Three strategically placed vending machines have gone live this morning in Cookstown for young men in need of an emergency check shirt before heading to one of the dances in the town whenever they reopen.
Scientists have worked out that over five months of unplanned courtships between mostly mid to east Tyrone men and women in the 18-25 age group have been lost due to the pandemic lock-down, resulting in the probable loss of over 200 future marriages.
The check shirt vending machines offer a range of colours from red checked, blue checked and a third multi-coloured check shirt, all costing £10 un-ironed or £15 ironed.
Cookstown hotelier Leon Kennedy maintains this has been a genius idea:
“The amount of times I was caught out in the 80s wearing a plain t-shirt thinking I wasn’t going to pull and then tacked a blade from Galbally but lost her due to a lack of checked shirt. This is a game-changer for lads out of practice in recent months.”
Meanwhile GAA supporters have been asked not to turn up to matches this weekend due to Covid19 health and safety concerns but have also been told that if they do turn up anyway they will still have to pay in.
Despite allegations that degrees and masters have been dumbed down over the past decade, Queen’s University have announced that they are to run a course in Courting Rituals in 2013, focusing mostly on the romantic customs around the Dromore and Tummery Road area. In what will be surely a tourism boost for the area, the course coordinator, Dr Gary Greene, claimed that the field trips will centre mainly on the Dromore area, taking in the night time habits in the dances and ceili at the weekends.
“There’s no denying that courting customs in the Dromore area are unique to most in the northern hemisphere. I have been studying them closely and feel there is enough to go on to create an honours degree in the subject. One such well-known custom I experienced up close during a Hallowe’en bonfire a couple of weeks ago. It started out with young women of all sizes sitting together around the bonfire and turning their spinning wheels. A group of men draped in red blankets and playing musical instruments, like the triangle or the spoons, approaches them, and each man chooses a woman to serenade with a song by one of the many country and western singers from Tyrone. If the woman of his choice likes him back, she’ll take out a small stool from under her skirt and invite him to sit on it. Then the man will wrap her in his red blanket, and they’ll start eating the face off each other, in a romantic-ish way. It really is a townland of passion.”
Other Dromore rituals such as ‘burdin’ (boarding in English) need to be witnessed inside the home. “Burdin” was once a common courting practice in northwestern Europe and Colonial America but is only practised in Dromore and especially on the Fintona Road. With parental oversight, an adolescent boy and girl would stay the night together in the same bed, but tightly wrapped in separate blankets, sometimes with a thick burd (board) or plank placed between them. This setup permitted intimacy but no groping. Parents says it got them used to the opposite sex whilst preventing them going ‘buck mad’ when they turned 18.
Dromore has the lowest percentages of divorce in Europe and is said to be rife with pleasant copulation.