The column firmly aimed at the louche, disaffected bon viveur and the properly bearded man-about-town

READER:  The Royal Wedding! Did you see it?
MYSELF:  See it? I was there mate.
READER:  No! Really?
MYSELF:  If you were watching it on telly, I was the one being dragged into a black van by secret service agents.

Robinson Caruso, the new musical by Andrew Lloyd-Webber with lyrics by Russell Brand, is to preview in Hastings. This radical interpretation of Daniel Defoe’s novel examining ambition, self-reliance, civilization and power is to star Michael Ball as the shipwrecked opera singer and Lenny Henry as Man Friday. After rescuing him from cannibals, the stranded  tenor soon teaches his new companion to read music and accompany his arias on a beautiful cello which he has fashioned out of a dead turtle. The show’s principal theme song Thank God It’s Friday – easily one of the catchiest tunes the the diminutive doodler has ever “composed” – will be released as a single. The song’s video, performed at lyricist Brand’s insistence by the scantily-clad female cast of the loquacious lecher’s appalling 2007 film
St. Trinian’s, will boast a chorus which repeats the word ‘paradigm’ 132 times.

The comedy clairvoyant duo Medium and Large, kilted yoga dancers and a Romanian mime artist dressed as Captain Hook kept an expectant crowd entertained at last Thursday’s opening of Hastings Museum of Hosiery, the latest addition to the town’s roster of tourist attractions. Local MP Amber Rudd, whose timetable has been freed up somewhat since her assisted exit from the Home Office, cut a ribbon made from recycled tights as she read these sincere words from her autocue; “I hereby declare Hastings Museum of Hosiery well and truly open. Its huge selection of exhibits illustrating the fascinating history of socks is guaranteed to enthral both tourists and casual seekers of real estate bargains alike. God bless her and all who sail in her.” When asked what strategy she might employ in order to increase her microscopic majority at the next general election, she added, “May I remind you that my lovely little Hastings pied-a-terre, with 32ft reception, Olympic-sized ballroom, seven bedrooms (all en suite), and bijou Provence-style kitchenette/diner is now available for rent, (no pets, no Airbnb, no DHSS, or whatever they call it these days and definitely no Irish boarders). All enquiries to: Foxtrot, Foxtrot & Sierra, Novichok Boulevard, Moscow.

Professor Gordon Thinktank claims to have solved one of the most pressing concerns of our age; bag-based teapot spout blockage. His solution requires only a few drops of his revolutionary hybrid chemical, Spouto. He told HIP: “Although the design of the teapot has changed little since the ancient Greeks first added a curved spout to facilitate accurate pouring, one modern innovation has altered our relationship with the traditional British pick-me-up. Teabags. Marvellous for making a single cup of tea but wherever a pot is required, teabag blockage is sure to follow.”

Choking back tears, the professor recalled The Great Tadcaster Teabag Rebellion of 1963, when angry members of Yorkshire’s ‘Bugger the Bag’ movement hurled over 11 tonnes of Tetley teabags into Bridlington harbour. “These brave counter-revolutionaries failed to turn the teabag tide however, and the ubiquitous, spout-blocking sachet remains a blight on our lives to this day, hence the necessity for Spouto.”

Spouto’s secret formula surrounds and liquifies the bag,” the inventor explained, “which is then absorbed by the tea. If properly applied, Spouto will free any teapot spout from teabag blockage in a matter of hours”. When asked whether his ‘invention’ was simply the highly caustic drain-unblocking fluid Drano under a different name, the professor picked up his phone and began sending what appeared to be an urgent text. “We are still working on a way of keeping the tea hot whilst Spouto works its magic.” he snapped, tapping furiously.

Zero’s, Hastings’ first glutton-free restaurant, is now attracting “the right kind of people” according to owner Crispin Evan, but it wasn’t always plain sailing. “At first, customers were baffled when confronted with our radical menu, which is basically just a blank page with prices down one side and our logo, an empty plate, at the top. Also, the first thing we say to customers when they come in is ‘Are you sure you’re hungry? You look like you could lose a few pounds,’ which initially got a few of our waiters punched.” How things change! Glutton-free dining is fast becoming the Hipsters’ choice as more and more restauranteurs adopt this new no-overheads business model. “It’s really just a socially acceptable way of fasting,” said Crispin, “but you feel better about it because you’re paying us a lot of money.

“To the uninitiated we might appear to be just a restaurant charging people for empty plates, but it’s all about the way they are empty. Presentation is everything.” 

Sausage Life!

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