Lassie is a type of yoghurt-flavoured dog.
Gods are magical people who live in the sky, although some live underground, while others like to spend time in churches and other religious buildings. Most gods are immortal, which means they set on fire easily. This is why many churches have holy water in strategic places.
The majority of gods are humanoid in appearance. Some have extra body parts - 8 arms, or 2 heads, or 40 beards - while some are zoomorphic (a form of stop-motion animation using plasticine).
All gods have jobs. Some are carpenters, others create weather or ensure good harvests, while some work in admin or as teaching assistants.
Here are some popular gods, with a brief description of what they do:
Hareth - god of digital piracy
Hareth wears a hat of flames, but he takes it off whenever he goes into a restaurant.
Sham - god of eggy bread
Sham is green and speaks all the languages of the Indian subcontinent except Malayalam.
Lorica - god of creative accounting and petfood
Lorica sometimes comes to earth disguised as a South London bus driver called Michael.
Elro - god of setting fire to bins
Elro is rather dapper, but moves at light speed so you are unlikely to catch a glimpse of him.
Ip - god of glossy cookbooks
Ip is reborn each year during the Eurovision song contest. Nul points, Ip!
Limpy - god of hunting gazelle with laser beams
Limpy has one million legs and no arms, so spends a lot of money on shoes, but on the flipside never has to worry about gloves.
Urk - god of shaving foam
Urk exists purely as a sound, and sounds a bit like a motorbike breaking down, and a bit like a baby sneezing.
Plappaplip - god of shouting at trees and shrubs
Plappaplip likes wining, dining and mining.
Zem - god of embarrassing behaviour at weddings
Zem is fifteen minutes behind GMT so is difficult to have a conversation with. He has previously been the god of 00 gauge model trains, nightmares and Leichtenstein.
Ramathon - god of zooming and miaowing
Ramathon has wings of gossamer and eyes of ruby. He lives in a garage near the sea-side in Essex.
From Anc. Gr. Dino-sauros meaning I don't know what those bones are from. Perhaps a very big ox?
There was a time, not so long ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, although they didn't pass laws, impose taxes or engage in foreign diplomacy; they mostly roared and ate one another.
It was the arrival of Homo Sapiens (the thinking man's man) that spelt the end for these giant creatures. First as a fleet-footed hunter gatherer, humankind decimated wild dinosaur populations, and then as a farmer he domesticated the majestic thunder lizards, and dinosaurs quickly became little more than beasts of burden, reduced to pulling ploughs and lugging around rolls of carpet purchased in the half price sale down at the bazaar.
With the invention of the steam engine, dinosaurs had outlived their usefulness, and, cast out of society, dinosaur numbers dwindled rapidly, with remaining populations succumbing to poverty and alcoholism.
Recently, things have been looking up, however, or rather, people have been looking up, at things, those things being dinosaurs. For these mighty beasts are now being re-introduced into some of the wilder parts of the UK like the New Forest, the Scottish Highlands and Croydon.
Dictators are a subset of the marsupial family. Along with the characteristic pouch in which young are reared, common dictatorial features include ruthless ambition, nepotism, a willingness to use secret police and paranoia to oppress freedom of thought, and the passing of nutty edicts (for example the 1938 laws passed by Mussolini decreeing that all nuns must wear fairy wings, children must talk Italian with a Geordie accent, and gurning must be accepted as legal tender).
Some of the more popular dictators include Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Dionysius I of Syracuse, and Top Cat.
Today, chocolate is as popular as ever, whether it comes in a foil-wrapped bar, in a rich drink from a continental cafe, or spread over the writhing naked body of your new lover. But there was a time when chocolate was relatively unknown in Europe.
All changed in the 16th Century, when Francis Drake, browsing the newspaper over his morning rice crispies, saw an article about the conquest of South America by spaniels. While ravaging the continent, the hungry conquistadogs had come across a city made entirely of chocolate, which they ate. Intrigued, Drake managed to source some chocolate from a business associate known only as Turkish John. The great adventurer gave it a try and was delighted. Where Francis Drake led, fashionable society followed, and the more classy taverns of London were soon thronged with people drinking chocolate, twirling their moustaches and pretending to be pirates.
Chocolate is created by grinding up tiny beings called chocs. These live wild in the jungles of South America and Africa, and are caught in nets each night by hunters. The ground chocs are turned into a goo which is poured into moulds to make ingots called choccablocks. These are then sent to a mountaintop factory in Switzerland, where Neil Kinnock uses secret incantations to turn them into chocolate bars, Easter eggs an' ting.
Chocolate is a precious commodity, and several national currencies are guaranteed upon a chocolate standard, though many nations abandoned this after 'Brown Monday', when the price of Rolos collapsed.
Apes are humankind's closest relatives in the animal kingdom. However, they don't visit us very often and the most we ever get from them is the odd finger-painted Christmas card so sometimes I wonder why I bother.
There are different species of apes, but the most popular are the orang-utan, which is Malay for 'grumpy old man in the forest', and the chimp, which makes cocopops.
Other family favourites include the gorilla, the cheeky monkey and King Kong. The Monkees are not apes; they are in fact a religious order.
Many ape species are endangered and populations are reaching critically low levels, largely due to hunting and encroachment on habitat by humans, and also as a result of repeated gruelling experiments involving large numbers of chimps and typewriters.
To combat the decline, the Ape Marketing Council created the Planet of the Apes, located about halfway between Earth and Mars, but it has not proven popular with visitors so far, losing out to more exciting attractions like Lego World and Moon of Muesli.
Apes are sometimes kept captive in apiaries by bees in armour.
Invented in 1979 by a confectioner who thought his children were spoilt.
Kinder eggs are famous for a TV advertisement in which two children ask for a toy, some chocolate and a disappointment, and their mother buys them Kinder Eggs, thereby only meeting one of those demands.
I live in a house. You probably live in a house. I know they live in houses. So what is/are it/they be?
A house is any free-standing structure in which people live. The plural form of the word is hice. There are 15 officially recognised sizes of house, ranging from hovel to palace, as well as many different flavours, including mock tudor, pretend Gothic, gingerbread and haunted. A house can also be made of Commons, of love, of cards or of acid.
During the Cold War (1945 - c.1990° celsius) many people elected to live in a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) house, working on the principle that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw nuclear warheads at other people's glass houses.
In modern Britain people are increasingly worried about rising house prices. Higher prices have led to a growing incidence of house theft, and consequently many people have started storing their houses in lockers and putting name tags on them.
Poet, politician and plumber extraordinaire
Son of a gay bank manager and a panda, Mao Zedong was created in 1918 to commemorate the death of WWI poet Wilfred Owen.
A bizarre child, he was shunned by his schoolmates due to his unfeasibly small size, having reached only 4 inches in height by the age of 12. Nonetheless, he was clearly a bright child, but the regimented teaching style in 1930s Hunan Province schools did not suit his artistic temperament and frankly wacky behaviour.
In his mid-teenage years he dropped out of school, becoming a drug-addled petty criminal, and eventually was arrested and jailed for running his own robot hedgehog fights in the back rooms of bars and brothels. He escaped from prison after copying keys by impressing them in the icing on fairy cakes that he baked to impress the governor, and then using these icing moulds to make new keys out of teaspoons from the prison canteen.
While in prison Mao had got into the habit of never changing out of his pyjamas, and perhaps due to the restrictions on his freedom during the day, he frequently sleepwalked at night. It was during one prolonged bout of somnambulance after his release that he became Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party.
Subsequently, the entire period of his leadership was spent in a sleepwalk. No-one noticed, and he managed international diplomacy, the writing of his personal manifesto and the release of the hit single It's my Chinese People's Party and I'll rid the country of anti-proletarian imperialists in a bloody purge if I want to while apparently unconscious.
When he woke up in 1981 he was quite surprised to find he had been leader of the most heavily populated country in the world, which he had transformed beyond recognition. On being told of the mass killing and famines of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, he didn't believe his informants, claiming that no-one could possibly be so dogmatically stupid, and asserted that they should have put their efforts into neutralising hippy popstar Donovan instead.
In the 1980s he was for a brief time the third member of entertainers the Chuckle Brothers, but retired after securing his fortune by inventing the spoon as an egalitarian alternative to the bourgoise knife and fork. He died suddenly in 1986, while peacefully sleepwalking across the newly opened M25 motorway.
'How much is that topper in the window?'
It's four shillings and six, sir. Oh dear. I suggest you had better seek an outfitters more suitable to your means.
A hat is, quite simply, a head covering device. Though it is not a crown, a cap or a helmet. Or a wig, or a veil. But most other head covering devices are hats.
Hats come in many shapes, sizes and dimensions (if you count the 12-dimensional hats postulated by today's physicists). They range from the more familiar styles such as the top hat, the fedora, and the bowler, to the more interesting tricorn and the Carmen Miranda, all the way through to the outlandish New Guinean Poop Deck and the Bavarian Musical Wurst-Horn.
Although banned for a short time during the Victorian era - condemned as base and explicitly sensual - hats have always been a popular way of expressing social status, political affiliation and mood. In republican Rome the democratic popularis politicians would often wear a trilby to indicate their political leanings. The Vikings wore helmets that bore horns, which they would sound in battle by pressing the knob on the top of the helmet (and some see in this the forerunner of the parping cacophony of the modern traffic jam). Shakespeare famously wore a fez, as he thought it made him look Bohemian.
In fact, other than the Victorian hiatus, the only other period of hat shortage was during World War Two, when the government ordered hat production to cease so that the skills of milliners could be concentrated on designing bombs that would fall at a jaunty angle.
The hat remains popular to this day, although some experts fear that the growth of online hats may finally sound the death knell for this much loved headgear.
"Soaked to the skin and exhausted, he hauled himself up and looked out of the life raft at the dark mountainous swell, spray lashing his face, storm wind howling angrily all around, and remembered that he had forgotten to call his mother again."
The sea, vast, majestic and untamed, has had an unshakeable grip on the human imagination since it was invented in the 19th Century so that trade ships could be sailed between Europe and the Americas, rather than pushing them on log rollers. Since that time it has also been a much simpler task working out which countries are islands.
There are by consensus seven seas, covering four thirds of the Earth's surface, and they contain an enormously rich diversity of plant and animal species, including fish, numerous invertebrates and Wales. Many marine organisms parallel those we find on God's dry land, such as seahorses, sea cows, sea cucumbers, and sealions, and many of these are raised in seafarms by seafarmers who drive around on seatractors wearing sea flat caps and complain about the city types from Atlantis. Except for the sealions, which are of course kept in a zoo.
The sea is salty because it is the Earth's sweat. As climate change warms the globe, the Earth will sweat more, meaning that the seas increase in volume, and possibly odour, threatening many low-lying areas such as the lowlands of Holland, Lower Saxony and Lowestoft with a briny doom (or 'broom').
The sea is now 37 and lives in Sussex with its partner, Stephen, and Muffles the cat.
'Animal' describes any living organism that is neither a plant nor a mineral; in fact, minerals are dead, so effectively an animal is anything that isn't a plant. Animals are also known as creatures, beasties and 'meat trolleys'.
There are characteristics common to all animals: they breathe, they eat, they reproduce, they wear sunglasses, and they can be trained to do circus tricks.
In addition, all animals have superpowers.
Surprisingly, animals have differing opinions about foreign policy.
Some popular animals you may have heard of:
Dogs are one of the earliest known domesticated animals, and today many are trained to hoover, make dinner and even work the dishwasher. Many dogs are talented percussionists, and canine drummers have a particularly strong presence in 20th Century classical music and jazz.
Dogs are descended from wolves, and indeed many still turn into humans every full moon.
Sheep, like dogs, have been part of the menagerie (a type of dessert) of domesticated animals for millenia.
Sheep have 4 legs, sweet tasting wool and empty, soulless eyes. They live in burrows underground and only emerge to graze, breed or hunt.
Sheep can read minds.
All cats are gay. They are also skilled carpenters, shaping wood using saws, chisels, and finishing by using their tongues as sandpaper.
Cats can see ghosts, but don't find them very interesting.
Mammoths are made entirely of hair and tusks. They are extremely hardy creatures, built to cope with cold climates and harsh conditions, but as their habitat began to recede at the end of the last Ice Age the survival of the species was in doubt.
Consequently, a herd of several thousand mammoths was sent to colonise Mars, and a healthy population lives on the cold red planet to this day.
Mammoths can start fires by emitting laser from their eyes.
Cheese has been a staple part of the diet in many parts of the world since as far back as anyone can remember, including the oldest person there is (whose memory is going a bit, admittedly. Although he does remember the war. But he doesn't like to talk about it).
Cheeses are made by adding bacteria to the milk of animals; normally cow's milk, but sheep, goat, mammoth, vampire and lizard milk can also be used. The milk is placed in a large wooden vat and then music is played to excite the bacteria in the milk into a crazy protein frenzy.
Commonly, fast tunes such as a sailor's hornpipe, a gypsy dance, or gabba are played, to produce a robust, nutty taste, but a classical piece such as Brahms' Rhapsody for Alto and Male Chorus (Op. 53) can result in a more mellow cheese, especially when used on a lazy milk such as that of the tortoise or the cat.
There are as many cheeses as there are grains of sand in a sandwich eaten on a sandy beach. Some of the most exquisite varieties include Fromage de Dieu, Hebridean Fuck, Bavarian Hundkäse and Princess Diana's Tit Cheese.
Elvis Presley (c.2500BC - AD1977) was born to a tribe of Neolithic herdsmen in the Preseli mountains of South Wales in the mid 3rd Millienium BC. A natural singer from an early age, he found it difficult to fit in with his semi-nomadic stone-monument-building peers, and as soon as he was able he left for Mississippi, Lancs.
He started playing in a band and quickly became famous for mixing the hitherto 'black' sound of bashment and dancehall with the 'white' sound of 17th Century Baroque. Much of his early work took place at the Sun Studios, though in his later career he excused the topless Page 3 modelling he did there as 'the mere exuberance of youth, man...thangyuverrmush'.
Within a few years his fame had spread world-wide, and he had regular appearances on TV, radio and toast. His stage shows became increasingly extravagant and elaborate, to the point where he opened one 1968 show by invading Luxembourg at the head of an army of gorillas in pink neon-lit top hats, accompanied by a full cavalry of robotic giraffes carrying giant guitars.
Soon, however, people grew tired of his by now overblown style, and he started to lose his appeal for many fans, young and old. A degree of the criticism levelled at him in his later career seems to have been due to misunderstandings of his lyrics, however, as there were occasions when he would be chased from a betting shop or pub while people tried to put bread on his blue suede shoes, or urged him to 'return to Sandwich'.
As his popularity waned, his misuse of alcohol, amphetamines and angel delight increased. He quickly retreated into fish-and-chip fuelled obscurity in Bournemouth.
Elvis died in 1977 as the result of a bizarre accident with a bassoon and a tortoise. He is survived by two children, Mordred and Balthazar.
The position of prime minister is the most important in the British political machine (a concept that became famous after the Queen's famous description of Harold Wilson as much like "the dial on a washing machine - without him the nation can't wash its smalls").
The prime minister is so called because he or she is a minister not divisible by any other political figure, except 1 or him/herself. The office itself was established in the Second World War by Winston Churchill, who was also the first nodding affirmative action dog to run a state.
Famous prime ministers have included Mark Thatcher, Hampstead Heath and Morticia Addams.
(Also known as wraiths, phantasms, spooks and spirits)
A ghost is what is left of a person after the soul has gone to the underworld, the body has turned to dust, and all the clothes have been given to a charity shop.
Ghosts have been around for several millennia. Several classical Greek plays contain references to ghosts, most famously in the comedy Heebie-Jeebies in Thebes by Aristophanes and the tragic Don't tell the Archon his Wife is See-through by Euripides.
In the medieval period it was thought that ghosts were caused by bad smells. They were generally regarded as pests, and most households would have their own scented priest to keep the ghosts away. Outside of the peak ghosting period, the priests were stored in priest-holes, which can still be seen in some ex-local authority flats today.
These days the public attitude towards ghosts is quite different, and ghosts perform many useful tasks such as slamming doors mysteriously, breaking unwanted crockery and making children talk with unearthly grown-up voices, which provides hours of family entertainment around Christmas time.