Monday 1 April 2019

April Fool's Day Brexit Maxit Special (2029, Issue 802)

Now available in e-book form as part of 'A Scrapbook Of madness - The Alan's Album Archives Guide To Alan's Album Archives' out now by clicking here

Welcome, dear readers, to our special Brexit tenth anniversary edition of ‘News, Views and Music (Yayyy, Brexit!) where to celebrate, for the first time since our split, you’re going to get both ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ editions together (we leavers are the best so ya-boo sucks to you!) as a reflection of how divided we were back in 2019. In case you haven’t met us yet we are the twin brothers Lame Duck and Dame Luck who were the replacements for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn on opposite sides of Brexit on Earth and in Space. Since leaving British office due to a scandal involving a land-shark and a lawnmower and Russia hacking our pilchard expenses account, we used our spare cash to buy up Alan’s Album Archives and make it a propaganda machine. Yayyy!  We now have opposite publications either side of Brexit, but for one issue only are going to work together so you can read the views of both of us! 

We start with a history lesson for those of you in future eras who will wonder what on earth we were thinking back in those dim and distant days of 2019 when Brexit only existed in Britain instead of being an existential crisis glorious revolution! that destroyed benefitted you mean! the whole Earth. In short, we weren’t. We weren’t thinking at all and it ended up a complete mess. Brilliance beyond our very own comprehension! Why it only seems like yesterday that Britain was on a knife edge on the threshold of a dream!, waiting for a final decision to be made on what was happening with our relationship with the EU: should we stay because we were lied to by so many soon-to-be-millionaires? Because they like cost us a few extra quid and told us what to do like protecting human rights, so mean, how awful! Should we leave anyway even though it was the worst idea that ever happened in the history of mankind since ‘The Spice Girls’ and people only voted the way they did out of a combination of pressurised fears, broken promises and the great desire to wipe that smug look off David Cameron and George Osbourne’s faces? Don’t forget because some of us are bigots and racists. Plus I’m loaded now thanks to Brexit, yippee! Should we go completely monkeynuts and end up with the worst of both worlds by voting in a Theresa May deal that only a mother could love (and then would pretend was adopted at the earliest opportunity anyway) as an excuse to sack her? Why did so many sensible politicians not see it coming when so much of the public did and why was everyone powerless to stop it? because of our wonderful Brexiteers full of such erm compassion – true leaders Ian Duncan ‘Sanction That’ Smith, Bill ‘I’m going to talk to you at the Stafford school gates for an hour till you call the police’ Cash and Boris ‘blither guff bah’ Johnson. How did democracy (voting for what more people wanted than any other option) get so complicated? Why???? Why, when it was all David Cameron’s fault, was he about the only politician who got away with not having to think about this mess and stay at home writing lies for his autobiography in his shed? It’s a very nice shed, I’m glad we spent so much taxpayer’s money on it when there are so many homeless people around, so true!!!

Then after three years of no one really doing anything much there were the eight last minute indicative votes voted on by MPs in March 2019 that became known as the ‘hokey cokey’ dance of betrayal – in, out, in-out (a customs deal/Brexit 2.0, the Norway deal), shake it all about (revoke article 50 and start again from the beginning), you do the Brexit hokey cokey and you u-turn around (a second referendum), but no one knows what it’s all about (because nobody properly considered what Brexit meant in the first place). Oh hokey hokey cokey, Brexit’s become a bit of a jokey, everyone turning to someone else to blame It’s making us feel a lot less blokey, if you ask us its rather dopey, We say deal or no deal, we’ll get out all the same!

Our final (maybe) decision over Brexit, moved from March 29th, ended up being heard on…April Fool’s Day 2019, ten years ago today in fact! It’s Brexit day baby! Let’s celebrate and commission some coins except – whoops – we couldn’t even get that organised on time. How apt – the start of an entire ‘lost decade’ brilliant time strengthening the poor-rich divide to Brexit. Solving the impasse seemed impossible at the time with MPs split on what to do and unable to give a majority to any of the eight options put before them by parliament. I’m alright, Jack!  The plummeting financial market was great for business! We put the great in Great Britain! Don’t you mean ‘grate’?!? Things got worse better when so many other countries followed suit, each of them forming their own versions of ‘Brexit’ and exposing isolationist tendencies across the globe bowing to outdated British imperial might. It got so bad that nobody was leaving anywhere for anything, not even for afternoon tea. Why leave? Britain’s so great, especially the queuing, the weather and the food. Mushy peas anyone? Beans on toast? Hot dog buns with icing?!? We can export this stuff and make millions! There were riots, looting and policemen on every corner All of whom were saying ‘jolly good show old bean, pip pip!’ Every country fell under the grip of Brexit apathy and confusion jingoistic fervour, with the same split of 52:48% leave:remain votes across the Earth  whether it was in the European Union, a global network, international trade deals or simply getting TV from the outside world. And so we got the only logical conclusion to all this mess…an alien intervention! And we would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you pesky clandusprods! Ironically all the ‘leavers’ ended up staying behind on planet Earth and all the ‘remainers’ were beamed to a new planet. We never liked you johhny foreigner loving sorts anyway!

Thank goodness for Habridan and Catalunia or we might have ended up stuck in an impasse forever. Mean!!! As you all know, we ended up being split in two: the EU leavers got to stay on their precious island talking to nobody and harrumphing to themselves about the olden days Oh those glorious olden days when men were men, pipe smokers were pipe smokers and strange sentient creatures from Zigorous Three stayed on Zigorous Three! while the remainers got to live in space and join the intergalactic federation along with the rest of humanity. What fun to find so many other races out there to bond with, the Clandusprods from Zigorous Three, the Belobrats from Hellosphere and the Mrasianarts. It sounds awful. Some of them had more than one head and one of them – gasp – didn’t even know how to drink tea! It took a while to break through the language barrier (and we’re still explaining the intricacies of Brexit to them) us = great. Capisch? but music truly is the world’s universal language and it’s been a pleasure for Alan’s Album Archives to be at the forefront of swapping all that music with everybody. Rock and roll makes me feel unclean. It’s sinful! Somebody might get hurt – maybe even me with my loaded pockets! It helped that this music managed to prevent our imminent destruction too but, hey, lets’ not brag about that (the way we do in every other April Fool’s Day issue!!!) Yeah, but what country did you write it in buddy??? Englaaaaand (plus Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland, obvs).

To celebrate, this issue we are looking back over the past ten busy years and what both the AAA acts and staff have been up to (Neil Young alone has released fifty albums in that period!), we have special interviews with the remainers boo!!! and leavers Yay!!! and an intriguing debut feature by a new member of staff we think is really going places, time travel scientist Dr Zeus That doesn’t sound like an English name to me. Report him now! – indeed, we know is going places given that he seems to have successfully invented time travel given the amount of appearances in past-future April Fool’s Day issues (oh dear, this is going to be one of those wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey issues that give me a headache, I can tell). We also launch our very own time-travelling columnist Nelson who I’m told becomes a regular feature. Now there’s a nice patriotic British name! Exciting times!!!  Plus we give you the low-down on the exciting new museum dedicated to Alan’s Album Archives over on the planet Mekkron to celebrate the release there of every single AAA album and review on a shiny floopblurgle disc! Don’t forget the ‘Brexit’ museum in our new-look British museum. We have the coins that were never produced on time, lots of nice bunting and David Cameron’s head on a spike outside the door from the days when it was revealed he was secretly a Doosbury Giant who had been working for the Kremlin all the time. We’re even offering one (a floopblurgle disc, not David Cameron’s head, though that would at least save on postage as there’s nothing in it) in a competition later in this issue, although it is worth pointing out that the tririo sound system does tend to work best for those with three heads. We’re also making this edition cheaper than usual to say ‘sorry’ for our mistake last week when our trial hologram edition went a bit wrong for species with more than three eyes (sorry about the singed nostril hair everyone on Zetus Prime!) You wouldn’t get that with good old British technology! Assuming you could get the thing to turn on…

We are particularly pleased to invite you to the opening of the great new Alan’s Album Archives exhibition opening on the planet Sprakkion this weekend. The suite next door is currently empty – I hope we get some nice friendly neighbours! We’ve finally raised the funding and we think this is going to be a much loved museum for millennia! Remember to visit our brand new gift shop where back issues of all 800 News, Views and Music newsletters are available, along with all thirty-two books and the popular companion AAACD series of CDs. You can also get t-shirts for one, two and three headed species, picture postcards of top hats, signed recordings by mascot Max The Singing Dog and those funny little pens that work really well until you get them home. Exhibits on display include four broken laptops belonging to Alan’s Archives, three worn out CD players, one worn out mother, a random coin from the 46th segment of time that accidentally ended up in our universe thanks to a mistake with the AAA time-travel experiments in 2012, a piece of parchment of an original review by a parallel universe James Joyce that was sent back through time by Nostrodogmus, Ted Hughes’ pet crow ‘Death’, a genuine Pixie Drainpipe album from a crack in time, a ‘vote President Bingo’ mug, Neil Young and Crazy Horse tribute band album ‘My Little Pony’ and a Spice Girls spice rack (flavours: ginger, stick insect, blood, sweat and tears). You will also get to see the famous Philosophy Phil, the original Alan’s Album Archives android assigned to the franchise as Alan’s Archives’ replacement back when the post-Brexit deal designated that every office had to have a robot working for them somewhere. He was doing very well until he heard too many Moody Blues albums that gave him robotic angst and he ended up having a metal breakdown and a mental breakdown all at the same time. We would like to formally thank his replacement 21Z8A9 for filling in at short notice and writing all our additional articles. If you’re in the neighbourhood, please come and give the museum a visit and relive the archives of Alan’s Album Archives. There’s so much stuff you could stay here all day – and you probably will because our sense of direction has never been too sharp.  Plus of course the famous Brexit slogan that helped with the overthrow of the unpopular Government by Alan’s Album Archives and its readers…

Next in this anniversary special let me introduce you to our new partner, Dr Zeus, who tells us our museum’s going to be a great success (we won’t mention that he said the same thing about Brexit if you don’t!)…

Welcome dear readers to what is sure to be a real treat! We at BoFace TM Time Travel Inc truly believe that in years to become interstitial time-travel will become as everyday as breathing, walking, hang-gliding and tickling pet argibraffes. All we needed was a company mad enough rich enough ambitious enough to give us a pot of gold and let us try our experiments at The Time Tunnel and we are very glad to have Alan’s Album Archives as our new partners. This is of course necessary now that so many beings with time travelling capabilities have access to the Earth. There are parallel universes popping up all over the place all the, err, time (one unlucky version of the Earth even got this hilarious comedy band named ‘The Spice Girls’ – you’re dead unlucky if one of those people reading this is from that version of The Earth!) Our amazing technology has already allowed Alan’s Album Archives to deliver their reviews simultaneously to all potential time-streams. The problem is, though, the nexus flow is in great danger of breaking and leaving us without all that wonderful AAA music! You see, music is such an unlikely art form: there’s so much working against the people who make it, so many reasons to give up and so many times that we could have been robbed of all that gorgeous sound due to a wrong turning somewhere. Sometimes all it takes is a mysterious figure dotted about time creating just the right idea to make sure important milestones are kept in all ages. Now, you may have read in the news that our first test scheme wasn’t entirely successful. We accidentally wiped out Paul McCartney in 1966 and had to replace him in a hurry with a Belobrat lookalike named ‘Billy Shears’. Nobody seemed to notice we think, so thank goodness for that – at least, only one in minor parallel universe did thanks to a few wormholes in the corridors of time that ended up as clues on album covers. Anyway we’ve worked out where we went wrong (we forgot to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow) and we’re going to try again and show you all how safe time travel is by sending our new intern Nelson backwards through time. Just to 2008 this time for a short little hop, to about the time that Alan’s Album Archives started. What could possibly go wrong? Well, to find out what keep reading on later in this issue! 

We also have an exciting new prize to give away: Donald Trump’s arrest warrant, his very bad orange wig, the 9 zillion page ‘real’ Mueller report (the one kept safely in a drawer in case anyone saw it until the big scandal that Mueller had been replaced by a robot replica) and the giant fish with which he was repeatedly slapped while in the stocks following his impeachment. All you have to do to get your hands on this prize, memories of a tyrant soon to be wiped out from history, is enter our competition. Simply answer the everyday question ‘How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck was from Mekkron five?’, leaving room in your answer for reference to gravitational pull, meteor showers, density overdrive, warp factors and the fact that woodchucks have three arms on some planets. Send your answer in to our new U-mail (Universal mail): ‘Dr Zeus Is A Real Cool Frood’ (I keep meaning to change it, ok?) Remember, time travel is cooler than a clandusprod at Christmas and it’s your continued support of Alan’s Album Archives that makes time travel possible, not just now but in the future and, you know, in the past. 

Next, though, we bring you up-to-date with what happened to all the AAA members since that first Brexit edition ten years ago all the way back in 2019!

The Beach Boys: The division between the band has become more pronounced since Brexit spread across the planet. The Mike Love version of the band continue to be ‘Brexiteers’ and the Brian Wilson faction ‘remoaners’. The hologram update of Dennis Wilson’s ghost has so far changed his mind six times. As a result ‘Kokomo’ is now located back on earth but California is now in space. A special charity Brexit version of ‘Bad Vibrations’ became a surprise hit on Hellosphere. The band also re-released a special edition of ‘Smile’ for the Brexit generation. It has been re-named ‘Frown’. 

The Beatles: We were talking about the spaces between us all…and The Beatles had a real rebirth during ‘Brexit’ with big hits for the re-issue of their songs ‘Come Together’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ ‘A Hard Brexit Night’ and ‘Octopuses’ Garden Welcomes Careful Immigrants’

Belle and Sebastian: The re-recording of ‘Mayfly’ (‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’, 1996), about a short-lived insect who ‘keeps the boys and girls away’, became highly popular in remainer circles.

CSNY: Predictably, Crosby Stills Nash and Young all live on opposite sides of Brexit and have spread out to all four corners of the known universe. Their ‘horror’ remix of ‘Carry On’ (‘Brexit is coming to us allllllllll!’) became an underground hit in the, erm, underground where many of the Brexiteers now live away from sunlight. 

Dire Straits: Was ‘Telegraph Road’ and the gradual slide from freedom and democracy into poverty, war, confusion and traffic jams really a prediction of Brexit? Last week’s AAA article has been getting a lot of streamers and custard pies lately (the new official emoji distinction for ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ in the new post-Brexit societies)

The Grateful Dead recorded two different versions of Jerry Garcia solo song: ‘Deal’ and ‘No Deal’ (‘Don’t you let that deal go down!!!)

The Hollies: ‘BackStop! Stop! Stop!’ was a big hit in the old-look Ireland back in the dark pre-Brexit days. 

Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna: Jorma Kaukanen’s great song ‘Corbyns Without (Br)Exits’ is very big on the Mekkron charts. The giant library for remainers meanwhile was voted the ‘Paul Kantner Memorial’ after the premonition of a future peaceful hippie utopia on the album ‘Blows Against The Empire’. 

Lindisfarne: ‘Poor Old Irish Backstop’ is the latest remix from the Geordies’ who have also started updating their song ‘Run For Home’ to refer to their new world on planet Remain.

Paul McCartney: ’Theresa May, I’m Amazed at the way you mes up all the time’ is the new tenth anniversary release which also marks nearly sixty years since the original ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’.  

The Moody Blues: ‘You want to make a journey out and in?’ sang The Moodies back in 1969. Sixty years on nobody sounds quite so sure anymore but that didn’t stop the ‘Prevent Brexit’ protest marchers using it as their theme tune

Oasis/Beady Eye: It was only a B-side when it first came out but for obvious reasons their old song ‘Getting Off At The Next Brexit’ has been picked up as a ‘remainer’ anthem

Pink Floyd: Where there’s a wall being built there Roger Waters is, projecting footage of a pig onto it. His new concept album ‘Brexit: Is This What We Really Want?’ is his most political work since ‘The Final Cut’ and twice as deranged, with the long awaited sequel ‘The May Memorial Home For Incurable Tyrants and Wasters’. Meanwhile the old David Gilmour song ‘Wot’s…Uh,. The Deal?’ became another big hit during the peak Brexit years.

The Who: Everyone enjoys squashing the new-look ‘Boris Johnson The Spider’ on stage at the end of each gig of the new reformed hologram band. The re-make of ‘1921’ as ‘The 1922 Committee’ did well in the charts too on both sides of the Brexit pond while ‘Tommy’ (a tale about a deaf, dumb and blind kid’) is doing well in its latest manifestation as a cartoon movie about a politician during Brexit.  

If you’re a regular reader, as well as reaching for the headache tablets you might be asking yourself about now ‘whatever happened to The Spice Girls???’ Funny you should ask…

“The Spice Girls”
“Spice Up Your Life: The Brexit Holiday Politics Special”
(‘Viva Forever – Or Till The Next Referendum’ Films)
Yikes. While we watchers were very pleased when the aliens sacked every unreliable biased political commentator from the shamed BBC (now re-modelled as The Belobrat Broadcasting Company) including Laura Kuensberg, Andrew Neil, Robert Peston and Kirsty Wark (not-so-secret conservatives all), we were rather alarmed by their replacements. For who better to give you insightful commentary on the latest political scene than Scary, Scary, Scary, Scary and Posh? Yes, even worse than Brexit is the return of this gruesome fivesome who will surely survive to be there at the end of days, along with cockroaches and old age pensioners going ‘I’m cold!’ This documentary film features such invaluable interviews as the one Ginger conducts with EU Boss Claude Juncker (‘Brexit – what’s that all about then?’ and ‘So then, like, are you really a junkie?’), the one Sporty conducts with Tony Blair (‘Ees a geezer, he was nearly in Spiceworld: The Movie!’ I don’t care how many illegal wars he started, he’s like a really nice man’), the one Baby conducts with Jacob Rees-Mogg (‘Moggy Moggy Moggy! Why do you look aged twelve and act like a curmudgeon of 304?’), the one Scary conducts with Theresa May (‘You call that being a bloody stubborn woman – wait till you see me in action!’) and the one Posh conducts with herself (‘When the votes came out with a difference of ‘Seven’ I wondered why they kept mentioning my son’s name!’) Their re-recording of their old single ‘When EU becomes One’ as a Brexit anthem was particularly atrocious. Their final conclusions on ‘Brexit?’ ‘Britain wants to huh wants to huh wants to really really really wants to zigazigah!’ Which is, to be fair, about the most sense anyone has ever said when talking about Brexit.
That’s brought you up to date on the bands. But what of the AAA staff? Here is what happened during the past decade of news, views and music since our glorious ducktakeover…

Our other exciting news is the creation of the Alan’s Album Archives museum on the planet Mekkron. It’s going to be great! 

Next we take you to our intrepid guest blogger, our resident android MH370 and his regular column asking celebrities to name their favourite records. This week he’s flown to both sides of the known universe…

‘What are you doing here sonny?’ says the man scowling at customs. ‘You’re not a…foreigner are you?’ 

I’m a robot, I point out, Alan’s Album Archives Android ZHX-374. I’m not really from anywhere, except a factory.

‘Where were most of your parts made?’ the man scowls. ‘Maybe if we cover you with a Union Jack you won’t look so…off-putting’

‘I’m really here to interview Ian Duncan Smith about his favourite songs. It’s for the Alan’s Album’s Archives newsletter’ I explain. ‘We were invited as part of the drive to include the ‘EU Leavers’ in more of the arts’. I get shown over to an ugly bald weasel of a man who was busy kicking a homeless person with a look of disdain for the disabled on his face. That must be the chap! 

‘Bah Humbug!’ said Ian Duncan Weasel, looking me over. ‘You’re not on…benefits’ are you?’

‘No, but you are!!!’ I said, in reference to the amount of expenses IDS had racked up down the years off the misery of the poor that enabled him to buy a flashy sports car with and the millions his businesses had made off the back of Brexit. 

‘Hmm’ he said. ‘I hate music! It’s so…sinful. And I particularly hate the ‘singles market’. I did agree to this interview though. We’d better get on with it then hadn’t we?’

No Wonder they call him IDS, I think to myself, he’s definitely giving me Irritable Bowel Syndrome… I ask him for his first disc. ‘If you were to be stranded on a desert island…’

I get cut off. ‘Stranded? Sinful! My island would be able to stand on its own two feet! We could make slaves of all the monkeys! Set up a trade deal with the island using coconuts! We could communicate by seagull!’

I realise that IDS is as barmy as a squirrel’s nut. There are no seagulls or coconuts and the island is in the middle of nowhere – that’s the whole point. 

‘My first song choice would be The Moody Blues and ‘Go Now’ he said (‘The Magnificent Moodies’ 1965). ‘It reminds me of that wonderful day we left the EU and how great that was for Britain!’ I point out that everyone on the island is sick or dying apart from him. ‘Not my problem! Everyone is sinful!’ he sniffed. I ask him for his second disc. 

‘She’s Leaving Home By the Beatles!’ he cried (‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, 1967). ‘It’s clearly all about the EU. The ‘men with the motor trade’. ‘But the whole point of the song is the misery of the people she leaves behind!’ I point out. The girl in the song doesn’t sound as if she’s going to live happily ever after, either. Disc number three?

‘Leave’ by the Buffalo Springfield (Same, 1966). What a cracking tune! Here my pleas, leave!’ (with a chorus that runs ‘nobody knows, nobody sees’ I mutter to myself under my breath. ‘What was that robot?’ ‘Nothing…’ I reply. ‘Moving On?’… 

‘Jefferson Airplane – Never Argue With A German If You’re Tired’ (‘Bark, 1971). So spot on about Angela Merkel. Poor Theresa May, I felt so sorry for her. All that hard work of at least half an hour trying to work out what Brexit meant and the EU being so mean when they wouldn’t let her take all their benefits without paying any money for them’. ‘You do realise that this ‘song’ is just an excuse for Grace Slick to swear in a foreign language and get it past the censors?’ I reply. ‘Look robotic buddy, I don’t like your tone he says’. Next choice?

 ‘Simon and Garfunkel – The Leave Votes That Are Green’ (‘Sounds Of Silence’ 1966). ‘Hang on, don’t they turn to brown in the song? And wasn’t it really about aging?’ I ask. ‘Listen here Sprocketts!’ says the Weasel-faced rat monster. ‘Me and my friend Farrage and Jacob Rees-Smug aren’t as nice and friendly as we seem!’ (‘You got that right…’ I thought to myself). ‘Next disc?’ I ask quickly.

‘You Can Tell England’s An island’ by the great Martin Kitcher’ he says. At last we both agree on something! ‘Did I ever play you the sequel?’ I ask Ian Duncan Smith. ‘It was this great song about ATOS (‘You’re Not Fit To Live’) all about how the disabled felt like a burden to the state. You were in charge back then weren’t you?’ I ask sweetly, my bolts burning with frustration. ‘Weren’t you the one who organised the culture whereby the poorly and disabled would be harassed into death to save a few extra quid for that sports car over there?’ I said. 

‘Sinful!!!! Out, out…OUT!!!!’ he screamed at me. ‘Out didn’t work out too well for you in the referendum, did it?!?’I reply. ‘Look around you at all this misery, devastation, the distrust you caused, the lies you told, the people you betrayed?’ But of course he was no longer listening and was counting his money instead. These people never listen do they?’

‘My dear Catalunia the seventh, is that the handsome young android from that very fabulous Alan’s Album Archives company?’

‘Why yes it is dear Habridan the fourth, how clever of him to find his way up into space and to our new planet ‘Remain’. All of our friends are waiting to give you a special party to make you feel at home!’

How nice I think, rubbing the metal shin that Ian Duncan Weasel had kicked earlier that week. I bet this interview goes a lot better than the last! I start by asking them a little about their new planet.

‘Why I think it’s very lovely here’ said Catalunia, her wings perched over the back of a very comfortable seat as she pulled up a special robot table for me (ooh new oil, yum!) ‘I was so pleased when dear old Walahazoo heard about all these earthlings shouting about nothing in parliament. I was given this spare planet as a present for my last clone-day you see and I was feeling lonely. It feels like paradise here now – no pollution, no warfare, everybody gets to raise everything they are unhappy with and people generally try to keep the peace. Also, the ban on The Spice Girls seem to have really coped with the population’s nerves.' 

‘Didn’t the sudden mass of inhabitants (48% of Britain, plus vote-changers) seem a bit strange?’ I asked. 

‘Why goodness no!’  said Habridan, his eyebrows-on-stalks giving a brief flash of amazement. ‘There is plenty of room for all if everyone just squeezes over a bit. The more the merrier we say – every immigrant has something useful to give society and we love the fact that we are learning about new cultures and customs. We particularly love this earthling thing called rock and roll!’

‘Oh yes’ I said, picking up my unleaded pencil. ‘Do tell me more about your favourite songs for my new article. 

‘You go first Habridan, darling’

‘No you Catalunia my petal’

‘Well I really like Cat Stevens’ ‘Land O’Free Love and Goodbye’ (‘Numbers’ 1975), it’s this lovely pretty tune about feeling at one with nature and how ‘the God I love loves me’. 

‘I really like that one too, dearest. My first choice would be ‘Get Back’ (‘Let It Be’ 1970), a great Beatles rocker about getting back to where you once belonged – like the intergalactic federation (formerly the EU).’

‘Me too dearest heart, how our twelve legs really tap up and down to that one! And don’t forget that charming Hollies song ‘Stay (Just A Little Bit Longer)’  (‘Stay With The Hollies’ 1964).

‘Keeping with The Beatles theme, I really liked ‘She Loves EU, yeah yeah yeah’ (‘Past Masters One’ 1988), at least I think that’s what it was called.

‘I think one of those Beetles had a hand in my other favourite song, ‘We All Stand Together’! (‘All The Best, 1987)

‘Oh yes with that amazing amphibian choir. Next up how about Sinead O’Connor’s really powerful song ‘Nothing Compares 2 EU’ ? 

‘A classic if ever there was one my love.’

‘Then of course there’s that classic Kinks hit ‘EU Really Got Me’.

‘Are you getting all of this down, dear robot?’

Yes I reply as my five arms scribble furiously. I just have room for one more item.

‘Well I think it only right and proper that we pick our new charity single that’s out this month which has been recorded by the Remain Choir along with the Belobrats, Mrasianarts and the Clandusprods. It’s raising money to send care packages to the leavers back on Earth.’

Ooh, what is it called I ask, sensing an exclusive. 

‘We’re All One Galaxy And We’re Only 72 Million Light Years Apart’. 

Catchy I think as they play me a hologram. And that’s my interview done!

‘You’re welcome to stay as long as you want’ says Habridan. ‘We even got you a present for being so nice!’

How lovely! A spare third ear! My other one must have fallen off when I was back on the Brexit world. I think I like this place. Maybe I should just stay pout and hand my notice in? Nobody at the AAA will notice! There’s just time for a little doze before I have to type this up and send it to the editor. Now where do I plug in?! 

Top Five: This Week – Dumb Things About Brexit! (Remainer Column)

1)      At no time before going to the trouble of calling a referendum did anyone actually think what it would entail. You would have thought that, when preparing the ballot papers, somebody somewhere would have gone ‘hang on, what if Britain does choose to leave the Eu, what does it really mean?’ It’s not like the 1974, the last time we had a vote (and chose to stay). There are many more countries now, much more confusing trade deals to re-make with so few countries outside the Union and their laws have been an intrinsic part of British society for forty years now. You can’t undo that in three years – and yet that’s what was proposed on the ballot, without any information given to the public about what their vote would mean. Clearly as a continent Britain was going nowhere, so what did leaving mean? No more trade? No more laws? No more protection? We can’t pick and choose the good bits and not the bad

2)      The Irish problem: peace has been tentatively called now between Ireland and Northern Ireland (sort of under British rule) since the early 1990s. It took a century of constant fighting to reach the point where we could even vaguely count this as a peace, without terrorist attacks every five minutes. Brexit means that the country will again be split in two – what happens with a border? Did anybody think this through?

3)      The fact that we were lied to during the Brexit campaign by the ‘Leave’ side – and nobody tries to stop them! The cost paid to the EU was exaggerated for greater effect, lies about immigration statistics and fear-mongering was spread on the side of busses which should have led to a criminal prosecution and did the money saved go to NHS hospitals? No way! Why were so many lies allowed to pass? The original referendum vote was so close – I could easily believe that there was a 2% swing because of these lies that went uncontested

4)      The fact that we can’t change our minds. The referendum, you see, is not legally binding until it was put into law. We had a rushed referendum, campaign and three years when we were told we couldn’t change our minds. And yet so much more information came to light which we never knew about at the time we made a decision. Also, why was the mantra of the Government that ‘we have to honour the referendum and not let anyone change their minds?’ when Theresa May put her deal up for a vote…three whole times!!! So MPs are allowed to change their minds then?!? After all, if you found out what you voted for in desperation to wipe the smug look off David Cameron’s face and help him out was going to make the land of your birth face rack and ruin for the foreseeable future and that your blind trust that everyone in power knew what they were doing was wrong, you’d want to change your mind too, right?

5)      The fact that we had it at all. When the history books look back they will question why David Cameron ever thought he had to put being in the EU to a vote. The reason was that in 2016 Cameron feared losing votes to the far-right UKIP party whose entire manifesto was about immigration. As it happened, though, at the next election Brexit were wiped out anyway without a single MP (with, ironically, Farrage continuing as an MEP until 2019), everyone having got bored of the bigoted and racist remarks. Which in one stroke made Brexit null and void. 

   Top Five Sensible Things About Brexit

1)      Erm….Umm…Errr….

2)      Urr…..Errr…..Ummm…

3)      Oooh…Errr…Ahhh…

4)      Hmmmm…Errr… Ugggh

5)      Copyeditor: this section will be filled in later once the Leave headquarters are drunk enough to think of something!!!

Our AAA intern has kindly agreed to try out our new BoFace Time Travel machine. Little does he know that this will be the start of a hundred year journey out of time! This week he meets a sickly writer in the year 2008…

I stood before the machine with it’s multi-coloured spirals and gazed up at the TV monitors positioned round the room flickering away. One of them was showing a gardening programme (lovely flowers!) 

‘So how does it work?’ I asked my editor eagerly. 

‘I don’t know son, it’s Clandusprod technology on loan. We asked for an Earthling translation but I don’t think Zigorous 3 understands our multi-language society. The instructions are all Greek to me’.

‘Is it safe?’
‘Well it was health-and-safety checked last year so I guess so’. 

‘But this health check says it only works for Clandusprods and Argibraffes’. 

‘Well, you have a similar number of heads I suppose, it’s worth a try. And you did sign out that big post-Brexit insurance form didn’t you? Ok then, off you go!’ 

I walked up to the platform and looked anxiously at the people waving me off. 

‘And there will be a job for me at the AAA as a columnist at the end of this? A paid one?’ I ask anxiously. 

‘Yeah, maybe….’ My editor replies. ‘Let’s see how good the tea and coffee you make is on your return and then we’ll talk about a zero hours contract’.

I shrug my shoulders. Why did I pick to leave the EU? These companies could get away with what they liked!

‘So just one quick trip and back again, right?’ 

‘Yes…I hope’

I walk through the spirals surrounded by pyrotechnics. Suddenly…AAAAGH! My feet lurched from under me as I prepared to go back through time for the first time. 

Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of two other travellers falling, one of them in a natty tweed suit and another in a bright green jumper. At least my attire had been taken care of by the wardrobe staff and would change to fit any of the time periods I would travel into. Except….

Oh dear.  There I was wearing 19th century frills and pantaloons as I stood in the corner of a bedroom that was clearly 21st century even though it was filled with 1960s music posters and album covers.  Not that it was easy to see. The curtains looked as if they hadn’t been opened in a very long time. I thought the room was empty at first. As my eyes adjusted I saw a figure, visibly sick, struggling greatly to sit up and shielding even the tiny light from my circuitry from his eyes. He whispered so quietly I could barely hear him.


I consult my notes. ‘Not exactly.’

‘I was waiting for death. That’s the only thing left for me now. So…sick. So…spoonified.I can’t even listen to music anymore. How did I end up here? Whoever you are, please release me from my m.e. or tell me that I can get through it’.  

My training hadn’t prepared me for this. I wonder what to do. You see I know this figure in the bed won’t get well. I know he won’t ever be healthy, won’t even remember what it feels like to be well, won’t ever be able to go on long walks again, won’t ever get to simply enjoy himself without preparing to pay for the cost of it and I know that this sickness will be a shadow that will follow him for a long time to come. Even in my time m.e. has no cure. Not enough people acknowledge it. Less understand it. Though the founding member of the company I am vainly trying to work for (and whose every review I have read, causing great strain to my eyesight) often talked about it, I never truly knew what it was till I saw it before me. Squashing the life out of him. Taking away the essence of human life that made people more than just a barebones struggle for survival. Breaking his spirit in two. I know it won’t heal. That it won’t really get all that much better. But that, like so many spoonies – including his future friend BB who will use her spoons creating the AAA book covers I will spend my formative years staring at or this founder’s girlfriend, who herself is suffering with the similarly misunderstood lyme disease on the other side of the world unbeknownst to each other just yet and who will go on to be an even higher selling author, that it won’t beat him as it won’t beat them. 

I want to say all this – but I don’t know what to say. My brief training didn’t prepare me for this. So instead I stutter nervously.

‘Aren’t you surprised to see a stranger dressed like this randomly standing in your bedroom?’, making a mental note to avoid the CD boxes, notebooks and various cereal bowls piled up on the floor.

‘Everything is…strange now’ the figure murmurs, drifting back to sleep. 

I jump to and start into my practised speech.

‘My name is Nelson. I’ve been sent from the future to make sure that you achieve certain things in the time stream to ensure history succeeds the way it should. Something musical’. 

I notice that the figure has fallen asleep and has started snoring like a seal (or maybe a panda?) 

Hmmm, my first important job wasn’t going terribly well. I whisper into his ear the words I have been given to say. ‘Mike…Skills exchange…unlikeliest format in the world…you will know what to do.’

I don’t know if I am getting through so I reach down and murmur the best sentence anyone can be given when their body has failed them and their life is disappearing at a rate of knots. ‘Don’t…give…up! Have….faith’  

I see the big green eyes light up, before I am suddenly whisked away through the air again…AAAAGH! 

I find myself a year later and there I am in a decrepit run-down building apparently named ‘The Skills Exchange’ in a good-for-nothing concrete nothing of a town called Skelmersdale. I recognise the same figure sitting upright and working away at a desk, checking his emails and looking bored, looking a little better but still as if he was in need of a long lie down, even though the powers-that-be at the job centre have sent him here when he is clearly too poorly to work. His clothes are sitting on him crooked and I see a pair of headphones hanging out of an old coat, obvious signs that I have found the right person. I take stock of who else is in the building and notice one named Dave smoking, one named Dave smirking and a chap named Cocker who was talking to someone on an AC/DC forum. Though it certainly didn’t look like it to me, I realised that this was actually a job centre course (with a few school children here too) and everyone was meant to be doing work, but nobody looked as if they actually were. A lot of people, it seemed, were simply playing ‘Age Of Empires’ and staring at their watches.

‘Are you err…umm…?’ asked a cool dude named Craig walking up behind me.

‘That’s right’ I reply quickly before he can find a name on his list. ‘I’m just here for the day, in fact an hour, I’ll be gone soon’ and I hand over twenty time-sheets that have suddenly materialised in my hand which are filled in with strange indecipherable scribbles. Craig doesn’t seem to notice and walks off to talk to Cocker about going to somewhere strange named Upholland. 

I do, however, notice a bath carelessly propped up against a wall, something seemingly unbefitting a jobcentre course and the decidedly old fashioned Windows 1995 state of the technology.

Suddenly an energetic young chap named Graham bursts the tension like a balloon, clutching at me as he runs past in his haste to fill the building with the glorious noise of laughter and excitement, singing McFly and Busted songs with gusto and clutching a letter in his hand about Andrew Abbott. Behind him is a sweet kid named Rebecca, who is practicing her morris dancing skills. This didn’t look like a hiving hubbub of musical activity to me as I’d always imagined the first place where my founder started writing Alan’s Album Archives across an eleven year period. It looked like a den of inequity if I’m honest. 

Then I spot my subject moving over to the bath and trying to help a tall, dignified, short-haired looking chap with an intelligent expression out from underneath a bath.
‘They seem like a handful’.

‘You could say that. I’m Mike.’

‘We call him The Face Of Bo after this dr who annual we borrowed from you’ said Rebecca. 

‘You look like you’ve been attacked by… Ewoks’ says my founder. 

‘Ninjas’ says Mike at the same time. They blink. 

‘Ewok ninjas?’ 

‘Would you like to make a website later?’ says Mike as he tries to stop Graham jumping out of the window. ‘I’ve made all sorts for people here if you have any ideas?’

‘I do have one for a music website’ my founder replies. ‘A really ambitious website. 500 albums. A thirty-part book series. Clandusprods…Belobrats…’ 

Everyone looks at him blankly, but this is clearly the thought that festering in his brain in the last year, since I met him, suddenly taking flight. I feel the hands of history upon me and for such a tiny insignificant moment everyone else in the room is missing. Even I missed quite a lot of it due to some guy called Ian who kept asking me every ten seconds if I wanted a coffee.  

But then all too soon its home time and the school-leavers Mike, Graham and Rebecca have to go home. The next thing I know my subject matter is making lists. He likes lists does he, the longer the better. Eventually though, after what seems like hours, he starts to actually write something and I peer over his shoulder to see what he’s working on.
Whoops I just gave away my cover! He looks up puzzled, half-recognising me from a year before. ‘I’m just, err, looking for an ECDL instruction manual’ I lie, having heard lots of people talk about it that day but nobody actually doing anything about getting it, no matter how many times they ask Craig about it. 

And then he starts writing it. ‘With The Beatles, (EMI 11/1963’) and the words… ‘WHAT better place to begin our planned 650-page feast of musical treats than with the album that - for many - started it all…’

Ha, I think to myself, only 650 pages. Little do you know what’s coming next!’ as I know in 2019 alone the numbers are more like 20,000. And I open my briefcase, stare at the 31 AAA books looking back at me in various coloured hues and I grin. I realise right there, hitting me like a smackero blurdy, that truly anybody can do anything. If even someone that sick, that lost and that hopeless can go on to conquer some small insignificant footnote in history with nothing more than a succession of mean laptops, a confusing jobcentre course that wasn’t, friendship, headphones, love and sheer bloody stubborness, then anybody can do anything.  

Suddenly I realised how small the things can be that pivot our direction in life. How easy it is to sometimes give up, especially when the job centre and sickness and life and family and problems are on your back to pass on your dreams and lead a normal boring life. I realised then in turn what my calling was. That I wanted to do this forever, to give hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless and courage to the couragelessness. Life is so random and brutal, we all have something important and personal to us to offer the world, however fast or slow it is to catch on to it. That the world has billions of people doing boring mundane jobs for small change already, but that one day somewhere we might find the one thing we were put on this planet (or any planet) to do, that makes us feel for the first time more than just an insignificant speck cruising about on the universe in a giant dust bowl getting sick. 

And I realised that I wanted to do this forever, to help AAA musicians become the best they could possibly be and bring them hope and comfort even in dark and troubled times, be it Brian Wilson after Smile, Pink Floyd after Syd, The Rolling Stones in jail, Janis Joplin before she became famous or Simon and Garfunkel after their first fight. I wanted to do it all, but my time was running short and I have seen all I need to see, as this sickly figure finds the glow of having found his life’s calling, for better or for worse. I have tried to do my job in this time zone - I only hope that I have done some good. And then the lights swirl and I am on my way again, back surely to that familiar concrete hall of the Time Tunnel. 

Except it wasn’t. I wasn’t back home at all. It seemed I was destined to be drifting through time instead. Where was I going? I didn’t know. I just hoped it was somewhere quiet (that Graham could really talk y’know!) Where could I possibly be now? Would I ever get home again? Or would I be lost to the void?… (See April Fool’s day Issues 1-9 to find out – Nelson finally made it home in issue 10!)     

A complete collection of April Fool’s Day Columns (Plus Other Bits and Pieces):

#1 (published 2009, set in 2034):

#4 ('Swedish Elizabethan' edition, published 2012, set in a timeless universe):

#5 ('Max's Space Museum' edition, published 2013, set in 7114):

#6 (Max's Scrapbook' edition, published 2014 set in 2099): and

#7 ('Multiverse with famous authors writing for the AAA' edition, published and set in 2015)

#8 ('The Story and Discography of Pixie Drainpipe', published 2016, set in 5838)

#9 (‘All Hail President Bingo!’, published 2017, set in 2020)

#10 (‘Spice Up Your Life!!!’,  published and set in 2018)

#11 (‘Brexit Maxit and Farewell’, published 2019, set in 2029)

Every Single AAA Studio and Solo Release in Chronological Order: 

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