Alice Bell What is Defra thinking of?
So it turns out that the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is considering a holocaust for badgers. Good luck trying to afford that much gas, mate.
Escalating energy prices are just one of the flaws in Defra's plan of gassing the animals instead of shooting them.
After all, if badgers can get their little paws wrapped around something as large as a goalpost, they can probably heave a couple of gas canisters out of harm's way too.
The journalists in my newsroom were pretty disturbed by the images conjured up at the idea of a badger holocaust. We all had visions of badgers with Hitler moustaches goose-stepping around in front of others being forced to shave and enter a big box to await their fate.
Thank God the Government wants to make absolutely sure that gassing is definitely going to be safe and humane and dandy, right? Although how they're going to do that without first being unsafe and inhumane is quite a mystery.
These are the sort of discussions we have in our newsroom. I tell you, there's more gallows humour amongst journalists than there is amongst homicidal funeral directors.
We're also more cynical than that person who came up with the idea of life insurance. For instance, the other day we decided to run a story about potholes before the news that the Libyan Prime Minister had been kidnapped because, as one journo said: "Normal people don't run over a Libyan PM every time they reverse out of their drive."
Not that it was much of a kidnapping – the man was released by lunchtime. As our editor said: "Well, I hope he had a lovely morning. Maybe he was just late for work and this was the best excuse he could think of."
Then we ended up having an argument over who should have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Quite ironic.
For me the scariest news of the week was that some people are dialling 999 after finding a spider on their pillow.
The scary part of that story was all the pictures accompanying it of a huge eight-legged monstrosity spread-eagled in various poses on stark white bed linen. Somebody will need to call an ambulance if I ever discover a spider between my sheets, because I will have died of fright.
It makes you wonder why Defra hasn't thought of test-driving the humaneness of gassing on the arachnid population, since spiders are probably just as hated as badgers. It would kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, although I'm not sure how humane that is either.