DOBBIES the garden centre was in mortal danger last night after the launch of a hostile takeover by Emperor Tom Hunter of the Planet Mongo.
Hunter wants to use the £160 million acquisition as a strategic foothold in the burgeoning home improvement sector as well as a means of enslaving the entire population of Earth.
Dobbies, which is also Scotland's largest OAP drop-in centre, has been described by city analysts as 'humanity's last, best hope' against the forces of evil inter-planetary takeovers.
The all-conquering Hunter is one of the galaxy's most terrifying and merciless retailers.After a typical childhood in the Evil Imperial Household on Mongo, he set out, aged 14, to sell plimsoles from the back of a van in Ayrshire.
Thanks to a keen business acumen and regular deployment of War Rocket Ajax he was able to annihilate his competitors and build Sports Division into one of the biggest volleyball retailers in the west of Scotland.
He sold out to JJB Sports and returned to Mongo where he assumed the Imperial Throne and began plotting to take over the universe. His only respite from wickedness is the occasional game of tennis with ex-President Bill Clinton.
A spokesman for Hunter said: "The final piece is about to fall into place. Soon your annoying little planet will kneel before the Great Emperor and enjoy an even wider range of top quality patio furniture at frankly unbelievable prices."