg had a third wrist removed by none other than Björgólfur Guðmundsson, head of Landsbanki, the billionaire using only a written description of anaesthesia and a butter knife “..to show the bum some learning.”

As body parts and later the people themselves began to pile up within Iceland’s banks as toxic debt, it was only a matter of time before disaster struck, and the advent of the credit crunch seems only to have exacerbated the crisis.

There was carnage this evening outside many branches of Glitnir, the (now) state owned bank. Hundreds of worried citizens queued outside planning to withdraw themselves, or at least as much of themselves as possible. However, as the crisis deepened the shutters were pulled down and panic ensued. The police sent politically sensitive mime artists to calm the situation but the crowd merely shrieked in horror fearing the return of “Bjork the Very Insane”. One mime artist was even stolen, the thief leaving a travellers cheque and a signed picture of Walter Matthau as compensation.

The population of Iceland last week was, according to the United Nations, just over 313,004.32. However, with the recent slide in value some sources, including the World Bank, estimate the population at well under 200,000. Give or take an Eidur. In fact Henry Paulson, the United States Treasury Secretary, is believed to have told George Bush that “The Icelandic people to all intents and purposes now appear to run into negative integers.”

So back to the Haarde question- what is to be done?

The government has firstly promised to back the physical integrity of all of its citizens. How they feel they can manage this, however, is a mystery. At the last audit it was discovered that the organ-banking system was deficient to the tune of over 12,400 body parts, 62% of them vital. Conspiracy theories abound that Russia has promised, along with a £4bn loan, to provide enough vital organs from dissenting journalists to plug the gap. China is also thought to be involved, President Grimmson doing little to stifle this rumour when declaring:

“Well, they do have a bloody lot of people, don’t they?”

The Duke of Edinburgh was moved to declare that comment in poor taste.

As the world looks on Iceland knows that this gamble must work or face the confusing prospect of there being less people than there are, with more organs than there are supposed to be, embedded in bodies and attached to faces that ought to not be, or really do be but slightly less, perhaps not at all, unless they happen to be more, in so being, in which case it’s alright. Eh?

Report By: Björÿgÿólÿfuÿr Guðÿmuÿndsnÿjkoÿÿÿorksÿssÿÿÿonÿÿÿlmnf

Icelandic correspondent and regular contributor to “The Monthly Cod War Games & Split-Mary Handball Monthly”

*It must be noted that Björk, rather than exported for profit, was in fact banished from Iceland for being “Mjög Geðveikur” (“Very Insane”).

©The Quindley-Fluff Frontiersman 2008