Thursday 28 August 2008

A Review to a Thrill

I’ve just got back from Guelph, where I was lucky enough to witness the glory and majesty of the Newspaper Headline Writers Association’s annual Pun Headline Writing Competition. For more than three years, this contest has been a favourite fixture of sub-editors and spotty journalism school interns, with winners being able to use their trophies to persuade their bosses not to send them to the Middle East for at least one more year.

The spectators’ enclosure was packed with enthusiastic supporters throughout this thrilling battle, and the competitors all basked in the adulation or shrank in despair as the crowd reacted to each round. The format of the games is simple: the judges read out the synopsis of a news story, and the contestants had to come up with a witty pun-based headline within the specified time limit. Points are given for humour, with extra marks added for the appropriateness of the source of the pun. In the ring, defeats were crushing and victories were sweet. I looked on with amazement at the wit and intelligence of the writers, those modern day gladiators in rhetoric and verbiage.

This year’s competition contained no small amount of controversy, unlike previous years. Most shocking for many was the sudden disqualification of fan favourite David Proctor, of the San Francisco Daily Hermes. Rumours had been circulating for a while that he was under suspicion for a misdemeanour, and after a few hours of competition it was announced that he had been found to be in possession of some performance-enhancing rhyming dictionaries. The judges’ decision was unequivocal. He was removed from the contest.

Dwelling on the bad sportsmanship of the tournament would be a gross disservice to the competitors, though, and it really was a joy to see such wonderful writers at the height of their game. Particularly worthy of mention was Jacob “Big Pun” Marley of the Weekly Thrust (a local publication in the town of Medicine Hat). The highlight of Marley’s puns was in the second round, during which he was required to write the headline for a light-hearted story about a woman who had a heart attack while giving her husband oral sex. Marley’s entry, “Last Night a BJ Slayed my Wife”, earned him high praise from the judges. Sadly, Big Pun was eliminated in the quarter finals on a technicality, after mixing more than the permitted number of metaphors.

Jacob "Big Pun" Marley, who performed well and was appreciated by the audience, who applauded him as well they might.

2008’s competition will probably go down in history as the year of the underdog, with many first-time entrants surprising the crowds with their skill and perseverance. Take “Little” Jimmy Fraser, a high school student currently at the Finchley Frotter newspaper on a work experience program. His inclusion in the competition had been a practical joke played upon him by his employers, but he made it to the semi finals with some deft wordplay. Sadly, Fraser was let down by his youth and inexperience, and was eliminated due to basing a pun on a musical group that was too modern for many of the judges to understand the reference. His entry, “Puppyfat Dolls” - relating to a story about a toy manufacturer releasing obesity-themed playthings for overweight children – failed to propel him into the final round.

As surprising as Jimmy Fraser’s success was, this year’s competition was also marked by disappointing performances from some highly-ranked wordsmiths. Samantha Bagshott of the Chatterstoft Plectrum, winner here two year ago, fell at the first hurdle with the awful “My Fart Will Go On”. The crowd were amazed at the lack of imagination being shown by Bagshott in this headline, written to accompany a story about a man who broke wind constantly for three months.

The prize was eventually won by Gordon Spatula of New York’s Weekly Funbag. In the final round, Spatula and his fellow remaining contenders were asked to create the headline for a news story about TV show host Kelly Ripa turning into a giant super hero live on screen before being overpowered by a group of scientists. The winning headline, “Super Kelly Goes Ballistic, Experts are Ferocious,” has been engraved on a plaque and sent into space.

Upon claiming his prize, Spatula said that his trophy was an added bonus, as, in his words, “a good pun is its own re-word”. The crowd politely pretended that it wasn’t the 453rd time they’d heard that particular joke in the course of the competition.

This year’s Pun Headline Writing Competition was a great event, fun for anyone with an interest in wordplay and language jokes. There was a worthy winner, valiant losers, and a lot of groaning. Next year’s event promises to be even better, with the introduction of several new classes of competition, including Student Writer, Blogger, and Welsh Journalist. Writers in this latter category will be given bonus points for including more than eleven Ls in a single sentence.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Some Imaginary News

Not too long ago, there was an award meme doing the rounds. Originating at, the Arte y Pico prize started being awarded to bloggers who then had to distribute it to other bloggers that the recipient liked. Some of my favourite bloggers reported on their sites that they had been given this prestigious award by some admiring other blogger.

"Hmm," I thought, "wouldn't it be nice if someone were to give this award to me?"

If such a thing happened, then, I decided that it wouldn't be the Imaginary Review if I were to accept an award of this nature and then pass it on to some of my favourite blogs. No, instead of this, I decided, I would invent some blogs, review them briefly, and give them the award. How we would all laugh! Aha ha ha!

Ha ha ha! Christ, that was a good idea. Ha ha! Ahem.

So, without pausing to grab my thesaurus, I wrote a series of reviews of some imaginary blogs, ready for the inevitable day when I would get the Arte y Pico Award. And then I saved it on my hard drive (in C:/my documents/notporn/imaginary reviews). And waited.

And waited.

And more and more people got the award, and gave it to more and more fellow bloggers. But not me.

And then, one day, I came to the conclusion that the Arte y Pico award meme had run its course, and the meme had all but died out, without my gaining any recognition from my fellow bloggers. That's okay, I figured, I don't do this for awards. I do this for the laydeez. Oooh yeah.

But I was still left with a hilarious review of some imaginary blogs, which I posted, after making some changes so it contained no mention of the Arte y Pico award. What a great review that was, eh? Fantastic. The laydeez loved it.

HUZZAH!! Thank you, Mister Samuraifrog! Your appreciation of my blog is highly appreciated! Alas, I am left with no more imaginary blogs to laud, so I will again bring your attention to some of my favourite (albeit non-existent) blogs. But first, the small print:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

That done, I will now nominate the following blogs for this award: One man's unending quest to locate his front door keys. He can't leave the house until he does so, and he's been trapped inside for nearly nine months now. The food is running out, and he's getting more and more crazy. Making sandwiches using robots for fun and profit. A shrine to the identical sister of actress Jill Deacon, written by a man who can't remember her name. A misleadingly-titled blog about horses. A new contender to Falwless's crown?

In other news, apologies for the lax updates recently, I've been jumping through hoops for immigration bureaucrats and away for a while. All is now done, I am happy and I have a big list of ideas, including a new (and exciting) feature. Stay tuned folks!

Tuesday 26 August 2008

The New J K Rowling Book: Reviewed!

Much to the surprise of her biggest fans, J K Rowling’s new book is totally unlike any of her previous publications. The book, titled How to Increase the Traffic to Your Website, is a non-fiction guide to getting more and more new people to look at the contents of your blog. Readers expecting scenes of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in a magical new adventure are going to be let down by this book, which shows a new direction for the creator of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The majority of the information contained within this excellent work deal with attracting new readers to one’s website through search engines, like Google. One of the more interesting tips involves finding ways of including phrases in your blog that will trick people into thinking it contains information about something that interests them, when in actual fact it contains nothing of the sort. According to Rowling, including something along the lines of “Jay Z’s new album” or “John McCain homicide rumor” in otherwise-tangential sentences can increase one’s stats by up to 200%.

Another point driven home in J K Rowling’s new book is that tapping into the cultural zeitgeist is a big boon when attracting people to your site using irrelevant phrases and words. Using their knowledge of the things that people commonly search for, a good blogger can see their traffic rise and rise. There are many sites listing the most widely-searched words and phrases in a specific length of time, so that you can use this information to post a story about – for example - Coco Vandeweghe, Jimmy Carter and the cast of Dancing with the Stars 2008 running wild at the Democratic National Convention.

I was particularly intrigued by the chapter on the uses and abuses of pornography in attracting people to one’s website. According to Rowling, pretending to have naughty pictures of a popular, well-known actress or musician on your site will not help gain new readers, as it will still be low down in the Google rankings. What one must do is mention pictures of a lesser-known celebrity, or one whose appeal is limited to a select few. Claiming to have nude pictures of Kelly Ripa is a lot more beneficial than explicit Jessica Alba videos, as the former will be less prevalent on the net and your site will be more visible on the search engine. It is a fine line, however; a throwaway comment on the subject of “hardcore elephant fucking” may put you at the top of a search for such a term, but it is unlikely that many people will be typing it into Google. And let’s face it, do you really want that kind of reader on your site?

Aw, look at the cute kittens! Look at them! LOOK AT THEM! BASK IN THEIR ADORABILITY, YOU BASTARDS!

Finally, Rowling gives us some of the most blatant techniques for attracting new readers: using pictures and links. It’s a known fact that a picture of some really really cute kittens (like the one above) can increase your website’s audience tenfold. Getting someone else to link to your kitten post can help even further. In her new book, Rowling explains how, in a way that is clear, concise, and doesn’t mention Barack Obama’s secret lovechild.

To conclude, the latest J K Rowling book is full of great ways to trick people into coming to your website, which is especially handy if you’ve spent the last month or so in a cottage with no Internet access or on a last-minute trip to England to see your family and you’ve been a bit rubbish at updating your hilarious blog but you promise that you’ll be much better in the near future, honest.

The Imaginary Reviewer accepts no responsibility for Ashton Kutcher upskirt pics.

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Kazlor the Mighty's Policies

It is now three months since Kazlor the Mighty (All Hail Kazlor!) took over the city of New York, and while it is still early in his reign, opinion on his policies is divided.

One thing that the people of the city agree upon is that the lower crime rate since Kazlor’s arrival can only be a good thing. Many among us voiced concerns over his policies of imprisoning or executing the city’s Mighty Heroes after they failed to prevent his coming to power. Without Asbestos Man, Lady Fetishwear, CannonPants and the rest of our super-powered titans around to stop criminals, many members of the public were worried that levels of crime – both organised and petty – would increase. But with the hasty legalisation of Kazlor’s Mental Mind Ray Justice, the threat of cranial explosions has prevented most malcontents from even thinking about criminal activity.

Increased taxation is always going to be a controversial move, and when Kazlor (Long Live Kazlor!) announced that he was going to confiscate nine tenths of the city’s gold for his palaces, there was some grumbling. It took some fiscal wrangling with New York’s best public accountants before the compromising move of giving gas token incentives to residents eased the blow of having their heirlooms melted down to make footstools for our glorious leader.

Unemployment has lessened in the past three months, a fact that some have attributed to Kazlor’s moderately unpopular ‘Enslavening Program’. Kazlor’s spokespeople have responded to criticism of the program by stating that with 100% of the population put to work in Kazlor’s radium-mining project, unemployment has never been lower. Kazlor’s chief overseer, Draktor, has said on the record that “there’s no pleasing the fools on this pitiful planet.” He may have a point.

When Kazlor came to power twelve weeks ago, it was clear to observers that he hadn’t given any thought to the city’s waste management problems. Through a series of consultations with private companies, public service officials and policy experts, Kazlor sought to understand the situation in greater detail before deciding on a plan of action. A public referendum was instigated, and the residents of the city voted overwhelmingly for Kazlor’s unique plan to zap the collected waste products with his transporter ray. This measure has remained very popular in the city, although it has strained relations with the city of Bern, in Germany, who started to discover huge piles of New York’s garbage mysteriously appearing in their streets.

While his success in waste management areas is unquestioned, Kazlor is less able when it comes to environmental concerns. He has shown disregard for New York’s commitment to climate change, having reversed the laws on carbon emissions; there is now a minimum allowed amount of emissions for industries to conform to. The result of this is a large black cloud casting an acrid, ominous shadow over the city.

Whether Kazlor’s reign will increase in popularity or lessen in the coming months remains to be seen. There are rumours that he will soon be involved in a power struggle with Emperor Garlaxx from the Nth Dimension; whether he will enjoy the backing of the people of New York remains to be seen.

All Hail the Mighty Kazlor!

Friday 15 August 2008

This Month's Eagerly Awaited Magazines

Take a look on the shelves of a reputable magazine emporium and you’re sure to find something worth reading. Whether you’re into home improvement, singing cowboys, casual racism or spirit photography, there’s something for you. And what could be more pleasant than reading the contents of a magazine, whether on a park bench, in the bath or over the shoulder of the woman in front of you on the Ottawa-Toronto Greyhound bus who deliberately turns the pages over before you’re finished with them?

I happen to be somewhat of an expert in the world of magazines, having received rejection letters from many of them. Here I’ve managed to get my hands on some of the most hotly anticipated issues from the biggest publications in the world. Enjoy my reviews, ye feeble, and rejoice!

This month, Cosmopolitan magazine has a special Dubai Economy issue. I was particularly engrossed by the article on how the country’s switch from a trade-based to a tourism- and service-based economy can help you please your man in the bedroom. It seems that a combination of sexy lingerie and the Palm Jumeirah artificial island are all it takes to drive a man wild.

Being burdened with a y-chromosome, I’m not usually one for reading Cosmo, but I found this issue difficult to put down. The interview with Sandra Oh, in which she talks at length on the proliferation of industry-specific free economic zones in Dubai, is fantastic. Of course, there are articles that would be far more interesting to Cosmo’s regular readers, like the one in which the relationship between Dubai’s free trade in gold and its interest rates are discussed with regard to how fashionable Ugg Boots and black cocktail dresses are.

Also this month, Forbes magazine will have an issue dedicated to Llamas. I will confess, I didn’t enjoy this publication nearly as much as I was expecting. The article by G. Donald Jameson on the effect of South American camelids on international currency markets, for example, contained many errors and omissions. Has Jameson forgotten the Peruvian Alpaca Recession of 1973? From its non-featuring here, one would have to assume so.

Of course, Forbes magazine succeeds most in its lists, and the high point of this otherwise poor publication is the Top 100 Llama Rich List, which does turn up a few surprises. Jonty, Bill Gates’ pet guanaco, has been replaced at the number 1 spot by the four llamas owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Tinky Winky, Laa-Laa, Dipsy and Clive.

National Geographic is pushing the publishing boundaries this month with a special Sex Issue. Whether this attention-grabbing ploy will increase their sales remains to be seen, but on the whole the issue is as interesting as past ones, and rarely descends into gratuity.

The magazine’s writers sent a sex survey to over a thousand different species of insect, and the results are little short of astounding! Who would have thought the beetles do it more often than the fruit flies? Not I. And don’t get me started on the grasshoppers; those guys are naaasty.

With articles on what the ancient Incans can teach us about romance, advice on invertebrate threesomes and some pretty raunchy (but beautiful) photos of monkey coitus, be sure to put National Geographic’s sex issue at the top of your purchasing list, if you have one. If you don’t have one, how do you decide what to buy? Weirdo.

The Imaginary Reviewer accepts no responsibility for paper cuts received as a result of purchases made on his recommendation. For subscription enquiries, bang head against brick wall while robotic voice spouts an infinitude of totally irrelevant options over the phone.

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Some of the best blogs out there

Everybody has a blog these days. Even the Pope has a blog, in which he posts his favourite cheesecake recipes and discusses which Bond Girls he likes the most (for the record, his favourite is Jane Seymour and his least favourite is Tanya Roberts). Also, the entire nation of Slovakia has a blog, at Everyone in the country posts their thoughts, their feelings, and how much they’re looking forward to watching Batman: The Dark Knight.

Personally, I don’t care too much for many blogs (unless you, the reader, have one, in which case I’m sure it’s wonderful). I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the Blogosphere, and I’ve found several that really stand out. Here they are, for your delectation and delight.

First of all, satirical blog The Wensley Family ( is hilarious. It’s a scathing parody of all those terrible blogs written by nonentities with dull lives, with “news” of the children’s activities, family outings, that sort of thing. They’ve really captured the inanities of modern life, with such outrageous posts like “Johnny got a B in Math today” and “Visiting Grandma”. The attention to detail on the site is tremendous; they even have a regular group of actors who pose as the “Wensley Family” in their photos. It’s brilliant, biting satire, and anyone with a family blog should watch out.

Everything I’ve Ever Eaten ( is the story of one woman’s love affair with food. One suspects that the site’s creator just wanted to be one of Blogger’s ‘Blogs of Note’ (Because they’re all bloody food blogs. Sites in which people review things that don’t exist never feature), but it’s still great reading. And the pictures! Such wonderfully composed, lovingly taken photos! If I had any complaints about the site, it’s that I’d prefer the blog’s owner to write about and photograph the food before she’s eaten it, rather than once it’s been digested and pooped out. But still, she gives some great insights into the world of already-digested cuisine.

A blog that’s close to my heart is The Fictitious Critique. The premise of the site is groundbreakingly original. The writer makes things up, and writes a critique of them. It’s a simple idea, but the things he comes up with are hilarious. Recent critiques include the book The Physics of ‘Brothers and Sisters’, the film The View: The Movie (in which Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters have to save the World from a giant, out of control Rosie O’Donnell) and the new album of children’s songs by Radiohead, Sleepy Android Dream of Creativity’s Demise. It’s a thought provoking and funny blog, and it’s not at all copied from the work of Jorge Luis Borges, Stanislaw Lem and the tvgohome website.
NOTE: A blog is not a toy. Blogging while drunk or operating large machinery (or both) can have negative repercussions, come harvest. Always get an adult, or someone who works in the adult industry, to help you with your blog. Never end a blog with a series of medicine-package-like warnings, as this is both cheap and unfunny.

Monday 11 August 2008

I'm Back!

After three weeks of Internet-free bliss and nail guns, I am now back in civilization. My reviewing licence has been renewed by the Review Review Board, and normal service shall be resumed forthwith!

Forthwith, dammit!

What does "forthwith" mean?

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Self-Help Books

The newly-formed Pyrrhic Book Company has begun releasing self-help manuals for all kinds of activities in the home, workplace or garden. With titles covering design, hobbies, computing skills and general personal growth, the books all share one common attribute: they are, without exception, completely useless. I decided to take a look at some of the upcoming titles in the manner of someone who needed improving in some way. Here are my findings.

Firstly, the jewel in Pyrrhic’s crown is the mammoth two volume set, How to Piss Yourself. Exquisitely bound in brown leather with gold leaf edging, the two books would look handsome on any shelving unit or coffee table. The contents, meanwhile, are quite substantial, with the first volume dealing with self-urination for absolute beginners, while the second contains essays and papers by many well known self-confessed pantstain-afflicted writers.

The first volume covers so much ground in its 800-plus pages, it’s difficult to summarise here. From the best imbibes for the job to the effect pissing oneself has on different trouser materials, there’s very little missing here. The history of ‘little accidents’ is informative and interesting, and the illustrations are both grisly and gripping. In the second volume, Paul Theroux’s essay on pissing himself across Europe and Umberto Eco’s Public Urination and Postmodernism are both highly readable. Germaine Greer’s feministic history of pissing oneself is also eye opening. But on the whole, as someone who likes to wait until confronted by a porcelain receptacle when evacuating the old aqua vita, this book was not exactly what I would call ‘handy’. I look forward to Pyrrhic’s forthcoming three volume sequel, How to Not Piss Yourself.

How to Make Love to a Handful of Soil is part of the Pyrrhic Boudoir Collection, which contains books of a more romantic nature. This publication was to be a companion piece to the more explicit How to Fuck a Handful of Soil, but since the latter broke enough indecency laws to become banned, …Make Love… is a standalone book.

I found How to Make Love to a Handful of Soil a difficult book to get into, not least because the soil in my garden is more of a sandy consistency than the ideal type given by the authors. The diagrams were, quite frankly, bemusing, and the index only contains words beginning with ‘F’. If a little more attention had been paid to this book, it could have been useful, but as it is, it’s rubbish.

Slightly more promising is the next home renovation-themed book from Pyrrhic, How to Interior Decorate a Potato. The techniques used are self-explanatory and the language is not off-putting, as the authors have kept it simple for us beginners. My main problem with the book was that I was unable to see the fruits of my labours, as cutting into the potato to see my handiwork meant that it was now on the exterior, and I had to start again. But for those who are not put off by this lack of satisfaction from the interior decoration of root vegetables, the book comes with a free scalpel, salt cellar and two potatoes.

Tripecraft is the hot new craft from Eastern Europe, and it’s also the name of the last Pyrrhic book that I’ll be reviewing today. This remarkable publication shows you how to make beautiful things in a variety of methods using only tripe. From tripe crocheted blankets to tripe sculpture, this book has everything for both the beginner and the advanced rejected meat artist. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could adorn your living room with the tripe tapestry (or ‘tripestry’)!

This book contains everything you’d need to know about tripecraft, from acquiring, handling and dyeing the tripe, through to dealing with the smell and preventing maggot infestations in your artworks. This was the best book out of this group, as the fruits of my labours attracted a great many stray dogs to my house, so I won’t be going hungry for a while.

Pyrrhic books are available from the Internet today and Publishers’ Book Clearance Stores soon.

Monday 4 August 2008

Imaginary Debate Review

A good debate can be likened to a game of chess. Taking this simile further, truly exceptional debaters are like grandmasters, anticipating their opponent’s future actions several moves before they have occurred, trapping them into positions of weakness with the Queen of Syllogism and the Rook of Logical Infallibility. Before long, the Counterpositional King is held in the checkmate of self contradiction, and the debate is handed to a worthy victor.

I was lucky enough to witness one such contest week, in a public forum, and it was clear from the onset that this was a debate that could be likened to the famed Fischer-Spasky chess matches of the 1970s. For such was the argumentative ├ęclat of each party that I was left breathless with heady appreciation.

The debate began with the position “You never let me do anything”. Taking the ‘pro’ stance on this was Veronica Blatherwick, while her mother, Rebecca, took the ‘anti’ stance. The location of the debate was the exterior of the Safeway Supermarket in Ashdon-Under-Lyme, a very public site which allowed the maximum number of people to enjoy two capable debaters at the height of their powers.

The began conventionally, with Rebecca outlining examples contrary to her daughter’s position, including letter her go to that party at Graham’s house instead of visiting her Nan after she’d had that fall. Veronica countered this with a list of examples supporting her own position, such as not going to Thorpe Theme Park and not being allowed beer with her pub lunch.

While these tactics are less than outstanding, they formed the basis for a thrilling discussive competition that included all the staples of a momentous debate. The oft-misused Jenkins Forward-Reversal was utilised to great success by Veronica, while Rebecca showed herself to be a master of the Rogue Phoenix Gambit, a technique first described in Sun Tzu’s famed “The Art of War of Words”.

The contest reeled like a drunken Irishman before the older combatant created a negative retraction from her opponent, forcing her to acknowledge various instances where Veronica’s own neglect had led to the removal of privileges. Known by experts as “Wittgenstein’s Knob”, subsequent personal research has failed to yield a better example of this debating manoeuvre.

Sensing herself on the ropes, Veronica threw out one final desperate gambit, the “You never loved me; I bet you’re not even my real mother” technique. Opinions are divided as to how best deal with this tactic. Conservative thought rests on the “Stop being silly” rejoinder, which does have a risk of ending the debate on a stalemate. Here, though, Rebecca desired no such result and, sensing the weakness of her opponent, called her bluff: “It’s true. You’re adopted. Your real mother didn’t want you so I got stuck with you.”

As a debate-winning manoeuvre, this is unbeatable, and all witnesses agreed that Rebecca ended the argument as clear victor. Whether the price of that victory – long-term emotional damage and seething resentment on the part of the loser – was worth it, remains to be seen.

Friday 1 August 2008

New Vehicle Review: The Saab Clytemnestra 350

With a simultaneous release throughout the world, the Saab Clytemnestra 350 is the newest addition to the pantheon of smaller, more economical cars that are attracting drivers at an astounding rate. At an affordable price, and with a host of features – including some that have never been seen before – this car is certainly going to be flying out of the showrooms (in a driving sense; they don’t actually fly).

The Saab is quite sleek for a three-door vehicle, and it’s clear that the manufacturers spent a great deal of time and effort into the Clytemnestra’s looks. The interior, too, is wonderful to look at, with stylish oak panelling and a green leather effect. Taken together, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were in a Victorian-era library rather than a new car.

With 5-speed manual transmission and automatic models, there’s a Clytemnestra for everybody. The safety features are top drawer (it has an RAC safety rating of 4.0) and the handling of the car is superb. The icing on the cake, however, lies in the fuel efficiency. You see, rather than running on outrageously-priced gasoline or the few-and-far-between electricity outlets, the Saab Clytemnestra 350 runs on human despair.

So, while all the gullible fools were queuing up to line the pockets of Shell et al, or looking around the city in vain for a recharging station, I was zooming along, happy in the knowledge that my car would run for as long as there was suffering in the world.

The science behind the engineering is complicated and vague, but a special carburetor works by channelling all the misery and despair in the atmosphere and converting it into kinetic energy. The engine makes very little noise compared to a petrol-propelled car, but if you listen carefully when speeding along the freeway, you might be able to make out individual sobs coming from under the hood. As a further bonus, there is very little in the way of environmentally harmful exhaust products, too. For every hundred miles you drive in the Clytemnestra, you’ll produce around three hundred millipockets of angst.

The Saab Clytemnestra 350 drives like a dream, and the smoothness of the ride makes one forget that their vehicle is being powered by human sadness. Saab has announced that from now on all their new cars will be powered in this way, and have promised that the fuel source will never run out. But should the unthinkable happen and everyone on Earth becomes happy, the company have pledged to create an oil tanker disaster in an orphanage, an act that will hopefully redress the balance.

In summary, then, the Saab Clytemnestra 350 is a great car that helps ordinary people like you and your friends do something for the environment by taking advantage of the misery and despair that is just being wasted by senseless, greedy sadsacks.

Insert humorous italicised end details here; just put some nonsense about cars or something. Blah blah blah, windscreen wiper fluid. That kind of thing. I’m off for a pint.