Marriage counsellors have been described as being ‘flat out’ this weekend across the county as marital squabbles have more than trebled due to families being cooped up because of the recent poor weather conditions.
Reports of loud shouting and blatant huffing prompted relationship experts to descend on various locations with ‘nasally breathing’ being the number one irritant for many wives.
Susie Banchy from Augher explained:
“If I hear that bollocks breathing one more time I swear I’ll swing the boot at his head. Maybe he’ll stop then. This snow is a disaster. I can’t even get peace in my bedroom for one of the young ones jumping on my head looking for something to eat. Tomorrow can’t come quick enough.”
In Omagh, a game of Pictionary ended abruptly in three ambulances being called within a two-hour period after husband and wife Peter and Mary Toal were paired in the same team for the fifth time. Asked to draw an umbrella, Mr Toal’s poor artistry again left his wife of 23 years seething after he drew what looked more like a tractor.
Marriage counsellors have advised families to sit in different rooms today and bide their time until the snow melts and school recommences tomorrow.
Witnesses described scenes in Augher as ‘like a pile of heavyweights brawling’ after the failure to thank a motorist who let another driver out of a side road ended in six arrests and a smashed windscreen.
Jackie Wilson, a 44 year old plumber from Fivemiletown, admitted he flipped after another driver declined to show his hazard lights despite being let out of a junction near the Clogher Rd roundabout.
“I stopped for about 10 seconds to let the bastard out. He sneaked out safely and I did think it odd that he didn’t raise his index finger to acknowledge me. I was sure he’d turn on the hazard lights as a gesture of gratititude but instead he put shoe to the burd and drove off.”
Wilson went on the explain how he chased the offender until they stopped at a junction, got out of his car and pulled the 62-year old retired teacher, Harry Jones, through the wound-down driver’s window.
“I admit I threw a real wobbler. Unfortunately the man’s three sons were also in the motor and they piled on to the fight too. Several bystanders got stuck in too, just for something to do I think.”
Jones, who is being treated for a bruised backside after being dragged through the window of his motor, revealed his hazard lights were broken anyway and that he definitely did put his finger up. He received three penalty points and a £120 fine for the hazard light malfunction.
Government officials are this week to debate new letterings for learner and restricted drivers after a spate of attacks on inexperienced drivers has been blamed on an online rumour that L plates were used by Loyalist drivers and R plated cars were owned by Republicans.
Transport Minister Martina Mulgrew believes that a new lettering system will put an end to cars being egged and sometimes given the middle finger to:
“Somebody started this rumour about the Illuminati and stuff and that R plates were used by rampant republicans whereas L plates were only used by Loyalist fanatics and that only a few people knew about it. The way young people are now, they believed it straight away without questioning it because it was on the Internet. My son was using an R plate recently and couldn’t understand why he was getting the middle finger from everyone when he drove up the Shankill Road. Even the lollypop lady called him a fenian bastard.”
The newly proposed system intends to replace R with NG (nearly good) and L with BD (bad driver). Local social standards commentator Linda Farrell insists the new system isn’t politically correct enough:
“Being labelled a BD (bad driver) will make them a target for bullies and sneerers. It could easily stand for Bob Dylan, behavioural disorder or Big Dick. You’re opening a can of worms here. Then NG could be interpreted as nice girl or Nazi Germany. We need more time to think this over.”
Meanwhile, a move to force motorists to drive on the right side of the road in Fintona, Fivemiletown and Augher from tomorrow as part of a plan to gradually phase the whole county over by 2020, has been described as a brilliant idea by a man in Clogher.
A 44-year old civil engineer from Castlehill Gardens in Augher has been labelled ‘fairly uncivil‘ by long-suffering Clogher folk who have described their latest bridge ‘unfit for purpose’ after it was seen swaying when an Airbus bound for Alaska flew over, 30’000 feet above the structure.
Noel Burns, who won a case against him in 2007 by The Concerned Clogher Committee (CCC) when accused of making roads worse by putting dead ends on them, maintained the bridge is a stiff as the Eiffel Tower and has told Clogher ones to quit whinging or he’ll not look kindly on the new planning permission for clean water in the village.
CCC chairperson Melanie Liffey is adamant Burns is doing things on purpose to wind up his near neighbours:
“The swaying ‘Millennium Bridge’ is just the latest structural cock-up he has landed on Clogher on purpose. Last year he was given the job of building the Clogher Historical Building in the town centre. Didn’t he build it with no windows or electrical provisions so it was completely dark and then overlooked plumbing needs so people had to just hold it in if nature called. He sabotages us at every opportunity and keeps getting away with it. Civil engineer my arse.”
Burns was also accused of building four new roads out of Clogher from 2003 with dead ends so that no one could ever leave the town or indeed arrive in it. Tourism dropped 133% over the following 4 years with new fashions and trends unable to penetrate the historical village. Experts reckon Clogher is still on 2009 time with many currently distraught at hearing of Michael Jackson’s untimely death.
The bridge is currently operational at your own risk.
- The controversial plans to bring time forward in the Republic of Ireland have reportedly left Stewartstown residents furious. Retired teacher Johnny Fee, wearing an A-Team jumper, remarked “We’re still trying to catch up with 2014 and now this happens. How will we ever get out of 1983 at this rate?”
- Augher woman Hillary Frank plans to make good the changes to the Republic’s new time by watching the RTE Lotto in Tyrone and then scooting across the border, losing an hour in the process and arriving before the draw has happened in the south, to bet on the magic six numbers.
- Clonoe have decided to put an end to the general downcast mood on show in the area since the senior team bowed out of the Championship by bringing Christmas forward to December 3rd to give people something to look forward to. PP Fr Fay has also promised to make masses shorter and have good looking Eucharistic Ministers in order to raise spirits.
- Omagh teacher Carlito McCabe has been awarded a £3000 grant to go towards his research into why so many Tyrone men are bald by the age of 25. His lab at Queen’s University has already operated on 18 bald Tyrone men with results inconclusive so far though some early signs hinting at midges, eels and brown sauce as possible causes.
- Derrytresk GFC, who cannot represent Tyrone if they win the Junior title this year, are considering finding a way around the ban by changing their name. Early suggestions include Hanna Hill, Fitzgerald Fighting Cocks and Little Italy.
- Galbally have registered their anger at tripadvisor.co.uk after someone was allowed to write ‘Crap. Don’t go near this place. A hellhole’ on the Galbally page, their first ever comment. To add salt to the wound, the comment was made by someone with the username ‘kildresswolfetonesabu’.
- Sion Mills entrepreneur Sammy Gibson has shelved his plans to create ‘Google Underpants’ where you control the computer screen by moving your pants about. Early tests indicated it just looked wrong in places such as libraries and schools.
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.
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’.
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.
In the wake of last week’s news of the security services in America listening in on phone calls throughout Europe, an international diplomatic investigation was sparked last night following a confession by a member of staff at the National Security Agency in Washington that he was instructed to secretly listen in on phone calls across County Tyrone.
“Gee, the guys were looking for a dude to secretly listen in to calls in County Teerone, and man, I guess I was the fall guy right from the get-go, being Irish an’ all”, said 28-year old Brent McRobertson. “My great great great great grand neighbour once went to somewhere near Ireland on vacation, so I guess that means I got the Irish blood in me. Anyways, I was listenin’ to all these calls, and seriously, these Teerone guys are crazy. They had all this talk of suckin’ diesel, and I was like, whoa, time check guys! No wonder they’re so unhealthy. That stuff is way disgusting”.
McRobertson said that he initially heard guttural barking and growling noises on the phone, which he initially believed was either interference from a local zoo or satellite disruption, but which subsequently turned out to be two brothers from Augher chatting to each other on the phone. In another phonecall from the Clady area, McRobertson said he overheard death threats being made.
“It was givin’ me the jeepers, man. These guys kept saying they were going to ‘kill Eeshil’ on Friday night, and that they were gonna take a couple of ‘owl blades’ with them. Is an owl blade some sorta bad-ass weapon? Aw man, it sounded like something bad was goin’ down. And who’s Eeshil? Is he some kinda gang leader? That dude’s gonna be history, period”.
McRobertson admitted that despite his Irish credentials he was not completely familiar with some of the local vernacular.
“What’s a ‘buckenbrolly’? Phone call after phone call folks kept talking about ‘that buckenbrolly’, and they were calling it a ‘clift’ which I think means cliff. Is it a place or some sort of geological feature? I tried to find out more on this local social networking site called ‘Slabber’, but it was the pits man”.
One of McRobertson’s colleagues spent an hour on the phone listening to a high-pitched screeching which was later identified as two women from Drumquin arguing about their favourite Nathan Carter track. He was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and had to receive extensive counselling.
ARDBOE: Horse for sale. Looks like a big pony. £400 ono.
URNEY: Have viagra. Need any wemen between 20-70.
KILDRESS: 1988 Porsche, red. Tinted windows. Doesn’t start. £300
DERRYTRESK: Solid pine cabinet. Glass windows. A few cat scratches but the cat was executed. £90
MOY: Unwanted turkey for sale. Perfect for Christmas. Only partially eaten. £30
DRUMRAGH: 2006 Seat Ibiza 1.2, blue. Only 80’000 miles. £3000. Not for sale.
OMAGH: 2002 Hitachi self-cleaning oven. Needs a good clean. £100
BROCAGH: 3 year old Jack Russell. Fine with children. Great poet. £40
KILLYCLOGHER: Lost – black cat with white face and paws. Completely deaf. Answers to Sadie. Big reward.
BALLYGAWLEY: Dyson vacuum cleaner. Like new. Not needed. £200 or £160.
GALBALLY: 7 foot Christmas tree and lights. Beat the queues. Self-collect. Lights not included. £30
AUGHER: Weeding dress. Used once. £700
ROCK: Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating. £8
CLONOE: Wanted. Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
The recent spike in petrol and diesel costs have witnessed new and mostly unsuccessful ways to travel from A to B in the county. Just last week, our cameras witnessed one man from Coalisland spend £120 filling his Datsun Sunny before pushing his motor into Roughan Lough in disgust. Jackie Carr, a 70 year old plasterer, almost made his way to do a job in Donaghmore later in the day using an inventive mode of transport:
“I’m not spending any more of my dole/work money on petrol but I’m too old to walk any distance. So I got an old ironing board and tied two hungry labradors to the front of it. I then asked my grandson to run ahead of the dogs with a couple of raw rump steaks hanging out of his back pockets whilst I sat on the ironing board. We got as far as Newmills before the dogs caught up with the lad and near ate the arse clane off him. To be honest the ironing board was in bad shape by then anyway. The sparks were annoying motorists behind. Back to the drawing board for me.”
Other unsuccessful attempts to avoid the rising cost of fuel saw a teacher from Augher jump the whole distance to Fivemiletown until exhaustion set in halfway down Clogher Main Street and a sales rep from Glenelly float in a bucket down the Glenelly River to his office in Plumbridge before being capsized by a big shoal of salmon.
The rising number of horses parked outside the Ulster Herald offices in Omagh suggests all is not lost. One journalists, nicknamed ‘McSherry’, said he’s never felt freer:
“I rent a mare from a boy in Stewartstown and it’s working out rightly. There’s no better feeling than galloping through Pomeroy and Carrickmore with the wind in yer hair and my laptop flung over me shoulder, sticking two fingers up at the motorists and their dear diesel. Picking up the manure is a bit of a handlin but sure it’s swings and roundabouts. I think it’s a horse anyway.”
The 2013 Clogher Valley Agricultural show held yesterday has been labelled as the most controversial ever after a rise in cattle accessories was evident from the first adjudication of the Pedigree Aberdeen Angus Bull category. Matters took a turn for the surreal when a panto cow found itself at the wrong venue but still managed to take home Ayrshire Cow Derby derby crown.
Traditionalists were left shaking their heads when more than half of the Angus Bulls were seen sporting dreadlocks, comb-overs and all manner of fancy coiffures. Peter McMeel, a veteran of the show from 1922, says he’ll not be back:
“What in under God is going on in this country? It was bad enough seeing the older bulls with side-partings and mohicans, but the bull calves were at it too. The Aberdeen Angus Bull Calf that won had a comb-over dreadlock. For the love of God. What next, lipstick and mini-skirts on the Hereford Heifers?”
Older viewers were taken aback when the Pedigree Charolais Bull Calf category was won by a calf with a ‘scrunchie’ coupled with a plaited ponytail. McMeel added:
“I’m not a stuffy character who is resistant to change. But, for jaysus sake, what is this competition all about then? It has turned into the way Irish Dancing is now. There’s talk that the winning Pedigree Limousin Heifer born in 2011 was wearing stockings. There was some crowd of oul lads gathering to watch that one”.
The day ended in controversy when two lads who were appearing as a panto cow in a play in Augher took a wrong turn and ended up winning Ayrshire Derby. An enquiry has been launched by the International Cattle Judging Committee after ‘peculiar betting trends’ were noticed in a Dungannon bookmaker with heavy bets of up to £20 placed on the actors to win the derby.
A man from Augher has applied for an advanced software engineering degree at Queen’s University in Belfast after having learned how to ‘cut and paste’ on a basic computer skills course at Dungannon Public Library.
“There’s no stopping me now, boys!” said an enthusiastic Hugh McSorley, 23, an unemployed decorator from outside the village. “I’ve been on the ‘Understanding My Computer’ course at the library every Wednesday morning for three weeks and I kid you not it’s taught me a lock of things. This cuttin and pasting is amazing. I thought I already knew about pasting because I’m a decorator by trade. But nope, instead of typing out all the words and sentences and stuff you just move the mouse yoke over the bit you want to copy, press a few buttons, and that’s the job done. You might think it sounds complicated, and it is. Very”.
The intensive 3-year course at the Belfast University covers software construction, theory and algorithms, functional programming, and systems architecture. McSorley so far has also learned how to save a document, how to print, and how to use the Caps Lock. “If you want to learn how to put something from wee letters into thon big letters, come and talk to me. You won’t believe your eyes”, exclaimed McSorley.
“We’re keen to encourage people’s passion, but we’re really not sure he’s ready” said an un-named source at Dungannon Library. “Last Wednesday we were teaching the class how to access the Task Manager and Hugh said that pressing ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’ at the same time was “feckin’ impossible” and that holding down three keys at once was “ridiculous unless you’re a buckin’ six-fingered freak”. He also spent an entire afternoon copying and pasting the phrase ‘deadly wemen’ onto 50 pages on a Word document, and then pressed the print button. And he usually starts sniggering every time we talk about ‘inserting an item or ‘increasing the size of a column’. He’s really quite disruptive”.
McSorley is adamant he has the skills already to survive at Queen’s:
“Listen”, said an aggressive McSorley, “What do I want with a task manager? I’ve a wee piece of paper here with all the tasks I need to manage. Look: ‘Sign on. Buy mince. Watch Loose Women. Register for computer course’. Task manager my arse. As soon as I get my degree I’m going to write a programme for space ships that will let them go into hyperspace and get to other planets really fast. I already know all about hyperlinks, so I’m halfway there. Name one other man or woman from Augher who can do what I do? Them Clogher ones still think a PC drives a Landrover”.
This coming Wednesday the library course will cover how to change words into italics.
The residents of Augher and Clogher are to meet tonight to celebrate putting the past behind them and ending centuries of rivalry, taunting and name-calling.
“We’re finally putting to bed all those old-fashioned notions that we don’t get on”, said Michael Lagan from Derrycloony Road in Augher.” It’s just fiction, out of date and untrue, spread about by eejits with nothing else to do. Personally I can’t wait to meet up tonight with the Clogher folks. Even the odd looking ones. It’s going to be great. And even better if they can stop banging on about their Cathedral. Jaysus”.
The ‘Putting the Past Behind Us’ community gathering this evening will take place in the relatively neutral venue of the Eskra Community Centre. The original title was to be ‘The Augher & Clogher Get-Togogher’ but the two groups were unable to agree on whether it was ‘Augher & Clogher’ or ‘Clogher & Augher’.
“Sure, it doesn’t matter does it?” said Joanne McElhatton of Fintona Road in Clogher. “What matters is having mutual respect for one another. And Augher people are no longer a shower of savages. Not that they ever were of course. Well, some people might say that but not me. Definitely not. That would be an insult”.
Augher inhabitants expecting to attend the event this evening were equally magnanimous.
“Name-calling is a thing of the past”, said Michelle McVeigh of Irish Street in Augher. “Both villages are coming together in a show of strength and solidarity, and I salute the tolerance of Clogher village. It can’t be easy when you’ve lived in a cave for most of your life”. She continued, “It’s simply not true that we don’t get on. This display of unity will show the world that we’re just one big family. They’re a unique bunch Clogher, and to be fair they’ve never allowed delusions of their own adequacy to hold them back. They can hardly be held responsible for looking like victims of an industrial accident can they? It’ll be great craic hi”.
McElhatton agreed. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a great show of commitment that the Augher crowd are willing to get out of the village and travel to Eskra. That’s a long way to walk wearing clogs”.
Proceedings starts at 7.30pm. Police are expected to be in attendance.
A recently discovered book not included in the New Testament bible explains the role a man from Augher played in moving the stone from the tomb of Christ.
Previously known as the Q Hypothesis, the Book of Thomas was recently found by archeologists in Egypt, which unifies the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and explains the striking similarities between the three books, all of which share stories, phrases and even direct quotes with one another.
The transcript reveals 13 verses in Chapter 6 about a man from Ireland who was travelling close to Golgotha at the time of the entombment of Christ:
13 A man who was from the place called Augher in the Land of the Sperrins, travelled a long distance from the west. 14 His name was Eugene, and he had made a great fortune selling pallets.
15 He passed the tomb of Christ where nine men stood by the stone, looking at it. 16 He did say unto them ‘Are yous thinking about moveth thon stone?’ And they said unto him ‘Yes’. 17 And the man who was called Eugene did say back to the nine men, 18 ‘Deadly. The stone is heavy but I can help yous coup it for a lock of camels’.
19 And the ten men pushed and heaved and pushed and heaved and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but the stone did not move. 20 So the men stopped and sat and drank tea and ate wheaten and Eugene talked about the evil Clogher and after an hour stood up again. 21 Again they pushed and heaved, and they did sweat and toil, loudly shouting ‘Christ Almighty’. And lo the stone did slowly roll away.
22 The men went into the cave with Eugene and he said unto them ‘Red everything out will yiz’ but there was no sign of the Lord, 23 and the man called Eugene did say ‘This is some handlin’ brethren’. 24 Then he said unto them to go with him to a house of wine where they slaked their thirst with home spirit the man Eugene had made. 25 And there they talked in tongues and drank more spirit and lo they slowly fell to their knees and to the floor where they lay for many hours.
Eugene of Augher’s direct family are to open their family home on the Crossowen Road where people can come and look at the bed he would have slept on if he had been born 2000 years later.
By Staff Reporter Shengas McGlumphie
An Augher farmer plans to sue Hollywood makers for the theft of an idea which may have been as the basis for the recent smash hit movie, ‘Life of Pi’, currently shown in cinemas across the UK. Phelim McAlinden from McAlinden Farm near Altadavin wrote a poem called ‘Life of Pie’ in 1966 after his teacher punished him for throwing the spit bucket around another pupil by ordering a young Phelim to write a poem about pies over breaktime.
“I’m fuming if the truth be told. Them boys in Amerikay are ruthless. The Master said it was one of the best poems he’d ever seen a 6-year-old write and I’ve sort of been living off that praise since then. I’m known as ‘the boy who wrote the poem’ around these parts, even in my 53rd year. I remember it word for word:
Oh me. Oh my. I love a pie
And always will. I do decry.
Other food I sometimes try
But till the day I die. It’s a life of pie.”
‘Life Of Pi’, the film based on the book of the same name by Yann Martel, tells the story of a spiritual journey of a young boy in India who rejects his father’s rationalism and creates a personal amalgam of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Phelim admits he has no idea how they managed to come across the idea, nor accepts that the film has nothing whatsoever to do with his poem, including the title, the basic premise, the plot, the characters, the start, the middle, and the ending. He was originally advised to sue for £20m but has since said he’d settle for a ‘lock of pounds’.
“That’s what they do, lucksee. They change all the story to get out of paying. They’re crafty that way. Sometimes you have to stand up to the man. I don’t want to get in the way of a good movie but credit where credit’s due boys. If them boys in Hollywood send me twenty quid that would probably be the end of it”.
McAlinden says he is also also looking closely at the recent Quentin Tarantino film ‘Django Unchained’, which he believes may be sourced from another poem he wrote in the 1980s called ‘Jangle’, based on the loose change he had in the pocket of his dungarees that day.
We took a scoot out to the market in Cookstown to collate the hopes and wishes for 2013.
“Wouldn’t it be great if ourselves and Augher finally put our differences behind us and mixed next year. At the church the Clogher ones still sit on one side and the Augher folk on the other. There’s no intermarrying. We drink stout; they stick to triple X. The brawls on the streets are now a daily occurrence. Let’s pray for peace and try to endure those fcukers for 12 months.” GERDY MCNABB, CLOGHER
“A good looking priest. We’ve been starved out here in Donemana of young virile clergy. In fact, the last PP was so old he still read in Latin. Someone like the boy out of The Thornbirds would be deadly. Get me up in the morning, hangover or none.” MARY MAGUIRE, DONEMANA
“Bring back hanging for cattle rustling and trespassing.” DAMIEN COYLE, PLUMBRIDGE
“The government to turn a blind eye to women who bate the shite clean out of their husbands. That lazy hoor of a man I have needs a quare hiding to get his arse into gear on a Saturday. Say, once a week would be great.” NOLEEN MURPHY, EDENDORK
“Women wearing less in and around the streets. There are women now with jumpers and coats on even in the summer. If the powers taxed the amount of clothing you wore, they’d be more inclined to wear loose blouses and skirts. I’m 88 but I’d make more of an effort to get out to the shops if the women would shed a few layers. Not the fat ones though.” CATHAL JACKSON, DONAGHMORE
“Mickey Harte to pick players from the south east of the county. What did we ever do on him eh? There’s talk that he ruined his motor driving at 60 down the Annaghmore Road during the 80s. Well, that’s what we deal with day in, day out. We all drive 1990s motors from Lithuania now. Don’t hold it agin us Mickey.” FRANCIE O’NEILL, DERRYTRESK
“The price of diesel to come down a bit in Castlecaulfield. Might as well hope to grow wings. Miserable bastards.” SUSIE FOSTER, CASTLECAULFIELD.
“A traffic warden in Coalisland. In fact, anyone official at all. Even a TV licence man. Just for the craic.” JUSTIN LAVERY, COALISLAND
“A gay bar in Kildress.” ANONYMOUS, KILDRESS
A domestic argument over the length of time spent in the shower has broken Augher’s peaceful aura and threatened to destroy the perception of the village as an ideal holiday destination for people from America and France. Henry and Gretta McMeel had always been considered the pin-up couple for the Augher Tourism Board with their strikingly good looks, lovingly approach to each other and their harmonious effect on the area. All that changed last night when a passer-by, Barney McKenna, overheard a heated exchange emitting from one of their back rooms.
“I was just dandering home from looking at the sheep up the road when I thought I heard raised voices coming from McMeel’s roadside dwelling. Hoping to get a bit of juicy information, I pinned my ear to the window of the back room as the curtains were pulled. I heard Henry saying ‘you’re always fcuking keeping me back washing your oul fcuking hair. How come it takes me five minutes and that includes a fcuking shave. Thirty-five buckin minutes I’ve been sitting here watching this XFactor shite. I could’ve had four pints in me by now for fcuk sake.’ Well, to be honest I almost collapsed from the shock of it. We’ve always looked up to the McMeels. I’ve never heard anyone curse in Augher before. What else does that monster do behind closed doors.”
McKenna continued to divulge information on the exchange and said it wasn’t all one-way traffic, or words to that effect.
“It wasn’t all one way traffic. Yer woman was further away from the window so I only caught bits. I heard her say ‘hairy-arsed bastard’, ‘spend more time in the shower ye smelly hoor’ and ‘alcoholic bollocks’. I can tell you, I don’t know if I can look at the McMeels in the eye again. I told the parish priest and he went into some form of convulsion. This mustn’t get out.”
The Augher Tourism Board has barred all talk of the incident and has warned McKenna that any further gossiping about it will be fatally dealt with.
Residents in Augher and Clogher woke today to the disappointing news that Fifa have rejected their joint bid to host the 2022 World Cup at the first round of eliminations. The ambitious project was hoping to see off rivals Argentina, Australia and China but fell short in what Fifa described as ‘major accomodation issues’. Augher Lord Mayor Jackie McKenna, who headed the bid, announced the decision from Fifa this morning outside the Spar:
“We are bitterly disappointed. My committee put a lot of effort in to taking pictures of fields and makeshift pitches, put them all onto a PowerPoint and sent it in an email. Finding someone who could do all that computer stuff wasn’t easy. Although this is a set-back, we will regroup and perhaps target the 2024 Olympics. We will bring a major world event to Tyrone, mark my words.”
Fifa sent back a list of reasons why they couldn’t advance the Augher/Clogher bid to the next round. They included the need to seat up to 100’000 people in a stadium, house half a million more fans in the area and general lack of media facilities to cope with 188 TV stations from around the world. McKenna claims this was a smokescreen:
To be honest, that’s a load of balls. There’s talk of a new Subway being built in Fivemiletown. We have this Spar, a Post Office and a few pubs. What more do these foreigners want? We got promises from a couple of local joiners that they’d build a big wooden stand and all. Also, my nephew is training to be a spark and he could have wired up a few plugs for the TV boys. As for accommodation, have they never heard of caravans? They’re prejudiced against small rural villages like ourselves. Aghayaran said they were laughed at by Fifa officials in 1970 when they tried to rival the Mexico bid.
In a show of strength, Augher is today hosting their Horn Dance which is performed by six deer-men who wear reindeer horns. The dancers follow a 10 mile course and perform the horn-dancing ritual in 12 different locations in and around the village, whilst the musician plays tunes such as “The Farmers Boy” and “Uncle Mick” on a melodeon, with accompaniment from a triangle.
The PSNI last night confirmed that they were investigating complaints that an unseemly cyber-war between two neighbouring villages had spiraled out of control, endangering relations within public houses and family households in the extended area. Hundreds of complaints had been filed regarding the ugly tit-for-tat typing which was apparently initiated when the Augher Community Twitter account claimed the Mid-Tyrone Belle competitor from Clogher was a rank outsider in the competition and posed the question whether she should ‘tog out atall with thon head on her’, all in 140 characters.
The Clogher Antique Tractor Appreciation Society (CATAS) Twitter account soon responded in kind and claimed that the Augher Belle was ‘fond of the lads’ and ‘would know her way around the St Macartan’s senior and reserve side rightly, including the subs’. From there on in it developed into a name-darkening session with words like ‘thunder thighs’, ‘face for crimewatch’ and ‘dirty fecking hoor’ tipping the debate into the realm of the macabre.
“Social networkers need to realise they can hurt thousands with the click of a button,” said the Augher Lord Mayor Justin Asken, “that young Clogher girl doesn’t need such negative attention, especially after the incident with the Fivemiletown Hockey team in the Drum Manor Forest Park last week.”
The PSNI have warned both twitter account holders that they are monitoring the situation and that if the cyber-war continued, they’d “award the Plumbridge Belle the title without hesitation despite her reputation for ridin anything within a 30-mile radius.”