Saturday, 29 December 2007

Great figures in history-Alexander the great

In our continuing series exploring the great figures in history, our spotlight of truth has now fallen upon the heroic figure of Alexander of Macedon.
The charismatic conqueror of the known world and supreme figurehead of the Christian church for the last six thousand years.

There are many stories concerning the birth of Alexander, some say he was born in a stable and attended by three of the four Marx brothers (Zeppo being unavailable at the time due to a bout of Malaria) others that he was born into a family of traveling gynecologists in the famous port city of Hullopolis, which at that time was capital of the mighty Persian empire.

But these accounts, although containing some grains of truth, fail to take into consideration the well attested fact that the young man in question was actually born in Macedon, which happens to be a small village half way between Hullopolis and Leeds in the glorious picturesque shire now known as Yorkshire.
At the time of Alexander's birth the small village of Macedon had somehow managed to unite the perpetually warring Greek city states into a single unified state. This incredible feat was managed by Alexander's father, king Philip the blind of Macedon.
When we now look back on Phillip's achievement it is with a sense of awe, that this blind Yorkshire postman was able, without ever setting foot in Greece, to unite such implacable enemies into a single union.
It says much for the man that although blind from birth he had the incredible foresight to forge a nation that to this very day sits at the epicenter of global politics and still dominates the incredibly lucrative trade in kebabs.

It was into this nascent dynasty that the twelve year old Alexander was born, it was said that on the night of his birth every kebab shop in Yorkshire went unaccountably quiet and there was not a single arrest for drunken or violent conduct in the whole of the kingdom.
Whether this tale is apocryphal or not its hard to judge, but we can be sure his birth was a very important event for the front page of the Sun 'newspaper' that day carried the headline "Blind king Phil don't fire blanks!"

So from the very beginning it was clear that Alexander was very special, not in a special needs kind of way, but in a special special kind of way, in the way that Carlsberg special brew is special but the special Olympics isn't.
From the moment he was born fully formed at the age twelve the gods seemed to have reserved a place amongst themselves for this special special boy, by the age of thirteen he could speak six hundred and twelve languages, tie his own shoe laces and had made his first million by selling brightly colored sheep on the internet.
But all this learning and business success was not enough for the young Alexander and by time he had reached his fourteenth birthday he had murdered his blind father, slept with his fat mother and consolidated his iron grip on his Greek vassal states.
Now safe in the knowledge that his grip on the country was secure and the money was rolling in from his now worldwide chain of kebab shops, Alexander turned his avaricious eyes east towards the greatest empire the world had ever seen, Persia!

The Persian empire was at this time so vast that people said if a man walked for three quarters of an hour he would still only be half way across it.
The ruler of this vast empire, sitting on the east Yorkshire coast, was Darius, king of kings, son of heaven and ruler of the earth, such was Darius's earthly power that from birth he had never walked a single step in his whole life. A priestly cast had developed under his late father devoted to carrying the reigning monarch around, these were called 'Baggies' and is where we derive the term 'carrier bag' from.
Darius, like Alexander, was intellectually brilliant he had written four and a half novels (all self published) and was at that time waiting to hear from his agent to see if his sitcom, 'Oh no I'm a Persian!' was going to be picked up by NBC.

How much the history of the world would have changed if NBC had picked up Darius's sitcom we can only guess, but suffice to say it was Seinfeld that went on to rule the world of comedy and it was Darius that faded from the pages of history like something that fades a lot, maybe a cheap T shirt or fader on a sound mixer. We just don't know.

While Darius had been preoccupied with selling his script, Alexander had been busy amassing his forces at the Persian border, his chief commander Richard 'the dick' Cheney longtime advocate of the Persian adventure had cleverly disguised his six million troops as natural features, rocks, trees and grains of sand, all along the one and a half mile Persian border.
Now all that was needed was an excuse for invasion and it was to be Cheney the master of war who was to provide Alexander with his casus belli, he told Alexander that he had heard Darius say that if his sitcom wasn't picked up he would have to go to his plan b and open up a chain of falafel shops. Which he knew would pitch him head to head with Alexander in the post pub fast food market.
When Alexander heard this he was said to have flown into one of his famous rages and locked himself into his bedroom for six days only venturing out at mealtimes and then refusing to talk to anyone.
So the course was set for a collision of empires, a battle of ideals, on one side the delightful chilli sauce, lamb and pitta of Alexander on the other the dark and terrible concoction of Darius known to men as Falafel.

The morning of the battle saw the two great armies face each other across the vast desert of the north Yorkshire moors, Alexander's six million men were said to have visibly trembled when the one hundred and sixty million heavily armed men of Darius marched into view and began to shout obscenities about the origins of Alexander's kebab meat. Alexander, worried his men would crumble beneath this torrent of abuse was said to have rode along the line on his famous white charger, Gary, assuring the men in his command that only the best cuts of lamb were used in his kebabs.

As the sun began to set on that fateful day and Alexander surveyed the one hundred and sixty million Persian dead and realised he had finally achieved his dream and was now ruler of the whole earth and the undisputed kebab lord of the universe, a single tear was said to fallen from his crooked left eye.
For the loss of just three men the fifteen year old Alexander had conquered the greatest empire the world had ever seen, and as he and his men rode into Darius's defeated capital, Hullopolis, it was said that hordes of angels descended from the heavens and sang Alexander's favourite song, Wham's marvelous 'Last Christmas'

But Alexander's great triumph was to be a short lived affair for two and a half hours after entering the defeated city, the boy king and god on earth was dead.
There are many different versions of the death of Alexander, some say he died of gout, others that the gods had finally become jealous and taken his life as punishment for daring to put himself above them.
The plain truth of the matter was Alexander was killed crossing the road by a fish cart on its way to market. the driver had been drinking, talking on a mobile phone and smoking a cigarette at the time. (He was later sentenced to three months community service and a twenty five pound fine for careless driving.)
For the boy who had conquered the known world at fifteen to be killed in so tragic and mundane a fashion only adds to the mystique and legend that is was and always shall be, Alexander the great!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

England get their man

London-After the disastrous reign of ginger supremo Steve 'Watch my hair' Mclaren the FA have moved quickly and appointed a much hunkier successor. The news coming from Soho square this morning is that Brian Barwick, the head of the FA, has offered Fabio a four million pound a year contract that will run until England's first round exit at the 2010 world cup.

Little is known about England's new manager but that hasn't stopped Barwick from trumpeting the announcement to the world's press, earlier today he told waiting reporters that "Fabio is definitely our man he is soooo dreamy, he let me touch his biceps earlier and I went all funny in my tummy. I really think he is the man to take England forward, obviously I also believed that about Mclaren and although Steve was a very handsome man, for a ginger, he is nowhere near Fabio's league. The team photos are going to be great now."

When questioned on the new man's glaring lack of football experience Barwick was quick to defend Fabio's record "Although he has never actually taken charge of a football team, I think you will all agree his record compares favourably with his predecessor's, and as you all know being England manager isn't about football, it's much bigger than that.
For far too long now we have been beaten in the handsome stakes by so called 'lesser nations'. You only have to look at the Croatia game, the Croatians had the dreamy eyed Slaven Billic prowling the touchline like some ravenous sexual panther and we had a middle aged ginger bloke protecting his rapidly vanishing quiff with an umbrella, it didn't look good."

Sources within the FA have confirmed that Fabio was actually the favoured choice to succeed housewives favourite Sven Goran Erikkson, but was unavailable at the time due to his extensive commitments to hunkdom, although Barwick refused to confirm this he did say "It's true I have been a fan of Fabio's for a long time now, I had his last calendar you know the one where he is a pirate in July and a fireman in October. I'm just glad we finally managed to get our man and I can't wait to see the new team calendar, if we can persuade him to drop Rooney from the squad I think it will be a very special tribute to all that's hunky in the world."

So having now got their favoured candidate the FA will be under immense pressure to start producing sales figures commensurate with their status as one of the world's biggest brands. Barwick told reporters "I'm not frightened by the challenge and I'm sure Fabio isn't, if anyone can sell the England football team it's this guy, I admit that in going ginger last time we made a big mistake, but the thinking at the time was Mclaren would slot into the 'cute' category and as soon as we realised our mistake it was to late. I know one thing though, their won't be a single team in world football that will be able to compete with us in the dreamy stakes now!"

Monday, 10 December 2007

Play Mesmer for me

South shields- Ever since early man tired of walking on his knuckles and dragged himself upright, he has been fascinated by the intricate workings of the mind. The very thing that gave Homo erectus the impetus to leave the vast African Savannah and then spread himself around the globe, seemed to be the thing that fascinated him most.

Man's earliest attempts at deciphering the complexities of the brain and its mysterious workings led him eventually to construct massive temples in praise of his unseen gods, which in turn led directly to the establishment of the first universities and the first serious attempts to develop a science of the mind.

The ancient study of the mind eventually became the science of psychiatry, when Dr Sigmund Freud accidentally discovered all of mans problems stemmed from his desire to sleep with his mother and kill his father. Incidentally, It's a little known fact that Freud also dabbled in the lingerie business and was particularly famous in turn of the century Vienna for his popular Freudian slip, which was said to be a must have for any fashion conscious lady.

One of Freud's main tools for unraveling the intricate workings of the mind was the technique of Mesmerism or hypnosis as it's more commonly known today. This ancient technique was first discovered by the Persian king Xerxes in 33bc, when he discovered that repeated tellings of his stories of conquest had the unusual effect of sending all of his court into a deep hypnogogic slumber.
Nowadays we are more used to seeing stage performers making perfectly normal people behave like fools or vice versa.
So when News direct heard of a man in South shields actually using his hypnotic powers to help people we decided to travel up to that god forsaken nowhere and meet the amazing Anton De Napoli.

Mr De Napoli works from the comfortable front room of his three bed semi in the popular non shit part of the town.
Although the treatment room looks like the set of a canceled Sherlock Holmes show from nineteen eighty two, there is a certain homeliness to it and within two minutes of meeting Anton I was laid comfortably upon his chaise lounge, with my shoes off talking about my mother.
"She was a cruel woman, only time she ever hugged us was when the heating wasn't working. Those times she used us as human hot water bottles were the only time us kids were allowed to touch her. She didn't like personal contact, she used to say we are English! Hugs are for Italian waiters and sick kittens.
Sometimes she would beat us with wooden coat hangers, she said wire ones were for good children. I think that's why I still pee the bed."
Anton looked nervously at me and apologetically said "I'm sorry to hear that, I really am, but I'm not Anton, Anton's just gone to get my bill, I was seeing him about my smoking."
I sat up "Oh yeah I knew!! I was just trying to get a feel of how it would feel to be sad like you and need to come to a place like this."
"I'm only here to stop smoking."
"Yeah right, pervert!"
"I'm sorry your mother was so horrible."
"How dare you!!! My mother was a saint!! She was a martyr to her ovaries."
At this point the door swung open to reveal the real Anton De Napoli "I have your bill Mr Davies."
Mr Davies glad of the exit strategy jumped from his seat beside my chaise lounge and made for the front door.
"I see you have made yourself comfortable."
"Yeah I was just telling Mr Davies there, that he should get a spine and use some will power to give up smoking."
"Well not everyone has your formidable rectitude and immense moral courage."

Anton settled himself into Mr Davies still warm chair and I took the opportunity to size up the man some people have begun to call the messiah of the Tyne. He was small man, fastidiously tidy in his appearance from the highly polished brogues to his spotted bow tie, it seemed his appearance had been specifically designed to compliment the strange air of peace and authority that effortlessly flowed from cultured voice.
"So what can I do for you?"
"Well I'd like you to give our readers a rough idea of what it is you actually do, do."
"Do do?"
"Do you find excrement interesting?"
"No, well that's a lie, I do find it interesting that you never see those chalky white dog turds now. When I was a kid they were round every lamp post, you remember?"
"And how long have you had this fascination for dog feces?"
"Ohh must be about twenty years now......Hang on, I see what your doing, we are not here to talk about me and my fascination with dog turds."
"So you do admit it is a fascination?"
"No! I was just saying."
"Do you think about these sorts of things often?"
"No, why?"
"Well the mind is a very complex thing and unhealthy fascinations with odd things can often prove to be symptoms of a much deeper psychological sickness.
"I haven't got a psychological sickness! I'm here to ask you questions!"
"Do you often have these bursts of uncontrollable rage?"
"No it's not interesting!!!!"
"Would you say you found it difficult to love?"
"I find it difficult to love."
"I thought you might."
"You thought I might what?"
"Find it difficult to love."
"I don't."
"You just said you did."
"You asked me to say it!"
"Do you do everything you are told to do?"
"Could you take your feet off my chaise lounge?"
Sensing his cunning trick, I folded my arms and said "No I can't."
"No, I really would like you to remove your feet from my chaise lounge, your socks are leaving some kind of stain on the fabric."
"Oh sorry...I thought it was your way of...nevermind, anyway sorry about that, send me the bill for cleaning."
"Oh I'm sure that won't be necessary."
"No I insist."
"Very well, where shall I send it?"
"Errrr........ forrrrrrttty two doctor streettttt....... that there London."
"And your full name?"
"Henrrrrry...." My eyes quickly scanned the room "Mantlepiece!"
"So that's, Henry Mantlepiece, forty two doctor street, that there London?"
"Your not gonna pay for it are you?"
I hung my head "No"

We had somehow ended up in an uncomfortable silence and as the seconds ticked slowly by I realised the only way to extricate us from the leaden situation was for me to press on and intimately question him about his therapeutic techniques "You hypnotise people don't you?"
Rather than seeming pleased I had found a way out of our embarrassing cul de sac, he just slowly sighed and said "Yes I do."
"Ohhh man that would be so cool, do you ever give them an onion and make them believe it's an apple?"
"I saw Paul Mckenna do that once and I pissed myself!! Literally!!! I'm not joking!! I actually pissed myself!!"
"It would so cool being Paul Mckenna he is loaded you know? He has a Humvee with the licence plate HYPNO T15T, how cool is that? I bet he doesn't have to practically beg fat birds for a date then sit at home in his star wars pajamas crying all Saturday night because they said no."
"I'm sure he doesn't"
"Not that I do, I was just using that as an example. Only a geek would have Star wars pajamas, mine are England football team ones, real cool cos on the back it has a number eight and above it says 'It's bed time!'"
"Very smart."
"So what kind of hypnotism you do then?"
"I use what is known as past life regression therapy."
"What's that?"
"It's a technique that is used to take a patient back into a former life and to try to see if there is some unknown past reason for the problems they are suffering today."
"Do me!! Do me!!!"
"It's not something to be played around with it's a very serious technique which can bring all sorts of emotions welling to the surface and should only be used as small part of ongoing therapy."
"Do me!!! Do me!!!! Pleeeeeeeesssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
"It's not something...."
"For gods sake!!! Lay back!"
"Don't make me try to eat any onions though! And no funny business I'll know if you have touched it cos I keep a special piece of string knotted around it, so that I know if I have been interfered with."
I lay quietly back eyes closed and listened to Anton's soothing voice count me backwards through time.
"Right, I have taken you back now to before you were born, can you tell me where you are?"
"It's dark in here and very warm, I hear a steady beating noise and someone is blowing cigarette smoke down into a tube connected to my belly button. I'm feeling quite tipsy too, like I have had half a bottle of Scotch."
"You didn't go back far enough your still in your mother's womb, go back."
"Can we hang on a bit longer? She has just started on the Gin."
"No go back, back beyond this lifetime to a time before you were....Henry Mantlepiece."
"Now where are you? Look around you and try to tell me where you are."
"I'm somewhere very bad."
"What's it like?"
"Horrible, it smells like Grimsby and the people are horrible."
"Where are you?"
"What year is it?"
"Errrr, 1968."
"And who are you?"
"I'm Keith Mildew."
"And what do you do Keith?"
"I run a small newsagents."
"Are you happy Keith?"
"No I'm bloody not!"
"Why not?"
"They haven't delivered the sports mixtures and we are low on copies of proud and hairy."
"Are you married Keith?"
"Unfortunately yes."
"What's your wife's name Keith?"
"Are you happily married?"
"Yeah right! Are you taking the piss?"
"No Keith, I'm interested in you and your life."
"Well of course I'm not happy you twat, I haven't had sex since the power cut in 1958 and I am a newsagent in Hull!! Would you be fucking happy??? Eh???"
"Ok Keith I think I will leave you to get on with running your shop."
"Yeah fuck off!!!!"

The voice in my head slowly counted me back into the warm room and my place on Anton's chaise lounge.
"That was very interesting do you remember anything about it?"
"No, was I someone important?
"In a way yes."
"Rameses? Wellington? Abraham Lincoln?
"Errr.....yes alright you were Lincoln."
"Brilliant!!! I knew I would be someone special I've always felt special!! And funnily enough I've always liked our dark skinned friends."
"I would advise you to make this the start of a new course of therapy for you."
"Nah, just being Lincoln is enough for me, cheers mate!"

Monday, 3 December 2007

Great figures in history-Bhudda

Bhudda was some kind of fat religious type bloke. I think.

Next week: Jesus! Hairy saviour or hippy fraud?

Saturday, 1 December 2007

News direct meets Stephen Hawking

Not content with bringing our readers superb news and opinion sprinkled with revealing interviews from A list celebrities, News direct today brings you an interview with the world's smartest man, Professor Stephen hawking.

News direct- Professor, It's really an honour to meet you, but I'm sure you feel the same way so lets not get bogged down in who admires who the most, it could get syrupy.

Stephen Hawking-Ok

Nd-but if you wanted to say something it's best to say it now, to get it out of the way before we start the interview properly.

SH-No I'm fine thank you.

Nd-You sure? You could just say something simple like how much you enjoy my work and how News direct is the best website in the brief history of time, see what I did there?


Nd-I used the title of your book!!!

SH-Yes I noticed that.

Nd-So do you want to say that before we start?

SH-No thank you.

Nd-Ohh, alright.

SH-News direct elephant got umbrella best web in small history of clock.

Nd-That's very kind of you Professor.

SH-Please don't touch my buttons again.

Nd-I didn't!

SH-Yes you did.

Nd-Prove it!

SH-Can we please get on with the interview, I'm a very busy man.

Nd-What's that supposed to mean? Ohhhh your time is more valuable than mine is it?

SH-I didn't mean it like that, I just meant to say that I have other appointments after this and I would be grateful if we could get to the interview.


SH-Would that be ok?


SH-I haven't upset you have I?


SH-Because that was never my intention.


SH-So can we start the interview now?

Nd- I suppose so, Have you ever considered entering the Para Olympics?



SH-I have perfect hearing and no I have never considered it as theoretical physics takes up quiet a lot of my time.

Nd-How fast do you think that chair could go?

SH- I have no idea, its not built for speed its designed to give me better mobility and house my speech machine.

Nd-I reckon if you changed the wheels and got rid of the speech thing you might be in with a shot of a medal.

SH-I have no desire to enter the Para Olympics.

Nd-Are you not a sporty person?


Nd-You could be the teams mascot then.

SH-I have no desire to be a mascot.

Nd-Just because you are in a chair doesn't mean that you have to spend your days sitting around in the house.

SH-I don't.

Nd-Oh that's nice, do you have someone who comes and takes you out?


Nd-You should come to the day centre at the end of my street. It's mostly old people but loads of them are in chairs, so I'm sure you'd have a lot in common with them. They do painting, would you like that?


Nd-Ohhhh are you a little bit shy? Just a little teensy weensy bit shy???


Nd-Theres no need to be shy, they are all very friendly. Do you want me to come with you your first day? Just till you are settled in.

SH-I have no interest in going to the day centre.

Nd-You sure??? I'm sure they would love to have you.

SH-No thank you.

Nd-Alright, but I think you are cutting your nose off to spite your face.

SH-Do you have any questions relating to my work?

Nd-Of course.


Nd-Does talking to dead people sometimes get a bit scary?



SH-I told you I am not deaf, and I have never talked to dead people.

Nd-You haven't?


Nd-Oh, what kind of psychic work you do then?

SH-I don't do Psychic work, I'm a theoretical Physicist.

Nd-A what?

SH-A theoretical physicist.

Nd-And what's that when it's at home?

SH-Physicists explore and identify basic principles and laws governing motion and gravitation, the macroscopic and microscopic behavior of gases, and the structure and behavior of matter, the generation and transfer between energy, and the interaction of matter and energy.


SH-It's actually incredibly interesting and of great use in furthering our understanding of the universe and our place in it.

Nd-Can you play MP3'S on that voice thingy?


Nd-Shame that would be soooo cool. Do you ever rap on it? That would sound real freaky.


Nd-To tell you the truth I thought this interview was going to be great but I'm reeeeaaalllllllly bored now.

SH-I got plenty of bitches purple say not fish and whores I am the father tree.

Nd-No you can't really rap on it can you.

SH-I asked you not to touch my machine.

Nd-I was only seeing if you could rap on it, I wasn't gonna break it.

SH-I will have to leave now. You are not only the worst interviewer in the world but also the worst human being I have ever had the misfortune to meet, and I have met President George W Bush. Twice.

Nd-Yeah like I'm bothered what you think.


Nd-See ya loser.