Towns across Germany have reported record numbers of people deserting their traditional Christmas Markets in favour of newer imports from England. 'We were all getting bored of gingerbread, wooden toys and gluhwein,' said Alex Reichelt, mayor of Nurnberg, 'and everyone fancied something a bit more exotic - fake Duracells, toy dogs with hidden spikes, cheap womens' knickers with the label of the shop they were nicked from cut out. The English have given us all this - and more!'
Many visitors come simply for the thrill of the "traditional afternoon punch-up", performed daily. Spectators are given guides in German explaining that 3.15 marks the traditional end of British lunchtime binge drinking. On the rousing cry of "Shut it, you slag", female stallholders start bitch-slapping each other, while the men make sure at least one of them is flown home in an air ambulance.
The English stalls, with their plastic sheeting shimmering gently in the frosty air, held down by "those big crocodile clips you see on jump leads", are causing growing resentment amongst German traders. 'How can our bratwurst stand compete against the impossibly sophisticated "fish and chips"?' said one disgruntled local. 'And we can't even understand them when they speak English, let alone German. What the hell is ''gerrchabattriestenfrapoound"?'
'To be honest the language is the only tricky bit' said Dave Smith, owner of the Rizlas, Lighters and Bongs stall. 'At first I couldn't get the Krauts to understand we only take proper money - pounds sterling - which is how everything ended up costing "nein euros". A bit pricy for ten packs of reefer papers, but bugger me they're paying it. I could almost forgive 'em for trying to kill my grandad'