Britain in race against time to avoid bad luck

ANYONE with Christmas decorations still up tonight will probably die, experts have warned.

Britons with so much as a single bauble still visible at midnight are guaranteed to suffer a year of horrific bad luck for themselves and all their loved ones.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “No one knows why such a seemingly minor misdemeanour as forgetting to take down some tinsel should ruin your life while you can do a murder and still carry on as normal, but there it is.

“Last year a man foolishly left his Christmas tree up until the seventh of January. Soon after his dog was flattened by a falling mirror, his wife left him for his uncle and he lost both his feet in a freak landslide in the centre of Leeds.”

Travelling salesman Stephen Malley said: “I’m away on a work trip, leaving a small fake tree in my living room and cards on the mantelpiece.

“The neighbours don’t have a key so I’ve asked them to burn down my house, it’s the only way to be sure.”

Australian cricket's strong tradition of feminism under threat

AUSTRALIAN cricket is reeling in shock after a player behaved in a sexist way for the first time in its 200-year history. 

Cricketer Chris Gayle’s on-field proposition to a female reporter has left the sport, which has been promoting feminism on the continent since the 1800s, wondering whether it can carry on. 

Bill McKay, president of Cricket Australia, said: “This is real blow, particularly after losing the Ashes, which symbolises the burning of the patriarchal structure of oppression.

“I’ve talked to a few of our veterans – Shane Warne, Merv Hughes, Dr Clive Gibbons – and they agreed they’ve never heard of a sheila being treated this way. “

He added: “We were so close to tearing down the archaic gender system, which was the founding principle of the Big Bash League in the first place.”