In Previous Issues

Dateline: 29 June

MATAHARI MIN in the NorthYorkshire Dales

"Get thee agate, lass or thou 'll be headed for t' midden. Eee, by gum, t' place is in a reet state," commented farmer Jacob Pickering on hearing the news that the breakfast table would not be adorned with his favourite Black Pudding and fried bread. Despite a government statement that there were no shortages, supermarkets and local butchers are reporting that panic buying started when supplies of the puddings dried up after warehouse stocks were bought out by an unnamed source. As with the fuel crisis, market forces are driving up prices as demand outstrips supply. Tesco at Dewsbury reports that fighting had broken out in the store aisles and little old ladies were being mugged on the pavement after leaving the premises with their provisions.
 
The militant group The Tykes of Brighouse, a subdivision of The Sons of Glendower and believed to be responsible for the firebombing of a wine-bottling and corking factory in GAWSTHORP, issued a bleak warning that the violence will escalate and the streets will be running with blood if the government doesn't take steps to deal with situation. A spokesman for Downing Street said that the P.M. was calling for people to remain calm and, as soon as he had finished his muesli, measures would be taken to sort out the problem prudently.

As if the Black Pudding issue was not bad enough fish markets in the ports of Hull and Whitby have been hit by a total buyout of all North Sea catches over the last few days. Fishmongers and store buyers have been faced with empty dockside trays because of Internet buying before the fish have reached harbour, the loads being removed by unmarked refrigerated vans. Is the end in sight for Fishcakes and Scollops? your intrepid news sleuth asks herself. Does this mean Dover Sole & grilled Turbot will be the only alternative? Dark thoughts indeed!

Yet another problem to surface a bit nearer to home is the emergency printing of millions of commas, full stops, semi-colons, and question marks by the Royal Bank of Print Punctuation to offset a shortage in these printing necessities amid rumours that raconteur E.T. Ditchley, known associate of The Demon Brewer, had been adding to his vast private collection stored in disused lead mines in the Perkins Beach area of Shropshire. Poet Rog (Lord) Lucan, famed for his ode to Rooley Moor which has had more hits on the truly awesome Nodial Forum than all other topics added together due to the action group Save our Cotton Famine Road paying numerous visits to the site, commented that the steps taken by the R.B.P. (also known as the "Print’) were just in the nick of time. What is a poem without the required punctuation marks - just a load of words strung together. Wordsworth and Masefield would be spinning in their graves.

Though not one to gossip I learned in an over-the-garden conversation that world acclaimed music impresario Fran Elmcroft, who had forsaken the dark satanic mills of the Colne Valley and spurned the razamataz of the capital city for the gold-paved streets of Birkenhead, is planning to start producing again. After 5 years in the wilderness (not the one in Perkins Beach!) he hopes to recapture the limelight in which he bathed following the release of the Nodial smash hit Wilya,Wilya,Wolya - which was recorded in seventeen languages and outsold megagroup Pink Floyd's greatest hit Dark Side Of The Moon. Speaking from his posh abode in Higher Tranmere he commented that the industry was ripe for more originality as the rubbish produced these days all sounded alike....

A breath of fresh air in a smog of banality says I.




Dateline: 1 July - Dramatic Developments

DARING TRAIN HEIST
LOCAL CRIME WAVE TURNING INTO TSUNAMI

Shocked residents of the Dales woke up to find that a Royal Bank train had been stopped and robbed in the early hours of the morning as they slept in their beds. Details of the raid are slowly emerging as police and rail officials piece together what happened. Comparisons to the great train robbery of 1963 are being made. Senior police Detective Inspector Arnold Braithewaite would not comment but to say "My name’s Arnold Braithewaite, lad, and this is a professional job. These villains are not your run of the mill petty crooks."
train1
The few passengers on the train, which was travelling on the Great Western main line out of Lancaster - crossing through the North Yorkshire moors via Sedburg, Dent and Skipton to Leeds and thence to London - became aware of something wrong when the train stopped between Little Stainforth and Stackhouse. One said "There were people running about on the track and I noticed two or three vehicles parked on the road by the track. A gang of armed men wearing pumpkin head balaclavas boarded the coaches and proceeded to bind and gag us".

It transpires that the driver was waved down by what he took to be a bunch a gypos chasing some loose horses along the track. As the train slowed a large sawn-off shotgun blew the lock of the door to pieces and was then pointed at his head. He only received slight cuts. Unlike the 1963 robbery, money was not the target - they were only interested in the Royal Bank of Print Punctuation bags in the parcel section of the train. This will be a big setback as the punctuation marks had only just been minted and were in pristine condition the effect on the printing sector Train2
can only be guessed at. It's a disaster. Shares in the commodity look certain to rocket in value as do any stocks held by collectors.

The lonely P.C. guarding the gateway muttered "it was cleverly planned. No copper would pull up two or three caravans and trucks full of gypsies even at that time of night – it’s too much trouble."

So who was the brains behind the heist? The police are baffled; with no clues to follow. Will Detective Inspector Arnold Braithewaite come up with the answers? - we must wait and see.

by Matahari Min





Dateline: 2 July

YORK MINISTER DEFILED

Citizens of York woke this morning to find the Gothic cathedral dating back to 1338, and the largest of its type in Europe, adorned with a huge Black Pudding blimp. The Archbishop and The Dean of York hurried to the scene to check for any damage to the historical monument and condemned the persons who had carried out the attack as hooligans and scallywags. It is rumoured that Detective Inspector Arnold Braithewaithe and his team of CSI experts will be arriving soon to conduct a thorough investigation of the crime scene.

As yet no group has claimed responsibility for the act Yorkthough sources  in the town hall suggest it has the stamp of the Tykes of Brighouse about it. Council leaders and the Mayor Ethan Skellingthorpe were said to be hopping mad and hoped that the perpetrators were quickly bought to book. "Horse whipping and a good thrashing is what these criminals deserve", the Hon. Skellingthorpe fulminated, "none of your kid gloves and counselling - a flick of the lash on their backs will bring them into line -" At that point the microphone was turned off and the Mayor bungled out of sight, inside the Town Hall.

Arriving at the scene, D. I. Braithwaithe issued a short statement to the assembled press which read:
“My name is Arnold Braithewaithe, Lad, and me and my team will soon run these rogues to ground. There's nowhere for them to hide. We are determined to seek them out.”

Several structural engineers were turning up to assess any damage to the towers and battlements.

As we were leaving a onlooker in the crowd was heard to mutter "there's nowt queerer than folk!"


Matahari Min in York