Taylor Swift Concludes Tour with Surprise Collaboration with TV’s Badger – No Sign of Bodger

Swifties, come to roost! Taylor “The Fury” Swift has shocked fans at the Leyworth YMCA with a poptastic collab with television’s Badger, starlet of hit 90’s cultural touchstone Bodger and Badger.

The end of Swift’s billion dollar Eras Tour was always going to be mega emotional, but Badger’s surprise arrival after the conclusion of the Chipsticks and Frazzles Era set list left not a dry eye in the house!

Badger, 32, M, strutted onstage with the haughty panache of a young Audrey Hepburn, dressed in a flowing corduroy wedding gown fresh from the Met Gala. He was also totally rocking a top hat he made himself with sticky tape and an old toilet roll tube.

The crowd went absolutely bananas! Or should I say, mashed potatoes! Badger, famous for his love of mashed potatoes, which is why that joke was funny, sexily walked over to Swift and snatched the microphone out of her hands!

Of course, this was all part of the act, so security was right to not get involved. After a quick spin, Badger began by singing a breathy cover of To Cure a Weakling Child, while Swift took a well-deserved breather sitting on an as yet unnamed roadie. At the emotional peak of the song, Badger retrieved a wooden spoon from a specially-made sequin spoon pouch and bonked Swift repeatedly on the head, which left not a dry eye in the house!

After a quick costume change and some hearty linseed loaf, the superduo leapt into a spirited rendition of Elgar’s Jerusalem. Badger got a bit mixed up on the second verse and they had to start again a few times, but that’s okay!

The concert, which was due to end at 11pm, was eventually forced to come to a close at about 8 when the badminton lessons were due to start because they needed the big room. An emotional Badger blew kisses to the crowd and walked towards the back. A rude man in the front row shouted “where’s Bodger?”, and Badger bit him very hard on the knee. Swift had left several hours previously, and was later photographed looking a bit tired without full make up through the window of her tour van. Sort yourself out, love!

The performance had left not a dry eye in the house, and the throbbing crowd were baying for more Badger. Will we see him and Taylor take the stage by storm again? Well, let’s just say a little birdy posted on her official tour blog that we should “wait and see!”

Badger is classified as least concern on the IUCN Red List, as he has a wide range and a large, stable population size which is thought to be increasing in some regions.

How to sort out our broken education system? Just apply a little common sense.

Opinion

It’s a damning fact that children receiving free school meals in Rutland have repeatedly seen poorer educational and life outcomes – fewer graduate their local comp with more than 5 A-C grades, fewer go on to higher education, and fewer go on to earn above the national average.

That’s why I’m proposing a permanent ban on free school meals.

Why do free school meals have this insidious effect on children? It’s simply common sense – they’re a recipe for lazy, bone idle complacency. Each unearned spoonful of lugubrious mashed potato or forkful of turkey dinosaur that enters a young child’s mouth means another handout from Big Nanny State down the line. For today’s entitled youngsters: there IS such a thing as a free lunch!! – why toil under the yoke of the baking Rutland sun when one can simply lounge into a government-funded feed shed and enjoy a royal feast at Johnny Tax-Payers’ expense?

Entitled luvvies…

While we can’t yet control what goes on at home with liberal Mum and effete Dad, drunk on socialist champagne and bunging the ductile heads of their spawn with woke nonsense, we can instil the hapless youth, on our state-owned premises, with a hard lesson in the value of rigorous labour.

No lunch for you today little “Avocado” – your parents were too WORK-SHY to purchase one – maybe you’ll grow up to be more like little Nigel’s parents: proud of their country, suspicious of wokerati doublethink, and not terrified of a little elbow grease.

Can you put a price on quality journelism?

An appeal

Dearest reader,

In this crazy, crazy world of news we live in, who’s to know what’s true(s) any more? Here at The Hillgrove Files, getting to the bottom of a story is our number one goal, even though copy and pasting Quora articles is so much easier and honestly who’s actually going to know. But to maintain the standard of quality you’ve all put up with over the past few years, we need your help.

You might think that running an online news platform is just bits and bytes, tippy tapping on a keyboard and putting a quid in the meter at New Years, but you’d be completely wrong and very stupid. Our outgoings in the last financial lunar month were just over £140,000 – the equivalent of more than 26,415 Gordon Ramsey brand Fresh Frozen Chicken Pot Pies – and we’re one of the lucky ones!

Writers at The Sun have recently been told that they must supply their own balls to use in their ballpoint pens, and directors at The Guardian have been forced to merge their Software Development and Louse Dipping departments to cut costs, both to surprising success.

The reasons for this penny-pinching are myriad and nuanced and can hardly be explained away as simply as saying “well maybe you shouldn’t have panic bought twenty-seven thousand pies before the work social.”

Your cash money money means we can bring you more of the stories YOU want to read. When The Daily Telegraph were breaking the Panama Papers scandal, which plucky online news outlet which rhymes with “Bill Hove’s biles” was the first to run a companion piece explaining where Panama was? And who can forget the Leamington Spa Shrinking Shortbread Scandal of 2006, an exposé spearheaded by our own Blimpkin Fax while under political exile in the Malian embassy in London after falsely accusing his local MP of stealing his gas?

The fact is, we need your support to survive. Every reader who electronically mails our site administrator with a digital cheque for 300 e-Pounds pays for almost three whole paragraphs of edge-of-your-seat news action. Donate within the next 8 hours and receive a free pie.

Mixed blessings for birders as bitterns seen at Rutland Water for first time in 79 years, die instantly

Local news

Ornithologists rejoiced today when bitterns were spotted at Rutland Water for the first time in nearly a century.

Five of the plucky wading birds were released by the Oakham Wildlife Cabal, who sourced them from a Poundbury-based heron factory. A spokesperson for the OWC described their condition as “worn”.

Disappointingly, four of the unleashed fowl succumbed to natural causes minutes later after landing in a stream of hot effluent.

The passing of the final bittern was confirmed hours later by local mudlarks, who recovered it from a raft of preloved ringpulls. The scavengers described the remains as “a source of precious protein”.

OWC kaiser Martin Mill remains zealous in his plans to repopulate the troubled reservoir: “I’ve already ordered twenty more”.

Botaurus stellaris – nice but fragile

Citizens bid fond farewell to 'beloved' Nipp Rat King

Nipp rat king 'Big Lesley' was found dead last night in their home in Nipp, North Rutland at age unknown.

Lesley was described by locals as a 'tangled medley of confused and anxious rodents'.

Discovered three years ago by local nutter Saul Barrow, Lesley has been witnessed by local children ever since.

Lesley passed away peacefully after being smashed by a collapsed stack of newspapers. They are survived by 3-400 pups.

Hogham Buriers advert. All items buried, no questions asked.

Mayor Unapologetic after Fae Creature Shoe Curse Scandal

Newville mayor Tim Bucksfizz courts controversy once again after offending a woodland sprite and having his feet bewitched for the third time this election cycle.

Bucksfizz, appearing barefoot outside his country manor, dismissed any suggestion that this enchantment would have any negative impact on his ability to serve the public.

“If the people need me, I’m there,” he said, “unless they’re at the end of a gravel driveway or on a pebble beach.”

Oldest Watermill in Lincolnshire "Under Threat" after being Totally Destroyed in Massive Explosion

A leading historian at the College of Brumby says she is "concerned" by corroborated reports that Johnstone Mill has been completely obliterated in a "freak howitzer incident", but stressed that she and her team have a plan to preserve the building "before it's too late".

Dr Lindsay Crip has already outlined a letter to her local MP, and met with local experts to investigate a period-correct limewash recipe.

Nichael Ringroad MP Launches Latest Volley in “War” on “Woke” with Massive Coal Lattice

He’s warmly recalled for his proposals to ban the teaching of Arabic numerals in schools, move job centres offshore, and remove the EU from English maps – but this week, Nichael Ringroad MP is launching his cleverest assault on the so-called ‘Woke’ yet, with the opening of the North-North-West Rutland Massive Coal Lattice (NNWRMCL).

Ringroad has been agitating do-gooders and bleeding heart vegans ever since his fortuitous election as MP for North-North-West Rutland in 1992. A brave man, Ringroad is proud of his strongly held Christian values, and of banning the poor and lame from Oakham Town centre. 

Nichael Ringroad MP chained to an obelisk in a protest against female pilots in 1994
Ringroad chained to an obelisk in a protest against female pilots in 1994

Ringroad is a catechizer, a querier and an inquirer. A questioner: unafraid of upsetting the delicate temperaments of the ‘usual suspects’. He received barrages of flak from the liberal gutterpress last year during his star-crossed legal battle to send an asylum seeker to the moon. But the crusader has forged on with a renewed line of duty, and is quietly confident that his latest riposte will thrust his Dagger of Truth into the heart of Wokeness once and for all, stabbing and stabbing until the thrashing stops.

What is the North-North-West Rutland Massive Coal Lattice, ye may ask? A fine question, and one that Ringroad’s robust secretary is all too happy to answer. “You bore a bunch of tunnels in a big grid, and suck out all the coal you find. Hollow it out like an ants nest.” A fine woman – the chutzpah of Angela Rippon with the sheer va va voom of Nigella Lawson. 

“Most intriguing”, I observe. “That must bring a lot of jobs to the area.”

“Oh yes, several,” she informs me, after bringing me a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea and an especially good malted milk.

More importantly, the Lattice gives Ringroad a chance to thumb his nose at the liberal intelligentsia, who despise the mighty chimneys of more industrious men and want to fill the countryside with a bunch of windmills.

The NNWRMCL slag heap and visitor centre
Fewer than four SSSIs were bulldozed to house the NNWRMCL slag heap and visitor centre

The Lattice is a joint venture between Russian energy giant Gazprom and the Chinese consortium Shenzhen Heavy Industries, a deal Ringroad celebrated with a lap around the local Green Party office in his new Aston DB9.

Ringroad waves off environmental concerns raised by lefties with ‘alternative lifestyles’. “They have too much time on their hands”, he said.

Gurnwood Man discovers Western Route to East Indies near Local Chippy

Local news

World markets were left reeling this morning after the western route to the East Indies was discovered in the village of Gurnwood, bringing with it the exclusive trade of indigos, cardamom and saltpetre to the lucky East Rutland residents.

Until now, any enterprising British merchants intending to trade with the Far East have been forced to sail south off the west coast of Africa past the Cape of Good Hope, a journey exacerbated by dangerous winds and regular speed camera traps.

Air freight has been attempted since the invention of the earliest long-range cargo airliners in the mid 1940’s, but the discovery of the Himalayas in the early 1950’s proved this venture to be unworkable.

The new route, which has been named “Gurner’s Pass”, has changed all of this. Alan Chesley (no relation to disgraced lye technician Alan Chelmsly) was first to chart this passage. The discovery? A fluke, he tells me.

“I was off to pick up some chip butties for me an’ the wife,” he told me in a funny northern voice, “when I notices the big fence was down from around Mrs Lensbury’s garden.”

It transpired that Mr Lensbury had erected a 24ft high fence around the grade II listed property to disguise the construction of a Lasertag activity centre nearby, planning permission for which Lensbury was intending to evade by claiming it retrospectively a decade later.

Though safer than the Cape Route, Gurner’s Pass has a tricky stile and a menacing herd of cows to contend with

Local grass Simon Kendall had dobbed him in to the pigs only months before Chesley’s fateful butty trip, and by now the whole site had been torn down.

“So as I’m looking over,” continued Chesley, “I notice that there’s a great bloomin’ tea plantation just round the back. Stone me, I says, looks a lot like the Idukki District of blimmin’ India. What a boon that will be to international trade.”

Immediately after this revelation, Chesley got “half cut” at the local and then went home for a quick nap.

The world money market went up by percents when the news broke days later. Already, the trade of spices for Chinese-made Paddington Bears holding up hearts that say “I love London” has revitalised the British economy and brought the Queen back to life.

But not everyone is happy with this change of events. Smuggling opium from Afghanistan has lost its “charm” now you can simply walk them across the border into England in carrier bags says a consortium of Dover-based drug mules. The European Union are also introducing sanctions against the UK government, after they attempted to set up a trade agreement to share access to Gurner’s Pass but Jeremy Hunt refused to uncross his fingers whenever he said “yes”.

In my professional opinion, I predict that this will have a big impact on interest rates and stamp duty, and is likely to take us into a bear/bull market. But how has this new trade route to the Far East affected you, the common person? Please fling us an email at prolethoughts@percivalwebsystems.biz.

“What’s in a name?” – Sometimes: Misery

“I’ve done my best to scrub it off” – he tells me, motioning to his back garden wall. Faintly but stubbornly visible in green paint are the words “SLYTHERIN BOY”.

Shocking to most, but a regular occurrence in the life of South Luffenham resident Mark Voldemort.

“Life has been hell ever since The Philosopher’s Stone came out”, Mr Voldemort told me. “All I want is recognition for everything I’ve been through”.

We take a walk through Mark’s local neighbourhood as he tells me about his experiences. After a disturbing incident at a local park in January this year, Mark decided to go public about his abuse. “A gang of youths surrounded me that day –  shouting ‘wingardium leviosa’ and refusing to let me go”. According to Mark, it’s just the latest in a string of upsetting encounters. “It’s been endless”, he says. “Two years I had a stuffed boa constrictor left outside my door. Someone signed me up to adopt a king cobra with rickets. I hate snakes.”

Snakes: cute and cheeky to some, but an unwelcome reminder to Mark Voldemort

After going public with his experiences, Voldemort discovered he was far from alone in his experiences.

“Robert got in touch with me shortly after the first article went live. He’s had a terrible time of it,” Mark told me.

Robert Darthvader has experienced name-related abuse since the release of A New Hope in 1979. “It died down for a while in the late 90s, but when the prequel trilogy came out, it started all over again. I can’t count the times I’ve had an Ewok sent to me. I’m sick of it.” 

This month Robert and Mark, along with partners Janet Skeletor and Stephen Megatron, have started up a new charity: Stop Common Antagonist Monikers – or SCAM – but have had trouble setting up a bank account. “We’re campaigning for writers to only use incredibly implausible names, to save others from reliving our nightmare”, Robert told me. They’ve published a list of ‘safe’ names for fiction writers to use – including “Snyplph”, “Aaaaaatyledeb” and “Zuzuzuz”.

Would Snyplph Zuzuzuz and the Philosopher’s Stone have seen the same meteoric success? Methinks: yes.

Local Nursery opens new Salt Cave Therapy Centre

Local news

The Mata Nui Nursery in Prustwell has opened the doors to their new state-of-the-art Salt Cave Therapy Centre, which they claim will help their children stay healthy and “toughen their resolve”.

Salt Cave Therapy is an ancient practice which goes back as far as the 20th century. Proponents claim that exposure to rock salt cave air aids the body’s ability to prevent and recover from respiratory illnesses.

Although this has never been proven in laboratory conditions, Lindsay DeBeer, childminder and bookkeeper at Mata Nui, is undeterred. I was fortunate enough to arrange an interview with her only days after it opened.

“No one has ever died in a cave,” Lindsey told me as she cleaned a loupe on the edge of her silk scarf.

“We started from that fact and worked backwards from there. In terms of children’s health, there’s something valuable to be found in this cave, and we want to extract all of it at any cost.”

Outside, a truckload of child-sized mattocks was being unloaded onto a patch of bare earth, hastily labelled “mud kitchen” with biro on the back of an envelope.

From here, these trucks circled round to the entrance of the cave, where they were loaded up with burlap sacks which jingled mysteriously.

“Excess salt ions,” explained Lindsay.

Little Susan, waddling down for her first shift

“We initially planned to take the kids in for a half hour or so before nap time,” she continued as she closed the blinds, “but the tykes couldn’t get enough of it. Sometimes it feels like we spend all day down there!”

To help further their enrichment, Mata Nui provide what they refer to as “Big World” toys to children in the cave to encourage role playing and gross motor skills, including fun sized wheelbarrows, touchstones and Davy lamps.

My extensive criminal record precluded me from entering the cave with the children, but I managed to get a good peer around the scree heap.

I don’t have children, and I can’t claim to understand the appeal of this therapy, but the evidence is undeniable. Hyperactive, out-of-control little nightmares step into the salt cave, and eight hours later when the foreman unchains the gate they leave as quiet, submissive sweethearts, ready for bed.

After a brief frisking and inspection of the inside of their cheeks, it’s time for nanny to collect them.

“It’s so – rustic!” declared Tarquin Windsor, father of three year old Martingay. “Life in our fourteen million pound waterfront estate is so draining for the soul. But he’s developed so many charming characteristics since coming here. Now he refuses to eat anything but small beer and pasties, and he’s developed a funny little cough.”

At the end of the day, Lindsay gave me a lift to the cabstand in her McLaren. A humble woman, with a humble message: “send more kids!”

O Hades, thy name is Nimby

Opinion

In the British Isles, you are never more than 2 hours from the sea. Unfortunately.

What is the sea? It’s sort of like a big, wet desert that kills you. Yes, it’s nice in some far flung locales – clear, turquoise, inviting, other than the odd bloodthirsty shark. Not here though. Here, the sea is a churning brown slurry full of the sewage we constantly pump out, the temperature of a particularly enthusiastic fridge. Taking a dip is both deeply unpleasurable and a guaranteed source of diphtheria.

The only people who brave a plunge are ‘wild swimming’ evangelists – all maniacs. “It’s a natural antidepressant,” they say, “of course if I didn’t wear this neoprene wetsuit I would die instantly.” Wild swimmers are weird masochists, don’t believe their lies. 500 years ago they would have been lashing themselves with a horsehair scourge, grinning wildly and encouraging you to do the same.

So it’s hard to understand why the nation spends so much time voluntarily visiting the seaside. To try and understand this long-standing mass hysteria I visited the seaside town of Nimby, hoping to catch the sea-bug. Metaphorically.

Like every town in England, Nimby is a goulash of irreconcilable architectural mistakes representing each failed design fad of the last 150 years. There are brutalist eyesores plucked from the planned capital of a failed soviet state, decaying georgian slum housing held together by gaudy-coloured paint, glum brown former-council houses shipped in from ill-conceived new towns, a cheap-looking abstract sculpture in the middle of a roundabout – representing pensioners or aspic or something – and resembling a glassy Curly Wurly left out in the sun too long, a bland undead high street that is indistinguishable from every other provincial high street you have ever seen, a single tasteful old cottage surrounded by oppressive grey bookies – reminiscent of a wide-eyed Year 7 on his first day in Well’ard Comprehensive for Violent Youths, kitsch but-not-in-a-good-way arcades full of mildewed stuffed toys you’ll never win, blank-faced proles shuffling listlessly around until they die.

Imagine all that 50 years after the nukes fall, but with more 12-fingered halfwits.

Through me you go into a city of weeping; through me you go into eternal pain; through me you go amongst the lost people

My sad legs trotted in pace with the locals, down, down, down, a sombre katabasis to the crumbling promenade. I sampled the local cuisine – soggy potato cuboids from an oily card cone, washed down with a Mr Whippy, which apparently cost four pounds now, in a wafer cone that also seemed to be made of card. All the while monitored covetously by scabrous gulls, eyes bulging with jealous stupidity, looking for an easy meal provided by an innattentive child or a frail pensioner. 

Beyond gorging, there was nothing to do. The ‘amusements’ were a farce – I watched a gormless child feed coins into the claw machine, unaware of the obvious futility of their endeavour. A moronic Tantalus guffawing and clapping as he reaches pointlessly for the unreachable grapes: the Gods furious that he is too stupid to appreciate their ingenious punishment.

An apathetic Herring Gull gazes upon the cursed wretches of Nimby

The pier provided an overwrought metaphor – a wet, decaying road to nowhere, slowly succumbing to thermodynamic inevitability. Not even tall enough to accommodate a lethal leap into the icy surf below. 

Why does anyone visit Nimby? There is no why. Its mediocrity is as evident as every other settlement on our miasmic isle. We simply drift from one to the other at random – the endless Brownian motion of our meaningless lives.

New Logo Passes Review Stage 14

Site Update
The new logo. That feeling in the back of your neck? Awe

To celebrate the new millennium, the £200,000 The Files crowdfunded in 1998 to reward anyone coming forward with information about editor Lewis Hensford’s missing daughter has been redistributed to creative agency Moon and Moon to design a new site logo.

The boys (and presumably the girl as soon as she turns up) of The Files would like to reveal the current incarnation of the New and Improved Hillgrove Files Online Official Webpage Logo [known internally as the NIHFOOWL], which has just passed review stage 14 of internal testing to confirm its SEO potential and web-safe colour compatibility.

Artist Richard Moon has been working tirelessly on the new logo since we spoke to him about it in the pub a few months ago. Richard tells us that he’s worn out “three computer mice and a parallel port” in the process of creating the masterpiece, which we have happily reimbursed.

Over the long period of feedback and updates, the colour of the logo has been changed from “dark slate” to “overcast basalt, and the “oomph factor” has been decreased from 0.7 to a more manageable 0.4.

Editor-in-Chief Richman Hillgrove has electronically mailed the site admin at Percival Websystems to enquire about the possibility of replacing the old logo as soon as possible, but warns that the technology required to change an image on a website “might not be there yet”.

The old site logo, which makes me utterly sick and VIOLENTLY angry to look at

Site visitors should contact their service providers in advance of the planned update to ensure that they will have sufficient bandwidth to download the new logo, which will be a 4000mb 64-bit lossless TIFF which cannot be cached.

Adobe Acquires Your Eyes in Historic $1B Deal

Software golem Adobe has announced its latest bombshell takeover, acquiring your eyes in a cash-and-stock deal totalling US $1 billion.

Wall street has reacted fervidly to the deal, with Adobe’s stock price ($ADBE) up 10% in morning trading on the NASDAQ.

“We believe that eyes, the seat of vision, are key to collaborative creativity, and will be of great value to our audience of innovative creatives and technologists across the globe,” Adobe CEO Mitch Shrift told a press delegation on the day of the announcement.

Wall Street rooftop dives were down 15% on the day of the takeover

Shrift went on to share early pricing plans with the press horde. “We’re keeping pricing as simple as possible, with custom options for everyone from big corporates to freelance creatives and hobbyists. We’re deeply committed to supporting the experience that existing customers of your eyes have come to value.”

Adobe’s proposed pricing is delightfully simple: a 32-minute free trial for all customers with their basic plan – greyscale and no peripheral vision. Thirty AdobeCoin can net users a chest full of gems (+10% free, best value) which can be used to unlock 14 and a third minutes of premium eye use.

Shrift is confident the collaboration will bring great value to its customers. “Adobe’s greatness has been rooted in our ability to create new categories and deliver cutting-edge technologies through organic innovation and inorganic acquisitions,” he chirped. “Now give-a me your pretty eyes-a!”.

Centuries-Old Tradition Ends Abruptly as Last Thylacine Smashes into Parish Fence

Culture

For the first time in almost a millennium, residents of Hirstdale are now faced with a tricky situation – what team do they put money on to win the 2022 World Cup?

The ancient hamlet of Hirstdale is steeped in betting culture. Listed as far back as The Domesday Book of 1083, “Hyrstdale” was documented as having “twenty-one villains, sixteen sokemen and twenty-two Ladbrokes”.

Hirstdale Common, three years after the war memorial was paved over

By the 1983 census, every resident over the age of 18 was a self-employed gambler. Their secret? Firing rare marsupials out of a howitzer and seeing where they landed.

The principle was simple enough. Villagers would take a live thylacine, also known as a Tasmanian tiger, or locally referred to as a “Whistle Rat”, and jam it into a device powerful enough to fire it at the parish on the top of the hill.

Upon impact, the remains would be studied by a select council, who would judge the auspices on finely-tuned categories based on style, control, damage and aggression.

The means of launching the beast would evolve over the years, but the results would never change. “Running the Whistle Rat up the Pastor’s Lane” had correctly predicted the results of every major sporting event since records began.

After the results were disseminated to the villagers, locals would place bets at their local bookies, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing, chatting with neighbours, and intensively farming more thylacines.

Sadly, this beloved tradition faced a rocky future after a male Tasmanian tiger named Benjamin was purchased from Hobart Zoo in 1936 to predict the results of the hastily arranged and short lived Wimbledon triples series, which had caught Hirstdale residents by surprise.

Once Benjamin was splatted, the world thylacine population was now localised entirely within Hirstdale. But as their population plumetted, sports betting was continuing to grow at unsustainable rates.

A black and white photograph of a thylacine being fired out of a tank cannon. There is a large cloud of smoke exiting the cannon behind the thylacine. The sky behind is cloudy.
Thylacines could be launched up to 7 miles thanks to their aerodynamic snouts

On the 6th of September 2022, the last thylacine in the hamlet was launched to predict the results of a local baccarat tournament, and finally the guns fell silent.

All attempts to revive the industry by firing rare toads, guineafowl and beetles have so far yielded unsatisfactory results. It is not sure what Hirstdale residents will do now the thylacines are extinct.

At the risk of editorialising, this writer wants to know one thing: when will the European Union admit they were involved in their disappearance? It seems likely, methinks, that we’ll never know for sure.

Saved in the Edit – How They Made Dirty Dancing

Wikipedia describes it as a 1987 American romantic drama dance film written by Eleanor Bergstein, produced by Linda Gottlieb, and directed by Emile Ardolino. The Cambridge Dictionary of English describes it as ‘marked with dirt, mud, etc., or containing something such as pollution or bacteria’, and ‘to move the body and feet to music’.

But to a generation of young women and men who were dragged along too – it was the movie that introduced them to anachronistic exercise wear, dancing on logs, and the Borscht Belt. Most of all – it was the movie that introduced them to gyrating hunkmarket Patrick ‘The Swayze’ Swayze.

What many self-described ‘Dirty Dancelets’ don’t know is that Patrick Swayze – the ‘Baron of Bachata’ – was utterly unable to dance.

Filming had already wrapped on Dirty Dancing before this glaring continuity error was spotted. Every scene in which Swayze danced was identified as “mercilessly unwatchable” by industry legend and Dirty Dancing executive producer Allan Pepof.

“Swayze was a nightmare. He pranced around like a demented mantis. People were worried he had scurvy,” Pepof told me, “We got a warning from the MPA because the test audiences got motion sickness. If we wanted to recover the $4 million we’d already splurged, and more importantly finance my new conservatory – we knew we had to save the thing in the edit”.

The famous ‘lift’ before Swayze’s digital insertion

So Pepof brought in the best talent in the industry – special effect titans Gerry Andersen, Ralph Bakshi and Ray Harryhausen. The harem put their legendary noggins together and threw everything they had at the project.

“Swayze himself only appears for 12 seconds of actual screen time,” Pepof explained. The ‘Johnny Castle’ we know and love was mostly mocked up with a combination of stop motion claymation and supermarionation – an artificial Patrick Swayze that the crew affectionately nicknamed ‘Bruce’ .”It took a team of four hundred Vietnamese teenagers to carefully rotoscope Bruce into the pivotal scene,” Pepof elaborated.

‘Bruce’ – the artificial Patrick Swayze, now resident in the Rutland Hall of Famousness

Despite the setbacks – Dirty Dancing went on to be a box office bonanza, and Pepof was able to add three convervatories to his Hollywood Hills palazzo. What wisdom does Pepof have for would-be filmmakers? “If your picture has two left feet: you can always fix it in post!” I’ll tango to that!!

“Exquisitely Preserved” Stone Tablet leads to Breakthrough in Translating Wingdings

Culture

A huge slab of carved gabbro discovered in Crombol on the Heath could be the key to deciphering the famously cryptic computer font Wingdings once and for all.

The slab is currently on display at The British Museum, and only has a small amount of pig blood on it

The tablet was excavated by archaeologists working in the grounds of a pig killing factory. The dig was prompted after local metal detectorists uncovered a set of leg hammers and brain drills weeks earlier, suggesting that this site may once have housed an even older and even more violent pig killing factory.

Readers using a Hilltech 15⅔ kbit/s Modem can see a hyper-resolution webscan of the stone by clicking here. When you have finished, please close the page so the next user can look at it.

Once uncovered, the providence of the filthy rock was missed by site lead Mark Hunderson, who was, in his defence, “a bit drunk at the time”. Mistaken for a low-to-middle grade kitchen countertop, it was hoiked into a skip. It was here that passing historian and upstart John Young noticed the remarkable engraving engraved on the obverse. [Obverse? What’s that mean? The front? Just say the front then – Ed.]

Painstakingly carved onto the polished surface are three inscriptions – the first, unhelpfully, is in French, and is presumably complete nonsense. The third is Webdings, a commonly used typeface, and easily decipherable. The second made Young shock a gasp in his mouth when he first saw it. It is unmistakeably Wingdings.

Wingdings has long been regarded a “dead font”. When used, letters typed on the keyboard are converted to baffling eldrich shapes. Just gazing upon them can make a grown man go mad and stomp around the garden for a bit. There exist many artefacts which feature Wingdings writing, but despite many attempts, no one had any idea how to work out what they said.

Researchers may also find clues to decoding French, though this is “unlikely”

Young believes that the three pieces of text are not only related, but identical, which is stupid because they clearly look different. Researchers from St Vasey’s College, Oxford, are currently investigating this hypothesis, and have plugged several computers into it to try and decode it but they all broke.

In the end, it was a local schoolboy, whose name will not be shared for data protection reasons, who made the first breakthrough. Simon Kendall, 11, saw a photograph of the stone shared on the College Twitter feed, presumably because he’s a massive swot, and tediously messaged the head of the archaeology department with his pathetic idea.

“It came to me when I saw what could only be described a Black Lozange shape in the Wingdings section, appearing in the same density and proliferation pattern as the Diesel Locomotive in the Webdings extract”, said Kendall, who had a squeaky voice and no mates.

Complex data analysis also hints at a connection between “pisces” and “circle with i”

“This to me suggests that they represent the same letter. My hypothesis was further reinforced when I realised that all Lower Right Shadowed White Circles corresponded one-to-one to Men in Business Suits Levitating.”

So far, almost five Wingdings characters have been cracked, and researchers believe that they will have solved another three within our lifetimes. Whatever this means for the future of Wingdings decipherment, the discovery of this relic has certainly put Crombol on the Heath back in the headlines – and not because of the lye poisonings this time!

My Dinner with Elon – Musk Strikes Cobalt with Latest Invention

Elon Musk. He’s been called “the world’s wackiest billionaire”, “the funny meme man CEO” and “the enfant terrible of child cobalt mining”. But who is Elon really? What makes him tick? And will he autograph my copy of Atlas Shrugged?

All these questions and more I hoped to answer while attending his latest publicity stunt. Posing as a respected journalist from the New York Times, I’d wrangled an invite to his latest product launch at a Tesla cobalt mine in the Central African Republic.

Business prodigy or genius inventor? The jury’s out!

Elon was there to show off his latest innovation in cobalt mining – a child-sized pod fitted with various gadgets and gizmos. The concept began its life with Elon’s heroic child submarine – designed to rescue some children in China or something. After his innovation was cruelly rejected by the local authorities, Musk went back to the drawing board, like Tony Stark from the 2008 film Iron Man, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.

Musk cleverly adapted his tiny pods to the work of underground mining – they would increase efficiency fivefold and allow Musk to fit four times as many child workers into his mine.

“What do you say to claims that using child workers in your cobalt mines is unethical?” asked some loonie leftie hack from The Guardian.

“That question is boring. BORING,” replied Musk, cleverly, before making a fart noise with his mouth. We ALL laughed, as the joke was VERY funny.

Another journalist asked what political party Musk supported. “I’m socially liberal but fiscally conservative,” Musk replied, while kicking an awful and smelly poor person to death.

I put my hand up and Musk pointed at me. Talk about the electricity going through you! “Mr Musk,” I asked, trembling, “What’s your favourite number?” He smirked at me, then coolly replied “Sixty nine, four twenty!” We all burst into uproarious applause, delighted by his witty remark.

After the interview session, the pinko Guardianista was handed over to a local militia, and the rest of us headed to the after-party. Elon attended with his latest love-interest – a hologram of Japanese virtual idol Hatsune Miku dressed as Harley Quinn. He delighted us with some off-colour anecdotes about union-busting and spent two hours reciting the entire John Galt monologue. But all good things must come to an end, and inevitably, the evening had to draw to a close. Musk was flown back to his San Francisco compound.

I felt great inner turmoil – blessed at having met the cleverest man who ever lived, but miserable that life may never again be so sweet. I sat and pondered; what’s next for Elon? Solving world hunger? Setting up a moon colony? A sleek fire extinguisher for his cars? Whatever he puts his mind to – I’ll be making a preorder!

Beloved Tree Burning “Tragic Suicide”

Local news
And did those feet, in ancient times…

Knobbling Toby, a huge larch that had been growing in Prustwell since the Roman Occupation, has burned down – a note left at the scene suggests that the tree took its own life.

The famous tree, mentioned in the Synod of Arles in 314AD, had been standing alone in the middle of the grounds of old Prustwell Chapel for as long as anyone can remember. Dick Mountcopse, London based publicist to the stars, bought the derelict building and its grounds back in 2020, after “falling in love” with the tree.

“We came here, me and the wife, shortly after Ricky Pemberton rang to tell me he’d run over a nun. I said to him, I said Ricky, I can’t spin that. You’re going to prison. Well, he didn’t like that, so me and the wife decided to take a trip to the country until he cooled off.”

“When I saw the chapel and the grounds, I thought, Mountcopse, you have to buy this. I had fallen in love with the field the tree was in.”

Toby had been listed under the Tree Preservation Order since the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 was first established, making any willful damage to the tree a legal offence. The police, however, do not suspect foul play.

“You could tell something hadn’t been right with the old Knobbler for a while now,” said Mountcopse in an exclusive interview with The Files.

“I was out there with the architect a few days after the purchase, and you can could see that the branches were all saggy, and the was a mournful aura around the trunk. I had the tree surgeons round, I said to them ‘is there any chance that it’s infected? Something that would make it dangerous to be around, so you’d HAVE to cut it down, and the TPO wouldn’t matter, yeah?'”

“They did their checks and said it was fine. I called in three or four more firms and they all said the same thing. That’s when I realised that this was a mental health issue.”

In the early hours of Monday morning, passing dog walker and pest Gillian Grimes discovered Knobbling Toby engulfed in flames, and immediately called her husband. Ben Grimes, volunteer firefighter, arrived minutes later and discovered Mountcopse desperately trying to put out the inferno.

“That man is a hero,” said Grimes.

“When I got there, he had already filled a jerry can with water, and was splashing it over the flaming roots in a brave attempt to save old Toby. The sap must have been rising something terrible though, because whenever he sprayed it on, the flames only seemed to grow bigger.”

Once the Fire and Rescue teams arrived, it was too late. Mountgreen was remarkably composed, and in a final act of defiance he threw his gloves, apron and balaclava on what was left of the smoldering remains.

Police investigators were at a loose end, until a letter arrived at Mountgreen’s address, purportedly written by Knobbling Toby himself. The note, written in 12pt Calibri on paper with the letterhead scribbled over, documented the mental abuse the tree had faced from local residents, including comments about “root density” and “xylems”. As of writing, several arrests have been made of Prustwell residents implicated in the letter.

At the bottom of the page, the words “sincerely, Dick Mountcopse” are scribbled out, with “Nobby Tony” written underneath. A cry for help to the only person who could understand? Mountcopse seems to think so.

“I just wish I’d known how much he was hurting,” said Mountcopse, undoing his dressing gown and slipping into his new outdoor swimming pool.

“We’ll all miss him dreadfully, and it hurts to even talk about it – but if this story prevents even just one protected tree from taking its own life, it’ll be worth it.”

To donate to the Dick Mountcopse Knobbling Toby Charity Fund, please post a cheque into his letterbox, ensuring to leave the “payable to” box blank.

Looking Back: The Ronstable Pig Riots of 1998

Culture

Ronstable – home of the cashew bap, birthplace of regional Slime Football Champion Henry Bean, and source of the world famous North Rutland Smell.

This rural idyll is considered the jewel at the heart of the core of Whimby county: a village known nationwide for its beautiful farmland, and internationally recognised as the badger cull hotspot of the northern hemisphere.

Of course, ask anyone round here what they know about Ronstable, and the sixth or seventh thing they’ll say after you give them a few hints will be “pigs”.

The Ronstable Pig Show has taken place on the village green on the 14th of June every year since 1732, interrupted only by V1 bombing in 1941, and once more in 1970 when those big swans turned up.

Once a year, the village lights up with the sounds of pigs, the smells of pigs, and the presence of pigs, all walking around the place. Farmers and breeders from around the country bring their flocks [Flocks? -ed.] to take part in the many showcases and competitions, at a celebration once referred to by Prime Minister Harold McMillan as “utterly, utterly tedious.”

1917: Three large pigs surrounded by many smaller white pigs – breed unknown

However, this bristly and faintly muddy peace was shattered in 1998 when, due to a clerical error, the Ronstable chapter of the Hells Angels arrived for their biannual member’s meeting on the same day of the Pig Show, leading to a fight breaking out with the Women’s Institute while they were arranging their jams at around 10am. The bikers would later be exonerated in a subsequent court case, after photos emerged clearly showing Ms Maureen Stimmy stuffing a fruitcake into a sock and then beating a man to death with it.

During the brawl, local council staff continued to let visitors into the green, with tickets selling for only 20p each. That year’s event was hugely anticipated, as it had been announced that February that Wallace “The Biggy Piggy” would be attending after his Vegas tour.

This little piggy wants to get the HECK out of here!

Wallace was a champion truffle hog, notorious for his ability to drive a JCB during his truffle hunts, and most famous for excavating almost a metric ton of truffles in a single afternoon.

An hour after the gates opened, Wallace’s helicopter attempted to land in his custom LED pigpen, which had been dropped off and assembled by a fleet of trucks and roadies a week prior. Suddenly, disaster struck.

The rotors became entangled with a line of bunting made by a local county primary school, and within seconds the entire aircraft crashed into Les Dennis, long standing patron of the Ronstable Pig Show, killing him instantly and badly bruising his knee.

Wallace survived the crash, and fled into the North Rutland forest. He was extricated fourteen days later, but the intense shock had completely destroyed his sense of smell. He would never return to Whimby.

By now, the situation had reached breaking point. The field was massively over capacity, and tensions were running high. In the chaos and confusion, a visitor grabbed a Gloucestershire Old Spot, stuffed it under his jumper, and calmly made his way to the exit. In a separate incident, twelve other pigs were smuggled out simultaneously in what Scotland Yard would later label a “coordinated theft” by some “horrid bumholes”. Only four pigs were ever recovered, found jammed in a bin outside of Londis.

We now believe that The Whimby Pig Incident was a coordinated theft, perpetrated by some horrid bumholes.

DI Blem, Scotland Yard

A fight broke out by midday, and by lunchtime riot police finally made it to the scene, firing tear gas and bean bags into the crowd in a desperate attempt to break up the fighting. When the dust cleared, twelve hours later, only three of the initial two hundred pigs in attendance were left in the village green.

The previous year’s champion, Oinky Oinky Oinky Oinky Woo Woo, was found cowering under a refreshment stand. Runner-up Ronnie Redmane had been crushed underfoot by the crowds, and was now a pig shaped disk, 1 inch (25mm) thick. He survived the ordeal, but never emotionally recovered.

This individual stuffed four Iberian Reds in his trousers: do you know this man?

Lessons were learned, and by next year the Pig Show would be back to normal, with the 1999 event featuring no helicopter crashes or pig thefts, and only three fatalities. The gang here at The Files look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming 2022 Ronstable Pig Show, where editors Grouse Henderson and Ditton Hague will be running a coconut shy and cat delousing dip, respectively.