The Nut & Kneecap Ale House, Whitechapel, London – November 2014: Del Nostradamus, unemployed yet oddly in funds is a direct descendant of the 16th Century French apothecary and reputed seer who published collections of prophecies that have long since become famous worldwide, namely Michel de Nostradamus. For his part Del himself has, he claims, the same ability to see into the future his ancestor was blessed with. We join Del at the bar having a chat with his mate Eric.

“Watcha cock how’s it going?”

“Do what?”

“How’s it going, that’s what?”

“How’s what going?”

“Predictions my friend…predictions.”

“Oh that. Pretty well as it happens…just last night after I left the pub I came over all funny and foresaw the end of mankind, Eric.”

“End of the world you say. When and how…hope it’s not too soon Del?”

“No you should be alright mate it’s not for another 32,317 years, 7 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, 17 hours and 37 seconds…well 36 now…no 35…you know what I mean anyway.”

“How though, I’m curious? Does it involve four horsemen and the Grim Reaper and all that stuff from the Bible?”

“No mate, none of that old bollocks. All that happens is that Planet Earth runs out of turnips.”


“Yup turnips! You see it turns out that the turnip, what with it being a nutritious root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot and coming in small, tender varieties grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock it had long since become the staple diet of the human race – more so after the demise of the spud, the aubergine etc. etc. sometime previous…”

“Go on.”

“Well with the whole planet feeding itself on turnips they quite overlooked the gaseous effect of said vegetable.”

“Sorry to interrupt Del…you’re talking about farting aren’t you?”

“In one Eric, in one. Whatever, what with the entirety of humanity dropping their respective guts day in day out for centuries the greenhouse gases spewed into the atmosphere causes a build-up of methane initially seeing off animals then other plants then themselves and bingo we’re all poisoned…kaput…fucked.  Obviously I’ve got to put this one in quatrain format when I get the chance but that’s the strength of it.”

“Shame really. Who’d have thought it…not a meteor or even the horrors of nuclear war but just the humble turnip heralds the end of mankind – well I’ll be buggered. Anyway, got any more like, predictions for the near future, closer to home if you get my drift?”

“Well I’ve a few for the 25th century and a couple of belters for the 29th but let me think…short term predictions…um…um…yes I have as it happens.”

“Crikey mate it’s like getting blood out of a stone talking to you…what’s the prediction then?”

“Mars Bars, a worldwide shortage of Mars Bars in 2018. Not only does such a shortage disappoint Marianne Faithful no end yet it causes levels of rioting in Glasgow never before witnessed in all of human history.”

“How can that be…I mean how can a deficit on the confectionary front give rise to civil unrest?”

“Easy peasy Eric. As you well know deep fried Mars Bars – in batter mind – are not just a delicacy to you average Glaswegian they form in point of fact the main part of their staple diet. Given the propensity for the residents of that city to remain in a constant stupor brought about by over indulgence in Buckfast Tonic Wine and White Lightning Cider – in plastic fuselages of course – it will only take little more than the absence of said Mars Bar to set things off. Indeed the riots and civil disobedience carries on throughout the summer of that year and things don’t improve until one of the locals comes up with an alternative.”

“What’s that then?”

“Deep fried Snickers as I explain in my quatrain thus;


‘All the Sweaties* will revolt

About half a decade hence

When Mars Bars are in short supply

And rioting doth commence


’Tis only when a wily Pict

Doth have the good idea

To substitute a Snickers bar

That Red Clydeside returns to cheer’


Good that don’t you think?” 

“Blindingly so Del.” 

“Another beer Eric?”

“Don’t mind if I do.”


  • For the uninitiated ‘Sweaties’ is Cockney slang for the Scots, derived from sweaty socks rhyming with Jocks!


    1. I remain in awe of the Scottish diet – the deep fried Mars Bar bit is true by the way. Once on a business trip to Glasgow and as a vegetarian I tried my level best to find a place to eat (as my hotel only offered a menu of things that once had a face). Eventually I came across a fish and chip shop offering a cheese and tomato pizza (I hate pre made pizza with a vengeance). The item was frozen at the outset; they simply dipped it into the boiling fat, wrapped it in newspaper and handed it me! I fed it to the pigeons and starved that night!

      1. Edinburgh is a place of culture whereas in my experience Glasgow is not! I must confess many years ago in my meat eating days I rather enjoyed a haggis although it is an acquired taste I’ll admit!

  1. Why wait 32,317 years, 7 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, 17 hours and 37 seconds for the world to end. Just drop a generous dollop of turnip puree on the plate of any four year old and… Need I say more?

  2. Damn you. I’ve just scribbled your url on a wrinkled piece of paper and will now clutch it in my hand so when they find me, cold and stiff, shit-eating grin plastered across my face, they’re know whose wit did me in.

    1. My Auntie Maud had my name and address tattooed on her wrinkled hand when she snuffed – good fortune smiled though as the old boot could never quite manage a grin! Regardless, cheers for that comment – ’tis much appreciated.

  3. I’m glad you educated us on sweaties. It sounded like something Adam Ant used to say when I was little and didn’t understand everything on his records. 😉 This was hilarious! I’m glad you got Del to sit still long enough so you could eavesdrop on him and report your findings to us. I’ll tell ya, methane poisoning is a helluva way to go! 😦

      1. LOL! I had the biggest crush on him! But oddly only when he had the stripe painted across his face. I still love his music, though I don’t admit that to most people. 😉

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