Sir Richard Arcos, financial correspondent writes:
Today, the Pudding Norton Provident Union Insurance group announced its annual profits. The obscene and bloated profits will be shared with the policyholders, who will no longer have to surrender their firstborn to the company in cases of non-payment of premiums. Farmers will still have to surrender every tenth cow as part of their agricultural policy. In cases of fraud, hitmen will still be used to kill delinquent policyholders.
Chief executive Robert D'Arc spoke to policyholders from his private island and congratulated the workers, before announcing a fresh round of executions. Staff in payments and the call centres will now be flogged for persistent failure to achieve the company's tough and unrealistic targets. In a concession to employees, however, the director of customer service was put to death.
Mr. D'Arc also confirmed that the requirement to prove the death of a policyholder had been downgraded from the heart of the deceased policyholder to a finger. The company's majority Shareholder, the mysterious (and evil) Grey Tabby, has approved the policy change.