After spending over 5,000 hours researching under laboratory conditions the Mystical University of Glastonbury has announced the outcome of a three year study into the behaviour of soap in showers.
Although their conclusions may change the way we all shower in future, some observers believe the research should have been handed over to one of Glastonbury’s less mystical seats of learning when it became apparent that the behaviour of soap can usually be explained by non-mystical scientific principles.
Head of research Gary Rawlinson announced at a packed-out press conference this morning: “This research was sponsored by Procter & Gamble in response to complaints from customers that soap-drop incidents while showering were on the rise. They came to us partly because of the amazing shower research facilities at the Mystical University of Glastonbury, and also because of our previously published research into the optimum direction to reach when searching for soap that you’ve dropped in the bath.”
Rawlinson explained the methods used in their research; “Initially we asked people to keep a shower diary, noting the size, shape and moistness of their soap. We asked them to recall how many times they dropped their soap, and the time between drops. And we asked people whether they were in a hurry to get showered quickly. While this research gave us some valuable data relating to the correlation between soap moistness and dropping we suspected a degree of under-reporting. There is after all a lot of stigma attached to dropping soap, as people often mistakenly think it is a sign of clumsiness. To overcome this in our second phase of research we started to observe students while they showered, and came to two conclusions, firstly that people really don’t like it when you stare at them while showering – that explains why I have this black eye – and secondly, that you rarely drop soap just once. This is where we made our real breakthrough.”
The Mystical University has announced a three-step process that should help you to almost completely eliminate soap dropping, and at the same time cut about 10% off the time it takes to shower:
Have two bars of soap in your shower, alternating between bars ever 30 seconds. Keep the unused bar of soap on a dry flannel to remove excess moisture.
If you drop your soap, turn off the shower and stand on your bathroom floor without a towel for one minute. This form of extreme training quickly teaches you to keep a moderately firm grip on your soap.
If your inferior soap brand regularly achieves a moistness coefficient greater than 30% while showering, consider switching to Procter & Gamble’s Safeguard Extreme range of soaps. These have been clinically proven to almost completely eliminate drops through the use of an ingenious cord attachment.
This year was always going to be a tough one for Jeremy the pig-tailed macaque. Pressure is mounting in the run-up to the maiden voyage of the Mystical University of Glastonbury’s Astral class rocket.
Jeremy was selected in preference to a human project leader following cut-backs in university funding for the space program. But the need to maintain tip-top fitness levels while attending full time physics, telemetry and language classes may have been too much for this brave monkey.
Chief Rocket Engineer and university spokesperson Gordon McStevens explained; “The problem is children’s pain killers – delicious sweet pink liquid. Because pig-tailed macaques are the size of human children our veterinary consultant suggested we should give it to Jeremy to help him with the aches and pains of exercising. But it turns out that while it’s entirely safe for children, it is heavily addictive for monkeys – it makes him go totally wild”.
Jeremy has been banned from chemists in Glastonbury, and has taken to running around the university campus screaming “More crack! More crack!” – his name for this delicious painkiller. Visitors to Glastonbury have been asked to be on their guard if approached by Jeremy as he tries to get shoppers to buy painkillers for him.
Chief Inspector Wilkinson of the Glastonbury constabulary had some sharp words at a recent press conference:
“We have had reports that this well-spoken monkey has recently been harassing shoppers in Glastonbury, paying above the odds to fuel his terrible addiction. He is small – only a child to your eyes – and many people have been taken in by his increasingly fantastical hard-luck stories. He usually explains to innocent shoppers that he left his wallet on the bus and has a splitting headache”.
Wilkinson continued; “But you need to remember that he doesn’t know when to stop. He doesn’t even use the little measuring cup, he drinks it straight from the bottle, and then the residents of Glastonbury have to pick up the pieces – we don’t want to endure another night of rampage”.
Yesterday was a busy day for Titania Bonham-Smythe and her colleagues at the National Trust gift shop at the base of Glastonbury Tor, following a week that saw the sale of the smallest number of cat muzzles since records began.
“It was obviously a great honour for the tor to feature so prominently in the Olympics opening ceremony in London” explained Titania “but that has caused very low visitor numbers. Now the tor has been re-seated we’ve been overwhelmed with little jobs preparing for the deluge of visitors today”.
The journey back from London along the M4 motorway was not without difficulty for Glastonbury Tor. The rocket transporters used to transport the mountain that were on loan from the aeronautics department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury were never designed to cover such huge distances – normally the furthest they would take their rocket payload would be from the university buildings in the heart of Glastonbury to the launch area on the Summerland Meadows just a few miles away. Something as simple as a puncture in one of the mammoth tyres on the transporter could cause hours of delay, with resulting tailbacks infuriating motorists.
But Bonham-Smythe is confident that visitors will enjoy a fabulous mystical day out at Glastonbury Tor today, unaware of the fervent behind-the-scenes activity; “Patricia Barnyard from the Glastonbury Dogwalker’s Trust has been in to oil the wheels of the dog trolleys, and the gentlemen from the GIPN (the Geneva Institute of Protuberance Nomenclature) have signed off the tor at 190 metres tall, meaning that it continues to qualify for mountain status.”
And probably the best news of all for nature lovers is that now it’s back from London, many Somerset Stranglers have been sighted emerging from their nests on Glastonbury Tor. Although July is traditionally the nesting period for hamsters worries had been building that the trip to London would cause a mass exodus. Fortunately a special grant of 500kg of cotton wool from the Olympic organising committee ensured that the hamsters were safely protected in their nests.
Visitors to Glastonbury Tor were alarmed this morning when they discovered that work has started on the huge job of slicing through the base of the Tor so it can be transported hundreds of miles to the Olympic Games opening ceremony on 27th July.
The Tor will be placed on a specially constructed rocket transporter that is on loan from the aeronautics department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury, and will then be driven along the M4 motorway in time to feature as the centrepiece of the extravaganza at the start of the Olympic Games. Because it is a wide load the Tor will occupy two lanes, only leaving one lane for overtaking. The AA has warned motorists to expect delays.
Speaking on behalf of the Glastonbury Pilgrims Union, Chief Stairmaster Paul Hompkins had mixed feelings about the event; “it is traditional to go all out to impress at the Olympic Games opening ceremonies, and we appreciate that since Glastonbury Tor achieved mountain status that it has become one of the most important visitor attractions in England. But at the same time, you have to appreciate that this will be the first time in hundreds of years that the members of the Glastonbury Pilgrims Union haven’t been able to make their daily barefoot walk from the middle of Glastonbury town to the top of the Tor. During this enforced break we’re going to have a lot of surplus Kendal Mint Cake. Fortunately the National Trust gift shop at the base of the Tor have very kindly offered to take it off our hands. But for me, it’s more about the break in tradition.”
Since February 2011 Uther Henge has been thrilling visitors to St. Michael’s Tower on top of Glastonbury Tor with his lecture Toast, the Tor, Past Present and Future that leads visitors through the historical artefacts on display – a variety of gas and electrical toasters that have been used since 1912, and includes advice on modern toast-making techniques.
But it appears that mothers are reporting that their children are distressed by the section dealing with mystical foodstuffs.
Jenny from Glastonbury said; “The display is very informative. At last I understand why toast is depicted in the Glastonbury coat of arms. And since I learned the Uther Henge Flip I’ve enjoyed evenly browned toast every day. But while I was enjoying the lecture I hadn’t realised my son was looking at the interactive display that explains the mystical qualities of Welsh Rarebit. He hasn’t slept since, and panics every time I go near the grill.”
Uther Henge has promised to remove the Welsh Rarebit display until it can be made more family friendly, explaining; “Really this display was aimed more at people who want to be students in the mystical food science department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury, so it focuses heavily on kitchen safety. The interactive display shows what can happen if you mistakenly include Mozzarella in your cheese mix – it can give your Welsh Rarebit qualities similar to napalm. We now realise that the scenes showing kitchen staff dousing one of their colleagues with fire extinguishers may not be suitable for all audiences.”
Scientists from the aeronautics department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury announced today that a human is unlikely to be launched into space next year on the maiden voyage of the new Astral class rocket. The rocket will launch from the Summerland Meadows in full view of an audience on Glastonbury Tor.
Instead of a human payload, Jeremy, a pig-tailed macaque trained since birth to step in as backup will head the space flight – the opportunity of a lifetime for this proud monkey. Monkeys are very popular on space flights because they respond well in an emergency, and with just a little adjustment can wear clothing that has been designed for humans.
Speaking through a translator, Jeremy was keen to let his audience know how happy he is; “I am very happy… this is a great honour and I am very proud… we have been training a lot… our diet of Kelloggs Fruit ‘n Fibre cereal, fresh fruit and Waitrose vegetarian lasagna has been particularly enjoyable.” These last comments were achieved by pointing to the sponsor logos on his jumpsuit and screaming excitedly.
Although many students at the Mystical University of Glastonbury have been training extensively in the hope of a place in the first UK manned space launch, there are now several sad faces. Chief Rocket Engineer Gordon McStevens explained why the university has made this tough decision; “The Mystical University of Glastonbury has the highest level of fees of any university in England because of the huge cost of the Astral space program. But recently other departments have started to become jealous of our share of the budget. The decision was taken this week to install a new oven in the Food Science department, and the money had to come from somewhere.”
Tarquin Bonham-Smythe, a student who until now was expected to participate on the space flight could not hide his disappointment; “I’m actually studying mystical food science here at the university so I shouldn’t complain, but I was hoping to take a place on the 2012 space launch. Obviously Jeremy is a great guy, very popular with the students and we all wish him the best of luck.”
Students have been up in arms following the announcement in February that the food science department at the Mystical University of Glastonbury are to drop Welsh Rarebit from the syllabus.
And rumours are spreading that the explanation given by the university for their decision – that Welsh foods were starting to unfairly dominate the syllabus – may not have been the full story.
First year student Tarquin Bonham-Smythe is currently studying mystical toast-based foods at the university and has strong opinions about the changes that are afoot; “When mummy paid my tuition fees she was expecting me to walk away from university with a degree that would land me a job in one of Somerset’s mystical gastropubs. This is now going to be a lot harder. The landlords at these pubs expect you to be able to whip up a Welsh Rarebit the moment you set foot in the door, but the idea that I could learn all I need to know in my own time is ridiculous. I haven’t even learned how to open the Worcestershire sauce bottle yet.”
But Bonham-Smythe’s revelations suddenly took on a darker tone; “You know, I heard the problem was that the University has invested so much in the new space program that there isn’t enough money left from student fees to pay for new grills in the food science department. I think they’re just changing the food syllabus to include mystical foods that can be prepared on a hob, or in a microwave. I even heard that they are introducing some sandwich-based mystical foods, and really, what good will that be for me? Apart from the Levitating Lettuce Bap, most people have never heard of a mystical sandwich, let alone bought one.”
After an unbroken run of twelve years on the syllabus, lecturers at the food science department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury have decided to stop teaching students about Welsh Rarebit.
Despite its name, Welsh Rarebit is a food that was invented during the reign of King Arthur in Glastonbury, and the Magna Carta has many references to its use as something other than a foodstuff. For example, the Abbot of Glastonbury Monastery is known less for his liturgical achievements than for the fact that he repelled the invading forces of Henry VIII for over three months using only the power of Welsh Rarebit.
Head of food science Andrew Wemblefield explained; “It’s not that the university doubts the mystical properties of rarebit, it’s just that Welsh foodstuffs have started to dominate our syllabus, leading mystical foods from other cultures to take a back seat. We have the need for a more balanced, holistic approach. If we leave students to learn about Welsh Rarebit in their own time it enables us to help them learn about the healing properties of paella, the talisman effect of the bratwurst, and most importantly, the use of low fat Petits Filou in séances.”
Scientists from the aeronautics department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury announced at a packed press briefing today that the launch of their Astral class rocket should be ready two months earlier than was previously expected.
The launch will put Glastonbury centre stage in the space race that has enabled the university to attract some of the keenest scientific minds in Europe.
Chief Rocket Engineer Gordon McStevens described the experiments that the Glastonbury space program will investigate; “Three years ago we discovered that mystical birthstones behave in a special way under zero gravity. We approached the European Space Agency, but they were unable to accommodate the very sensitive equipment that our particular line of research necessitates, so we decided to fund a brand new rocket program from university fees. It took nearly a year to raise the £3bn necessary to design and build the Astral class rocket. It will be launched from the Summerland Meadows, overlooked by Glastonbury Tor.”
Observers stationed on the tor will have an amazing view and bookings are already being taken for the limited space that is available.
Scientists have known for some time that every 4.5 billion years the earth’s magnetic polarity reverses, and archaeological records indicate that the next flip is imminent.
But the metallurgy department at The Mystical University of Glastonbury have made the surprise discovery that because Glastonbury Tor is made of solid iron, when the next polarity reversal occurs the tor will realign itself, and invert.
They are unsure exactly how long the inversion will take, but best estimates put the speed at somewhere a snail’s pace and a brisk walk.
Concerned for public safety, the university has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a set of emergency plans to the National Trust explaining the action that should be taken to minimize risk. Most of the warnings relate to such things as cordoning off the area until the inversion is complete.
But historians are concerned about the possible increased risk of theft that might result from the proposal to place St. Michael’s Tower on wheels so it can be easily relocated to the top of the tor after the inversion.