Tourists, many of them elderly, were in for a treat today as the world famous Tall ships glided gracefully up the River Mersey.

The ships, which are world-renowned for their height, were sailing into the Capital of Culture as part of the city’s River Festival when a dozen speeding motorboats tore through the surf towards them. Alarmed tourists fled as groups of masked men, armed with the latest high-tech weaponry, swarmed up the gangplanks of the ships, preventing them from docking. Short bursts of automatic gunfire were heard as the men herded the crew beneath decks and took control of the vessels.

Then, just as the ships were about to be plundered, the plaintive wail of a ship’s horn sounded from across the river. The men paused, turning to each other with questioning frowns, when suddenly the ancient ship was crushed by the massive impact of the Stennalink Norse ferry as it plowed into its stern. Dozens of terrorists were hurled into the sea and dozens more were sucked down into the icy depths as the precious ships went under.

“Avast, motherfuckers!” roared Captain Shitharg, his grip fast upon the main brace. “The Mersey’s mine and I’ll kill to keep it!” And with that he leapt upon the leader of the terrorists and ran him through.

His men, a desperate and motley crew, starved of rations and earning a paltry £4.30 an hour, leapt at the chance of plunder and rent the ships apart in their frenzied quest for loot. Seconds later, small fires erupted on the remainder of the fleet, scuttled beyond even the most generous European funding.

“ Well done, Captain Shitharg,” beamed Frank Field MP later in the bar of the Ringo Lounge. “You’ve saved the day once more. How can the city of people of Merseyside ever thank you?”

Shitharg’s massive brow knotted together with a cre