Newcastle University students still at home glad they don’t have to go back

Scores of students who intended to only return for a couple of weeks during the holidays have found themselves stuck at home for the last four months due to the government’s anti-COVID travel ban.

While restrictions have been relaxed, universities across the country have urged their students to not return to their accommodation for the foreseeable future.

However, a recent report from the Institute of Studies has found that many – Newcastle students in particular – don’t seem to mind and, in fact, are quite happy about the circumstances.

“I mean, my food and shopping’s practically all sorted for me at home and some people aren’t even having to pay rent,” said student Matthew West, 20, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Nobody’s even had in-person teaching for months,” West, who lives in Castle Leazes, continued. “I wonder why we’d be asked to stay in student accommodation if the plan was for everything to be online anyway?”

Another student, Derek Hammond, 21, insisted to Lampoon reporters that the COVID-19 pandemic “is all an elaborate hoax”

Newcastle trebles bars offer three vaccine shots for a fiver

After the national lockdown forced them to keep their doors shut, struggling Newcastle trebles bars have found an innovative way to stay out of the red and profit from a ballooning new industry.

Quick-thinking trebles bars across the city are now offering three shots of COVID-19 vaccines for a fiver.

“In many ways, what we’re doing isn’t too different to before,” Sam Booker, owner of city centre trebles bar Treb Bien, laughed. “Like with the vodka we used in our trebles, no one really knows what’s really in the vaccine, and like our vodka, it may leave you with some side effects the next day.”

The distribution of the vaccine isn’t too different, either.

“We know you’re only meant to have two shots of the vaccine, but from our experience as a nightclub we know that the more shots, the better,” Sam continued. “And we know that the vaccine doses are meant to be given at least three weeks apart, but have you tried spacing your drinks out on a night out? It just means you don’t get as drunk – surely that applies to vaccine efficacy, too?”

But some Newcastle residents have expressed concerns about the safety of the trebles bars’ vaccines, citing worries they may have diluted the doses with water or lemonade.

Furthermore, the vaccines developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna are only authorised for those aged 18 and over, and Pfizer aged 16 and over. Locals are worried that the nightclubs may give the vaccines to children as young as 13 if they wear enough make-up and have fake ID.

But the prospect of getting a vaccine at a trebles bar still resonates with some.

“Trebles bars aren’t too far from the chippy, and it’s a nice excuse to get glammed up,” Sally Smirnoff said. “I haven’t worn my heels since Boris shut the nightclubs in March, and it feels great to get them back on for a round of shots with the girls.”

“Plus, as we all know, social distancing is quite tricky in clubs, so we’ll find out very soon whether the vaccines actually work or not!”

Featured image: Marko Milivojevic via Pixnio

Northumbria University to contain student body within “Pandemicopolis”

After the news broke that over 700 of their students had tested positive for Covid-19, Northumbria University today announced the establishment of a “plague city” keep the infected students contained.

Speaking to the press this morning, a spokesman for the university claimed that the creation of “Pandemicopolis” was vital to preventing the infection spreading beyond university property.

“These are troubled times,” the spokesman told The Lampoon’s plague correspondent. “The recent flood of cases that we’ve experienced have left us with no option but to go full-on London plague in the short-to-medium term.”

The measures would not allow students to leave university property, instead keeping them isolated from the general public: measures to be enforced with the construction of what the university described as “walls and other…structures”.

“The students will be provided with rations,” the university’s spokesman assured The Lampoon. “Protein, water: the essentials. And, of course, diversion will be provided in the form of remote working; there will be plenty that the students can use to occupy their time.”

Northumbria University’s students are currently sealed within their accommodation as the final walls are erected, at which point they will be allowed to roam freely within the enclosure of Pandemicopolis. Reports of what has been described as a “blood-based, quasi-Pagan religion” taking root within Glenamara House have been denied by the university as “alarmist rumours”.

Metro to upgrade ageing fleet to steam

The Tyne and Wear Metro is to replace its ageing 40-year-old rolling stock with steam trains. Transport chiefs say the plan would see disruption from overhead wire faults fall down to almost zero. A Nexus spokesman also added it would make the service 70% more reliable, speed up journey times by 20% and be “100% more steampunk.”

When asked about the drastic increase in pollution this would cause, Metro management said that the smoke-clogged tunnels under the city would act as a deterrent for anyone still not wearing a mask. They also added that a 5-minute journey across the Toon would only be the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes and at “around a third of the cost, it really is a bargain.”

The train operator said this plan would actually decrease their carbon footprint, as they are following the lead of the “tree-hugging hippies” in the energy sector by replacing the trains’ coal-burning furnaces with clean carbon-neutral ones fuelled with wood pellets. This is despite the calls from climate campaigners that biomass burning produces an even greater volume of CO2 than coal, as there is less energy density in wood. According to official estimates by the rail engineers: 40,000 tons of wood is needed to be found to operate the new trains per year “but everything’s fine as the sourcing’s handled by Amazon.”

Once City Council member defended the plan, saying: “We’re going back to nature, man: it’s 100% natural and organic; everyone burnt trees before the Industrial Revolution, including on their steam trains.”

The Council’s transport committee also defended the plan, saying the upgrade to steam would save millions of pounds compared to their previous Metro upgrade, which is still years away. This is due to the fact that scores of museums and historical preservation societies are more than happy to sell locomotives off on the cheap after visitor numbers in the pandemic have dropped to only the “most hardcore of train enthusiasts”. They hope that by sending these locos to the Toon, “all those nerds would follow too, and give us a bit of peace and quiet for once.”

Third year student who lives in private accommodation claims it’s out of choice

It has recently emerged that a third year University student spending their final year of study in Liberty Quay private accommodation is living here by choice, and not because no one wants to live with them.

Sociology undergrad Eton Beaver was quoted saying she was sick of the misconception that she had to desperately find private accommodation for her final year because she had completely alienated every other friend she had. “I wasn’t asked to live in an actual student house like an adult because all of my previous housemates had already found someone on craigslist to move in next year. Not to be rude, but I’m too mature for that lot anyway, hence why I’ve decided to live with a bunch of fresh-faced first years.”

Beaver has further supported her decision to get Daddy to pay her extortionate rent, claiming there’s no greater smell than vodka-soaked vomit and no better middle of the night wake up call than two 18-year-olds shagging through the paper-thin walls.

“Erotic fiction author” top career for English Literature graduates

Students who graduate from an English Literature course with a grade of 2:2 or above face a distinct likelihood of becoming self-published authors of erotic fiction.

After compiling data collected by over 70 universities, The Toon Lampoon can exclusively reveal that more than three-quarters of English Literature graduates have, at some point, recorded “erotic fiction author” or some variant as their primary source of income.

“It started as a bit of a laugh,” graduate Matt Markson told The Lampoon’s Arts and Culture correspondent. “I thought, ‘Well, how hard could it be?’ Less than a week later, I’d published a five-novella omnibus on Amazon and was seeing a steady stream of revenue. All it cost me was six days and my self-respect.”

More and more former English Literature students are turning to this area of employment, according to the Newcastle University Careers Centre.

“Let’s be honest, the job market’s shite right now,” stated Lesley Thompson, Careers Advisor. “I know that there’s some who’d regard this as literary prostitution, but you have to consider the kind of qualities that our English students currently receive from higher education, those being a fair knowledge of literature and seething sexual frustration. It’s not like we’re teaching them how to install HVAC units here.”

The Lampoon reached out to the Department for Education for comment on this issue but were informed that Gavin Williamson would only agree to speak to journalists who had attended private schools.

Geordie Shore cast to be guillotined at Grey’s Monument

Following the conclusion of a two-year legal battle, a tribune of judges today passed down their sentence on the cast of the Newcastle-based reality television series, Geordie Shore, condemning them to death via guillotine.

After the sentence was handed down, Chief Justice Ian Tristan made his closing statement. “For too long, the nihilistic, excess-driven attitudes of the Geordie Shore community have infected our airwaves and polluted the minds of our young people. It is to be hoped that, upon your deaths, the culture of Newcastle upon Tyne may begin to heal itself, and we will enter into a new age of enlightenment.”

News of the sentence received praise across the political spectrum, with tickets for the event already sold out. A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council addressed the media in an impromptu press conference earlier this afternoon, stating, “The council does not, as a rule, endorse mob justice, no more than we do the death penalty. In this case, however, we do not regard this as a means of justice, but rather as a protection of our way of life. We condemn these agents of filth to Madame Guillotine, and may God have mercy on whatever they have in the place of souls.”

The Toon Lampoon was unable to secure an interview with the Geordie Shore cast, who are being kept in a place far from daylight and hope. However, a representative from their legal team granted The Lampoon’s horsewhipping and lobotomies correspondent a brief interview. “The cast is, of course, horrified by this sentence, or at least they would be if they knew what it meant, or the word ‘guillotine’, or the word ‘horrified’. Suffice to say that we’ll be making their final days as comfortable as possible, which we imagine will take a lot of Jägermeister, fake tan, and meaningless sex in a last-ditch attempt for a shred of internal validation.”

Council assures Newcastle residents that Purge protocol “purely hypothetical”

A representative for Newcastle City Council today promised members of the public that recently-leaked plans to enact a Purge within the city limits had no relation whatsoever to council policy.

Addressing members of the press, Communications Officer Tom Newford stated, “The plans that were reported by several local papers earlier this week were nothing but conjecture: blue-sky thinking on topics such as homelessness, social welfare, and refuse collection. In no way were they intended to inform or steer current thinking or policy.”

Plans detailing a twelve-hour period during which all crime would be legal in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne were passed to The Lampoon earlier this week (as opposed to more established publications such as The Chronicle). Newford, 29, assured readers that, while the council did believe that a twelve-hour period in which theft, piracy, and murder would be completely legal would help with the current pandemic situation, “it wasn’t like we were going to go ahead with it or anything.”

The news was greeted by the city’s population with outrage, concern, and considerable discussion over which Newcastle resident could definitely batter their associates and co-workers.

“I reckon I’d do alright,” Gary Larson told The Lampoon. ‘My plan, right, is to head over to Eldon Gardens and just, you know, kind of take over the area as a sort of feudal baron. Sign on a few big lads, maybe recruit a harem, put up some severed heads as a warning to the others, and basically hold out until morning.”

Tanya Wesson said, “My first stop would be Fenwick. I’ve got an ID card, which would get me and my friends inside the top floor. After that, I’m thinking regular raiding parties: we’d grab supplies from the Food Hall first, then we’d limit our excursions to the third floor so as not to attract attention. The Terrace Café would have enough kitchen knives and frying pans to let us drive out any interlopers from Eldon Square or the Metro Station.”

Finally, Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, told our correspondent, “I think a lot of residents are failing to grasp the social and cultural possibilities of this event, if it was to happen. I’m not going to say how I’d make it happen, but there’s an opportunity to have the cast of Geordie Shore executed in front of Grey’s Monument. I don’t plan on passing it up.”

Earlier today, Gateshead’s council put out a statement offering sanctuary for any Newcastle residents wishing to avoid the potential mass slaughter. However, a spokesperson for the council admitted to The Lampoon that they would not be surprised if people would prefer the risk of being skinned, castrated, and murdered over spending an entire night in Gateshead.

Local cat burglar to have testicles removed

Newcastle Crown Court made history today as it handed down a first-of-its-kind sentence. After deliberating for over three hours, burglar Larry Thomas was condemned to undergo a surgical procedure that would see his testicles amputated.

Commenting on this landmark event in British judicial history, Judge Tom Clarence told The Lampoon, “This was not a sentence that I passed lightly, nor out of a desire for any kind of notoriety. Following the principles of British justice, I applied the most appropriate penalty for what has been a litany of misdeeds.”

Larry Thomas, 128 in cat years, is thought to be responsible for over thirty instances of breaking and entering and has been linked to the theft of items including a crystal chandelier, an Austrian heiress’s tiara, and twenty-seven gallons of premium cream. Police were eventually able to charge Thomas after the discovery of what they described as a “calling card”: puddles of urine left at the scene of every crime.

“Mr Thomas has had many opportunities to change his behaviour,” Judge Clarence stated in his summation. “It is clear that neither his better judgement nor his moral compass is capable of keeping his criminal urges in check. Therefore, it is this court’s opinion that surgery is the best option. Once castrated, Mr Thomas will be less aggressive and less likely to develop abscesses. Combined with the limiting effect on the size of his territory and his propensity to roam, it is my hope that this will see the end of his criminal career.”

Larry Thomas’ legal representative told The Lampoon, “This is not the sentence that we were hoping for, and we will, of course, be making an appeal. I’m sure that, in front of a more measured and seasoned expert, my client will be able to retain possession of one, perhaps one-and-a-half, of his testicles.”

Castle Leazes “looks even more like a prison” after barbed wire and searchlights installed

Newcastle University plans to put barbed wire and searchlights around the student accommodation block in an effort to maintain social distancing. A University representative said it will “protect all of us from the dangers of Leazes students.”

The University is taking notes from a Cornish pub which recently installed an electric fence around its bar to protect staff against their thirsty punters. However, they decided against using a similar device in Leazes after a trial run, when a greatly confused rah tried to plug an electric kettle into it and was “blown half-way into Heaton.”

Plans to ban students from having “a sleepover” on another floor were dropped after being deemed “impractical” after research showed “it would be nigh on impossible to tame the raw sexual energy of Newcastle students, even in the light of COVID-19.” A University representative added “we still can’t have all these inmates, sorry, students, just running around the Toon. We can’t let them spread the ‘rona like they spread chlamydia.”

Other measures include 30ft high watchtowers manned by weather-beaten guards, who claim to have already seen it all (and we mean it all) from a similar one recently found in the Herschel Building. Guard dogs will also be deployed, and an eye testing station “fit for a castle” will also be installed. However, a plan to install landmines in Leazes Park was dropped due to safety concerns, not for the students, but for the cows.

When our reporter approached a Castle Leazes student to ask about their imminent incarceration, all they said was “It won’t affect me, that’s what daddy’s lawyers are for. When was the last time you heard of a rich kid going to prison?”