Windsor to Honour House of Organa?

The Empire strokes back

After last year's nod to the Federation in the Queen's Christmas Message, anticipation is running high that she will give a nod to the late Princess Leia, as a sign of respect for fellow royalty. Leia Organa of Alderaan, formerly a member of the Imperial Senate and a celebrated agent of the Rebel Alliance, exited stage left after Boxing Day last year.

It was recently revealed that the princess drew inspiration from the queen, suggesting that Elizabeth may return the favour in a gesture of galactic goodwill.

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Cannibal Lectern

Holy See sets sights on coeliacs
The Vatican has confirmed that gluten-intolerant individuals, while technically “God’s Children”, will have difficulty gaining entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. “It’s a grey area, legally,” according to the Pope’s consigliere Frankie Goes To Hollywood, who serves double duty as devil’s advocate in saint adjudication. “What we do know is that nobody likes a martyr. I mean we do, of course, but you know, not really.” He went on to suggest that God may show mercy, or may not, depending on how He’s feeling that day.

In a chain letter to Bishops, Pope Francis reminded the world’s 7.5 billion Catholics that the Eucharist is a “grande affare” [“big deal”] and the sacrament, one of many boxes which should be ticked by the faithful to ensure ease of entry through the pearly gates, is not subject to fads.

Coeliacs are outraged by the decision, and are promising a Day of Rage. “God created my inflammable intestines,” said Holly Johnson, DoR organiser. “I think it’s a bit rich to say that he now requires I consume wheat, which is like poison to me, in order to be a good Catholic.”

Experts say that’s exactly the sort of thing God would do.

It’s not the first time transubstantiation has hit the headlines. In 2009 Francis’s predecessor Pope Benedict briefly floated the idea of an all-you-can-drink mass before taking an abrupt holiday in a nunnery later discovered to have lap-dancing Tuesdays.

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Press Release

The Leeds Leek officially endorses the freewheelin' Bob Dylan for president of the United States of America.

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen

Our editorial board feels that having won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, god knows how many Grammys, a Pulitzer of sorts, and now the Nobel, all that's missing is this ultimate prize. We only hope that being an Officier de la Legion d'honneur won't be held against him by xenophobic voters.

Although this endorsement stands in stark contrast to our backing of the somewhat more experienced Kerry in 2004, the times, they need a'changed, and neither a traditional politician nor a megalomaniac businessman can take the country where it needs to be.

As the bard once said, people seldom do what they believe in; they do what is convenient, then repent. Get it right this time, America. Vote Zimmy.

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Brexit for Breakfast

Historic vote to leave the EU surprises voters
This morning many British citizens awoke to discover that if enough people vote for something, that side 'wins'. This quirk of democracy came as a shock to many, including some experts.

"I thought voting was a waste of time," said William Vague, a distressed jeans distresser who cast his ballot to leave the European Union and unsuccessfully requested that his name not be used for fear of reprisals. "I'm used to voting in things like television reality shows. This has all turned a bit too real for me."

Another voter caught off guard by the result was Theresa May, a giantess who works in London as a greeter at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

According to May, since the referendum, the popular tourist attraction has been thronged by visitors eager for souvenirs "before the wall goes up and all foreigners are cast out. The Queen's leg has been stolen. We've temporarily replaced it with a Queen Anne chair leg.We're doubling security to stop further outrages."

Jeremy Hacksman of the think tank Pyjamas predicts that the repercussions will be felt for generations to come. "Winston Churchill said democracy was the worst form of government, except for all the others. He was half right."

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The High Cost of Help-to-Buy

Critics point out that families may be torn apart
The Leek has discovered that the financial assistance scheme to help first time buyers onto the property ladder contains a clause which gives the government possession of homeowners' children if mortgage payments are not made in a timely manner.

The housing minister defended the clause, saying "The government needs reassurances." The shadow housing minister said the opposite, which she's paid to do.

The hand that gives can also take away

To show that the policy has teeth, Prime Minister David Cameron personally visited mum Sharon, who is heavily in arrears, to remove her daugher Maisie from the household. Afterwards Mr Cameron tweeted: "It was lovely to meet you Sharon! You can enjoy your Maisie-nette as soon as it's paid for." Sharon also took to Twitter, writing: "I'll find the money. #pleasedonthurther"

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Christmas comes early for handy women

Ironmonger the new Relate
What do you give a woman who has everything? This was on Jasper Culpepper's mind as he recently indulged in a bit of 'me time' at his local ironmonger whilst his partner was at the nearby Co-op restocking the family larder.

"Brandy is the woman of my dreams," according to Culpepper. "She's got style, she's got grace, she's got 'Jasper' tattooed where she knows I like it. But lately something indefinable seems to be missing in our relationship. I literally cannot find it in the dictionary. When she can stop rolling her eyes, she's been looking at me in pity mixed with contempt. If I broach the subject, she claims I'm imagining this, but our children, neighbours and postman have confirmed it."

Then Culpepper spotted the "Her" tool kit. "I was gobsmacked. She's not really a material girl, but everybody likes nice things. It's the human condition. I'm going to give this to her as soon as she finishes the shopping."

The heartwarming tale is a familiar one to the salesman behind the counter, who preferred to remain anonymous. "We've sold loads of these, all to men. I gave one to my own missus. She returned it, exchanging it for something battery operated, but it's the thought that counts."

Next: "His" range of hoovers?

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Potholes Windows to the Past

Resurfacing impedes archaeological discoveries
Spurred by the recent find of Richard III in a car park, councils across Britain have been easing off the repairing of potholes in the hope of uncovering illustrious bodies without going to the expense of digging for them. “It’s win-win for taxpayers,” said Elliot the Unready of East Sussex. “Anybody we find will bring tourists flocking. Meanwhile we save money to invest in better things, such as the arts.

Although all monarchs are apparently accounted for except for Edward V, whose remains are believed to have been accidentally used as snuff by George IV during his regency, there is “a veritable treasure trove of minor royals and lost celebrities” lying just beneath the surface.

Refilling of this moderate-sized pothole in London was halted after the discovery of Lord Trafalgar Square in a compromising position

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Scourge Returns

Better dead than red?
Medical authorities have issued a public health warning for red nose day.

“It’s not funny. Not funny at all,” according to British Medical Association spokesperson Reginald Nosegay. “Symptoms are too gruesome to relate, but you’ll know it when you see it. It isn’t lethal. Unfortunately some people just wish they were dead. At least for the day.”

The chief non-physical manifestation is a mania which can be trying for those not afflicted. This is difficult to avoid, as even the BBC is a known contagion. The BMA warns that if you must watch TV, to do so with your clicker at the ready.

The day the laughter died
Mobile units will be dispatched for outbreaks of passive aggressiveness. “The silliness can be enforced; it’s a bully’s paradise,” according to Nosegay. “This happens every two years. We're prepared."

The BMA is attempting to convince the public of the seriousness of red nose day with the launch of its own campaign, Stop Bully Clowns (Stop Bully Clwns in Wales). Funds collected are used to finance the search for a cure. Comedians are reported to already be lining up to help promote the cause.

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Pope Signals

Papacy defined by appetite, fast cars and loose robes
The first morning of new pope deliberations passed without major incident, though according to an anonymous source the old pope kept making crank phone calls to the Sistine Chapel asking for Ex-Benedict for breakfast. There are unconfirmed reports that this is funnier in Italian.

"Funnier in Italian"

It takes an average of three days to elect a pontiff, which coincidentally matches the supply of cigarettes cardinals are allowed to bring in.

Said to be high on the list of desirable qualities: practicing Catholic; not female; no outstanding warrants; a face which can be used on recruiting posters without scaring children. The last pope who met these criteria was John Paul II, who was often derided for only speaking 8 languages fluently.

The new pope faces many challenges, including not letting any newborns slip through the net, and keeping current Catholics in the fold in an age of increasing belief in competing religions ("We should have thought of the flying spaghetti monster," Benedict is reported to have said). The incoming holy roller will also be charged with retrofitting the new popemobile with thrusters for faster starts out of the popecave.

Faithful servant Alfredo washes car and pope

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Comment is Free

But facts are sacret
Denying but not forever rumours of a possible merger with The Leeds Leek, The Guardian has issued a statement: “If the Leek is spiritually in Leeds, and The Guardian in Manchester, perhaps we could meet somewhere in the middle, like Huddersfield. Eventually.”

Polish plumbers have not yet made inroads into this West Yorkshire market town

There were reactions to the rumour, some more mixed than others. Guardian soulmates were as an aggregate noncommittal, whilst the readers’ editor was reporting strong currents of opinion that the news department would suffer but in a good way.

Students were divided on the issue of whilst

It is thought that a representative of the loss leading national newspaper division within the Guardian Media Group observed the publisher of The Leeds Leek in a first class carriage on the train one day and assumed Leek coffers to be flush with cash and therefore ideal partners. It later transpired the Leek was just passing through.

Nightlife in Huddersfield is scheduled during daylight hours for health and safety reasons

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Butchers Spearhead DIY

Food continues to be eaten despite worry
Ongoing questions about the source of Britain's meat, now disclosed to have been largely composed of a horse, badger, and illegal immigrants lured by free tickets to Sweeney Todd, have prompted some butchers to encourage customers to do their own cooking.

file photo of a horse

This has caused controversy in a nation which, what with one thing or another, has little time or appetite for food preparation and has grown used to ready meals and intravenous servings of chips.

Jasper Conker, a garlic importer from Hove, has started a Twitter campaign using tweets composed entirely of hashtags to voice his displeasure. "What's next, soylent green? Human centipedes? The mind boggles," he said in a rare interview using words.

Others are more hopeful. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is reported to have started filming a documentary highlighting everything that is good about British food, beginning with Marmite.

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Census Update

Information from the last census has finally been collated and sent to the proper government departments. Spamming companies with a royal warrant will also get a taste: selected data of limited interest to the authorities will be stripped of extenuating circumstances and forwarded to data farms outsourced to former colonies to maximise stakeholder value.

This was the first census in which pedal cycles were also counted, to start a database of 'lycra louts' to be shared with the tabloids.

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Porn in a Teacup
Mumsnet: the missing moneyshot

The Mumsnet porn board has opened to mixed reviews, some complaining that MILFs, the natural raison d'être of the site for a silent majority of lurkers, were thin on the ground.

"I've been praying this day would come," confided HappyDaddy69, not his real name. "Unfortunately my first click on the almost virgin board yielded nothing I couldn't have gotten at home."

Response on a poll conducted by Mumsnet confirmed a flaccid launch, though site co-founder Deloris Klitoris was sanguine: "Mums feel sexy after the hell of childbirth, postpartum depression, and motherhood fade away. It's an untapped market except for the exploitative sites. Give it time."

Peaches Heavenly, her real name, agreed. "I've been here from the beginning. I don't find the idea of a porn board degrading at all. On the contrary, it's liberating. By allowing us free rein to explore our sensual side, we not only respect the best traditions of a feminist dialectic, we help keep the boys from straying from the yard. I'm considering girl-on-girl if DH gives his OK."

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Office Prepares for Presidents Day
Even drones to fall silent

As January just about ends thoughts naturally turn to Presidents' Day, even in the land of Kings and Queens and Knights in White Satin.

those adorably Moody Blues
Moody Blues passport photo

The federal holiday is noisily celebrated the third Monday of February in the United States with proud sales in patriotic retail establishments, and quietly observed in the rest of the world trembling faithfully in obsequiousness.

Originally implemented as an Act of Congress in the 19th century to honor George Washington, it later grew to encompass joyful homage to all American presidents.

The Father of our country and maybe yours
Washington enjoyed being father of the country

A further Act of Congress during the McCarthy era 1950s required all citizens to tell the truth no matter how painful on that special day, just as Washington "could not tell a lie." The Act led to near revolt and was later rescinded in time for Nixon's term.

The Leek office, manned by US expats because they're cheaper, is planning a festive observance complete with inflammable bunting, a multicultural piņata containing native delicacies such as Indian corn, Chicken McNuggets and Chicago sweetmeats, and a banner with those proud words: There's No Place Like Home. 

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The Leek Returns

Leek staff have just returned from sabbatical. Unfortunately a mirror was broken on their way out of the office in 2006.

It was felt that seven years was the minimum time required before their duties could once again resume without fear of upsetting the unnatural order of things.

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Lazy Leek

Leek staff are currently on sabbatical. At least that's what they're calling it.

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Santa Spammed; Christmas Cancelled

The Leek has learned that Christmas has been cancelled for millions of girls and boys around the world due to what has been called by experts "A spamming campaign of unprecedented scale and ferocity."

According to a Santa spokesperson, a blizzard of gift requests completely overwhelmed the system: "We've tracked it to a misguided little boy in Chicago who wanted the newest Playstation. Not contented with a single request, which is standard, he broke into several large ISPs and hijacked hundreds of thousands of email addresses to aid him in his campaign. Santa, who is himself fictional for entirely legitimate tax purposes, frowns on identity theft."

A rain check on tidings of good cheer

In the confusion the 'Naughty and Nice' file was corrupted early yesterday morning and is now in a state of irretrievable disrepair. "Basically, we're going to have to start from scratch with the master lists," sighed Xavier Kumquat, database administrator and foreman on the Bratz line ("We all wear a few hats around here. And no, I'm not an elf. Do I look like an elf?")

Children are encouraged to resubmit their profiles to Santa Enterprises Ltd., along with two forms of ID.

"Most of this will end up on the black market now," said Kumquat as he surveyed the warehouse brimming with dolls, train sets, mobile phones which are cameras and cameras which are mobile phones. "It's always a losing battle to break even, but this might finally be the year we go into liquidation."

There are dozens of imitators eager to pick up the reins. Santastic, a firm in Malaysia, is reportedly already gearing up for next Christmas should the long-running North Pole operation fatally stumble.

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New Holiday Fights Ignorance

National Jumper Day came off without a hitch yesterday, though a pensioner in Morecambe was reportedly injured when she attempted to button a cardigan too quickly and suffered wool burn. She was treated and released. It wasn't known if she was observing the holiday, or simply engaged in her normal routine.

Businesses remained open and trade was largely unaffected by the celebration, despite the best efforts of its chief promoter Jump for Jumpers! Ltd.

"We're still hoping to achieve Bank Holiday status," said Ramone Pinkeye of JfJ, based in sunny Southend. "That would really put us on the map. Until then we'll have to make do with the website." (www.jump~for~jumers.org.uk - "An unfortunate typo which it's now too late to correct.")

Pinkeye got the idea for National Jumper Day three years ago while watching Countdown. "One of the contestants was wearing a lovely Alpaca, as I recall. When he spelled the word 'turtleneck' everything just clicked into place. Unfortunately he was later disqualified for winking at Carol Vorderman while Richard was still in the studio."

It took two years for the self-proclaimed knitted knight to raise the funding for the website, and another year to recover from the affects of a social disease caught in Ibiza. "Everything really started to come together for me in late summer," said Pinkeye. "The website was up and running after a few technical glitches and billing errors. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome at that point was ignorance. The public simply weren't aware of the need for national observance of these garments. I made it my mission to educate them."

There is apparently no significance attached to the date. "Every day would be Jumper Day if I had my way!" according to the infectious Pinkeye. "But I had to choose, didn't I."

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Brother, Can You Spare A Subaru?

As the US dollar continues to plunge, there are indications that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is considering shifting to a SUV-based currency. A Fed spokesperson denied what he called a "Ridiculous rumour spread by irresponsible news organisations," but according to documents obtained by the Leek under the Freedom of Information Act as amended by the Patriot Act II: 'Don't Worry, Be Happy', there has long been such a contingency plan in place.

not our pic
Greenspan: post-it policy?

"They know the greenback is dead as a dodo," claimed Nigel Davenport, an expert hired by the Leek to translate and enhance the documents, which consist of minutes of Fed meetings, memos with crease marks indicating they were briefly paper aeroplanes, and a post-it note on which Greenspan has doodled "Ford Explorer = New Gold Standard?"

Economists had mixed reactions."If they're hoping for a smooth transition I think they're in for a nasty shock," claimed Milo Frizzard of UBS. "Ubiquitous as SUVs have become, the American public is not yet ready for the day when they drive to the supermarket and walk home with a loaf of bread. There are also questions about how the exchange rate mechanism will work; and I have yet to meet a colleague who can predict how cup holders might affect the trade deficit."

not our pic
"If it can work in Micronesia
it can work in Minneapolis."
- World Bank

Yap is model for change
Francis Castrato of The World Bank was more hopeful: "The islanders of Yap had a monetary system based on giant stones cut into wheels. History always repeats itself. If it can work in Micronesia it can work in Minneapolis. When the people of the United States learn that, perhaps the markets will settle down and we can all enjoy a stable period of prosperity."

The new economic paradigm

In a tacit acknowledgment of the power of the yen, the next 'dollar' is expected to be a Toyota Land Cruiser with standard options. Consumers will be able to make smaller change with Hondas, roughly analogous to a quarter. Subarus are to replace dimes, and old Pintos, Gremlins and Yugos - surprising numbers of which remain in circulation, considering - are to stand in for nickels, adding urgency to the advice "Don't take any wooden nickels". Pennies will either become hubcaps or gradually phased out.

Neil Bush, brother of the US president, is reputed to own several very large parking lots full of Isuzo Troopers in the Caymans.

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Angel of the North to be Moved South

The Angel of the North, a largish statue currently loitering in the vicinity of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has been purchased by Mr and Mrs Fraggers of Tunbridge Wells, and is to be relocated to the garden of their semi-detached house.

"If all goes according to plan it should be a permanent fixture alongside our rare collection of garden gnomes by next Monday," according to Mrs. Fraggers.

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Leek Endorses Kerry

Citing concerns for world peace and grammatical stability, The Leeds Leek today formally endorsed Senator John Kerry as next president of the United States.

"All the available evidence points to the fact that Bush actually filled out the wrong job application sometime in 1999," according to a fact-checker and ombudsman.

"Look, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a manager of Walmart. Somebody has to do it, and chances are Bush would've been in the running."

A Bush campaign spokesperson denied that the president attained his current office due to what amounts to a clerical error, stating "It's shameful that this once great newspaper is playing partisan politics at a time when our nation should be rallying around our next emperor."

Polls have the candidates neck and neck, with election 2000 spoiler Ralph Nader apparently not a serious contender in any state except Burkina Faso, which experts point out is technically not a US state at all, but a country currently landlocked in the African continent. Nevertheless Diebold representatives have been spotted in Ouagadougou International Airport with cell phones pressed to ears.

The Leek editor, who prefers to remain anonymous until a sticky tax situation is sorted, voted via absentee ballot some weeks ago. He is confident his ballot will be one of a majority electing the senator as the next leader of the free world.

"It'll be JFK without the dames," he said.

Kennedy supporter

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Truth in Advertising

The Leeds Leek office is not located in that fair city 53°47'59"N 1°32'57"W. Leek founders were inspired by its motto ("For king and the law") and made an executive decision to reside there in spirit only.

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