Penguin poised to take role as Japanese Emperor

Following the uncertainty over the possibility of Japanese emperor Akihito retiring due to ill health, Jason Timms, a penguin at the Higashiyama Zoo, has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next in line to the throne.

“The laws of primogeniture in Japan are somewhat confused,” said Timms at a press conference held in the penguin enclosure today. “As such, if Emperor Akihito were to stand down, I would be more than happy to take over. As an emperor penguin I feel that I have the requisite experience to make the position my own, and I’m a big fan of raw fish, so that makes me a shoe in to rule Japan.”

Timms is not the only member of the zoo to have put themselves forward. Nick Vines, an emperor tamarin from the primate enclosure is also being muted as a potential replacement, as is Simone Welles, an emperor scorpion. But the penguin was quick to pour scorn on his opponents’ abilities.

“Do you think either of them would be well disposed to welcoming visiting dignitaries?” he queried. “Well, the scorpion would most likely sting a Saudi sheik. The tamarin is pretty cute,” he conceded, “but less so when he is furiously masturbating into the Queen of England’s hat.”

A spokesman for the incumbent emperor declined to comment on Timms’ announcement, although a source close to the royal family confirmed that plans to build a moat around the palace that can be chilled to near freezing levels are already under way.

“I see no problem with a penguin becoming emperor,” the source said. “As long as it’s not my job to scrape the fish guts from the palace’s priceless heirlooms, I couldn’t care less. Besides, it beats scraping up monkey shit, doesn’t it?”

Booze news: Purveyors of the nation’s alcohol stocks are bracing themselves for the annual drop in sales as gaijin go home for the summer holidays. “It’s always tough at this time of year,” said Nana Kato, President of Japan Booze Inc. “Those gaijin drink like fishes, but fortunately they’ll be back in September, filling our bars and banging on about how great their home countries are.”  Turn to page 4 to see which other industries will be bordering on bankruptcy by the time you come back.

Tourism news: In light of recent terrorism atrocities Japanese tourists are turning their back on travel to Europe. “It’s just too dangerous to leave Japan right now,” said Shinji Yoshikawa as he held on for dear life as magnitude 6 earthquake rocked his office. Turn to page 9 to see how much safer a country frequently struck by typhoons and tsunamis really is.

Noodle news: All noodles are exactly the same, research concludes. Professor Taishi Fujita, Head of Noodle Studies at University of Nagoya:

“Soba, ramen, udon? Come on, there’s no bloody difference, is there!” Turn to page 13 to see the not-so-surprising results of our blind taste test.

Summer-oscope: Leo: You will go to a beach and be so traumatised by the fact that all the Japanese have the shapely, hairless bodies of über-fit 15 year-olds that you will refuse to remove your shirt and never go back again. Turn to page 69 for full predictions of how utterly awful your summer will be.

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