The Grey Town Gazette 

News From The Urban Sprawl

May  2009 - Late Edition
We've Gone Green!
Exotic Plant
New Environmentally Friendly Issue!  
Produced using 100% recycled HTML! that won't rub off on your hands!
As part of our commitment to a sustainable planet, we are also pleased to reassure you  that The Grey Town Gazette is brought to you from a Free-Range Processor on a Certified* Organic Fair Trade Server Farm. More expensive, yes, but we belive happy servers make for a better quality product. Obsessive but important! (GTG Passion Fact No.64)
New in this Issue
We haven't just improved our carbon footprint - we've also added new content. Yes, with the GTG you can have your cake and eat it!
Theobabble is our new philosophy column. Each issue a renowned public figure will treat us with a little snippet of worldly advice or ask you to ponder a profound thought  or two. We just know this will uplift your spirit and enhance your day.
Digoscope is our new occasional Horrorscope section. Using the latest High Definition Digital Forecasting Technology, Digoscope differs from the astrology sections of other publications in that it provides explicit and precise predictions of what will happen to you.
And coming soon....
Meat Me: our new lonely hearts service. In our next edition!
Constantly striving for a Better World, with Better News - that's the GTG!
*Certified by C.A.C.S. (Caterham Against Carbon Society 
a Thought for Today
Today's Theobabble is from the Rev Sandy Clappy, a lay-pastor and part-time tambourine tuner from Huddersfield. He created a stir in 2007 with the publication of  his bestseller challenging the works of Darwin "I'm Not a Monkey! : The Case For Unintelligent Design"
Have you ever noticed how some days the sky is almost completely clear, yet one little cloud manages to block the sun the whole time?
Then on other days the sky appears almost all clouds, and yet it is sunny nearly all the time?
Or that we have a government that despite its history of incompetence has been re-elected twice? 
Its little inconsistencies and mistakes like these that convince me there is a Creator.  I just don't think  its plausible that such illogical phenomena could happen if the universe were controlled only by chance and  the laws of physics.
Its reassuring to know He is out there, even if He seems to be losing his grip on our sorry little world.
Have a nice day, and may He be with you!  
Rev S.C. :-)
 Environmental Set-Aside
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Breaking News:
Bacon Flu Pandemic Linked to 24-Hour News
Mutant Strain H1N24 Transmitted via Satellite
Authorities unable to prevent spread
Wearing Masks Futile: Public Advised to Turn off TV
W.H.O. Official
New York Tues 24th April
Scientists today announced they had identified the cause of the Bacon flu Pandemic.
A new variant of the H1N1 strain of influenza has been identified: H1N24. This is the first virus to evolve into an electronically transmitted disease and since becoming Sky borne it has spread across the globe at alarming speed.
World Shortage of Quotable Experts
A sign of how this event has taken everybody by surprise is that the world is desperately short of experts to appear on the 24 hour news channels. Commentators blame this on Global Warming: over the last five years many experts have been reassigned from traditional sciences to the new religion, and consequently are struggling to keep up with current events. Fortunately Google and Wikipedia are there as stand-ins.
How it Happened:
The mutation resulted from a fateful combination of events, unearthed following painstaking investigation by clever people in white coats:
March 1st: Wahaca Farmer Pablo is taking his prized porkers to market. Pablo has a bit of a cold, as does Desmond his favorite Dorset Saddleback. Pablo and Desmond are very good friends  (don't worry ladies, Desmond isn't heading for the chop,  he's just along for the ride). They suffer a flat tyre (the first unfortunate twist of fate). A fellow farmer, Juan, stops to assist. Unfortunately his chickens also have colds. While the men work on the flat tyre, Desmond and one of the 'chicks' get on rather too well. Before you know it they're swapping viruses. In a matter of hours the viruses combine. Some time later  Pablo's and Desmond's (already mutated) viruses also combine (best not to think too much about that). That's the second unfortunate twist of fate.  Before you can say viva México half the village is infected  (if only the Pope would allow them to use condoms - Ed)

April 20th: the production crew at a London-based 24 Hour News Channel are searching the net for something to report that doesn't involve Barack Obama when (third unfortunate twist of fate) they read about some people who've caught a cold in Mexico. Not much, but it will do: they run with it.
April 23rd: the virus has mutated into variant H1N24 and is being transmitted around the world at the speed of light.
April 28th: W.H.O. Officials do what they are paid to do - they announce there is nothing they can do.
What Now?
In the sort term, experts agree, there is little to be done and many people will suffer. But what we can all hope for is some major event, say like a tsunami, earth quake, or war, or something, will happen in an interesting but distant place. Then the flu epidemic will have run its course and it will be safe for the survivors to turn on their TVs again.
Footnote: A possible Silver lining? If the output from the cable news channels is any guide, it does at least appear that the Bacon Flu Pandemic has brought about an end to The World Economic Crisis (remember that?).
Government to publish League Tables of Religions
Objective to help parents choose the best religion for their children
Faith Tsar Appointed
Catholics and Muslims Express Concern
Anglican Hierarchy Consulting other Faiths on what to do
Agnostics non-committal

Grand Design
Westminster, Mon 20th April
Hard on the heals of its conversion to Faith Based Economics* and support for Faith Schools, the Government has announced that it is going to introduce league tables for religions (henceforth to be known as Religious Service Providers, or RSPs). Their performance will rated by annual RATs (Religious Aptitude Tests) with results published in the National Press.
The  Religious Service Providers will be supervised by a Faith Tsar, who's job it will be to ensure minimum standards of theological content and presentation.
The move comes after publication of the influential report "Faith: Its about You, innit!" by the highly respected Faculty of  Theology and Magic at Coulsdon Institute.
Its intended that the tables will help parents choose the best religion for their children.
The report came to several important conclusions, notably that "some religions are better suited to girls, and others to boys" which might create a dilemma for middle class families seeking homes in the catchments for the more popular sects.
Guidelines will be introduced to ensure  individual rights are respected. Some of these rights might even apply to women. Ethnic cleansing and genocide will only be allowed on holy days and bank holidays, and only then with an appropriate license from a magistrate. Burning heretics is to be discouraged until technology exists for carbon capture.
Other recommendations will include strict age limits on some of the more challenging religious  practices - suicide bombers must be 18 or over if boys or 12+ if girls, speaking in tongues 16+ (both sexes), polygamy 18+ (boys), 16+ (girls), summoning  killer snakes -  no limits (kids do this anyway).
Freedom of choice to be compulsory
New government sponsored web services have been setup to help individuals choose the religion that is best for them. will specialize in providing advice to people on their deathbed needing to make a quick decision, but with an eye for the latest special offers. will provide a broad range of information and feature wizards (of both types - Ed) to help you find the best deal.
Soul to remain property of the individual
People will now retain the rights to their soul. In the past if you wished to change religion you had to get a new soul, with all the inconveniences that entailed. Now members of the public will be able to change their religion and retain their soul.
In the case of  Moral Bankruptcy there will be no special treatment for the RSPs: gods, devils, and the Inland Revenue have to wait in line along with other creditors seeking their pounds of flesh.
Guaranteed Right-to-Roam
Needless to say the leading RSPs are resisting these changes: they claim there are  problems with interoperability. The government's line is that incompatible protocols and languages do sometimes complicate the transition from one religion to another, but with observation of the correct rituals these can be overcome.
League Tables delayed until June
The RATs assessments have been delayed due to problems at RTS Europe (The European subsidiary of Religions Testing Service, the US company contracted to administer the program). But although the official publication is not now due until June, preliminary results have been leaked via an official during his weekly confessional:
According to the source, Islam scored well on personal discipline, but badly on fashion sense, and has one or two fringe tendencies that need addressing; The Church of England is willing to give everything a try and has good dress sense, but really needs to knuckle down and decide where its going; Roman Catholicism comes in as a solid all rounder but has some gender awareness issues; The Jedi Knights show potential but need to spend less time staring into space; Global Warming Theology is very fashionable but it needs to brush up on its science. So far nobody has been able to fathom the results from the Zen Buddhists.
Footnote: in a parallel but unrelated move the Monopolies Commission is to investigate The Christian Muslim Forum over concerns they have conspired to break competition laws and establish a religious cartel.
* formerly known a a wing and a prayer
In This Issue
Breaking News: Bacon Flu Pandemic Linked to 24 Hour News
Government League Table of Religions
Geordie Pirates Seize Somali Freighter
Battery Powered Wind Turbines
Broken Britain Update: Free Condom Dispensers at Bus Stops
News Round-Up
Digoscope Digital Horrorscope
Sex and the Chippy
L'abîme d'espoir: French Canadian Cinematic Masterpiece
Fog Horn: Readers' Letters
Geordie Pirates Seize Somali Freighter
Third such incident in a week
Ship carrying Dive Aid from Africa to England's NE 
Captured ShipGateshead, April 29th
The Somali Government is demanding the unconditional return of 23 crewman from the Mogadishu Star, a 10,000 ton freighter seized today by Geordie pirates.
The ship was part of a flotilla of vessels bringing aid from Africa under the Dive Aid scheme. It was supposed to be under the protection of Britain's one remaining warship* but unfortunately that ran out of fuel.
The Geordie pirates, formerly car workers, have resorted to piracy and kidnapping as the only means of making a living as the NE region sinks into chaos.
The pirates, known as The Wall's End Crew, started out using a rag-bag selection of locally acquired vessels, including fishing boats, jet skis, and some old World War II US Navy 'ghost ships'. But recently they have become much more effective having bought the ex-French Navy aircraft carrier Clemenceau from a Purley Scrap Dealer (GTG Feb,April) plus some ex-Royal Navy Harrier jets off eBay. Their bold strategic move of seizing a Teesside oil refinery has provided them with fuel reserves for at least 9 months.
The Somali government has asked local authorities for help, but there is little that they can do because there is no stable government in the region.
The Eritrean Navy is sending one of its newly acquired nuclear submarines to the area to protect future aid shipments.
* the bulk of the Royal Navy was sold on eBay last month to plug a hole in MP's pension funds.
Environmentalists Hail Battery Powered Wind Turbines 

New Technology Works in all Weather Conditions - Could be Key to World Salvation


Green TotemObscure place on Dutch coast, Tues 28th April
Dutch scientists have demonstrated a new kind of Wind Turbine that addresses the main deficiency with conventional  systems: namely that they don't work when there's no wind.
In this clever solution power is stored in vast underground batteries during windy weather, then when the wind drops ingenious technology seamlessly switches mode and  the stored energy is used to power the turbines.
This supports 24 x 7 x 365 operation, whatever the weather. A spokesman from the European Institute of  Renewable Promises, a Paris based Environmental Think-Tank, hailed the technology as a breakthrough and held it up as evidence of Europe's commitment to a sustainable future.
EUCLIT ecstatic
The EU Directorate of Climate Theology, who funded the research with a Euro 500 million grant, indicated that it now expects all EU members to adopt the technology. " The most important thing is that we are seen to be doing something". A new EU-wide tax will be introduced to finance the initiative.
Shares in French nuclear generators and Japanese battery manufacturers rose 30 points on the announcement.
Broken Britain Update:
Condom Dispensers installed at Bus Stops 
New Scheme to Stem Rise in Teen Pregnancies
Chav StopGrey Town, Fri 1st May:.
Grey Town Department of Social Engineering is spearheading a national scheme to fit free condom dispensers at bus stops. The scheme is the latest idea for tackling the country's under-age chav pregnancy crisis.
According to an official spokesman: "recent surveys have shown that today's children are unable to afford condoms. Since the start of the financial crisis the street price for stolen car radios has plummeted and wide screen TVs are too heavy for most under tens to carry, so kids are not earning as much as they used to. After paying for essentials like drugs, fags and Sky Sports subscriptions few 9-15 year olds have enough money left to pay for condoms. This is the real cause behind the rise in pregnancies. We owe it to the Nation's kids to address this problem".
The town's bus stops have long been a favored place for for local chavs to congregate and procreate because they provide convenient shelter from the elements and they have seats for those still waiting their turn.
If the program proves successful it will be rolled out nationally.
Drug Aid
Another scheme being touted is for local drug dealers to provide free condoms and leaflets warning about STDs with every fix. This would be funded with a grant from the UK Home Office.  A spokesman for GRASSTRAD ( Grey Town Association of drug Traders) commented: "Our members want to be seen as responsible sustainable suppliers, supporting their local community. We have our client's best interests at heart and are enthusiastic and excited about this scheme".
News Round-Up
Zimbabwe Expels British Asylum Seekers
Harare 1st May
Zimbabwean authorities today expelled over two hundred British asylum seekers. The group, consisting mainly of Liverpudlians and Geordies tried to sneak in hidden in containers delivering a consignment of Bentleys and Rolls Royces to the Zimbabwe Government. They claimed they were fleeing persecution at the hands of comedians in the UK, but the Zimbabwe Government believe they are really economic migrants hoping to set up car recycling and minicab businesses in the country. The group has been offered temporary accommodation in the John Lennon Memorial Refugee Camp on the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border.
Within the camp there are growing inter-tribe tensions between the Scousers and the Geordies. Zimbabwean Peace Keepers have been sent in to restore calm but the situation remains on a knife edge. Rumors of the imminent arrival of a contingent of Glaswegians has led to urgent appeals to the UN for more bar staff and translators.
UK Rebranding Abandoned: Official forgot to register domain name
London April 24th
Last month's much trumpeted rebranding of the UK (GTG April) has been quietly abandoned. The government claimed this was due to an improving World financial outlook, but our sources tell us it is actually because the officials forgot to register the appropriate Internet domains. The domain was still available but nobody took that seriously.
MPs to be Paid to Stay in Bed
Westminster April 30th:
MPs today voted in favor of new rules covering their expenses. Under the new scheme for simplifying MPs' expenses they will receive a flat bonus payment every time they don't turn up to Westminster. MPs will still be allowed to turn up if they really want to, but they will earn considerably less than if they stayed at home or on holiday.
Recent studies have shown that the country runs better when parliament doesn't get involved, consequently it makes sense for MPs and Ministers not to attend Parliament or their Ministries.
This could be the start of a new Golden Age in Britain's history.
Lifestyle: Digoscope
Your Digital Horrorscope - Now in HD: digitally enhanced for greater accuracy! 
(Apr 21 - May 21)
Taureans are notoriously short and follically challenged. Today is no different. Get over it.
(May 22 - Jun 22)
Your wife has discovered the text messages from your mistress. You need to get home smartish while your Savile Row suits still have sleeves.
(Jun 23 - Jul 23)
At 3:17p.m. you will be hit and killed by a bucket-sized block of frozen blue effluent from a jumbo jet toilet. Bad luck.
(Jul 24 -Aug 23)
Your husband knows you know about his mistress. If you get home now you'll catch him trying to save his suits.

(Aug 24 - Sep 23)
Nobody can be bothered with Virgos, including us.

(Sep 24 - Oct 23)
The good news is your lottery numbers came up at the weekend. The bad news is your partner put the ticket in the wash along with your jeans.
(Oct 24 - Nov 22)
Your lover and his wife are on a collision course to their home. Now is a good time to change the locks on the flat he bought you.
(Nov 23 - Dec 21)
Today, as you jet off on a holiday of a lifetime, one of your actions will have a profound and unfortunate effect on someone you don't know. It won't ruin your holiday.
(Dec 22 - Jan 20)
Capricorns are renown for their efficiency. Today your efficiency has cost you and your partner £7 million. Its also the end of your relationship. Oh well, sh*t happens.
(Jan 21 -Feb 19)
Today you will witness a freak accident involving blue ice. Don't touch it.
(Feb 20 - Mar 20)
One of your work colleagues will suddenly be elated and start talking excitedly about  Ferraris and villas in Tuscany. A short time later they will burst into tears at their desk. Best not to mention washing machines.
(Mar 21 - Apr 20)
This afternoon you will find out you have won £14 million on the lottery. It should have been £7 million, but its your lucky day.
Lifestyle: Sex and the Chippy
A modern girl's guide to life, love and romance in Grey Town
Slappertini Stacey is away on a romantic holiday with Mr B in Mexico.
Arts Review: L'abîme d'espoir (The Abyss of Hope)
Poignant Story from The French-Canadian Film Board
(Director Claude Bardot. B&W, 270 mins, 18) 
Man playing thingy Montreal, Apr 19th:
Where do I start with this stunning story? 
This is the long awaited biopic of Rip Street, the legendary Montreal jazz quartet fronted by the late Stefan Melon, immortal champion of New Wave Candescent Jazz . Directed in black and white by arthouse cinema legend Claude Bardot  (Le déchirement de soif,  L'amour de vapeur,  Lesbo Teen Killers 1- 7) and staring French idol Jean Michelle LeGroin (Le Paradoxe de Waddon, Durer l'arrêt Ville Grise,  Lesbo Teen Killers 4 & 6) this film is worth the wait. 
The renowned quartet, a group of tone deaf steam enthusiasts, took jazz to new heights of surrealism during the heady winter of '73. Then, just when  it seemed they had the whole of Quebec at their feet it all ended as quickly as it had begun,  with Stefan's tragic suicide over his lost love Olga.
Such was the excitement among the group's fans that pirated copies of the movie were in circulation before filming had even started. But however eager you may be I recommend you wait for the official version. The pirate copies are spoilt by tinny soundtracks and clumsy overdubbing in Mandarin and Cantonese which undermines the brooding atmosphere of early '70s Montreal.
The story starts in spring 1973 with  the chance meeting at a steam fair of the quartet's three members: Stefan (trumpet, vocals); Louis Mounthatton (drums), and the incomparable Hugo Creldo, a certified schizophrenic able to simultaneously play two instruments  (sax, double base).
Each struggling with their own demons and an obsession with model steam engines, the group finds mutual salvation in their common interest in cutting edge jazz. Together they created and refined the New Wave Candescent Sound, which although using only two notes (3 at weekends) nevertheless managed to merge the better elements of freeform jazz and funk with a subtle groove element and a cheeky hint of calypso that endeared them to so many fans.
The highlight of the film is the 45 minute leaf-fall sequence, filmed in a single intense shot, when Stefan considers life without love or epoxy resin. I was transfixed as Stefan watched a sequence of leaves falling from a dying maple tree. 1...2........3..........4 the leaves fall, barely five minutes between each, whilst Stefan sits in absolute silence, a single tear forming in his eye. By the 7th leaf I was on the edge of my seat! Would there be 8? 9 even? I was gasping with excitement, but won't spoil it for you: you'll have to see the film to find out!
Stefan is saved from his morose self lothing when he is bumped into by Olga, a quadriplegic Russian emigre who is having difficulty steering her motorized iron lung. They fall instantly in love, and head back to her flat for an erotically charged night of passion as they make passionate love in her iron lung. The scene is spoilt by their  sharing a post coital cigaret, which was a  little in bad taste I think, and is probably  responsible for the film's 18 certificate.
Sadly, as we all know, the ever fickle Olga (for whom the relationship was only ever physical) runs, or rather rolls, off with an itinerant dock worker, leaving Stefan in the depths of despair. Unable to face life without Olga, Stefan decides to kill himself by listening to a constant loop recording of  Highland Dance music.
In a cruel twist we think it all might end well, as Olga realizes her mistake and rushes back to find Stefan, only to fail when a wheel falls off her iron lung, leaving her desperately waiting for  roadside assistance whilst in a split screen (nice period touch - Ed) we see Stefan drifting into an agonized oblivion to the sound of Scotland The Brave.
If I could find one other fault with the production, it is in the attempt to tell such a rich story in only 4 and a half hours. I for one wished for at least another hour. But commercial constraints being what they are, its hard to fault. Simply brilliant!
Crispen de la Bon
Fed-up with Rubbish News?
Been on a Desert Island?
Got a Bad Memory?
Or Simply Been out on the Razzle? 
If you need to check what has really been happening in the world, or would just like to check out the threads on some of Grey Town's top news stories, this is where to look! 

Fog Horn
Readers' Letters*
Lonely Heart
Dear Editor, why don't you start a lonely hearts section? I know it would be a big hit. I so want to get in touch with my old love 'Thruster'. Please Please help! Miss H, Welter-in-the-Marsh, Essex. No problem Heidi, sorry I mean Miss H, see our new section 'Meat Me' next month! Ed
Why can't supermarket staff pack properly? Why do they always put the bread in first, and everything else in the wrong way round or upside down? I think people who can't pack properly should be shot! Angry of Hackbridge. Maybe its because they work at a supermarket checkout and not Rutherford Appleton Laboratories? Hey? Ed.
God Particle
Why didn't the people at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories find the Higgs Boson particle before that lady in Purley (GTG April)? Name and address supplied, Kenley. Maybe its because they should be packing bags at a supermarket? Ed
* Terms: please address emails to Content may be edited to meet space constraints or rewritten to embellish boring material. Offensive material is not acceptable, unless it happens to be hilarious.
Rip Street Revival! - all the way from Quebec - live! Come and listen to the Jazz sensation of the 1970s. Featuring two of the original line-up: Louis & Hugo, plus the dulcet tones of Olga 'The Singing Torpedo'. Saturday May 2nd. Open mic after ten. Entry £10 (or 3 Turnips): Burger, chips and recreational drugs included. The Chav n' Pikey, Grey Town South.
Cheap Chicken and Pork!
 Special import. Lowest prices anywhere. Free range! No Chemicals! No Antibiotics! Buy now whilst stocks last (and before the WHO notices!) Compañía de carne de Wahaca, PO Box 999, Coulsdon, Surrey.
For Sale: 10,000 ton freighter, including crew. Excellent condition. Few bullet holes. Useless cargo of mangos included. £2,000 or 500 Turnips. Buyer collects. Contact: Walls End Crew, Consett (where the silly crisps come from).
Bank Holiday Special! Pork and Chicken Vindaloo. Special Import! Set meal with chips and pineapple rings for desert! Lovely! Only £5 (2 Turnips) per head. Includes a pint of house lager. Best deal in Grey Town. Back Passage To India, High St, Grey Town South.
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Small print:
Copyright May 2009 The Ministry of Light.
All Rights Reserved etc.
The Grey Town Gazette is published by The Ministry of Light, a division of Inband Ltd, London.
The Grey Town Gazette is published in good faith. The accuracy of the stories is questionable and is certainly not guaranteed. Any reference to persons living or dead is unintentional and purely coincidental.