Gov. appeals to shed owners in the fight against terror

The anti-gravity machine will not be invented by NASA (pah - they've invented nothing of note since the 1970s) or in the laboratories of Oxbridge. Nor will the death ray, nor cold fusion, nor a method of faster than light travel. Nor even a cure for the common cold - all of these things will be invented by a flat cap-wearing, tea-fuelled old man named Fred or Bert, in the shed at the bottom of his garden somewhere in Britain.

This is where the magic happens.

These old boys are generally past retirement age and have wives who don't like them being in the house because they get in the way. As a result, from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, you'll find them pottering about in their creosoted refuges, developing Projects. In many cases, they don't really have a lot else to do with themselves - once a fortnight they'll either drive or take the bus into town with the missus to pick up their pensions and then they'll do a spot of shopping. Then, it's back home to the Shed.

Think back to your own childhood. Did your own dad or grandad have a shed? Mine both did, as did all of my friends' dads and grandads. Without revving up the ol' memory too much I can think of a fair few impressive things that they created - my dad used to take old motorbikes apart, tinker about with whatever motorbikes with are filled with and then, when he put them back together using various gearbox bits of his own design, they'd be able to travel at least 50mph faster than they originally could. My mate Will's grandad - at the age of 85 - decided to build a hovercraft powered by an Austin Allegro engine that he "just happened to have knocking about the place." He took it out for a test run on the school field, discovered it worked every bit as well as he'd planned (considerably better than an Austin Allegro, in fact) and then it vanished back into the shed and was never seen again. When he died seven years later and they cleared the shed out, it had disappeared entirely - presumably cannibalised and turned into other things. The there was Alan: his grandad built his own hydroponics system "for the tomatoes" and then grew his own extra-strong marijuana which, apparently, did his arthritis a world of good.

The Government know all this, which is why they're making an appeal for Britain's army of amateur inventors to suggest new devices to help in the war against terror. Security Minister Lord West calls it "one more tool in our fight against those who would wish to do us harm" and devices already created include a new type of barrier to halt suicide bombers in cars and a rocket-propelled net than can be fired at speedboats (somewhere out there, somebody's grandad has been banned for life from the local park after testing it out on the ducks). The nanotech homing knife missile can be only months from realisation. It is hoped that these inventions will prove crucial in what the BBC call "the fight against groups like al-Qaeda."

We have our own idea. We don't know what to call it yet, but since it's a fairly complex device we're not worried about sharing the details here because we doubt any of our readers will steal the concept. What it is, basically, is a sort of very highly-developed computer that has a massive amount of memory and can perform lightning-fast calculations based on extremely fuzzy variables without the owner-operator even realising it. Now, the really clever bit is in ensuring this computer will never be left at home, resulting in the owner becoming a potential victim of terrorist attack - being highly efficient, it can run on little power and as a result can be implanted within the human skull, where it will be kept at its optimum operating temperature by the bloodstream. Once in use, it will allow the owner to accurately assess the likelihood of terrorist attack at any given time - for example, if the owner sees a person with brown skin carrying a bag of some description, the computer will instantly recognise it as Mr. Anwar from down the road nipping to the shops for some catfood; rather than becoming confused and paranoid because of all the useless and scare-mongering stories continually crapped out by the media - this will also prevent the government from having to waste time creating all the new "in the nation's best interests" legislation like they've been doing since 2001 and get back to things like trying to patch the economy back together and otherwise doing good stuff instead of eroding our civil liberties. If he or she sees a man talking on a mobile phone while driving a white Transit van, he or she may immediately think of the Government's mind-numbingly stupid How to spot a terrorist poster, but the computer will instantly kick in and remind them that it's far more likely to be a builder negotiating the price for his next job (however, it will not prevent them from shouting, "Get off the phone and watch where you're bloody going, you just ran over and a killed a cyclist"). A continually-running sub-routine hard-wired into the device could even prevent the owner falling for the common and hopelessly incorrect idea that it is actually possible to "fight against groups like al-Qaeda" since al-Qaeda are not a group in the first place, and the name is merely a label given to a particular set of beliefs and causes and serves as no more than an umbrella term for those groups that believe in them.

Quiz: You see a man with a mobile phone and a white van. Terrorist or builder?
Write your answer on the back of a stamped postcard, then screw it up and throw it in the bin.

In time, we would hope to see the computer installed within authority figures too. As an example, a police officer fitted with one would not immediately assume that anybody who looks a bit foreign taking pictures of the House of Commons has plans to later blow it up (which would be a terrible crime - but only against architecture) - it's a million to one that they just want a nice photo to show to their friends when they get home to whichever country they've come here on holiday from. It could even be programmed to recognise the difference between a Brazilian student and an Arab suicide bomber, or between an unarmed newspaper vendor on his way home after work and a dangerous bomb-throwing anarchist, or British citizens taking advantage of their right to peaceful protest from a threat to Queen and country. You never know - if they had this ability, then perhaps they wouldn't waste so much time and money (and, in some very sad cases, lives) apprehending innocent, law-abiding people and then be able to concentrate on combatting real threats instead. Installed within a politician, it could enable the owner to realise that Osama bin Laden is almost certainly not in Afghanistan, is probably dead and continuing the Afghan war will solve nothing (with the possible exception of reducing the surplus of soldiers that they apparently think the armed forces have).

We know it works, because several people have already volunteered to be fitted with the devices and so far they've all given us positive feedback. Here's what Kevin Horrocks of Milton Keynes, one of the first of our victi...er, volunteers, has to say: "Oh yeah, I got one of these new skull-mounted computers and it's fookin' great. It just sits there mindin' its own business until I come across summat I don't fully understand, like. Then all I 'ave to go is switch it on by deciding not to swallow all the bullshit that's pumped at me and before you know it, it's 'ad a little think and I can make rational decisions based on actual facts. Thank you, Acid Rabbi!"

Mrs. Jenkins of Solihull is similarly glad she got hers fitted. "A year ago, before I was fitted with one of your incredible machines, I was constantly paranoid because it seemed to me that every dark-skinned person I saw or foreign accent I heard meant I was about to be torn limb from limb in a terrorist atrocity - but now, I can walk down the street without fear, because I know that all the people I see are just normal people like myself, going about my everyday business. My children are delighted, because I let them play outside with their friends now that I know there isn't a paedophile hiding behind every tree. Best of all, it saved me money because I make my own opinions now instead of buying the Daily Mail everyday. Jolly good value, if you ask me."

If you'd like to try one out for yourself, it couldn't be any easier. Simply leave a request in the comments section, and the following night we'll send one over the Internet directly into your own skull. The next morning when you wake up, watch the news and question what you're being told - you'll be amazed at your own ability to think and will never have to believe whatever rubbish you're told ever again. Best of all - it's free!

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