For years people have been complaining about the lack of subject tags on stories submitted to the Spoof for publication. Now we can reveal why.
A Cambridge postman has been arrested following a major police operation, and a massive stockpile of unused story tags has been unearthed. It appears that Roy Orlmale has been systematically intercepting submitted Spoof stories and identifying valuable tags contained within them by holding them up to the light or steaming them open.
Initially it seems that Mr Orlmale wanted the tags for use on his own Spoof stories, but it became so easy to divert them that a huge number quickly built up and Roy Orlmale resorted to storing the tags, many unopened, in his garden shed.
Police say that although the scarcity of tags on submitted stories was well documented, the Spoof has until recently been reluctant to state that tags are required on the Add a Story form. However, they point out that tagless stories are always delayed and sometimes never get published.
Now it seems that rather than not having been applied, many of the missing tags were languishing in Roy Orlmale's shed. So many tags have been found that it is evident that Roy Orlmale could never have applied them all to his own stories. There is speculation that the long-term intention was to sell the tags at car boot sales as there is known to be an active black market in illicit tags.
A police spokesperson said: "Leaving tags off your story is like leaving your front door unlocked or your keys in the ignition of the car. We need to encourage the idea that tags are not just a handy add-on to a story - they're an essential component.
"If you are ever tempted to try to add a story without tags, then we would urge you to reconsider. Our new Automatic Tag Recognition system means that the police can tell if a story has no tags, and the penalties are significant.
"Where tags are concerned, just don't take the risk."
If you have been affected by the lack of tags on a story, or would like to talk about tags and tagging in general, please contact one of our trained councillors on the Writer's Forum.