There’s been a lot of trumpeting recently about so-called ‘fake news’ – disinformation and spoof stories which purport to be real news stories when they are in effect anything but…
Mr Donald Trump (the new US President—you may have heard of him) considers most American TV and newspapers to be guilty of fake news, but this is simply because he doesn’t like what they write or say about him. We get quite a bit of fake news here in the UK too. Even some of our local south west news can be somewhat suspect. Yes really! Here’s a small sample of some recent stories that might have to be investigated further…
Woolly Jumpers: Following an increase in sheep rustling, Somerset farmers are painting their sheep in different colours to make it harder for thieves to sell their stolen flocks. Chard sheep will be sunny yellow while Crewkerne livestock will be easy to spot in their fluorescent pink coats. If you see a field full of day-glow orange sheep, they will be from the Martock area whereas Taunton farmers prefer a bright sky-blue. Yeovil has yet to decide on its chosen colour but is currently experimenting with a rather sickly puce green. Unfortunately, after a spell of rain, this shade of green fades into a dull khaki which makes the animals almost impossible to spot in their fields. A farmer from Mudford (two miles to the north of Yeovil) says this has already halved the number of reported sheep thefts since thieves cannot find anything to steal. He has no idea how many sheep he has in his fields since he can’t see them to count them.
Air Mail: The Marshwood Vale area has been chosen as a test site for a new postal service to start this summer. All mail deliveries will be transported by high speed drone from the new drone airbase currently being built next to the school in Bettiscombe. If you live in the area, you’ll find that local post will now arrive almost instantly – within about 2 minutes of its launch if you’re downwind. You are advised to look up when opening your front door to avoid being hit on the head by a falling package from Amazon.
Cheap Pound: After the news that animal fat is incorporated in the new five pound note, the Royal Mint has announced that, as from June, all new one pound coins will be made from recycled plastic with added vitamin D. According to experts, these coins will be much cheaper to produce as they will be moulded from the contents of local waste bins and will bring extra health benefits should you feel tempted to consume them. People are advised to thoroughly wash any coins intended for the dinner table before eating them. Waitrose’s new range of ‘Coin Risotto with Green Basil Pesto’ will be absolutely delicious but rather expensive. It’s unlikely that seaside kiosks selling ‘Quid and Chips’ will be commercially successful.
VIP Arrival: To launch the brand new international marina in West Bay, The USS Trumperama will visit the port to help publicise the six new 5 star hotels being constructed in 2017 and 2018 as well as the new slipway development with mooring for one thousand luxury yachts. It is anticipated that the owner of this new complex will make a state visit to the area next year along with most of the US Sixth Fleet. The owner is a certain Mr Trump who also happens to be the President of the United States in his spare time. It is thought that the accompanying 3 aircraft carriers and 45 missile cruisers will be ‘parked’ nose to tail along the Chesil bank. Local dog walking and swimming and boating activities off Chesil beach will be curtailed during this time for security reasons.
Local Fund Raising: To make up any financial shortfall, Seaton town council is to introduce a local shoe tax. “If you drive a car, you pay road tax” said a local councillor, “so if you walk on one of our pavements, you can pay a shoe tax.” It’s uncertain whether this idea will catch on in other towns. Tourists visiting Weymouth are reported to be unhappy about the proposed new ‘water tax’ to be charged for the use of seawater when anyone dives in from the beach. Other local fund raising plans include ‘a fresh air’ tax (difficult to enforce without suffocating the local inhabitants) and a ‘local bus tax’. This latter suggestion is particularly stupid since there will be no local buses running by 2018 and therefore no money will be collected.
Brexit Tax: Since everybody is by now completely fed up with all the arguments and angst and talk about Brexit, anyone mentioning the B word in public will face an on-the-spot fine of £100. Repeat offenders will help to build a 300 mile wall along the whole of the south coast. Mr Trump will advise on who pays for it.