She cried as loud and as long as her lungs would let her.

In mid-wail, her father inhaled the screams, took a gulp and burped out laughter.

Decible for decible, he converted more sadness to happiness than any faith, music or drug ever made by man.

His pioneering technique changed the childbirth statistics for Western civilisation.

And gave him angina.

But Rennie took care of that.

THE NEURO (# 74,880)

As Europe caves into yet more pressure to regrade its component countries credit ratings, Britain has lobbed a novel idea into the pot.

Rebrand, relaunch and recalibrate the currency as THE NEURO.

This NEW, IMPROVED, DOUBLE CONCENTRATE FORMULA coin will be impervious to all forms of currency destabilisation. Indeed, THE NEURO will usurp the dollar as the global benchmark within the first hour of trading.

Now, all we need is a yes from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Finland, Italy and the rest of the danglers-on.


Nostalgia is a drug. Our addiction to retro-anything has scaled new depths tonight. An auction erupted during the last few minutes and seconds of the transmission of CEEFAX, until an un-named bidder strode off with the movie rights to this precursor to the internet.

At one point, the legacy of CEEFAX out-trended Anders Breivik on twitter.

Brain Eno has already been earmarked to compose the score, while the big money is on Tilda Swinton to play the analogue enemy, Teletext.  It will, of course, be directed by Mr Tumble.

Rumours say the story arc is along the lines of the anti-social network, but the screenplay itself will be crowd-sourced. So if you’re keen to co-write, badger the project senseless via the Beeb website.


A lot has been said about the demise of the bee. Experts claim numbers have been dropping (like flies) since WWII. Every second of the day, they say the bee population is at a new all time low. Which all sounds pretty depressing, until you speak to the plants.

They say, man is off the pace, he can’t keep up, he’s too busy looking it up online to get out there and ‘smell the honey’ – which is as good as it from the horse’s mouth (to bundle two awful phrases into one stumbling half-sentence).

The flowers are seeing more of the bees than ever. Instead of a quick pollen peck, it’s now a long-term relationship with each anther. The animal and vegetable are now into something deep and meaningful. In human terms, it’s a golden wedding versus a quickie behind the bike shed. Quite what this means for the crop season we’ve yet to know.

It also throws open the question, have the bees just been lazy bastards? If so, they’re undeserving of their simile and ‘as busy as a bee’. Let’s re-draft it: ‘as slack as a bee’ or ‘as bone idle as a bee’.

And what about the honey? Will this counter-argument to possible bee extinction mean we get thicker, gooier, honey with deeper medicinal powers that could make manuka honey taste like Shippams fish paste? I don’t know, none of us know, because as ever, we’re guessing and making mass predictions and assumptions based on a small scale observation.

Just like astrology.


After 5 years forensic trawling through 87 divisions in 17 countries, we have finally unearthed a footballer who does not own a tattoo.

When asked ‘why?’ he replied: They missed the target.

The search goes on.


Sing a song of tuppence, a thimble full of oats

4 and 20 blackbirds, baked on stale toast

when the toast was burning, the birds began to wince

wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the Prince.

The Prince was at the pawnbrokers, counting out his debt

his Mum was in the courtroom, facing time inside, you bet,

the Gran was in the back yard, hanging out the teabag

when down came a blackbird and nicked her last fag.

From a series of nursery rhymes for modern times


It might not be the headline you’ll see in every other title, but it reports the truth in Somalia today. A woman, allegedly of islamic extremists al-Shabaab, walked into the National Theatre at Mogadishu, with enough explosives strapped to her to take out half the cabinet. She, not he, missed her intended target, president Ali, but killed at least ten others including Presidents of both the Somalian Olympic and Football Federations.

The newsworthiness is not so much the ten dead in Somalia as it’s been locked in civil war for two decades, but the fact the suicide bomber was/is a woman.

She, not he, is dead now, while her militant male bosses find another sacrificial young woman to step up and give her life to this cause. Al-shabaab strongly opposes men and women socialising together, yet they give their blessing if the woman dies before she’s had a chance to mingle.

What if the woman had killed other women? Might this have been buried on page 14 of international news? Women are allowed to kill women in France through the ‘crime of passion’ clause, yet Somalian women are just pawns in the game of faith chess. If you see a woman wearing way too many layers of clothing next time you’re in East Africa, walk out the door, quick.