Thursday, 11 March 2010

Sadly Believable

I read the Daily Mash quite regularly. It takes a somewhat askance view of the day's news and "reports" one or more items in a very satirical manner. Some of you know of it already, but for those who don't, I'd strongly recommend it. Provided you don't mind rude words.

There is always a grain of truth in every report, though. Something that has actually been said or done, which then becomes the butt of the article's sarcastic satirisation. For example, when the Mash reported that the Government was considering compulsory insurance for owners of crocodiles, we all knew immediately that they were referring to the proposed amendment of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Or so I thought, until I read this article:


GORDON Brown last night added the size of chip shop chips to his list of things to dick about with.

As the government's healthy eating experts told chip shops to increase the size of their chips by 32.7%, across the country 58 million people said 'oh for the love of ******* Christ' in perfect unison.

The article goes on, and is well worth reading. It reduced me and a work colleague to tears of laughter. Here, though, I thought they were trying something new; satirise the kind of thing New Labour would do, not something that they actually had done. Take their known control-freak Nanny-state tendency and illustrate just where it could end up if the lunatics finally did take over the asylum and lost all sense of proportion and self-control. Very funny, I thought, but risky - how will I know in future whether there is a real basis for a Mash story or whether they are just off on another adventure?

Now I kind of wish that I still had that to worry about. In fact, the story is true:

Government demands thicker chips to help Britain's Obesity Crisis

Worse still, it is not even just "Daily Mail True". Others are reporting it:

Government health crackdown on British fish and chips

Searching at the Food Standards Agency will also reveal that they do, indeed, recommend that you ask Chip Shops to make sure that your chips are nice and thick. Now, I don't know where they live, but round my neck of the woods you have the chips you get. Or you leave, with the shop's staff and customers behind you laughing and pointing.

My colleague's reaction to discovering that the story was true was simple: "Unbelievable". Sadly, I think he's wrong. It is believable. Horribly believable.

As the Mash said,

"I'm so tired. Can I just have my dinner? I'm begging you. Can I just. Please. Have. My. Dinner?"


  1. I feel sorry for the 'Mash', satire really can't be easy these days...

  2. And what when the chippy tells them to go and screw themselves sideways?

    DO they have powers to force fatter chips, or will Captain Queeg Brown have to make a new law?

  3. Hang on - there is in fact a possibility. One which is EVEN worse: that HMG is actually getting its policy ideas from the Daily Mash...

  4. Julia - they still seem to manage rather well, though!

    FT - "Advice" is phase 1. Next, there will be a voluntary code. Then, the code will need to be mandatory because people are not abiding by it. Then, it will need to be statutory so that it has teeth ... we've seen the process often enough.

    TPG - ROFL!

  5. try this, it is funnier/cleverer than the Mash but is still in 'blog form'