- Written by Peter Burnett Peter Burnett
Following Wales and England's Mad Former Great British Brexit from the EU (what's the EU?!) the manic depressives of Europe have gathered their best players and will be entering them into the World Cup Finals. So far the team is as follows:
1. Besotto: Nicknamed "Loony-bin", Besotto is a tough agrarian nut afflicted with the terrible movements of rural crop rotation. Thus, his brain has been heated and altered by the sun to an improbable degree. He resents and attacks ornamentalists, all users of puns, imperative verbal traction - and hates to read or hear swear words.
2. Rosh: Recognises himself as a great poet and enters into the following arrangement with his opponents: he will print their verse in his magazine The Declaimer, in exchange for a two hour examination of their most intimate memories. Last season, and amid a low hissing, Rosh disappeared for two matches after a censoring of his private correspondence.
3. Claustro: Not everyone can endure the savage intelligent gaze which Claustro delivers through his pebble lenses. His appearance is that of a boy of tender years, but don't be fooled by the primordially clear sound of his voice - Claustro is an old hand and will talk you into the corner and reduce your arguments to pulp, with the best delivered reductio ad absurdum in the team.
4. Godburg: The elder statesman of the side, Miasma Godburg is trained to blind opponents and then hold them in servile terror. He once took out seven bicycle riders at once, using only one wise-crack.
5. Galoot: Crams notebook pages with highly superfluous thought and is capable of interlinear translations of German faster than anybody in Britain. Caved in one time when attacked by a dog. Galoot is helplessly walrus-footed but can walk perfectly when drunk, and once approached Moscow University for a student grant.
6. Jarno: Jarno once knew the great Boris Laprange, from whom he learned the Canticle of Insulting Names. This difficult and unresponsive player speaks with a strange chesty timbre that excites a profound discomfort in listeners. His arguments always cut with a distorted world view which press on the consciousness, like black volcanic glass.
7. Charles Henry Straiton: The prince of ill-fortune, Straiton has been on the team for seventeen years and captained A.C. to the top of the league in 1984, when he made his famous erudite speech on the right of perlustration.
8. Natanson: Young Natanson impressed national coaches last year after gushing out a giddying oration against animal welfare. Sharp as boiled crawfish, and as fast as a verb on horseback, this youngster will be a sure-fire star of the future, suicide permitting.
9. Matlaw: The painful inflamed eyelids of Jacques Matlaw, it is claimed, have seen the birth, death and revival of European Symbolism. A one-time contributor to the learned quarterlies, Matlaw's talk can also cut through conversation like a lancet.
10. Nyar: A charming slowness of wit deceives Nyar's opponents into believing him to be a complete juggins - but the number 10 has more than just a gentle face, and he can turn the hard beards of disputants through simple, malign tenacity. Talks with one arm tied behind his back.
11. Houppe: New boy Houppe takes an apologetic approach, and is bent on deducing the whole of his arguments from the predestinarian axiom. He is renowned internationally as a lover of forbidden themes and executes verbal reprisals against the overly famous. His thorax is powerful, and shaped like a little boat.