In a blatant two fingers at the international country and western singer Garth Brooks, Pope Francis is expected to churn out renditions of The Dance, If Tomorrow Never Comes and Friends In Low Places during his appearance at Croke Park this Saturday.
Brooks, who famously refused to sing at the GAA headquarters in 2014 because of booking issues, is reportedly primed to sue the Vatican for copyright if the Pontiff goes ahead with his proposed gig at the weekend.
This latest incident further deepens the rift between the Holy Father and the King of Country and Western after the Holy See issued a warning 4 years ago to the American.
Sister Julie Graham from county Antrim, a fan of both men, admitted it’s a dream come true if Francis begins his speech with the lines: “Blame it all on my roots/I showed up in boots /And ruined your black tie affair”
“People wonder what heaven looks like. Well, if the Holy Father ‘slips on down to the oasis’ during his time at Croke then that’s paradise right there. It would be pure deadly.”
Insiders maintain that Francis may avoid court proceedings by changing certain titles to the likes of ‘Friends In High Places’ and the like.
An anonymous Dungannon man has finally spoken about the secret support groups set up all over England to help exiled natives prepare for the trip home over the Christmas period. The document below, produced as evidence of the extensive networking system especially in north England, clearly sets out a seven-point plan which most will need to complete within the next few days in order to stave off THE FEAR, as it’s known across the water.
- REFAMILIARISATION OF LOCAL VERNACULAR
It is likely that some local words have now left your vocabulary during your time abroad. It even might also be a case of changing definitions. Two of the most common mistakes are misunderstanding the true meanings of ‘lethal’ and ‘deadly’. In England, these may be adjectives to describe something untoward and nasty. However, in Dungannon and suchlike, it couldn’t be a higher compliment. If someone says the burger you’re eating is ‘deadly’, don’t chuck it away for fear of catching something fatal. It’s probably delicious. The weather might also be deadly. That IS bad.
- FACIAL REACTIONS
If someone comes up to you and says that Joe Herron is now a vegan or a cross-dresser or going with someone from Armagh, look completely shocked even though you haven’t a clue who Joe Herron is, because you’ve been away a long time. Say something like ‘Holy God, but I’m not surprised, he was always a bit..you know…’. That should get you out of that hole.
- PALATE DESENSITISATION
It is likely you have been eating a wide range of food in England. You need to train your tastebuds again to like pepper sauce and garlic fries. A Coalisland epicurist who worked for ten years in Landi’s in the town will be secretly flying over to Manchester this weekend to give a crash course on this.
- HAND-SHAKING FITNESS REGIME
Many exiles have sleepless nights over forgetting how to do the handshake at Mass, therefore outting themselves as a lapsed churchgoer whilst in England. Follow this program to pull off a natural and supposedly experienced handshake. This is also useful for going to the pub with an elderly relative.
- SUBSCRIBE TO THE IRISH NEWS NOW
The death notices need to be read daily with a whole day given to browsing archive deaths since you’ve been away. This is crucial. Don’t be asking about dead people during Christmas dinner with The Pogues singing in the background. It’s a real mood killer and you’ll likely be on the plane home that evening. Also, memorise how the local club got on too. Pretend you keep an eye on their results.
- REMIND PEOPLE AT HOME THAT SCARCE TOYS ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE IN ENGLAND
Unfortunately, this is unavoidable. People will still believe England is an exotic land full of everything that we can’t get here and will want you to bring home kilos of presents, with a promise of ‘sorting you out’ financially when they see you. Turn off your phone at night. They will also expect you to bring home spices and stuff.
- DIG OUT YOUR CHARLIE PRIDE/NATHAN CARTER/GARTH BROOKS CD
You need to know the chorus of all songs likely to be sung around midnight in most drinking establishments. Friends In Low Places is a must.
A source close to the PSNI’s Public Disturbance Department has revealed that every home in the county is to receive a letter outlawing spontaneous outdoor line-dancing battles which appear to be on the rise in the run up to Easter.
The impromptu challenges, which appears to have replaced traditional fist fights and brick throwing sessions, appear to be popular now amongst the 18-35 age group and often take place in alleyways and ramparts in remote country areas after midnight, often fuelled by a cocktail of alcohol and tobacco consumed at discos.
The source, who wishes to remain anonymous, added
“It’s getting out of hand. You’d find lads and women pushing each other, arguing over football or women, and then someone produces a CD player and before you know it you have full-on Garth Brooks blasting at that time of the night and drunken revellers trying to outdo the other with their line-dancing skills. It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt with a sprained ankle etc. At least with the boxing it was over quick enough. I’ve witnessed these dancing battles last over 3 hours. That’s a lot of Brooks.”
The letter, which effectively bans outdoor shows of line-dancing after midnight, indicates a hefty price will be paid for anyone caught challenging others to an impromptu dance-off. Our source confirmed:
“Already, this weekend, there have been three incidences of line-dancing battles in Brackaville on the Main Road, with hundreds of spectators blocking the road ‘yahooing’ and letting out screams of ‘yup, ye boy ye’ and stuff like that. It’s setting a bad example to children. What’s wrong with a box to the nose or are people too soft now? There’ll be £100 on the spot fines for anyone caught.”
The Tyrone Line-Dancing Committee have condemned any shows of spontaneous outdoor line-dancing challenges under the cover of darkness and have pleaded for people not to demean the good name of their discipline.
As NI’s political leaders rejoice in the signing of a new agreement, a well-read man from Kildress has urged people to read the small print carefully before giving the document the green light, a document which includes restrictions on wearing turned-up jeans in daylight and playing Garth Brooks music in public.
Paudie McCleen (51) also had specific reservations about plans to rise the water level of Lough Neagh which will see Brocagh, Derrylaughan and Derrytresk eventually submerged in 12 feet of water, proposals to see the other half of Ballinderry returned to Tyrone, schemes to bore into the Sperrins and build caves for ‘Jobseekers Allowance and Customs and Excise officials’ and the possible renaming of many towns and villages across the county to make them more romantic or continental.
McCleen had a word of warning for residents in the Rock who are to be renamed ‘Brewer’s Droop’ and the Moy who will now be known as ‘Little Armagh’.
“Not a lot of consultation here. And if these proposals are to see the light of day, then it’s bye-bye to the loughshore townlands as we know it with the artificial rising of the water. Falls’ Pub will be a luxurious watering hole for eels. It’s really disappointing too what with the mouth-watering Derrylaughan/Derrytresk derby clash on the horizon next year.”
Other alterations will see no Tyrone flags in county border flashpoint areas such as Trillick, Castlederg and Cookstown, the banning of turned up jeans in daylight and the ruling against the playing of Garth Brooks songs in public from March-October.
“I’m also concerned about Ballinderry being returned to its rightful county. The Ballylifford townland ones have been a part of Derry for so long now and will have developed Derry customs and behaviour. It could take years of re-education to get them ready for the civilised world.”
The Stormont House Agreement also sees heavy sanctions for anyone slagging Fermanagh ones.
Government officials have told people to be wary of mind-boggling concert line-ups as entrepreneurs make money on interest before cancelling the event late on.
Using the Garth Brooks incident as a template, Omagh man Harry Davidson advertised a ‘Tramping About Tyrone’ weekend festival allegedly featuring U2, Rihanna, Tom Jones, Eminem, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen and a hologram Michael Jackson all in a 3-acre field near Loughmacrory, costing £300 for the weekend ‘subject to licensing and appearance agreements’. 90’000 tickets were sold within three hours yesterday for the January 1st 2015 event.
One lucky ticket holder, Jane Tohill, told us:
“We know fine rightly this won’t go ahead but you have to take a chance don’t you. Harry once organised a quiz in the pub and won it himself so we know what kind of crook he is. We also know he’ll make a bomb out of the interest from these ticket sales but you’d never forgive yourself if he came good. But it’s not happening is it?’
When contacted, Davidson was honest about his venture. After laughing for five minutes, he confirmed:
“As sure as I’m standing here, this concert is not going ahead. I plan to cancel it in December, probably just before Christmas, which is a rather generous thing to do. They’ll get their refund back to buy presents and I get my interest. Everyone wins. People will always take a chance though, just in case like. There’s that 0.01% chance Tramping About Tyrone might happen.”
Other events recently announced included ‘Beyonce In Brocagh’, (Neil) ‘Diamond Does Dromore’, and ‘Meatloaf In The Moy’ which have all sold out despite zero chance of actually happening although Meatloaf was spotting eating strawberries from a pallet on the side of the road in Eglish last week.
Government officials have urged all affected Tyronians to stay calm and think of their favourite place after news emerged that all Garth Brooks concerts have been cancelled.
Police have already had to contend with an outbreak of unpleasantness with reports of bonfires being set alight all over the county, with fans burning excess cowboy hats and boots as well as old CDs of Brooks’ greatest hits. They have urged anyone looking to wreck anything to phone their special Post-Brooks Stress hotline, a condition quickly diagnosed by a doctor in Coalisland.
Brooks fanatic Marie Herron admitted she was at her wit’s end:
“I just can stop running around and screaming. What the hell are we going to do now this summer? That’s not just the summer ruined, it’s the whole year and possibly the decade. I’ll wait to see how I feel tomorrow.”
Screaming and running about seems to be the first sign of Post-Brooks Stress Disorder, before it turns violent and victims begin to wreck and burn things. In Kildress, it has been reported that nearly everything not tied down has been set alight including cattle and trailers. UTV cameramen have confirmed they have footage of three men in Carrickmore crying valleys of tears at the news, before punching each other.
One, a talented electrician, told them:
“I’m not bothered about Brooks. It’s the side effects. I’ll have to tramp around Dublin Zoo or something now with herself that weekend.”
Local politicians have called an emergency meeting of all elected councillors to decide on their next move, with talk of a march to Dublin high on the agenda. They have also set up a fund-raising committee to help pay for those out of pocket because of the £1 handling fee on Ticketmaster.
Meanwhile Mickey Harte has called on his players to ‘Do It For Garth’ this Sunday against Armagh. County officials have also urged supporters to bring their cowboy hats and shoes to the game and pretend it’s the concert they were supposed to be going to as it might be their only day out this year.
Police in Mid-Ulster have admitted they’re at breaking point after it emerged Garth Brooks will not be hosting a 5-day concert series in Croke Park and will be performing for 3 days instead, sparking riotous scenes across Tyrone.
UN troops have been mobilised and are currently making their way across Lough Neagh by boat and are expected to reach the western coast by 5pm GMT,
Local journalists confirmed the first rioting occurred outside a music shop in Coalisland with locals pelting the store with anything that came to hand from children’s dummies to hubcaps. One resident, Ronald McSherry, explained their anger:
“We’ve been talking about this for months now and all for what? 3 lousy days? Personally I’m not going myself as I hate his music but that’s besides the point. We’re being trampled over again and if we don’t stand up to the authorities now it’ll be something else next. Music shops all over the county are going to get some touch tonight.”
When it was explained to McSherry that the music shop in question, Pat’s Island Records, doesn’t sell tickets and just deals in trumpets and bugles he turned on this reporter and accused me of being ‘one of them’.
Riots have also broken out in Cookstown, Omagh, Strabane, Dungannon, Pomeroy and a hedge was set alight in Cappagh. Fire fighters who arrived on the scene to put the fire were pelted with turf by locals singing ‘Friends In Low Places’ in an angry tone.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has appealed for calm across Mid-Ulster and has promised to put on a free live concert in Donaghmore on those two days featuring Malachi Cush, Hugo Duncan and Philomena Begley, with unlimited hotdogs for all attendees if they stop rioting.
Meanwhile a Garth Brooks spokesman has confirmed, that in order to calm tensions, they’ll possibly consider doing an over-the-Internet concert from his home if riots continue into a second day.
An undercover investigation by a Welsh journalist has revealed that up to 80% of taxi drivers in the county are doubling up as personal strippers for parties of women who crave a bit of live entertainment.
The report discovered that a lack of disposable income has resulted in the majority of young people staying indoors at the weekend, depriving taxi drivers of a much-needed income whilst also leaving the adrenaline-fuelled 18-40 year olds without excitement in their lives from Friday til Sunday.
A Greencastle taxi man, Garrett Devlin, revealed to the journalist:
“Aye, it’s really kicking off now. People don’t have the money these days to be travelling to places like Omagh and Kildress, so they’re sitting in the house getting full and listening to Garth Brooks or The Saw Doctors. Then we started getting calls to pick up at houses but when we arrived, there’d be wemen pleading for us to go in and strip off for double the fare. It’s a no-brainer. I now bring my fireman and farmer uniforms. I’ve never been more flush with cash.”
The taxi-stripper phenomenon quickly spread across the county with a particular spike in the Brocagh area. Lifelong taxi-man Seamie Dornan added:
“It has got to the stage now that we’ll only hire taxi men who are fairly slim and can flex a few muscles. They also must supply their own uniforms with Superman, sewage-worker and a boiler servicer the most popular striptease routines amongst women this direction. Although, we’re an equal-opportunities employer and we do employ fatter taxi men as there still a demand for big men around Ardboe and Ballinderry.”
Meanwhile, Jobseekers’ Allowance officials are to clamp down on these double jobbers by means of dummy runs. A dole-office worker accidentally caught out a taxi-stripper in Dungannon last week after ordering a taxi only for the driver to turn up in a cowboy outfit. His defence of getting ‘carried away after watching For A Few Dollars More the night previous’ was thrown out of court.
Hospital authorities across the county have issued a plea to Tyrone residents to ‘calm down a bit’ on the dancing, as a four-fold increase in ‘jiving-related injuries’ put hospital services at breaking point at the weekend.
It is thought that the increasing popularity of local singers such as Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan and Lisa McHugh, combined with the forthcoming Garth Crooks concerts, have thrown residents into a frenzy of what many have euphemistically referred to as ‘dancing’.
“We’re on high alert”, admitted hospital doctor Sheila Quinn from Edendork. “It’s like a bizarre but very worrying form of hypnosis, particularly in some of the men. Put on ten seconds of ‘Wagon Wheel’, and suddenly they’re thirty years younger and John Travolta. You should see them. At best it’s 250 quid off of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ and at worse a 10-day spell in traction. Have they no sense? What makes them think that if their hips are clicking one minute, they can do a back flip the next? Holy Smokes”.
Crisis point was reached following the announcement of the Garth Brooks tour dates.
“Since then, we’re just swamped with injuries”, said Quinn. “Last Friday night we had admissions of a whole lock of different accidents at pubs and clubs, from dislocated wrists to sprained backs, locked knees, and broken ankles. And that’s just from people getting out of their stools. The actual jiving injuries were even worse”.
Authorities now fear that the outbreak has spread to domestic premises.
“We’re getting more and more call-outs to people’s homes”, admitted paramedic Aiden Mullan from Trillick. “We got an emergency call to Urney last Thursday and were treating this one boy for convulsions. Turns out that was just him tryin’ to throw some shapes to ‘Friends in Low Places’. Jaysus, we thought he had swallowed his tongue. And then on Sunday, this one in Seskinore had grabbed his missus after Sunday lunch when ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ came on the radio. He tried to spin her round and ended up catapulting her straight through the conservatory window. Poor woman. We were picking glass out of her arse for hours”.
Hospital authorities have confirmed that they are to remain on high alert throughout spring or ‘until people wise up’. Meantime, radio broadcasters have been cautioned against ‘inciting people to jive’, with Hugo Duncan having already received a formal reprimand for deliberately playing ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ without a health warning.
Following the news that Garth Brooks has sold out for a fifth night in Ireland this summer, the Vatican have sent a stark warning to Brooks’ PR team that they will take a dim view of any more concerts, which threatens to break the Pope’s record of a 3 million audience in 1979.
Brooks will play to almost half a million fans in July and music experts reckons he could sell out 10 times that if he really wanted to, although today’s statement from Pope Francis has put an end to that idea promptly. A Vatican insider, nicknamed Fr Hurson from Edendork Co Tyrone, told us:
“Yes, we take great pride in the 3 million Pope John Paul II pulled in in 1979. If Brooks thinks he can ride in on his stetson and top that then he’s deluded. Just in case he is a Catholic, we will excommunicate him if he has any more concerts. We have friends in high places, Brooks.”
Fr Hurson continued:
“Like, he’s being a bit of a dick about this. JPII pulled in 300’000 in Galway alone. Let’s see Brooks do that on a cold windy day in Tuam. Some chance. That day, tomorrow or not, will never come. Pope Francis is ripping about this.”
Meanwhile, Derrytresk GAA are confident they can secure the presence of Brooks for the opening of their third Guinness pump in the bar during his stay in the country. Club secretary Hughie Hanna is cocksure of his services:
“We emailed him last week and asked would he come to the Hill for the unveiling of the third Guinness pump in the clubrooms. He hasn’t replied but as my ma used to say ‘no news is good news’ so we’re fairly sure he’ll do it. He’ll get sandwiches and mineral and maybe he’ll hum us a tune or two.”
A Fintona couple’s marriage was said tonight to be beyond repair after a misunderstanding saw Brenda McQuaid receive two tickets for a Gareth Gates concert in a pub in Dublin instead of the Garth Brooks concert in Croke Park the same night.
Pat McQuaid, who queued for two days in the village for his wife’s 40th birthday present, made the monumental error despite listening to Brooks non-stop for 48 hours on the Main Street and looking at articles on the famed country and western singer:
“He had one thing to do. One buckin thing, and he cocks it up. I’d been boasting and winding up my friends about my Pat queuing for two days, all for my birthday. And he lands home with that boy’s gig. Whilst we’re listening to his version of Unchained Melody in an empty pub in inner-city Dublin, half the country will be dancing away to Standing Outside The Fire. Some 4oth. He’s not allowed in til this is sorted.”
Worse still, a Derrytresk man has been permanently thrown out of the house after landing home with two tickets for a Question and Answer session with Garth Crooks, the TV football pundit and ex-Spurs player, in London. Jack Wallace maintains his wife would still enjoy herself if she would broaden her horizons:
“Come on, it was an easy mistake. Brooks hasn’t been playing for years and you sort of forget what he looks like. Apart from the skin colour they don’t look too dissimilar. The wife likes the GAA and this is sort of related as well so if only she’d give it a go and make the best of the blunder. Unlikely though, going by the ‘Jack Wallace Is Some Bollocks’ graffiti she paint-sprayed on my motor.”
Meanwhile, Hugo Duncan has turned down the chance to do the warm-up act every night for Brooks, citing that ‘it should be the other way about’.