Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just add clotted crime

The latest local crime report circulated by Petersfield Neighbourhood Watch suggests a worrying trend ... towards the trivial.

In what might be seen as a coordinated wave of food-related crimes (but probably isn't), the following incidents are reported by Hampshire Police:
  • Fruit thrown at property in Buster Walk.
  • Eggs thrown in Marden Way.
  • Biscuits stolen from Privett village hall.
  • Youths throwing apples at Petersfield house.
  • Twenty curly kale cabbages nicked from Kelsey allotments in Liss.
  • A hooded youth spotted outside Waitrose.
Officers have gathered together all the evidence and made a pie. With a curly kale starter.

Speaking with his mouth full, PC Daventry McAllister said: "What did you expect? Letting this lot go to waste would be, er, criminal."

Petersfield Newswire Interactive Plus

We're looking for the best original recipe which combines these ingredients in the exact proportions reported by local Police. Please send all entries to Petersfield Newswire offices marked with a nutritional value analysis and best before date.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Letter to the editor

Here at Newswire Towers we are always delighted to receive genuine correspondence from our readers. Here is a letter we received recently. Please keep them coming.

Dear Newswire,

My name is Harold Backhouse and I am chair of FEAFA, a local organisation here in Petersfield, of right-thinking people.

Yes, the Flat Earth and Fascist Association is a fine body of like-minded folk who are sick to death of politicaly correct thinking, allowing the country to be over-run by foreigners and being told what to do by this socialist government.

You can see the work of our members all over recent events and communications to the Petersfield Post, our house newsletter. Long, tedious letters about climate change denial, telling Johnny Foreigner where to stick his grimy car mop and leaving copies of our Bible - the Daily Mail - in public places, is all the work of our dedicated members.

And to cap the week off, we now have one of our team proudly and openly selling golliwogs in his charming and tasteful furniture shop at the bottom of the High Street. He soon tells interfering busybodies who go in to complain where to get off, I can tell you!

So take that Mr and Mrs PC and get yourselves a few years of National Service to sort yourselves out.

Yours rigidly,

Harold I-fought-a-war-for-you Backhouse

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gap-year student returns after controversial trip

A Petersfield teenager has returned from a controversial gap-year trip without calling upon the emergency services in any of the countries he visited.

Garstang Ponsonby-Landowner, 19, from Monks Vineyard, had courted controversy from the very first moment he conceived the gap-year trip to the Far East, as his father, Sir Arthur, explained.

"He eschewed all the accepted methods of travel," said an angry Sir Arthur.

"For a start he didn't send in a picture of himself to the local paper with an appeal for other people to fund his trip. This meant we, his parents, had to cough up - and it meant selling one of the Bentleys.

"Most people at his university tap up their wealthy parents for a stamp to send in an appeal to the newspaper and make gullible members of the general public cough up money so the students can enjoy a trip the plebs can only ever dream of.

"But not our son. Oh no! He wanted to be independent, so we had to fund it ourselves. And on top of that he didn't once get lost in a jungle or a desert necessitating a full-scale search by the local emergency services."

Sir Arthur's ire was echoed by Professor Mortimer Greeb-Streebling, Garstang's tutor at Moscow Top Spy College, Oxford.

He said: "I really can't see why anybody would want to go on a gap-year trip if they keep such a low profile. Surely it's all part-and-parcel of student life to take a gap-year trip, get lost, cause panic among friends and relatives, before being discovered after an intensive search.

"It's a British rite of passage. After all it's not our taxes that have to pay for the emergency services' time - that's why these youngsters always go abroad. Garstang really doesn't appear to have entered into the spirit of the thing.

"And to cap it all off, getting through the trip without an emergency meant he didn't get a free trip home in an air ambulance, and he won't be able to turn his story into one of those paperbacks you can get in Book Ends for £2.99.

"We may have to send him down. He's let down the entire education system."

An ashamed Garstang, who is studying to be a teacher, refused to be interviewed by Petersfield Newswire. Instead he issued a short statement which said: "I realise now I've let down my parents, my fellow students and my university - but most of all I've let down myself. After all, it's my time I'm wasting."

Friday, December 25, 2009

The real Christmas message

Petersfield Newswire is delighted to be able to show you part of this year's Queen's peach...

Merry Christmas everybody

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas massage from Petersfield Newswire

Slap, slap, slap, slap, slap,
knead, knead, knead, knead,
slap, slap, slap, slap, slap,
knead, knead, knead, knead,

Merry Christmas to our ever-increasing number of followers. Thanks for your loyalty and we hope to continue to vaguely amuse you with tales of life in a small east Hampshire market town during 2010.

Have a good one.

Clint, DJ, Frank, Plato and (our latest recruit) Cyrano.

Santa's PO grotto

In something of a coup, Petersfield Post Office has managed to secure the services of out-of-work funny man John Henshaw on Christmas Eve.

The Post Office awarded free use of the comedian’s services to the branch which could boast the worst record across the land, and Petersfield won by a mile; quite literally. On the day the judges measured the queue it was very nearly a mile long.

So to celebrate the festive season, the Post Office has been turned into one big grotto with Henshaw kitted out in a Santa outfit and white beard, talking to those lucky enough to have made it into the building.

Cindy Sack speaking on behalf of the Post Office, said: “This should bring some welcome cheer to our customers at this festive time.

“Once anyone in the queue has reached the building, they know that they will at least be entertained for the final two hours or so of their ordeal.

“Also, on a positive note, I can confirm that none of those queuing during the last week or so has had to contend with slippery conditions. The queue has been there day and night, so the snow has not actually had a chance to lay on the ground beneath their feet.”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

101 uses for a dead pub – No.1: art

A Petersfield landmark is on the verge of winning the Turner Prize.

The Market Inn, which has been boarded up for as long as anyone can remember, has been nominated for the prestigious annual art farce.

"Some people might think that old rundown pub is simply an eyesore in the middle of a quaint market town – but it’s really art," said Andi Warthol, of the Turner organising committee.

"The way it looms on the edge of an otherwise prosperous market square symbolises the potential economic decline that possibly awaits us all.

"The rusting corrugated sheets in the windows and doors represent a blocking out of the light of life; they’re a grim comment on the daunting prospects for a world on the edge of its very extinction.

"The Market Inn has become a poignant reminder of the fragility of the western world’s commerciality - it shows our entire way of life hanging by a rotting thread."

Owner of the Market Inn, Monty Opoly - who owns several other thriving pubs in the immediate vicinity - said: "That’s capitalism folks!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow brings chaos to town

Polish car cleaners take a break outside
Waitrose - "this is summer day..."

Petersfield was in crisis today after experiencing 1/30th of the average snowfall in December in just one day.

Cars were forced to stick to the speed limit, children arrived at school on time after being kicked out early by concerned parents, 4x4 drivers panic-bought boxes of sun-dried tomatoes, and Costa Coffee ran out of those little chocalatey sticks they put in the top of the cream in the festive lattes.

Petersfield Big School's head teacher, Dee Tention, said: "We were gobsmacked this morning. Most of the kids were in on time, apparently because their parents were so concerned about them being late they kicked them out of the house at about 6am.

"It was totally unexpected. Most of the staff weren't in. They were all still in bed because we had our staff party last night in a marquee on the new artificial pitch. It was great - we had lots of caviar and champagne all paid for by the oil we discovered recently.

"And we wouldn't have been able to do that if we still had that bloody great tree."

The town's popular Big Issue seller was still in place at her normal hour, however, and her work ethic was applauded by career councillor Albert Halls-Committee.

"This is the sort of dedication more workers should show," he said. "If she had a bed she would have been out of it early just to take up her normal spot."

Other non-indigenous workers in the town were also in action at the normal time.

Win Screenworscher, originally from Warsaw, was in the town's central car park at 7am saying: "De-ice your car today sir? Spread dirt around on your completely unnecessary 4x4 madam?"

Bizarrely, he was dressed in beach shorts and a T-shirt.

He explained: "One shentimentre of snow and town grinds to standshtill. Is bullshit. In Poland, this is summer day..."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Old bag to become MP

A Tesco carrier bag looks set to become Petersfield’s Member of Parliament at the upcoming general election.

East Hants Tories have opted for the shopping utensil as their prospective parliamentary candidate following current long-time MP Michael Mates’ decision to retire.

"It seemed the obvious choice,’ said Tory spokeswoman Archie Pelago. "Let’s face it, we’re going to win by a landslide and Petersfield has elected a Conservative since shortly before the Roman invasion.

"What’s the point of wasting a decent candidate on a seat like this? Besides a Tesco bag represents all that we stand for – naked commercial greed, elimination of all competition, and cheap vodka for the masses to keep them cowed."

The Tesco carrier was up against a Waitrose ‘bag for life’ at the selection meeting but members decided that being a member of the John Lewis group made it ‘practically a communist’.

However, Tory leader David Cameron has insisted that the Tesco bag should be of a recyclable variety to fit with his green image.

The Liberal Democrats will let shoppers decide on their candidate by getting them to vote with green tokens in the three-way charity box in the Waitrose entranceway.

A Labour spokesman said "Oh what’s the point!?" and no-one from the British National Party was available for comment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Town's flagship store to be undercut

Competition between traders in Petersfield is set to hot up with the opening of a new store – with just six shopping days remaining before Christmas.

One of the many vacant premises in the town centre is to be taken over by discount chain store The 98p Shop, which has moved in in an effort to undercut the popular 99p Store.

A spokesman for the company said: “We firmly believe there is a market for our style of store which undercuts more expensive retailers such as The 99p Store, while retaining the ability to provide shoppers with what they want.

“We’re not in competition with stores like The 99p Store – we are catering for a slightly different market. We firmly believe that, especially at this time of year, there is sufficient demand for products which last only a few hours before falling apart or don’t work at all.

“If people want longevity in their products or object to sawdust in their biscuits and cookies then they should stick to more expensive products available elsewhere, such as The 99p Store.

“But at The 98p Shop we are confident we can fob our customers off with any old rubbish.”

He added: “We can afford to price our products so low because we have very few overheads: no permanent base, very little stock and a distinct lack of quality. We have a niche market and Christmas is our ideal time.”

Branches of The 98p Shop can normally be found at markets across the south at this time of year and a spokesman for Trading Standards warned: “We are aware of The 98p Shop – which should not be confused whatsoever with The 99p Store which offers true bargains, particularly those big boxes of biscuits and Danish cookies which are ideal for sharing around the office.

“Not to mention the big boxes of toffees, the great deals on carbonated drinks and … oh yes, The 98p Shop. Buyer beware is our mantra as far as these people are concerned. As long as you don’t mind food with absolutely zero nutritional value or edible content for that matter, batteries with no power, and small toys covered in highly toxic paint, you should be fine.”

The representative for Petersfield Town’s International Traders (PTiTs), haberdasher and jeweller, Matt Tress, was surprisingly unmoved by news of the new store.

“Personally I couldn’t give a toss,” he said. “They don’t sell jewellery or whatever haberdashery is, so I’m in the clear. And as long as their pikey vans don’t stop people gaining access to my shop I’m happy.

“It’s the bloody doughnut van I hate.”

*The respectable 99p Store would like to reiterate it is not connected in any way with The 98p Shop, which sells worthless crap and is fictitious anyway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Domino’s effect

A Petersfield man has built a life-size replica of the town’s King Billy statue – entirely out of unwanted flyers from Papa John’s and Domino’s.

"I stacked up two days’ worth as they came through my front door and realised that it closely resembled the plinth of the statue in the Square," said Dave Geek, of Cranford Road.

"It was another two weeks before my recycling bin was due to be emptied and I was off work with a broken toe after a pile of Petersfield Directories fell on my foot.

"I had nothing else to do and the flyers just kept on coming, so I decided to put them to good use – and on top of the plinth I fashioned a statue of King William and his horse out of papier mache made from the leaflets.

"It was great. Every time I almost ran out another load would appear on the doormat, as if they knew I was in need of extra supply.

"I was almost sick when I saw the one advertising strawberry pizza but I was in full flow by then and determined to finish."

Geek is going to take his statue on a tour of the town in a bid to find a new resting place for the real thing – so it can be moved to make way for more farmers’ markets in the square.

The tour will start at the McDonald’s roundabout where it is thought the statue could act as a welcoming vision for the town. Other possible sites include Tesco’s car park (they could probably afford it); the car park behind the Festival Hall (well if you can squeeze a funfair in there anything’s possible); and the civic dump in Bedford Road (the inevitable destination for Geek’s model if not the real monolith).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lost: Library noticeboard for lost and found

Action from one of the library's many exercise classes

Yoga teachers, odd-job gardeners and coffee-morning organisers are up in arms over the temporary closure of Petersfield Library.

"Where else are we going to pin up our badly designed, ill though-out and appallingly spelt notices for classes and events that haven’t been running for around 18 months?” squealed Maud Simpkins, yoga mistress and part-time landscaper.

“There’s also the issue of where all the old codgers are going to go to keep warm – we’re talking about January you know!”

Members of the official Post Office queue have suggested the library notice board could be moved out into the square to give them something to snigger about during the long, dark hours of waiting for a stamp.

The refurbished library is due to re-open in summer 2010 complete with coffee shop, hairdresser’s section and estate agency.

Spokesman Roger Reader said: “We had to do something to bump up numbers and a working group identified the lack of these facilities in the town.

“Books? Well, we might still have a few left in the corner – but try Amazon. Theirs aren’t all dog-eared with pages stuck together with unidentifiable substances – plus they’ll bring them straight to your door and you won’t have to bring them back when you’ve finished reading them. I don’t know why we didn’t think of that…”

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Yule be sorry

Even the pastry-based, meat-filled
snacks made the effort

Reports that Petersfield Christmas Festivities were nothing but a Hampshire Farmers’ Market in disguise have been strongly denied by organisers.

“There was definitely some tinsel on a couple of stores,” insisted spokesman Giles Farmer of, er, Hampshire Farmers’ Market.

“It was extremely seasonal - we blew several flakes of snow around, it p***ed with rain most of the weekend and The George even offered mulled wine,” he added.

“How bloody Christmassy do you want it?”

Meanwhile, lovers of extortionately-priced sausages, hand-crafted (in Taiwan by child slaves admittedly) wooden toys, and carrots covered with dirt hailed the event as a huge success.

Mr Farmer, who also organises the traditional French market, Italian market and Easter market in Petersfield, is currently working on plans for a Valentine’s Day market, St George’s Day market, Tuesday market, Post Office queue market and another event intriguingly titled a “market market”.

A spokesman for Lincoln Christmas Market said “We’re worried…no, honestly.”

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Blonde denies non-existent Tiger link

A 30-year-old mother of two from Petersfield has denied being the 10th lover of world number one golfer Tiger Woods.

Medya Hoare, a member of a local golf club, has moved to quash speculation that didn’t exist, which didn’t claim she was a former lover of the philandering birdie-merchant.

Buxom Hoare, not a natural blonde, insisted there was sexual chemistry between her and the USA’s finest, but that she resisted his advances.

“We met at Royal Birkdale in 2008,” she admitted.

“He was putting out on the 18th and I was selling bottles of mineral water nearby at £5 for 50ml. The crowd was at least six deep but our eyes met and I knew he wanted me to visit his hotel room.

“That night I knocked on his hotel room door and he yelled ‘Go away’ – but he was merely playing hard to get. So the next day I went out of my way to pass him a bottle of water on the practice ground.

“He said ‘Thanks’ and I knew then we would become lovers. Sadly I’m still waiting though it can be only a matter of time before he reaches me.”

Speculation about the relationship between Woods and Hoare was growing ever since the 10-handicapper went round her golf club telling people she was Tiger’s lover and that she would release a statement to the media as soon as she’d had her hair done.

A fellow club member, who did not wish to be named, said: “It wouldn’t come as a surprise to be honest. She’s a right slapper and is known around the club as the ‘hole-in-one’.”

Ms Hoare declined to comment further unless a national newspaper paid her dental bills.

Post Office queue visible from space.

Russian cosmonauts working aboard the International Space Station say the queue for Petersfield's Post Office is now visible to the naked eye from their orbital position.

Their discovery means the town's queue joins an elite club of man-made structures visible from space which includes the Great Wall of China, Dubai's Palm Island, the Pyramids at Giza and the great Ego of Cowper.

Royal Mail spokesman Sam Daydelivery said: "We're delighted that the popularity of our Post Office in the town is being recognised from afar. This achievement alone completely justifies our policy of slowing everybody down by selling countless insurance products and phone contracts at the counter."

Petersfield Newswire asked the cosmonauts to send photographic evidence to back-up their claim but unfortunately it was raining.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Woman turned to crime to sate houmous habit

Police have revealed the 4x4 vehicle which smashed into the premises of the former Natural Café in Petersfield High Street was being used in a so-called ‘houmous-ram raid’.

The woman responsible, Jocasta Bull-Bars, 43, from Godalming, has admitted she felt obligated to do something drastic after her family was ‘devastated by the credit crunch’.

In an exclusive interview with Petersfield Newswire, following her release, she said: “My husband is an independent financial advisor and owns a string of businesses across the south-east – and naturally he’s been very heavily impacted by the economic downturn.

“His bonuses for the last two years have only just made six figures and that has had a detrimental effect on all the family. For example, during the summer holidays we had to make the decision to take our least-intelligent child out of the private school system and put him in a state school.

“By making huge sacrifices we are able to continue to provide private education for the other five, but at some cost. We’ve had to sell one of our holiday homes, lay off some of the domestic staff, stop Matilda’s daily horse-riding lessons, my husband Giles has had to amend his golf-club membership to five-day, and, in January, we all have to fly economy to the chalet in Klosters.

“It’s all the fault of this Government – they don’t seem to realise the effect it has on normal people like us.”

Mrs Bull-Bars, a full-time tennis pupil, continued: “We were devastated by the credit crunch and I began to wonder how I was going to put houmous, sun-blanched tomatoes and Bollinger on the table for the kids to eat when they came home from boarding school at the end of every term.

“I decided to take the desperate step of ram-raiding a health-food restaurant after the idea had been given to me by a bridge partner at the tennis club who had used her Humvee to ram-raid Body Shop, in Farnham, in a desperate effort to provide her family with fruit-scented soaps.

“Sadly for me, the Government’s lack of economic forethought and mismanagement forced the closure of the Natural Café around a year ago, and none of the staff here bothered to tell me.

“Naturally I feel awful. It was a moment of madness; after all I can’t claim on the insurance for a ram-raid. I gave it no thought whatsoever.”

Police in Petersfield have confirmed Mrs Bull-Bars received only a caution owing to diminished reality and the fact her father, a High Court judge, instructed them so to do.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas cracker car-park shocker

A money-grabbing trader has called for the demolition of an old building in the town centre - to make way for a Christmas car park.

"At this time of recession we need to boost shopper numbers any way we can," said jeweller Matt Tress.

"If we can set up a new car park right next to the Square, it will give the whole town a lift."

His proposal to knock down the town's Norman church, St Peter's, has not met with universal approval - especially during the festive season - but Tress remains unrepentant.

"It's old and crumbly anyway and it's been there for ages," he moaned.

"It's nothing but an eyesore in my book - I'd much rather see lots of lovely shoppers pulling up there in their cars. I reckon you'd get more than 200 on that site, which would be a much-needed boost for the jewellery trade, and maybe some other shops too.

"We might have to lose the Square's Christmas tree to gain access, and those strings of garish lights could go too. Let's keep Christmas traditional for once - it is all about shopping after all. And if anyone's interested in a carol service or something, there are plenty of other churches available that don't clutter up the centre of the town.'

God issued a statement via Facebook, saying 'FFS!'

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Heath Rd residents learn the hole story

This CCTV shot shows the damage inflicted
- and the party responsible

East Hants District Council has made a breakthrough discovery which is certain to delight the townsfolk who live in the posh big houses opposite the Heath.

For years now, the road surface in Heath Road, has been dug up and repaired on what sometimes seems like a daily basis.

Council workmen are regularly rushed to the scene after the rich people in the street ring up to complain that there is “another hole”. Often held to ransom by the influential people who make the call, the council feel duty bound to swiftly make good the damage before it inconveniences or embarrasses local residents.

Nobody had any idea who or what was causing the damage, but this week a surveillance team, set up to watch the road, caught the culprit red-handed, or perhaps that should be red-clawed.

The perpetrator was a mole.

EHDC employee, Doug Rhodes, who spotted and captured the mole, said: “This is no ordinary mole; its claws are unbelievably sharp. It cut me to ribbons trying to grab hold of the little bugger. I’m sure it’s some sort of mutation. Good job I was on double time.”

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A sight to behold

A Petersfield optician has landed a deal to supply a classy new brand of designer spectacles that can literally perform miracles with your eyesight.

Tom Otrist, based in Levent Street (at least we think that’s what the sign says) has agreed a multi-hundred pound deal to supply glasses from French stylists Wenger and co.

“They’re fantastic,” says Tom. “When you put them on you can’t see any rain or even clouds, there’s no sign of a recession, Petersfield Square and High Street appears to be free of cars, and you can’t even see the queue outside Petersfield Post Office.

“Oh yeah, and Didier Drogba appears to DO NOTHING except score storming – but extremely lucky goals...”