Mr Salmond's 'Independent Contraption' Will Never Burrow To The Centre Of The Earth

April 26, 1897, Edinburgh

It is with the utmost urgency that I write to you, my fellows of the Royal Society of Scotland, to alert you to the danger posed by Mr A Salmond and his proposal to build a steam driven contraption with the intention of burrowing to the centre of the Earth.

This Mr Salmond is a coarse fellow of questionable qualifications. He achieved his undergraduate degree at the University of St Andrews which is hardly an institution frequented by gentlemen of good standing. His research associates are an ill-disciplined band of amateurs who would be as out of place in a laboratory as they would within the walls of a reputable club or salon.

But it is not the quality and integrity of Mr Salmond and his compatriots that concerns me the most. No, my esteemed fellows, it is the very detail of this ill-considered scheme to send human beings, under the power of steam, to the very centre of the Earth.

Has Mr Salmond acquainted himself with the geological and thermal conditions which would pertain upon the commencement of such an expedition? I would venture, sirs, that he has not.

Has he, in his mathematical formulations, allowed for the discombobulating effects of excessive pressure on the human physiology? I would speculate that such thoughts are a stranger to his considerations. While this may appear obvious to gentlemen of academic standing, one final question remains pertinent: Where does Mr Salmond intend to put all the steam?

Sirs, I have inspected Mr Salmond’s contraption. From its nuts and bolts and its widgets and gadgets, to its very valves and rivets. I have never seen an assembly of parts so contrary to the accepted regulations of modern engineering. It will be to my eternal astonishment if this irresponsible collection of flaps and hinges gets beyond the workshop never mind to very the centre of the Earth.  

Therefore I urge you, the most qualified and respected subjects of Her Majesty’s Realm of Scotland, to condemn this Mr Salmond and to instruct your research assistants, your servants and their dependents to offer no encouragement to this unmitigated folly.

Yours faithfully,
Professor Sir William Ferguson (FARPS)



Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

One Woman's Week: Cruel To Be Kind


I've got no tolerance for children who answer back to adults. I'm a teacher, so I've got a lot of experience of this, and as far as I am concerned they can burn in hell.

I was at work the other day and had spent all day preparing a lesson for a class of seven year olds. I was really proud of what I had done. I'm good at my job and I won't deny it, without blowing my own trumpet.

So you can imagine how angry I was when this little kid started mouthing off about needing the toilet when I was right in the middle of what I was saying. At times like this I say: "bring back the cane"! It's an absolute disgace and the only word for them is 'total scum'.

Unfortunately you can't really retaliate in a school situation, but it's not so difficult to get kids to mind what you are saying when all those rules and regulations aren't in the way.

My sister's no good children are a good example. She's got two boys called Mark, 6, and Christopher, 4. My other sister also had a kid (Gregory) but he died of leukaemia last year. Obviously I was devastated for her, but part of me can't help thinking that perhaps it was God's way of telling her she's not cut out for parenting. Plus he was really annoying.

Whenever I babysit Mark and Christopher they know not to piss me about. Christopher is normally quite good anyway, but Mark is a troublemaker and there's still always a chance that he'll lead Chris astray so I have to keep my wits about me.

Once Mark interrupted Coronation Street because he'd trapped his little finger in the door. What a bastard. Thankfully I don't get called on just now to babysit as much by either of my sisters.

When Gregory was sick I was constantly getting called upon to look after the other two boys without any consideration for my schedule. Thankfully now she doesn't have that excuse.