Residents of Staines have finally unearthed (or rather un-watered)Image the dastardly nemesis that has caused the river Thames to flood their properties – the Depressed River Mussel. The Environment Agency has admitted that it has avoided dredging the river to ensure that the rare creatures are not damaged.

A spokes-mollusc for the species is reported as saying: ‘Oh, don’t mind me. Brain the size of a small pea and yet somehow nobody has managed to scoop me up in a bucket. Get on with it, won’t you? I haven’t got all day to be hanging around here, feeling bad about the world.’

New Age activist Lucinda Strop, speaking from a flooded mansion on what used to be the banks of the Thames, has volunteered to provide counselling for the mussels, so that they can lead a more fulfilled life in another location. ‘I have a lovely pot with some wine, cream and onions that I think they will absolutely adore,’ she told local press.