Ambridge hit by health scare…
Officials claimed this week that Ambridge faces an epidemic that could have serious consequences for public wellbeing.
The number of reported cases of maturity in the village has shot up, stretching the authorities’ resources of credulity to the limits.
‘Normally in winter we’d expect to see a slight uptick in maturity, such as Alice going for Dry January, or Adam taking one of Brian’s decisions with good grace,’ said Dr Vita Minns of Public Health Borsetshire (PHB).
‘But we thought it might be serious this year when Tom Archer actually listened to Susan Carter’s marketing ideas instead of stomping off to sulk with the pigs. Then we heard that Toby Fairbrother had faced up to his responsibilities as a parent and had an adult conversation with David Archer. We mobilised resources, but even we were overwhelmed when Kate Madikane admitted she was a terrible mother and vowed to put her children first.’
PHB advises people not to panic, but to check on friends and family and report anyone who shows signs of unexpected maturity.
‘Exposure to people who have been vaccinated against maturity, such as Lilian Bellamy and Eddie Grundy, may confer herd immunity,’ said Dr Minns. ‘But if this outbreak spreads, there will be nothing at all to gossip about in Ambridge, which would be an unthinkable catastrophe.’
… as the Am is out of bounds
Residents were warned to stay away from the river Am this week as Environment Agency staff continued their investigation into the contamination incident that has killed hundreds of fish.
‘We were alerted by local resident Kirsty Miller, who was wild swimming in the river,’ said a spokesperson. ‘She seems to have had no ill effects, but we are keeping her in quarantine at Porton Down just in case. Whatever killed the fish is clearly very toxic. Until we have identified and cleared the source, we’re asking dog walkers, swimmers and anglers to stay away.’
The spokesperson added: ‘If anyone has poisoned the otters that have been spotted in the Am lately, we will hunt them down like a dog.’
Kefir kicks on as Archer readies relaunch
The Bridge Farm brand of kefir, which was withdrawn last week after disappointing sales, is set for a revival as owner Tom Archer prepares to unveil a rebrand.
‘As you know, I’ve been travelling the world on my Nuffield marketing scholarship,’ he said. ‘And I’ve learned that a truly disruptive insight can give you the potential to drive brand strategy and impact growth.
‘And this week I had my breakthrough. Susan Carter pointed out that kefir tastes absolutely rank! This gave us a whole new platform to build kefir as a remedy, rather than a drink.’
Mr Archer said the new-look product would be packaged in small bottles and sold at a premium price to reflect its healthy credentials. ‘Bert Fry came up with a great new strapline,’ he said. ‘“It tastes like poo but it’s good for you, and Bridge Farm kefir cures rashes too!” We’re also exploring openings in the detox enema market…’ (That’s more than enough. Ed.)
All round to Mrs Woolley's!
Following the appointment of a Minister for Loneliness this week, a member of Ambridge Women’s Institute has come up with a novel idea to help older people to socialise.
‘It’s called ‘Netflix and Chilblains,’ said Mrs Peggy Woolley, 93. ‘At least, I think that’s what my great-granddaughter Noluthando said. She showed me how to do it with my tablet and the TV. You can invite your friends round to watch any film you like! As long as I remember to select the AV input on my remote control. Otherwise you get stuck on the shopping channel and that makes my housemate Christine cry because she can’t afford anything since Matt Crawford stole all her money. Not that she likes me to mention it.’
Your week in the stars
What does fate have in store for readers this week? Our resident astrologer Janet Planet has the answers…
Prospective parents will be anxious for the Moon to be in the fifth house of Venus or Jupiter, as these alignments are propitious for healthy pregnancy. (Where does she get this tosh? Ed.) But be patient! Expect your chosen mum-to-be to need a few more dinners of salmon tikka, okra and romantic anguish before she agrees to have your baby.
The past catches up with ambitious Scorpios, who could learn the hard way that pride goes before a fall. Be sure to take legal advice on a pending investigation into your past business practices, or Jupiter, the planet of money and wealth, is likely to go completely retrograde into Uranus.
Success is bittersweet for young Sagittarians this week. Excitement at passing your maths GCSE resit at the sixth attempt will be shortlived once your mother finds out you are using your new-found skills to price up bags of dodgy pills to sell to your friends.
Borsetshire Rural Cinema
Showing this week: Jenny Aldridgovich
Environmental thriller. Despite her lack of formal education, brave eco-campaigner Jenny builds a case against business mogul Justin Elliott, to accuse him of selling contaminated land to her family and poisoning the local river.
But Jenny finds she has unleashed dangerous forces when it turns out to be her husband Brian’s fault and the Aldridgovichs face a multi-million pound compensation bill. Can daughter Kate and granddaughter Noluthando save the family with their cool, contemporary brand of Xhosa spa treatments?
Warning: contains distressing scenes as Jenny contemplates having to sell Home Farm and move into a yurt without a wine fridge or even an Aga.