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Joking Apart

In a move described by University of Afpuddle Classics lecturer Dr Sue Etonius as "piling Pelion on Ossa", the RDC announced yesterday that it did not expect its CONTRIK-69 Heavily Armoured Stormtrooper Agile Rapid Response Division [C-69VP-HASARRD] to return to barracks any time soon and certainly not before April 2027 at the earliest.

A visibly worried Dr Sue Etonius stands at her desk in the University of Afpuddle's Amanda J Threadbone Study Suite.

Whilst agreeing with his esteemed Classics Department colleague that, in making yet another ill-advised "joke" pronouncement, the force was "caught between Scylla and Charybdis and in real danger of releasing the Kraken by untying the Gordian Knot" over-wrought Assistant Lecturer in Greek Mythology Harry Cleese believes that Chief Constable Sir Rising Crimewave “is increasingly trapped in a Euripidian nay an Aeschylean tragedy not of his own devising, whilst finding himself vulnerable to the mercy of all the furies combined”. [Dr Cleese is widely available for reasonably-priced extra-mural lectures though, during the present crisis, prefers to Zoom from home.]

Recently caught out in an "ill-judged and even more ill-advised" April fool "prank", it was thought that the RDC would try to keep a low profile pending the outcome of DPCA [Dorset Police Complaints Authority] inquiries. The force referred itself to the Authority following "a strongly negative public reaction to its inane and inflammatory contribution to what was already a highly toxic situation". Those inquiries are expected to be completed [and the RDC completely exonerated] in 2029.

"The last thing we expected was another tasteless April Fool message, especially as this one came on April 2nd which everybody knows is bad luck"*, Mr Ivor Hadenov, a deeply anxious former-carer from Bothenhampton commented. [Mr Hadenov's mother is currently incarcerated in Rhyme Intrinsica's Maximum Security Hospital accused of leaving her home without proper certification. The Hospital is more than 15 miles from the family home and Mr Hadenov was amongst those distressed at Wednesday's fake-announcement that she might be due for release.]

* a sentiment confirmed to today by University of Afpuddle resident Astrologer Professor I. C. Starrs.

Toying with the feelings of a vulnerable and enfeebled population just isn’t on” Mr Ivor Hadenov went on, “I like a joke as well as the next man - especially when it’s been explained to me - but this one was a bridge too far and I didn’t find it remotely funny“.

In a hastily convened press conference Sir Rising Crimewave startled the assembled journalists by clearly stating that the announcement regarding the continuing deployment of C-69VP-HASARRD was not in fact a joke at all but was "a simple statement of fact" - a reassurance that Mr Hadenov found equally unfunny. Either this was a joke - ie a fake announcement - which isn’t funny or it’s the truth which isn’t funny at all. Either way this isn’t a smile you see on my face. Asked why he was in fact smiling, a downcast Mr Hadenove replied “it’s the way I register despair”.

Unfortunately the RDC has φώναξε Λύκος [phonaxe lykos] ["cried wolf"] once too often, Dr Harry Cleese observed.

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