Dr Julian Cook's science laboratory

New technology has this week given us amazing revelations about Ötzi the Iceman, whose preserved body was found frozen in the Austrian mountains ten years ago. People think that because Ötzi lived over 5000 years ago, he is difficult to fathom but you already know more than you think about the life of the Iceman.

He is burned into our collective consciousness because of the integrity with which Val Kilmer portrayed him in the 1986 movie Top Gun.

If you’ve seen Top Gun as many times as I have then you know to always triple check the safety of your ejector seat and that the Iceman was a controversial wiseguy who made enemies fast.

Essentially, Ötzi and Val were the same Iceman: they lived life on the edge, they had strict dietary requirements and they associated with a band of volatile, o thrill­seekers.

New evidence tells us this is how Ötzi met his sad end: these ne’er­do­wells shot him in the back with an arrow. No one knows what he’d done to rub his assassins up the wrong way, but I believe he may have offended them by deftly twirling a biro around his long fingers while fixing them with a steely glare.

They confronted him: “Ötzi, why the hell are you doing that?” He said it was because he didn’t like them: they were ‘dangerous’. In the end, it didn’t matter how valuable an asset Ötzi was in the sky or on a beach volleyball team, he simply had to die.

It’s generally accepted that Val Kilmer left the Iceman behind after Top Gun, but in fact he carried the role on through all his major productions. Analysis of Ötzi’s pelvis showed he was accustomed to taking long walks through the wilderness and he wore leather trousers every single day, even when he was in bed – aspects of his character probed by Val while playing Jim Morrison in the Doors movie.

But of course, there are downsides to being the Iceman. Val got a reputation as a nightmare to work with and people wanted to kill him – just like they killed Ötzi. And like him, Val is disappearing into history, growing old and suffering in exactly the same way with heart disease, dodgy knees, lactose intolerance and parasitic worms. When he wasn’t dragging his itchy anus across the bamboo rug or alienating loved ones with insufferable flatulance after a bottle of Yop, Ötzi – like Val ­- feared not having a steady income or any friends.

Some say Ötzi’s ego was writing cheques his body couldn’t cash, but in the end he had the last laugh. Val can take comfort from the fact that 5,300 years later we still remember and love the Iceman, even though his eyes are rotted and his skin is all leather.

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Hodgson to name grandson in England squad

FRESHLY-CONDEMNED England manager Roy Hodgson is to name a Euro 2012 squad of 23 players including young Sarah’s lad.

The slightly lost­-looking blame­-magnet will be able change his final squad sheet right up until May 29th assuming he can find it in the drawer where he keeps electric bills dating back 20 years, and bits of old wrapping paper.

Hodgson said” “I’ll be asking Frank to come over to Poland as our Sarah’s raised a lovely lad and it’s never any bother when I want him to pop out for my bits from the Tescos.

“Apparently he’s not a big fan of the football and prefers opera, which I don’t much hold with myself as it’s just shouting, but I’m sure the other lads will make him feel welcome and not make fun of his asthma or his bad leg.

“I’ve got to pick 22 others and I’ll be basing it on who’s impressed me recently on A Question Of Sport. Matt Dawson plays football, doesn’t he?”

Hodgson has begun preparations for the tournament by checking that England’s Polish training camp is well­-stocked with lemon drizzle cake and proper china cups for his tea.

He will head off immediately after West Brom’s last league game on Sunday, taking the coach there as he ‘wouldn’t get in a plane if you paid me, thank you’.

Tensions within the squad are currently running high and the FA have prepared a complex Venn diagram detailing who has slept with who’s wife and which players have a court order out against each other. However, the manager plans to overcome this with a bit of a sing­song and a whist drive on the coach trip there.

Hodgson added “I’m sure we’ll all have a lovely time and come back with a nice souvenir of our trip to cheer everyone up, assuming they sell snow globes over there.”