You Couldn’t Write This Stuff…

The headlines rarely catch my attention these days. I often feel vaguely guilty about it, I really ought to keep more abreast of the topical issues in the world today, but my head is more firmly buried in historical research than contemporary subjects. This week, though, my interest has not only been piqued but my imagination has also been challenged. Reading Yahoo’s news site today made me realise what I’ve been missing. A good laugh, if the headlines are anything to go by. Allegedly—as all the good satirical comedy shows say—thieves have stolen £60k worth of…wait for it…Marmite products. Well, you either love it or hate it, after all. The products were all from the limited edition Christmas range. My imagination went overtime at that one, how do you create a limited edition product for Marmite? Not to mention a festive one too? Make it green maybe? Or give it sparkles? Sparkly Marmite…now there’s a possibility…

So, there I am, trying to digest (sorry)  the possibility that Marmite is now being sold under the counter on the black market when I read the headline, Frenchwoman Stuck in Bathroom for Three Weeks.  Three weeks? The poor 69 year old was ignored by neighbours when she tried to summon help at night by tapping on the heating pipes. Apparently they thought someone was up to some nocturnal DIY and were about to petition to have it stopped when some neighbours who were obviously a little more on the ball got in touch with the authorities to say they hadn’t seen the poor woman for such a long time. A faulty door lock was to blame.

As if that wasn’t enough, it seems a Chihuahua has been recruited into the Japanese Police Force. I kid you not. As a rescue dog, no less. The diminutive pooch can obviously access smaller cavities in rubble than larger dogs and took under five minutes to locate the human ‘victim’ it was sent to find during training.  Momo (her name means Peach, bless her) is the first of her breed to work for the police.

And finally…as they say… A koala wanders into a bar… Yes, I know it sounds like the start of a gag but on Queensland’s Magnetic Island, the little teddy bear had a good idea to shelter from the stormy weather, wandered in to the Marlin Bar, took up residence at the top of a supporting poll above the bar and promptly fell asleep. We do not know at this time if the Koala was under age, or if indeed it was served any alcohol but how it managed to sleep in an Aussie bar is beyond me. If they’re anything like British bars, then God help the little beggar. The Karaoke alone would have put me off.

So you see, as a writer I have to acknowledge there are times when a healthy knowledge of the topical news items is a good thing to have under your belt. It can be a great source of inspiration, but I am now wondering how I can possibly fit a £60k Marmite heist, a Police Chihuahua, a Koala in a bar and an old lady stuck in a French toilet into a story.  And have people believe me? Even Bill Bryson would be stuck on this one.

And if you don’t believe me, by all means, feel free to check out the links….

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/38/20101123/tod-marmite-thieves-snatch-60k-worth-of-045b8e8.html

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20101117/tod-a-koala-walks-into-australian-bar-an-37b0eca.html

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20101119/tod-chihuahua-joins-japan-police-rescue-c359f57.html

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20101123/tod-frenchwoman-stuck-in-bathroom-for-th-7f81b96.html

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