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?
Speaking to The Daily Fail, X Factor contestant Clara Swan, was almost adamant about having the support of the spirit world.
Swan, 18, a fast food worker from Doncaster, claimed that she was “like 90% certain” that her recently deceased paternal grandmother was watching this year’s television talent contest from the spirit plane. Though not entirely sure of which particular faith’s afterlife her Gran was inhabiting, Swan was pretty sure that the former factory worker had access to a television set and terrestrial aerial.
Welling up with tears, Swan told our reporter that Gran, who died tragically of suffocation 2 weeks before the talent shows’ national auditions, was very much her guardian angel or mentor or spirit guide or “summat”.
Fondly reminiscing over the ballet lessons that Gran had funded for her throughout her childhood, Swan broke down as she told us that her Gran had always wanted to see the girl who she had held as a newborn baby with tears of joy filling her eyes, twerking up and down in lingerie and warbling a Bruno Mars song in front of a huge television audience whilst a middle aged man in high-waisted leather trousers nurses a semi.
“It was her dream…probably” Swan added before reminding us all that, as television talent show voters, any vote cast in support of another contestant was akin to unbuckling our jeans, slowly crouching down, pulling our pants down to our knees, pulling our buttcheeks apart with both hands and gently curling out a huge steamdog of fudgey excrement onto Dorothy Ethel Swan’s freshly filled grave.
Suffolk church comes under fire for discriminatory policies.
Officials in Becton, Suffolk have been forced to issue a statement after posters in the grounds of the medieval church have been decried as “inflammatory” and “discriminatory”. Campaigners claim that the advertising boards dotted around the churchyard in the sleepy East Anglian village are provocative and deliberately incendiary to the town’s large badger population.
One source, who didn’t want to be named, who we will just refer to as Mr J. Tucker, 46, of Ayledell Cottages, South Road told us “it’s an outrage, that’s what it is, these people think that just because they are opening their doors to the metaphorical familial love of mankind they can go ahead and blast the badgers. They are absolutely sick. What’s more, they infringe on the rights of a drunk to marry a badger and urinate in the pews”.
The posters are seen by some as just the latest in a long line of castigatory measures against the large population of meles meles in the area. One Becton resident, who we will not name despite his repeated insistence that we do, said “You lot again, why is your publication so bleeding obsessed with badgers?”
Vicar of St Arthurs Church, the Reverend Karl Hawks, told our handsome reporter that the diocese had been approached regarding badger inclusion but had yet to get back to him. Rev Hawks also confirmed that the church would be continuing to refuse to host human/badger marriages as they were “a bit creepy” and “the badger doesn’t seem that into it”. Of the controversial posters and signage Rev Hawks claimed that no offence was meant or even considered but conceded that the badgers’ misgivings “would probably explain the late night phone calls of chirrups and snuffling”.
With no deadlock or compromise to be found, this hot point issue seems to be set to rumble on for quite some time. Armis Silverstripe, elder shaman of the Dugclaw Clan exclusively told us “it is a great pity that our human neighbours still mock us so. By the stripes of Meles, God of furry thunder, we will have our vengeance in this life or Melhalla. I call upon the claws of the Badgnarok to deliver us from human abnegation”. Silverstripe then proceeded to urinate up our reporter’s leg, bark, stand on his rear paws and screech whilst raising a hefty, diamond edged glaive to the heavens and calling upon the fury of his ancestors.
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”.
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.
Fill the grenade with grenadine
We’ll reutilise the war effort
Repair, recycle and reuse
In such imaginative ways
Yet if all our swords are ploughshares
And all our bullets turned to bracelets
We’ll only beat each other
To death with farm machinery
I’m all for hugging trees
Yet sometimes you need to carve out a
Spear handle and use the light from
That spare candle to whittle out a
Sharp point to penetrate and pierce
We won’t be here much longer
The way we carry on
Carrying out covert ops
Covering the tops of our
Hidey holes with thick foliage
Thin branches delicately draped
Across the entrance
And yet these new school
Retro, remade, post modern
Contraptions keep on turning
Ammunition into pencil sharpeners
And gasmasks into fishbowls
We can deny it all we want
But we all know we’ll need it again
Soon, wipe down the respirator and
Chamber the parer
Bear down on them with teeth bared
And our right to arms a necessity
When it’s been ingrained for so long
A culture built on blood
Soft, slippery surface to lay foundations
They did it anyway
Fine days and dark nights
Fly by without much more than a whisper
Flickering and flitting through
As we cling on to what we hold dear
Drag it deep down to comfort us
We’ll sit here watching the world burn
And brush dry tinder toward
A forest fire
Breathing in the pine
As it crackles and chokes
A conflagration for the flagburners
And the deathbringers
The wild, the hungry, desperate and dreary
No survivors set the world afire
And none of us ever expected to make it out alive
Take no photos, make no sound
One day you’ll realise
It’s better to live your life through the iris
Than live it through the lens
One day, one more day is what we all
And not one spent in suffocating suits
With collar chafing tight
Around your neck
A millstone made of menswear
Bought for far too much in a store
For people who put store in counting coins
And ticking boxes
Instead of counting blessings
It’s not like me to be esoteric and meaningless
Crumble some creole into the mix
Natty words from a native tongue
Will wow the now crowd but I
Do it for myself and not for them
And if pleasing anyone but family
Matters more to you than your own
Peace and piecing together
Some form of fabric in which
You can live and lay down roots
Then three cheers for your cares
But I’ll take mine to the wire,
Waiting by the phone for those
Three words that nobody ever tires of
Heard in halting breaths
Between exclamations and sighs of
Delight, when we light up the fields
And call it a celebration
With flares, not bombs
And binding blankets that wrap
Us tighter than any razor wire
But it feels like home
Right here, in this moment
In this place, with you by my side
That house is three thousand miles away
Yet all I need is here, is her
All I need is my health and Her