The column which thinks that in a desert, even a mirage is a relief

READER: So what did you do for Valentine’s Day?
MYSELF: Oh, the usual. The night before, I had my friend Banksy stencil a satirical depiction of the whole money-making Valentine jiggery-pokery on the side of my girlfriend’s house. 
READER: I love Banksy. Let me guess, did it feature hearts with legs, running off with bags of money?
MYSELF: It was more subtle than that. Then I flew her to Vegas for the day in a private jet. On the way, we breakfasted on a Marks & Spencer’s Love Sausage. 
READER: The M&S Love Sausage. What an utterly brilliant idea! And they say romance is dead.

Mystic Madge, Witch magazine’snecromancer of the month, offers alternative advice for the innocent victims of Mumbo. Or Jumbo. 

Dear Mystic Madge, I recently had an attack of ectoplasm, all over my living room curtains. My husband says it is nothing to do with him, and must have been a poltergeist, or a disenchanted spirit. I did a routine Ouija board check which came up with this message: “Someone in this room has recently lost a beloved pet. I’m getting a Keith or a Ken” Have I got PPI?Quilamina Westwick, Herstmonceaux

Dear Quilamina, it sounds to me like a classic case. The first thing most people do is contact their bank or building society. My advice is, don’t bother. Trying to get an appointment with the manager these days is next to impossible, as they are far too busy manipulating currency. I would instead suggest this simple 14th century spell, originally used to ward off the black death or aggressive boils inflicted by witches, but perfectly suited to today’s modern ills. All you require is a skipping rope and seven small bells such as you might find in a budgerigar’s cage. Just find a quiet place, and when you are ready, shake the bells three times and swallow them. Now skip on the spot as you recite this nursery rhyme in a high, sing-song voice, like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane: “Gherkins, Merkins, Dorothy Perkins”. By the next morning, your PPI will be gone, along with any symptoms of bubonic plague. MM

I’m afraid that due to a poor exhange rate, austerity, Brexit, and the threat of imminent trade tariffs, Mystic Meg has been forced to increase the price of her road congestion tarot card predictions to £66.66 per consultation. However you will be pleased to hear that her Here Comes Summer! special introductory traffic tea-leaf reading offer is valid until June 30th. Simply send a complete cup of tea (not just the leaves) to Superstitious Solutions, PO box 99, The Cayman Islands, and remain in the car.

Mrs. Elizabeth Obergruppenfuhrer of Lower Dicker is the winner of our recent haiku competition. She will be the lucky recipient of our Hard Brexit Hamper, containing essential items for use in the upcoming emergency period, before the opening of the new ferry service from Carlisle to Dunkirk. These include Marmite, PG Tips, Coleman’s Mustard, a boxed set of Eastenders, an entire pantomime horse and a single episode of The Archers, the one where a cow falls on Peggy Woolly with fatal consequences.    

Loss of face haiku #37
With braces fractured
And trousers now descended
Hari kiri calls

MP resigns in order to “spend more time with someone else’s family”.
Ron Gravy, founder member of The British Gravytrain Party (BGP), has announced his intention to retire from public life, after – in his own words, “selflessly” – representing the BGP in The Royal Borough of Beyondenden for the past 40 years. “It is with great regret”, he told this newspaper, “that I must stand down from a job to which I have devoted every last one of my expenses claims. As a man of shameless dishonesty, who lacks any empathy whatever with his fellow human beings, a man whose regular appearances in the House of Commons, (always conforming rigorously to the bare minimum required for the receipt of attendance payments), have been noted by some of the finest minds in the gutter press, it ill-behoves me to make this sad announcement. It is an announcement which will no doubt cause surprise and dismay to some of my constituents, not least Beyondenden’s main employer, the justly famous construction firm Lucrative Solutions, who were able, during my tenure, to depend on a positive representation of their financially rewarding and frequently abandoned building schemes in return for the odd moderate inducement. 

I know that all the good people of Beyondenden will wish me well in my future career. As a successfully retired, well-off, carefree investment banker with a big bet on a hard Brexit, a compliant young secretary and a serious alcohol and drug problem, I will now be living the simple life somewhere in Europe, watching the Old Country plunge like a burning Spitfire into the English Channel, and thinking only of you”.

I overheard the following conversation in a newsagent the other day, as I was casually browsing the latest edition of Lawnmower World.

CUSTOMER (from corner of mouth): I’d like this copy of The Hastings Independent.
NEWSAGENT (whispering): Would you like it in a bag sir?
CUSTOMER (after a quick glance around the shop):  No, just slip it inside a Daily Mail.

Sausage Life!

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.