A Dungannon butcher has received a surprise late call-up to race in this year’s Tour De France which kicks off on Saturday in England.
Kevin ‘The Blurt’ McElhatton was surprised as anyone to receive the call but is determined to see good his invitation, comparing it to being ‘called up for jury duty; there’s no way out of it these days’.
The Blurt continued:
“I don’t even remember applying to ride in it but sure what harm can it do. I’ve a Flame Red MK2 Grifter at my mother’s house and sure I’ll take a spin on her down to the lough shore and back to get the oul chains oiled up for France. That’s a good 20 mile round journey so it is.”
McElhatton, despite having chronic asthma at this time of the year, is adamant he’ll put on a good show and has urged his family and friends to watch him on Channel 4 during the competition:
“I’m not deadly into the tight bicycle lycra stuff so I’m just gonna wear a white t-shirt and my Dungannon Clarkes shorts from my last game as an Under 16 in 1991. I promise not to let anyone down and I’ll drink plenty of water and all.”
There has been a mixed response on twitter to the news with one local politician from Aughnacloy tweeting “Someone stop this man. That Grifter model has a dodgy chain. Madness.”
Meanwhile, ‘The Blurt’ confirmed his butchers will remain open during his ordeal and that there’s a great deal on turkey breasts at £12.99 at the minute.
A man from Carland told several members of his family that he has made a life-changing decision and decided to give some thought to taking exercise.
Pearse Donnelly, a 33-year old gong-sounder from the Cookstown Road, said that it was something that he had in fact started doing several weeks ago.
“Yep”, said a determined Pearse. “I didn’t tell anyone about it because sometimes you don’t know how it’s going to go, see? But that’s nearly a month I’ve spent on it, and I’m as determined as ever to think about doing some sport”.
He went on,
“I used to as fit as a butcher’s dog at school. Only 11 stone. You should have seen me. Never off the football field. But to be honest I’m carrying a little holiday weight after the summer, and I’m up to 23 stone. So it’s time to think about change”.
Donnelly says there is no shortage of opportunities.
“I still have an old pair of running shoes in the attic or garage or somewhere. Or I could lift weights at that new gym in Coalisland. The community centre’s always doing fitness classes, so there’s no end of stuff I could be doing. All definitely worth considering. So all them ones who are scoffing and saying I can’t do it don’t know the score”.
Donnelly said that he had in fact already started doing some modest exercise one night watching television.
“The remote was broken, and I was eating a big bag of Kettle crisps, so I had to keep getting off the couch to turn the sound up because the crunching was so loud. Them crisps is deadly. And then I had this sort of epiphany. What if I just kept up the exercise? It’s like looking at things in a whole new way. I might switch to Pringles to start off though. Get into it by building up”.
His family remain sceptical.
“Lifting weights?”, asked his sister Jacinta. “The only heavy weight Pearse carries round is his own lazy arse. Send him down that gym and the first machine they’ll put him on is the respirator. He’s not wise. He needs to stop thinking and start doing”.
Donnelly remains adamant. “There’s also a skipping rope at the back of the shed. I could take that up as well”.
One of Benburb’s most colourful characters, Jessie Jordan, has publicly denounced Hallowe’en as a ‘load of balls’ and has refused to partake in any ghoulish festivities around the spookingly week-long festivities in the sleepy hamlet. Driving along Benburb’s ‘Golden Mile’, Jordan’s Butchers is conspicuous with its lack of frightening decorations which adorn businesses such as Mackle’s Craftware and Mullan’s Alternative Medicine Shop on the same road.
“Let me get this out of the road straight away. If any child even thinks about knocking on my premises on Wednesday they’ll be met with a black pudding to the gob. Trick or treat? The trick will be for the accompanying parents dislodging the lamb chops from their backsides. The treat will be all mine watching their tearful retreat. It’s a pile of dung. I’ve already sabotaged five bonfires around the Moy and Eglish. Apple-bobbing? Think I want to dip my bake in a bowl full of the slabbers and snatters of cousins and the like? I’d rather ate a pig’s arse through an electric fence.”
Jordan’s vehement refusal to celebrate the pagan festival seems to date back to an unfortunate incident in 1977 when his mother baked an apple tart for consumption after the bonfire. His sister, Denise, explained:
“Jessie never really forgave my ma for that. He thought he’d play a practical joke whilst everyone was out dancing around the bonfire, half naked. He snuck in and attempted to ate the apple pie and then blame it on the dog. He didn’t know my ma had put the traditional 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p and 50p inside it. She was a generous woman and usually splattered a rake of each coin amongst it so everyone would win a good bit. Poor Jessie threw the whole thing into his mouth. We found him on the floor spitting the last of his teeth onto the floor. It was a bloody sight. He was called Gummy Jordan for years.”
Benburb holds its breath.