Thursday, 17 January 2008

Rejected Planning Applications #1

Dear Mr Vader

Thank you for your recent application to build a space station in the Alderran system.

The plans are with our board for discussion and will be on public display in the Horseshoe Nebula for 6 months prior to any decision. However, we have a few concerns with regards to your plans.

Firstly we are concerned that for a “shopping centre, sauna, gym and relaxation planet” your base is a little heavily armed. Whilst we appreciate that in these times of unrest it is necessary to protect oneself we feel that the suggested “capacity to neutralise an entire solar system” is a little heavy handed when it comes to ensuring the safety of a leisure base. As such we would politely request that you reconsider the degree of your protection.

Secondly we are a dismayed that you are continuing to refer to the leisure base as a “Death Star” and feel that this may have a negative effect on potential tourism to outlying planets, including our own. We would suggest “Leisure Station” as a possible alternative. Also we would point out that, by referring to your base as a “Star” you are in breach of the trades description act

Finally we would like to inform you that we will be submitting these plans to an independent advisor on Tatooine and request safe passage to that location.

Yours sincerely

HRH Senator Leia Organa

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Conspiracy Theory (#1) - The world is ruled by plastic cones manufacturers.

Over recent years there have been a number of major road works in and around the area where I live – and I would guess the same is true for you.

You wake up one morning, turn in to the road and find a row of cones blocking off a lane. There is no evidence of any actual work being done.

Said cones stay in place for a number of weeks, never with any actual evidence of work being done. One day a group of people, mainly men, turn up, dig up a bit of land, fill it in and go away. The cones remain in place. They vanish, only to re-appear on the other side of the road. The procedure is repeated.

Let us, for arguments sake, say that these people are from the Gas Board. Over a period of time these supposed gas-boarders come and go, clearly stretching out a job that could be done in a week to gain them extra pay. Once they have finally finished, six months later, another group of men – this time from the Water Board – arrive.

Why could the two groups not have worked together to get all the work done in one go? Why has the beautiful tarmac been ripped up twice in the space of a year, leaving a crevice the size of the Grand Canyon to ruin your suspension? I’ll tell you why – it’s a conspiracy.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s we used to have sugar mountains and butter mountains, but strangely enough not Pringles mountains (it seems there were always enough people about willing to eat these) – but we also established a Plasic Road Cone mountain due to pressure from the Road Cone Manufacturers who secretly rule the world.

Their long term plan is to gain global domination by driving the populace to insanity and eventual civil war as a result of endless tailbacks and gridlocks.

The RCM (as they are known for short) are also responsible for dropping the wrong kind of leaves onto train tracks, removing bus time tables from bus stops and, some believe, actually drive every 5th vehicle on the road in an attempt to add to congestion.

The truth is that plastic cones are breeding and are only laid out on roads because there is nowhere else to store them. That’s why road works are never co-ordinated.

The alternative, that our local and national Government are so dis-organised that they couldn’t organise an escape committee from a paper-bag is too horrific to contemplate – so the alternate suggestion that we are secretly in the thrall of plastic manufacturers is actually quite a comforting one.

Friday, 4 January 2008

How To Rule The World (in 5 easy steps)

Today marks the first in an occasional series of “How To” features on this blog. This particular epistle brings you the sound knowledge and advice you need in simple steps in order to gain global domination. Try it yourself – its fun for all the family.

Tip 1:
Get an understanding Bank Manager.
James Bond movies show us that global domination does not come cheap. Hugo Drax (Moonraker) not only had an island hideaway, but an entire space station and several shuttles. In addition to this not many overdrafts would be granted to a monocle-wearing baldie endlessly stroking a cat whose business plan is “to hollow out a volcano and launch plane-eating missiles in an attempt to rule the world via starting a Russia/USA war” (You Only Live Twice). Even in the real world complete and total power does not come cheap. Take Sealand, a former English naval base which came up for sale in January 2007. Quite possibly the smallest principality in the world Sealand comes with its own subjects and currency, though it does have a history of military coups due to the ongoing transportation problems.

Tip 2:
Hire Henchmen/side-kicks with just the right degree of stupidity to take the fall for you.
This is probably the biggest stumbling block in fictional power struggles, though the rise to power of Peter Mandlesson and Dick Chaney would seem to indicate that it is possible. Film henchmen always seem in easy supply and we tend to subscribe to the idea put forward in Die Hard 4.0 that there must be an 0800 HENCHMEN hotline in operation somewhere. The ideal assistant is big and strong enough to get in the way of the bullet, loyal enough to follow orders that will result in the end of the world as we know it without telling anyone else and just stupid enough not to realise that come the revolution they will be the first against the wall.

Tip 3:
Aquire Excellent Administration Skills
No matter what job you do there’s always endless paperwork. Imagine the amount of emails in your In-box of a morning when you’re the Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy. You can’t just “accidentally” delete that email from the people of Alderan complaining about that new Death Star thingie you gave the go-ahead to six months ago in a drunken moment.

Tip 4:
Aquire an unusual or vaguely menacing pet.

Sharks are a favourite, as are piranha fish – but even a white cat, stroked in a suitably menacing manner, can acquire a certain degree of chill factor. Squirrels are probably best avoided, as are Panda Bears unless the reaction you are after is more “ah!” than “aaargh!”

Tip 5:
If all else fails have a good escape route

Always have a bolt-hole for that last minute escape when, inevitably, things go horribly wrong. In the world of fiction this is an escape pod, rocket pack or submarine, whilst in the real world this tends to be a cushy job in the European Parliament.

The most important advice of all comes from the late, great Douglas Adams who said that anyone capable of getting themselves into a position of power is, by very dint of that fact, the absolute last person you should allow to be there. Bear this in mind when choosing your associates and you may just succeed.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

The Wide Awake Club
A while ago there was a rumour going around about a new intelligent alarm clock that, when put on "snooze", would instantly go and hide elsewhere in your room, so you had to get up, find a mallet and smash the thing to smithereens.

Having spent the night before returning to work after Christmas lying awake thinking "We mustn't sleep through the alarm clock" we at the Hungry Pixies are glad to bring you Clocky the runaway alarm clock - available via the above link. This alarm will move about and force you to get out of bed in order to silence it, whilst it is robust enough to survive a tumble off the bedside table - but possibly not being fed to the cat in tiny pieces, dropped from a skyscraper or being attached to the business end of a SCUD missile.

It really is amazing what people will think up - but we have to be honest and say that the kind of alarm clock that stays still and goes quiet when you ask it to is the kind for us!

Or the kind that can take into account your level or tiredness, allow you to sleep in accordingly and then provide you with a unique excuse for your boss. Now that's what we call technology!