Wednesday, August 30, 2006

UN Troops to occupy Grammar Zone

As fighting continues in the disputed Grammar Zone of Aukland, the UN Security Council last night passed a motion to install a peace-keeping force in the troubled region.

The long-running conflict began when Auckland Grammar School annexed the Zone, a measure it claims was necessary to prevent further incursions by parents who live outside the region. Fighting intensified last week as various groups of parents launched legal actions against the School. Auckland Grammar responded by conducting house-to-house searches in Epsom and Remuera, an action it claims was necessary to identify properties used as safe houses by parents to infiltrate boys into the the School.

Forces loyal to Auckland Grammar have also mounted road-blocks, stopping and searching SUVs entering the Zone. A spokesman for the School claims these tactics have been successful, revealing several boys who were being smuggled into the area. The School is now beginning work on a three-metre high fence to be built along the perimeter of the Zone, an action which local real estate firms claim violates previous peace agreements.

The main news agency in the region, The Bays and Remuera Times, has received statements from parents claiming that daily incursions into the zone are continuing successfully, despite the School's actions. Parents are also seeking support from the powerful Ministry of Education, which is known to have fully-equipped Inspectors and large stocks of policy guidelines.

The United Nations peace-keeping force is likely to comprise troops from Israel, Serbia and Sierra Leone.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hasta la vista

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Leaked memo reveals truth about Herald on Sunday

The Herald on Sunday has been rocked by scandal following the leaking of an internal memo which reveals that many of the people in its celebrity photographs section are nobodies.

The paper has gained widespread acceptance for its insightful photographs of people standing around at parties, some of whom are known celebrities but many who are only vaguely recognisable, if at all. With the release of the memo comes the shocking truth that they are not remotely famous.

The memo was written to Herald senior management by sub-editor Justine de Vlaminck, whom sources say was known as Debbie Smith when working in her first job on the Porirua Gazette. It details the strategies behind the making of the celebrity photos section: "really there are not that many real celebrities in Auckland and there are not that many places where they congregate. It can be a hard job filling three pages with photographs. "

"We have a bad time finding places to go to photograph people who are even mildly well-known. Theatre openings and art gallery viewings would seem the obvious choices but real A-list celebs are mostly pretty stupid and try to avoid people who talk in complete sentences. The folk who do hang out at these events are generally old, ugly and badly-dressed, even if they are the intellectual capital of the knowledge economy. Besides, our readers wouldn't have a clue who they are. Our readers are morons.

"So, once we have taken the week's snaps of Charlotte Dawson and Marc Ellis, we look around for people who are tolerably recognisable. Usually, there is not much in choices of location: the opening of yet another Parnell restaurant, some party at a posh car dealership, the unveiling of the first collection by this week's breathtaking new fashion talent. It is all pretty humdrum. There are few pickings when it comes to star quality either: what genuine paparazzi-bait would bother going out on a wet Tuesday night to a piss-up at a hairdressing salon?"

"What we do is find anyone who looks hot and could pass for a bit-part player in Shortland Street. It's not that difficult for the photographers: most of them only picked up a camera in the first place so they could ogle girls' boobies without being arrested. At this kind of bash there will usually be a bunch of Dio girls who would do pretty much anything for a Strawberry Vodkatini. As for men, we can always find a few foppish boys who look as if they might be heirs to vast manufacturing fortunes, even if they came on the bus from Avondale.

"We then top off the evening by taking a picture of any bald guy with no neck who happens to be passing. The mid-life crisis blokes all try to look like former All-Blacks when they are dangling their BMW keyrings in front of nail-technicians at Sponge Bar; if it fools those floozies, it will fool our readership. Actually, those floozies are our readership: ask the marketing department."

"When we crawl back to the office the next morning, we are usually too hung-over to remember who we photographed or where, so we just make stuff up. That's why everyone in the photographs has such silly names, like Clint Rutgers or Pollyanna Carboose. Most of the events are just as fictitious. A lot of them are just staff parties; sometimes we don't even have to leave the building to get a photo shoot."

"It might all seem just a tad ethically challenged, but what does it matter? Nobody's going to win a Qantas doing this sort of work and Robert Fisk isn't going to come looking for a story about us. It doesn't matter to the readers anyway. Down the line in Waiwhatever, they think anybody in the big city who dies her hair blonde and cultivates an eating disorder must be famous."

No spokesman for the Herald on Sunday was available for comment.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sensible Sentencing Trust Calls for Arming of Shop Workers

Following the shooting of an assailant by a gun store owner, the Sensible Sentencing Trust has called for the arming of shop workers.

Commenting on the incident at SAI Guns and Ammo in Penrose, Trust Spokesman Garth McVicar observed, "this time a tragedy was averted. Mr Carvell, the store owner, had a ready supply of high-quality precision firearms, as you would expect in a gun store. The next time a machete-wielding thug goes on a crime spree, the shop he enters could be Baker's Delight or Paper Plus. The staff would not be able to defend themselves with baguettes or A4 lever-arch files."

"Retail staff are in the front-line of the war against violent crime, yet they are ill-equipped to protect themselves and their stock. Providing them with handguns is the only way to prevent disaster," he continued. "The Government should be required to provide shop owners with weapons and training programmes for their staff."

Predicting further incidents of this kind, Mr McVicar said "we have commissioned independent research which shows that 89% of teenage males take drugs, play ultra-violent computer games and get 'pumped-up' on what they call 'gangsta rap' and 'death metal.' This is a dangerous cocktail of anti-social influences which, sooner rather than later, will erupt into a tsunami of violent crime. It is just a time-bomb waiting to explode."

"Guns are not cheap, but neither is the cost of crime. Providing staff with handguns, pump-action shotguns and maybe semiautomatic weapons is the answer. Of course, we would not advocate giving every shop assistant a 9mm Heckler and Koch P2000 with ambidextrous slide locks and magazine release. This sort of arsenal should only be made available to staff who have shown themselves to be mature, responsible members of the community. We would not want to see firearms being issued to those slovenly, ill-kempt youths who work part-time in many stores just to buy mag wheels for their souped-up cars."

Concluding his prepared statement, Mr McVicar told reporters, "the Warehouse is where everyone gets a bargain but, in future, it will be where P-crazed hoodlums who break the law get filled with lead."