Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Facebook To The Future

Voiceover: The year is 2020. Mark Zuckerberg’s drones have brought the internet to the developing world, with mixed results. Meanwhile, in a cave outside Kandahar…

Scene: Three men are sat in a semi-circle, in traditional Arab dress.

Man 1: Alright, quiet down. Gentlemen…

Man 2: And ladies… (all laugh)

Man 1: Every time you do that, every time it cracks me up. Gentlemen, time to call this quarterly meeting of the Al Qaeda management committee to order. Point 1 on the agenda…

(Sound of electronic music from a video game in the background, everyone looks at one man on his smartphone)

Man 1: Ahmed!! What have we said about turning off phones during meetings?

Man 3: Sorry. I’m just addicted to this Capitalism Crush Martyrs.

Man 1: Put it away. Right, point 1 on the agenda. The failure of our attack on the Olympics. Saeed, what do you have to say for yourself?

Man 2: I don’t understand it. Everything was planned down the finest detail. We even put it on Facebook so everyone knew what was happening. Got a like from the NSA too.

Man 1: Any learning points to take away?

Man 2: Just the one really. Don’t forget about clocks going forward when setting timers. Tick, tock, boom. Poor Omid.

Man 1: Right, point 2. The attack on our last base. Any clues on how they knew where we were?

Man 3: Hang on, just let me update my Foursquare. Yes! I’m mayor of this cave now, suckers.

Man 1: That does it. (Reaches behind him and grabs a rifle)

Man 2: What are you doing?

Man 1: I’m going to sit outside this cave until I see one of those bloody drones, and I’m taking Facebook down. For good.

Man 3: Hang on, before you go. (Man 2 and Man 3 sprawl in front of Man 1, pulling faces and taking a selfie)

Man 2: SMILE!!!!!

My Most British Things

To the tune of “My Favourite Things” from The Sound of Music

Consulting detectives who say “elementary”
Knowing your place and deferring to gentry
Laughing at jokes that make you want to cringe
These are a few of the most British things

Tea at the Ritz and a Gregg’s Cornish pasty
LibDems being weak and Tories being nasty
Teaching pointless dates of old Queens and Kings
These are a few of the most British things

Shakespeare’s Globe and Geilgud at the Old Vic
Right wing newspapers being xenophobic
Paying your gas bill by pawning your bling
These are a few of the most British things

When Cameron talks, about values
Really makes me sad
Then I remember he’ll be gone next year

And things just don’t seem so bad....

Tube Strike News

Voiceover:     We interrupt our usual programming to bring you this special report…

Anchor:          As the strike by London Underground staff reaches its second hour, news is coming in of the hardships being endured by commuters. Our reporters around the capital have been chauffeur-driven out to bring you these updates. First, we go over to Brian at Warren Street

Brian:             Thank you Kate. A slow start to the morning rush hour here at Warren Street, as the mole people are forced to emerge blinking into the daylight. Extra security has been put in place in case the Morlocks and Chuds take advantage of the deserted tunnels to launch an attack on us surface dwellers. Now over to Jill at Euston, who is so close I can virtually reach out and touch her. Jill…

Jill:                  Thank you Brian. Chaos here just a few minutes ago, as a pedestrian stepped out from the station onto the pavement and immediately froze with his eyes in a downward position, expecting it to carry him to his destination. Too afraid to make eye contact several hundred of his fellow passengers joined in, blocking off access to the station…

Anchor:          Sorry Jill, I’m going to have to stop you there. Drama at South Kensington, so let’s go see what our reporter there can tell us…

Dave:              Thank you Kate. It appears we’ve had our first tube strike baby, born right on the platform here. As I speak, the crowds are holding him up to the light in scenes reminiscent of The Lion King. Details are patchy at this time, but I understand the child has been named “Not Bloody Boris Johnson That’s For Sure”, and the mother may not have even been pregnant when she began queuing for her train.

Anchor:          Thank you Dave. Incredible scenes, I’m sure you’ll agree. Of course it’s not just the Underground that has been affected, with the impact also being felt on the road network. Angela is on The Embankment for us. Angela…

Angela:          Thank you Kate. Traffic has been brought to an absolute standstill here, after a woman appeared to stage a daring hijack on a UPS van. I understand the driver had pulled up behind a bus which was stationary at this stop, when the woman – more familiar with tube travel – mistook his van for the second carriage and climbed in through the passenger door. She refused to leave the van until police with a loud hailer told her she had arrived at Temple station, and to take all her belongings with her. Kate. 

Anchor:          The reduced Underground service has of course put extra pressure on London buses. Transport for London rules would normally prevent us from reporting live, but we have managed to sneak Bob onto the network from where he has sent us this report. This may contain images of poor people, which some of you might find distressing.

Bob:                It’s hard for most of us to envisage what these poor bus users go through on a daily basis, but today their numbers have been swelled by outsiders forced here by the greedy union barons.

Our journey began at first light, although for some it did not begin at all as they failed to work out which side of the road to stand or which of the many magic obelisks the bus would stop at. So disoriented were some that they attempted to cross the Thames on foot. Most remembered to use the bridges provided but others disappeared from view beneath the murky water.

At times we faced lengthy pauses, as our driver attempted to check the documents of those trying to board. I lost count of the number of times prospective passengers slapped their Oyster Card onto his face in an attempt to find the correct method to gain one of the few remaining seats.

During one such delay, a woman sympathetic to our plight ran to the windows, passing bacon sandwiches to grasping hands before waving us a tearful goodbye as we lurched briefly back into motion.

It’s impossible to say when, or even if, we can expect to reach our eventual destination. Please tell my wife and children that I love them. This is Bob Hall for BBC News, somewhere on Marylebone High Street.

Anchor:          Harrowing, harrowing scenes there. Although not from Harrow, obviously. We will continue to keep you up to date with developments as they, errr… develop. In the meantime, please remember to heed the advice of Transport for London and the police and not to travel unless your journey is absolutely necessary, or you’re a reporter for a rolling news channel. Goodnight.