I’m really enjoying writing satirical stories for the Daily Mash. I’ve never done out-and-out satire before (though I guess this counts?) and it’s as though it exercises a different part of my brain to standard journalism. Normally when writing a column, you have to think: ‘Is this completely true? Does it all check out? Can I stand it up?’ whereas for the Mash you have to ask: ‘What’s the most absurd twist on this idea? Could this be mistaken for fact or not? How do I exaggerate this concept so it’s totally ridiculous?’
I got into it via my lovely friend David Stubbs. Each week I send my very funny Mash editor four ideas for stories, and they choose one or two to use. The stories are all in a structured news report style with set names. It’s very flexible and much less stressful than being phoned up and asked: ‘Can you submit a column in two hours for tomorrow’s paper?’ (Though I kind of loved that too – the idea of my 700 words of copy being urgently required for the next day’s Guardian was the biggest compliment!)
Anyhow, just for practice, here are some of my own satirical news stories that haven’t appeared in the Mash. I hope you enjoy them.
Tall man offended not to have height acknowledged
A TALL man is offended not to have had his height acknowledged.
Michael Wiggins, who is 6’7”, usually receives comments like “wow, you’re tall” and “what’s the weather like up there?”
However, on starting employment at his new workplace, Wiggins was outraged when not a single colleague remarked on his height or asked him to change a light bulb.
He said: “I see being 6’7” as my defining characteristic. You might even call it my superpower. Nobody at work is as tall as me, yet they haven’t said a word about it.”
He added: “They’re clearly jealous that I’m head and shoulders above the rest.”
Co-worker Nina Legge said: “I’ve never noticed Michael’s height. What I have noticed, however, is his terrible BO. He could floor a skunk at 50 paces.”
Woman insists she doesn’t want birthday present, then dumps boyfriend for not buying her one
A WOMAN has dumped her boyfriend after he didn’t buy her a birthday present – because she insisted she didn’t want one.
Ellie Pitt, 22, left Steve Grantham, also 22, after he took her at her word and accepted she didn’t want a gift on her special day.
Pitt said: “I can’t believe Steve thought I was serious. Everyone knows you have to buy your girlfriend jewellery, lingerie or perfume on her birthday. I was devastated at his thoughtlessness and stinginess, so of course I kicked him to the kerb.”
Grantham said: “Ellie was absolutely insistent that she didn’t want a present. I can’t do right for doing wrong. I think I’m going to turn and go out with a man next. They’re not my type but at least they’re straightforward.”
Obnoxious man decides his problems are down to women
AN OBNOXIOUS man who is terminally single has decided his problems are entirely the fault of women.
Lewis Ball, 43, has had years of failed dates as a result of his appalling personality, but has now concluded his problems are totally down to the opposite sex.
Ball said: “If women were hotter, smarter and nicer then of course I wouldn’t act like an arsehole. But if they persist in being stupid and fat then I’m going to push back. I’m just telling it like it is.”
He added: “All women are crazy, and I include my sister in that. Though I wouldn’t date her, of course. Unless she lost some weight first.”
Date Mona Royston said: “It was the worst date I’ve ever been on. Sadly I think Lewis has a personality disorder. It’s called Terrible Personality Disorder.”
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