Marrickville admits Israel sanctions pointless: plans full nuclear strike

Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne has conceded that her council’s plan to impose sanctions on Israel will have no impact on its troubled relationship with Palestine. But Byrne remains committed to the Palestinian cause, and has threatened that unless Israel complies with UN resolutions, Marrickville will launch an atomic assault on it.

Byrne's intended purchase is already painted green

Byrne admits that her decision to launch a nuclear war will come into conflict with another previous pointless resolution making Marrickville a nuclear-free zone.

As part of her willingness to take action, Byrne has also begun deploying Marrickville’s council rangers to the Middle East, where they will issue infringement notices for all Israeli settlers who have parked their vehicles on Palestinian soil.

Byrne acknowledges that her plan has its critics. “Some say have argued that it’s a complex situation, and that outsiders shouldn’t just waltz in and take sides,” Byrne said. “We plan to bomb them as well.”

“We think that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory is just as much a part of Council’s jurisdiction as a tree in a Newtown backyard whose roots are encroaching on a neighbouring property,” she added. “The only difference is that we respond to Palestine’s concerns in under a month.”

Byrne has reassured residents that despite her focus on foreign policy, she remains committed to services for the residents of Marrickville. “We are pleased to announce that rubbish collections will recommence just as soon as our garbage trucks return from the protest convoy in East Jerusalem,” she said. “And Council will work through the backlog of pending development applications right after it achieves Middle Eastern peace.”

The boycott proposal has not been popular with everyone, however, with even the Greens’ Federal leader Bob Brown opposing it. “This is embarrassing for the party when we’re trying to establish ourselves as a legitimate political force with a role to play in Government,” he said. But his objections were immediately howled down by incoming NSW Greens senator Lee Rhiannon, who called Brown a “Zionist puppet”.

Brown’s comments were echoed by Palestinian figures who said that the support of the NSW Greens was discrediting their cause. “We used to welcome the support of anybody who believed in a free Palestine,” President Mahmoud Abbas said. “Then we met Lee Rhiannon.”

But despite the controversy, the tough stance taken by Byrne and her fellow councillors appears to be having an effect. North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il, Cuba’s Raul Castro and the Sultan of Brunei have announced immediate reforms in a bid to stave off the wrath of Marrickville Council.

Ponting declares too late, as usual

Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting put in a typically pugnacious but uninspired performance today, declaring his captaincy at an end long after the result was beyond doubt.

Ponting has tried to claim that his three Ashes losses were a tribute to the team's sponsor

“I’ve had no tap on the shoulder from anybody,” said Ponting, after he was tapped on the shoulder by the selectors and the entire Australian cricket community.

“This has been 100% my decision,” he said, reading from a statement prepared by Cricket Australia.

The decision has been welcomed by manufacturers of dressing room televisions, and Michael Clarke merchandise.

Ponting leaves the top job with the strongest win/loss ratio of any Australian captain who’s lost a World Cup and the Ashes three times.

Despite several recent outbursts while the team has been performing badly, Ponting denies that the pressure of leading a losing team was getting to him. “I was an aggressive, ungracious, bad sport long before we starting losing,” he said.

Ponting anointed Michael Clarke to replace him. “I can’t think of anyone else who could take over the captaincy from me,” he told reporters. “In fact I didn’t even think of Clarkey. That had to be suggested to me by the selectors.”

While he has relinquished his leadership role, Ponting has declared himself available to undermine his successor in both test matches and one dayers.

Mark McInnes gets new job: secretary role proving hard to fill

Disgraced former David Jones boss Mark McInnes says he is looking forward to returning to work as the chief executive of Premier Retail, a sentiment not echoed by the company’s female workers.

With McInnes on board, there'll soon be another store like David Jones

Less than a year after he was forced to resign from David Jones in a sexual harassment scandal, McInnes will receive a lucrative $5.2 million dollar per year salary package, including base salary, car and $4 million a year to settle lawsuits.

Premier is finding it harder to recruit a woman willing to be their new CEO’s secretary, although McInnes has already sent several late night text messages seeking applicants. He is also believed to have identified a number of preferred internal candidates for “various positions in his office”.

“I can’t wait to start working for Premier,” McInnes said yesterday. “I’ve already ordered plenty of booze for my welcome party.”

McInnes has pledged to be a “hands-on CEO”. Former colleagues have backed this characterisation in affidavits complaining about his behaviour.

But McInnes says he has learned from the David Jones scandal. “It’s made me realise I need to be more subtle,” he explained. “So there’s less damning evidence next time.”

Premier chairman Solomon Lew says McInnes is a proven performer who will grow the business. “Especially our HR and legal departments.”

SBS completes testing of pattern

It was a staple of late night TV for decades, but this week the Special Broadcasting Service announced that its test pattern has been taken off air, the testing finally concluded.

SBS has also tested how much soccer Australians actually want to watch, although it subsequently ignored the results

For 29 years, the network has been investigating what would happen if somebody broadcast an incomprehensible assortment of multicoloured squares and shapes on national television for one hundred thousand hours, and finally it has an answer.

“At long last, the results are in,” SBS CEO Shaun Brown announced. “Unfortunately they’re inconclusive.”

“It would be easy just to conclude that all of our hard work testing that pattern was a complete waste of time,” Brown said. “Easy, and accurate.”

“However there were some other things we were investigating, like how low a station could rate. Although ultimately our regular programmes answered that for us,” Brown said.

Recently, SBS has researched the effects of Latin jazz and world music on satellite images of the weather. The network has also previously experimented with replacing its traditional multicoloured test pattern with an equally tedious multicultural test pattern known as Pizza.

Ricky Nixon takes 20% of AFL footballers’ sex scandals

Ricky Nixon’s footballers are complaining their manager has taken more than the 20% share of sex scandals he is allowed under their contracts. “As AFL players, it’s our job to behave like dickheads and ruin our reputations, not Ricky’s,” said one of Nixon’s clients, who asked to remain anonymous until he is caught drink driving or involved in a sex scandal.

Nixon's visits to the girl's hotel room are a blur

Nixon was recently filmed cavorting half-naked in a hotel room with the teenage girl at the centre of the photo scandal involving St Kilda players. The Nixon film is currently being reviewed by police, AFL officials and hundreds of thousands of YouTube users.

The Office of Film & Literature Classification is also assessing the film of Ricky Nixon. “So far we’ve given Ricky Nixon a PG classification – parental guidance is recommended for any teenage girls anywhere near him,” an OFLC spokesman said. “We haven’t got to the film yet, though several people have emailed it us.”

Nixon’s footballers are disappointed in their manager’s conduct. “It’s wrong,” said a St Kilda player. “We’re having to defend Ricky for being reckless, irresponsible and exploiting women. It should be the other way round.”

But other players and former players have leapt to Nixon’s defence, including Brendan Fevola, Ben Cousins, Gary Ablett Snr and Wayne Carey.

For his part, Nixon has admitted to “inappropriate dealings” with the girl in question. “It was completely inappropriate for her to film it,” Nixon said in a statement. “And if I’d know she was going to rat on me, I never would have shared my cocaine with her. What a waste.”

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou is yet to determine whether disciplinary action will be taken against Nixon. “We can’t really charge him with bringing the game into disrepute,” he admitted. “The game was already in disrepute before Ricky starting shagging this girl.”



Santa’s workshop outsourced to Third World elves

The North Pole was hit with a series of devastating mass lay-offs yesterday when throngs of elves, some of whom had been working in the workshop for hundreds of years, found themselves locked out of the candy-coloured wooden entrance of Santa’s Toy Factory.

Santa Claus: sleigh-driver and slave-driver

A handwritten scroll tacked to the gates informed them their services would no longer be required. No further official statement was made by management, and when Mrs Claus was seen leaving the darkened factory from a side entrance, she refused to comment.

On the advice of management consultants, the toy workshop has already made attempts to reduce costs by adopting smaller stocking sizes and stricter criteria for deciding which children are good. But the pull of cheap labour from Chinese and Indian elves ultimately seems to have proved too strong for Santa’s one-time workforce.

A spokesman for the United Union of Working Elves, Leprechauns and Cymbal-playing Monkeys says that the lay-offs come as a shock. “This is the worst thing to happen to the elf community since Dobby died in the last Harry Potter,” said Twinklekins McNurty, 243. “Where are we supposed to go now? Mordor?”

Elf sociologists are already warning of the bleak consequences of sustained unemployment in the Arctic, which has already been devastated by climate change. “Employment opportunities are very limited,” says Poppy “Red Hat” Bobbins. “A few of these workers might get a job in a gardening commercial, but for the rest, egg-nog abuse is a real possibility.”

The bad news may not stop there. Industry rumours say that redundancies have already been planned on the sleigh team, with long-serving employees Blitzen and Prancer tipped to get the chop. The firings may see the whole sleigh team may eventually be replaced by a group of mechanized robot reindeer, which can work 24 hours a day without tiring or experiencing self-esteem issues on account of to the redness of their noses.

The firings capped off a hard week for the industry, which saw the Tooth Fairy downgrade her revenue projections on the back of declining child belief forecasts.

UN called in to resolve washing-up stalemate

The United Nations has been forced to intervene in an inner-city sharehouse this week after a feud over who was going to wash up after a party spilled into a third month. The hostilities began shortly after master bedroom resident Ray Heston held a birthday party.

Cleanup operations are yet to begin in the disputed territory

“We all chipped in to tidy the place beforehand,” claimed front-room occupier Connor Lumley, “but as soon as it came to cleaning up the next day, Lorraine [Maluna] said she wasn’t helping, because she paid for the vodka and didn’t get to drink any of it.”

“This from the woman who eats all my bread and then leaves the butter out overnight.”

The United Nations Security Council, hoping to stem the tide of refugees moving into neighbouring Jeff’s place, passed an emergency resolution calling for a roster of chores to be drawn up – a directive thus far ignored by the feuding flatmates. “The UN roadmap quite clearly states that Ray is supposed to have vacuumed by now,” Maluna said.

A house meeting has failed to ease tensions, said UN negotiator Juan Cubazzo. “We thought progress had been made when all parties agreed to look after their own mess,” he explained. “But the sauce-stained pots left on the stove tell a different story.”

Even trade sanctions have failed to elicit progress. “Woolies Homeshop won’t deliver to us anymore because we just shout at their delivery guy,” said Heston’s girlfriend, whose presence in the territory has been disputed until she starts paying rent. “Ray and I have started to hoard essential resources like toilet paper and toothpaste”.

Cubazzo believes there is a slim prospect of reconciliation because the housemates may soon be forced to band together against a common enemy. “One thing’s for sure,” Maluna admitted. “If we don’t sort this out by the time the lease ends in November, we’re never going to get our bond back.”


Queensland braces for worst disaster yet: Justin Bieber tour

Still reeling from the floods and Cyclone Yasi, Queenslanders have already begun preparations for an even more cataclysmic event: the visit of pop starlet Justin Bieber in April. And just as they did during Yasi, thousands of Queenslanders will once again pack themselves tightly into shopping centres for 24 hours, in the hope of getting an autograph from the singer.

The disaster movie 'Justin Bieber: Never Say Never' is in cinemas nowBieber’s last promotional visit to Australia resulted in road closures and a dangerous outbreak of high-pitched teenage squealing, but experts warn that a full-blown tour will be even more harmful, as Bieber will dump a large volume of his damaging music into the atmosphere around Brisbane.

The Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, has once again appeared on television to ensure that citizens are prepared for the potentially devastating visit. “All citizens should remain indoors and firmly tape up both ears,” Bligh warned. “Even when the noise appears to have stopped, make sure it’s not merely the lull before he comes out for an encore.”

“The other danger is that like Cyclone Yasi, Bieber will produce a powerful wave,” she said. “Although it’ll probably be limited to his hair.”

Bligh has also warned Queenslanders to steer clear of social networking sites, which proved a valuable emergency resource during the earlier crises. “For years now. Twitter has been inundated by Bieber,” Bligh warned. “Instead, Queenslanders should instead rely on ABC radio, where there’s no danger of hearing any music that’s remotely popular.”

Chillingly, Bieber himself has already begun to threaten Queenslanders, tweeting “Cant wait 2 start my Oz tour in brisbane! u guys r awesum.”

Though he has campaigned hard against the flood levy for Queensland, Tony Abbott says he’s not opposed to a levy in the event of further devastation caused by the Canadian popstar. “I know how dangerous Justin Bieber can be,” Abbott said. “I have three daughters.”

Despite the floppy-haired menace, Bligh rejects the suggestion that Queensland is receiving more than its share of disasters. “Sure, we’ve had a difficult year,” Bligh conceded. “But nothing that compares with the catastrophe of NSW’s last Origin series.”

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to order.

Suicidal whale constantly frustrated by hippies

An emotionally troubled sperm whale has had repeated attempts to kill himself thwarted by well-meaning but misguided activists. “Every time I find myself a nice warm beach to grant me sweet relief, I get swamped by fuckwits with dreadlocks covering me in giant wet sacks,” the depressed cetacean said. “In the middle of nowhere. Where do they come from?”

An unfortunate case of fail whale

The whale puts his funk down to an acute case of loneliness. “The ocean is a very big place on your own. People keep saying ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’. But where are all these fish? I haven’t seen them.”

Alienated from his pod, taking no joy in whale-song, and “unable to face eating even one more lousy ton of krill”, the majestic but melancholy mammal decided to strand himself on remote Ocean Bay beach in Tasmania. “I was starting to drift off painlessly,” he said. “Closed my eyes for a moment – and suddenly there’s a hundred volunteers, a bulldozer, a helicopter, and a small fleet of boats pushing me back into the sea.”

“I made a last ditch effort to get back into the shallows, but they dragged me right out again,” he said. “Just thinking about the sheer futility of it all makes me want to die even more.”

The same activists later prevented the mass suicide of an apocalyptic cult of dolphins.

Determined to carry through his plan, the whale headed for the cooler waters of Antarctica, and the path of a Japanese whaling vessel. “Those guys are crack shots with a harpoon,” he said. “Or they would be, if there wasn’t an inflatable boat in the way with Daryl Hannah on board.”

The whale has since resolved to follow Exxon tankers around “for as long as it takes”.

Rapper chooses bikini-clad ho theme for upcoming video

When it came time to express the themes of his new opus Bang Thang visually, Compton-based singer/songwriter Dyzzee Phuq faced a complex aesthetic choice. The song’s passionate themes and explicit lyrics could have lent themselves to an irony-tinged Spike Jonze dreamscape, or a self-contained narrative short. But after some of the finest minds in hip-hop shared their creative vision, the song’s essence was distilled into a single, recurring image: bikini-clad hos.

Backing singer

The visionary rhymer also decided his backing singer should perform in front of a wall with spraypainted writing on it

Initial leitmotifs focused on a blue-filtered montage of Phuq’s kevlar-plated Hummer limousine and the ostentatious wearing of gold jewellery to denote status. Fellow musician Dr Fist suggested the idea of draping a woman over car’s bonnet, and his embryonic vision was a catalyst for what followed.

“There was no one moment where we made the decision,” said iconoclast director Joseph Street. “We’re planning to have Dyzzee performing the track in a huge mansion, while scantily clad women undulate sensually all over him, on podiums and – most importantly – towards the camera. That we all agreed on from the first. Then someone – I can’t remember who it was – said ‘hang on – why can’t these women be hos?’ That was the eureka moment. From there, it wasn’t hard to make the creative leap from one bikini ho to a whole bunch o’ hos.”

The collective soon realised that such a bold vision meant earning trust of the audience. “The most difficult thing about the whole concept was working out how to signify the bitches are actual hos, instead of just regular girls in bikinis,” said Dr Fist. “We were stuck for a time, but then from out of nowhere, Dyzzee improvised this moment where he gives one of them a fistful of dollars, and she unbuttoned his fly. It was like the scales fell from my eyes – I thought to myself, ‘that there is a fuckin’ ho’.”

A further breakthrough occurred when director Street decided to intercut the mansion scenes with gritty footage of Phuq rapping in front of a graffiti-clad wall, thereby demonstrating he hasn’t lost his street credibility. “Then Dyzzee asked if we could add the hos into the street footage as well, and I just thought to myself – hold on, rap world, you’re about to be rocked to your very core.”

Casting was also key. “We workshopped a lot in rehearsal,” said Mystique, whose body features prominently in the film. “They were absolutely professional and let me understand the kernel of the character through unscripted dialogue. I’ll always remember when I asked Joseph what my motivation was, and he said simply ‘cock and money’. It was so enlightening and cathartic.”

For his next project, Phuq is developing a vision of unique convertibles with special hydraulic fixtures that make them bounce.

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to buy


Bin Laden captured after checking-in on Foursquare

Al-Qaeda leader and amateur short filmmaker Osama bin Laden has been captured after ‘checking-in’ to a social networking application while visiting a butcher in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The world's most notorious mayor besides McCheese

Foursquare offers badges and special offers for members who alert other users to their location, although the rewards are paltry compared to the $25 million bounty on bin Laden’s head.

“Mohammed’s Quality Halal Meats gives you 10% off chickens if you earn a badge in Foursquare,” said a disappointed bin Laden from aboard his secret US rendition flight. “I had already visited three times, so I was really close to earning it.”

US authorities were alerted to the location of the wanted terrorist after he became the Mayor of his Tora Bora cave, an honour bestowed on the most frequent visitor from any location.

“I was so glad to be the Mayor,” said bin Laden. “I even added it to my business card, right under ‘World’s Most Wanted Man’”.

Bin Laden said that, putting the application’s role in his arrest and inevitable death sentence to one side, he is still equivocal about Foursquare. “It seems to be most useful when there are lots of users nearby,” the Islamo-fascist mastermind explained. “And Foursquare seems not to have reached critical mass in the tribal areas of Pakistan yet.”

“But it worked fantastically during my summer holiday in New York last year.”

Despite his general hatred of Western civilisation, Osama revealed he is an enthusiastic supporter of Web 2.0 technologies, especially social networking, which he described as a “welcome change from Al-Qaeda, which is an anti-social network”.

“For busy international terrorists on the run like me, Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with friends,” bin Laden said. “Although I’ve found Facebook’s privacy settings fairly problematic.”

While he prides himself of being an early adopter of both radical Islam and the latest technology, bin Laden says that even he has his limits.

“Google Buzz is just incomprehensibly bad,” he complained. “It makes me feel a bit redundant when Western civilisation seems intent on destroying itself like that.”

“I’m also not huge on Twitter. 140 characters is a bit limiting when you’re used to filming 40 minute diatribes denouncing your enemies.”

“Having said that, I do like finding out what is on Ashton Kutcher’s mind,” added bin Laden. “It reminds me why I started this jihad against America in the first place.”

Foursquare is now reporting that bin Laden has just been made Mayor of the Waterboarding Chamber at an unnamed CIA jail.

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to buy

Crim regrets “assisting police with their enquiries”

New inmate Paul Neville Smith, 27, of Burwood, has told fellow prisoners that, with the benefit of hindsight, he should not have provided police with the crucial information that led to his arrest for armed robbery.

The criminal admits his undoing was his honesty

“The police asked me to come down to the station not long after I knocked off the local service station,” Smith explained. “They didn’t have enough evidence to charge anyone, but just wanted to ask me a few questions. I felt it was my duty to help out.”

“As it turned out, I assisted their inquiries quite a lot. They’d been on the wrong track completely, and were about to charge some poor bloke who had nothing to do with it.”

Arresting officer Sgt Warren Pugh confirmed Smith told police what the offender had been wearing, as well as his height, weight, home address, motive and star sign.

“When we asked him to sit with the police sketch artist, he gave an amazingly accurate description of the offender,” Sgt Pugh explained. “As the sketch took shape, it was like we could see the perpetrator right there in front of us.”

Before long, the police’s inquiries began to focus on Smith as their main suspect. “I told them there was no way it could be me because I was out of town when the robbery happened,” Smith said. “But when I suggested they check my bank records, my alibi fell apart. Turns out that shortly before the robbery, I’d bought a balaclava on my credit card.”

Soon afterwards Smith was charged with armed robbery. He pleaded not guilty in his trial, but was convicted due to the weight of self-incriminating evidence against him.

“I just feel completely betrayed,” Mr Smith said, “although only by myself.”

Nevertheless, Smith is looking forward to receiving the reward for information leading to his arrest.

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to buy

Vampire claims ‘Twilight’ is ruining his afterlife

The fearsome vampire Duke Stefan von Brunheim, originally of Bucharest, Romania but now resident in Adelaide, says that the phenomenal success of the Twilight series has destroyed his pleasure in feasting on young women.

The vampire has found killing sprees increasingly problematic, even in Adelaide

“As soon as I bare my fangs and move to rip out their jugular, the girls look me passionately in the eye and offer to be my soulmate,” he said. “And I can’t stomach it – all that ‘love beyond time’ bullshit really puts me off my dinner.”

“They don’t seem to realise I’m after blood, not love and understanding in a world that ignorantly fears me. Even the Buffy years weren’t as bad as this. Back then, my victims only wanted to kick my arse.”

Adding to Von Bronfen’s plight is the fact that he looks 19, with a pale, handsome face and piercing blue eyes. “If I had my time again, I’d have entered the legions of the undead when I was wizened and hideous,” he said. “Well actually, if I had my time again I’d avoid riding along a vampire-infested country road late at night. But it’s too late for that now.”

The 382-year-old vampire says he’s tried to explain that he just wants to brutally murder his victims, but that it’s no use. “I explain that I want them to be my unsolved homicide victims, not my very own Bella Swan. But then they beg to spend eternity by my side anyway, and I end up leaving in disgust and resorting to yet another raid on some biddy in a nursing home.”

“Honestly, why would any of us want to spend the next 75 years lugging around some insipid wretch, protecting her from other vampires?” he said. “I know we’re fictional creatures, but that doesn’t even come close to ringing true.”

“As far as I’m concerned, that evil werewolf they all keep going on about is welcome to them.”

Von Bruheim says he’s been tempted on numerous occasions to get his revenge by devouring Stephenie Meyers’ own hateful entrails. “But then I remember her books,” he said. “And I’m reminded that her taste is absolutely appalling.”

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to buy

God’s plan is for man’s life to suck

Regular churchgoer Miles Carruthers, of Pennant Hills, has always believed that God cares about him, and has a special Plan for his life. On the evidence to date, however, God’s design for his servant Miles is clearly for him to live a life of mind-numbing drudgery and ongoing, spirit-crushing failure.

Carruthers marvels at the splendour of God's creation, except for his bit of it

“I am at God’s disposal, and He may do with me as He pleases,” Carruthers, 43, said. “I had thought perhaps He might use me to heal the sick, or alleviate the suffering of the poor in the Third World, but apparently the best use my Heavenly Father can find for me in the whole splendour of His creation is to process invoices at an auto-parts supplier. Still, everything we do in this life is part of preparing for His Kingdom, and I guess I just have to conclude that my role, for reasons that He will reveal later, is to ensure that His Kingdom has adequate supplies of spark plugs.”

Carruthers has had more difficulty discerning the Lord’s plan for his family, a source of occasional doubt he has had since both his parents and sister died in a car crash at the age of nine. The tragedy resulted in him being sent to a strict Christian boarding school, where he was regularly beaten for being “a fag”, despite his near total success at overcoming his natural urges by focussing closely on the statement in Paul’s letter to the Romans that sex was created for men and women in holy matrimony. God ultimately rewarded Carruthers for his constancy with a wife, who later left him.

“The preacher talked at our wedding about the wonderful experiences that God had in store for us both,” Carruthers said. “Although he didn’t clarify that hers were mainly going to be found in her boss’ bed.”

“Reverend Jessop says he’s sure that God has someone else set aside for me, and it’s just a matter of waiting faithfully,” Carruthers affirms. “Perhaps even someone who wants me to be the biological father of her two children this time.”

Reverend Jessop says that despite his difficulties, Miles has been given one extraordinary blessing – his faith. “The depth of his belief is truly a remarkable thing,” he says. “God knows if I were him, I’d have packed it in long ago.”

Celtic tattoo a link to ancient culture of 1992

Mick Orton is proud of his heritage, and isn’t afraid to show it. The former laborer sports a prominent Celtic tattoo on his shoulder as a reminder of a lost past, expressing his deep sense of connection to the culture of the early 1990s.

Orton’s tattoo dates back to the Iron Age, and also the Heavy Metal Age

“It really speaks to me. It’s about a simpler time, man –  no internet, no flatscreens, no digital cameras – just everybody free to feel good”, he said, inadvertently quoting the 1991 hit by Rozalla.

Experts say that while full meaning of the faded, slightly misshapen knot has been lost to time, it’s believed to be related to the ritual consumption of marijuana, a practice then known as “toking billies”.

Orton, who still sports a small scar from a long-removed eyebrow ring, says he doesn’t regret getting the indelible image, even if he doesn’t fully understand it. “It looks cool, and it has a message, even if I was too wasted to remember it.”

“I think this line means ‘unbroken truth’,” he says, tracing the intricate cross with with his finger. “And this part here where its hollow means I ran out of cash to have it finished.”

Sociologist Dr Eileen Chan says the tattoo is part of a cultural identity that people yearn for. “Parts of it their society might be hard for us to understand today – like making ‘Achey Breaky Heart’ number one – but people look back at the ancient 90s as a time when they were closer together, where people where still able to get behind a common cultural cause like Fido Dido.”

“I do think we have to be careful about token representations of that kind of living, though,” says Chan. “At least, that’s what these Chinese characters on my ankle say.”

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to buy

Mutant Ninja Turtles now experiencing mid-life crisis

Two decades after they came to prominence, the one-time Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have spent their mid-thirties questioning their life choices.

The Turtles found it difficult to cope with the death of their sensei and father-figure, Splinter, which sparked a move out of their long-time sewer home for new lives in mainstream New York society.

“I spent so long studying to be a ninja,” said the group’s leader Leonardo, who recently opened an upscale art gallery-cum-bakery in the Meatpacking District.”What if I’d put that energy into going to art school, so I could have become a great painter instead of merely being named after one?”

Leonardo, who came out five years ago, readily confesses to “dabbling a little in watercolours — with a predominantly green palate, naturally”, and plans to hold his first-ever solo exhibition next spring.

Ever the loner, Raphael has been spending most of his time in India, and can now play the sitar nearly as skilfully as he manipulates his trademark sai.

“Splinter was always going on about meditating, but he’d never even heard of the Maharishi,” scoffed Raphael, who now prefers to be called Rajendra. “And to think I once called him Master.”

Raphael flying through the air

At his ashram, “Rajendra” worked on his yogic flying

Perhaps the best-adjusted in the group is amiable nerd Donatello, who has settled down with longtime colleague April O’Neill to raise a brood of half-turtle redheads in a sprawling Brooklyn brownstone. Whereas Donatello once relied exclusively on the sewers for transportation, he now happily drives a Prius.

Self-described “party dude” Michelangelo is the only Turtle not to have attempted to reinvent his life, and is still charming co-eds at A-list events with tales of being a massive star in the mid-90s.

“I ask the ladies back to my pad to watch one of my live-action movies, or to play one of my dozens of me-themed videogames,” Michelangelo said.”And before long, it’s Cowabunga time.”

“And by ‘Cowabunga’, I mean sex,” he said, acknowledging that many now seem to have forgotten the team’s iconic catchphrase.

But while Michelangelo maintains that he loves his bachelor lifestyle, the others say they find it tiresome. “Mikey’s always texting at 2am from some exclusive club, saying he’s just snorted a line off the chest of an Olsen twin,” Leonardo sighed.”He’s going to turn around at forty and feel like he’s wasted his life. God, even the Olsen twins aren’t that young anymore.”

The Turtles’ decision to “put that whole crime-fighting thing on hold to explore our own individual projects,” as Rajendra puts it, has been welcomed by longtime nemesis The Shredder. His Foot Clan has unleashed an unprecedented crime wave in recent months and is said to be well advanced in its latest plan for world domination.

“We’ll get around to doing something about old Shredhead eventually,” Donatello said. “But we have new priorities, and right now mine’s assembling my eldest daughter’s new IKEA bunk bed with built-in homework nook.”

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to buy

Matthew Newton to play Matthew Newton in new ‘Underbelly’ series

Troubled actor Matthew Newton is set to resurrect his career playing troubled actor Matthew Newton in the instalment of the hit true crime series Underbelly. The fourth instalment will be a compelling cautionary tale of one man’s descent into drugs, crime and violence, and will commence shooting as soon as Newton has bounced back from his descent into drugs, crime and violence.

Newton on one of the occasions when he was paid to act like a criminal

“When it came time to cast, we only really had one brilliant actor in mind,” said writer Andrew Rule. “That was Richard Roxburgh, but he wasn’t available.” The decision was then made to let Newton “grow into the role”.

“It’s your classic story – boy meets girl, boy beats girl, girl gets a restraining order, boy checks into rehab,” Rule said. “And like the first Underbelly, the cycle just keeps repeating, episode after episode.”

The actor’s hiring has created some logistical difficulties for the production, such as the insurers’ requirement that he be accommodated in an empty hotel room, and the court requirement that he not be allowed near any woman, ever.

But Newton’s co-stars speak highly of the young thespian’s dedication. “It’s amazing when he comes to rehearsal in character. He’s even trashed my dressing room, just to help him get into the part,” says co-star Firass Dirani. “I said I was looking forward to working with him on the show, and he screamed ‘What show?’ His dedication to his craft is just inspiring.”

Newton, a devotee of method acting, says he’s been preparing for the part for 33 years.

“This is a difficult role for Matthew, who tends not to show much restraint as an actor,” producer Des Monahan said. “But his restraining order has really helped him with that.”

“Plus, Matthew’s accent work has really improved since he played a Kiwi in Underbelly 2,”  Monaghan said. “With a few more weeks of intensive coaching, he’ll be able to pass for Matthew Newton.”

But while the producer says he’s glad that on this occasion Newton’s self-destructive disintegration has been to the benefit of the production, he’s still not welcome to attend the wrap party.

This article originally appeared in  The Chaser Annual 2010 and our iPhone/iPad app – for more content like it, click on the links to buy

Junkie genuinely needs two dollars for train fare

Heroin addict James Sheffield, 37, found himself in difficulty today when he was exactly two dollars short for the train fare to Frankston. The journey, Sheffield explained, was work-related, and of an urgent nature.

Sheffield also genuinely needs two dollars for a laundromat

“Yeah I got a job interview at 4, right, but they only told me fucken two hours ago. So I’m like – fuck, I gotta get up and get to fucken Frankston,” he said. “It’s bullshit.”

Sheffield, who has been out of work for fifteen months after assaulting his previous employer with a bread knife, encountered problems soon after arriving at Richmond station. “Yeah, well the fucken barriers are manned so I can’t jump em, can I?” Sheffield complained. ‘So I’ve gotta buy a fucking ticket and I only got a dollar seventy on me cause it’s Centrelink tomorrow. And I gotta get a return cause I gotta get back here by six to get to the chemist and collect my prescription.’

Left with no alternative, Sheffield was forced to take the step of asking fellow commuters for help. “So I’m askin, real polite, ‘Mate, can you spare two bucks for the train?’ But so far no-one helped me out,” he recounted. “That last bloke wouldn’t even give me a smoke and he had a full fucken pack. Dunno what’s wrong with these people.”

Dressed in an old tracksuit and constantly scratching the weeping sores around his mouth, the heroin user redoubled his efforts as time ticked away. “D’ya see that cunt? Didn’t even look at me. Yeah, fuck you mate! Fuck you very much.”

Faced with missing his appointment, Sheffield, who was clinically dead for four minutes after an overdose in 2006, began to despair. “That bitch says she hasn’t got any change but I just fucken saw her get some from the fucken news stand, didn’t I?” he muttered, sitting on the station floor and rocking back and forth. “Fucken cow.”

After half an hour and multiple warnings from station staff, a visibly shaking Sheffield was still well short of his two-dollar target. Nevertheless, the one-time methadone recipient remained optimistic. “I found fifty cents in the payphone and half a ciggie in the toilets,” he said. “Cunt was wet but I fucken dried it out with a lighter, didn’t I?’”

Sheffield no longer needs to get to Frankston urgently, but is still accepting donations.

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Schwarzenegger ends term as Governor: lowers himself into molten metal

Arnold Schwarzenegger has ended his tenure as California Governor in controversial fashion, offering a frank apology for his shortcomings before slowly lowering himself into an industrial vat of molten metal.

Arnold’s inexorable drop mirrored California’s economy

Battered by years of criticism and accusations of faltering economic management, Schwarzenegger could only muster a plaintive “thumbs up” sign before turning away from reporters and activating a mechanical hoist to take him to a certain fiery demise.

California Democrats say it’s the one significant accomplishment of Schwarzenegger’s years as Governor. “Arnold always liked to say ‘I’ll be back’,” one critic said. “Thank God for term limits.”

A source close to Schwarzenegger claims that before his demise, the Governor cut a deal with a prototype computer network known as Skynet to send himself back in time, so he could convince his past self not to run for Governor.

His former press secretary says that the actor’s self-sacrifice was a noble gesture designed to prevent a nightmarish future where California is ruled by an even more mediocre series of actors-turned-politicians. “Arnold felt that destroying himself was the only way to protect future generations,” his longtime secretary said. “From Governor Rob Schneider.”

“Why couldn’t he be content just to be the world’s greatest action star and leave politics alone?” asked his widow, First Lady Maria Shriver. “Still, at least it wasn’t as big a failure as his foray into comedy.”

Having been burnt by the failure of the celebrity ‘Governator’, California voters have vowed to choose a more qualified replacement who could balance the ailing state’s vast budget. The current favorite to replace him is Matt Damon, who played a maths genius in Good Will Hunting.

Schwarzenegger is survived by Shriver and several children, one of whom he gave birth to in the film Junior.

Aung San Suu Kyi finally puts bins out

After Burma’s military junta finally ended her house arrest, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi began her long-awaited freedom by stacking fifteen years’ worth of rubbish outside her Rangoon home. As she piled several hundred cardboard boxes on her doorstep, the leader of the National League for Democracy thanked her supporters for their constant support, and Guido’s Pizzeria for its constant deliveries.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi has promised to clean up Burma

The assembled throng were unable to see their hero over the enormous bundles of real estate brochures and pamphlets reading “Lose Weight Now, Ask Me How”, but the Nobel Prize winner gave a stirring speech promising to lobby the government for freer elections and tougher restrictions on junk mail.

Now that she’s free, Suu Kyi says her first journey will be to her video shop, to return a VHS copy of Romancing The Stone. “I usually say that I don’t want special treatment,” she said. “But you’d think Rangoon Blockbuster could be more flexible about my $4700 late fee.”

She then plans to pick up her dry-cleaning and pay the final instalment on a Windows 95 laptop which she put on lay-by three months before her arrest.

In an interview with Australian media, Suu Kyi says she’s so delighted to be free that she even enjoyed her phone conversation with Kevin Rudd.

“I also enjoyed talking to Julia Gillard,” she said. “Although I had to break my policy of refusing to acknowledge unelected leaders.”

The democracy activist is also looking forward to a visit from her son, who lives in London. “Whenever he calls me, I always ask him when he’s going to visit his poor old mother,” she said. “Although he’s had a pretty good excuse for the past 15 years.”

In an attempt to negotiate political reforms, Suu Kyi is now trying to find common ground with the military junta. Since her most recent incarceration resulted from an uninvited American activist swimming across a lake to her house, Suu Kyi now agrees with the generals that foreigners should not interfere in Burmese politics.

For his part, Burma’s reclusive leader General Than Shwe says he’s glad that his opponent is out. “It’s such a shame her sentence forced her to just miss our recent elections,” he said. “Although something tells me that even if she had run, the NLD would have received the same 0% of the vote.”