The Sun newspaper had to stop printing last night when the press ran out of asterisks. Angry Sun readers jammed the switchboard and a large noisy crowd gathered outside the Wapping headquarters early this morning, demanding to know if the paper would carry over the Monday "page 3" girl to the Tuesday edition.
"What about the free '10 more things you didn't know about Madonna's secret lover' DVD?" asked one irate London cabbie "I was looking forward to that".
"The press just stopped dead" said Jim "Gutenberg" Fanshawe-Smythe, the print-room manager.
"We popped over to the Guardian to borrow a cup of asterisks, but they just laughed in our faces. They said if we were too bloody mealy-mouthed to print 'fuck" when we meant "fuck", then we only had ourselves to blame.
"They have a point, but our readers just don't want us to print that sort of offensive bollocks, I mean b******s. What they want is real honest-to-goodness smut, innuendo, gossip and scandal, not reality. That's what we've built our reputation on, it's what we stand for.
"We didn't get where we are today by printing the truth. The truth! They can't handle the truth! Sorry - I write the movie reviews on Saturday, and I just had a flashback.
"We'll be back on target tomorrow with an expanded edition. The stuff we print never goes stale". Jim is 43 this year.
To compensate disappointed readers, tomorrows edition will include the Madonna DVD, along with a McDonald's "Happy Meal" voucher and a paperback copy of "Ten years behind bars with the Kray Twins",and will cost the usual 10p.