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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Amazing tales from Planet Tabloid
planet tabloid logo
Truth is stranger than fiction
Our regular trip to the outer fringes of the news agenda featuring a 10ft flesh-eating monster kept as a household pet, the future of superstition, and our all-new review of the broadsheet lifestyle sections - Planet Lifestyle. But first...

Britney Spears
Britney Spears: Dead or alive?

Burning issue of the week:

Q: Did Britney Spears die in a car smash?

A: No. But she may have stubbed her toe on a door jamb.

HOW TO LOSE 15 Ilbs OF UNWANTED FAT

About two million women in the UK would be happy to have at least one limb - and possibly also their head - amputated if, as a result, what remained would look like Catherine Zeta-Jones.


KID'S PET LIZARD GROWS INTO A 10ft CROCODILE

Daily Star
The news comes in a survey conducted by Woman's Own. The magazine claims the "1 in 12 women would be prepared to lose a limb in return for an otherwise perfect body" (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta Jones. Most would give their right arm...

The magazine claims "70% of women" worry about their weight "every day"

"We have long suspected that women are obsessed with their bodies, but we've been blown away by the lengths some of them will go to for the perfect body," Terry Tavner, Woman's Own editor, told the press.

But only 1% of women want to look like Calista Flockhart. So it is not all bad news.

KEEP THE NOISE DOWN

flag
Ouch

Council officials in Edinburgh have dismissed objections to the city hosting "Scotland's largest-ever fetish party" - so long as the sound of whipping, thrashing, beating, screaming and torture is kept to a sensible level.

According to the Edinburgh Evening News "more than 1000 fetishists are expected to attend next week's Scottish Cyberball which will feature a man hung from meat hooks by his nipples."

In a patriotic twist there are plans to have a man - possibly the same one - "chained to a St Andrew's cross and beaten".

Event organiser "DJ Audioslut" tells the Evening News: "We are just responding to the demands of locals."

A council spokesman said: "Provided it doesn't cause disturbance to neighbours getting kept awake by the screams of clients or the cracking of whips, there shouldn't be a problem."

LIVE AT THE WITCH TRIALS

The good burghers of Wakefield have taken to appointing witches as magistrates, if the News of the World is to be believed.

Steve Jones, coven-leader and founder of the Wakefield Pagan Moot, claims that there is no need to worry: he never mixes witchcraft with administration of the law - based as it often is on the rival faith of VooDoo.

"I could spot a witch in court but wouldn't let it affect my decision in anyway," he apparently told the paper.

"I could do curses or love spells, but I won't because I've seen what they can do to people."

FUTURE BRIGHT FOR THE TABLOIDS

Zodiac
More popular than ever

People in the western world, led by the Americans, are becoming ever more superstitious according to a survey by the polling organisation Gallup.

This is fantastic news for tabloids everywhere - since a huge part of tablology depends on horoscopes, gambling, sooth-saying, lucky numerology, lottery mania and gullibility of all sorts.

Interest in various staples of the tabloid news agenda - "haunted houses, ghosts, witches" - is soaring. Faith in phenomena such as ESP, clairvoyance, alien intelligence, psychic and spiritual healing is especially strong and growing.

ANIMAL MISHAP OF THE WEEK

A north London dad got the "shock of his life" this week, according to the Daily Star, when he discovered he was accidentally harbouring a "ten foot flesh-eating monster crocodile" in his house.

The trouble began when the Dad's son swapped his pet goldfish for what he thought was a lizard in the school playground.

Nothing appeared to be out of order as the two inch pet grew to a length of five feet and started sprouting rows of razor teeth.

Things changed when North London Dad phoned the RSPCA, complaining that the lizard was "acting temperamental". Inspectors told him: "That's no lizard, pal... it's a killer crocodile."

The crocodile was not available for interview, since it had been given away to am unidentified "reptile expert".

INTRODUCING... PLANET LIFESTYLE

Welcome to out new "section within a section" - which, as a change from filleting the tabloids, brings you highlights from the burgeoning lifestyle sections of the nation's Very Serious broadsheets.

Part one: The strange world of the Times "Weekend" lifestyle section.

chair
Better when made out of grass...

The paper says that if you are a regular reader you will have "already got your Fendi baguette, your Porsche Boxster, your Prada shoes, your Black Amex Card and your Amman holiday". Despite this impressive hoard of expensive status symbols, Weekend nevertheless chides its readers for not having the latest essential consumer durable - "artificial breasts".

Once you have got artificial breasts you will then be able to join the "in crowd" for an after work weekend drink. The in-crowd, Weekend reliably informs us, "hang out for drinks in the Diane Majestic Hotel - the fashionable aperitif spot".

ab fab
We're in with the In Crowd...

The only problem is that the Diane Majestic Hotel is in Milan ("fortunately, quite a small city") where, the paper seems to think, many readers do their weekly shopping for such things as bread, butter, cheese, salami and "mountain survival equipment".

Another thing much admired by the in crowd is furniture made from decomposed cardboard, soil and living grass.

Weekend recommends a Grass Armchair Kit consisting of several bits of armchair-shaped cardboard and costing 50. You put the cardboard armchair in the ground, cover it with dirt, plant some grass seeds on it and - hey presto - you've got an armchair made out of grass growing in the middle of your lawn.

Completely Brilliant!


Keep your eyes peeled for stories to send to Planet Tabloid and now Planet Lifestyle. Click here to submit them to us.

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