Recent market research has prompted the Tyrone Farmers’ Association (TFA) to roll out two new movie apps aimed at fans of sheep and cow based films.
Sheepflix and Cowflix will be available on all good app stores from February 1st and will include classics such as Shaun the Sheep, Rams (I, II and III) and The Cow and I.
Tullyhogue farmer and animal film buff Winston McMahon maintained he is beside himself with anticipation:
“It’s often said you shouldn’t work with children or animals. In my book, there’s no other work that comes close. The unpredictable nature of our four or two-legged friends can be the source of some comical scenarios. Annabelle’s Wish is one of my all-time favourites. It’s about a cow that becomes one of Santa’s reindeer. I cry every time I see it.”
The TFA reckon their projection of over two million downloads within a year may be ambitious but are confident of reaching at least a million by the start of the summer.
Although an 18+ subscription service is currently in the pipeline, the TFA added that their main focus is to cater for bog-standard material normally ignored by mainstream TV.
“When was the last time you saw Farmageddon on the BBC? And we’re paying our TV licence for what?”
The sight of a donkey watching EastEnders and drinking tea in a Dungannon living room has become a more common occurance after it emerged that the “bedroom tax” will apply to housing benefit law in Northern Ireland from February 2017.
The range of ultra-domesticated animals in the greater Dungannon area include cattle (bulls and cows), sheep, goats, pigs and even horses. A Housing Benefit assessor explained the unusual scene he was met with when he paid a visit to a NI Housing Executive tenant in the town at the weekend:
“I should have been alerted by the noise and smell but just thought the TV was up loud and maybe the toilets were broken. On passing the living room window, I witnessed what could only be described as a goat vacuuming the room with an apron on it. And it stays in the spare bedroom apparently.”
Legislation currently fails to rule out adopting an animal as a dependent, preventing the payment of bedroom tax. The loophole cannot be fixed for 12 months due to the imminent Stormont collapse, resulting in thousands of housing association dwellers in Dungannon taking in 4-legged family members.
“It’s a bigger scam than the RHI debacle. These townspeople don’t know how to handle large animals. I visited a house outside the town and a donkey had dunged all over the stairs. Is it really worth that for a few pounds onto your rent a month?”
Owners have been warned about keeping bulls in houses joined onto other houses with cows as residents. Two such dwellings were wrecked last week after the bull bored a hole from one house to the other to get to the cow.
Early reviews of the new fun farm at Ballybeg in Brocagh have been unfavourable after Tyrone’s latest amenity opened its door to journalists before the grand opening later next month. In return, the farm’s organisers have accused local writers of being ‘too spoilt’ and ‘need to lighten up a bit’.
Tyrone Tribulations’ sightseeing expert Tally Molloy filed her report earlier today and agreed with the general consensus that it could have been a lot better.
It reads as follows:
PETTING ZONE: At £10 we were expecting a lot from the experience. The first hint that things might not live up to expectations was the petting zone. What this entailed was lining up behind each other to pet a decaying grey Labrador who was partially blind, lame in two legs and well into her twenties in terms of age. The closer you got to the dog the stronger the stench was getting and on arriving at the petting spot it was hard not to vomit over the creature.
WATERSIDE WALK: In order to sober up after that petting experience
we were encouraged to take the scenic route to witness the wild animals. Called ‘The Waterside Walk’, this was simply walking up a field alongside a massive puddle left by the rain the previous night. We were told to walk around the puddle five times. A man was topping it up with a hose.
WILD ANIMAL SECTION: We were brought to another field and were given binoculars and told to look at the top of a hill about half a mile away. There we could see about a dozen cows, chewing on grass. That was it.
TEA ROOM: This was a converted shed with concrete floor, one plastic table and six crates for sitting on. They served a plastic cup of mineral for £1 and a packet of crisps for 90p.
OVERALL EXPERIENCE: Disappointing. The man who showed us around left us for half an hour at the start as he said it was his dinner time.
Ballybeg Petting Farm have promised to tighten up a few loose ends before the grand opening. They also announced that the Petting Zone is temporarily closed after the timely death of Larry the Labrador.
Figures released by the PSNI last week confirmed that despite over 300 cattle have been stolen from the South Tyrone area since 2012, no arrests have been made.
Defending their record, DI Sean Robertson said,
“Listen. We’re up to our necks giving out parking tickets, and we’ve all this cattle theft to sort out as well. We’ve been told there’s 300 cattle been stolen. Well, we’ve not found a single one. Maybe they’ve got it wrong. Do they mean kettles?”
Robertson also explained the challenges some of his officers have had identifying cattle.
“Understand that some of these officers come from huge towns like Aughnacloy or Moygashel. They’ve rarely been out in the country, poor lads. Some of them don’t know what a cow looks like. And it’s easy. Cows is the ones that look like wee fluffy white clouds. Aren’t they? Or is that pigs?”
Responding to the criticism, Constable Ivor McDowell said,
“Where do you hide 300 cows? We’ve seen pictures and they’re enormous. We’ve been sent to butcher shops to see if we can find what might have happened to them, but it’s a waste of time. The only thing in them butcher shops is massive big pieces of meat and stuff. There’s no way you could hide a cow in there. It’s pointless. And anyway, you’d need an awful lot of milk for them to drink, wouldn’t you?”
Officers are also working on a theory that the cattle weren’t stolen at all, but instead that the cows might be playing a game of hide and seek with police.
“If that’s the case, wasting police time is a grave offence and can come with a custodial sentence”, said a stern Robertson. “If we find out that these cow things are deliberately giving us the run around, Jaysus, we’ll take the legs out from under them. Both of them. Or have they got four legs?”
In a separate incident, three cows were arrested last night in a field near Plumbridge for ‘urinating in a public place’.
A new farming product on the local market has failed to sell even one unit after its release in most East Tyrone shops over the weekend. Brocagh inventor, Seamus Davidson (44), was said to be perplexed at the lack of sales and has asked shops to give it a week before burning their stock.
The product, “Coul Cows”, is an industrial antifreeze which is put into cattle feed in order to thaw them out in winter mornings, making them more productive for hard-up farmers across the county. It can also be injected straight into their rectum. Davidson explains:
“I was thinking that if it works for cars it’ll work for cattle. I just don’t understand why it’s not selling. These scaremongering scientists are saying that the chemical additive is pure poison and will kill within seconds but sure didn’t they say that smoking was OK years ago. People need to loosen up. The cattle will be in far better form and mooing away contently knowing they’ve digested their version of thermal underwear.”
Davidson is said to be most annoyed about the protest held outside Brocagh Stores, led by his own mother Frances Davidson:
“Our Seamus is a buck eejit. He has always treated cattle like motors. Years ago he was near arrested in Moortown for trying to insert a petrol nozzle into a cow’s backside at the fuel pumps. He’s always oiling their joints too with Gastrol GTX and bringing them into drive-thru car washes. Do not buy this product.”
Davidson has applied to appear on Dragons’ Den although animal rights activists have promised to wreck the BBC if he is given any air-time at all.
In an attempt to add a few more years onto our planet’s lifespan, Derrytresk entrepreneur Harry Campbell has revealed plans to run all motors east of Coalisland on cattle flatulence. Scientists have long suspected that the methane produced by windy cows could be put to a specific use but it has taken the unemployed Campbell, a former Miss World escort, to take the plunge which it is set to make the wacky inventor millions he thinks.
“There’s all this take of compressing methane gas for vehicle fuel but that just sounded like a racket to me to make money for compressing firms. I was driving down the Washingbay Road and the gas motor I have was starting to splutter. The fuel gauge had been running on empty for a couple of days and it was late evening. I just thought ‘feck this’ and drove straight through a hedge and parked beside a couple of cows. I had an oul bit of blue piping so I shoved one end up the cow’s backside and the other into my gas tank. Lo and behold the Datsun burst into life and she’s been running on that dose of methane for three weeks now. Look about you. Every field in the lowlands is full of cattle just staring at you like mobile fuel pumps. I’ve managed to convince a handful of locals to change to gas and their lives have been transformed. Deadly.”
Campbell has patented the bit of blue pipe and is selling it for a fiver outside Spring Island on most days. He is currently drawing up plans with local farmers to get makeshift lanes running into fields as well as some kind of pay scheme for the fuel which is proving difficult.
“Talks are on-going but some farmers are being a bit bollocksy about it. I’d suggested getting a 2-for-1 deal with the methane on one hand and a bit of hand-milking at the same time. £40 for a full tank and a pint of unpasteurised milk. We’ll get it ironed out. I’m also looking at potentially using cow dung as some kind of facial masks for women looking pampered.”
Cow-fuel is available in a field in Drummurrer this weekend.
Fresh fears that farming in Fintona is now a fading occupation have magnified since the New Year after it was revealed that livestock were left unattended for three months as farmers played out their farming fantasies online. Although Facebook’s Farmville and Farmtown had claimed a few farming families in Fintona recently, the latest farming fads (Wii farming) during the festivities has confirmed fears that farming is approaching a thing of the past in the area.
These alarming developments were laid bare when cattle roamed freely down the Fintona Main Street whilst pigs wandered in and out of public houses without a bat on an eyelid, on January 3rd. A local ex-farmer, who wished to remain anonymous, told us of his predicament after neglecting his 200-year family farming traditions:
“I just can’t quit it. I’m not a big Facebook user but I always click on any link when I see the word ‘farm’. Herself would be on the Facebook and I was just messing around on Farmville. Before long I was calving more in three hours than I had in three years on the land. Sure, how could you turn that down? OK, no money was coming in but isn’t it a great feeling? I received savage satisfaction from boasting about it on her Facebook wall. I invited other farmers onto my virtual land. Previously all we had in common was gawking at the Farmers’ Wives magazine. Before long I was cultivating beyond my wildest dreams. It is far better than the stark reality of getting up at the age of 45 before dawn to red out the shed. I even talk to the wife now, on the computer, telling her about my harvest. I feel great. I need to shoot on here. Harry is watering my vegetables but he is a hoor for over-doing it.”
Pubs and clubs in Fintona experienced a sharp downturn in takings as their most loyal clientele remain indoors farming cabbages and keeping flowerbeds well weeded online. One pub owner, Gabriel McKenna, claimed:
“For feck sake. Them lazy balaxes are sitting on their arses in their spare rooms tending to virtual farms with their curtains pulled and probably bollock naked. This is fecked up beyond all recognition. The sheep are a wooly as feck now. Like Rastafarian sheep. Cattle are bulging. Pigs are just covered in so much shite that look like wild dingos. Orwell was right. These yokes will be running the joint soon. I had a big hairy yak in the bar yesterday slurping on a half pint of stout.”
The Fintona Farmers’ Forum have called for the Internet to be turned off in the town.
The mood in Dromore has been described as darker than the deepest recesses of outer space since their senior football side were defeated in the county final last Sunday. Not since 1838, when an English tourist labelled Dromore as a ‘bleak poor hilly town’ in a holiday brochure, has the ‘Large Ridge’ found itself wallowing in a slough of self-pity and despair. No bins have been collected, cattle milked nor men washed since the loss four days ago and the outlook shows no sign of improvement. Housewife Katie McCarron refuses to see any light at the end of the tunnel:
“It’s buckin ridiculous now. Jaysus, I know the football is big an all in Dromore but these lads need to catch a grip of themselves. My husband, a stalwart on the team, hasn’t taken a shower since Sunday morning. He’s still in his muddied kit, just sitting and sleeping on the couch watching reruns of Starsky and Hutch. The only time he rises is for the toilet but he’s even too depressed to flush it. He’s normally very aware of his appearance and was a rather gorgeous man. Now, he just looks like an oul hobo from Omagh. Not one fcuk does he give right now about anything. He should be shot with a ball of his own shite.”
With rubbish piling up on the roads and loanans, cattle at bursting point and drunk men staggering from The Central Bar, pishing all over the place, women have given the male population 24 hours to snap out of it or they’re going to start flirting with lads from Trillick.
“I’m giving my lad another day. If no improvement, I’m heading down the Galbally Road and grabbing one of them Trillick boys. They’ll never be left in that post-county final depression, let’s be honest.”