A man from Clonoe was yesterday recovering after having spent the day close to permanent suffocation, brought on by putting on a pair of stone-washed slim-fit jeans he bought in 1986.
Standing in front of the mirror, 18-stone lorry mechanic Marty ‘Nimble’ Flanagan from Coole Road had insisted to girlfriend Shauna that ‘they fit as well as the day I bought them’, and spent the rest of the day becoming progressively more purple in the face as he refused to admit they were at least four sizes too small.
“Aye, if my face hadn’t been so purple it would have really red”, admitted Flanagan. “I didn’t want to back down after telling Shauna that I could still slip into a 32 waist trouser and to be honest it took me so long squeezing into the damn things that it would’ve taken another hour to get them off. It was like trying to squeeze a balloon into a box. Besides, once I was up on my feet I couldn’t really bend down”.
The problem was worsened by Flanagan going to Loughran’s Bar to show off his slender frame to friends, consuming six pints of Stella, and then finding himself unable to either unzip his flies or undo the button.
“Aye, poor Nimble”, said one of his friends, Sean Gallagher, also from Clonoe. “He looked like an enormous Ribena berry. Still, it’s his own fault. He’s acts like he’s at his fighting weight all the time, pretending he’s always at the health foods and salads and suchlike. Some chance. His idea of salad is a plate of cold chips, the clift”.
The fire service were duly called who had to use a pair of bolt cutters to remove the button from Flanagan’s trousers, which was under so much pressure that it shot off and demolished the entire row of optics behind the bar, followed by Flanagan breaking wind with such force that one of the firefighters was taken to Dungannon Hospital with a perforated eardrum.
Flanagan previously had a visit from the fire brigade in February of this year when he had to be removed from a ‘Frankie Says Relax’ t-shirt that he had purchased in 1984.
BY SHENGAS MCGLUMPHIE
Local PSNI were swiftly despatched to Costcutter’s in Eglish yesterday morning before a near-riot developed in Main Street, after nearly 3,000 people turned up to start their Christmas shopping early.
A rumour, started on Twitter, that Costcutter’s was selling Cadbury Christmas selection boxes for £1.99, rapidly went viral as the news spread like wildfire throughout the county.
One policeman, Patrick Quinn, who attended the disturbance, panted:
“I’ve not seen anything like it in Eglish since Plunkett Donaghy was rumoured to be swimming bare-torsoed in the Blackwater in 1986. I nearly had to make a couple of arrests. Grown adults acting like eejits trying to get themselves noticed by shop staff for the sake of a buckin’ selection box, shouting and screaming. I couldn’t be doing with it. It really hurt my throat. I managed to get one of the ones with the ‘Make Your Own Santa Mask’ on the back. Class”.
Anne Callaghan, a 49 year old coal miner from Mountfield, told us:
“You can’t be too careful. It’s only 110 shopping days until Christmas. I still remember the Teletubbies fiasco a year ago. I ordered Tinky Winky for my little lad and it never arrived in time. He’s now 26 and still hasn’t forgiven me. I’m not going through that again”.
A spokesperson for the Omagh-based lobbying group ‘No Christmas Until Christmas’ which is continuing to gather support under its website, http://www.its-not-even-december-yet-for-fecks-sake.com, said,
“It’s this sort of behaviour that puts the ‘Jesus Christ’ into Christmas, and I don’t mean in a good way. Summer’s barely over and people are mad for Christmas already. And these shops aren’t helping. I don’t want to be walking round Asda with my shorts on, listening to buckin’ Jingle Bells. This is all Joe Brolly’s fault. Probably”.
Costcutter’s have release a statement telling people not to panic, and that there will be ample selection boxes available for sale over the next three months.
“Aye, right”, said a despondent John Joe Slane, a 60 year old egg-boiler from Aughabrack. “Try telling that to my three nephews. All they’ve got to look forward to is two packets of Fishermen’s Friends and some Lockets. That’s all they had left by the time I got there. It’s dung. Maybe they’ll all have really bad colds by Christmas”, he added hopefully.
Minor skirmishes were also reported in a Centra shop in Cabragh, following rumours that it had started selling Easter eggs.
The previously smooth-running Garvaghey Complex has hit a major speed-bump after tempers frayed this evening during the unveiling of a new ‘Memory Cabinet’ in the west wing. Accusations of bias towards certain clubs almost resulted in blows being thrown with one man labelling the atmosphere ‘deadly like’.
Pat Carabine, a member of the Urney club, put across his impression of the whole handling:
“Why are there all these East Tyrone things in the cabinet? Kevin McCabe’s moustache from 1984. Kevin McCabe’s moustache from 1986. Art McCrory’s monkey hat from 1986. Sure what did them boys ever win really? Why not John Lynch’s mullet? I’m told that McCabe did not donate his 1986 moustache at all and that what we’re looking at is Damien O’Hagan’s moustache from around the same time. The thing’s a farce”.
Francis Skeffington from Brackaville hit back, accusing West Tyrone of sour grapes:
“Them boys have had it too good for too long. I think the cabinet looks class and for me Sean McNally’s pants from the 1985 loss to Derry takes pride of place. It’s not all East Tyrone anyway. Aidan Skelton’s upside down handlebar moustache is there as well as a lump of Mikey Sheehy’s shoulder blade which was extracted by Noel McGinn in 86 whilst the ball was up the other end. They need to dry their eyes”.
The Garvaghey Complex Memory Cabinet Committee have rejected accusations of focusing mostly on moustaches, neglecting memorabilia such as medals, boots and jerseys:
“We just wanted to be different. There were some brilliant moustaches back then. Sean Donnelly, Mickey Mallon and then you have a few locks from Plunkett Donaghy’s majestic mop. Sure that’s what we all remember. We’re just disappointed Declan McCrossan didn’t donate his ’97 moustache to ease the West Tyrone accusations of bias”.
The Memory Cabinet is open at all times and punters are allowed to look at it for free for 10 mins with a £2 per min charge after that.
From Ardboe to Aghyaran, women of all ages have taken to the loanans and ramparts to call for all Tyrone men to desist from wearing 1980s GAA shorts during the current hot spell.
The lack of sunshine in previous years has offered a short respite from the unpleasant images of middle-aged men prancing around their gardens and local shops wearing no shirts and an ill-fitting pair of shorts they once wore during their heyday 25 years ago. Cookstown fashion guru Kelly McGleenan explains:
“Even thinking about it now makes me want to boke. I remember refusing to go down to the Centra in 2008 during the last bit of sun after seeing this boy from Derrytresk with a bit of a beer belly sitting on a crate outside wearing nothing but his chest full of bits of straw and his 1986 league winners’ shorts with legs akimbo. The things I saw there will live with me forever. How his poor wife puts up with that I don’t know. I recalled a line from “Never Been To Me” by Charlene which says ‘and seen some things that a woman ain’t sposed to see’. I now now what she was on about. Hill men in their 80s shorts.”
The PSNI have refused to prosecute men in those shorts but warned households that anyone cutting hedges or just standing about on the road should consider Bermuda shorts or even just looser fitting football shorts like the boys on the TV wear. McGleenan says this doesn’t go far enough:
“They’re fudging the issue. Typical men making rules for men. An hour ago I saw Fr Morgan from Greencastle out pruning his Cherry Blossoms and caught a glimpse of his 1984 Greencastle Feile shorts. That’s just wrong on so many levels.”
The Derrytresk chairman’s plea for all 1986 short holders to return their pairs has been met with violent scenes of moss burning.
A member of the great Kerry side which defeated Tyrone 2-15 to 1-10 in the 1986 All-Ireland Final has today revealed that Thatcher gave them ‘deadly tips’ on how to beat Art McRory’s men about a week before that infamous game. The anonymous charismatic Kingdom forward said the Iron Lady popped down to Killarney during intense training and called the squad together into a huddle for a pep talk to highlight a few weaknesses that proved crucial on the day.
“Micko had just finished the 36-lap drill and we were about to run up Carrauntoohil when a helicopter landed around the middle of the field and yer woman jumped off with a headscarf on her. She beckoned us to gather around her with a big curly crooked finger and bejaysus she’s the sort of girl you listened to. Even Micko took his cap off. She said something about a northern team never lifting Sam under her watch and rhymed off about a dozen tactics to try out on the day. The most memorable was to wind Kevin McCabe up about his moustache. When he took the penalty, half of our team were shouting things like ‘Charlie Chaplin’ or ‘Daley Thompson’ at him. I’m 100% sure that’s why he stuck it over.”
Our source also revealed they presented her with a used Kerry jersey and a clump of butter. He said her knowledge of Ulster football was impressive.
“She wasn’t behind the door about dishing out the dirt of boys like John Lynch or Plunkett Donaghy. Apparently they were massive Duran Duran fans at that time so we just rubbished their music during the game. People talk of McMenamin and those boys excelling at the trash-talking. We were at it back in the 80s, aided by Thatcher herself. She had us wired up about the rivalry between the Fianna and the O’Rahillys. We fairly wound up McClure and O’Hagan. It worked a dream.”
Thatcher stood down in November 1990 and within ten months Down won the All-Ireland.