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Green light for curly fringes at EU Spring Summit

European heads of state and government have given the green light to curly, wavy, and ‘slightly frizzy’ fringes, the IN can exclusively report.

Traditionally considered unacceptable in Europe, the curly fringe will now be permitted across all EU member states – but only in certain circumstances.

The issue was top of the agenda at the European Spring Summit in Brussels on Thursday, alongside Serbia’s candidacy for EU accession, the debt crisis, and a new treaty on budgetary discipline.

'A lack of access to straightening irons'

Leaders of all 27 EU member states have now signed a pact stating that ‘curly, wavy and slightly frizzy fringes are to be authorised by member states in situations where they cannot be avoided, such as a lack of access to straightening irons, or rain. However, curly-haired people should make every effort to straighten their fringes in line with agreed EU norms, and in the event of wet or humid weather conditions, to maintain straightness via the use of hats or umbrellas, or, where possible, by not leaving the house.’

‘Bulbous forehead’

Despite showing a personal preference for straight-haired women, French president Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters at the close of Thursday’s negotiations that in recent years, public opinion had been moving closer towards greater tolerance of the curly fringe.

“It will never be considered the height of stylishness,” Sarkozy explained, “but the EU recognises that there are circumstances in which frizzy bangs cannot, for those unfortunate enough to be cursed with curly hair, be avoided. Of course, it would be advisable for curly-haired people not to opt for a fringe in the first place, but those with large or bulbous foreheads, it can be the lesser of two evils.”

The curly-haired lobby welcomed the pro-frizz pact, saying it was ‘an historical moment for people with curly or wavy hair, who have throughout history suffered serious prejudice in areas such as access to education, training and employment, as well as in their private lives.’

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BELGIAN HOLE TO COST €40m

A giant, inexplicable hole to be dug in central Brussels will cost the taxpayer up to €40 million, it emerged this week.

The exact location of the hole, which will measure approximately 30 metres wide and 20 metres deep, has not yet been revealed. However, a government official confirmed to the IN that it will be somewhere near the Bourse, and that in line with national Hole Policy, it will be as unsightly as possible, have no apparent purpose, and digging will be ongoing for several decades.

‘We hope that the hole will cause the maximum possible amount of disruption to pedestrians and traffic, as well as deafening, horrible noise, and widespread air pollution,’ the official explained. ‘We’re aiming for an extremely unsightly work site, which ideally will also cause numerous accidents, such as partially-sighted elderly people falling into it and fracturing limbs.’

‘Special hole’

Digging is likely to begin within a couple of months, and a spokesman for Bijge Fujkoef Holes, the controversially Flemish hole-construction company that will undertake the work, said the project was ‘exciting.’

‘Holes are a source of national pride in Belgium,’ he said, ‘and this is going to be a particularly special hole. It could be described as a sort of ‘black hole’; it will suck in endless money, possibly a couple of our workers and the odd pedestrian, and yet nothing will come out of it except a greater sense of futility, irritation and low-level depression.’

A Belgian hole

However, the anti-hole campaign group FILLITIN told the IN that the consequences of the hole, known in technical terms as a ‘Trou Sans But’(TSB) or purposeless hole, could be far worse than mild sadness and increased existential angst.

‘If work goes ahead, this will be the biggest ever TSB in Belgium, possibly in Europe,’ said a FILLITIN spokeswoman. ‘It could set a precedent that could lead to our picturesque Belgian landscape being gradually consumed by these ‘black holes’, destroying ecosystems and leading to a gradual breakdown of the social fabric. Which would be alright as long as it was only happening in Flanders.’

Members of the public the IN interviewed around the Bourse area this week expressed a range of views.

‘I think it could be a good thing for Brussels,’ said 22-year-old student Leonie Twijt. ‘It will probably attract more tourists – everybody loves a nice big hole. However, the cost does seem a bit excessive.’

Others saw the hole as an opportunity to clean up the city: ‘Things I would like to drop into the hole: Belgian weather, the pervasive fart smell on the metro, Hector’s Chicken, the general ‘can’t-do’ attitude prevalent in this country,’ said one British lawyer, who did not want to be named.

‘I would like to drop all whining ex-pats into the hole,’ said Brussels born-and-bred teacher Jean-Claude Legrandbelge. ‘If you don’t like it, you know where the door is. Or the hole.’

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION PUBLISHES NEW ‘BALLS’ GREEN PAPER

The European Commission has published a controversial new green paper entitled simply: ‘Balls.’

It comes at the same time as European Testicle Week, an annual event launched in 2003 to raise awareness about balls.

The green paper, a document intended to stimulate discussion and debate, presents the Commission’s views on balls, and invites a wide range of stakeholders, including health experts, farmers, and professional cyclists, to contribute their opinions and ideas.

Dvtskwsky Wxyxysk, European Commissioner for the Unpronounceable, said: ‘While the view has been expressed in certain quarters that this paper was completely unnecessary and a giant waste of resources, dreamed up to justify the existence of the hordes of festering, under-employed pen-pushers cluttering up the Commission’s long, shiny corridors waiting for their lunch, I say, quite frankly: balls. This paper was not only timely but urgently needed.’

Not ‘a lot of balls’

'We need to cut red tape around balls policy'

The green paper invites discussion on three main issues:

• The impact of the economic crisis on balls
• Balls and global warming
• Women, equality and balls

The Commission also highlights the need for simplification of balls policy.

‘We need to cut red tape when it comes to EU policy on balls,’ said a Commission spokesman. ‘This is one of the reasons we opted for such a simple title for this green paper, rather than, for example: ‘A lot of balls’, or even ‘Complete and utter balls.’’

Stakeholders are invited to submit their responses by the end of 2056, and concrete legislative proposals could follow as early as the start of the 22nd century, the Commission spokesman told the IN.

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DOCTOR SLAMMED FOR ‘SHOCKING’ DISPLAY OF BASIC HUMAN KINDNESS

A doctor in a Belgian hospital has caused a furore after being the only staff member not to treat a young female patient with extreme hostility and aggression for having the sheer audacity to turn up requiring treatment for a sprained foot.

Dr Russo, 31, has been temporarily suspended from duty for gently telling 33-year-old Jasmine Sole that she had ‘done the right thing’ by coming to the hospital even though her injury was not life-threatening, examining her swelled foot without yanking or bashing it, and fetching her some painkillers. However, reports that he went so far as to smile kindly at her remain as yet unconfirmed.

‘Other staff members followed protocol and were rude, unhelpful and aggressive, bordering on violent,’ a spokesman for the hospital in Brussels told the Inconsequential News. ‘Dr Russo has disgraced the hospital with his behaviour. We spend huge amounts on training courses for staff such as ‘How to bully and manipulate people in pain into enforced acceptance of sub-standard service,’ and ‘Removing all traces of compassion from your bedside manner; you’re a bitter, disillusioned, underpaid and overtired health professional who is gagging for a fag break, not a fucking therapist.’ In these times of economic hardship, we are shocked to hear of a staff member wasting costly minutes on gratuitous activities such as pain relief, kind words and smiling.’

Protocol of unkindness

'You're not a fucking therapist'

A nurse who was on duty on the night Sole was treated said things had been running smoothly until Russo’s intervention. When Sole wandered directly onto the accident and emergency ward as the reception had been left unattended, she was shouted at by a nurse. Despite the fact she was hobbling and clearly in pain, the nurse refrained from offering her a chair and told her with an appropriate degree of unpleasantness that she had to go back to the reception and wait. Subsequently, Sole sat down on a nearby stool and told the nurse she could not walk that far again; the outraged nurse then brought a wheelchair and pushed Sole back to reception – huffing and tutting the whole time as she had been trained to do.

Following procedure to the letter, when another nurse returned to fetch Sole, he called her name from ten yards away and dutifully ignored the fact she was in a wheelchair, thereby saving time and energy when a fellow patient offered to wheel Sole back onto the ward. However, it was at this point that things took a turn for the worse – with Dr Russo’s shocking display of benevolence.

‘He was the first person at the hospital to show me any hint of basic human kindness,’ Sole told the IN. ‘He examined my foot gently, reassured me I would shortly be taken to X-ray and that he would bring me something for the pain.’

She added: ‘He looked almost guilty as he was being nice to me – as if he were afraid to be caught.’

Cash for crutches: no regrets

The situation temporarily returned to normal as the radiologist took Sole on a rollercoaster ride through the corridors of the hospital by pulling her wheelchair at terrifying speed while talking to a friend about his drinking plans for the next evening on his mobile phone – making sure to bump the chair over every ridge or join in the flooring as violently as possible.

But when the results of Sole’s X-ray scan came through, Dr Russo persisted in his inappropriately considerate behaviour.

‘The doctor came to tell me that my foot wasn’t broken, it was just a sprain, but he wanted to put it in a cast anyway to stop me moving around too much,’ Sole explained. ‘However, I would need crutches to walk if I had a cast on my foot; the doctor explained that according to hospital policy, crutches could only be given to patients who could pay 20 euros for them on the spot. I told Dr Russo I had no cash on me, so he went to ask the nurses if I could pay by card, but they told him this wasn’t possible. I expressed my shock that a hospital in a first-world country could operate such a system, and he apologised.’

The hospital spokesman told the IN that apologising for the crutches policy was strictly forbidden, and could lead to Russo’s permanent dismissal from the hospital.

‘Italian’

In the end, Sole and Russo agreed that since she was unable to pay for the crutches and therefore her foot could not be put in a cast, she would simply have to manage with a bandage, painkillers and plenty of rest, and she hobbled off.

‘I think the main problem with Dr Russo is that he isn’t Belgian,’ said the hospital spokesman. ‘It’s part of our culture to be mean-spirited, rude and unhelpful and to show a sometimes astonishing lack of compassion, as well as to cover up our own startling levels of incompetency by attacking and blaming the client, I mean patient. But since Dr Russo is Italian, he has a very loose grasp of these concepts.’

Dr Russo declined to comment, but a close friend of the doctor told the IN: ‘I probably shouldn’t say this, but he’s a really nice guy.’

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Half-decent New Year’s bash surprise for recovering addicts

A group of recovering alcoholics had quite a good time at a party on New Year’s Eve, it has been revealed.

The group of around fifteen AA members, who gathered for sober festivities at an unknown address in Brussels on Saturday night, enjoyed themselves ‘more than usual’, according to reports.

‘It was alright,’ said one partygoer, adding: ‘The dog got a bit scared by some of the dancing though.’

11 varieties of cake

Another twelve-step reveller said he had felt ‘quite upbeat’ after gorging himself on 11 different types of cake and around nine glasses of cola.

‘For about ten minutes, I forgot the fact that I’ve lost my job, my wife has left me and my children hate me, and just went mental dancing to that 80s disco hits compilation mix they were playing on repeat all evening,’ he said with a brief spark of enthusiasm, before slumping back into morosely staring at a plate of leftover chocolate Yule log.

‘Bollocks’

Conversational topics at the booze-free bash included whether or not partygoers felt they would actually be having more fun if they were off their faces on champagne and ecstasy at a warehouse rave, circa 1999, the relative usefulness of believing in a ‘higher power’, and what step everybody was on.

'It was quite good'

The AA members were proud to have stayed up until midnight without recourse to alcohol or illegal substances, but nonetheless the party finished about seven and a half minutes after the obligatory chorus of Auld Lang Syne had been sung and everybody had awkwardly kissed each other.

‘Secretly, I’m just glad when it’s over,’ one young woman said, ‘it was bollocks when I was drunk, too.’