Counting in the Mid-Ulster elections was halted after no one in the arena was good enough to ‘do big sums’.
Rumours of a problem with the adding began to emerge after a batch of 300 solar powered calculators were delivered to Magherafelt’s Meadowbank arena at around midday, with some counters complaining that getting over two digits was ‘deadly confusing’ with numbers between 249 and 899 particularly mind-boggling.
Chief supervisor, Packie Price explained:
“Yes, it’s a symptom of the digital age. People are used to their electronic equipment doing all the hard work. I saw a man complaining after his batch of votes saw someone reach 11 as he was using his fingers to count. The solar powered calculators helped for a while but sure when the dark clouds came they weren’t worth a frig because we only use 40 watt bulbs in here.”
Disaster was finally averted when an 83-year old ex-maths teacher was found in Moortown who still does long division and works out his multiplication with a pencil. Henry Coyle, who has never seen a calculator in his life never mind used one, is currently adding up the Clogher Valley tally much to the cheers and claps of everyone in the building:
“It’s like a football match here. Oul Henry just added up Sinn Fein man Sean McGuigan’s votes there and everyone cheered, even the DUP. People just want out of here. Henry is starting to flag a bit and keeps going to the toilet or dozing off. We have 25 HB pencils so utensils will not be an issue.”
Meanwhile, Independent Kildress councillor Lilly Friel failed to meet the quota. Her vision of ‘a new Kildress, free of illegal fuel and home-made poitin’ failed to pull in votes, polling just 1 follower who may or may not have been herself. Kildress man Kevin Friel, who voted for someone else and also happens to be Lilly’s husband, added “We’re just not ready for that stuff”.
A Derrytresk representative at the GAA Congress in Derry came home with no notes and little notion of what actually happened. Sunday morning’s feedback session down at the Hill was hastily abandoned after it became clear that Mr Kilpatrick had underestimated the importance of the event. Derrytresk had tabled a motion that all county grounds should have official lockers for punters to store stuff in especially women with their handbags and other toiletries. Even though it was not expected to pass, Kilpatrick’s inability to recognise his own club’s motion didn’t help matters and it was resoundly defeated by a 100% NO vote which indicated that the Hill man himself also voted against it.
“Ah it was deadly confusing. We all met up the night before for a few drinks and I was a bit overawed to be talking to Brolly and Burns and that sort of boy. I slapped a pup’s feed of stout into me and the last think I remembered was singing ‘Will Ye Come To The Bower’ with Cuthbert Donnelly at 3am. I woke up like a bear and finally made it to the place just as the first motion was to start. They handed me this remote thing with a rake of numbers on it and with my head banging I was deadly confused and just started pushing buttons.”
When pressed on how the Derrytresk motion failed with a 100% No vote, Kilpatrick was brutally honest.
“Aye, I voted against our own motion. Sure by that stage I was retching and sweating with the thirst. All I could see were these boys with iPads and smartphones and red pens writing away with mad accents from all over Ireland and beyond. I knew I was out of my depth and just wanted out of there. By the time they asked me to speak on my motion I was fast asleep with my finger on the no button. I haven’t a clue what happened to be honest.”
One positive though was that he thinks Brolly said he’d present medals to lads if they won anything this year but can’t be sure if that definitely happened.