Monday, August 7

“Man in the moon distraught over Belgian power cut”

The man in the moon has urged the Belgian authorities to act quickly to restore full power to the country’s highway lights, Russian cosmanauts reported Wednesday. Fresh from their latest moon landing the Ruskies painted a bleak picture of the psychological state of the moons sole dweller. “He is listening to a lot of Tom Waits up there, I fear for the future” commented Yuri, first commandant, adding that a copy of REM’s Man on the Moon had brought only “a faint hint of that old cheeky grin”.

“He is fed up just looking at just the Great Wall of China” commented the Omsk native, who was keen to add that the MotM encourages ambitious wall building in general. “You get a lot of time to talk on those cold lunar evenings” he commented coyly, “the MotM has often told me of his disappointment that Hadrians Wall hasn’t been extended”.

MotM is reported to “love the comical Belgian driving”. “He is fascinated by spookrijders” reports Yuri, who tells us that MotM just wishes that he could see more of the secondary road network. “We told him about the ‘priorité a droite’ and he thought we were pulling his leg” chips in the clearly well travelled Sergei, gravitational pull expert and flight deck controller (see Who Can Blame Him? on page 9). The love affair with the Belgian highways is tempered somewhat by his dislike of the extensive use of tunnels, we are led to believe. Displaying undeniable eye for detail, the moons first citizen is also reported to have complained about the lack of highway between Aalter and Knokke.

Overall, however, he commends the Belgian road system, prays for a speedy restoration of full power, and in common with many in Flanders’ first city, “can’t wait for the ring of Antwerp to be completely finished”.

Inside Exclusive: Michael Jackson to Moonwalk on the Moon in extraordinary bid to cheer moon man up.

1 comment:

Hercé said...

this skit has been thrown into sharp relief by the below story read in the London Times.

"Shattered ruins of Beirut can be seen from space"

OF the 700,000 families slipping back into the shattered Beirut yesterday, none asked how Shia militia leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah would keep his promise to rebuild their homes.

The destruction of the high-rise southern suburbs is so great that it can be seen from space.
Most have lost everything: their businesses, their apartments and treasured belongings. But Hussein Hamoud, a 35-year-old dress shop owner, reflected their mood when he said he had more faith in the Shia militia leader than the government to meet his needs.

A few hours after Sheikh Nasrallah appeared on TV offering to pay all the families' rents for the next year and make up for their lost income, his party's officials were busy drawing up lists of those who need temporary housing, schools, and spending money.

But you will not find a Lebanese government minister touring this wasteland where no habitable building is still standing.

Like everyone else, Mr Hamoud had gone back for the first time yesterday to salvage what he could from his shop in Haret Hreik. "I can't take in the scale of it all," he said. A friend's eight-storey tower block had been wiped off the face of the map, so he helped Mr Hamoud to retrieve four mannequins and boxes of 'Lady Diana' lingerie.

As he man-handled the four plaster figures on to the pavement, Mr Hamoud said: "I'm glad they survived. I was worried about them," raising a laugh from neighbours who are united in their desire to live here again as soon as they can.

The repair bill will be much more than Hizbollah collects from its sponsors in Iran and Syria, but such is Sheikh Nasrallah's reputation here there are no doubts he will provide.

His gunmen were back on open display in Beirut yesterday. They stood guard at every intersection into Haret Hreik, carrying everything from the latest US-manufactured M16 rifles to Czech-made pistols.

The fighters in southern Lebanon say they won't disarm, no matter what the wording of the United Nations ceasefire, and from Beirut yesterday the message was ominously the same. (© The Times, London)

Daniel McGrory