People hoping to stare headlong into the abyss will face yet another setback to their lives after the Highways Agency announced that the vast chasm of gloom has been closed in order to perform ‘essential maintenance work’.
‘Over recent months the abyss has seen unprecedented levels of staring,’ said a Highways Agency spokesman. ‘As a result it has developed a number of stress fractures making it unsafe to gaze into until repairs have been carried out. We wouldn’t want anyone falling in and hitting rock bottom.’
Depressives who had been planning to stare into the dark, unremitting void are being advised to delay their journey of despair or find an alternative route to misery. But malcontents everywhere are upset by the disruption to their otherwise empty days.
‘Staring into the abyss was the only thing I had to look forward to,’ said full-time depressive Sheldrake Parsons. ‘What am I supposed to stare into now? My spicy parsnip soup? I will, but it’s just not the same.’
‘This is a dark day for depressives,’ agreed Mrs Mona Lott. ‘It’s staring into the abyss that keeps me going.’
Psychologists are advising the public that while the abyss is closed they might take the opportunity to experiment with other paths to misery. ‘Slowly rocking backwards and forwards is still very popular,’ advised Dr Raj Persaud, ‘and you can achieve great levels of despondency by simply getting stuck in a rut.’
The delays look set to continue after repairs to the abyss were hampered by a number of workers accidentally looking down. ‘I only glanced into it for a moment,’ said tarmac repair man Bob Jolly, ‘but before I knew what had happened I had been gazing into the abyss so long the abyss had started gazing back into me. In the end my workmates had to physically drag me to safety.’
Since this incident anyone working inside the fathomless pit of despair has been instructed to wear depression-resistant ‘rose-tinted’ glasses.
‘The abyss will be open again very soon,’ assured Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, ‘and the new improved abyss will be fitted with side lamps so that people can finally see what they are staring into. I think I can safely say there is some light at the end of the tunnel.’
However, depressives remain pessimistic. ‘I knew this would happen,’ complained Sheldrake Parsons. ‘You can’t even stare into the abyss nowadays without the whole thing falling apart.’
23rd January 2011