Hello to my Coxettes, it’s your gorgeous, yet scarily dressed Prof Brian Cox here, and although i’m rather busy getting ready to attend a celebs only Halloween party i’m finding time to write you this missive… Why you might ask? Well, i’ve been inundated with tens of emails, a postcard and text message, asking the same question; “Why do we celebrate Halloween? How come we didn’t celebrate it until a few years ago? And what’s the origin of Trick & Treating” To be frank, the latter question is all down to greedy supermarkets, i’ll explain why in a bit but first i’ll answer why we celebrate Halloween… To be factually accurate we are in fact celebrating All Hallows Eve, which began in pre-historical times (otherwise called the dark ages because there was no electric light or candles)… On this eve simple folk would celebrate the end of harvest. But why all hallows eve I hear you chorus… well a hallow was a type of cart used to carry the pumpkin harvest in and traditionally, as decreed in the Bible’s Old Testament, the driver was a woman called Eve. In essence it was Harvest Festival by another name, but the only food being given to the poor was pumpkins (potatoes hadn’t been invented yet so the orange veg was all anyone had to eat). Due to the clocks changing, nights getting dark early and no TV to distract them people began the tradition of playing horrible tricks on each and this soon gained nationwide popularity. Historical records tell us that over the centuries the tricks got so dangerous that it became enshrined in law that if you didn’t die due to a trick being played on you then you deserved a treat… Ancient parchments tell us treats were mainly alcoholic and ended in fights. And often death (which is why kids dress up as ghosts). In the end the King, Oliver Cromwell, denounced the vulgarity of All Hallows Eve in the 1860s and banned ”Trickery & treatering” due to it’s devil-worshipping inclinations. As a way around this, and to get peasants into church, the leader of the Catholic Church Pope Norris The Second intervened (he hated Mr Cromwell). He renamed the debauchery Harvest Festival which proved very popular, especially the consumption of the free food and drink in churches which led to an outbreak of mass fornicating and a huge increase in the UK birth rate. So sadly all hallows eve fell out of favour… That was until a few years ago when supermarket bosses were looking at ways to boost sales in pre-Christmas Autumn (and they also wanted to cease the practice of free food and drink in churches), so they rediscovered All Hallows Eve, spent millions on advertising pumpkins, sweets and naff costumes even gave it the new name Halloween… So there you have it, supermarkets are the reason we celebrate Halloween and trick or treating… Which reminds me i’d better hurry round to my pal Graham Norton‘s house as we’re going on the bus together to Jonathan Ross‘ famed celeb only Halloween party… See you soon, and keep the faith (by buying some of my merchandise). Ta ta, Prof Brian Cox.
Good afternoon Beckworth. I’m sorry to be the one to impart bad news, especially this late in the day, but I have to inform all residents that I have taken Police advice and banned trick or treating once again this year… It appears to be the only way of keeping Beckworth safe this Halloween and comes after the ban was lifted last year which led to many, many reports of muggings by the town’s fearless under 10s. Most of the juvenile delinquents are believed to be travellers who camp outside the town from September to March (we’ve tried and failed every Autumn to get these scoundrels moved on but they claim their camp in forest near Beckworth is their “birthright” just because it’s called Gypsy Hill and the courts oddly agree with the blighters). Other young ne’er-do-wells are believed to emanate from the council estate so the police will put on more armed patrols on those litter-strewn streets. I know there will be an outcry from the vegan yummy-mummys and their Satan worshipping offspring, but I trust for the majority of us the ban will make enjoyment of all-hallows eve much safer and fun. Thanking you most warmly. Aashif Ackworth. Mayor. Beckworth Town Council
Exclusive topical large people news just in… I am so proud to be reporting that a local Beckworth food emporium is showing the UK a clever way of stopping obesity by tackling the recently reported problem of fat people (or whatever you’re allowed to call them these days?) damaging society “head on”. I’m talking about how a top doctor has reported that we must stop big people eating snacks and drink coke in broad daylight and on public transport (no doubt the caring Doctor also wants them to stop dropping crumbs when they blatantly take up two seats on the bus or block pavements…Don’t get me started about ill fitting clothes especially “the lower half” if you know what I mean!!! It’s enough to put you off your food!!!!). Anyway local Kebab shop, Knossos Kebabs has “stepped up to the plate” with their own way of stopping obesity and so on your behalf I popped in to get a Donar and find out more from shop owner… Unfortunately he was in the betting shop so I asked his daughter Joolz who was serving me what the shop were doing about fatties… As she built me a rather fine kebab and large chips with all the trimmings and sauces she explained how they were dealing with large portion sizes and calories and stuff by introducing smaller kebabs. And the very clever bit is that the new “diet donors” sell for the same price as regular big ones as an incentive for large people to eat less… They have also started flogging healthy bottled tap water alongside the 2 litre bottles of fake fizzy drinks. I asked how successful it had proved and she said the water was proving hard to shift and “to be honest” most of our customers buy more than one kebab (and chips) at a time, so they may need to buy a few less to loose weight, but takings have gone up! It sounds like a win-win situation, large people get to loose pounds of flesh and a local entrepreneur makes a healthy profit. As my heroine Lady Thatcher would have said that’s the market economy benefitting everyone in society… And I have to add the (large) kebab I had was amazing, it tasted even better as i got to put it on my expenses! So the moral of this heartening story is if you want to loose weight (and you know you need to) eat a kebab… And i’ve just realised that apart from the meat it’s a vegetarian, or vegan, dish… so very healthy. I’m hoping other eateries begin diet portions so I can sample those and file a report. Christine Batley. Deputy Chief Fatties & Food Correspondent. Beckworth And Slocombe Herald Incorporating Nightly Gazette