Always delighted to balance the demands of fundamentalist secularism, the Anglican Church, Ukip, LGBT+ groups, single mothers, childless couples, agnostic farm animals, the Jewish Chronicle, his Holiness the Pope, and the European Union, the Dalston Mercury has cancelled its annual Easter Egg hunt on London Fields and has replaced it with something much less fascistic and socially divisive.
As a response to demands from the EU the British-made chocolate constituent of our eggs has been renamed ‘recidivist vege-sludge’ by the Belgians but, due to record levels of obesity among our young people, has been replaced anyway by a baked lentil substitute.
The formerly traditional egg-shape (or ‘prolate spheroid’ as our lawyers call it) is considered offensive by vegans and the Vatican, who would prefer a chocolate Judas Iscariot hanging from a tree (the Vatican, not the vegans). Transgender women have threatened to boycott the event if it involves any mention of eggs or fallopian tubing. Or that Jenni Murray from Woman’s Hour.
The entire Easter business has been declared ‘offensive, almost to Ken Livingston levels’ by the chief Rabbi, so this year’s hunt will take place during Yom Kippur or possibly Ramadan.
Free entry! Fun for all the family! (No children under 18 due to Health & Safety risk of falling over on grass. May contain nuts).
As local schools and businesses celebrate Red Nose Day and the BBC prepares for its annual Comic Relief charity marathon, residents of Dalston’s Clement Attlee Estate are warming up for their own traditional fundraiser tonight.
‘Yeah,’ said Dalston’s Red Nose supremo Vince ‘Biggles’ Calhoun this morning, ‘people in this estate would do anything to help the kiddies. Even foreign ones that live in mud huts and that. We’re not picky.’
Planned events include a sponsored pole dancing marathon in the snug of the White Horse public house, a Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown video marathon in the bar of the White Horse public house and a winner-stays-on bare knuckle boxing marathon in the car park of the White Horse public house (although this last event is not exclusive to Red Nose Day and takes place nightly at various locations around the Clement Attlee estate).
Other fundraising innovations include a bring and buy sale at which recent arrivals to the Dalston area will be invited to buy back their own mobile phones and then keep schtum about it or else.
Last year’s Clement Attlee Estate Red Nose appeal raised ‘shed loads’ of cash, every penny of which went to help disadvantaged children – most of them resident in the Clement Attlee Estate – who would otherwise not have been able to afford such essentials as Playstation consoles, bail money and fortnights in Magaluf.
Boxing Day sees the long-anticipated inaugural meeting of the Dalston and Homerton Hunt, an event that promises to bring much-needed upper-class sophistication to an area blighted by so many Labour voters.
This stylish orgy of cruelty will commence at 10:00am in the car park behind Matalan, where mulled Special Brew will be served to fortify participating riders against the carnage to come.
At 10:05am a captive hipster will be released on London Fields and the hunt will be on. Horses are in short supply in Dalston at this time of year, so huntsmen and followers are reminded to bring their Oyster cards to the event. Mopeds are also acceptable. Hounds will be provided by the Clement Attlee Estate Bullmastiff breeders club, who are also official suppliers of crystal meth to the hunt committee.
The kill is expected to take place as early as 11:00am as the quarry will be equipped only with a unicycle and a maddening sense of entitlement. And, probably, a stupid beard.
The humane evisceration of the quarry – which is expected to last a good fifteen minutes at least – will be followed by a lavish hunt ball. This will take place at Greggs the Baker and is likely to spill over into neighbouring streets and gardens when the ale really kicks in.
Carriages at midnight. Armed police will escort remaining revellers to their cells by 1:00am, following the traditional festive baton charge.
We don’t eat turkey at any other time of year because:
a) It’s not as good as chicken.
b) It’s too bloody big and not as good as chicken.
c) All of the above, plus it’s not as good as chicken.
PART TWO: RELATIVES
We don’t invite our relatives over for lunch and drinks at any other time of year because:
a) Have you met them, for crying out loud?
b) Refer to a).
c) Refer to a) plus whose been at my good Scotch? Might’ve known. She mixed it with what?! That’s a 30-year-old single malt for God’s sake! Why didn’t you stop her? I don’t care how bloody old or incontinent she is – that’s my bloody Scotch she’s pissing up the stair carpet, etc etc…
PART THREE: SPROUTS
Nobody has the slightest idea why we eat sprouts at Christmas. No other country on Earth puts themselves through the ghastly ordeal, so how many other nations will spend the second half of December 25 farting like wizards?
a) None of them.
b) None of them.
c) Bloody well none of them; in the name of God, why do we never learn?
Continued tomorrow, probably, when topics will include Children, Presents and Crushing Ennui Allied to Searing Hangover.
In another of our never-popular ‘Can You Help’ series (as regular readers know, a transparent attempt to get away with just posting a photo when we can’t be arsed to write anything), we aim to reunite Simon with his distraught owner.
Simon is an emotionally fragile Jack Russell cross who lost the will to live following the referendum vote to leave the EU.
He may be trying to hitch a lift to the Irish consulate in an attempt to become a citizen of the Republic or, if he’s gone completely Tonto, may be trying to reach Syria with a view to joining Isis (he really did take the whole Brexit thing very hard).
As usual, if you see Simon, try not to run him over and email the Mercury.
Please note: His owner recommends you don’t try to engage Simon in conversation; he’s a real Captain Bring-down, apparently. And for God’s sake don’t mention the Labour party’s standing in the latest polls – that’d send him right over the edge.
A marginal fall in the number of top grades awarded at A-level this year has been greeted with by airy indifference by prestigious Dalston University (previously the East London College of Remedial Learning and Basket Weaving).
Chancellor of the University, Prof. Euthanasia Lucre told the Mercury: ‘Frankly, we don’t give a monkey’s what grades they get just so long as the mouth-breathing morons pony-up the cash, and pronto.’
The proportion of A* and A grades was 25.8%, down by 0.1% on last year. The pass rate of 98.1% remained the same, news that was dismissed as ‘utterly bloody irrelevant to anything,’ by Professor Lucre.
‘It’s all bollocks, isn’t it?’ she said, ‘For God’s sake, we’ve got a canteen that sells chips, there’s a pool table, the beer’s subsidised; I mean, what the hell else do they need?’
‘Look,’ she went on, ‘this is the deal: they turn up (having miraculously navigated their way from some provincial hell hole or other), they hand over the wonga at the gate, then they spend three fulfilling years getting pissed, protesting about statues and the ‘invasion of their safe space’ by college authorities, and at the end they get to wear a stupid hat while we give ’em bit of paper certifying they’ve achieved a basic level of competence in Media Studies or Veterinary Yoga or some such cobblers. Then they spend eight dispiriting years trying to ‘make it’ in London before sloping off back to the boondocks where they die, disappointed and unmourned in penurious obscurity. It doesn’t matter what they get in their bloody A-levels now, does it?’
We suggested to Professor Lucre that her view of higher education might be considered, by some, as slightly cynical, but she told us to take it up with the government ‘if you wanna see cynical, mate’.
A combination of the trauma of Brexit and the heatwave currently being experienced by Dalston has led residents of the borough to unconsciously take on the characteristics of our continental neighbours.
Sales of Vermouth and big round sunglasses soared as Dalstonians left the workplace en masse yesterday claiming their right to operate according to French 28-hour working week rules. Many workers are now paying tax at the traditional Greek rate of 0% and almost everybody is on maternity leave. Even the men. Except for those on strike. Which is everybody.
The last 24-hours have seen parts of the borough report a ten-fold increase in the number of people injured by extravagant hand gestures, and one woman is undergoing an emergency buttock transplant after being told ‘ciao, Bella‘ and having her bottom pinched over 3000 times yesterday. The borough’s buttock stocks are said to be running ‘dangerously low’.
Levels of ‘whackings’, ‘vendettas’ and ‘honour killings’ are at an all time high, as are dismembered horses’ heads found in beds and the number of old men eating poisoned cannoli while listening to opera.
An area of London Fields has been taken over by sun-crazed locals and declared a naturist reserve. In the time-honoured French tradition, ‘a naturist reserve’ is a thin euphemism for ‘place to have al fresco rumpy with other people’s wives’. The Dalston police have asserted that: ‘Having it off in a park is illegal no matter how bloody foreign you are, and this disgusting practice is completely banned unless we’re allowed to watch’.
While the Mediterranean nations are well represented among sufferers of this seasonal disorder, observers have noted that, remarkably, almost no-one has opted to become German, which would involve working hard, maintaining disciplined fiscal practices and manufacturing excellent motor vehicles for export to the most lucrative international markets. But maybe it’s the Currywurst and stupid haircuts that put people off.
A minor, but important, change to our regular series aimed at reuniting Dalstonites with their lost pets:
We have received a number of complaints – all of them from Mr Eugene Oregon-Davies, a circus skills consultant at the Dalston Arts College – that our Can You Help? section has so far concentrated on kittens and puppies and has been deficient in its coverage of missing Terrestrial Gastropod Molluscs. While we at the Mercury strongly refute Mr Oregon-Davies’ claims that we are wilfully and recklessly TerrestrialGastropodMollusc-phobic and deserve to be shot, we acknowledge that our focus on this important taxonomic group of creatures has, to this point, lacked sufficient rigour. We are happy to begin making amends, if only to stop Mr Oregon-Davies spray-painting ‘Slugs are People Too’ on the wall of our office every time he’s had a few.
This week: Kevin
As ever, if you do come across Kevin on London Fields or wandering nearby, please contact the Mercury.
Please note: Kevin is of the genus Arion Vulgaris and consequently should not be trusted with your pin number or left alone with impressionable children.
Part of the Mercury’s touchy-feely community programme to do something for free so we feel better about ourselves even if it is an entirely futile token gesture because, y’know, these things never end well, do they?
For some hours yesterday it was believed that London Mayor Sadiq Khan had set a new world record by reneging, after only a week in office, on his manifesto promise to deliver 50,000 new homes per year.
He told the BBC that meeting his housing target would be challenging because previous mayor, roly-poly latinophone Lothario Boris Johnson, had “left the cupboard bare”. Mr Khan seemed unable to explain exactly what “the cupboard is bare” meant, or why he should be in the least surprised that Boris would ever leave a cupboard anything other than bare, given the size of him.
For three hours on Monday evening, then, it seemed that Mr Khan had performed the fastest ever defenestration of a mayoral election promise. Until the Mercury looked at the record of our borough’s own mayor, Cllr Miles Toob, who threw out the key platform of his 2014 election win an impressive 6.2 nanoseconds after his appointment was confirmed.
That election pledge, to “provide sustainable, affordable housing for hard-working Dalston families, and to put at the centre of this mayoralty a respect for the built environment and the historic fabric of Dalston”, was subsequently altered to: “well, the thing is, yeah?, sometimes the best way to protect these priceless old buildings is to knock ’em down and build something else; something shinier, y’know, something a bit sexier and more, like, now. Y’get me?”
Asked at the time how many affordable homes would be built in the borough Mayor Toob said, “Oh, y’know… heaps. Like, loads prob’ly,” before going off to have his photo taken with Emma Thompson or someone like that.
In other mayoral news: Apparently Sadiq Khan’s dad was a bus driver.