YOU CAN CALL ME AL (-SHABAB, BUB)

The Artist Until Recently Known as News Ltd has been running a story about “10 things you should know” about the extremist group that attacked the shopping mall in Kenya.

The material was from Associated Press. Whether or not it was News Corp-ized, (and thus Ltd), into the “ten things you should know” format, one can only guess. (Quite possibly using a word that happens to rhyme with “guess”.)

However the concept of our buddies in Murdoch Tabloid Wonderland tackling a story like that has the old brain-box boggling away like an old fashioned coffee percolator at full steam.

One imagines it might go something like this.

TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DANGEROUS FOREIGN TERRORIST GROUP, NEWS CORP AUST-STYLE

1)  WHAT IS AL-SHABAB?

Despite the name, they are not one of the 95% of soccer clubs with similar names in the Asian Champions League. Do not approach them with soccer balls or whistles as they may blow you up. They are some form of extremely dangerous and foreign terrorist group.

2)  WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THEM?

Avoid Africa, is the main tip. If Al-Shabab is encountered, be polite yet firm, and after exchanging pleasantries about the weather and so forth, go on about your business. If they seek to detain you, it may be a good idea to have a large can of insecticide about your person, as a faceful of fly-spray ought to temporarily distract them. If you do not have a large can of fly-spray, point over their shoulder, exclaim “Look, it’s internationally acclaimed comedy recording artist Weird Al Yankovic!” and while they are distracted, discreetly run away.

3)  WHAT DO THEY EAT?

As Muslim extremists, Al-Shabab observe dietary restrictions known as Challah. They thus only eat egg loaf, and rolls at a pinch. Some of them go for chopped liver. Fruit is freely exchanged. On Fridays, which are Al-Shabab free dress days, for a small sum collected and paid to charity, members of the group may come as any member of the Village People, and at these times, fizzy drinks of many flavours are permitted, plus cocktail franks, and flavoured snack crackers. The goat is never eaten, partly because it is held sacred, but mostly because it is a very old goat.

4)  WHICH ENGLISH FOOTBALL TEAM DO THEY FOLLOW?

Since none of them have ever been to England, and none of them profess any interest in the so-called “infidel soccer game”, 99% of them follow Manchester United. However it is believed that one guy in the handguns section is a Hull City Tigers fan.

5)  WHAT INSPIRES THEM?

According to their official PR group, Desleigh & Wesley’s Jihad Media Worx, Al-Shabab members are inspired by a beautiful sunset, walking hand in hand across the sand with like-minded blowers-up of stuff, the music of Gilbert O’Sullivan, and the thought that one day, in the afterlife, there’s a rumour that an ice-cold beer might not be out of the question.

Polls of the violent murderers, and those who would like to be, in the group have officially revealed that they also gain inspiration from the Briscoe & Green episodes of Law & Order, the symphonies of Brahms and “that other B-guy, you know with the grandma-hair – the one who was deaf and stuff”, and also the miracle of striped toothpaste.

6)   WHAT ARE THEIR FAVOURITE COLOURS?

67% purple, 14% blue, 12% vermillion, and 7% taupe, if you include one guy who got confused and wrote “Bernie Taupin”.

7)  HOW DO YOU CARE FOR AL-SHABAH?

They should be kept in a large box, with holes punched for adequate ventilation. Put grass and wet bread in the box, minding your fingers, as some Al-Shabah will nip. In colder months, apply linseed oil liberally as they may split if not oiled.

8)  DO THEY ENJOY MUSIC?

Take care with volume so as not to frighten them. Start them on a little Ray Stevens or Roger Miller and see how they go. Some US laboratories report that they’ve had some success with Harry James tunes and other big band swing, but these reports have not been fully confirmed by the US Food Drug and Big Band Swing administration.

9)  CAN THEY BE RECYCLED?

At this point, most councils advise that their recycling contractors do not have the technology to fully recycle Al-Shabab. Any members you are finished with should thus be taken to the local tip, or neatly bundled and left with used furniture and electrical items if your council conducts periodic hard-waste collections.

10)   HOW CAN THEY BE EXPLAINED TO AUSTRALIAN PM TONY ABBOTT?

Tony struggles with the finer points of international political, military, sociological, financial and all other complexity. He also struggles with the non-fine points. If the situation continues, it puts him off his Bircher muesli and he gets grumpy. At this point, simply persist with nomenclature of standard Abbott geo-political explanation, i.e. tell him they are “baddies”. If he has one of his bright moments because it’s still early in the day, and asks about anyone else involved, eg Kenyan govt, other anti-Kenyan govt groups, this other guy he knows called Ken, or whoever, simply explain it’s “baddies against baddies”. That usually seems to hold him.

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