The Surrealist Year Ahead



The rock world is shocked by the news that the Rolling Stones have been using prosthetically enhanced lookalikes on stage for years. Jim Henson is credited with giving the session musicians such convincing makeovers that the only original band member to remain on the tours, Charlie Watts, was completely fooled.

‘I’ve been playing with muppets for years,’ an ashen-faced Watts tells reporters, adding, ‘I thought they sounded a bit better than usual recently.’

The real Keith Richards, currently floating in a tank of methadone in a private clinic on the Dutch Antilles, is unavailable for comment.


December 2013’s heart-warming story of the couple who had to deliver their baby at Sainsbury’s petrol station at Cameron Toll, subsequently giving their son the middle name Cameron, inspires a rush of copycat births at other retail outlets, in a desperate bid for media coverage. Campbell Starbucks Straiton Sweeney is one picked up by the headline writers for the alliteration, but everyone agrees Louis Vuitton Multrees McLatchie’s parents should have known better.

Mrs Jane O’Rourke is reported as having been thinking about the novels of Alexander McCall Smith, rather than the birth location, when naming her daughter Precious. However, the manager of Poundstretcher’s in Gorgie Road tells the Evening News he was still ‘proud tae lend a hand.’


A new dance craze known as gwerking hits the world of celebrity. Soon global figures as influential as Katie Price and Kim Kardashian are spotted wearing v-neck Pringle pullovers and National Health specs, flailing their arms around in a spasmodic manner to Seventies disco hits such as Chic’s 1978 hit Le Freak.

Men of a certain age remain unimpressed. ‘This is just dad dancing dressed up as being something new and cool,’ storms Ronald O’Donald, 49, of Peckham. ‘We’ve been doing it for years.’

However, no one in celebrity land listens to those kinds of people. Miley Cyrus creates a Twitterstorm bitch-fight by saying she’s ‘too young to gwerk.’ ‘I can see it would work for people like Kim,’ she tells !Celeb!!Biz!Online! ‘Maybe when I’ve fully pushed the envelope of the twerk, I’ll be ready to gwerk.’


An alien race from near Alpha Centauri finally make contact with the world’s media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

‘We’ve been waiting for you guys to develop something compatible with our systems for aeons,’ the spokesperson, Zog the Archaic (1,003) says. ‘Well done you for getting there in the end. Lol.’

Before  – inevitably – posting a selfie, he adds: ‘We tried visiting you direct, but there was something wrong with the satnav and we kept ending up in a car park near Bathgate. Even we’re not perfect, obvs.’

In a related development, Clackmannanshire Council respond to a Freedom of Information request, admitting that the strange silver disc-like object on the roof of their headquarters in Alloa is in fact a form of router to boost the Alpha Centaurians’ wi-fi signal.

‘We thought it was the least we could do, after that unfortunate misunderstanding in Skinflats,’ a spokesperson says.

@zogthearchaic soon has more Twitter followers than Cheryl Cole. But then who doesn’t these days.


Fed up with stand up comedians making fun of the lyrics for her 1996 hit Ironic as not being examples of irony (blackfly in chardonnay, a traffic jam when already late, yada yada) Alanis Morrisette issues a remix, where the line ‘isn’t it ironic’ is replaced by ‘isn’t it a bit shite.’ Although she keeps the original song title. Which critics agree is a bit ironic.


A news report of an escaped baboon in a Morningside tea shop turns out to be based on a typo in a Tweet about an escaped balloon, slightly dislodging a cake stand at a children’s party.

However, in one of an increasing number of examples of life imitating the internet, a female baboon called Dorothy does escape a few days later from Edinburgh Zoo, making it as far as Corstorphine, where she holds down a job as a waitress in a cafe for several weeks before being recaptured.

‘I did find her a little difficult to understand, but I thought she was maybe just a bit foreign,’ the short-sighted owner, Calista McFlockhart (63) explains. ‘She was very popular with the regulars, although I noticed the scones were disappearing a whole lot faster than usual on her shift.’

Dorothy soon acquires her own Twitter account, @dorothyscone.


A last ditch attempt by the Scottish Government to make the Commonwealth Games more inclusive sees the rules changed to ensure at least one local competitor is given a place on the starting line up of each sport.

In the 100 metres final, Davey MacSwedger, 37, of Castlemilk, beats Usain Bolt by a clear 7 tenths of a second, and becomes the only gold medal winner in the Games’ history to mount the podium still clutching two packets of meat and a box of disposable razors.

Constables Shaun McDaid, 43, and Malky Malcolmson, 22, come a creditable 7th and 8th despite not being formal competitors. In interviews, MacSwegan thanks them for providing him with his ‘motivation.’

‘I’d also like tae thank Aldi fur providing the trainin facilities,’ he adds. ‘And fur no pressin charges.’


A new crop circle controversy breaks out in East Lothian, where fields of barley sprout what appear, at first sight, to be landing strips for alien craft, the distances between each marker on the strip being 3.14159259 metres, prompting feverish speculation amongst mathematicians as to why aliens would measure things in units of Pi.

After a week two conceptual artists claim responsibility, explaining that the ‘installation’ is meant to represent a giant ruler, being a comment on the unavailability of space for conceptual art in Edinburgh during the Festival. ‘The work plays with sensibilities on space in every sense of the word,’ simpers Jason Twistleton-Smythe, 27, of Chipping Norton.

In an unrelated incident, Damien Hirst  recovers from gunshot wounds in Cumberland Infirmary after an altercation over the use of drystane dyke materials to build his latest artwork on a hillside near Carlisle. The work, a shark made of slate entitled Set in Stone, is believed to be an ironic reference to Hirst’s most famous work, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a 14-foot tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde.

On being charged with the shooting, local farmer George Tomkins (69) comments, ‘It were worrying my sheep.’


The independence referendum is stopped in its tracks by a writ from Donald Trump, who successfully argues that the vote might interrupt his constitutional right to ‘screw as much money out of the little guy as I conceivably can.’ Trump becomes an unlikely hero with the Scots who, scunnered with the whole Yes or No debate, vote to have Trump’s hairpiece declared a Listed Building under the relevant legislation.

The Scottish Government retaliates by making wind turbines compulsory on the pin flags of all golf courses constructed in the last three years.


Following the inconclusive result in the independence referendum, David Cameron announces the most fundamental shake up of the UK Constitution in a thousand years.

The country will be divided into a house system, similar to that used at most public schools. England will be divided into ‘Southerners’ and ‘Northers’ (beyond Watford Gap) with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each being given their own house. Houses will elect their own Head Boy and Girl, and compete in a series of sports such as lacrosse and cricket to win points.

These will then affect how much money goes to new regional assemblies, known as ‘Common Rooms,’ to spend in the respective regions.

Everyone that matters agrees it’s worth a jolly good go, although there is some predictable whining from Dragon, Saltire and Ulster Paisley Houses.


A new phone tapping scandal comes to light. Journalists trying to hack into the private phones of Met Office experts mistakenly gain access to a coach party of pensioners from Swansea driving past the building.

The pensioners’ anxious speculations about the weather, fuelled by earlier tabloid predictions of ninety days of snow and too much prescription medication, set off a feedback loop of inaccurate media predictions which then, in turn, create even wilder speculations on the coach the next day, to be picked up by headline writers the day after. Pieces like ‘Christmas Killer Wave for Cardiff,’ ‘Tsunami to hit Sheffield,’ ‘Snowfall to Flatten Forfar,’ and ‘Avalanche Threat to Aberdeen,’ become commonplace.

Veteran newscaster Michael Fish is wheeled out to confirm that the whole thing is untrue and that a new ice age is not, in fact, due to spread south as far as Macclesfield by next Tuesday lunchtime.

Nobody believes him.


Scientists announce a research breakthrough: a chemical found only in Brussels sprouts is the cure ‘for almost everything.’ However, clinically significant doses involve daily ingestion of at least 8 ounces of the gas-producing cultivar of Brassica oleracea. R & D departments of major companies go into overdirve trying to refine a more acceptable alternative than eating industrial quantities of the stuff.

In the meantime, as the western world belches and farts its way through Nigella Lawson’s new bestseller A Kilo Of Sprouts A Day Keeps The Ex-Husband At Bay, the Chinese come up with way of extracting the chemical into a single pill to be taken once a day, and keep it to themselves.

As methane levels reach dangerous new highs, however, they relent, and trade the secret process. In return for Scotland, Peru, the Balearic Islands, and the New York Mets baseball team. And the secret recipe for Coke.

Then 2015 dawns, and things get a whole lot weirder.


With thanks and love to Heather and Keith Ferguson for their suggestions


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