Monday 18 July 2011


Welcome once again, loyal E14ies, to Newsfalsh! This is the place to come for all your unusual news, the stuff that may have been missed by the newspaper, and who can blame them? Recently a lot of newspapers have had a field day thinking of the News of the World as a kettle, and then calling it black, as is the style with many journalistic ventures. Just remember when the inevitable scandal comes about insert paper here that none of them are *actually* above under-handed tactics in order to get a story, and they all waste time and column inches on dubious celebrities. Anyway, enough worldly cynicism from me on the papers themselves, to the headlines!

US love letter posted in 1958 to arrive 53 years late

This is one of those stories which seems, at first glance, to be all touching and “d’awwww”, to use the technical definition. On an unrelated note, why is it that Royal Mail can fucking lose a letter that I had posted to me last week, and the US Postal Service can keep a letter in circulation for 53 years? If that’s what Americanisation can do for a company, I’m all for it.

Anyway, a man who was at college had a letter written to him by his girlfriend at the time, but it was lost in the post for 53 years, only to mysteriously turn up once again in a sorting office. Now, he has changed his name (from Clark C Moore to Muhammed Siddeeq, in what is technically known as “doing a Cat Stevens”) which made it difficult to find him, but now that they have he will receive this letter.

Two things to note, first of all, about the letter in question:
1) It was written in 1958, and he was in college at the time. He is now 74.
2) He married this girl, and has since divorced her.

That’s correct, he married and divorced this girl already, after having four children. They met in college, while “studying science” (hur hur hur, is that what the kids called it in those days? Nowadays it’s called “studying a degree in dance and media” or more accurately “spunking fifteen grand of Mummy and Daddy’s/the taxpayers’ money against the wall so that one can feel slightly more validated doing their Costa barista job knowing that with the right opportunity, they could *totally* be a success”) and went on to get married and have four children, and then divorce. Quite a lot has happened in 53 years, hasn’t it?

That’s right, he’s getting a love letter from someone he has already tried out in the old marriage realm, and found not to be to his liking. Why, then, is he interested in this letter? His answer is simple, if a little nausea-inducing.
Romance was different then - with no computers, letter writing was the only way to stay in touch and remains more romantic than emails”. He also said that the letter was “a testament of the sincerity, interest and innocence of that time.”

I respectfully disagree, or to put it more bluntly, “I call bullshit on that”. Lest we forget, the 1950s was the decade in which Bettie Page came to notoriety, hardly an “innocent” character (though I’ll concede that she’s thoroughly interesting). Besides, if I put the characters “lol” into an email to my girlfriend, she knows that I’m being playful or maybe expressing something unusually harsh which I actually don’t mean in the way that is suggested by the lack of syntax that the Internet provides, and that I totally don’t mean and does not have a shred of truth to it, even at the most primal sub-conscious level. If I put those characters into a letter, she’d think I was a fucking maniac.

Anyway, I have two theories on why he wants that letter so badly.
1) His speech about innocence and all that bollocks is a double-bluff. He knows that it’s full of absolute fucking filth, and he wants a good old fashioned shuffle to the woman he remembers rather than the embittered husk that marriage and four kids left him with.
2) He’s a Red.

That’s right. In 1958, The United States was in the grips of McCarthyism, with scare-mongering about Communist activities meaning that nobody could trust anyone they knew with anything…they knew. Maybe, just maybe, the United States government should be taking a good luck at this Mr Clark C Moore, if that is his real…oh, right.

Don’t worry though, the letter is on his way to him along with a university T-shirt. Apparently, "He said if he didn't get that package within the next 53 years, he would call to complain," university spokeswoman Christine Kindl told Reuters news agency.

Clearly, nobody had the balls to point out that besides the obvious fact that there’d be fuck all he could do about it if it did get lost in the post, he’d almost certainly be dead by then. I know I ragged on them earlier, but I’d fully expect the people at my local Royal Mail sorting office to be that fucking callous.

Austrian driver allowed 'pastafarian' headgear photo

An Austrian man applies for a driving license. He submits a photo of himself with a pasta strainer on his head. His argument: It’s part of his religion. The man is a Pastafarian, and claims that the strainer is religious headwear. The result: the driving license is approved, and he is able to wear his strainer as religious headwear. If you think this is a tremendous victory, or indeed something to be lauded, then maybe you’d be better off rolling cheese down a hill, you fucking cabbage.

I cannot for the life of me understand people. This is one of those stories that makes me hate people that little bit more, because for all our talk of being the most developed form of life on this planet, we’re without doubt the most childish as well. I get that people don’t like that Christianity is seen to get a lot more in the way of perks when it comes to certain things, and indeed this whole story wouldn’t have come about if it wasn’t for the fact that headwear is allowed in official pictures for confessional reasons. It also wouldn’t have come about, I suspect, if the people of the Internet weren’t made up of a large demographic of people who think “random” is synonymous with “cunt”.

So the worst thing about this story is that it’s given false credence to this fucking hogwash. I get that people object to the Christian teachings, OK? I get it, and I also get that if you spend all of your time decrying either those who believe in science or believe in something else, you’re a pretty pathetic human being. It’s possible to believe without preaching: after all, any of you know what religious beliefs (if any) I subscribe to? Exactly, because even if I don’t believe that God made the world in six days, I don’t think that those who do are any better or worse than I am. Extremism’s something else, but that’s always the case no matter where you go. So I get that people disagree vehemently with Christian teachings, but the fact is you will actually get better results by making it clear that you’re not religious on a survey than by putting “Jedi”, and this pasta-related bollocks is not helpful to anyone concerned. All it’s done is given someone who’s probably pretty funny from time to time the impression that everything they touches turns to gold (remember Leeroy Jenkins, kids? Exactly).

Why, then, am I so sure that his quest to get the strainer recognised as religious headwear has done nothing? Simple: the Austrian government said so in the story.

"The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only criterion for photos in driving licence applications is that the whole face must be visible," said Manfred Reinthaler, a police spokesman in Vienna.

Oh wait, that doesn’t tally with twats trying to get pasta recognised as a deity. Yeah, it was a fantastic victory for the small voice against the majority, not just a result of following the instructions given. Go, non-conformity, Go! Show them you’re not going to be pigeon-holed like all us other poor saps by…following the given rules exactly! Sounds stupid when you say it like that, doesn’t it? So it fucking should. Where is your God? Where is your God now? On the shelf at fucking Sainsbury’s! Move on.

Last but not least, our friends (I say friends...) at the Metro online site unearthed this gem.

Man buys three-legged duck then decides he doesn't like extra limb

We've all been there.

Seriously, though, I think this guy might have a case, judging from what I've researched on the Sale of Goods Act, which I imagine must have an equivalent in China. Of course, I can only go by the English law, as I'm not an expert in Chinese retail. So, any purchase made has to be:

Satisfactory Quality

This is one that's open to interpretation. Depending on your definition of satisfactory, a third leg might be going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to the Provision of Limbs amendment. A third limb might be additional extras, like when they fit cars with brakes as standard nowadays. However, if you really had your heart set on a two-legged duck, you're shit out of luck.

As Described

"Hello Sir, how can I help you?"
"I'd like to buy a duck, please."
"How many legs would you like for your duck to have?"
"Three, please."

If this conversation occurred at the point of sale, then regrettably you haven't got a leg to stand on legally, which is ironic considering...I'll shut up now.

Fit For Purpose

Unless the purpose is "looking a bit like an affront to nature", then I'd argue the guy has a case.

Last A Reasonable Amount Of Time

Well, it'll save on wear and tear on its feet, so presumably that will increase its operational lifespan.

Well, in all honesty I'm stumped, so I asked my colleague Dr Bartender, and he said simply: "If you're worried about being stung by one of the fraudulent traders dealing in counterfeit ducks, just make sure you keep the Bill of Sale." I tried to make a duck/bill reference, but he sort of glazed over.

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