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It’s a mad, mad world during silly season

By Frances Burscough

Published 08/08/2015

Frances Burscough
Frances Burscough

The last few weeks of the summer is known as “Silly Season” in the newspaper business. This is because Parliament and other legislative bodies are in recess, so government activity is quiet and many of the movers and shakers who affect or influence the news are away on holiday, along with a huge proportion of the readership.

For the same reason, advertising is also limited too, which means that news editors have more space than usual to fill with fewer stories than usual. As a result some publications (with the exception of the Belfast Telegraph of course) are filled with daft stories in between endless photographs of celebrities displaying their so-called “bikini bodies” whilst on vacation somewhere glamorous.

Now, rather than succumbing to the pressures of silly season myself, I thought it would be much more fun to do a round-up of this week’s finest examples from the national press. Titles and authors shall remain nameless, so as to avoid any accusations of the pot/kettle/black variety.

n This week it was revealed that the Vatican’s own in-house astronomer has officially announced that the Catholic Church does accept the possibility that extra-terrestrial alien life could exist elsewhere in the universe. However Father Jose Funes, Director of the Vatican Observatory,  was keen to clarify something.  “The discovery of intelligent life does not mean there’s another Jesus. The Incarnation of the son of God is a unique event in the history of humanity of the universe,” he said.

n It was claimed this week that sex with robots will become socially acceptable within 50 years. According to Dr Helen Driscoll from the University of Sunderland who is a world-wide expert in the psychology of physical relationships, developments in interactive motion-sensitive technology will become so advanced that robots will soon become far more effective at “doing it” than human partners. “As virtual reality becomes more realistic and immersive and is able to mimic and even improve on the experience of sex with a human partner; it is conceivable that some will choose this in preference to sex with a less than perfect human being,” she explained.

n A newly-wed bridegroom in Algeria is suing his wife for damages after seeing her for the first time without make-up on the day after their wedding. Apparently he woke up on the first day of their honeymoon and was shocked to see what he thought was a thief in their hotel bedroom. However it  transpired that it was actually just his new bride, whom he had never seen without her full slap on, bare-faced after taking a shower. He was so appalled at the transformation that he immediately took her to court, on the grounds that she had deceived him into a false marriage and is claiming psychological damages to the tune of  £13,000. The case continues.

n Adolf Hitler was on the verge of creating a weapon of mass destruction which would be transported to its destination and dropped from a flying saucer, it was revealed this week. The Nazis were at the stage of testing the bomb, created by SS General Hans Kammler, in Thuringia at the beginning of 1945 when they were defeated and the programme was brought to a halt. US and Russian government officials are thought to have discovered a secret tunnel containing an unexploded atom bomb and a flying saucer, but then covered it up in the interest of international security, it has been claimed. 

n And finally..... A retired hospital worker is selling her mobile home after a close encounter with UFOs left her convinced that aliens have targeted her caravan. Helen Chapman, 72, was watching the sunset last week when three triangular objects appeared in the sky, followed by a loud bang coming from her roof.

“It was about 11 at night,” she said. “As soon as I heard it I knew it was the aliens. I think they want to make contact with us and they are using the caravan like a kind of portal,” she explained.

Belfast Telegraph

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