16-22 October 2015 #780

News we can use

Here at Nepali Times we believe that in the end the ugly truth will prevail. That is why we take our job of holding tooth to power seriously, even when we’ve had a couple of teeth knocked out ourselves over the years.

But, as a rule, we always offer the other cheek. We’d rather pontificate ad nauseum and ipso facto until the enemies of press freedom fall asleep than strike back. We carry all the news that is unfit to reprint. That is why they call us ‘the newspaper of records’: we hold the world record in many categories, including in covering the record-breaking 64kg flower garland for Prime Minister Oily.

Despite having so much fun in our job, however, it is our duty as scribes and pharisees to bring events of national importance to the notice of our royal readers and loyal leaders and let the chips fall where they may, even while taking careful aim at the salsa dip.

What worries us is that during the Dasain break many perfectly good news items will have to be discarded into the trash heap of history. Why? Because as responsible journalists we all take a break from breaking news, and don’t bring out our newspapers for a whole week. However, due to popular demand, we have decided this year to pre-empt some items of hot news that would have never seen the light of day if it hadn’t been for our determination to shine the beacon of truth without fear or favouritism. You can read them at your leisure while waiting in the petrol queues. Here they are:

Nepal to have a wet port

By Our Maritime Correspondent

BIRGANJ - After the grand success of finally getting Nepal’s one and only dry port off and running, the government is about to sign an agreement to set up a wet port in the near future even though, as far as we know, the country is not blessed yet with a coastline. “This is a slight unforeseen hitch,” GONe’s Minister of Shipping and Oceonography told us. “But we can overcome it by requesting our southern neighbour to expedite permanently submerging our border areas by building higher highway embankments.” News that Nepal would no more be landlocked was greeted with jubilation by the business community which saw great potential to promote beach tourism along our southern shores. Others sounded a note of caution: what if our wet port is blockaded just like our dry port? Said one India-baiting, ultra-nationalist Nep Nabob of Negativism: “By gifting us a petroleum pipeline India just made it easier for itself to turn the tap off.” Asked to comment, an Indian Embassy spokesperson clarified: “We would never officially turn the tap off. Only unofficially.’

Nepal enters ox-cart age

KATHMANDU - Finally some good news amidst all the gloom and doom about the petroleum shortage: the government has decided to cut excise duty on bullock carts in order to revive Nepal’s once-extensive bovine public transport network.

Carts pulled by oxen and buffaloes were the mainstay of Nepal’s economy until the advent of the internal combustion engine, but at this time of national emergency the gumment’s tax incentives will bring back these Four-Legged Drive ox-taxis and bull-pull buses. Finally, Nepal can wean itself away from diesel and petrol vehicles and convert to a more self-reliant public transport system that depends on grass and chewing the cud for locomotion.

Said the Spokenperson of the Ministry of Aviation and Livestock, “To replace motorcycles we will get mountain goats to pull go-carts.”

The gobarment has also come up with a cunning plan to counter the petroleum blockade by installing automatic pooper-scoopers harnessed upon the backsides of the draught animals to collect do-do and convert it into flammable methane gas that can fill LPG bullets. This crisis is an opportunity for Nepal to become self-reliant in enerji.

Vodka stations

By Our Alchoholic Analyeast

The government on Thursday announced yet another clever idea to overcome the current energy crisis that would use one stone to kill two birds in the bush: to convert Nepal’s distilleries into gas stations.

To replace diesel and petrol, Nepal will convert its total capacity to produce 850 kilo litres per week of high spirits into high octane bio-ethanol. A Spokeshuman of the Ministry of Rehabilitation said: “We are not reinventing the wheel here, we are just reinventing the inner tube. It is surprising why we didn’t think of it before.”

Motorcycle drivers who run out of fuel on the Bhaktapur Highway can now run into a roadside bar, buy a 500 ml bottle of vodka, empty it into the tank and drive off. It’s strong stuff.

Read also:

Dasain postponed, The Ass

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