Tom Fog’s Doom & Gloom News

January is always a long, slow month, and this January seems to have lasted for longer than most. This does not seem to have gone unnoticed elsewhere online, with memes such as “We’re 5 months into January now, and it’ still January” and “I’ve been to the year 3000, and it’s still fucking January” doing the rounds. It is the month where nothing much tends to happen, and although I’ve not strictly taken part in Dry January, I’ve basically stayed indoors throughout, except to go to work, or the odd venture to the supermarket. Ipso facto, I’ve struggled to find anything interesting, useful or even slightly entertaining to write about.

I had originally planned to say something about Brexit, but like everyone else in the country, I haven’t got a bloody clue what is going on there or what the likely outcome will be, so that rules that topic out. But then, my phone seemingly started to develop a mind of it’s own and began to bombard me with what it deemed to be noteworthy and important news messages via push notifications – and inspiration struck!

The first time this happened I was out with a friend, when my phone vibrated in my pocket, alerting me – out of the blue – that a mayor in Poland had been stabbed on stage. The bizarre newsflash prompted my friend to ask why my phone had decided to inform me of this random act of violence in a distant country that I have no attachment to whatsoever. The only logical conclusion that it could surmise from the situation was that I must be Batman.

This was to be no one-off event, and since then my phone has regularly disturbed me throughout the day to inform me of various stabbings, rapes and assorted disasters and calamities on varying scales of bloodshed and misfortune. It’s almost as if my mobile has tapped into my brain and is second-guessing my macabre and hitherto secret obsessions. To steal a quote from Batman (which is highly apt following the previous paragraph), “Some people just want to watch the world burn“. And so it appears, do some cellular Android devices.

At no point during the month, did my phone send me any good news; not the slenderest titbit of joy or scrap of happiness. “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is not a proverb that the Samsung Galaxy appears to adhere to, unless of course, it is actually trying grab the attention of an oblivious bystander in order to urge them to intervene and save the day. Maybe then, rather then me being Batman, my phone is actually Lassie, or the technological equivalent of Flipper.

Obviously I decided to screenshot these notifications, which I then cobbled together into a Photoshop collage (as seen above), and shared verbatim here:

21- year old woman killed by police car while answering emergency call

Male nurse charged with sexual assault after woman in coma gives birth

Speedboat killer Jack Sheperd arrested in Georgia after months on the run

Alex Salmond charged with two counts of attempted rape

Danger to life warning issued over severe weather conditions

Mock the Week comedian Jeremy Hardy dead aged 75

Mother of three-year-old girl becomes first person found guilty of female genital mutilation

Plane carrying Emiliano Sala found on the seabed of the English Channel

Four children killed in house fire in Stafford

Liam Neeson says ‘I’m not a racist’ after admitting he wanted to kill a black man

Man arrested over disappearance of student Libby Squire

King of kitchen sink Albert Finney dies aged 82

End-to-end tales of woe, I’m sure you’ll agree, although I do like to think that if Alex Salmond is asked to state his name in court, due to his broad Scottish accent – it’ll sound like he is saying “I like salmon“.

Finally I’d like to share a news story that, surprisingly, did not appear on my mobile, but I did spot on the cover of The Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper that simply reads “Rolf Harris in a primary school“. A front page headline that could have been stolen from Brasseye.

Maybe I should have written about Brexit after all…

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