The institute of bad ideas

November 11, 2005

A man on the moon - Nasa; Thatcherite free market economics - Institute of Economic Affairs; the atomic bomb - Manhattan Project; the genetic code of humanity - Human Genome Project; pet varnish - Institute of Bad Ideas.

Dear Dr Ogbodo Magowa
former director, Nigerian Higher Education Funding Council

As executors of the estate of the Institute of Bad Ideas, I must inform you of the death of the fellows. Dr Locke was pecked to pieces by a panicking chicken while he tested it for avian flu awareness. Dr Howie was hit in the eye by a chuck-key thrown from a lathe while demonstrating the burden of living in a risk-averse society. Dr Connolly simply ceased to exist after the institute miscalculated this would boost its score in the research assessment exercise. Dr Cruickshank repeatedly stabbed himself in the back after becoming disoriented while recording a reality TV show based on the peer-review system. Dr Mansell was shot by a mystery gunman described by police as "an irritating Irish TV presenter".

Therefore, the higher education funding collaboration you had set up with the institute is now at an end. You say the fellows were about to pass you university bank details for which you had already forwarded them a substantial sum of money. The fellows did leave a CD-Rom with details of their financial affairs. Sadly, I could not get it to work.

Yours sincerely
Cosmo Currie of Kitson, Currie and Birch, Solicitors

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