An inaugural cycling race took place yesterday, in an event designed to compete directly with the Giro d’Italia road race which sees one of the stages taking in Armagh.
Local organiser, Terence Kerr from the Rock, proudly told us,
“It was an unqualified success. I know we only had one person who entered for it who didn’t even finish, but that’s not the point. Well, it sort of is, but you’ve got to try, haven’t you? And what’s so special about Armagh anyway? It’s not a patch on Tyrone. It says in the paper they’re starting the race at the Shambles in Armagh. Why not Donaghmore? You should see thon speed bumps on the main street. Now they’re a proper feckin’ shambles. That’s why we’ve done our own race. Armagh can stick their apple orchards up their holes”.
The lone participant, 32-stone man Sidney Clarke from Cabragh, collapsed with exhaustion just two miles into the 124-mile route.
“I had done all my preparation and loads of training and was taking it all deadly serious”, he admitted regretfully. “In fact I bought so many go-faster stickers out of Argos I couldn’t fit them all on my Raleigh Chopper. And all the gears were working apart from the first and second, so I’m not really sure what went wrong”.
Onlooker Gerard McMahon from Urney confirmed,
“Ah, now poor Sidney wouldn’t be fastest thing on two wheels. Some of the wee’ans coming out of St Joseph’s at home time were going faster than him. The poor man was on the bike for three hours, and that was just going up Pomeroy main street. And I don’t really think the stabilisers helped much. The critter. Sweat was lashin’ off him. He’s a big lad, carrying plenty of beef. By the time he finished, they had to burn the saddle. Tara”.
Kerr advised that the Giro D’Onaghmore race originally attracted interest from over 300 people, until nearly all of them realised the race was nothing to do with collecting their Giro from the post office on a Thursday morning. Plans are already underway for a 2015 cycling event, the Tour de Fintona.
A Brocagh woman spent last night in Dungannon hospital after a marked increase in her addiction to making sandwiches for anyone passing within shouting distance of her house.
Authorities were called to 62-year old Deirdre McFarland’s house in Mountjoy Road after a visiting neighbour, 58 year old Aileen Hughes, was plied with so many sandwiches that she herself was rushed to hospital with a suspected ruptured stomach.
Medical experts are concerned that the condition may be a genetic affliction and could in fact affect many women in Tyrone, particularly older women.
“That’s right”, confirmed hospital doctor Sheila Quinn from Edendork. “People should look out for the warning signs. Constantly making people cups of tea is usually the first stage, then it’s the sandwiches, and before you know it, it’s like a full-blown episode of Father Ted”.
Neighbours admitted that they suspected McFarland’s addiction for some time.
“Aye, she’s afeared of being thought of as tight, so she goes over the top. I saw the oil delivery man go in last week and five minutes later heard Deirdre shouting, ‘Go on, horse it into ya, Cynthia’ at the top of her voice”.
Worse was to come for the unsuspecting oil man, as 31-year old Seamie McNamara from Granville explained:
“She offered me a sandwich when I went to get the cheque, so I insisted on just having a cup of tay in ma haun, but lo and behold five minutes later out came this big clatter of ham and tomato sarnies. I wouldn’t have minded but I was only five minutes out of Cabragh Filling Station so I’d already had a mighty feed. I didn’t want to offend her so I tried my best to get four or five of them down me, just to show willing like. I thought I had done my bit, but then did she not go into the kitchen and come out with more. She thought I was bloody starving. I didn’t think it through. There must have been about a pint of salad cream in them cheese sandwiches. Tara. I near passed out. There’s only so much wheaten and Kerrygold a man can take”.
Reports this morning confirmed that McFarland’s postman had previously made a formal complaint after his weight ballooned by three stone in as many months after succumbing to her hospitality.
A Cabragh entrepreneur has struck it rich after his range of women’s perfumes have sent mens’ pulses racing across rural parts of Ireland since its release last weekend. The product, named ‘Juice’, has rocketed off the shelves in locations such as Keady, Granard, Clonmel, Westport, Lisnaskea, Crossmaglen and Trillick, clocking up 20’000 sales in under two days.
Paddy Rea, who appeared on Dragon’s Den last year but was unsuccessful in convincing millionaires to invest in his idea for a spade-come-shovel called a ‘spovel’, has already splashed out on Easter clothes and a new set of duvets for the house. The ex log-chopper also expressed a desire to expand his product worldwide and make burger-flavoured perfume in America and computer-scented cologne in Japan.
“For years I knew that women who smelt of oil and petrol sent men weak at the knees around these parts. I used to court a girl from Galbally and she’d be up to her eyeballs in fully synthetic car-lube. I had a hard time keeping her and eventually lost her to a farmer from Fintona who owned 12 acres. This is a logical next step. There are plenty of women out there wondering what the missing ingredient is when it comes to holding on to a much sought after Tyrone man. Now I have the answer.”
Rea admits he is surprised at the national appeal of his product but promises to stay true to his roots and build his factory near Dungannon:
“The women in South Armagh are drowning in this product. It’s amazing. Men can hardly work for running after women. I heard that Crossmaglen Rangers have urged their female supporters to wear ordinary perfume to games as it was distracting their players. Unfortunately more urban teams from the likes of Omagh and Cookstown are paying their women to wear it so it sends their country opponents crazy. I don’t mind either way. More dough for my office on the Dungannon Road.”
‘Juice‘ is on sale in most reputable supermarkets, starting at £19.99.
The ‘Learn To Talk To Your Animals’ workshop at Clonoe Community Centre last night ended in chaos after many animals spoke back, criticising the standards of farming and general pet ownership. Rows erupted between man and beast as the PSNI arrived to control the chaotic scenes which included a savage brawl between a goat and a man from Derrylaughan.
Spiritual councillor Patricia McCabe admitted it was unlikely she’d attempt this session in the area again, which was initially meant to teach locals about animal communication by quietening the mind and focussing on your senses allowing you to listen more clearly to animals.
“Turned out the animals listened too well. There was a boy from Stewartstown who brought in a flock of sheep. After he spoke to them using my techniques, they rounded on him and called him (using sheep talk) ‘a lazy fat b***ard’ and ‘a drunken good for nothing wino”. It was when the fighting started that I realised my powers were deadly. A horse headbutted his owner from Cabragh after telling him the hay he fed her every day was covered in dung.”
Local dog owner and part-time magician, John McCabe, rued the day he set foot in the workshop:
“I wish I’d never listened to that woman. Now I can hear everything that mutt of mine is saying. Sure just this morning he jumped on my bed and started going on about the state of the room and saying oul dirty things about local women and all. Every bark is a complaint about something. It’s doing my head in. I’m going to another councillor to see if she can undo the animal-listening process.”
The PSNI admitted they were monitoring the situation and revealed their resources were stretched across Clonoe as farmers all over the parish spend most of the night out in their fields arguing with cattle, with skirmishes breaking out in Annaghmore, Derrytresk and Aughamullen.
The news that 11 new super-Councils are to be created throughout Northern Ireland from the existing 26 and that each is to be given extended powers, has resulted in hundreds of people throughout Tyrone believing that the Councils are actually to be granted magical superpowers.
Following the publication at the weekend of a survey by the Irish Council for Statistics, it appears that entire villages have caught the wrong end of the stick, with an alarming 16% of residents believing that council staff might turn into levitating, shape-shifting, fire-breathing oddballs, all at the tax payer’s expense.
56-year old Harry Patterson of Cabragh told us,
“Being given superpowers like time travel and trigonometry and the like is a bridge too far. It’s a breach of my human rights. I don’t want them council ones spying on me when I’m out in the shed doing stuff. Not that I’m doing anything wrong like. And certainly not with that woman from next door. There’s nothin’ wrong with being neighbourly, you know”, he said defensively.
The view was shared by Jacinta Ferguson, a 42-year old housewife from Urney.
“It’s a waste of damn time. I don’t want the council coming round, self-spawning all over my front garden or manipulating gravity and stuff, when all I want is my gutters rodded. They should get their priorities right”.
“If they end up having superpowers like Spider-Man there’s no saying where it could end”, agreed Tony Laverty from Windmill. “We can’t have people suddenly going into slow motion like in ‘The Matrix’ at the drop of a hat, can we? It would be like that TV programme where all them weird-looking hoors have amazing superpowers. ‘Mastermind’, that’s it”.
“We might end up with Barry McElduff waltzing through Carrickmore wearing a Batman outfit, and then where would be?” declared Deirdre Hughes from Drumquin. “I have no wish to see that man in tights, let me tell you that. I’m not making that mistake again. If them councillors want a superpower then they can go and teleport themselves to feck”.
Some were more circumspect, with a keen interest in what the superpowers might be.
“Will you maybe be able to get x-ray vision specs from the council?” enquired a 58-year old man from Trillick who didn’t want to be named. “That would be handy right enough, for, like, all sorts of things. And would you be able to see through like material, like say, I don’t know, clothes and suchlike? Just asking”. He added, “And a couple of them super-strength ones like The Hulk could rightly work some wonders for the St Macartan’s hi. Has anyone told Mickey Harte about this?”
58 year old Rebecca O’Neill from Brantry however was much less positive, snorting,
“They should go and speak to the Roads Department. Have you seen the state of my street? In my opinion they’ve been practising invisibility for bloody years”.
The new councils are expected to come into effect in a few months time.
The success of the the BBC’s recent series of Celebrity Come Dancing has kick-started a ballroom dancing revolution amongst men across the County.
Barny Patton, a farmer from Carnteel, admitted that the dancing bug had got a hold of him.
“I’ve always been forward thinking when it comes to technology. I see myself as a bit of a Fred Astaire and having no sense of rhythm whatsoever isn’t going to stop me. And neither is a club foot. Dancing’s class. There’s nothing I like more than slipping into my tailcoats and top hat after I’ve finished rounding up the cattle.”
Asked for his expert view to help make sense out of the phenomenon, Russian-born former top ballroom dancer Demitri Vladovic addedd,
“Them Tyrone boyos are mad hoors for the ballroom. It’s all high kicks and suchlike any time you see a group of men round Dungannon Square. They can’t get enough of it. Walk into Paddy Power in Scotch Street and it’s like Riverdance ”.
“They do the zumba in Killeeshil Community Centre every Monday night, and I reckoned they’d go wild for the ballroom”, admitted dance enthusiast Gareth McAvoy, a 42-year old mechanic from Cabragh . “So I walked straight in and grabbed this big redhead by the waist and leaned her backwards like in thon picters of returning American GIs, until her head was nearly on the floor. Classy? You’d think so, but she didn’t. And neither did the police. £300 fine and an injunction from going within 500 yards of the community centre for the next two years. Tara”.
Sources confirmed that many hen sheds across the County have secretly been converted into make-shift ballrooms.
“I didn’t think much of it to begin with”, said wife Sheila Cunningham. “Why shouldn’t my husband install a 3-foot wide glitterball hanging down from the roof? I just thought it was there to cheer them poor wee chickens up. But when I saw him execute a perfect cross-body lead with reverse turn whilst scooping three dead hens up off the floor, I started to have a few suspicions”.
Other men confirmed that they struggled to find an outlet for their passion.
“I went to Mantis Night Club in Omagh on Saturday”, explained 23-year old slaughterhouse worker Frankie Cush from Drumquin. “I thought it would be the perfect location to throw a few of my new ballroom moves, but it was a fiasco. You try doing the pasa doble to ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ by the Prodigy. I ended up having to switch to the rhumba. I was mortified”.
Meanwhile, the influence of reality television shows continues unabated following reports of a surge in menfolk banning wives from kitchens whilst they have a ‘mad try at the baking’.
A 42-stone man from Cabragh has told of his ambition to lose a third of his body weight and make it into the Dungannon Observer.
Morbidly obese Sidney Clarke decided to shed some weight after realising that he could no longer see his own feet, but despite his best efforts is unable to shift virtually any of the weight.
“I can’t understand it”, he bemoaned. “Doctor McElhattan gave me a strict diet of wholemeal bread, salad, pulses and veg and stuff. I make sure I have it every single night of the week without fail, just before my normal tea out of the Chinese or chippy. But none of it’s working. Feckin’ doctor. He’s a waste of space. He even told me that since Opal Fruits changed their name to Starburst, they don’t even count as one of my five a day”.
Clarke’s willpower and motivation has also been affected by lack of progress following a book he purchased initially with high hopes, entitled, ‘You’re Amazing! – How To Think Yourself Thin’, basically a 20-word diet stretched into nearly 300 pages costing £19.99 available at all good bookshops to gullible and desperate men like Clarke.
“I’m thinking of a new approach”, confided Clarke. “I’ve read about this diet that’s great for weight loss with guaranteed results, where they basically open you up and rip a whole lock of guts and stuff out your stomach that you don’t need and then stitch you back up again. Mighty. I think that’s a weight loss programme that could really fit with my lifestyle”.
In the meantime Clarke has resorted to other tactics in an effort to get himself noticed.
“I’ve been walking past the Observer offices in Ann Street wearing my ‘I Beat Anorexia!’ t-shirt, hoping that I’d get described as ‘larger than life’ or even as a ‘chubby funster. ‘Fat Lord’ doesn’t really have the same ring about it. And I’d love the Observer to photograph me after losing loads of weight, standing sidey- ways inside my old trousers with a big smile on my face. But I’ve only lost 2 pounds so far and the doctor reckons I have at least 120 to to go. Some handlin’”,
said Clarke, before going into an uncontrollable coughing fit and reaching for a packet of custard creams.
McDonald’s in Tattyreagh today confirmed the introduction of a new range of super-super-sized portions of some of their most popular lines specifically designed for the residents of Tyrone, after a survey showed that what people really wanted were bigger portions of cholesterol.
“Our customers in Tattyreagh simply wanted more. They kept complaining that the portions weren’t satisfying their appetites. Ordinary big plates of food weren’t hitting the mark. What they really want is feckin’ enormous piles of food. They just can’t get enough”, said 16 year old restaurant manager Sean Moore.
Saturday saw the introduction of a ‘Skip of Chips’, and a ‘Lorryload of Onion Rings’, both of which were warmly welcomed by residents.
“Mighty”, said 32-stone man Sidney Clarke, who had travelled from Cabragh to be one of the first to order the new ‘Trough of Baked Beans’. “If you ask thon boys to Sumo-Size your order they’ll do it”, said Clarke through a mouthful of Quadruple Cheeseburger and Diet Coke. “You can almost feel your arteries hardening with every bite. You simply can’t go wrong”.
Other diners at the popular fast food restaurant enjoyed a ‘Bathful of Pop Tarts’ whilst children were invited to try the new ‘Gallon of Milkshake’, a mouth-watering bucket of strawberry-flavoured cola milkshake.
“I’m lovin’ it!” joked mother-of-three Nuala Morgan from Eskra, “And so are the kids. We brought them here last night and we didn’t hear a word from them for the whole meal. In fact, they were quiet for the entire night. And most of today come to think of it. Still, it only cost £2.20 to feed the four of us, so I’m not complaining”.
Later this month Tattyreagh regulars can look forward to ordering a ‘Ditch of Coleslaw’. All of the items in the new range cost 39p.
The small village of Tullyallen is to make history this Sunday at a junior football game when their 12-man triangle band make their first appearance in public. The band, made up of mostly pensioners from Killeeshil, Cabragh and Dungannon, promise to play classics like ‘Finnegan’s Wake‘, ‘Lily the Pink‘ and ‘Big Strong Man‘ on their triangles. It is the first band made up of triangles in Ireland, probably Europe and possibly the world.
Band leader, Sadie McGuigan (76) told us:
“We were all saying it was a great pity that the pipe band had gone under, over 50 years ago. So we agreed to resurrect it but realised no one had a note in their head. Someone remembered playing the triangle in the 1950s at a primary school play and so we bought 12 triangles. Lo and behold, we all sounded the same and it has just taken off from there. We’re very excited to be putting Tullyallen back on the map.”
Killeeshil have asked the band to play for 20 mins before the game with Drumragh as well as marching around the field in a parade. McGuigan is fully aware of the task ahead:
“We just know the three songs on the triangle so I’ve worked it out we might need to play each about 30 times. For the parade we’ll just make something up, maybe ‘Whiskey in the Jar‘. “
McGuigan reacted angrily when asked if anyone will be able to make out the songs as every note sounds the same:
“Away and jump. Triangle playing is one of the hardest instruments to master. That’s why no one has attempted a band before. Anyway, people can just pretend to hear whatever song they like when we play. That’s the beauty of the triangle. In our heads it might be ‘Paddy McGinty’s Goat‘ – in your head it might be ‘Faith of our Fathers‘. Everyone’s a winner.”
The pre-match festivities kick off at 2:30pm.
Thousands of women across the county are preparing for the worst as the warm weather looks set to continue into the weekend. As husbands in their droves drag barbecues out from behind the shed and start scraping the rust off, wives and partners are abruptly turning vegetarian overnight, sending children off to relatives, and frantically keying ‘999’ into the speed dial on their phones.
“I’ve scarce got over last year to be honest” said one woman from Urney. “It was the one warm day of June and I was looking forward to a nice quiet day in the garden but my man insisted on having a barbecue and cooking the whole lot himself. Jaysus, I was hoping to get a nice tan, and I ended up with the most tara scitter for the rest of the week. I couldn’t get the taste of rust out of my mouth for days”.
Another woman, from Cabragh, shared concerns.
“Barbecue? Barbe-spew more like. Last year I ate a couple of his burgers and some ribs that he got cheap from somewhere. Jaysus, did I not see them again half an hour later. My stomach was like one of those lava lamps for a month. And he’s always getting Sheena and Des over, our neighbours from across the way. We end up getting drunk and admit personal things and then we avoid eye-contact for six months for fear of what was said that night even though no one can remember”.
“What’s going on with all this weather?” demanded another woman from Brocagh. “Usually by the time the sun comes out here and my husband eventually gets off his arse to the get the barbecue stuff, it’s started raining or snowing. But the forecast last night said it’s guaranteed to be a really warm and pleasant weekend. What a nightmare”.
A spokeswoman from Dungannon & South Tyrone Council said that the weather is having far-reaching consequences beyond the back garden.
“Tyrone’s in unchartered territory here. For the first time in the county’s recorded history it’s definitely guaranteed to be a sunny weekend. Quite frankly, a lot of people are panicking. They don’t know what to do. We had one woman from Dungannon phoning us saying that normally if she goes out on a sunny day as a precaution she also takes a jumper, an umbrella, a pair of wellies, and a compass. What’s the poor woman supposed to take with her now?”
The Council have also has several calls from the Stewartstown area querying what the ‘big yellow hurty thing” is in the sky.
Kildress baker shop to close
‘Claire’s Wee Scone Shop’ in Kildress is set to close after only 10 months in business. “I’m gutted, but I’ve run out of money” said Claire Rafferty, owner of the baker shop on the Drum Road. “I’ve been flat-out 6 days a week making cheesecakes, sponges, flapjacks and fruit scones and they’ve all shot off the shelves, but I’ve barely made a penny of profit. I’ve no idea what’s went wrong”. Kelly McNulty, Rafferty’s 28-stone shop assistant, agreed that she was “also puzzled”.
Clogher man on hold suspects his call isn’t important after all
Cathal Sheeran of Clogher, is thinking of hanging up the phone after having spent three days on hold to his bank. “I’ve now been on hold since Tuesday. I’m now unsure whether my call really is important to them. But then again, why would they keep telling me it is if it’s not?” said a bewildered Sheeran. “I might as well wait a wee while longer. To be honest, I’m only calling to thank them for sending through the offer on travel insurance”.
Dungannon Square to be re-named
Under new EU rules, Dungannon Square is to be re-classified as ‘Dungannon Trapezoid Rhombus’. Dungannon Councillor and part-time nutter Liam O’Donoghue said, “Well, it’s not an exact square is it? Not a right angle to be seen. Go on, measure it. We’d be a laughing stock if Brussels found out we’re calling it a Square. They’d think we’re all culchies. It’s not going to happen on my watch”. Residents in the Pomeroy Diamond are reported as being nervous.
340 lb Cabragh man didn’t go to doctor to get told to ‘lose some beef big man’.
32-stone Cabragh man Sidney Clarke was reported as being furious last night after having been told he was ‘like the side of a house’ by his local doctor. “I was expecting to get some dietary advice and a few exercise pamphlets all of which I could ignore, just like last time” said Clarke. “Instead, he told me in a very direct and uncompromising manner that I had to lose weight”. Dr Kevin McElhatton said afterwards, “Jaysus. The yoke looks like something out of ‘Lord of the Rings’. All that’s missing is the spear”. Clarke however was livid. “This is a personal affront to my dignity”, he said, before waddling off and stopping to wheeze against the side of a lamp post a few yards up the road.
Tattyreagh author publishes book
In an effort to capitalise on the recent success of the best-selling book ’50 Shades of Grey’, Tattyreagh’s very own Sarah Hagan today publishes her debut novel ‘7 Shades of Shite’. On sale in Costcutter’s, it is an autobiographical tale of Hagan’s own coming to terms with her errant and frequently-drunk husband Seamus, and how she experimented with the erotic and sado-masochistic side of their physical relationship by ‘battering lumps out of him with her ironing board’.
In an initiative to counteract the crippling boredom in Killeeshil, the Townland Committee have passed ambitious plans to build an art gallery down at Tullyallen by the start of the summer . Although the idea of a polo pitch was firm favourite to get the nod, a last minute plea by the Killeeshil Drawing Group appears to have swung the balance in favour of the gallery, sparking a mixed response in the townland and neighbouring Cabragh. Paddy King, a middle-class stamp-collector, welcomed the news:
“Splendid! At last Killeeshil can take its place at the top table with areas like Donaghmore, Bangor and Abu Dhabi. We in Killeeshil have always considered ourselves aliens in the Tyrone environment. The best selling paper in the Spar is the Financial Times and a boy down the road got his kitchen featured in the Ulster Tatler. We shouldn’t be here really. I personally can’t wait to rub noses with the greats of Irish artistry, boys like Yeats and Francis Bacon, if they’re still alive. Additionally, it gives us something to do beyond tea parties and blood sports. We tried attending a few GAA matches and add a bit of class to the sporting reputation in the area by introducing Gregorian chants during a lull in play and post-match spreads of Bolivian cocktails and taglietelli bolognaise, served with a green side salad dressed with a baslamic dressing. The peasants laughed at us. Hurrah for the Townland Committee!”
Others, though, did not take kindly to the announcement, with most resentment dripping from the mouths of Cabragh residents. Johnny Wreh, a welder from the townland, told us:
“Oul sickeners. They’ll all be standing there in their scarves and jumpers spouting shite about drawings, thinking they look deadly. What the feck would Hub Hughes know about Picasso?”
Dungannon has pledged to up the ante themselves by erecting the Dungannon Dome where Wellworths used to be. Already there is talk of using it for night classes for the ‘Bettering Oneself Campaign’ with courses running such as ‘Big Words’, ‘Casual Racism’ and ‘Dining Etiquette’.
A respected Edendork family yesterday claimed to have had a “decent summer altogether at home, boys” amid confusing scenes outside the Dungannon Jobs and Benefits Office in Dungannon. The remarkable admission left fellow ‘Dorks perplexed and doubtful of their honesty following the 22nd horrible holiday season in a row in the townland and surrounding areas.
Mr McAnoy, a retired butcher and avid kite flyer, told his fellow jobseekers that he’d had enough of God and the climate and decided to take on the Irish weather head-to-head.
“We were looking out the window every morning and sure it was lashing down. We’d send the children (six daughters, 2 sons) out into the rain anyway but sure they were miserable just standing there quietly in the field, drenched, crying and too cold to move. After the third bout of pneumonia we decided to take matters into our own hands.”
Jim McAnoy came up with the genius plan to throw the whole lot into the car and drive to where it wasn’t raining, within a twenty mile radius of Edendork. Although the mileage was astronomical over time, McAnoy claims a great time was had by all.
“There were days we’d only have to go as far as Coalisland to beat the rain-clouds for a few minutes. If the wind wasn’t too bad, I’d overtake the clouds no bother. As soon as we’d reach the Lineside, out would come the beach balls, deck chairs, lotion and sandwiches. It was great craic. I admit there were times when we’d just got the stuff out of the boot and it’d be pishing down again which would result in a massive row between myself and herself and long periods of silence in the motor but there were fleeting moments of happiness.”
McAnoy claims the highlights included reaching Cabragh and it not raining for 25 minutes. In that time, they managed to fit in an ice cream, a game of Monopoly and had stripped off to their trunks before the heavens opened.
“I’m proud that the children can go back to the school and write the essay ‘What I did In The Summer’ with confidence and pride now. That is, apart from Tom and Catherine who are still recuperating from the early onset of arthritis. We’ll probably go to Peru next year though”