Up grit creek without a paddle

Manchester City Council have announced that they are setting up a Twitter account named @MCCGritters1 to keep the public abreast with their gritting schedule as we approach the peak of winter.

For a country susceptible to the odd cold snap, Britain – or should I say Britons – cope spectacularly poorly each and every time one comes around, like a decrepit old dog still terrified by it’s own flatulence.

The television and news outlets become awash with hysterically apocalyptic reports from gloomy red-nosed doom correspondents, repeating painstaking details about the frozen floor bastard as their researchers paw away at online thesaurus’ desperately searching for synonyms of ‘treacherous’. The reference to treachery in the context of frozen sky water used to seem unnecessarily sinister to me.

The intent of the councils Twitter feed is admirable, utilising technology to service their duty of catering for and informing the community. However, for a couple of winters now its been building. News reports, campaigns, complaints, emergency rations, treachery, discontent, danger, fear, treachery. It’s bubbling to an inevitable breaking point.

We always run out of grit. Then shout about it a lot.

This Gwitter announcement therefore may just be the catalyst. Just as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in the Balkan powder keg in 1914 kick started WW1, this announcement may finally see the advent of……….Grit War 1. (In the North West).

In a sentence that could easily have been lifted from a Pablo Escobar autobiography, the council has proudly boasted they have imported stocks of over 5000 tonnes. Of grit.

That may sound a lot, but slippy pavements and skiddy roads seem to be the kryptonite which exposes our weakness as a collective who lack basic survival mentality and ability to remain rational in a non-existent crisis.

After our initial childlike frolicking in the powdery crisp smattering which crunches enjoyably under every footstep, the snow will spitefully freeze into sheets of translucent death, plunging Manchester into a Siberian tundra of yellow slush and precautionary sick days.

“5000 tonnes and they’ve not gritted Deansgate yet. Harrummph. Typical. Pfft.”

This failure to grit properly will rapidly descend us into a dystopian nightmare, with haughty city types becoming luddites huddled round shopping trollies filled with flaming summer clothing, shivering forsaken shrugs.

Trains, buses and trams will be cancelled as huffing commuters splutter furious vitriol disguised as visible clouds of hot breath. The roads will become fairground Dodgem arenas with cars sliding lazily around at jaunty angles, thudding into one another as drivers exchange helpless hand gestures.

“They’ve not even gritted the pavements. Harrumph. Just, bloody typical. Pfffffffffft.”

You might slip and smash your cranium. You might EVEN slip and smash your new iPad.

Perhaps you’ll be taking your fragile kitten to the vets in a little cat box, only to slip and inadvertently hurl Mr Wibbles under the thumping pneumatic drill blade of a man trying to break the metre-thick iceberg engulfing the windscreen of his new Audi.  A drill he paid for with a gram of poor quality salt he received for re-mortgaging his house, as grit becomes bartering currency like prison cigarettes.

At the moment your poor moggy gets splattered, you’ll cry floods tears which immediately freeze the moment they leave your tear ducts and hurtle down to crack the screen of your new iPad.

The demand for grit will spiral out of control as stocks run low and the street price soars. Rival gangs of Eastern European grit cartel will fill the streets in murderous, blood tinged iceball fights to leave Piccadilly gardens like a giant strawberry slush puppy filled with severed limbs.

“Pffft.They’ve not even cleaned up the fingers and heads. They should collect the teeth and grind them into grit. Harrruuummpph.”

The council will have to rename their Twitter feed to @TheRealMCCGritters1 to ward off fake accounts of entrepreneurial conmen selling sacks full of 12% grit, cut with 88% filler of now worthless materials like gold, saffron, truffles and pulped Justin Bieber CDs.

Disenchanted youths, sickened by the councils flaky grit distribution begin to take city by storm as they did in August, but instead of burning down Miss Selfridges, bobble-hatted chavwits will fill Market Street retail outlets with water, leave them over night to turn them into huge clothing-filled prank ice cubes for giants.

Jack Frost becomes the new panto villain in the war on terrorism, facelessly pulling strings in the axis of winter evil as grit becomes the new oil.

Then again, it might just be a bit cold, white and slippy for a bit. All of a sudden the ice will melt where we’ll all immediately snap out of grit-pissed frenzy, yawn, rub our eyes and just get on with our lives.

Either way, follow @MCCGritter1 to find out first hand if you don’t pawn your laptop for a bag of bogus salt.

Manchester City Council – Freedom of Information

ManBearPig

Dear Manchester City Council,

You may have seen in the news recently that following an enquiry from a concerned citizen, Leicester City Council were forced to concede that they have are unprepared for the advent of a zombie attack.

Being the progressive and well managed local authority you are, I’m confident you have the requisite zombie provisions in place. Personally, I have my own plans in such an eventuality and excuse me if I don’t share them. After such a catastrophe, it will be a ‘dog eat dog’ situation and the fewer people who know about my plan the better really. (What I will say is something that people in zombie films have all failed to realise is padding. The first thing I’d do is put on several layers of clothes as insulation against bites).

While I am confident that you have the necessary contingencies for zombies, I’m concerned about what provisions you have in place for supernatural threats of other kinds.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would appreciate if you could advise me on your provisions for the following –

–         ManBearPig

This is a hugely dangerous hybrid creature which is half man, half bear and half pig. Or maybe half man and half bear-pig. Or maybe half pig and half man-bear and was first identified by former US President Al Gore.

A rogue ManBearPig on the loose in Manchester would cause a significant public threat so what actions would the council take to ensure the safety of the people of the city?

–         Vampires

I have recently become suspicious that within our society we have a secret cabal of super vampires living amongst us. These fangy ghouls, I suspect, seem to the naked eye to be every day people, who may work in shops, offices and most notably in positions of power such as the Police. You may even have some over there at the council. Everyone knows that vampires have both an insatiable blood lust as well as a sneering pompous hatred towards humans and it must only be a matter of time before they decide quietly picking us off one by one in alleyways is not enough, and wrangle us all together in to huge abattoirs to be cultivated like blood cattle.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. They can’t have jobs like that as they are strictly nocturnal and evaporate into a cloud of dust when exposed to daylight, but I believe this is simply a fallacy used for illustrative effect in films and pop culture – either that or they could cunningly lacquer their skin, rendering them impervious to the damaging effects of the sunlight; like vampire sun block.

I know I’ve rambled on but I wanted to give you as much information as I can and I am genuinely concerned about the safety of the people of Manchester.

Please provide any information you may have.

Yours worryingly,

Mark Jorgensen

Next England Footballer Scandal

According to my sources close to his agent, Emile Heskey has reportedly failed in a super-injunction amid claims that he often engaged in the demented masturbatory practise of ‘The Angry Trumpeteer’. During which he frantically smeared his crotch with preserved Dizzy Gillespie  trumpet ‘run-off’ while a prostitue shouted crazed insults about his International scoring record through a trumpet shaped like a cock.

Paddy Power have aleady paid out on the story being headline news in the tabloids by the weekend.

England job application

My current achievements

Dear FA,

I appreciate that this may be a pre-emptive enquiry as Mr Capello still holds the post of England manager, however, I would like to tender both my interest and availability for the post.

3 Lions. This is our national football emblem said to embody the fiery passion and dominance of a Tripartite of regal Moggies. In viewing our exploits in the competitive arena over the last few years I fear Ligers are a more apt symbol of ‘our lads’ and this is exactly the root of the problem.

If you’re not aware, the liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion (Panthera leo) and a tigress (Panthera tigris). On paper, this would seem a formidable duality of 2 of nature’s most dominant and powerful mammals. Right? Wrong. The problem with these lads is that the genetic splicing of these 2 creatures leaves some semblance of each, but at the expense of a multitude of crippling somatic inefficiencies. On paper, they should be an unstoppable force of some of mother nature’s more conquering genus and lineage.

However, ‘on paper’ surmounts to little more than a collection of squiggles of mock squid ejaculate on pulped trees. ‘On paper’ is a wonderful example of the clichéd nomenclature of England fans as a precursory excuse to inevitable underachievement and collectively mourned failure. ‘On paper’ the collection of players we have should place us firmly at the forefront of football brilliance and achievement. In reality, during the latest World Cup debacle, we limply observed these brilliant individual footballers incompetently shuffling around like cumbersome middle-aged pornographers.

This is not the action of a ‘Pride of Lions’, it is the ineffectual splicing of positive attributes together to create a decrepit and bumbling collective. Much like the poor old Liger.

It is time for a change, a change of both regime and ethos. So, here is a brief outline of my plans –

–          Method. I will attempt to infuse the self-effacing plucky ol’ England spirit with mysterious Eastern teaching methods. Imagine, if you will, if Sir Alf Ramsay were to adopt the guise of a Mr Miyagi style sensei to craft these rough diamonds into a sleek footballing necklace of success.

–          Ego. It has been much (over) publicised that the England dressing room is a medieval battle of self-induced powerful erections fencing each other as they jock for position. This ‘culture’ as the news would call it, stems from the constant stream of hot air being blown up the collective golden apertures of our squad based upon their club form and achievements. No more, under my management the players will be treated like detainees. They will stay in Travel Taverns. There will be only 11 beds available and will be attained on reward based upon performance in training. The remaining players will be forced to sleep standing up in the yard. Want a bed do you Wayne? Well pull your non-opposable thumb out in training then.

–          Training. Aside from the usual technical training methods, there will be a number of new initiatives I will bring to the table. i.e. cognitive behavioural therapy to redress maladaptive thought patterns, neutering, squad fishing trips and mild torture.

–          Man Management. Any big cat handler will attest that the dominant/submissive dynamic  is key to the rearing process and I will adopt this method in my management. No team talks, no collective messages; each player will be personally man-managed on a personal and rotational basis to ensure maximum effectiveness of individual respect and quash the irreverent pack mentality currently exhibited. 

I hope this brief overview provides requisite credence to highlight the overhaul in culture I can bring to the role.

This brings me nicely onto my experience and achievements. I accept that I am perhaps a little ill-equipped for the role off first glance, but if there is a lesson to be learnt from World Cup 2010 it is again that we cannot read too much in to idle perception. Off first glance England could have easily won this Trophy, wouldn’t you agree? Besides, Ssshteve Van McLaren was appointed England manager despite his inability to manage a buggery at a barn dance.

–          Attached to this mail is a screen shot of my last management campaign with Blackburn Rovers on Championship manager. As you can see, my record is inconceivably good. 10 points clear, +80 goal difference from 29 games, unbeaten league season; despite the shoestring-budget I was afforded by the Lancashire minnows. I also achieved FA Cup success in the same season and can send you a screen shot to ratify this should you desire.

–          I guided Rainford Rangers under 11’s football team to, again, league and cup gory in my first season in change, even despite the fact that my stalwart captain had a tendency to cry and wet himself during important matches.

–          At Plattfields Park in Manchester one day this very summer, I managed a collection of my friends for a game we were challenged to by some local youths. Despite the appalling fitness and evident hangovers displayed my troops, I presided over a magnificent 23-20 victory. Spritely youthfulness and ability is no match for ruthless tactical nous and unbridled psychobattery.

I believe these facts and statistics speak for themselves and I would be delighted for the opportunity to discuss more at interview. If you do need further persuasion, please find below a couple of references.

There has been much said that we must now revert to having an English manager at the helm and I would like to allay any concerns of my suitability on this front. I know you are no slouches down there at FA HQ so you will have noticed that my surname is Jorgensen and, consequently, am no thoroughbred Englishman. My Danish heritage (along with a dash of Irish, a touch of Scottish and a sprig of Latvian), should not discount me from the running as I can confirm that I was born and bred of these Isles and although I may have a innate propensity to seek bacon or pillage a homeland or two, I am as English as Greg Rusedski ever was.

I look forward to the opportunity restoring national pride and transforming these ‘3 Ligers’ back into the ‘3 Lions’ we long them to be. I am the Madcap Football scientist to reverse the effects of the football centric splicing which has caused so many to shed upsetting water from their faces for so long.

Thank you for considering my application and your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Ambitious regards,

Mark Jorgensen

Manchester Confidential

Advertising, football and sandwich Attaché

“I’ve only known Mark for 4 weeks but in that time I have seen evidence enough to confirm that he would be the ideal candidate to really shake things up”

Jonathan Schofield

Editor. Manchester Confidential

“He doesn’t play by the rules my boy, but he gets results God damn it”

Steve Jorgensen. Father.

Oh Shit-zerland

Swiss enter Administration as Global Crisis Deepens

Report by Freddy terror

With the financial capitulation of Portsmouth FC still disturbingly fresh in the memory, the Global recession was plunged further into chaos last night after it was announced that Switzerland is to enter administration following a period of dramatic financial decline.

Once the millionaire’s playground due to its ‘Tax Haven’ status, it has been revealed that the country has been wracking up monumental debts for decades in order to compete with other opulent European rivals such as San Tropez and Montecarlo. Global Economic specialist for Reuters Barry Manlove guffawed “turns out there are as many holes in their economy as there is in their cheese” in a transparently rehearsed interview.

Administrators were called into parliament in Geneva last night and began the process of selling assets to address the payment of overdue debts. The Swiss Armed Forces were immediately sold to Belgium for a cut price of €1.5m. In addition, the Intellectual property to many of Switzerland’s most revered assets, including Cuckoo Clocks and novelty ‘combat’ knives have been referenced on the administrators asset register for sale to appease creditors.

“Catastrophic Blow”

To further compound the nation’s woes, the process of administration leaves the Swiss facing a 9 point deduction in 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, a spokeswoman for Terry Wogan confirmed. Swiss Culture Secretary Manfred Fringl said of the decision “It’s a catastrophic blow. It’s one thing to strip a country of their financial assets and armed forces but to place our Eurovision entries success in jeopardy before they’ve even stepped on stage is an inconceivably inhumane ruling and we shall be appealing to the European Court of Human Rights immediately.”

Following the announcement, riot police were drafted in to Geneva as a precautionary measure after thousands of protesters gathered in the city displaying placards and melting waxwork effigies of Wogan with industrial strength acid.

The true extent of the debts are yet to be revealed but it is being widely reported that the leaders of the Swiss economy have been using funds held in high interest accounts of many high profile names to plug the gaps over their overspending. Saviour of the Universe Bob Geldoff has already appeared live on Jonathan Ross’ talk show and directed a piece to camera addressing the Swiss authorities demanding “give me the fuckin’ money!! I er..need it for all the hungry children and that.”

The administrators are due to release a statement early next week to reveal the true extent of the crisis.

Dear Beryl

Problem page

Dear Beryl,

My amazing wife and I have been together for nearly ten years and up until recently have been blissfully in love. I would choose death before accepting that I could never see the beautifully innocent perfection of her crimson lipped smile for the rest of my life. Since the first moment we met, our relationship has been a perpetually illuminating Aurora Borealis light display of emotional bliss, I felt complete. Now, I feel a complete dickhead.

 Over the past 6 months, I fear we have begun to drift apart following her new job. She has been spending an awful lot of time outside of her work with a handsome new colleague named Ben and suspect that they may be having affair. I have found condom wrappers in our bed on 8 separate occasions and when confronted about it, my wife called me a ‘paranoid twat’ and struck me. I began to think that perhaps I’d overreacted until she cancelled our annual Pony-trekking holiday claiming she had the sniffles, only to go down the Quasar with Ben and some other colleagues, not returning until 4am smelling of deep musk and anger.

I really love my wife and I‘d do anything to save our marriage. Every time I look at her, my heart is suddenly alight and even after a decade together, the quivering butterflies I get every time I see her face embodies the unremitting and indescribable adoration I have. I have to win her back, even for the sake of our sex life and our dog Benji alone…he’d be crushed. And the six children.

Please help me Beryl.

Ralph from Tittingham.

Beryl says… Ralph, I know exactly what has happened here and I hate to be the bearer of hurtful news but this soulless harpy is rightfully taking you for a bit of a cunt. She is most certainly being pummelled senseless by this ‘Ben’, and I suspect there are a string of other cum-padres sodding your smutty bride all over the neighbourhood.

Allow me to offer my educated conjecture; you were childhood sweethearts, completely enraptured by the very mention of each others name. A prolonged ‘Honeymoon’ period of insatiable carnal rutting lead, typically, towards good Sex’s hangover; Love. She was the one! You were the one! The one beautifully sculpted sentient being on this horrid Earthy doom-sphere perfectly created for a rose tinted, ditty-whistling saunter through life together. Soon Ralph, and correct me if I’m wrong, these rose tinted designer spectacles soon began to deteriorate until they resembled NHS-issued bin-lids with a worryingly shitty hue. The sex waned, the laughter muted, the previously un-awkward silences soon ring true with the loathsome Tinnitus soundtrack of fledgling hope. Her new job was not the catalyst, dear boy, time is the catalyst. Love is a subjective and unquantifiable investment of time and soul, which can offer only depreciation to the brainwashed feckless investor in question.

Despite the mutual culpability of your futile delusions of long-term unity; my opinion on your quandary in unfortunately divided. And I shall tell you for why;

  1. Firstly, I am tempted to call you a snivelling waste of testicles. Maybe your wife has simply come to the correct conclusion that the laughable husk you call your ‘marriage’ is slippery slope to assisted suicide. And has taken affirmative action by treating you in an increasingly heartless manner, she avoids the unenviable task of having to deal with a crying man as she tells you it’s over.  By treating you in this inhumane manner of serial infidelity, you are surely bound to snap and take ownership of the severance, leaving you a sitting duck for an expensive divorce.
  2. I concede that my responses have been somewhat scathing thus far and the last thing I need is another overdose on my CV so….. PERHAPS, she should respect you as the mutual owner of Benji and father of her children by being honest with you and voicing her feelings rather than getting pooned by any schmuck with a spare seven minutes. Perhaps.

 

At this point I can only imagine you sobbing like a fallen toddler so I will offer my suggestions for how to deal with this, Ralph.

Why not fight fire with fire? Assuming this scenario has not rendered you a sexless incompetent, the one sure method of alleviating your current plight is by offering her a taste of her own sticky medicine. Drag your friends to the nearest Lloyds Bar, sink 10 shots of Jaegermeister and shamelessly pursue any or all of the bulging harlots on offer. Seriously…escorts, prostitutes, single mums at your children’s school, local shopkeepers, Avon ladies, homeless women, all of them. Try. And. Fuck. Each. And. Every. One. Of. Them. At worst, she’ll find out and the marriage will be annulled anyway.

Secondly you could seek mirthful revenge by drive her into a damaging spiral of insanity.

–          Wake her up every morning my screaming obscenities directly into her face then denying all knowledge of the incident. Say she’s ‘being dramatic’.

–          Bombard her life with a myriad of the most upsetting images possible i.e. cute dead animals, graphic colour photographs of frenzied and disturbing sexual practices emblazoned en-masse over typical everyday places she will certainly encounter. (You could try posting them on the roof above her side of the bed so that when she is awoken by your screaming alarm clock, the first thing she is greeted with is a close up digitally enhanced image of an aggressive scat fetish jamboree)

–          Constantly move her belongings and leave them in strange places to instil a fear that she may be losing her mind, then berate her for it. “Jesus, I’ve found your handbag in the oven again. What is the matter with you? I’m serious, this really can’t go on, sort your life out or you’re going the way of old Yeller”.

–          Secretly and subtly stash fetid, rotten foodstuffs about her person to make people begin to question her personal hygiene and undermine her self-worth immeasurably. This would also detract any potential suitors for extra-marital coitus.

Note Ralph, that these are just my suggestions and you must truly plunge the depths of your soul to decipher the most effective and personally damage-limiting methods to address this colossal mess you’ve got yourself in.

Good Luck Ralph!!!