This was not a real August

By Simon Round, August 31, 2011

August is great if you happen to be a journalist. For 11 months of the year the world is a very serious place – there are riots, revolutions, financial crises and scandals. Then everyone goes on holiday and we can write whatever we want – it's called the silly season. Until this year that is.

I don't know whether to blame global warming, El Nino or the government but this August the season has been so serious it's been silly. There was me, sitting down to listen to rain stopping play at the cricket on Radio 4 to discover that riots had broken out in just about every town in Britain big enough to have a branch of SportsDirect.

Then, just as the youth of today is getting bored of its new trainers and X Boxes, the Libyan rebels enter Tripoli to so much clamour in the media that there was little space to report on murderous attacks in Israel and practically none to record the fact that the USA and Europe are nose-diving towards economic oblivion.

It's not just that it's depressing, it's that I miss the summer stories. So here, in this small corner of the JC, I declare the silly season open for business. Consider this a space where we can safely muse about those immortal silly stories from summers past – the crop circles in the shape of Wayne Rooney's bald patch which miraculously appeared then disappeared (much like Rooney's bald patch). Or the South London squirrels on crack and the attack of the of killer chipmunks.

What about this summer?

Ashdod is now known as Rio - same weather, better felafel

You may not have noticed that the town of Cleethorpes mysteriously vanished for three days last week.

You may also have missed the moment on Sunday when British number one tennis player Andy Murray momentarily turned into a smoked salmon bagel while serving for the set in the final of a tournament in Cincinatti. His opponent Novak Djokovic was so shocked that he retired, claiming injury.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to attract more tourists, Israeli officials announced that the town of Ashdod would be renamed "Rio de Janeiro". A government spokesperson explained that the Ashdod weather was fairly similar to that in parts of Brazil and that the falafel was much better.

In Moscow, scientists released research which revealed that eating an excess of borscht can cause people to lose the ability to tell the time – but only on digital clocks. Those tested were given only beetroot for 15 years. At the end of the experiment none of them could pronounce the word, "Uruguay".

In Alaska, two live woolly mammoths were discovered. They had apparently been living quietly in a suburb of Anchorage for many years. When asked, neighbours said that the couple kept themselves to themselves and had never given anyone cause to suspect that they might have been extinct mammals.

And at the Oval, England won the final test against India to complete a 4-0 whitewash, which means they have become the world's top cricketing nation. If you believe that, you'll believe anything.

Last updated: 10:06am, August 31 2011