Monthly Archives: January 2016
My husband refuses to go shopping. Years ago, when we were just curting, he’d blissfully browse around Marks and Spencers or the Spar with me as I agonised over whether to buy brown or white bread for three quarters of an hour. Now that we’re married and with twelve children, he won’t set foot in any retail establishment. He says he gets severe panic attacks at the thought of it and when I mention the word ‘shop’ he rocks forwards and backwards, slapping his face with his hand, screeching ‘no’. What can I do? MELISSA, CABRAGH
I’ve seen this many times before. I used to have a husband who’d set himself on fire as soon as I mentioned painting the gable wall. One day I called his bluff and painted it myself, a nice big union jack. I never had to ask…
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Bumper the rabbit, who was discovered on Friday atop the roof of his owner’s home in Omagh after fierce winds from Storm Gertrude knocked over his hutch and catapulted him into the air, has revealed he’s to launch ‘Not A Happy Bunny’, the story of his rooftop ordeal.
The book, to be ghost-written by local journalist Ronald McSherry, will be launched at the same time as a Channel 4 reality TV show centred on the famous bunny and his daily life, entitled ‘It Could Be Stew’, which will be aired over nine episodes in the UK and Ireland.
Local vet Lisa Fortune maintains the book has come too soon:
“It’s a sign of the times. People cash in on their fleeting fame too often now and in this case, too soon. Bumper is in post-traumatic stress mode at the minute and isn’t capable of making rational decisions. The cynic in me thinks this McSherry writer put the rabbit up there himself so he can make a couple of pounds out of it but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to Bumper as he is definitely stressed out a bit.”
The Channel 4 documentary/reality show will follow Bumper about on his daily business: sleeping, eating carrots, excreting in the corner of his hutch, and avoiding the cull for a nice stew in a local hostelry. Programme-maker Sir Harry Tubett is sure the show is going to be a hit:
“Bumper is a natural wit. You’d be talking away to him and he just stares at you, scrunching up his nose and showing his massive teeth. He’s a hilarious bunny. We’ve also great shots of people eating rabbit stew in Sally’s in the town and then we cut back to Bumper scrunching up his nose and showing his teeth, but with really sad music.”
Bumper’s agent confirmed the book will be in the shelves by March, in time for Easter. Bumper was unavailable for comment because he was sleeping.
With the news that the Old Cross of Ardboe is failing to pull in the tourist numbers it managed twenty years ago, the loughshore village received a potential boost when a local taxidermist, Larry Devlin, claimed late last night to a taxi driver standing outside the Battery Bar that he saw the face of Brian McGuigan in a pint of stout he bought shortly after midnight.
Devlin, who had just sobered up before offering an interview this morning, says his only regret is that no one else was in the bar drinking at the time whilst the barman was too busy counting the money he found down the sides of the seats.
“I couldn’t believe it boyso. I was having one for the road before I headed back to face herself and intended taking my time over it. I looked down at my…
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By Landan Seamy.
Local spy Sean McGrinny suspects that Mickey Harte is adopting a new tactic to frighten ‘southern teams’. The cunning plan dawned on him after reading the names of the Tyrone team that beat Derry in the final of the McKenna Cup.
“Usually,” explained McGrinny, “since I am a freelance spy and don’t get paid very much I can’t afford to buy a program going into the matches.
On Saturday evening I dressed up as a Senior Citizen in order to get into the match in Armagh at a reduced rate. My disguise worked well and the young man beside me seemed to take pity on my age for at half time he bought me a cup of tea and let me borrow his program. I nearly killed myself laughing when I saw the name sheet that Mickey Harte had handed in.
He called one of the Tyrone players Hugh Pat! Whilst those kind of double barrelled Christian names might be common down south they just don’t happen here.
Then I spotted the name Henry Og and I nearly wet myself. We all know in Tyrone that a child with the same name as the father would just be called “Wee” Henry or whatever.
I asked about 5 or 6 people coming out of the match if they agreed with me that Mickey was trying a new tactic and they nearly all did except for a few who were just trying to be awkward.
In order to prove to myself that I was correct I went home and fired off an email to the Queen’s Bench at the Royal Courts of Justice asking if anyone from the 6 counties had recently changed their name to Hugh Pat by deed poll. Needless to say I have had no response which more or less confirms my suspicions. I think this name changing tactic is a clever one coz the southerners will start to think we’re just as Irish up here as they are down there and then they’ll start to think we’re the match for them in all things Irish including football.”
There is a rumour that Kyle Coney has been told that he’s guaranteed a place on the team if he agrees to change his name to Cu Chulainn.
A Donaghmore-born director has been put on gardening leave after ‘artistic differences’ during the filming for the new James Bond film, due to be released in 2017.
Kieran ‘Coco’ Grimes has since admitted to not having watched any of the previous Bond films as well as revealing he hasn’t directed a movie since his ill-fated production of his local youth club’s play ‘Reservoir Dogs’ in 2001 which left half the town in upturned and in flames.
Grimes (51) assumed complete control over the new Bond instalment, including making several radical alterations to the script and abandoning the iconic Aston Martin for a white van.
One of the main actors revealed how unworkable the new script was:
“Grimes had been given an unlimited budget and all the biggest stars but he decided to have Bond killed off after 10 minutes from pneumonia. Then the rest of the film was just about the wake, the funeral and then mourners drinking in the pub after the funeral. We had all these A-List actors just standing about getting full in a pub in London. There were a few fights alright between the celebrities but that was just normal drunken stuff. It would have flopped.”
Grimes accepted his fate but fumed at the lack of adventure from the rest of the production staff:
“Bond has been doing all his secret service stuff since the 60s they told me so he’s bound to be frail from all the running and susceptible to colds and flu. I was just trying to be realistic. But people want car chases, gadgets, bare women and baddies. Well they can have them but I’m off to do 50 Shades at the Bardic for the old people’s home Easter gala.”
Production manager Stefan Spellburger confirmed the film’s release date has been postponed a few months after the Grimes debacle, adding that the Donaghmore man’s changes – which also including Bond speaking only in Irish and Miss Moneypenny cast as a loyal German Shepherd – will be reversed. The film’s title, which Grimes had decided would be ‘Thon Boy’s Dead’, would be changed too.
Recent tax returns have confirmed that a Greencastle entrepreneur has pocketed over £3.2m in profit due to his ‘Sperrin Air’ production line which sees customers buying wheelbarrows full of air he has gathered from high up in the Sperrin Mountains.
Dermie Doherty, who has over 140 wheelbarrows currently in action, travels up Sawel Mountain in the Sperrin range by foot and, armed only with his wheelbarrow, collects the natural high-altitude air by walking around randomly before wheeling it back to his yard and emptying it into jam jars or leaving it in the barrows for bulk sale.
However, despite a roaring trade and soaring profits, concerns have emerged over serious side effects including cheering on Derry and fancying close relatives. Long-time customer Patsy Hurl of Cappagh explained:
“There’s no better feeling than opening up a jar of Sperrin Air and breathing in the delights of pure mountain atmosphere. At £39.99 a shot it’s not cheap but you definitely feel healthier. But they way I cheered Emmet McGuckin’s penalty against my home county was a bit disconcerting. And then I fought a lad over my cousin’s affections at the Slaughtneil disco. I’m weaning off it.”
Doherty has promised to label the barrows or jam jars with a health warning that some may suffer Derry-related side effects but argued that the overall positives outweighed the cons:
“Only 3 in every 5 are showing signs of Derryitis. To me that’s good odds. I’m shipping 35 wheelbarrows full of Sperrin Air every day so I’m doing something right.”
Health watchdog ‘Fresh’ have asked customers to be careful when wheeling the air home as any spillage of the air from the barrow could contaminate Tyrone air with catastrophic effects.
By Landan Seamy
Local spy Sean McGrinny has reported that the women of Tyrone might be planning another Easter rising. With the 100-year anniversary of one of the most momentous events in Irish history on the horizon and media saturation in full flow, McGrinny maintains there may have been a mobilisation under the radar:
“I know it might sound ridiculous that women could do anything like this. My own wife is a woman” confessed Sean, “and I have stood in loads of queues behind women at bank machines; self service cash outs; and believe it or not I’ve even stood behind a woman ordering beer in a pub in Fintona. I know they’re a bit more reluctant about things but the world is changing. Sure didn’t a woman take charge of the football match between Fermanagh and Queens and she didn’t do too bad at all. Also you often see women on TV winning prizes for all kinds of stuff”.
Sean said that the entire scheme came to his attention when he noticed lots of women walking really fast around Omagh.
“They start out so fast you would think they had to get somewhere in a hurry but if you remain where you are you will see them marching back just as fast in about an hour. They hold their heads up proud and swing their arms like I’ve seen soldiers doing in the movies. They’re obviously training for something”.
Sean became convinced that there was something strange going on after he followed two of the women for a couple of miles.
“Not wanting to frighten them or to let on what I was up to I decided to follow them one night in the dark thinking they wouldn’t see me. I found it very hard to keep up however and as my breathing got heavier one of the women turned around and jumped to the conclusion that I was up to no good. Instead of acting normal they became very angry and started to shout and told me to f*#k off. Eventually one of them recognized me and told me that she would report me to Pauric. I know that this woman’s husband is called Pauric however I also deducted from her menacing voice that there was some sinister veiled threat there.”
Sean ended with a warning that everyone should take care because whilst the first Easter Rising was a pretty good one this one could be deadly with women in charge.
“I would tell the owners of all local businesses to be on the alert around Easter. I know that the men of 1916 took key government buildings like the Four Courts along with places of industry like Boland’s Mill but women might possibly try to occupy smaller places like pastry shops and hairdressers so my warning to everyone is to be on the alert”
Tyrone GAA officials are to monitor payments made to club managers in the county after a West Tyrone club were forced to activate a weekly fundraising initiative to cover the travel costs of their manager from the east of the county.
The club in question, on the Donegal border, were asked to hand out £700 to their loughshore-based manager after he claimed for mileage for the first week of training. It transpires he travels in a 1988 Mini up the Glenshane Pass in second gear, adding 45 miles on to the normal journey as it gives him ‘time to think about tactics and stuff‘.
Club chairman Henry King is worried about funds for the coming year:
It’s a costly business. We went with someone from the east as we wanted an injection of their exotic ways. So far he just makes them run around the field 25 times, a lock of press-ups and then fist-passing drills for 10 mins. I’m sure he’ll do something brilliant soon. But is there any need to drive in second gear up the mountain?”
In order to fund the mileage, the club is running a new lotto where you pick 10 numbers between 1-1000 and if you get all 10 you win the jackpot. There are no prizes for 3 numbers.
Meanwhile, there are confirmed reports that a club in mid-Tyrone have offered a house, 200 cattle and a local spinster to their new manager from Ballinderry.
In a highly unusual development, the imaginary friend of a Dromore bachelor is currently being questioned in an Omagh detention centre over failure to return tax forms since 1994 as well as neglecting to pay TV, dog and gun licences and other minor misdemeanours.
Felix McGinn (48), who turned his friend ‘James’ (also 48) in at 5pm yesterday, revealed he was finding it hard to maintain a friendship due to the mountain of skulduggery his childhood partner was indulging in since the 1994 ceasefire.
“He seemed to react to the ceasefire by creating his own mayhem. I caught him on numerous occasions tripping people going up for communion or stealing money from my own mother’s purse. To be honest, I just don’t know him any more.”
Listing a damning roll of illegal activities which included going to matches without paying in and urinating in the swimming pool, McGinn expects to see a speedy verdict of mass fraud and general anti-social behaviour:
“I’ll be glad to see the back of him. He was never there when I needed him and would only turn up when there was an opportunity to do some damage and I’d get the blame. He’d be whistling at women in the town and I’d be the one getting the slap.”
A PSNI Fraud Squad spokesman has confirmed that questioning has been ‘difficult’ with the imaginary suspect regularly refusing to answer questions or even appearing in the room.
A visiting health minister from Norway has alerted local government officials that the levels of farmers rolling around in silage, naked, was probably a bit too high.
Locally called ‘bare hay rolling‘, silage fetishism is said to be particularly popular in Tattyreagh, Loughmacrory, Eglish and Brocagh and is usually performed in the evening when it’s unlikely anyone will be calling to the bespoke silo for a visit.
Professor Nilos Koreen admitted he was surprised at the popularity of silage fetishism in Ulster:
“I’ve been here a month and I’d heard local farmers talking about ‘heading home for a bit of bare hay rolling‘ and smirking so I followed one of them home to see this exciting new farming technique. Little did I know it involved the said farmer throw a bit of fresh silage behind a shed, take off his dungarees and roll around in it naked, shouting things like ‘go on ye blade ye‘ and ‘yahoooo‘ etc. And they’re all at it.”
Tyrone Farmers’ spokesman Francie Mullan responded to allegations that silage fetishism was at an all time high:
“Yiz are making us feel bad, like as if we’re doing something wrong. You people don’t know how lonely an unmarried single farmer can be. There’s no better smell than rancid butter in the evening time, especially after a hard day’s work, and if any of our farmers fancy a roll in the hay where there is a strong presence of yeast prior to the maize being fully fermented, then that’s their business.”
All of the local religious groups have yet to comment on bare hay rolling and have indicated they will furiously search their respective versions of the bible to find out if God, Moses or Jesus said anything about it.
Rumours have been gathering pace this evening that Pierce Brosnan, who was snapped yesterday looking uncanningly like Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams whilst filming in London, may give an oration at the graveside of 105-year old veteran republican Harry ‘Sharp Eye’ Lincoln in Carrickmore tomorrow morning.
Brosnan, who has reportedly been obsessed with Adams ever since he heard the Belfast man sing ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’ on the radio last year, allegedly arrived in the Tyrone village this evening, telling the girl behind the counter in the Spar ‘I hadn’t gone away y’know’ after he immediately re-appeared in the shop to buy some semi-skimmed milk he’d previously forgotten to purchase alongside his corned beef, Tyrone Times and wheaten bread. He added that he liked his women as he liked his kiwi fruit – ‘rough around the edges’ – before pressing a pen top and exiting in a puff of smoke.
A family member of the deceased centenarian offered advice for the Drogheda-born actor:
It’d be deadly to have Brosnan give the oration in the style of James Bond and not Gerry Adams. Or maybe blends the two together. Maybe he could be pushed out of a Boeing Chinook by the Brits but he lands by a secret parachute in a tuxedo and shouts ‘tiocfaidh ar la’ and then winks at all the women and drinks a cocktail but then lights it and fires it at a passing patrol and then drives off in an Aston Martin. That’d be lethal. A great send off.”
Whether Brosnan is for Clones or not on Sunday for the McKenna Cup semi-final between Fermanagh and Tyrone is uncertain after a close friend revealed the world famous actor is not a fan of the competition.
The Tyrone County Board have assured Croke Park that their new mascot, Red Hand Man, won’t be appearing again this year after he goaded the rival Derry supporters with obscene hand gestures and verbals of a questionable nature.
The mascot, which is a large foam red hand placed over the head and body of a mystery person, ran onto the pitch with the team at the start and even took part in some of the warm up routines, much to the amusement of the children in the 5000-strong crowd at Owenbeg.
After Derry’s second goal in the first half, it was evident that the mascot was somewhat upset with the scoreline, as he folded in three of his massive foam fingers, leaving 2 large red fingers protruding in the air in front of the Derry support. Johnny Kearney from Knockloughrim explained:
“It was an obvious 2-fingered gesture at us, hi. I had to cover my wee lad’s eyes. Two boys from Swatragh were about to jump over the fence to give him a hiding, only he shouted that he was just letting us know Derry had scored 2 goals in case we couldn’t count. We didn’t know if that was an insult or not so we let it go.”
Later in the game, after Tyrone had taken the lead following a remarkable comeback, it appeared the mascot appeared to get carried away and, using his loudspeaker inside the costume, shouted over to the Derry support, ‘ha ha yiz inbred hoors‘, according to sources.
Ground security managed to pull Red Hand Man to safety as missiles such as blue rope, hammers, Mars bars, cans of Lilt, bales of hay, spanners and front wheels of wheelbarrows rained down from the stand as over 60 men tried to jump over the fence at the final whistle.
The Tyrone Board apologised for the mascot’s antics and added that he’d been drinking whiskey inside the costume as well.
A local solicitor confirmed he remains confident his 15’000 clients will be successful after they all claimed for minor whiplash when a 3-door Mini Cooper drove over a pot-hole outside the town last November, causing a tyre to burst.
Despite the case appearing ridiculous from the outside, insurance guru Martin Toland is adamant that it’ll take a brave judge to deny an average pay-out of £2500 per person, totalling a £37.5m claim.
“I know people will be saying this is another example of people leeching money from fraudulent claims but there are no CCTVs in the area and no one can prove that all 15’000 people weren’t in the motor on the 30th November 2015. It’s simple maths. I don’t want to say much more than that.”
However, insurance company Delilah issued a stark warning to Toland and his many clients:
“15’000 people in a clapped out 3-door mini with the back seats ripped out? And by the way, 611 of the claims are from people dead long before the accident. One died in 1971. Over 200 claims are from babies, 19 priests, the entire teaching staff of a local secondary school as well as some relatives living in Australia. They’ll not be successful, mark my words.”
The latest claim follows on from a successful case which saw 120 people receive £900 each after claiming for food poisoning when a half-eaten sausage was found lying on the ground outside the Dungannon chip shop, Ye Oul Cod Ye.
All 120 claimants maintain they took a bite out of the sausage, thinking it was a tasting experiment run by the shop owners.
Health watchdogs have castigated the new Mid-Tyrone Hospital management after the board advised patients in all wards to maybe ‘smile a bit more’, accusing staff and patients of making the institution a miserable place to walk through for visitors.
The Greencastle-based hospital, which opened in 2009, holds over 700 patients as well as 188 staff. The management also offered free make-up bags for nurses in order to brighten the place up a bit for visitors and inspectors.
Their 3000 word report detailed how patients looked ‘miserable and depressed, like as if the world was ending‘ and that they should ‘maybe lighten up a bit‘. It also went on to state how nurses were sometimes ‘grumpy with awkward patients‘ and that ‘some female nurses wore little or no make-up whilst male nurses could probably slap on some foundation too‘. It also accused doctors of delivering ‘bad news with a frown‘ and advised them to dress it up a bit with the positives about ‘having had a good life so far‘ and winking.
Health watchdogs MediLook fumed:
“This is a disgraceful report. It’s like they want to be the McDonald’s of the medical world. Our sources tell us they chastised a man who’d arrived in A&E with a 6-inch nail in his hand for ‘crying like a wee girl‘ and shouted at a male patient who had been diagnosed with severe piles for ‘getting on like a dick‘. It’s unacceptable.”
Mid-Tyrone Hospital CEO Dermot Devlin hit back at the watchdog’s analysis by reminding the public that ‘millions of years ago there were no humans‘ and that ‘people are moaners, especially the sick ones‘.
Devlin also revealed they’re commencing their Hospital Radio next week, which will be pumped into all wards. Opening tracks include ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’, ‘Staying Alive’ and ‘The Final Countdown’.
Swans On Anti-Depressants After Viewing Episodes Of EastEnders Through Flooded Derrytresk Man’s Window
A leading swan psychologist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has confirmed he had to prescribe anti-depressants to a flock of swans who watched thirty-three episodes of EastEnders through the window of a house which had unfortunately witnessed high levels of flooding around it.
The swans, which were displaying heightened levels of agitated and violent behaviour towards their immediate families after viewing the programme, were said to be addicted to the goings-on in and around Albert Square and began impatiently pecking at the Derrytresk man’s window from sunrise, forcing Mr Quinn to stick on pre-recorded episodes of the English soap opera.
Professor Gilbery Mollyed explained:
“Because of the high levels of flooding, the swans were able to comfortably view what Dot Cotton and Phil Mitchell were up to on the fictional London community, through Mr Quinn’s good room window. However, the pessimisitc plotlines appear to have had a detrimental effect on the birds, causing them to become irrationally short-tempered with each other and develop unusual addictions to alcohol. I’ve had to prescribe over 500 doses of Prozac to just 200 Lough Neagh swans.
Mr Quinn, who was acutely aware of the Swans’ affection for the popular BBC show, revealed he attempted to wean them off the programme:
“They were fighting and slapping and flapping at each other to get a better view through my window and I couldn’t hear the damn show through their crying and squawking. I turned over to Mrs Brown’s Boys and they went clean mad pecking at my window to the point that I thought the house was going to come down around me. I had to return to an old recorded episode of EastEnders with Dirty Den in it to calm them down.
Mr Quinn also revealed they liked watching Emmerdale, the 7 O’Clock News on Channel 4 and The Angelus on RTE.
Cookstown Woman Arrested For Driving Around McGinn’s Drapery Store On Mobility Scooter, Drinking Prosecco And Eating Quality Street
A Cookstown hairdresser has pleaded ‘guilty but full of the Christmas spirit’ after she was caught raking around the maternity collection in the fashion-conscious womenswear chain McGinn Drapers, knocking down clothes and spilling Tesco-branded prosecco over a newly-laid carpet.
Aine Fenton, 59, had procured the mobility scooter from the NHS after she tore a cruciate ligament before Christmas during a yoga session at the local leisure centre.
Mrs Fenton’s solicitor was quick to pinpoint his client’s festive high spirits, maintaining she had received over 14 bottles of wine and several boxes of sweets from genuine well-wishers over the Christmas period.
“Are we going to kill Christmas altogether? Although my client understands she was driving the scooter around the store in what could be called a reckless manner and probably shouldn’t have drank a bottle of prosecco during the ordeal, poorly concealing it in her coat, but she was full of festive spirit and even left a trail of Quality Streets around the ground floor.”
Fellow shopper Mary Carey maintains there was much more to Mrs Fenton’s recklessness:
“That woman’s a lunatic. She was shouting at people ‘sure you’ll not fit into that’ and firing hard sweets over the curtain in the changing rooms. Then she started singing ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ which a lot of us of a certain persuasion found rather intimidating. We all enjoy ourselves at Christmas but that doesn’t mean we all go to McGinn’s Drapers and terrorise people on a scooter, full.”
Mrs Fenton was finally arrested after driving into roadworks outside the shop.
Fenton’s case will be heard tomorrow.