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“The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood... and probably some other things. The Pizza Express is nice, though.”
“Seems like we've found a good place for business!”
|Founded:||c.243 AD |
Devotees of Saint Chav
|Moved to Iraq:||2000 AD|
|Motto:||War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.|
|Population:||160,000.5 (137,00 white, 12,000 Polish, 5000 Chinese, 5,998 black, 2.5 sentient lizard men)|
|Incumbent political party|
|Preceded by:||High Council of Saint Chav|
|English Defence League|
|Incumbent:||Wayne Curtis "Kruspee" MacDunder|
Harlow is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. Originally in Essex, England, its master architect, Frederick Gibberd, moved it to Iraq to prevent further conflict — a move that was as disastrous for the town as it was felicitous for the Iraqi arms industry.
Harlow is now also known as Baghdad. It is the proud host of the Annual ChavFest™ (sponsored by popular sex comic The Sun). Harlow is also host to one third of the Polish population, leading many to believe that Harlow is, in fact, part of Poland. The local shopping centre is home to the first British KFC, allegedly the final resting place of Colonel Sanders.
In recent years, Harlow has been divided by a class war between the Tories, led by the Lizard King David Cameron, the natives, and Islamic militants who really just want a hug. Tony Blair made a half-hearted attempt to prevent further casualties by bombing the town in an operation known as Shock and Awe. Blair was later forced to step down after it transpired he was an illegitimate son of Margaret Thatcher. This class war has affected every corner of civilian life in Harlow. BBC News once called it a "War Zone".
Its main industries are nuclear weapons, slightly dodgy off-licences and Candy Crush micro-transactions. It gained brief fame in 1971 when it was mentioned in Monty Python's And Now For Something Completely Different.
“It's all downhill from here!”
Harlow was originally settled by followers of Saint Chav around 200 AD. Shortly afterwards, the Romans stuck their noses in and conquered the shit out of the Saxon settlement; thankfully, they moved onto London after Boudica told them to "Feck off".
In the centuries that followed, the locals established a cathedral in honour of Saint Chav. This was no puny church; this was an almighty monument to consumption, sex and Blackberry phones (As microchips had not been invented, Blackberry phones at the time were made of actual blackberries). They named this almighty church "the Harvey Centre". It still stands proudly to this day, though the crowning statue of Saint Chav was stolen in 1023 AD, and again in 1277, and again in 1502. It was the first of its kind, but not the greatest; the Lakeside centre in Thurrock soon trumped it. As a consequence, if the word "Thurrock" is uttered in Harlow, most residents will immediately respond with the cry of "Wankers!"
Harlow New Town
“It's all downhill from here!”
Centuries passed, and Harlow grew into a prosperous centre of pilgrimage, attracting worshippers the local municipality over. But as it lost worshippers to Lakeside, so it lost its main industry. Urgent action was needed.
Thankfully, this was the same year that the Germans started bombing the scheiße out of London, in response to Hitler being kicked out of art school. The war was won when America intervened and bombed the shit out of Japan, prompting Germany to back down, but London was left in ruins. Urgent action was needed. Both London and Harlow needed a saviour. And that saviour arrived, in the form of an art appreciator named Frederick Gibberd. On a drunken whim one night, while playing cards with Clement Atlee, Gibberd proposed a small development that would help London: to built a few hundred thousand houses in Harlow and move all the people there. London's overpopulation would be lessened, and Harlow's wealth would be restored. Atlee agreed; that same night, he founded the NHS. Both now agree that dropping those J-Bombs was a bad idea.
The houses Gibberd built were terrible. Absolutely awful. Ridiculous. But, compared to the East End squat-holes the Londoners were crawling out of, the houses were wonderful. Functioning toilets? This was a new idea to the Londoners. Along with the houses, Gibbered built five or six mega-malls to attract followers of Saint Chav, restoring the town's livelihood and prompting Gibberd's critics to mumble "Well that's alright, then." His developments in Harlow have since become standard for any British town: every year, the number of houses built in a town are measured according to the Gibberd Scale, and if they do not match or exceed the number of houses Gibberd built in Harlow in the 1950s, the town is shut down.
Gibberd later built himself a small cottage in the corner of a field as far away as possible from the estates while still remaining in Harlow, and decorated this house with his collection of garden gnomes. When Harlow moved, Gibberd's home remained; he managed to hide the fact that the Fountain of Youth was located in a bird-bath on his property, ensuring he would remain as wrinkly, moustachioed, and vaguely pretentious as ever until the end of time. The effects of the fountain later backfired when toxic waste from the New Town seeped into the birdbath; Gibberd drank the waste and mutated into a stone head. His wife immediately seized his property and turned it into a tourist centre, before fleeing to French Polynesia in 1996.
Harlow became a booming centre of worship once more. It attracted several major brands, including the first British KFC. Colonel Sanders remarked that Harlow was "A good place for a KFC if there ever was one." It was his wish that he be buried there; after he was assassinated by Ronald McDonald, the Colonel's family insisted that his remains were made into popcorn chicken, but many speculate that his body lies in a crypt beneath the cash register in the Harlow KFC.
However, all the major brands setting up shop in Harlow inevitably brought Polish immigrants on minimum wage with them. These Polish expats, originally less than forty in number, recommended England to their friends and significant others back in Poland, and so more and more Poles came to Harlow. Once there, these Poles decided to honour the local saint and breed as much as possible in one long night of Monster-fuelled passion, known today as the Baby Rush. This night alone produced several thousand Polish babies. By 1999, over one third of the population of Poland was living in Harlow; even the standards measured by the Gibberd Scale could not support such a rapid population boom.
Move to Iraq
“It's all downhill from here!”
Once again, Harlow was in a crisis. This crisis was largely ignored, however, as all Britain's eminent geographers and sociologists entered a debate over whether Harlow was technically part of Poland or not. Eventually, Gibberd was consulted, as the town was technically his at this point, all of Harlow Old Town having been redeveloped into summer cottages for Yuppies. And so, all the wisest men in Britain, and a couple of politicians for good measure, drove over to the Gibberd Garden, each paid £4.00 for entry, and filed over to Gibberd's pillar, where his disembodied stone head sat proudly spewing advice to all, and asking the pretty attendant to pour more cognac into his mouth.
"Is Harlow an overseas territory of Poland?" they asked him. "Or is it actually in Poland?" "Do the normal rules of geography apply?" "What do we do?"
Gibberd took a deep breath, blinked, and drank the cognac as it came. When the attendant stepped away from his pillar, he took a moment to savour the brandy, then said calmly, "We move it to Iraq." At first the politicians were puzzled. Why Iraq? Then the brilliance of the idea struck them. Oil! Harlow would have oil! They wouldn't lose it to Poland, and could take its oil, but they wouldn't have to take responsibility for anything that went on in the wretched town. They erupted into applause and then went to the Tea Room for some buttered scones.
And so it was that Harlow (but not the Gibberd Garden, at Frederick Gibberd's request) was moved to Iraq. There was a mistranslation with the name when the media realised Harlow didn't actually mean anything in English, and it came to be known among the Iraqi people and the foreign media as Baghdad.
The Iraq War
“It's all downhill from here!”
Of course, the move wasn't entirely seamless; years of nuclear weapons testing by the Americans, combined with pollution from oil spills, mutated many of Harlow's residents, creating a new subspecies known as Orcs. The Orcs have since migrated north somewhere, presumably looking for the Eye of Sauron. However, at the dawn of the 21st century, they were still there, and fighting over territory with the Polish and the native Iraqis. They erupted into civil war. The then-Prime Minister of Britain (and love child of Margaret Thatcher), Tony Blair, decided to take a break from the War On Terror, and go see how Harlow was doing. Unfortunately, he didn't like what he saw, but, unlike his cabinet ministers, felt that it was his duty to intervene and save Harlow. The resulting conflict, with Poles fighting Orcs, Iraqis, and the government in a messy combination of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, was later mixed up with the War On Terror and branded the Iraq War. Thousands gathered on the streets of London in an effort to placate Mr Blair's bloodlust, but to no avail; the protests fell apart when the protesters realised that they didn't actually give a toss about Harlow.
Blair was encouraged by George W. Bush, who wanted to protect all the American companies in Harlow, and get his hands on some of that oil. The two world leaders conceived the only military tactic they knew of: bombing the shit out of Harlow, a strategy perfected through years of bombing Japan, Dresden, and other places. The operation, tentatively named "Shock and Awe", did little to help; in fact, it just made the conflict worse. The British and American military withdrew from Harlow, taking a substantial amount of oil with them, and leaving the sub-humans to their squabbling.
The Present Day
“It's all downhill from here!”
Tony Blair was later forced to resign when the nation discovered his questionable parentage. At least his successor, Gordon Brown, was honest about it. Gordon Brown, after a few years of trying, eventually just gave up, handing the reins over to David Cameron, the Lizard King, Eton graduate and Minion of the Dark Lord Morgoth. David Cameron made a pig's ear of it too, but managed to hold on to his position, likely due to his replacing of the cabinet ministers with his lizard minions. He continues to have an active hand in the Iraq War, sweeping in on a Hell-Chariot ever Wednesday to steal some oil (most of which is sold to Barack Obama) and devour some Orcs, or maybe some terrorists if he's in a good mood.
The local Harlow Orcs elected a leader, EDF member Wayne Curtis "Kruspee" MacDunder, and the Tories responded by staging a coup to take over the north end of Harlow, electing Timothy Hollowleaf Fitzrovianstone (also known as Robert Halfon) as that area's leader. The Polish have split into two factions, both taking different sides.
On New Year's Day 2014, the residents of Harlow celebrated by firing ballistic missiles at boats on the Tigris River.
“It will be all downhill from there.”
Since the birth of Jesus Christ, Britain's prospects seem to be looking up. However, this does not seem to apply to Harlow, even though it's an overseas territory of Britain. In fact, Harlow was recently featured on the Daily Mail's list of Things Baby Jesus Hates, at number 12, after orphans and before selfies. While most American and British troops have withdrawn from Iraq, David Cameron's presence has attracted numerous lizard men and other assorted demons to the area, and a spokesperson for Downing Street recently stated that these creatures have no plans to leave Harlow in the immediate future.