The column that believes in the right to wear a hat, even when it is unnecessary

Newly relegated Hastings & St Leonards Warriors were beaten 8-0 away by Cockmarlin Thunderbolts last Saturday, their fifth 8-0 defeat in five games. Newly ensconced manager, former midfield enforcer Nobby Balaclava, told us: “Don’t let the result fool you. The lads were magnificent. Mathematically we should have won. If it hadn’t been for dyslexic tourettes sufferer Craig Cattermole’s sending off in the first minute for calling the referee a k***, and Paul Smeaton’s groin, we would have been in with a fighting chance.  Cockmarlin’s pitch was a disgrace. It sloped from left to right in the first half, and then from right to left in the second, so we were kicking uphill for the entire match. The ball was too round, and kept rolling away from our players. The referee was their manager’s brother-in -law and owed Donaldio, their Colombian defender, £300 for cocaine. The Thunderbolts’ goalie Reg Trubshaw had a spider in a matchbox, which he waved about to frighten our inexperienced striker every time he got the ball. On top of that, our club mascot Mr. Hotdog had to put up with an unacceptable tirade of abuse whenever he tried to encourage the crowd by waving his inflatable sausage.”

Science News
Computer-powered snooker balls, programmed to be attracted to pockets can ‘go rogue’ if the sophisticated pocket recognition software concealed under the surface overheats and malfunctions, according to Trevor Spode, spokesman for the Cyber Billiards Association (CBA).

“It’s a design fault,” he told us, “Waiaii, the ball’s Chinese manufacturers, didn’t do the proper research. This product should never have gone on the market. The CBA’s complaints department have received emails containing verifiable evidence of rogue balls shoplifting, spraying graffiti and even committing cashpoint fraud after cloning customers’ debit cards. These balls are cunning. They can not only simulate speech but are able to pool their intelligence via Bluetooth. Mark my words, In the not-to-distant future, whole sets of these balls will think nothing of ganging up and ram-raiding a jewellers, committing armed robbery or hijacking a Jumbo Jet. They’re out of control.” He left a pause just long enough to allow the whole nightmarish scenario to sink in: “If any member of the public spots a suspicious-looking snooker ball,” he warned, “do not under any circumstances approach them. They are out of control and fearless. Just dial 999 and let the police deal with it.” A spokesman for the Waiaii Corporation of Shanghai gave us this comment : “Always keep instrument away from naked flame. Packaging is for external use only and not recycle.”

On a more local note, Hastings’ inventor professor Gordon Thinktank has announced his new night bulb for shift workers. “It is exactly the same as a normal light bulb, except the polarity in the filament has been reversed, so that when you switch it on, it makes the room go dark. It works on the same basic principal as a black hole.” he explained, “The tiny, tightly controlled neutron fission inside the bulb’s outer casing causes a chain reaction with the uranium-236 preventing the escape of any light. According to Black Hole Theory, this causes the bulb to suck in all of the light surrounding it, simulating dark, moonless night.” Asked if there were any drawbacks, the professor told us: “Like any beneficial invention, it will of course have its side effects. A crack team of university undergraduates on zero-hours contracts is working around the clock at our testing range in Herstmonceaux, ironing out any anomalies. We hope to bring welcome relief to the thousands of shift workers currently denied proper sleep by the intrusion of daylight.” When we alluded to a Herstmonceaux farmer’s complaint that a herd of cows had been sucked into one of the bulbs, along with a £250,000 combine harvester and the entire wheat harvest from an adjacent field, the inventor assured us, “This is just Project Fear. As long as the windows of the room being darkened are fitted with lead curtains, and all the furniture is painted with iodine, the night bulb is perfectly safe.”

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.