Mumsnet.com, the elite online band of opinion-forming mums, is winning the war against Al Qaeda, where the entire might of the Western world has hitherto struggled.
“We were having an online discussion about freezing pureed apricot in ice cube trays,” explains mumsnet stalwart Pru Hopkins (37), when the thread took an unexpected turn towards the Middle East – something about tagines. Anyway, after a bit of chit-chat we agreed it was high time we said ‘oh, for fuck’s sake, get out the way, Major General, let’s get this sorted’. See, it was ages till bath time, we were all frazzled, dangerously low on Pinot Grigio and quite frankly, we’d had enough. Time the boys came home – there’s a million things they could be getting on with back here anyway.”
Recruiting a network of Al Qaeda mums proved the turning point. “Once they were on side, it was easy,” Hopkins went on. “We just set out a few ground rules - starting with those virgins.”
Armed to the teeth with common sense, determination and fresh toiletries, the mums stormed the training camps, picked up their quivering, martyrdom-ready sons by the ear and told them in no uncertain terms that if they really thought there’d be seventy five virgins waiting for them on the other side then they were dafter than they looked and needn’t bother coming home that night. Then, when it occurred to everyone that this might be counter-productive, we instructed them just to say that yeah, okay, they could have a pet ferret when they got home, so long as it lived in a cage outside. After that it was easy.”
Hundreds of bewildered youths have been seen deserting their mountain hideaways and stumbling back towards their homes, stooping under the weight of their heavy rucksacks, once primed with high explosives, now stuffed to bursting point with dirty laundry.
“Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries,” Hopkins insisted. “The Al Qaeda mums had simply lost sight of the basics, though granted it’s easy to lose sight of most things through the tiny slits in those veils.
“We’ve all been there. Even the best mums sometimes need to be reminded that the taking of crap from one’s offspring is an optional activity. Anyhow, after that, our mercy drop of ‘What would Angelina Jolie do?’ wristbands just seemed to seal the deal. Game over.”
“Now we’re setting up college recruitment encampments,” Hopkins enthused. “The wannabe martyrs will soon be embedded on media studies and design management courses throughout the region. It won’t turn them into useful members of society, obviously, but even mumsnet has to acknowledge that when it comes to world peace, it’s incey wincey steps.”
(*with a snort in Mary’s direction in fond memory of her mumsnet election sub*)