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Wednesday, 17 January 2007

image for South East Flooded With Hose Pipes
A Thames Water spokesman

BRACKNELL - All flights in and out of Heathrow were cancelled today when water companies admitted that the hose pipe ban, lifted on Monday, has caused dangerous levels of hose pipes.

Consumers emptied green houses, drove past DIY stores, and walked out of garden centres in an unprecedented mass reversal of buying habits. All top high street stores reported an instant drop off in demand, admitting that they had overstocked hose pipes. Some stores have resorted to dumping unwanted stock or face immediate closure. It is thought that lawn mowers are next to be left unwanted, giving rise to fears that some may malfunction and go out of control.

The Environment Agency issued an unprecedented Surplus Hose Pipe Orange Alert. Dumped hose pipes were spilling into open rivers, and blocking tributaries. In Maidenhead, the river Thames burst its banks due to a build of dumped hose pipes, damaging the lawn of Tory toff grandee Lord Schmailsham Hestonblaum.

A spokesman for Thames Water, Terry Bung, said:

'We thought we acted quickly enough after the hose pipe amnesty, but this appears to not be the case. We have collected so many hose pipes in our headquarters in Reading, that staff have been moved to temporary hose pipe free offices. There are only so many things you can do with a hose pipe. We were just too late lifting the ban, what with the wet weather, people have just given up on the hose pipe.'

Chinese overproduction of hose pipes has added to the problem. Several container ships full of hose pipes are waiting to bring hose pipes into the south east as reports of a water shortage were misinterpreted in China. EU Minister for Butter Mountains, Lord Mandlebrot, clutching an amethyst, said:

'We know everything there is to know about chaos theory, and we do not have a mountain of hose pipes as such. I maintain that it is right to open up EU borders to foreign competition, and the market will decide.'

Flights in and out of Heathrow are hoping to be resumed later today after a flight taking desperately unwanted hose pipes out of the country shed its load on the runway. Passengers of Rank-Air flight 66613 were surprised when they were asked if they could each adopt a hose pipe and take it with them.

If you have any suggestions as to what Thames Water should do with their unwanted hose pipes, please email the Environment Desk, and we will print them in full in our special Environment feature, 'Is It Me Or Is It Getting Cloudier'?

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