Monthly Archives: December 2013
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 350,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 15 days for that many people to see it.
The small townland of Derrytresk was described as ‘feeling a bit awkward’ this morning after the English Queen’s New Year’s Honours List included ‘Derryresk Woman’ in the MBE section. This is the first such award in the area although some have always suspected a couple of older men who regularly drink in the club may have been secretly knighted years ago.
The unnamed bag wielder received her award for ‘highlighting the multiple uses of fashion accessories‘ and for being a ‘modern day Joan of Arc‘.
Buckingham officials explained their decision:
“When it was put to the Queen last year about giving ‘The Derrytresk Woman’ an award she refused point blank on the grounds that she had already given two major awards to businessmen from that area in the past and they’d kept it quiet. Gladly though, she has softened a bit this year and has decided to bestow an MBE upon the woman who flung her bag on top of Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan.”
Locals have admitted to feeling a bit confused about the whole affair. Digger man Malachy McCann admitted:
“Normally we would tell the woman Windsor where to shove her gong. But this feels different. The abuse we took from people regarding the whole Dromid incident is still raw. With this award, we need to work out whether it’ll shut people up or worsen the whole thing. We’ll have an emergency meeting after Mass on Sunday.”
Queen Elizabeth has agreed to post out the MBE to the anonymous woman using recorded delivery.
The identity of the two knighted Derrytresk businessmen has also set tongues wagging. One suspect is Prionsias O’Neill who was often spotted at the bar smiling lovingly at a one pound coin in his hand, for about a year.
A family’s annual ritual of Monopoly over the festive period came close to escalating into violence last night.
Brothers Dominic, Gary, and Tommy Boyce, had gathered at their parent’s house in Newtonstewart to play the Monopoly board game, an activity undertaken every Christmas as a tradition dating back to 1987 when they were given the game as a present by their aunt.
Trouble began just seconds into the game after eldest brother Dominic, 39, landed on ‘Income Tax Pay £200’ when he was promptly ridiculed by both Gary, 36, and Tommy, 34, as being the first time Dominic would ever have bothered paying money to the tax man. He got his own back shortly afterwards when Tommy received a Community Chance ‘Speeding Fine Pay £15’, which was the cause of much hilarity as he had been banned for a year for dangerous driving only two weeks ago in Omagh.
Tommy immediately responded by buying Pentonville for £120 and building a blockade across it with a pile of yellow Connect 4 counters, and refusing to let the other two past until they had apologised for their remarks.
Minutes later Dominic landed on Go To Jail, and under new house rules introduced by Gary on the spur of the moment, was told that he would be interned indefinitely until both he and Tommy allowed him out for good behaviour. Dominic responded by threatening to hold a protest rally near the corner of the board unless he was allowed to continue, whilst Tommy was also sent to jail by his two brothers for what he defended as ‘an unexplained accounting error’ after £5,000 disappeared from the bank.
Gary, who adopted a high risk strategy throughout the game of investing in 16 houses and 4 hotels and placing them all on Whitechapel went bankrupt after just 50 minutes, and asked Tommy as the banker to re-mortgage all of them for £800. Tommy responded by saying that since the game commenced ‘the arse had fallen out of the housing market’ and offered a derisory £5 for the lot.
The game then escalated into a series of tit-for-tat reprisals, with Gary and Dominic refusing to award Tommy £10 for ‘Winning Second Prize In A Beauty Contest’ on the basis that he had a ‘face like a squashed trout’, whilst Tommy and Dominic rejected Gary’s financial demands for ‘It’s Your Birthday Collect £10 From Each Player’, on the grounds that it wasn’t his birthday at all, and besides, what the feck had he ever given them for their birthdays.
The altercation looks set to continue later this evening as they gather to play Trivial Pursuit
Residents across Tyrone last night were prompted into getting heavy coats out and putting them onto beds as the temperature plummeted to as low as minus 4 degrees Centigrade in some parts of the County.
Donkey jackets, duffle coats, boiler suits, dressing gowns, overcoats, monkey hats and other outerwear were all hurriedly thrown onto beds, as faulty electric blankets were dug out of attics and hastily re-wired.
Local housewife and serial complainer Alison Brennan from Mountfield said,
“Jays, it was baltic. I don’t know how many blankets and coats we had on the bed but I could have survived a gunshot. You’ve no idea how cold this house is. I went out to the sales this morning and bought 14 more duffle coats for the beds. My husband told me to sit by the fire, but there’s not much point in that unless he’s going to light the feckin’ thing. Tight-fisted eejit”.
“I knew we were going to be in trouble when I was in Greencastle last night to get some wheaten, and the young lasses were out in what they call their ‘overcoats’. Or to give it its proper name, glitter spray”.
Others were faced with the prospect of having to have the central heating on all day.
“Have you seen the price of oil?” complained a man from Trillick, who preferred to remain anonymous. “We’re racing through the stuff. Christ, it was only the end of November since I siphoned 500 gallons of it from them ‘uns down the road. Now I’m going to have to do it all over again. It’s beyond a joke, it really is”.
Elsewhere, the roads were causing driving difficulties. Local PSNI Chief Inspector John Quinn said,
“The roads are like a bottle. People shouldn’t be out driving in this weather, and if they are they need to act responsibly. We were in Tesco car park last night trying to doing doughnuts in the panda car and it was almost impossible. Car was sliding all over the place. People should stay in”.
It has also been reported that 44 youngsters have been clipped around the ear over the holidays for leaving the immersion on for more than three hours after the water was used.
The cold weather continues.
In recent years, it was noticed that the average Brocagh adult consumed two full 12 lb turkeys over the space of four days around Christmas, more than double that of anyone anywhere on the planet. This year it appears that the average per person in the area was 2.5 turkeys, resulting in some unusual behaviour today.
Local shopkeeper Billy Dorman explained:
“Yes, there’s a definite side effect this year. The local lads seem to have developed a reddy skin thing drooping from their chin. I think the official name is the wattle. Ugly looking think. And when they see a good looking girl come in, it flares and goes all red, and their hair seems to fan and stand on end. Some sight when they’re just in looking for bread.”
Greenvale niteclub owner Kieran Hendron confirmed that Brocagh ones are unmistakeable on the dancefloor this Christmas:
“Aye, they strut. From the moment they arrive it’s like a pile of John Travoltas in the one place. With every step they cock their head forward and make a ‘gobble’ sort of noise. And with that wattle thing hanging from their bake…..”
Government health officials admitted that although the physical similarities are funny, a negative side-effect is the aggression. Two Derrylaughan men was set upon by a ‘rafter’ of skateboarding Brocagh lads down at the Washingbay when they eyed up one of their sisters. PSNI spokeswoman said the Brocagh gang emitted a high-pitched shrill indicating they were becoming aggressive which developed into intense sparring where the Broconians leap at them with the large, sharp talons, and tried to peck and grasp the head of the bewildered sons of Kevin Barry.
Chicken will only be sold in Brocagh tomorrow.
Previously confidential state files show that the government considered anyone from Tyrone to be completely terrifying and kept a file on every person born and reared in the county, code-naming the folder ‘MB’.
When pressed this morning on what MB stood for, ex-Tory Secretary of State Basil Winklebottom confirmed it stood for ‘Mad Bastards’.
The previously 1986 secret files were released by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) under the 30-year ruling and contained some startling detail into the life and habits of everyone from Ardboe to Aughabrack. It was generally concluded that:
- The Ardboe diet consisted of fried eel for breakfast, fried pollan for lunch and eel stew for dinner. Ardboe children were sent to school with eel bites for a snack
- Donaghmore residents were well read and could quote Shakespeare even whilst down at the shop getting corned beef.
- Loughmacrory men used a petrol cologne before going to dances
- Urney was a no-go area for Strabanese locals
Winklebottom admitted meeting a Tyronnie on the streets of London had most MPs tossing and turning at night:
“Do you know scientists in 1986 were sure that a Tyrone woman could wrestle a bear and defeat it? They carried out 3 experiments and all 3 times, the woman from Dromore won. And the men were all into Boomtown Rats, Springsteen and the Undertones, and dressed accordingly. We’ve always had trouble with Tyrone going back 1000 years now and if they’d mobilised the whole of Tyrone in 1983 we’d have been hammered. Then Johnny Logan arrived on the scene and they softened a bit.”
Other secret revelations and plans from 1986 included:
- Fly Frank McGuigan over from America to give the restless locals something to go and watch at the weekends.
- Build a Nuclear Power Station at the Washingbay
- Reclaim Ballinderry
- Amalgamate Augher and Clogher to create Claugher.
- Make the Chopper bicycle the new county coat of arms
The catalogue of files for 1986-197 will be publicly available online on PRONI website from Tuesday 27 December 2013 and files will be available to view at PRONI from Friday 30 December.
Parents woke up on Boxing Day to a subtle shift in the balance of power between them and their offspring, with the fact having dawned on children that their parents can no longer control their behaviour with the warning of Santa not coming unless they’re good.
“It’s tara”, bemoaned Claire McCausland from Cloughfin. “I’ve been using Santy since the start of September to get my three cubs to do my bidding. It’s been grand. Plates cleared, clothes tidied away, and all in bed by 8. Now I’m hiding in the utility room fearing my own safety. This morning they all watched ‘Home Alone’ and it must’ve given them ideas. That’s why my husband’s now walking about covered in treacle out the larder and feathers out one of my best cushions. Honestly, it’s like ‘Lord Of The Flies’ out there”.
Angela Morgan, a worried mum of two from Tullyhogue, agreed.
“Our Ralph sneezed three times this morning and didn’t cover his mouth once. How am I supposed to deal with that? He’d never have got away with that a week ago. I tried telling him that the Easter Bunny won’t come but it fell on deaf ears. I’ll be scraping mucus off the sofa for months”.
7-year old Simon McCoy, a full-time child from Dregish, said,
“Easter Bunny? No-one’s going to fall for that oul’ mince. What would I be doing with Easter Eggs when it’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in here. Jaysus, I’ve more chocolate than I can shake a stick at”,
he said, as he tried to climb up the living room curtains holding two fistfuls of Celebrations.
Ebenezer O’Neill, a child psychologist from Aughabrack, said,
“It’s gradually dawned on children that now that Santa’s passed out all the toys, they’ve got the upper hand. Plus they’ve got time off from school and the constant sugar rush of eating two selection boxes an hour. If you combine that lot with the ideas they get from playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’, it’s the perfect storm. No wonder the part-time PSNI have been called in”.
The PSNI confirmed that several children had already been apprehended for offences such as splashing in puddles whilst wearing only slippers, not wearing scarves when it was close to freezing, answering back, not finishing their breakfast, drawing all over the back of Grandad’s head with Magic Marker when he was asleep, and vomiting into mummy’s make-up bag.
If true, this is not the first time a Tyrone village has been affected by questionable behaviour. In 1964 Pomeroy was completely ignored by the Clauses after a wrecking session in the AOH Hall outside the Diamond when the Plunketts won the Junior Championship.
The disgruntled Elf, ‘Charlie’, leaked the list after he was told he wouldn’t be on the sleigh again on Christmas Eve – the 32nd consecutive year he’d have to sit it out. 39 names from Ireland were on the supposed naughty list; 31 from Carrickmore, 6 from Dublin and 2 from Keady. Charlie was clear as to why Carrickmore were badly hit:
“After they went out of the championship to Clonoe early on we expected a small bit of messing but they wrecked about for the guts of two weeks. Broken lamp posts, men falling into hedges and shouting at the children were the main offences. Of the 31 on the list, 24 are squad members, 6 uncles of players, and the parish priest. Mr Claus was rubbing his hands at the thought of not having to go up the Termon Road the year.”
Meanwhile, Ballygawley Roundabout spokesperson Sheila Bryans has reminded Santa of the need to adhere to road etiquette at all times:
“We’re sick of the Clauses leaving the roundabout in tatters every year. He just goes straight through the middle of it and leaves the bushes in s***e. One more time, and we’ll be waiting on him next year. And yes, that is a threat.”
North Pole PR secretary promised to be more careful this year but blamed Ardboe residents for leaving whiskey out for the reindeer every year.
A Moygashel woman is preparing for the biggest challenge of her life as she frantically looks for increasingly inventive ways to avoid family arguments breaking out on Christmas Day.
“I offered everyone round on Christmas Day in about August and then forgot all about it”, bemoaned 34-year old Rachel McNally from Moygashel. “Jaysus, what was I thinking? It’ll be like managing the G8. My da’s not talking to my brother Frankie since he sold that field that never belonged to him, my other brother Paul lost the family car on a game of 25’s which his wife Paula’s still not forgiven him for, and my mum’s not talking to my da since he went and hired that 19 year old Latvian girl to help dung out the shed. One word from anybody and it’ll be like a feckin dynamite. I’ll be lucky to get through the day alive”.
McNally has previously resorted to a variety of methods to ensure arguments don’t spoil the day.
“The last few years I’ve opted for themed Christmas Days which have worked quite well. 2012 was the ‘Monastic-Themed Christmas’ when everyone had to dress as a monk and took a vow of silence for the day. It went surprisingly okay, other than the v-signs that Frankie kept making to his ex. And the rabbit punch he got from my da on the side of his head when he was half-way through his turkey. Still, he never made a sound. Fair play to him”.
“2011 was fine as well, which was ‘Games-Themed Christmas Day”. We had a 3-hour game of charades and a 2-hour game of Pictionary, and then for the Queen’s Speech we came together and shouted abuse at the TV”.
Rachel’s plan for 2013 is an ‘Alcohol-Themed Christmas’.
“To be honest I’ve run out of ideas, so I’m going to get everyone as drunk as possible, as quickly as possible”, said McNally. “I’ve already loaded up the cake with nearly a pint of sherry, and we’re going to have tequila shots all the way through dinner. If I can get everyone completely hammered then the sooner everyone passes out, the better. Not sure how Granny Gormley’ll cope. She’s 96 and took the pledge 70 years ago. Still, it’s worth a go”, she said hopefully.
In 2010 McNally opted for a disco-themed Christmas Day with flashing lights and a smoke machine, which ended abruptly after she forgot that her sister was an epileptic and brother-in-law Dennis was a chronic asthma sufferer.
A 2-second blast of thunder left most of East Tyrone on high alert throughout the night with police reporting 1340 calls from worried homeowners. PSNI officials also admitted they spent a couple of hours driving about looking for the noise before the Met Office in Belfast informed them that the sound was actually thunder.
The blast, which occurred around 10pm last night, was described as something close to the sound of a nuclear bomb according to Dungannon pub-owner Jamesey Sloan:
“I’ve never heard anything like it. There were boys running all over the town screaming and shouting about the war being back on and about heading to the bunkers. Women were crying and wailing, saying rosaries in the middle of the street. It was like a film.”
Meanwhile in Ardboe, thousands of residents got into their boats and rowed for Antrim on the other side of the Lough. Patsy Coney remarked:
“Ghost oh boys it was tara. We thought maybe the Sperrins were falling down or something so we all sailed East. A couple of boys swam it. The clergy were handing out Last Rites all over the joint.”
PSNI spokesman Herr Steinburger admitted there were a few red faces in the force:
“Yes, we got caught up in the whole excitement. We had 400 officers out in jeeps looking for the noise. When you add in the 200 or so vigilantes also out searching for the noise there was chaos on the roads. We thought it came from a poitin barn in Stewartstown but he said he’d made all his Christmas batches months ago.”
BBC Weather confirmed it was just one short blast of thunder and warned locals not to go clean mad again tomorrow when hailstones are predicted.
Coalisland has been described as being like ‘some mad village in Russia or somewhere’ by visiting South American politicians on a fact-finding mission funded by the UN.
The East Tyrone village has been the latest stop-off venue for Argentinian finance minister Sergio Maradona and his team who have almost completed their findings on how to squeeze as much money out of its citizens as possible.
The East Tyrone village has been the latest stop-off venue for Argentinian finance minister Sergio Maradona and his team who have almost completed their findings on how to squeeze as much money out of its citizens as possible.
Maradona, who claims to have roots in Galbally, told us:
“The system they have here in Coalisland is fantastic. Local business people know how much you’re mad for the drink here so they’ve put an off-licence at the back of every establishment. Genius stuff. You can go into the butchers for a ham shank and a bottle of champagne, into the barbers for a short back and sides and order a bottle of single malt on the way out. We can learn a lot from this town.”
The ultra-religious South Americans have no qualms about taking this initiative even further and exploiting the locals back home by putting off-licences in the back of churches:
“I’m surprised Coalisland hasn’t taken this step already. We’re going to make a little Coalisland in Buenos Aries and exploit everyone’s weaknesses, even the religious. You could have a full mass and then nip in behind the vestry for a six-pack or a bottle of Pinot Grigio.”
Meanwhile Coalisland PP Fr McCann has said he’s proud they’re the only establishment in Coalisland without an off-licence at the back but has not ruled out building one in 2014.
“We’re making enough money as it is. But we’re waiting for a nod from the Vatican to squeeze the last penny out of Coalisland.”
The world-renowned author J K Rowling is close to purchasing the whole of County Tyrone as a Christmas present to Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, as a thank you for playing the part of Hagrid the giant, in the Harry Potter series.
The author, estimated to be worth a staggering £10 billion, decided to splash out once she had made the choice between snapping up the County, the new Peter Andre album, or a signed picture of Malachi Cush.
“I’ve always loved Tyrone”, said the author, “I was going to keep it for myself and use it as a sort of garden feature, but I know Robbie will be thrilled to have it instead. But he lives in London, so I’m going to have my people fly it over so it sits somewhere just outside Surrey. I’m sure Tyrone people won’t mind. It is a little island off the east coast of Scotland, isn’t it?”
The purchase, believed to run into a four-figure sum, came as welcome news to cash-strapped Tyrone council management.
“This is mighty”, said local Councillor Enda McMann. “We’re up to our arses in debt and this is a class way of helping out the County. Jaysus, we were nearly having to auction off the Council’s Philomena memorabilia collection. Imagine that? As it is, we’ve had to sell the Council’s fleet of chauffeur-driven Lamborghinis. Yep, it’s that bad. We might have to sell a couple of the yachts next”.
The news was greeted warmly by many residents. Benny Sloan from Caledon said,
“I’ve always been a big Harry Potter fan. Them fillums where he says, ‘Are you feelin’ lucky punk’ and then shoots up the place is pure class. I love Clint Eastwood. If Robbie gets Tyrone, maybe Clint’ll get Armagh”.
However, not everyone was happy. 57-year old Oonagh Trainor from Eglish said,
“This spells disaster. Literally. What if them Dementor boys turn up, eh? Do you know what they are? I’ll tell yiz. They’re among the foulest creatures to walk this earth, that’s what they are. They feed off human happiness and create depression and despair to anyone near them. How would we tell them apart from some of the ones from Stewartstown?”
The purchase of the County is to remain a secret from Coltrane until Christmas Day, during which time Rowling plans to either wrap it in 1,300 square miles of Christmas paper, or alternatively cover it with a gigantic cloak of invisibility.
A furore has broken out in a local primary school following ‘creative differences’ between a parent and the headmaster.
32-year old Gareth Hughes said his 6-year old son Rory had been promised by the head of St Mary’s Primary School in Eglish that he would be the star of the 20-minute nativity play to be staged tomorrow, only to find out that his son was in fact quite literally playing the role of the Star of Bethlehem, which was followed by the wise men.
“It’s a disgrace”, declared Hughes. “I was expecting my cub to be all over the centre pages of the Dungannon Observer as Joseph, looking all cute in one of thon big black and white picters. It’s hardly going to happen now that all he has to do is stand there with a big torch. We even bought a brand new dishcloth to use as his headdress. Thon school owes me 89p. I’ll bet Daniel Radcliffe didn’t have to put up with this shite when he was doing Harry Potter”.
Hughes insisted that Rory would not participate at all unless he was given a more prominent role in the show.
“We can’t”, said headmaster Padraig Boyle. “All the parts have been cast except for a sheep, a donkey, and the baby Jesus. Rory’s a big bruiser of a thing, and he’s not the sharpest tool in the box. We tried him out as one of the wise men but it was a shocking piece of mis-casting, bless him. And he’s twice the size of Joseph so he can hardly be Jesus, can he? He’d break the buckin’ crib. He’d be better off putting a plank on his head and playing the stable”.
The stand-off was only settled when Boyle agreed to the introduction of the controversial role of ‘Mutant Ninja Wise Man’, who brings with him the gift of bubble mixture.
“At such short notice Rory’s Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit is the only costume he could come up with. At least it’s Michelangelo, so I suppose there’s a biblical connection”, said Boyle doubtfully.
The precedent however opened the floodgates with other parents now demanding a change in roles for their offspring, including one bewildered mother insisting that her son changes from the role of ‘Innkeeper’s dog’, to either the Scarecrow or the Tin Man.
Tyrone is to be firmly put on the world map after Edendork Pipe Band received confirmation that they’ll parade Brazil and Croatia around the field in Sao Paulo at the opening game in the 2014 World Cup.
Pipe Major Jemmy O’Neill wasn’t overly surprised at the news:
“When we applied we had a fair idea we’d get the nod. I know there were 69’000 bands who applied from all over the world but I think when they saw a video of us parading the Ladies Football teams of Carrickmore and Coalisland around the Brackaville field last month they knew they were on to a good thing.”
O’Neill is adamant that locals will dig deep to raise the £150’000 needed to fly the entire band, instruments, WAGS and husbands over next June:
“I’m sure we’ll raise the money no bother. For the next 6 months we’ll have a man standing outside the entrance to Tyrone Brick with an empty Quality Street so drivers can slow down and toss in coppers and loose change. We’ll also be selling ballots around houses around Christmas. Tickets cost £100 and you can win a lifetime’s supply of bricks from what was left in the old factory.”
This is not the first time a Tyrone band has performed at a major sporting event. In 1984, Cloughfin played The Star Spangled Banner for Carl Lewis at his medal ceremony for the 100m during the Los Angeles Olympics. O’Neill reckons they’ll learn from Cloughfin’s experience:
“I was a member of Cloughfin and we never forgot they way we were treated. Not one sandwich was laid on after our performance. Not one. They thought the £80’000 fee would sweeten us but all we wanted were corned beef sandwiches. Eff Los Angeles we said. This time we’re taking no chances and bringing half a million sandwiches with us.”
O’Neill now becomes the first man to play at the World Cup, Olympics and the Tyrone Ladies Final.
A man from Augher has failed in his bid to avoid paying a £40 debt he owes to a local hostelry by growing a beard and pretending to be his own non-existent twin brother.
Alphy McConnell, an unemployed grass grower from Augher, had worked up a debt of £42.60 at the McGee’s Bar on the Crossowen Road, Tavern comprising 14 pints of Guinness and 9 packets of barbeque-flavoured NikNaks.
Kevin McGee, owner of the bar said,
“That bollox needs to wise up. He came in here with a bad beard and limp, pretending to be this twin brother of his from Clogher, talking with this squeaky accent and looking all shifty. To be fair, a lot of them Clogher ones are like that, so I wasn’t sure at first”.
“He refuses to admit it, but it’s only a matter of time. Alphy could never remember his own name after a few pints, so he’ll struggle trying to remember someone else’s who doesn’t even exist”.
Challenged on his identity, McConnell continued to deny who he was.
“No, it’s definitely not me, I’m my brother Sean. Alphy’s away to Americay to work. Aye. He might not be back. He’s a good boy though. Mighty craic. I wouldn’t pull that sort of stunt, but there’s this boy off the TV news who reads the news right? Everyone thought he was a right clift, so he grew a beard so that people wouldn’t think it’s him. Not that that’s where I got the idea. Or I should say Sean. No, Alphy. Hold on, what did I say my name was?”
McConnell’s mother, 58-year old Oonagh, said,
“That boy’s as thick as mince. He’s even tried that rubbish on with me, just because he scoffed two whole packets of Kimberley Mikados at the weekend and he knew I’d go off the bap. He waltzed in pretending to be his twin bother and expecting his own ma to fall for it. Jaysus, I knew it was 30 years ago but I’d certainly remember if I had pushed more than one version of that eejit out my clacker in Dungannon Hospital”.
McConnell was eventually caught writing out his Christmas cards when he kept having to ask how to spell ‘Sean’.
A Drummurrer handyman has returned home after a year working in Dungannon able to ask ‘do you need a stove fitted?’ in half a dozen languages much to the amazement of his family and friends. Terrence McNeill, who got a bus to Dungannon after being told about it by his uncle who went there in 1992, claims to have fitted over 600 stoves in 300 days and rewired almost 200 houses whilst immersing himself in the local culture.
“Jays it’s a deadly place, boys. I met Jamaican women dancing in Woolworths, Lithuanian men playing didgeridoos and Portuguese ladies taking the heads off each other outside the Fort. And they’re all mad looking stoves fitted. I learned Russian, Swahili, Spanish, Latvian, Bulgarian and English just by listening whilst fitting stoves or rewiring.”
McNeill reckons it’s a cultural and financial experience no one should miss out on.
“People talk about recession this and economy that. Well, Dungannon is having none of it. This place must be a bit like Saudi Arabia or Australia. Everyone is loaded. I’ll be telling all the young ones of Drummurrer, Clonoe, Derrytresk and even Coalisland to get on that bus. It might seem like a world away but look at me now. I’m a multi-lingual genius and people keep asking me to say things in different tongues at parties and social gatherings.”
McNeill admits that re-adjusting to life in Drummurrer has been difficult:
“Aye, the slagging takes a bit of getting used to. If you slagged the Russian women they’d wreck you so I cut it out completely in Dungannon. Back here, they’ve been calling me things like ‘Einstein Features’, ‘Bollocksy Bill’ and ‘marble mouthed hoor’ just because I’m deadly at the languages. Also, it’s like learning another language in Drummurrer. Mad way of talking.”
Terence has also had to combat the ferocious reaction by his wife after he brought home a Jamaican woman ‘for a bit of craic’ instead of towels and rock.
84 year old Terence McVeigh has surprisingly lifted the Tyrone’s Sexiest Farmer 2013 title after impressing judges with his handling of livestock, machinery and general working attire during an observation at his farm on the Moy Road last week. McVeigh, who was previously a finalist in 1963, beat off stiff competition from six other finalists, including the former Miss Levi Jeans of Kildress 1988, Masie McGinn.
Judges delivered their verdict at a packed field in Clogher, after a final parade of contestants around the yard, to a stunned silence. Apart from Kildress’s McGinn, Augher blonde bombshell 23-year old Jenny McKenna was also a bookie’s favourite having just taken up farming last Summer in order to win this competition.
Paddy Power spokesperson Deirdre McAlinden told us:
“It’s a great result for us but there’s something fishy about this. McVeigh has a permanent stoop, just the one eye and hasn’t washed his farming since the mid-70s. Jenny McKenna was 6-1 on and just last year won the Augher Rear of the Year. It makes no sense at all, though we’re sucking diesel financially.”
When asked to explain their scoring, a rather evasive Tom Mulholland remarked:
“It was an easy decision. Ask any woman – the way to a Tyrone girl’s heart is how a man dungs out the yard. McVeigh may have taken three hours to do it, but he was meticulous. He was covered head to toe in manure and sweat but sure isn’t that one of the best sights any man, woman or beast wants. McKenna may have the painted nails, designer jeans and high heeled wellies but she was trying to shear a bull when we arrived down. And let’s be honest, Miss Levy Jeans of Kildress 1988 has let herself go a bit.”
McVeigh said he was going to celebrate his success with a ‘slap of buttermilk and potatoes’. He also stressed that supplying ‘a baste of a turkey’ to the Mulholland household every Christmas was coincidental.
He wins a year’s supply of wellington boots.
A local businessman has confirmed he intends this week to open an Apple Store in the heart of County Tyrone.
Failed entrepreneur and part-time day dreamer Wilbert Feenan confirmed yesterday that following some highly successful pre-publicity, the store will open in Loughnacrory in December in time for an anticipated Christmas rush.
“I couldn’t believe it”, said Feenan excitedly. “I did all my market research and it turns out there’s hardly any Apple Stores at all. There’s one in Belfast and about twenty in England and that’s it. Everyone I speak to says they’re making millions. You even have to make an appointment in some of them. It’s a huge gap in the market. Them boys in Tescos and Asdas sell apples but they don’t specialise, see? I’m going to sell nothing but apples”.
Feenan says he intends to stock a wide range of products, including Cox’s Pippins, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith.
“The response has been astonishing”, said a delighted Feenan. “I’ve already had enquiries from all over Tyrone and beyond. I had this one boy on the phone wanting advice about an Apple Mac. As it happens I love McIntosh apples, so I told him to keep it in the fridge to prolong its lifespan”.
Feenan explained he has also received enquiries from callers wanting to know how to get rid of bugs, and said he had instructed them to spray their product with cat urine.
“I love a juicy Pink Lady as much as the next person, but even I’ve been overwhelmed at the level of interest. I even had this one boy saying he watches apple TV all the time. Can you imagine? People are mad for the apples. I had folks call to say they’re willing to spend way over £100 but want help choosing the right apple. Quare stuff. Maybe people want to make fresh apple sauce for Christmas. If this proves a success I’m going to open an Orange Shop. There doesn’t seem to be many of them either”.
Feenan’s previous business ventures have proved unsuccessful, including Mid-way Dinner Mints, pants for wasps, and the pizza magnet.
A Tattyreagh parent, attending his first ever pantomime in the Grand Opera House in Belfast, was kicked out shortly before the end after completely misreading the conventions of a panto.
Jackie O’Brien, attending the show as a volunteer parent for the local primary school, persistently heckled the actors and was prevented from firing an extinguisher onto the stage by a fast-acting security guard.
The performance of Sleeping Beauty had been receiving rave reviews before today’s incident and was keenly anticipated by the entire 400-strong audience. Neutral observer, Malachy Quinn from Beragh, explained what happened:
“At the start I just though he was really buying into the spirit of panto by shouting out things like ‘he’s behind you’ long before he was meant to. It wasn’t until he got a bit too vocal that I realised he was taking things a bit too far. When the Queen of Evil, Maleficent, arrived on stage he shouted ‘she’s f****** behind yis ye shower of useless b*******’. Teachers were covering pupils’ ears.”
Events took a turn for the worse when Maleficent attempted a bit of traditional banter with the audience. O’Brien, again misreading the comic element of the whole panto genre, reacted viciously after she told the crowd that Sleeping Beauty was not wakening up:
“Yes, that was when the penny dropped that this fella wasn’t getting the whole panto concept at all. When Maleficent said ‘oh no she’s not’, after three ‘oh yes she is’ O’Brien ran towards the stage shouting ‘are ye f****** blind’ before lifting the fire extinguisher above his head and asking her if she was calling him a liar.”
O’Brien was ushered from the building and put on a bus to Omagh. Tattyreagh principal Kieran O’Cabe bought the entire school a Mini-Crunchie each to make up for the interruption.
Management at Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council fear an epidemic of sick workers following news last week that the council staff have an absenteeism rate amongst the highest in the 26 Councils in the North.
Head Councillor Liam O’Donoghue said,
“This has to stop. We’re far too lenient with staff with some of the daft excuses they’re coming up with. I fully intend to deal with the situation, firmly and decisively, just as soon as I get back to work after I bit my tongue last week. It’s really sore you know. I was off on Friday and I could scarcely concentrate on watching the entire Godfather trilogy. It was that bad. Ouch”.
Staff however have protested that the absences are legitimate, and that the Council should be more supportive.
Brian Guthrie, a red tape winder from Caledon said,
“I know I was off all day yesterday, but I tried to get out of bed and my duvet wouldn’t let me. It’s the truth. People think that they climb into bed and the duvet warms them up. Mine doesn’t. It’s the other buckin way around. It’s me that heats the duvet up, and the damn thing knows it full well. It would only let me go once the central heating came on. Narra escape boys, narra escape”.
Marty Murdock, from Galbally, was also off sick at the beginning of this week.
“I couldn’t face going to work on Monday. Jaysus, I had the tara sweats and my head was pounding. I won’t go into the detail but I was in trouble at both ends. I was in Tally’s for a few hours the night before and I think it might have been a bad salted peanut or something. That must have been it, because I didn’t eat anything else. Or I don’t think I did. To be honest I can’t remember a thing”.
Joe McSorley, a scribe from Edendork also had a sorry tale of woe.
“Killeeshil lost to Emyvale on Saturday night at the Junior Championship Final. Do you know how hard that can be to recover from? I couldn’t face it. No wonder I was off on Monday and Tuesday. It would be even worse if I was a fan or I actually liked football”.
Other reasons for staff not turning up at work include life-threatening paper cuts, sore hair, getting lost on the way to work, not being able to decide what to wear, and being kept captive inside their house by a swarm of midges.