PUBLIC’S ANGER AND CONFUSION ESCALATE AS COST OF PROPOSED TRAIN CONTINUES TO RISE DESPITE NO INDICATION OF IT EVER WORKING

By Political Correspondent Petey Twotimes

The British public once again woke up today with the news that the cost of the proposed gravy train is to rise yet again. The company behind the scheme, CorpulentFeline Inc, have issued several statements to try and justify their plan’s ever-spiralling cost on social media, but has seemed to have backfired. Demands to see a working prototype have been met with silence, which has in turn added to sceptics’ belief that the plan to make a train out of gravy to be a huge waste of time and money. Out of desperation, CorpulentFeline Inc’s boss Laurence Pucking-Sanker has agreed to speak with The Daily JabJab to clarify things. He met up with me in the company’s canteen.

LP-S: “Thanks for meeting me here. I daren’t go out again, I was egged when I went into Burger King earlier. Luckily there’s a Primark nearby so I was able to get another cheap suit.”

TDJJ: “No problem, I’m just here for the truth. So, what are your feelings on how the public have responded to yet another price rise for your scheme?”

LP-S: “Look, I know we live in uncertain times – jobs are on the line, work sectors are struggling due to financial insecurity, emergency services stretched to the limit, I get all that. But I believe once our train is up and running, the public will see that our hard work and dedication has paid off, and will no doubt restore confidence back in society.”

TDJJ: “When this scheme was first proposed, you publicly came out and said it would cost around two billion pounds, all in. Cut to now, less that a year later, it now looks as though it’ll cost over £10 billion. The public just want to know where the extra money is going to come from, and how the cost has quintupled in such a short amount of time.”

LP-S: “Listen, we can all go around throwing out quotes about costs, and who supposedly said what and when. The fact people seem to forget is, we have generated over 40 new jobs for this scheme, everyone’s being paid six figures for their hard work and dedication in order to get this gravy-based train up and running. People should instead be thinking long term, thinking about the money which will no doubt be generated from tourists who would surely love seeing a full sized train consisting of gravy, and will pay handsomely to travel from city to city on it.”

TDJJ: “Can you comment on the leaked rumours that the delay is down to repeated failures in getting the train to retain its shape due to the very material its made out of?”

LP-S: “Okay, yes, I’ll admit that there’s been a few minor hitches along the way. We’ve since brought in a few celebrity chefs as advisors, and I believe we’ve isolated some of the main problems.”

TDJJ: “Are there any working prototypes? I’m sure you know that there’s a lot of scepticism due to the lack of evidence of any real progress. There’s been no videos released, just a few badly-Photoshopped images with blurry clip art people.”

LP-S: “There are working prototypes, but we’ve been advised not to release anything as it looks like the train is made out of a different material in the footage.”

TDJJ: “Is this train still going to be able to run on existing train lines, as you have personally promised?”

LP-S: “You know, a lot of people have said a lot of things. We want this train to be faster than any other train out there. Whether or not it’d work on the current infrastructure remains to be seen.”

TDJJ: “But you must understand, if new tracks are to be built, the costs will rise to an even more obscene level; It’d probably be cheaper to buy an actual country.”

LP-S: “Well, we’ve all got to tighten our belts in these times. Again, people aren’t looking at the end result. No other country is doing anything like this. There’s always going to be people out there saying that it’s foolish to even think about making a dozen carriage train out of gravy, let alone to make it operational. If people like us didn’t bravely spend a lot of time and money on progress, well, we’d all still be living in the dark ages.”

TDJJ: “So, with all that being said, when do you think this scheme will be finally be up and running?”

LP-S: “Come back in five years, then we’ll talk.”

EXECUTIVE’S CAREER IN TATTERS AS ADVERT IS BANNED FOR MISLEADING CUSTOMER

By Marketing Correspondent Francisco Iguanodon

The advert for Death-U-Win, a company which specializes in life insurance and compensation for family members, has been pulled from television following a single complaint. The banning of the commercial is seen as the last straw for the executive behind the campaign, Melvin Diesel, who reportedly had to be frogmarched out of the Advertising Standard Authority’s headquarters after another one of his infamous stunts. I spoke with Mr Diesel outside his sports car to get his side of the story. We’re stood outside as he’s sure he dropped his keys during the evacuation, and has since been ordered not to contact the ASA again.

TDJJ: “So, Melvin, for the benefit of those who don’t watch TV between three and four in the morning when the advert aired, can you please outline what the complaint was about?”

MD: “Apparently, it’s unrealistic to show people having an in-depth conversation about life insurance whilst eating breakfast, then listing every benefit of applying to Death-U-Win. It took me ages to write that, and we had decent actors. You get a free pen!”

TDJJ: “How do you feel, since been put on probation over the ASA incident, about the ban after just one complaint?”

MD: “They had it in for me. I wrote a great script based on the leaflet the company gave me, but those ASA bastards just can’t accept that I’m still able to secure a regional slot on TV, that I still have power. It’s just jealousy, no doubt about it.”

TDJJ: “Do you feel that repeatedly hitting some of their staff at an awards ceremony before the ban had anything to do with their decision?”

MD: “They were just waiting for me to slip up. I was drunk that night. I had just won an illegal street race about half an hour before I got to the show. I’m entitled to celebrate with my advertising peers, aren’t I? We’re like a family in this industry.”

TDJJ: “I’ll be honest, I had to do a bit of research on your career, I don’t know much about advertising executives. I see that you’ve done similar things when filming all over the world – Brazil, for example.”

MD: “That was an advert for some coffee company. I had the actor read the entire ingredients and I decided to put some samba music on there to make it more exciting. We had a disagreement on set, he thought he saw me trying to steal the massive safe from his house the night before, asked me about it during a break. Luckily I had my knife with me or the fight would’ve been longer.”

TDJJ: “The list goes on, the discretions get more and more outlandish. This, according to the ASA, was your final chance. What are your plans now? You said you’re like a family, the advert executives, but haven’t they blacklisted you now?”

MD: “I’ve got a friend bringing me a crowbar later on. I’m then gonna get in my car and challenge fellow motorists for money, though due to things I’m not allowed out of this town. And I can’t be out later than nine pm.”

TDJJ: “Do you think you’ll you miss advertising?”

MD: “I don’t need it now. Well, not the traditional TV side of it. The thing is, I’m glad you brought up the stuff in Brazil, you reminded me of something. I got a plan…”

TDJJ: “I’m guessing this plan is illegal.”

MD: “The cops who momentarily arrested me in Brazil were a bit too unprofessional in my eyes. I was thinking maybe I can get together a team, some other disgruntled former pillars of society, ex-cops, codebreakers, people like that, go to Brazil and start solving some crimes over there. Maybe bring down Drug barons or something. Then, instead of the cops arresting me as soon as I step foot again on their soil, as I’m sure they’d want to do, we’d form an uneasy alliance as I slowly but surely win their trust, clear my name.”

TDJJ: “Would you want me to include all that information when this interview goes live? That’s your illegal-sounding plan right there.”

MD: “Yeah, bring it on! They can’t stop me from advertising. I’m advertising me! My plans! Me and my plans!”

I end the talk there, thank him for the time. And as you see, his plan has indeed been advertised. But by me. I walk off leaving him there, waiting for his crowbar. Just a few more hours he says. He accepted my 70p for a can of supermarket lager.

HAUGHTY ROY

Hi, this story is dedicated to Terry Jones, who sadly died today, and I felt I wanted to do something (completely) different. It’s people like Terry, with his work on Monty Python and the films he directed, who have had a profound influence on me and helped shape my sense of humour and creativity. Without him and the other Pythons, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. For better or worse. RIP.

Right, here goes… not really rehearsed anything.

Ahem.

Roy Nakedpiano waits impatiently outside his manager’s office, gets up and paces up and down the short corridor. He works at BraCo, a company that sells modern bras for modern ladies. He’s worked at the company for nearly eight years, making his way up the ladder in his own way. Basically, by being a haughty cock. Another man waiting in the corridor, is Brian Creosote, the company’s morbidly obese Sales Executive. Who’s also a cock. Roy can hear the other breathing heavily, due to having recently walking up a flight of stairs after his lunch. He hates the noisy breathing, glares at his portly colleague as he paces.

They’re both waiting for their manager, Percy Services, to make his decision about who’s going to replace him in the top job when he leaves. He’s been in his office for over half an hour. Roy and Brian haven’t spoken to each other during that time. They’re both as confident as each other about the promotion. Roy just wants the old bugger to hurry up, he wants got back to researching bras online. He sits back down, not making a secret of his frustration. Turns to his fellow Sales Executive.

“When is he going to hurry up? He never hurries up. When that’s my office, I’ll be hurrying up. I’ll introduce a hurrying up rule so everyone works faster, increase the hurrying pace every hour on the hour. By five o’clock, the hurrying will be so fast it’ll be ridiculous!”

“That sounds a bit silly,” said Brian. “There’s only so much hurrying one can do. When I get the job, the hurrying will be kept to a preordained level so as no one will be hurrying too much and start making mistakes.”

“Ah,” replied Roy. “There’s a flaw in your plan. If you have to set the hurrying to a particular parameter, the employees who are naturally more adept at hurrying won’t have to hurry as much as the ones who can’t hurry as easily. It’s my strategy that will prevail, surely, as if everyone is hurrying at the same rate, relatively speaking, the company’s productivity will prosper.”

“Nonsense,” scoffed Brian. “The amount of hurrying using your strategy will lead to possible burnout and people will then be afraid of hurrying as a result, especially the ones who find hurrying less natural than the others. Plus, how can you possibly quantify the hurrying required if everyone, using your logic, has a different aptitude and pace when it comes to hurrying?”

Roy thought for a moment. It all makes sense in his head. Why can’t this bloated buffoon see it? The office door opens. Mr Services beckons them in to take a seat.

“Sorry about the wait. Just had to send an emergency email to Head Office. I’ve just been made aware that rival Bra Company BraQuest has just designed a more modern bra. According to them, women are getting increasingly more modern by the day, and they’ve adapted their existing line of bras to reflect this. Just have to wait for a reply.”

Roy steps forward purposefully. “I’ll get right on this after we’ve finished here, increase my research. In my own time if I have to. So, I take it you’ve made a decision about your replacement?”

Percy looks from Roy to Brian, then back again. He has made a decision, he’s just making a dramatic pause like they do on reality TV. Ping! An email from head office.

“Just a moment,” Percy tells the two hopefuls. After a moment, his face drops, sits back on his chair. Stares into the middle distance with a shocked expression on his face.

“What’s the problem?” Roy asked.

“We’re out of business,” he replied. “Head Office has told us not to bother redesigning anything, BraQuest’s new bra is just too modern for us to compete with. BraQuest said they’re going to crush us.”

Just then, a giant foot crashes through the roof and splats everyone into the floor.

They are no more.

Something like that, anyway.

MAYOR IGNORES OUTCRY AS HE MOVES FORWARD WITH DECISION TO UPDATE LOCAL CURRENCY OF TOWN

By Financial Correspondent Larcen Maneface

The controversial mayor of North Yorkshire town Whitby, Callum Wanquo, has ignored the town’s – and by extension the whole of the UK’s – protestations, by forging ahead on his scheme to update the town’s currency to a more ‘future-proof’ system. He believes that having money in Credits, like in sci fi films, will help modernise everything, and drag the town out of the 2010s and into the beyond. Retired whip maker, 83-year old Harold Gamesworld, founded the initiative “Don’t Give Credit Any Credit” in direct response, and has gained a sizeable following within the town’s raffle players fraternity. I sat down with Mr Gamesworld at a local Civic centre to interview him on the plans for the movement.

TDJJ: “So, was there any particular incident in the mayor’s actions where you just thought enough was enough?”

HG: “When he became mayor. I never trusted him, he’s got one of those faces, I knew there were something about him. When he said he’s going to change the money confirmed it for me, he can’t be trusted.”

TDJJ: “I see. What are your plans for the group now you’ve amassed over 20 followers?”

HG: “I wrote to the local paper about him, they don’t like him either.”

TDJJ: “Mr Gamesworld, what are your plans with the group?”

HG: “That’s right. We was thinking of making a big sign out of a bed sheet and write how we don’t like his views on the money. It’s wasting a sheet but it’ll be worth it.”

TDJJ: “Are you going to do anything else?”

HG: “Ada’s got a loudspeaker and we’re gonna use it when we see him in the street talking about the money. With our bed sheet.”

TDJJ: “Have you seen the designs of the proposed new money? The coins look bigger and easier to manage than the ones we’re using now.”

HG: “Yes, I suppose they are. But why make it so confusing again? They were saying they were gonna be using just credit cards. I’ve seen the adverts.”

TDJJ: “Who said that?”

HG: “The government. I didn’t vote for any of them.”

TDJJ: “I’m pretty sure we have credit cards already, Mr Gamesmaster.”

HG: “No, new ones. Credit credit cards.”

TDJJ: “But there’s proof that the government are vehemently against this idea, they’re not even entering a debate, for multiple reasons.”

HG: “Well, that’s what I heard. If Ethel was here she’d tell you as well. She watches all the news and she’s had it up to here. And so have I.”

TDJJ: “I guess we’ll, erm, have to agree to disagree. Do you think there’s any advantage to this proposed new money?”

HG: “Listen, it took me years to get used to decimalisation, and they keep changing the sizes of the coins. Why can’t they just leave things alone! The new ones look bigger, but credits sounds a bit foreign to me. Like we’re on a different planet. No one knows whether we’re coming or going any more, unlike when I was growing up. You knew the prices of things, how much you’d need when going to the shop. Mr Blenkinsop, he owned the hardware store from ‘76 until it closed in ‘94, used to be down the road. He said to me once, he said, “Harold, are you not wanting to buy a new lathe? You’ve not bought one for a few months, it’s not like you.” I says, “Not today but thanks for reminding me. I’m off for some cheese and milk, as I only have the right money for them, but I’ll be coming back next Friday for a lathe.” See, I knew the prices of his lathes you see? And you know what? I got a new lathe. It lasted longer than the one I had…”

This went on for a fair bit, and although Mr Gamesmaster was a thoroughly hospitable chap, I didn’t get any more meaningful debate from the last 40 minutes of our conversation. I thanked him for his time and left. He did say that he’d like everyone else in the town to write their disagreement on a bed sheet and follow the mayor around. And he’s not afraid to be locked up for disturbing the peace, which he’s been threatened with several times by police in the last fortnight.

CHILD’S THEORY ON HISTORY OF EXISTENCE CAUSES CONTROVERSIAL INQUIRY AT SCHOOL

By Education Correspondent Vinny “Claw” Hammer

Teachers at St. Ironfist Primary School in Barnet have recently relented to a pupil’s insistence that the existence of all things began in 1954. Little Bryan Panda, who’s nearly 5, came to this conclusion when he found out that his Grandad Ern was born in 1954. As Ern is the oldest person he knows, he reasons, nothing happened before him. Despite teachers using reference books and documentaries to prove otherwise, he had none of it, and after a few weeks they gave up and accepted the child’s theory. I spoke with Bryan at his home with his mum Rita, as we watched cartoons while consuming Frazzles and discount lemonade.

TDJJ: “Bryan, how’s school been since all the media – the people with the cameras – have been camping outside both the school and your house?”

BP: “It’s been okay. People talk to me a lot, older kids want to be my friend, like [name removed on legal advice] but I don’t like him because he’s got weird feet.”

RP: “I made a mistake of chasing a few photographers off a few days ago. There was an, erm, clothing malfunction. I just hope that Bryan doesn’t see the photos in the papers.”

TDJJ: “I’ve been made aware of a few websites that have since popped up because of what happened. It’s my job to research things like this. So, Bryan, I take it there’s nothing anyone can say to change your mind over the beginning of existence?”

BP: “No, Grandad is the oldest thing ever.”

TDJJ: “Well, I’m sure he’ll be flattered to hear that! Have you spoken to him about all this?”

BP: “He laughs, but doesn’t say no about it.”

TDJJ: “I notice there’s a big tree in your garden. Is that older than your Grandad?”

BP: “No!”

TDJJ: “What about dinosaurs?”

BP: “They’re in the underground, dead.”

TDJJ: “Do you think they ever walked the earth at any point?”

BP: “Don’t know. They do in cartoons but they’re not real because they talk and dinosaurs can’t talk.”

RP: “Sorry about this, we’ve exhausted every argument we can think of.”

TDJJ: “That’s okay. So, what do you think is gonna happen with your teachers at school because of what’s happened?”

BP: “[Name removed on legal advice] said they’re going to jail, the school books are no good any more.”

TDJJ: “And how does that make you feel?”

BP: “I like some of the teachers but they lied in the books and they’re going to die.”

RP: “Bryan! Stop saying that word! Say sorry to the man.”

BP: “Don’t want to.”

TDJJ: “Oh, it’s okay, it’s an emotional time for everyone… are the teachers really going to be arrested?”

RP: “I think Ofsted are getting involved, there’s talk of having a big meeting whether they should get rid of the offending books or just the teachers.”

I become aware that the cartoon has just finished, and Bryan gets emotional as a result. I thank them both for the time and crisps, but apologise I couldn’t finish the lemonade, tastes like washing up liquid.

TERMINATOR FRANCHISE SET TO CONTINUE DESPITE POOR PERFORMANCE OF THE LAST FILM

By Resident Movie Reviewer Bambos Gascoignos

Spoiler alert!

The most recent film in the Terminator series, Dark Fate, ended up underperforming at the box office and was met with mixed reviews when it was released last year. There was a cautious optimism for the film, as James Cameron was involved again, and the fact that it was seen as a direct sequel to the first two films, ignoring all the others. But the perceived failure of Dark Fate has once again thrown doubt over the franchise, rumours spreading about the series being finished for good. But exactly like the T-800 said on more than one occasion, “We’ll be right back with another one”. I spoke to James Cameron outside his caravan while he was holidaying in Southport, to ask what he meant by his cryptic announcement.

TDJJ: “Mr. Cameron, what’s your take on Dark Fate’s performance, both critically and commercially? Do you think that there’s a bit of fatigue with the series?”

JC: “I felt it was the third best film in the series, but it’s obvious that this view didn’t chime with everyone. We made bold decisions, like having a completely different company from Skynet, a robot what can split into two, and killing off John Connor.”

TDJJ: “As you say, it didn’t chime with everyone. You recently made a statement about where the series could go, despite some out there saying there’s no more point.”

JC: “Yeah, we’re working on another third film in the series, this would be the fifth one. We’ve doubled the story writers to ten. I didn’t understand some of the criticism, but we’re gonna go with having two John Connors in the next one – one gets murdered and the other one doesn’t. Hey, fuck it, it’s timelines, everyone’s happy. Plus, another different company’s gonna be sending back a better robot. I’ve been thinking of one what can split into THREE. I’ll make him wear a shit jumper to make him look like a children’s TV presenter. No one will suspect him, as he’ll always be in an upbeat and excitable mood.”

TDJJ: “Wow, that’s a lot of information right there, a fair few spoilers if those ideas actually make it into the next one.”

JC: “I feel the fans are used to things getting spoilt for them, the trailers have done a good job of that for years. And I’ll be making sure that these ideas will be in the next one because I’ll be the director. The added confidence of having me back, not just as producer and writer, will restore faith in everyone. I can’t fail.”

TDJJ: “But how will you find time with all those Avatar films as well?”

JC: “That’s the beauty of it. Like the first Avatar, the new ones will each be at least an hour too long. On the days that I’ll be shooting the new Terminator film, I’ll just leave the camera running on the Avatar set, just tell the actors to do whatever they want, maybe dick around on blue dragons or something. We’re doing four of them, so fuck it.”

TDJJ: “You sound so confident with how things will take shape. So, you don’t feel that there is any audience fatigue with any of these franchises?”

JC: “Not at all, people just want to be entertained, to escape from everyday life when watching a great movie. Whether the people are blue, or robots, or normal, or a mix, or miscast, I can make sure that we continue to make these movies a reality. Sure, if the new third Terminator doesn’t do well again, I’ll just keep making another third one until it does. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got to get to the restaurant for tea, it closes in 20 minutes and I paid for full board.”

Terminator 3, 5 or 7: This Time We’re Serious, Honest will be out some time next year.

BURGER VAN EXPERT COMES UP WITH SCHEME TO SOLVE POTENTIAL MELTDOWN IN UK’S FUTURE

By Resident Tech Expert Dr. Kid Grout

The most popular word on every UK citizen’s mind over the last few years is Brexit. No matter where you look, from the House of Lords to local playgrounds, there’s still debate and uncertainty about it to this day. This in turn has caused a lot of confusion, panic, and apathy. One person who used to be a confused panicking apathy-er (?) is 54-year old Lionel Unkempt, an expert in his field when it comes to roadside burgers. I spoke with him while eating one of his trademark meals, burger with leek and soil, on a motorway lay-by a mile or so away from Rotherham, to find out why he’s entering UK’s future with a newfound confidence.

TDJJ: “You must be one of the only few people who seems to have no worries whatsoever when Brexit actually happens. What’s the secret to your blissful state of mind, while most other people are looking all nervous?”

LU: “Well, the other other day whilst in a rare lull in burger activity, I thought to myself, if things go to the dogs when Brexit hits, what’s the main thing that would affect people the most? I spend a lot of time on the internet, and I know I’m not the only one because of the amount of views on certain videos. So I thought that if I downloaded the internet myself, if the worst comes to the worst and the internet shuts up shop, at least everyone would still be able to get it from me. I’ll be able to name my price.”

TDJJ: “Okay… Do you know how much storage space you’d need to do this? There’s about two billion websites out there, and around 300 YouTube videos are uploaded every minute. Not day, minute.”

LU: “To be honest, a lot of the internet isn’t that good. I mean, everyone knows all the main animals, so you don’t need anything like that. And who cares about boats? I’m making a list of all the pointless stuff, not gonna bother wasting time with getting them. Same thing with YouTube and other video sites. If I’m not into it, it’s not gonna happen.”

TDJJ: “You’d still need a lot of storage, surely?”

LU: “Due to my thriving burger van franchise and surprisingly high credit rating, I know I can probably get all the credit cards. I’ll just max them out by getting as many computers and external hard drives as possible. I’m no maths expert, but I reckon that’d be enough. Thing is, my internet provider might want to have a word for downloading it all but come Brexit time, they might find themselves out of a job, so won’t be there to send me a letter out. I win, any way you care to look at it.”

TDJJ: “But with your business taking up at least half of your waking hours, what are your plans for finding time to do all this?”

LU: “I’ve always got a laptop in the van, piggybacking someone’s internet connection from some nearby industrial estate. It’s the first thing I check when deciding where to set up stall. If push comes to shove, I’ll just have to limit my sleep to catnaps so I can keep swapping the hard drives around during the downloading. With all the money that I’d eventually be raking in from doing this, it’d be a small sacrifice.”

TDJJ: “And finally, how much have you downloaded so far?

LU: “I started with the erotic stuff, got to make sure that’s all safe. Just a few more categories to go, nothing too weird, just that there’s loads of it. I’m mixing this up with lots of car information and football trivia. I’ve got to think of women as well, you never know who I’ll get with next, so I got a couple of articles each on Tom Hardy and shoes. I also intend to download as many accident videos as I can, it’s proper funny to show your mates in the pub. I’ve seen people do that.”

I end the interview there as a queue was forming behind me. I ask him for more brown sauce as the soil is a bit harsh on my palate. He’s was too busy to reply so I just took the bottle and left.

SHOCK AS PLANS FOR LYNYRD SKYNYRD SONG TO BE INSERTED INTO EVERY MOVIE

By Rock Music Correspondent Edwin “Zippy” Mississippi

If you ask most people what song reminds them of movie soundtracks, the answer will be Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The 1974 classic has featured in literally hundreds of films, but one powerful billionaire intends to use all of his fortune and contacts to help realise his dream of getting the song inserted into every movie ever. I sat down with Ian Hotshit, the self-professed biggest fan of the band and sauce billionaire, in his palatial shed in Beverley Hills to ask why he’s made this contentious decision.

TDJJ: “So, what was your inspiration for this idea?”

IH: “Well, Sweet Home Alabama is my favourite song. I own all the films on DVD in which the song features and I’ve got the record somewhere. I’ve always felt that it fits perfectly into whatever scene it’s in. It disappointed me whenever a movie doesn’t feature the song, as I’m sure there’s an ideal place to put it. So, as I’m a billionaire due to being CEO of my special Chikkaroo Sauce, I realised one day that I have the money to make this dream happen.”

TDJJ: “You made your fortune in sauce, and even some Hollywood movers and shakers have become big fans of it. With all these famous connections, then, have you had many issues with getting the rights to do this?”

IH: “Most of them signed up on the spot, knowing that a) I told them they’d be missing out as other companies have already agreed, and b) I threatened them with a ban on my sauce if they refused the deal. The only real holdout was Disney. They weren’t fussed with shoehorning it in to their superhero stuff, but they were really against putting it in the Star Wars films.”

TDJJ: “I was going to mention that. The fans were up in arms when this news came out, the films all have a traditional theatrical score, barring a few cantina scenes and that bit in Jabba’s Palace. Where could you possibly insert the song without it sounding out of place?”

IH: “I know I want to put it at the end of Jedi, with the Ewoks dancing and that. Not sure about the others. Listen, the song doesn’t have to necessarily be front and centre, you could have, say, a stormtrooper listening to it in his helmet. Or maybe playing on an off-screen radio inside a TIE Fighter, something like that.”

TDJJ: “Are you not troubled by the amount of death threats and potential boycotting of your sauce empire? There’s a lot of people out there, not just Star Wars fans, who have let their feelings known all over the internet. It’s even got world leaders breaking off their duties to wade into the debate.”

IH: “It’s just talk, keyboard warriors. It’s as if they don’t like the song. What’s not to like? The surviving members of the band are up for this, and for me to promise them riches beyond their wildest dreams, only to let them down because a few spotty geeks act tough online, it just wouldn’t be fair would it? Films have always had product placement, it’s a very similar thing happening here.”

TDJJ: “Okay, so if you get your wish, and this is put into place, who would decide where the song would go? Would you be liaising with the film makers, or would there be a group of external people doing it?”

IH: “No, just me. It was my idea. I can think of loads of films right now, where I know what places I’d put the song. Four places in Pulp Fiction.”

TDJJ: “Is there any films that you can think of where you see yourself struggling with this?”

IH: “I suppose people would think any film made or set before 1974 would be a problem, but they’re wrong, this song is timeless. Therefore, there’s no issue with this. The silent era would benefit the most. I’m sure Harold Lloyd and Fatty Arbuckle would’ve loved doing their shtick to this song, but fate would cruelly deny them of this in their living years.”

TDJJ: “So finally, do you have anything else to say to all those who oppose your plan?”

IH: “I just want them to really think about their favourite films, really think, think how they’d be made even more favourite with Sweet Home Alabama somewhere in there. Even bad films, like Heaven’s Gate, Super Mario Bros and Dragonball Evolution would improve immeasurably. This is a wise decision, and not only would I go down as the man who revolutionised the chicken sauce movement, I’ll also be the one who saved the movies.”

NATIONAL TRUST FACING EXTREME BACKLASH OVER DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR REMOTE CASTLE

By Resident Castle Expert Harry Thricenay

News of radical plans for a disused castle on the Isle of Violentcrab has been met with anger as it’s to be turned into a low-grade discount shop. The castle, situated a few miles off the Scottish coast, is once believed to have been won by a 12th Century Earl in a game similar to Boggle, and is only accessible by swimming. It suffered superficial damage during the world wars, and was seen to be the perfect site for a cheap store with low, low prices. I sat down to interview the National Trust Trustee, Francis Videoplayer, the man who dreamt up the polarising proposal.

TDJJ: “Francis, it’s been several months since you first put your plans forward and started on the development. You’ve faced a lot of criticism from people around the world over the decision. What do you say to those who feel so vehemently against this?”

FV: “What a lot of these uninformed oiks forget, is that we are creating almost a dozen jobs for this renovation. The castle is still in pretty good nick despite its age, but we still have to update it with modern lighting, wi fi, basic shelving, and a warehouse area at the back. Then there’s the running of the place. I believe on busy days we’ll need up to three staff. This castle is barely visited as it is. Yes, it looks good on postcards, but it’s evident that not many people fancy swimming eight miles in choppy Scottish waters in order to get to it.”

TDJJ: “What research did you carry out that made you think of making, of all things, a discount store? I understand a few of your colleagues were not sure of this direction, preferring the castle was made into a petting zoo instead.”

FV: “The zoo idea was a non-starter early on to be honest. To me, it serves little purpose. There’s a lot of sea life nearby anyway which have managed for years without being caged up. I reckoned that after someone had finally swam to this shop, they’d be needing food and drink to recover, maybe some substandard little toys for their kids, things like that. It’s a no brainer really when you think about it. In fact, having a store on this faraway island will inspire people to get here, lose weight by swimming. We’re doing a lot for society with this idea.”

TDJJ: “Did you contact any of the established discount store companies, see if they were interested in taking up residence on the island?”

FV: “We talked to them all, yes. Their main concern was the location, they were wary about delivering stock on a daily basis via boat. There’s a lot of 30-foot squids en route, which can get a bit aggressive if provoked, a lot of deaths. But I reckon they could just use a helicopter, park it on the roof. None of them were prepared to do this. Backward thinking if you ask me.”

TDJJ: “Is helicopter the way you’re going to go?”

FV: “It’s the only way, really. The council said they weren’t gonna give us the money to build a road to the shop. They’re our biggest critics actually, it’s just jealousy. Look, there’s loads of other castles on hard to reach islands which don’t have any plans to be turned into other things. Personally, I feel that’s a mistake – think of how many more Reg’s Cheeeep-O-Marts we could make. Once this store’s a success, everyone will realise that they were wrong to doubt me. They shall then, in the name of progress, grant me as much public money as I demand, so I can get not only roads to these shops, but car parks too. Councils love car parks.”

TDJJ: “So, what’s left to do before this shop opens?”

FV: “Most of the interior stuff is done now. I’m chasing up a few retailers for quotes on defective batteries and cardboard-tasting chocolate, and then we’re pretty much done. Reg is raring to go as the manager, fresh out of prison, and we’ve got two part-time workers who were the least violent during the interview stage. All we need now is whichever former Big Brother contestant who gets back to us first, so we can have a grand opening!”

CONTROVERSY AS LOCAL FILM AWARDS ACCUSED OF LACK OF DIVERSITY

By Showbiz Correspondent Thaddeus Gobot

The nominations for the Darlington Film Awards have recently been announced, and it’s caused quite a stir, with some critics citing a blatant lack of diversity. The Film Awards – known locally as the Darling FilAwa – are held annually and are presented in a modest sized sports hall, presented by the Darling FilAwa president, 64-year old Dirk Face. I interviewed Mr. Face in light of this controversy, during some rare downtime for him while he was stood outside his bathroom, waiting for his wife to get ready.

TDJJ: “Mr. Face, I know you’ve been running the film awards for over 25 years, but it feels like only recently that the awards are starting to get criticism based on diversity. What do you think are the reasons for this?”

DF: “To be honest, I reckon some people are sore losers. Take last year, when the slasher film Unicycle Bludgeon III: Morituri Te Salutant beat the more dramatic, better-produced Red Warmth In Leaves. The votes were counted twice, still the same winner. This year, there’s a lot of strong competition in the acting category, with Josephine Marvography once again a big contender for her portrayal of Unicycle Gang Member #3 in Unicycle Bludgeon IV: Mors Omnibus.”

TDJJ: “What’s your reaction to local primary school teacher Miss Waxjacket, who’s publicly spoken out in the press about you, saying that you’re biased against the children in her class?”

DF: “Listen, I watched the tapes of all the nativities from the various schools. It’s not ageist, it’s just me and my fellow judges thought that the performances were lacking in some way. There was one kid, as one of the three wise men, he weren’t too bad. I was gonna include him, but he soiled himself near the end and started crying, breaking character. It’s just not something you do, it’s unprofessional, so he was out.”

TDJJ: “Are you aware that Miss Waxjacket has set up a Facebook group about this? It’s gained a lot of traction. A lot of the comments are badly written, which is odd considering that the members are all teachers, but there’s a lot of hostility towards this lack of children. There’s talk of boycotting of the awards ceremony.”

DF: “No, I wasn’t aware of any Facebook group. I don’t do any of the computer stuff, Beryl deals with all that. Look, I struggled to hear a lot of the kids talking in the plays, a lot of mumblers, some didn’t know their dialogue. I was too aware of the acting. Stuff like that pulls me out of the production. If they don’t want to come, fine, it just means there’s gonna be more tripe pies for everyone else.”

TDJJ: “Given all this controversy, is there anything that you’d consider changing for future nominations?”

DF: “I don’t think so. We at Darling FilAwa pride ourselves on our integrity, people should be able to trust us when it comes to picking out the best aspects of local film productions. If we started giving an award for, I don’t know, Best Kid Who Swore The Least As Baby Jesus, it’d be seen as political correctness gone mad. I’m not a fan of how the world is shaping up nowadays, everyone wants to be a winner, just because. There’s just too many other, better films and acting out there. Show me a kid who doesn’t need a prompt every two lines or a story about one going full Method when portraying a sheep, then we’ll talk.”

TDJJ: “So, despite all this going on, do you still feel the awards ceremony will be a success?”

DF: “Yeah, students are still gonna be there. A lot of the films are student-made, usually about someone with a hangover or nonsensical black and white ones where people in long black coats talk in metaphors. In fact, Black Coat Metaphor People has three nominations – Best Dialogue, Best Wardrobe and Best Catering. And there’s a film called Reversal of Sexpectation, which is about a guy who gradually becomes his own kid after a bizarre set of erotic circumstances. The kid in the film is up for the Best Facial Hair award. So there. Beryl, have you finished in there? We’re gonna be late for Tumblin’ Monkeys!”

I end the interview there, Mr. Face’s mood has turned to one of anger and frustration. I leave his house, thought best to not ask what Tumblin’ Monkeys was.