More Letters To The Editor About Phone Hacking

Funny story written by Erskin Quint

Saturday, 16 July 2011


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Sir Bobby Charlton isn't looking well these days

Dear Sir,

I think it is jolly shocking all, thi's about Robert Murdog (Rupert Murdoch - Ed.) and these phone's what he has been hacking.

After, all it i's so dear to run a phone line, without the'se hacking going on top of the bill's.

I think that Robert Murdock (Rupert Murdoch, you fool - Ed.) should of been forced to pay the bil'ls for all thes'e people what phones' has of been hacked.

If the perso'ns who has the phone could of pay the bills' up to when it is hacked, then Robert Murdough (how many times - it's Rupert Murdoch - Ed.) has of to be forced to of pay it's from that figures'. Fairs' fai'r.

Its' hightimes Robert Morduch (for fuck's sake - Ed.) pays he's due's.

Your's sincerely',

Yolanda Lumphammer,

Dear Sir,

my son, Chateaubriand, works in flour packaging and throughout this phone hacking scandal, he has kept myself and my husband, Ramakrishnan, pretty much informed regarding the technicalities of what has been happening.

For instance, it would appear to be the case that, if a journalist or police officer wish to hack into a telephone line, they must first obtain access to the line and then hack into it. This will enable them to carry out what they call "hacking", by means of which they can, to all intents and purposes, find out what is being said in the telephone conversations of those using the line in question under surveillance.

This, it transpires, is akin to what they did in the olden days, when an officer would conceal himself somewhere within earshot of someone making a phone call. The concealed officer would then note down what was said. Of course, in those days it was far from foolproof, since the concealed officer could only detect what one person was saying. This made it hard, if not impossible, to find out all that was going on. There are in addition the multitude of issues surrounding the challenges of concealment. Eg, it was far from easy to hide behind an umbrella stand, or aspidistra (a plant that was dubbed "the concealed surveillance officer's delight" in those days, not without reason). An example is given here, which Chateaubriand has been able to glean from his researches (the names are false, to protect Crown Copyright, and some or all of the words were not actually said at the time):

Mimsie: Hello Uncle Jim, how are you today?
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: Oh I'm sorry to hear that Uncle Jim. Will they be giving you a wooden one?
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: It's wonderful what they can do these days. Mrs Albatross at number 34567 got them to replace both hers with a length of copper piping for no extra charge. How's Aunt Hilda?
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: With a what on her head?
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: How does she breathe then? Are there air holes cut?
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: Oh yes? I have seen the new rubber ones, but haven't handled one as yet. They give me the creeps, Uncle Jim. And I shouldn't want an effigy of Stalin in my lavatory, thank you very much.
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: Yes. We are having devilled lamprey and powdered egg. Gervaise is bringing back some Basboosa from the Sudan tonight which we will have for dessert.
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: No, of course he isn't. You know he only walks that way because he fell off a camel when he was twelve. And I'm sure you'll enjoy your own dessert. Your spotted dick is the best I've ever had in my mouth.
Uncle Jim:
Mimsie: Well! If you're going to be coarse, Uncle Jim, it's time I said goodbye. Goodbye.
Uncle Jim:

As you can no doubt imagine, surveillance in those days was a precarious art. How could one tell whether the conversation listened to was innocent, or a coded message by anti-government agents? It is a fascinating dilemma and Chateaubriand is thinking of putting his research into a book called: "Phone Hacking Before The Computer".

Yours faithfully,

Dame Heliotrope Dandipratt,
Hoxton Villas,

Dear Sir,

with all this phone hacking going on, what I want to know is, why don't they hack the phones of these cunts that ring you up every night when you are making your tea?

There you are, you've just got the sausages on and the phone goes. Well, you have to answer it. I am a self-employed leg breaker and I can be called on at any time by local heavies (it's not just drug dealers you know - I get a lot of business from people like school teachers and traffic wardens looking to get their own back).

But it's always one of these call centres what is calling. Some bastard from India who says his name is Fred, or a thirteen year old girl in Bristol wanting to sell me double glazing or life insurance, or a twat wanting me to sign up for a new energy supplier.

Why doesn't Murdoch tap into these fuckers, eh? I'll tell you why. It's not going to sell newspapers, is it? So they won't touch it.

I reckon the government should force the old cunt to hack these call centres.


Sir Herbert Fountain,
Llandrindod Wells

Dear Sir,

I was most distressed when I watched the news the other night and saw the film of Rebekah Brooks, and there behind her was poor old Bobby Charlton.

What on earth has it come to when an old gentleman like Sir Bobby is dragged through the mud in these scandals?

I can remember Bobby in his pomp. What a pang I felt, to see him behind that scarlet woman, to witness his pure image tainted by the Murdoch debacle.

And hasn't he lost weight? He was looking distinctly gaunt and crabby, I thought.

And to hear his poor old voice nowadays! Gone is the romantic lilt of that wistful North East accent that sang of the pithead and the laced-up leather ball, to be replaced by a horrid nasal twang no doubt forced on him by the media spotlights (I think it was Sir Laurence Olivier who always said those lights played havoc with your timbre).

I am heartbroken. Today, even my Canaries and Sebastopol Geese can bring me no comfort.

Yours etc,

Sir Walter Raleigh
The Tower of London

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