Edible Stems Unit seeks experienced rhubarb consultant

Finding your job dull and restricting? Do you think your boss or even your fellow workers are insensitive to your truly creative potential? Then, perhaps, the Guardian -- one of Britain's quality daily newspapers -- can find just the job that meets your need.

According to Tuesday's public appointments section, the newly formed Edible Stems Unit of the West Midlands County Council's lively and youth-oriented Agronomy Division is planning to diversify out of asparagus and Swiss chard and into rhubarb and is inviting applications for the post of Senior Rhubarb Consultant. Applicants who are qualified in architecture are urged to apply.

If the call of oxalic acid sounds too bucolic for you, the West Midlands Council is also advertising through its Advanced Liaison Unit for Inter-Communicating Methodologists. The unit, which encourages applications regardless of age, color, race, creed, disability, intelligence, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation advises that WASPS need not apply.

Meanwhile, Merseyside County Council is advertising the post of Intensive Playgroup Consolidator (Grade 4, Band 3, Scale 7, 724 kHz), while the Greater London Council has posted vacancies for Vehicle Flow Maintenance Supervisors (regraded from Traffic Warden) for those with work experience in animal psychology and who have the ability to defend themselves. (Exemption from paying parking fines is a fringe benefit.)

The ads, some measuring as much as 8 inches by 7 inches, bear the appropriate insignia of the local councils, but the ads were an April Fool's Day joke. (And the councils were abolished April 1.)

An even bolder joke was perpetrated on readers of the Times of London with a full-page ``government announcement'' on a proposed shift of the Earth's axis.

Following a review of national energy policy, the government is to implement far-reaching strategic energy measures at 11:02 today. Because of a new geographical location just 10 degrees north of the equator, Manchester would now enjoy the climate of Barbados, which, given Manchester's reputation for rain, had to be the cruelest April Fool's joke of all.

Ireland was renamed Offaly Hot, while the Isle of Man was retitled Isle of Tan. Southampton was renamed Further Southampton. The announcement warned that persons locked in amatory embrace between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. last Tuesday would feel the Earth move.

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