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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Amazing tales from Planet Tabloid
This week worrying tales of further animal insubordination, celebrity hats, and very reasonably priced perfumes. But first...


Question: Can we read anything about the health of the economy into the fact that Gordon Brown has started biting his fingernails (Daily Mirror 17/04/02)?

Answer: Probably not.

Meanwhile aside from the heavy Budget analysis, there was plenty to be thinking about.

For instance, it's well known on Planet Tabloid that you can't trust anything foreign (unless they are Sven). So a 33-year-old woman should hardly have been surprised when she found she was in "SPIDER HELL" on a Eurostar train in France.

The acute pain she suffered when bitten by a tropical spider was made worse when doctors told her there was a chance she could lose her leg because of the bite.

"But," the Star added (hoping not to spoil the story too much), "she managed to recover just in time."

Rebel oink

It's not just foreign spiders which are cause for concern though. Regular observers of Planet Tabloid will know by now that all animals are by stealth ganging up on humans in a bid to take over the world.

For a start there was the family of six cows which broke out of their field, swam across a river and started a free-love commune on an island in Yorkshire.

But there's even more evidence, not that we need it, from the Sun which reports the disturbing news that a 12-stone pig ate his owner's kitchen.

The pig, apparently, "SPEARED cupboard doors with his tusks, TORE them off their hinges, then TUCKED into them. For main course, he RIPPED the cabinets down and CHOMPED through the wood. And for afters he CHARGED the walls and skirting boards".

Bowled over

Fear not, though. In this uncertain world, it's good to know there are some faithful tenets on which we can rely. The love of one's parents, the enduring hope of good triumphing over evil, bowler hats, that sort of thing.

Yes, bowler hats have been round for decades. Steed in the Avengers wore one, so did Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy. But who could have been prepared for the shocking revelation that Geri Halliwell has been wearing one too? It's true, apparently, and the newly christened DAILY Mirror had a picture to prove it.

It's not all bad news though. There has been something of a carnival atmosphere in Fleet Street at the news that Ally McBeal has been axed. Actually it's more like unrestrained celebration.

"Get lost, Skinny," says the Mirror, adding that it has been "five long years of Ally grizzling about her lack of love life, her lack of baby, her lack of ability to go to the toilet without attempting the can-can or hallucinating a disco toddler".

So. Farewell then...
"It's Ally McBawl," says the Star, celebrating star Calista Flockhart's tears at her real-life dumping.

"Absurd, tiresome and far too thin," says the Daily Mail, which coincidentally has this week been offering readers a revolutionary cellulite-busting diet plan.

If that hasn't diverted you from worrying about the growing rebellion of the animal kingdom and the complete failure of the authorities to tackle it, cast your mind away from Planet Tabloid into the more rarefied atmosphere of...


Our weekly look at the tales of down-to-earth commonsense, practicality and every day home-spun wisdom from the "lifestyle" teams on the broadsheets.

One of the most important things on Planet Lifestyle is, of course, to smell good. And what better way is there to smell nice than to have a perfume made specifically for you. According to florist Nikki Tibbles in the Independent, the process involved a consultancy in which she reminisced about her favourite smells, which were then captured into a perfume smelling of "a true rose base with green violets, amber, cherry, vanilla and fig".

How can anyone resist? It only costs 1,200, so is therefore a MUST BUY.

Keep your eyes peeled for strange happenings on Planet Tabloid or Planet Lifestyle, and inform the authorities by submitting them with the form below.

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