Is this the best stick ever?

A STICK picked up on a cycle path near Stoke may be the finest ever found, it has been claimed.

Tom Logan, 48-year-old engineer, was walking his labrador when he stumbled on a fallen branch.

He said: “On closer inspection it was apparent that one particular bit of the branch would make a very serviceable stick.

“But after snapping it off I was astonished by its excellent heft, convenient length and the way it was rigid but not brittle.

“I couldn’t help but swoosh it about – and believe me, I am not a swoosher. That’s when I really started getting excited.”

Logan showed the stick to friends, who agreed that they had not seen a better one and suggested he lend it to specialists.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “I can confirm that this is a truly exceptional stick. Look at it, it’s just so…right.

“I’ve tried using it to knock nettles out of the way while getting over a stile, and the result was amazingly satisfying.

“Is it the best stick ever? Well, I’m awaiting corroboration but let’s say I’m quietly excited.”

Tom Logan said: “My life has been turned upside down by this stick. And who knows where the journey could end?”

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Real cost of public sector workers' strike is having to speak to them

THE psychological cost of being forced to verbally interact with striking council workers far outweighs any financial loss, experts have claimed.

As thousands of public sector types prepare to take to the streets, people with real jobs are making contingency arrangements to avoid listening to a social worker harangue them about pensions.

Carlisle factory worker Wayne Hayes said: “Ordinarily they’re safely contained inside their offices, drinking tea and posting peevish comments on the Guardian website.”

“But my trip to work takes me right past a housing office and I know one of the strikers is going to corner me and try to compare themselves with the demonstrators in Egypt.

He added: “God knows how drunk I’m going to have to get to obscure the irritation but it’ll probably mean I have to take a couple of days off work with a hangover, thus costing me the moral high ground.”

Businesses also fear that if public sector workers’ demands aren’t met, they may look for jobs in the private sector, costing billions in incompetence-related mistakes.

Employment lawyers are now frantically searching the Human Rights Act to see if it’s legal to burn the CV of anyone who’s ever been to an encounter group, or been paid to raise awareness of anything.

Julian Cook, chief economist at Donnelly-McPartlin said: “Like buying a child a PS3, agreeing to pension demands will be an expensive but effective way of ensuring council workers won’t get under anybody’s feet for a while.”

“You know deep in your heart that the little devils don’t deserve it, but you just want to avoid a full-blown screamy tantrum.”