Tyrone Tribulations declared itself ‘champion of the people’ after Dungannon Council agreed to provide free car parking in Dungannon town centre in September and October.
The Tyrone-based online news blog claimed that the Council had caved in to pressure following an article that appeared on the Tyrone
Tribulations website on the 4 August in relation to profits generated from the car parking facilities in Dungannon for the last three years.
“This is all down to us”, said journalist Shengas McGlumphie from behind an accumulation of empty whiskey glasses in Hagan’s Bar in Irish Street. “Our campaign to highlight the parking charges in Dungannon, has been a long, arduous, exhausting campaign that started on the 4th of August and finished about 3pm the same day. Jay, there was some drink taken that night boys”, he said. “Although there’s drink taken most nights to be honest”.
He went on,
“Tyrone Tribulations has reported and championed everything from nationalising Hugo Duncan to making Pomeroy less hilly. These are things that really matter to the people of Tyrone. It’s investigative reporting at its best. Today it’s bringing free parking to Dungannon, tomorrow it’ll be bringing the Olympics to Britain or suchlike. Sometimes you’ve got to stand up to the man. Deadly”.
McGlumphie refused to be drawn on reports that the website was little more than a collection of hastily written half-truths, that much of it was simply copied and pasted from the Dungannon Observer, and that the writers lacked communicative style and finesse.
“That’s f***ing bollocks that is”, said McGlumphie. “Tyrone Tribulations is quality reporting at its best. And I can categorically confirm that we have never copied stuff from the Dungannon Observer. Never in a million years. It’s usually the Tyrone Times. The Observer uses tara long words”.
A spokesperson for Dungannon & South Tyrone stated that they knew nothing of the campaign and had never heard of Tyrone Tribulations.
Tyrone Tribulations Global Media Ltd, which owns Tyrone Tribulations, continues to be based in a corner of Dungannon Library until such time as they can afford to buy their own computer.
A Clonoe man who set up his own business over a year ago is hoping that 2014 is the year he finds success.
33-year old Dylan Carson, from Washingbay Road in Clonoe, set up a wasp-keeping business last April against the advice of family, friends, neighbours, botanists, colleagues and passers-by in the street. The entrepreneur was adamant that the insects would be producing ‘jam by the hive-load’ in a matter of weeks.
“Waspkeeping is the new beekeeping”, said a confident Carson. “Read the papers and they’ll tell you bees is on the way out. They’re the same as the dinosaurs, expect smaller and buzzier. That’s why I got ahead of the game and got some wasps. I don’t think I did it right last year which is why they didn’t lay any jam. But I’m older and wiser this year, and I’m feeding them fresh strawberries and apricots. Not long now boys, not long now”,
he said, eagerly rubbing his hands together.
Carson admitted that the project had had ‘a few minor teething problems’, including an incident when he got stung over 200 times after accidentally sitting on one of the nests, and then finding out he was allergic to wasp stings.
“Aye, that’s one of things you learn as a waspkeeper that you don’t really realise. Wasps can sting a wee bit. Jaysus, that was some month in hospital. My arse was all swolled up like a balloon. Not having a proper waspkeeper’s costume was what did it. I just used an old balaclava and a pair of gardening gloves. Some handlin’ wasps”.
Challenged about the merits of keeping wasps, Carson was forthright in his explanation.
“Wasps? What’s wrong with keeping wasps? There’s stranger things that people are keeping and no-one bats an eyelid, like books, or houses. Or goals. It’s just a matter of understanding the wasps, see?” he said. “A lot of wasps have got anger management problems, but really when you get to know them they’re friendly craters. All that’s needed is a bit of tender loving care. They’re nice wee things”, he said as he slammed a wasp against the window with a rolled up Dungannon Observer. “Apart from that one”.
If successful, Carson plans to offer his services to others by becoming a wasp whisperer. He had a previous business which failed in 2012, when he discovered that moths were unable to produce marmalade.
A furore has broken out in a local primary school following ‘creative differences’ between a parent and the headmaster.
32-year old Gareth Hughes said his 6-year old son Rory had been promised by the head of St Mary’s Primary School in Eglish that he would be the star of the 20-minute nativity play to be staged tomorrow, only to find out that his son was in fact quite literally playing the role of the Star of Bethlehem, which was followed by the wise men.
“It’s a disgrace”, declared Hughes. “I was expecting my cub to be all over the centre pages of the Dungannon Observer as Joseph, looking all cute in one of thon big black and white picters. It’s hardly going to happen now that all he has to do is stand there with a big torch. We even bought a brand new dishcloth to use as his headdress. Thon school owes me 89p. I’ll bet Daniel Radcliffe didn’t have to put up with this shite when he was doing Harry Potter”.
Hughes insisted that Rory would not participate at all unless he was given a more prominent role in the show.
“We can’t”, said headmaster Padraig Boyle. “All the parts have been cast except for a sheep, a donkey, and the baby Jesus. Rory’s a big bruiser of a thing, and he’s not the sharpest tool in the box. We tried him out as one of the wise men but it was a shocking piece of mis-casting, bless him. And he’s twice the size of Joseph so he can hardly be Jesus, can he? He’d break the buckin’ crib. He’d be better off putting a plank on his head and playing the stable”.
The stand-off was only settled when Boyle agreed to the introduction of the controversial role of ‘Mutant Ninja Wise Man’, who brings with him the gift of bubble mixture.
“At such short notice Rory’s Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit is the only costume he could come up with. At least it’s Michelangelo, so I suppose there’s a biblical connection”, said Boyle doubtfully.
The precedent however opened the floodgates with other parents now demanding a change in roles for their offspring, including one bewildered mother insisting that her son changes from the role of ‘Innkeeper’s dog’, to either the Scarecrow or the Tin Man.
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.