eXcavation Factor

An archaeological dig in Mexico has revealed surprising though somewhat predictable evidence regarding the collapse of the ancient Mayan civilisation. Researchers were initially surprised and then increasingly alarmed at what their excavations gradually exposed. This Nuse reporter took a flight out to speak with the team.

“We were digging in an undisturbed site where nothing has grown on the barren landscape in human memory,” said Doug Daily, the chief archaeologist. “We tried to speak to the locals before we began but we couldn’t find them. There simply weren’t any. It was as if some tribal herd-instinct had stopped people from going anywhere near. We couldn’t even find anyone who would acknowledge the existence of the area where we wanted to explore.”

He paused, a haunted look crossing his face, and then continued. “Our initial evidence from satellite photographic images suggested that some kind of a ring had sunk into the earth here and that the desert had simply closed over it. It took many weeks of painstaking scraping before we revealed a massive submerged arena containing tiered rows of hundreds of seats set facing a raised dais, upon which we found a stone desk with four chairs at one side and, on the other, a single podium.”

Rowan Danround, Professor of History Repeating Itself at Peterborough Polyversity, continued the story in a subdued tone. “Early analysis of the skeletal evidence indicates that the audience was jam-packed with humanoids with rather unusual skull abnormalities, suggestive of intense inbreeding and associated brain malformation. The stage, meanwhile, gave up five very badly burnt figures attired in layers of superficially attractive chains and jewellery which, under closer examination, turned out just to be worthless shiny tat.” He shrugged. “We tried to find geological causes for the travesty that occurred here but there is nothing. It seems likely that some kind of contest or trial was in progress when the Earth, with an unprecedented and almost inconceivable violence seemingly directed with pure malevolence at the very life forms she had given birth to, just opened up and swallowed the whole spectacle.”

He turned to the storm-darkening skies above and his voice lowered to a whisper. “We also found some stone tablets with ornate carvings upon them.” His eyes set upon me in a fixed stare and a mask of terror drew across his face. “Intricate markings, they were, formulaic and repetitive. It looked like… like music, I tell you. Music!”

£35,000 to stay in Britain

News of the government’s new policy requiring citizens to earn £35,000 in order to remain in Britain is expected to cause an enormous backlash today as 40% of the UK population realised that they might be deported in the very near future.

The big surprise was that it appears that most of the banking sector, who had previously threatened to fuck off overseas if anyone tried to tax them, are now going to have to leave anyway because their own tax-evasion techniques meaning that their declared salaries don’t even come close to reaching the required threshold. Bob Diamond, Stuart Gulliver and Stephen Hester (the chair-fraudsters of Barclays, HSBC and RBS respectively) have been forced to charter their own gold-plated personal jets in order to take themselves and their top teams of grasping shites overseas on an emergency flight as soon as runways are available.

Meanwhile, Polish plumbers, perhaps the only sector of British society remaining who are able to make any significant contribution to the UK economy through income tax, shrugged and said something about strengthening their work ethic to make up the shortfall that this will leave them with in order that they can remain resident in the piss-poor United Kingdom – a nation where life is now so squalid and shoddy that even the bloody Scots want out.

Quest to Establish British Values Leads to Privatisation Fears

The coalition government’s quest to establish British ‘values’ has led to panic among some of the populace, who now fear that they are about to be privatised.

“It’s already well-established that this government undervalues many of its population – the young, the disabled, carers, nurses, civil servants, teachers, women and schoolchildren, to name but a few – so this would appear to be an entirely legitimate concern,” said a nervous outsourced public servant earlier today, “and, as we’ve already seen with the Post Office, that could very easily lead to them being sold-off hurriedly at well below market rates.”

Many people expressed disbelief that the coalition might even consider selling British citizens, but then fell into a strained, uncomfortable silence when it was pointed out to them that such a policy would be wholly consistent with the ethos of a government that has already attempted to sell the country’s forests, nature reserves, patient details, prisoner records, probation service, tax details, parts of the NHS and the very ground beneath people’s houses.

Meanwhile, Chinese and Russian billionaires, faceless pharmaceutical companies and tax-shy web-presences – all of whom have recently been acquiring swathes of properties in and around London – have begun to assemble in Kensington, apparently in preparation for another flash auction.

Musings on Tax Avoidance Strategy

“It’s an interesting thing,” said Mr Clean, of the Shop-Front Windows Association, “because we’ve had a massive high street presence for donkey’s years and yet we’ve always been profitable and we’ve always managed to pay our tax. Indeed, our company accounts, like our products, are totally transparent.”

Mr Clean was speaking to us on a bustling street, leaning against the gigantic windows of one of the hundreds of branches of Starbucks which have, in recent years, spread like a profitless, untaxable plague, clogging the arteries of every town and city in the UK.

“It’s just a shame,” he said, rapping his fingers against the enormous, unmarked yet fragile, sparkling glass frontage, “that there isn’t a simple and obvious way to ensure that other major high street presences contribute in some way towards the local and national economy…”

He whistled absent-mindedly.

“Myself, I’ve always been a real sponger, of course. Honest,” he quipped drily, picking up his bucket and squeegee and heading off down the road without a backward glance.

The Last Breath of the NHS

The NHS has been criticised for being “too quick to resuscitate” in a recent report.

The paper, produced jointly by the BBC and ITV, suggested that extending the delay before resuscitation attempts were initiated would add to levels of suspense and that this would be a valuable device when transposed to the many hospital-based soaps which are broadcast incessantly night after bloody night.

“We try to keep our docu-suds as realistic and true-to-life as possible,” said a television spokesbod earlier today, “but it would really help the flow of the dramatic narrative if the medical profession was prepared to meet us halfway. I mean, drugs locked away safely in secure cabinets, insistence upon sobriety on duty, adherence to ‘live-patient’ policy and the like are all very well but they don’t do a great deal for excitement and tension. The most interesting thing to happen in the medical world recently was Harold Shipman, but I’m pretty sure we’ve milked that for all it’s worth by now. Medicine simply isn’t dangerous enough anymore…

“Thank goodness for this government’s health reforms – now at least we’ll be able to construct some proper plots with angles like politics, bribery, industrial espionage, competition, fraud and corruption. After all, like they say: the under-cut is the deepest.”

Cheryl Cole Snubbed at Brits

Cheryl Cole was distraught after the 2011 Brit Awards when she failed to win either of the categories she was nominated for: Best Female Solo Artist or Best British Single.

One distraught fan said, “It’s terrible that her achievements have been overlooked: the way she overcame obstacles like not being able to sing and having no discernable musical talent whatsoever are an inspiration to us all. She’s like a whole series of X Factor all on her own.”

The fan took a long chug of some sickly-coloured alcopop and continued, “Look at what she’s been through recently: her sham marriage to that footballer is over but she can’t revert to her maiden name Tweedy because the memory of her violent racist attack on the nightclub toilet attendant Sophie Amogbokpa is still too raw for her to overcome.”

“Mind you,” she added, “she’s still really pretty: that fake hair and those silicon boobs – she’s just like a little Thai ladyboy. Apart from the lack of talent, obviously.”