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1) Green Energy - How to not use it
2) Railways - History and Future
3) A Silly Story
4) Cinderella
5) Croess
6) The House
7) How to Control Your Government
8) After Expenses: Is it time to abolish the House of Commons?
9) Say "Yes" to the EU
10) Dihydrogen Monoxide - An Appeal
11) The Train Operator's Guide to Getting Students Drunk in a Brewery
12) The Well
Department of Comment, Satire & Tripe

A Fairy Story

Once upon a time there was a girl called Cinderella. Her mother died when she was young and her poor father remarried. Her step-mother already had two daughters from a previous marriage, with a steady income due to the dilligence of the Child Support Agency. The step-daughters were always very well dressed, often in clothes which had belonged to Cinderella's late mother, and made her do all the dirty work. Cinderella was very keen on keeping things tidy, and so her father never realised about her terrible life down in the kitchens.

Meanwhile the local Prince was in trouble with the tabloid newspapers on a weekly basis for his one-night stands with various high-brow maidens and was under a great deal of pressure from his parents and their advisors to get married. He decided to hold a party for any ladies who wished to turn up and he could decide if he wished to marry any of them. The press made cheery comments about a waste of taxpayer's money and how disgusting it was that the Prince might be about to marry a woman of low standing.

However, the party was the centre of much interest in Cinderella's household. Her father was very keen that all three girls should go. Her step-mother was very keen that her daughters should go. The step-daughters were both very keen to go as long as the other one didn't. Cinderella also longed to go, but found that a great deal of work had suddenly been found for her by her step-sisters. So she settled down to do that while her step-sisters went to the ball. Her step-mother went too, for some reason.

With her father away on business and everyone else out at the ball, Cinderella was having a quiet time and hoping to get everything finished in time for a late rush to the ball. She was just giving up on this idea when a large woman holding a strange stick with a silly star on the end appeared in the middle of the room.

"Who are you?" demanded Cinderella. "You just appeared out of nowhere."
"No I didn't," replied the large woman, "I appeared out of a mass of nitrogen, oxygen and argon atoms."
"Whatever," sighed Cinderella. "What're you doing here? I have to get this lot tidied so I can go to the ball."
"It's next year, is it?" enquired the woman cynically.
"No, tonight. Not sure if I'll be going really. Who are you anyway?"
"I'm your Fairy Godmother, dear," smiled the woman, placing extra emphasis on the capital letters.
"I have a Fairy Godmother?" Cinderella was surprised. This almost sounded like one of those tax scams which those adverts on the telly were asking people not to indulge in. She looked the woman up and down. This Fairy Godmother did look like an elderly relative of some kind.
"Oh yes," said the Fairy Godmother, "and Cinderella, you shall go to the ball!"

She waved her stick and the washing up, rubbish and stacks of back editions of Lovely Ugly Sisters disappeared into several black bags, which neatly knotted themselves and sailed off in the general direction of the back door.

"Well, that's the rubbish sorted," said Cinderella. "What about me? I've got nothing to wear".
"That's easily solved," said the Fairy Godmother. "Get me two glasses, a cat and a pumpkin."

Cinderella, puzzled, did as she was told and watched as the Fairy Godmother turned the glasses into glass shoes, the cat into a chauffeur and the pumpkin into a grand luxury car. Then she turned Cinderella's rags into something more impressive.

"Wow," said Cinderella, looking at herself in a mirror, "but isn't the car rather modern for a grand party?"
"Never mind," said the Fairy Godmother. "It'll show that you're forward thinking and willing to embrace new ideas. Royalty like people who suggest that."
"The other thing," Cinderella added, "is that you've created this lot in the kitchen and it won't fit out through the door".
"Some people are never satisfied," grumbled the Fairy Godmother and, with a wave of her wand, levelled the house and left them standing by a pile of rubble. Cinderella looked alarmed.
"Don't worry," the Fairy Godmother continued, "All these spells will wear off at midnight - apart from the shoes, which aren't serious enough."

So Cinderella thanked the Fairy Godmother, got in her car and was driven off to the ball. Unfortunately, while Cinderella was proceeding clockwise around the M25 on her way to the Palace, several people managed to crash their cars three miles beyond her junction on the anti-clockwise carriageway. As everybody on the clockwise carriageway then stopped for a better look, Cinderella ended up still being in the car ten miles from her destination when it turned back into a pumpkin.

This meant that not only did she have to walk home while covered in pumpkin, but the Prince never met her and so didn't marry her. Instead he had the step-mother divorce Cinderella's father so that he could marry a good, steady sort of person in the comfortable knowledge that her daughters weren't in line to the throne, and gave Cinderella's father a small pension, which was then taken away from him by the Child Support Agency and paid to the daughters as essential support. Meanwhile Cinderella shacked up with the boy at the off-licence, had three children and lived happily ever after.

Last modified 14/03/11

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