Following the Conservatives’ recent call to review hunting legislation, top ministers within the fox coalition have been desperately working to sway public opinion. In this leaked media pack, acquired by The Daily Fail, it is clear to see that the United Fox Union of United Foxes has been sufficiently rattled by the threat of a new Conservative government. The media pack, which also features an inordinate number of pirated episodes of Game of Thrones and several dozen nude photos of Chris Pratt, hints at some aggressive tactics by the usually even-tempered UFUoUF.
In this photo, simply titled “LOL” in the media pack, we can guess at the foxes intention to draw fire away from themselves and smear hedgehogs. Oddly, this pygmy hedgehog is not indigenous to the British Isles, can something be read into that? At The Daily Fail we never let an opportunity to smear others as racist pass us by so we say Yes, Yes let’s read something into that.
This next image, which appears to have been crudely photoshopped by a creature lacking opposable thumbs seems to hint at the UFoUF changing the public’s perception of foxes by replacing hounds in photos with fox kitts. We’re also not certain but the model appears to be actor Dominic West. Again, we are not entirely sure of the relevance of this but we will jump to the conclusion that foxes wrote critically acclaimed HBO show The Wire as a piece of pro-fox propaganda.
From the rather large photo above we can only guess that the foxes are comfortable with a fairly scattergun approach to smearing other wildlife.
This topless photo of actor Chris Pratt seems to be from the set of an upcoming Marvel film. We’re not sure why it was in the media pack.
Ok, so that previous photo sort of makes a little more sense now. Sort of.
In this final file we see what is clearly a promotion shot for ITV’s Downtown Abbey with a fox lazily pasted in, not to scale. No effort has been made to disguise the snowy backdrop of the pasted image.
Note -At time of going to press the UFoUF has overtaken the Green Party in the polls, despite offering no manifesto, policies or human candidates.
5 top tips to really help you take the fight to the giant anthropomorphic otters who currently scourge the river ways of north Suffolk
Learn to fight. Now this seems rather obvious really but when you’re facing up to an 8ft tall, 300lb otter dressed in boiled leather and dual wielding sabres, you really need to step up your game. Take a few weeks to learn a martial art, perhaps mix some disciplines such as fencing with jujitsu, allowing you to parry off initial attacks from the whirling twin blades, before getting to grips with your furry adversary. When you are chest to chest with a damp weasel equipped with six inch claws and incisors that can rend through flesh with ease, you’ll be grateful for the jujitsu, buying you an extra five seconds to kill or be killed. I mean, it is more than likely that you will be killed but just humour us.
The PR war. Media plays a big part in colouring the conflict. The right PR strategy, allied with a solid social media campaign can really drive home your message. Otters aren’t cuddly fish munching victims of habitat loss and river pollution; they are rapacious murderers of innocent trout and perch. Since this is all out war why not photoshop them to have tiny square mustaches and side partings, maybe implicate them in a few historical atrocities too. CGI has come a long way, so faking a few videos of otters hanging out with Stalin and Trump will really sweeten the pot.
Scorched earth. Now there is a slight problem with this in that otters tend to hang out in damp environments like rivers and pools etc. So a literal scorched earth policy would be fairly difficult to implement. Unless you use petrol and have the flame floating on the water like in Free Willy. Or drain all the rivers so they can’t swim. Yeah. Then burn the river bed. Basically, habitat destruction is the way to go. At this point we really need to just commit to everything that could possibly turn the tide, hell we spent last week commissioning “psychics” to do that thing from Inception to make them believe they are actually our servants and home help. It failed, obviously.
Fake peace treaties. Publicly announce that you’re working hard on a peace treaty, writing up the terms, fake some stories about how liberal the treaty is, how you’re really overreaching and selling your side short. Call an assembly to which all major otters attend, propose your treaty and then present it to them. This is all essentially pointless as otters don’t speak English and have the reading age of a four year old. As you sit with their delegates and slowly translate whilst teaching them vowels and phonics, your assassins will be dispatching top military otters in their beds.
Researching stasis, cryogenics, resurrection technology or elaborate coffins rigged up with breathing apparatus. If all else fails and humanity struggles to contend with the threat of freakishly large anthropomorphic mustelids in north Suffolk river ways, if all hope is lost, then divert all research and resources to ensuring the survival of the human race. Ideally some form of stasis chamber in which our bodies can be stored until such a time as this all blows over, as though we were having a lovely slumber. Cryogenics are also ok, but I’m a bit scared of ice so the idea doesn’t appeal quite so much. If things get really dire and we struggle to invent technology to preserve our current bodies then perhaps a mass suicide/resurrection system would work out best. I have no idea how we will achieve this. The final solution is that we design elaborate coffins with inbuilt breathing apparatus and then bury ourselves alive. The coffins would be large enough to fit several people, who could in turn procreate and establish their own subterranean communities. We would begin a new world beneath the soil, adapting to the absence of light and restricted oxygen, generation after generation slowly evolving and becoming specialised. We could eek out the future of humanity underground in tiny boxes but still living, still surviving. Our continued existence would be a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit. So we kind of win…right?
Why have ALL my boyfriends turned out to be anthropomorphic animals? Single woman, 29, tries to solve the problem that’s blighted her life
Salina Howes, 29, has only ever trusted one of her boyfriends, a goat called Karl
The Hull-based writer is editor of dating blog, Havin’ Sex ‘N’ Cuppa Char
Her fiance clarified his true species just a week after proposing
I can recall only one relationship in which I trusted him not to be a walking, talking anthropomorphic animal. I was 15 and it was my first love. Hardly anything to live by, considering I am now 29.
Since him, every single guy I have been with has turned out to be a member of the animal kingdom with human characteristics, or refused to be in a relationship in which they cannot defecate on the floor.
But after one heartbreak too many I realised it was time I tried to understand why my relationships ended in the same way.
16-18: Boyfriend one
Towards the end of our relationship, he told everyone he was a walrus (except me) and we had a large wallowing lake (we didn’t) and he went and got a whole sandbank built in our backyard without telling me.
Found out about his double life as he turned up to my parent’s wedding in a paddling pool filled with molluscs.
19: Boyfriend two
Cheetah who ate a fresher at university whilst I was on a family weekend in Paris. Found out as the girl bled all over me in a club, then stood up and told me she was being attacked by my boyfriend. Weird.
20-22: Boyfriend three
He was a fox. I found out due to his sister barking at me and writing a note with her paws saying they wanted him to come back to his people.
22-24: Boyfriend four
Refused to ever be in an ‘official’ relationship with me during our two-year relationship because, I was 95 per cent perfect but 5 per cent not another kangaroo. He escaped to Australia.
Turned out to be a badger. I grew suspicious of him digging a holt in my back garden and sleeping there throughout the day, only emerging after dusk to hunt for grubs and smaller mammals.
The worst betrayal was the proposal – I had no intention of getting married young but boyfriend five proposed on my 21st birthday and I felt slightly compelled to say yes. I did think I loved him, so just figured it was a display of his affection and perhaps we’d have a long engagement. Quite the opposite actually…13 days in total it lasted.
Think I rival Paris Hilton in short engagement stakes. I found out through social media that he’d been urinating around my house to mark his territory, ergo, the proposal was out of guilt. Ouch.
Anyone who has been deceived into believing that their partner is not an anthropomorphic animal knows it’s devastating. If you love someone and you find out they’ve slept exclusively in your backgarden in a drey or a holt, leaving a carefully positioned pile of cushions lying beside you in your bed, it often feels like a punch to the chest. I am so used to that sick anxious feeling, I almost now expect it.
As I know how hurtful it can be, I refuse to do that to someone else. Especially someone I claim to love. But these guys, they just don’t care.
To say I’ve had a bad relationship run is an understatement. Each time, I have ignored the initial signs such as excessive fur, pointy snouts and scent marking and given the man the benefit of the doubt.
I try my best never to paint them all with the same brush, convincing myself this new one is going to be different.
Yet I am constantly proven wrong. It’s a running joke with my friends that, with each new man, I will be all ‘smiles and sunshine’ telling them all these amazing things about him.
Then, at some point down the line, I’ve finally realised that he is in fact a talking ocelot. Next guy comes along…smiles come back…you know the rest.
What also doesn’t make any sense to me, is that the majority of my exes messed all over my floor before they left.
Maybe it’s a case of the greener grass. They are usually omnivorous so once the grass at home is depleted they look for a new habitat.
Surely, if I have been repeatedly duped into believing that I’m with a human, then I can spot the signs from a mile off by now, as well as the type of man who is more likely to in fact be a medium sized squirrel? You’d like to think so. Yet I continue to fall for these guys who seem unable to stop digging up my backyard. The saying goes: Shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice. What happens when you get to double figures – how much shame do I take then?
I’m all for giving new people new chances, and I think it’s wrong to hold someone new, accountable for past pain and hurt.
However, there’s only so many times you can stick your fingers into a fire before you think…I’m not doing that again, I’ll just get burnt. The betrayals become more significant the more they happen, causing even more barriers to be put up. When your trust is repeatedly broken, you just stop trusting people. I’m like a fortress with a double padlock.
At some point, it’s got to be my fault. I am the common denominator after all. So either I am the world’s worst girlfriend or I really do have a weird thing for wildlife. Bingo.
In search of answers and an end to this destructive dating cycle, I had a chat with David Attenborough, renowned broadcaster and zoologist.
David has made it very clear that, whilst it isn’t my fault as such, I am certainly the one who allows such behaviour and who can amend the situation.
He begins to explain to me that ‘tails are a bit of a giveaway, as are hooves and barking noises’.
So, am I stuck in this vicious cycle forever? Well, it seems not. David has assured me; a change is round the corner. I can turn this around.
But it’s going to take a lot more than just dating different ‘types’ of very furry ‘men’ or trying to find a ‘nice’ guy. That’s superficial stuff that won’t stick. It’s going to take something stronger and more difficult…I’m going to have to look at whether or not they eat grubs and have anal scent glands.
I’m going to have to learn the difference between a human and a shrew. It will be the hardest but most rewarding lesson I can master. Wish me luck.
Stubborn pensioner, 86, condemns fellow villagers to daily ‘painfully slow’ dancing badger troupe parade because he won’t give them their freedom from their ancient oath
Roger Morecambe, 86, refusing to let badgers buy their emancipation
It means his street in Norfolk is crippled by their laboured daily re-enactment of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya
Neighbours are unhappy at having to endure ‘extremely slow’ adaptation and subsequent celebratory parade, daily from 9am to 2.45pm
Mr Morecambe said badgers were to honour their thousand year allegiant bond to his ancestors
Police have been called in over dispute but no action has been taken
A stubborn OAP has been blamed by his neighbours for condemning them to ‘painfully slow’ amateur badger dramatics because he won’t release them from their serfdom in his garden.
Despite badgers offering to pay £758 each for their freedom, Mr Morecambe, 86, claims he has been forced to resort to the extreme measures because they have ‘invaded his ancestral land’ and that their blood debt was far from paid.
His other gripes include their poor productivity on his strawberry farm and inability to run a successful Starbucks franchise from his front lawn.
But bemused neighbours in the sleepy village of Snepperham, Norfolk, say they don’t understand why he doesn’t just let them be free and have complained of ‘extreme’ traffic congestion during parade times.
Pensioner Kerry Bullidge, 79, lives in the same street and is one of the few people who have managed to advise the badgers on their barista skills.
He said: ‘They really do make a hash of it, lacking opposable thumbs and being less than three feet tall doesn’t help.
‘I don’t understand why Morecambe doesn’t just let them go. As far as I understand it they are being punished for their great, great grandbadger’s misdemeanours.
‘’We live in a progressive, modern society based on the ideal of justice and universal suffrage. Regardless of the colour of your skin or the transgressions of your forebadgers, one has the right to be born with a clean slate and the chance to carve one’s own path through life’
One mother, who lives in the road and did not wish to be named, said: ‘The badgers are extremely slow. I don’t even mean entirely in their pace, many of them are borderline retarded. I attribute this to the inbreeding that has become endemic in the captive population drawn from so few bloodlines.
‘I am currently trying to complete a degree in the completely legitimate and not made up field of Badgerology and so this does really help.
‘I’ve spoken to my neighbours though and they’ve said they are really not happy because Roger is now forcing the badgers to organise Europe’s largest thrash metal festival in the garden.
‘I think Roger might have lost sight of the purpose of the badgers’ work on his garden.
‘Something needs to be done because of the diverse and unusual projects he has set the enslaved population. We are starting to wonder whether he has a long term goal or if he is just wildly creating things for them to do. Between the daily Chekhov matinees, struggling Starbucks, lengthy parades of mentally disabled omnivorous mustlids and the awkwardly titled Thrashfest: The Thrashening, it is very hard for villagers to concentrate on anything else. My children are now grown up and they need it to do their homework but the high pitched shrieking of badgers soundchecking Raining Blood is quite off-putting.’
The badgers have been bonded to Mr Morecambe’s family for “time immemorial” and many people cannot recall the precise reason why they toil on his garden and perform the greatest Russian play in the middle of the main road through the village.
When word reached the captive society of a world of free badgers beyond the garden hedge, discontent began to spread. One brave badger, Urstripe Silverson, approached Mr Morecambe offering him £758 and a guarantee of no reprisals in exchange for the freedom of his kin.
Morecambe refused and forced the muscular badger alpha to perform a thrice daily one beast show of The Vagina Monologues whilst dressed in an adorable human child’s romper suit with a little ribbon in his head fur.
Morecambe was reportedly happy that the insurrection had been put down but in September last year, he was horrified to discover a pair of bespectacled badger maids digging a trench beneath his fence.
This caused him to take his drastic action and he has not allowed badgers to access fresh water or electricity since, causing considerable issues for the Starbucks and Thrashfest badgers. Starbucks Snepperham is unsurprisingly the lowest rated restaurant in Norfolk on Trip Advisor.
One reviewer said: ‘(When I arrived) I went and stood in front of them at the counter and they didn’t seem to see me. When I asked for a double vanilla latte, two juvenile badgers sort of grunted at each other, one defecated and the other filled a plastic cup with mud and straw. They then placed it behind the counter and continued to grunt and hum the refrain from Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell as a third badger danced in the seating area and rehearsed lines in a gruff provincial Russian dialect. When I received my mud and straw coffee I was further disappointed to find it was cold. There are better cafes in the area. The shrews at High Potteridge Café Nero make a mean espresso and aren’t quite so into extreme metal.”
Leaning on his spade and wiping the sweat from his brow, Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency clerk Jeff Peters smiled triumphantly, gazing around at the new money pit. The Scrooge McDuck esque cavern, finished with opal touches and extensive marble, has been constructed to replace the smaller, outdated baths previously used.
Head of public relations at the DVLA, Richard Fillibuster effused “this is a big step forward in employee pleasure, we at the DVLA have always strived to extravagantly fritter away our victi…taxpayer’s money. This new multi-million pound three acre nude-only money pit exceeds our dual brief; to be obnoxious and also a little creepy. In the past our staff have had to be content to ‘snow angel’ in bathtubs full of taxpayer’s coins but now we can strip down to our slimy skin and leap from the Olympic regulation diving board into a deep vault of gold. Better still, we have now achieved a certification for our 0% contribution to road maintenance”.
Fillibuster added that whilst the new money pit had always been on the agenda the project was finally put into motion when Mr Grant, a factory labourer from Wolverhampton had the audacity to tax his hard-earned second-hand Ford Focus ST. The actual denomination of the cash used to fill the pit has yet to be decided but Mr Fillibuster was keen to point out “whether we fill our platinum-clad, polished gold, opal finished money pit with pennies or £5 notes, we will all gain sick pleasure from Mr Grant’s £295 annual tax.”
Fillibuster and Peters laughed maniacally, shared a passionate kiss then Peters added “yeah, fuck that guy”.
A recent questionnaire commissioned by the Office For Using Funding For Unnecessary Research As A Cover For Money Laundering Through Offseas Accounts has found that dogs experience an emotional rollercoaster when their owner “pops out for a bit”. Of the 58,767 canines inexplicably polled, 86% described an intermediate-duration separation from their human to be torturous and exhausting.
Expanding on his answer Jeoff, a Dalmatian explained “when my human, the ugly one, left the other day I went through the whole gamut. I sat forlornly by the mat for at least 12 minutes. Then I went outside to take a sorrow shit. After satisfying myself that he most likely dead I began to divvy up his possessions with the cat. Felix was being his usual self however and refused to recognise neither my claim on the blanket nor the adjudicating authority of Mike the hamster. We were about to come to fisticuffs in the kitchen but right that moment, in he comes, striding through without a care. The great gangly bastard just pats me on the head and puts a pint of milk in the fridge. I’m like ‘what the hell dude, what the hell?!’ and you know what he says? He just says ‘stop barking, bad boy’. Shit son, you’re the bad boy”.
It would certainly appear that Jeoff is not alone. Just last tuesday Chichi, a Pomeranian, was unfortunate enough to go through the same ordeal. “So I was just sittin’ there, minding my business, y’know watching my soaps and gnawing dem paws o’mine when ‘slam’, that door done go open an’ close! So I leap up and I’m like what the hell girl? This ghost comes marching on in with a bag that says Tesco or some shit. All casual as you like, I’m like ‘hell no, I am not seeing what mine eyes is saying I’m seeing, we buried you girl, we gone buried you’. Cos like, at that point, you gotta assume folk be dead. Going out like that, not returning for at least, I dunno, two episodes of the Kardashians. I mean, we did some funeral rites, me and Kesha (Cavalier), we dug up the garden for that human. We even found her favourite slipper, took it into the yard and pissed all over it, you know the full service, it was a beautiful ceremony”.
Her thoughts were echoed by Rocky, a Border Terrier, who provided us with a detailed timeline of his most recent “waking hell”
0:00 front door closes, must bark loudly to confirm that I have recognised the departure
0:00-0:05 lay on mat in front of door, stare forlornly at glass aperture
0:05-0:20 clamber onto back of settee and stare out of window, barking intermittently at any movement
0:20-0:25 take yesterday’s newspaper out into garden and shred all over lawn. With this I honour you.
0:25-0:50 gnawing the skirting board for my fallen homey
0:50-0:59 try to play with bally. Perhaps human went to buy more ballys. They would lose dozens of ballys a day if it wasn’t for me, after all.
1:00-1:20 slight glimmer of hope that human still alive seems like a distant memory now. I shall chew the sofa cushion, it’s what they would have wanted.
1:20-1:25 briefly take time off from chewing in order to settle pack hierarchy with an uppity looking sparrow. This is my house.
1:25-1:40 Resolved that I’m not going to be like those mopey dogs on the adverts, I’m a home-owner now.
1:40-1:43 Oh god what if the human is sat in a little cardbox box on the side of the road?!
1:40-1:53 chew chew chew
1:53 ARHGHHHHHH OHHHMAAAAGAWD WHAAAAAAT THE HELLLLL YOU’RE ALIVEEEE! ARRRRRGGGGHHHH. WOOOOOOOOOO. WUFFF WUFFF WUFFF WUFFF WUFFFF. Oh…I just peed.
My latest book, Conflagration, is due to be released this month. Conflagration is my third collection of poetry (fourth book overall) and spans two years of work. Conflagration is longer, more mature and better balanced than my previous works and is the book I am most proud of.
I would like to offer a huge thank you to my friend Matt “Swampy” Ward for taking over the artwork mantle and providing a vivid, manic rendering of the title poem.
Conflagration is priced at £4 and will be available in store at Beccles Books, Lowestoft Library and Halesworth Library. It should also soon be available in Kindle format from Amazon and also via Paypal using firstname.lastname@example.org (unmonitored email address).
Observant visitors will have noticed a considerable drop off in my posting in the last year or so, Conflagration is likely to be my final collection for the foreseeable future.
Swinging from the ceiling beams with a wicked grin and marvellous malevolent thoughts. Wonder what will transpire when we expire and eternity opens out before us like a dark shawl, a cape hung from the shoulders of the grimmest foreboding made man. If man is man-made then what do we say to that which lies beyond the ceiling, in the skies, empty and erudite, so many poems written to elucidate the interest and put diction to passion for the omniscient. Yet nobody is there, nobody who matters. The same could be said for this room, full of bodies but empty all the same. We are all searching for a meaning in the meaningless, a perfect distraction from mediocrity and existential crises which preoccupy the preoccupied and pedantic. We can all procrastinate when the answer to the question is as redundant as the task at hand. Falling into fishbowls from such great heights doesn’t offer purpose to a porpoise or any other mammal. Let alone a man who shouldn’t be left alone with the sort of wicked thoughts that trip, traipse and trickle through this tiny little brain. In most instances it’s all well and good that we only use a percentage of the capacity of this cranial cavity. Slowly shitting on the same sidewalks we sat on as children, watching excrement escape and leave little trails on the soiled street. Perhaps you felt that, the little pang of sorrow and a little sigh sallied forth from dry lips. Strap up and tie off, squirt in the ennui and empty it all out. Finally drawing a little line under a decade of inaction yet unable to accept that it was all for nothing and no one cares who shot first just who shouted loudest.