Monday, 2 August 2010

Newsfalsh!

Welcome once again to Newsfalsh!, our satirical look at the news stories you might have missed.
Bear Takes Car for Short Joy Ride

I love stories like this to kick off an article. You know it's going to be a good one when the first story is about bears driving cars. Now, my experience of bears driving cars has always given me the impression that they're actually pretty reasonable drivers. Having said that, my experience is largely based on racing video games and TV cartoon series, so maybe I can't be the most effective judge of these things. All I know is that when I'm driving Banjo the Bear around in a vehicle of my own design and manufacture on Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, the bear seems to be in pretty damned good control of the otherwise abominable vehicle at his disposal.

Anyway, the story in this case goes that the young owner of the car left his car unlocked overnight, and the bear opened the door and climbed into the car, presumably to root through the glove compartment and see what kind of music the driver was into. The bear then knocked the car into neutral gear, which sent it rolling backwards. All the while, though, the bear was sounding the horn and trying to escape. Either that, or its Highway Code knowledge kicked in during the crisis, and he was making other drivers behind him aware of his impending reverse maneuver. I can dream, can't I?!

Out of interest, what are "Four-way flashers"? Do they show their arse off at ninety degree angles?

However, the behaviour is apparently not entirely uncommon amongst bears, as many will, it seems, open cars in search of food (or in this case, looking for the one kindred spirit in the area that has that Kenny Loggins album he's almost ashamed he purchased). Of course, owning a Kenny Loggins album is usually the least of a bear's worries, particularly those with a penchant for automotive transport, but try telling them that and they rip your arms off. Or is that Wookiees?

I think I can understand the bear's panic though, as I think he and I can actually relate quite a bit in this situation. Why, I hear you ask? Simple:
"It [the bear] was a pretty good size, actually it was pretty big. If you look at the inside of the car, there's nothing left at all. You could see it moving around, it like took up the entire inside of the car".

As someone who is 6'7" tall, and has in the past had to drive a Ford Ka in order to get from A to B, I can certainly tell you that I had to fight every urge to honk the horn every fucking five seconds, including for about a week after driving it.
Jordan Police Stop Lettuce Demo


I have to confess: I felt a little silly after reading this news headline the first time around. I thought that Jordanian police had stopped a woman from demonstrating lettuce. I figured maybe in Jordan, lettuce was a relatively new concept, maybe that people weren't familiar with in the country ("What is this green leaf? What does it want?") and that it was up to this woman, as some sort of female Jordan Barry Scott or Billy Mays to show off "Lettuce leave!" or some kind of lettuce-related cleaning product.

I didn't really, I just thought that might amuse.

What actually struck me as bizarre about this story first of all was in the first line, where the woman involved was described as an "animal rights activist". In what way is this demonstration advocating animal rights? If anything, what she's actually done is nick their lunch and wear it as a dress. Imagine, if you will, the equivalent: Someone walks into your office one day wearing sandwiches as a jacket, or maybe Pot Noodles as a shirt. Seriously, if I was a rabbit, I'd actually be a little miffed at this act.

Apparently, PETA - the animal preservation people - are sending lots of women into town centres like this sporting the lettuce dresses in order to promote vegetarianism amongst the easily influenced, although usually they're naked underneath. Face it: if people were that easily influenced that they could just be convinced to eat whatever they saw someone wearing, those Subway sandwich guys wouldn't be wearing a sandwich board, they'd actually be doused in honey mustard and olives.

Police, however, reacted well to the display, taking the woman to a nearby restaurant in order to remove her outer covering. What are the odds that this is one of the quickest cases of evidence going missing in Jordan police history?

"Sal, have you seen the lettuce that this woman was wearing?"
"No, I've not..."*eats*
"What's that you're eating?"
"Bacon...and Tomato".
"Oh, a BT? Can I have some of that?"
"...No."


Best of all, the campaigner who was with this woman went on record as saying that she herself was confused that the protest had been broken up, as she had checked with the police and they had said it was absolutely fine. She goes on to say: "I have no idea what happened today."

You and me both, Ashley. You and me both.
Robber Dissuaded By 'Jesus' Talk

Again, I should really read further into these stories before I decide what they're about. First I thought that a robber was dissuaded by finding out that Jesus himself was actually giving a talk at a building that he was planning on robbing. Then I thought to myself that this was a crazy notion, almost on a par with a lettuce dress that you wear over the top of an already quite warm outfit. I then decided that what was more likely was that the robber was put off robbing a building by someone giving a talk about Jesus, rather than Jesus actually being there. Let's be fair to the man: He's probably got a busy enough schedule having his face appear in almost every variety of cereal in Mexico at some point, I doubt very much that his calendar extends to being able to make it to a talk given in his honour, unless it was a celebrity roast.

Who would roast Jesus, do you think? Would it be a Scientologist, like Tom Cruise? An atheist, like Ricky Gervais? Or would it just be a host of unfunny British comedians, including Jack Whitehall? I hope not. What a prick.

The story goes here that a woman in a mobile phone shop was being robbed at gunpoint by a masked man, and decided that her strength of conviction was definitely more powerful than the guy's gun, whatever the caliber. Let's just take a moment to reflect on that: A woman sees a man with a gun, and decides that "he didn't look like a criminal. It made me a bit more confident about what I wanted to tell him". Fucking fantastic, right?

The sad thing is that in this case, it worked. It goes to show two things that are unequivocally true about America:
1) Some people really are that stupid that they'll try and talk to absolutely anyone about Jesus, even if that person is armed and didn't expressly state at the start of the conversation that Jesus was one of the approved conversation topics (though I suppose something like that would actually be more jarring - "Hand over all the money into the bag, and while you're doing that we can talk only about the weather and how much the neighbourhood has changed!")
2) Some criminals are becoming bigger and bigger pussies. Seriously, if you could be taken out completely by a member of N-Dubz, it's a sure-fire sign that you are in no way cut out to be anything other than a normal, un-armed member of society.

I'd quite like to see the extent of this woman's faith tested to the absolute limit. Alright, so she thinks that she can convert armed gunmen to the church. Let's send her to Kabul, see what good she can do there. I give her about five days, including travel time and preparation, before she's going from preaching about Jesus to meeting him.

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