Brinkmanship

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present

Five unsuccessful News Thump pitches

I really like the spoof news website News Thump, and last week, in a spirit of playful experimentation, I decided to send in a few spec stories.

So far none has merited so much as a reply, as you would expect for fairly inept first attempts. Here they are. Feedback welcome, though I reserve the right to angrily challenge your observations.

 

7-year-old boy ignores dietary advice regarding sweeties

A 7-year-old boy from Sheffield, Yorkshire, has indicated that he plans to continue eating sweeties, despite warnings from dentists, doctors, and public health officials.

While it is widely accepted that sweeties taste nice, research has shown that they are significantly worse for you than cabbage, broccoli, green leafy stuff, and some kind of flavourless white fish.

When quizzed about his stance during a tense press conference in Sheffield, the boy claimed that he didn’t know. When prompted to elaborate on what it was that he didn’t know, he said he didn’t know.

Kissing your child on the lips is a sexual act, insists quiet man in park

After celebrity mother Victoria Beckham posted an Instagram picture to her 12.8m followers in which she can be seen kissing her daughter Harper on the lips, a quiet man in a park has insisted that the apparently innocent gesture was a sexual act.

“On the cheek is okay,” he said, without making eye contact with anybody, “but on the lips, for me, that’s… confusing.”

“I’m not a paedophile,” the man added, vigorously rubbing his thighs, “But I did find that picture of a child quite sexually arousing.”

No action has been taken against Mrs Beckham.

France overtakes the UK as world’s 5th most f*cked up country

In the wake of this week’s surprise terrorist attack in Nice, France has officially overtaken the UK to become with fifth most fucked up country.

As recently as Wednesday the UK’s standing on the Global Index of Fucked-Up Countries (GIFUC) appeared unassailable, bolstered by several weeks of political infighting and widespread racist stupidity, but the island nation was unable to fend off competition from its lavishly fucked up continental cousin, which has recently fallen victim to a series of spectacularly horrible atrocities.

A spokesman for the British Chamber of Commerce told reporters, “This is obviously a disappointing change in fortunes for our great nation, but we’re hopeful that the UK will reclaim its ranking after Article 50 is triggered and everything goes to shit.

“What’s more,” he continued. “We are relatively confident that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will trigger an international incident of inconceivably devastating magnitude in the near term.”

HBO cancels Game of Thrones S7, citing unrealistic competition from actual world events

HBO has cancelled its most popular show of all time, fantasy epic Game of Thrones, blaming insurmountable competition from things that are actually happening in the world.

In the last 24 hours alone a major terrorist attack has occurred in Nice, France, and the Turkish military has enacted a coup against President Erdoğan’s government, imposing a nationwide curfew, declaring martial law, and prompting executives at HBO to push all the paper off their desks and say, “oh come on!”

Game of Thrones was already under pressure this month following the UK’s surprise pre-weekend cliffhanger vote to leave the EU, the public assassination of British MP Jo Cox, the Orlando nightclub massacre, and Donald Trump.

The writers of Game of Thrones – which features fire-breathing dragons, giants, and an army of ice zombies – are said to have been growing increasingly frustrated with the relatively exacting standards of plausibility required to make the imaginary world of Westeros dramatically satisfying, and officially accepted on Friday night that there’s no point trying to compete with actual things that really happen.

Feared 50% decline in UK property market will set London house prices back to February 2016 levels

Property values in London could decline by as much as 50% in the wake of the UK’s surprise vote to leave the EU, almost entirely losing the value they have accrued since the start of the year, some guy has warned.

The current average cost of a house in London is £648,200.

As investors flee London’s uncertain property market, anxious home owners are for the first time facing the prospect of earning more in wages than they do from rampant house price inflation.

However, while average house prices have declined by 0.9% since the historic Brexit vote, in London and the South East they have continued to rise, albeit more slowly than is customary.

The average London house price at the time of writing is £655,500.

“I’m terrified,” said Florence Bottomley-Higgins, of Hackney. “We only moved here in December and our dreams of flipping this property are hanging by a thread.”

“At this rate our three children will be lucky to clear a million each when their father and I die,” she added through a veil of tears.

As of this writing, the average cost of a home in London is £661,150.