By Landan Seamy
Imagine the thrill of lying in bed on a windswept December night listening to the hair raising howls from the moors as the wolves hunt their next victim. If local conservationist Pat “the wild man” Devlin and his 11 friends have their way this is what the future could hold for parts of Tyrone.
Pat and his team say plans to bring wolves back to Caledon and Benburb are “at an advanced stage”.
“People claim that we have not thought this through”
“but we have watched all the Jurassic Park films and know how things could go wrong so to be on the safe side we have chosen 2 areas with sparse populations and with absolutely no players on the Tyrone county squad. Both places are practically in Armagh anyway so I don’t see what all the fuss is about”.
Pat is convinced that there’ll be no disaster anyway.
“Whilst the cynics just see problems I just see benefits for the local economy. Just think of the euros and dollars pouring in. If some of that money crosses the border to Armagh then good luck to them. People have asked me if I’ll be introducing lions and tigers next. That’s just pure ignorance. Those animals never lived in Ireland. The gist of my plan is to return, to their natural habitats, the animals dispossessed by Cromwell”.
Pat has met with some opposition from local farmers and mothers with young children.
“I can understand their concerns” he sympathises “but they’ll just have to get on with it”.
“People say he’s crazy” added Sean who like some of the other 11 is actually one of Pat’s sons.
“But when has a madman ever influenced 11 others. As my father keeps reminding us 12 is a respectable number. Jesus had 12 disciples; Jacob had 12 sons; Christmas has 12 days and the 12th is one of the biggest days in the northern calendar”.
“And on that last fact” interrupted Pat,
“if our fellow county men don’t stop moaning I’ll take the idea to Paisley’s country. It’d actually save us all a lot of time for once we rescue the wolves from the zoo we’d practically be in Antrim already”.
When pressed to state when exactly the wolves are to be “returned” Pat smiled and tapped his nose before saying “plans are an at an advanced stage but if I gave you an exact date the big noises in the zoo in Belfast would probably try and stop us“.
In a bid to recognise The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus which from 1568 to 1960 was called “The Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity” and celebrated on the 1st January, over 5000 Tyrone men have agreed to be circumcised on that day with many opting for public ceremonies.
Although the Church have distanced themselves from the event, many theologians have backed the initiative as an honourable attempt to overturn the decision of Pope John XXIII’s in 1960 who renamed the day by omitting any reference to circumcision.
One volunteer from Cappagh, Pat Rice (61), maintains he is a little bit nervous but reckons it sends a message out to today’s youth that Christianity is still alive and well in mid-Ulster:
“I admit I’ve had a few sleepless nights thinking about it, especially as ours is being carried out in the middle of the local football field on the back of a lorry. But the organisers promise the crowd will be told to stay behind the fence and there is a ban on zooming devices such as cameras or binoculars. I’ll throw a few half’uns into me first and it’ll be dead on.”
The largest group appears to be in Ardboe with over 900 men agreeing to the circumcision. Gardener Leo Tomney agrees that it sends out a positive message:
“Young ones nowadays have lost their way. They’d rather stay in the house on their computers instead of going to Devotions or doing a stint at the Missions. By showing them that we’re proud of our faith and are willing to undergo open-air surgery, maybe it’ll turn a few back to the light. I’ve a new pair of jeans and all for the big day.”
200 nurses will be on standby throughout the day.
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.
Scientists in America have confirmed that recents tests show residents of East Tyrone are even more closely related to baboons than what had already been suspected. Professor Kenny Cullen, from the Institution of Biology and Genetics in Boston, spent five months in Ardboe after a year-long stay in Zambia. He is convinced that at around the time of Jesus, there were more baboons on the loughshore than humans.
“Yes, I’m totally convinced now. I enjoyed my time in Ardboe but I could easily have been in the jungles of Zambia and Tanzania. The similarities of the baboon community and everyone from Pomeroy eastwards was remarkably similar. Physically, both sets of males have powerful jaws, thick body hair and sharp teeth. The women on both sides have protruding buttocks which they use to impress the males, especially around Brocagh. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.”
The biological togetherness doesn’t end there. Prof Cullen also noticed a remarkable alikeness for behaviour:
“They both like running about aimlessly in open fields, hunting in packs for food at any time of day and night, eating a lot of fish and grass, and showing aggression by stripping their teeth and screaming or smacking their own lips. In Derrylaughan they beat their chests when not getting served in time in Falls’ shop or pub. It’s quite remarkable.”
Cullen admits that East Tyrone humans have evolved somewhat in order to fit into a more civilised world without shocking visitors from the west or other communities.
“Fortunately, the human variation has modified their behaviour somewhat. For example, the East Tyrone male does not attempt to woo a partner by grooming their target and eating any nits they find on her mane. One Coalisland human tried that at a disco in Cookstown and was met with a swift and painful handbag whelp across his face.”
Professor Cullen is to embark on another 10-years mission to discover the links between West Tyrone locals and wild feral dogs.
A recently discovered book not included in the New Testament bible explains the role a man from Augher played in moving the stone from the tomb of Christ.
Previously known as the Q Hypothesis, the Book of Thomas was recently found by archeologists in Egypt, which unifies the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and explains the striking similarities between the three books, all of which share stories, phrases and even direct quotes with one another.
The transcript reveals 13 verses in Chapter 6 about a man from Ireland who was travelling close to Golgotha at the time of the entombment of Christ:
13 A man who was from the place called Augher in the Land of the Sperrins, travelled a long distance from the west. 14 His name was Eugene, and he had made a great fortune selling pallets.
15 He passed the tomb of Christ where nine men stood by the stone, looking at it. 16 He did say unto them ‘Are yous thinking about moveth thon stone?’ And they said unto him ‘Yes’. 17 And the man who was called Eugene did say back to the nine men, 18 ‘Deadly. The stone is heavy but I can help yous coup it for a lock of camels’.
19 And the ten men pushed and heaved and pushed and heaved and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but the stone did not move. 20 So the men stopped and sat and drank tea and ate wheaten and Eugene talked about the evil Clogher and after an hour stood up again. 21 Again they pushed and heaved, and they did sweat and toil, loudly shouting ‘Christ Almighty’. And lo the stone did slowly roll away.
22 The men went into the cave with Eugene and he said unto them ‘Red everything out will yiz’ but there was no sign of the Lord, 23 and the man called Eugene did say ‘This is some handlin’ brethren’. 24 Then he said unto them to go with him to a house of wine where they slaked their thirst with home spirit the man Eugene had made. 25 And there they talked in tongues and drank more spirit and lo they slowly fell to their knees and to the floor where they lay for many hours.
Eugene of Augher’s direct family are to open their family home on the Crossowen Road where people can come and look at the bed he would have slept on if he had been born 2000 years later.
Dromore this morning is reeling from the news that yesterday’s Santa visit to the community hall coupled with the riotous behaviour after the nativity play has cost the village £1.2m. Plans are already in place to raise funds over the next five years with talk of the next few Christmases being low-key affairs or even cancelled until they foot the bill. What hurt the committee even more this morning was the realisation that they had hired the worse Santa in living memory and the farcical scenes during the much-anticipated festive play. Gerard McAllister, chairman of the Dromore Christmas Society, explains:
“We knew we were in trouble when Santa pulled up in the back of a pick-up truck which sped off in the Omagh direction. The fact that he was a woman was one obstacle to overcome – reeking of drink doubled the disappointment. With 300 expectant children and parents waiting in the hall, I had no option but to sober her up. It was then that she demanded her cheque up front – £500’000. Our treasurer had booked her through an advert in the Irish News without thrashing out a deal beforehand. It turned out she was a Men’s Club Stripping Santa. After a bit of pushing, slapping and shoving we agreed to write out the cheque as long as she kept her clothes on whilst dishing out the gifts which we also had to find at short notice. We scoured the changing rooms and managed to gather old socks, deodorant and dirty shorts to wrap. Anything lying about was considered. Although the children were a bit confused with the cleavage, lipstick and blonde hair, she kept it professional and only blew kisses and winked at a couple of fathers.”
Things went from bad to worse minutes before the Nativity play was to commence. Half the cast, all male, left to go with the Santa into Belfast. That left them without a Joseph, two wise kings and baby Jesus. Beforehand they were just worried about the depiction of Mary who was being played by McAllister’s mother, 86-year old Jenny McAllister.
“It didn’t take long before the boos were raining down on us. You have to understand how short the notice was. We managed to convince 5-year-old Harry Behan to play Joseph and he has an awful stutter. One of the Wise Kings was played by my 12-year-old border collie Rufus, and Mary gave birth to a melon in a blanket. It was all we had. Well, the crowd started to cut up rough. The children had opened their presents by this stage and the contents were being used as missiles. Studs, y-fronts and Deep Heat tubes were arrowing up on stage. Rufus got nervous and started piddling in the crib, ate the melon and then bit young Harry. It was awful. Just awful. I understood their anger. We’d charged them £30 in for this.”
The proceeding village riot cost an estimate £700’000 in damages. Barns were set alight and the traffic lights defaced. Fund-raising starts tonight with a wet sponge throwing stall. McAllister has volunteered to take the hits.
It has emerged today that the clergy in Coalisland and Clonoe are to descend on Cookstown tonight to gather vital information on how to court and woo women. Following the recent revelation that Jesus may have been married all along, the priests in the East Tyrone parishes are waiting for the green light from the Vatican to begin chasing women.
“This is great news”, Fr Niblock told us. “The news about Christ has changed everything. If it was good enough for Him, well, it’s only a matter of time before Pope Benny gives us the go-ahead to get stuck into the blades. Myself and a couple of newer priests are hitting Clubland tonight to see how it’s done. As you can imagine we’re rightly out of shape. I get very nervous if I look at a woman even from a great distance. Funny, we were practising on each other last night, chat up lines and that, and it was a disaster. We haven’t needed to approach women since we were 14 and back then you’d be acting the hard man and ask things like ‘are ye ridin?’ That won’t work now I’m sure. We all bought aftershave today.”
Local women in the Coalisland area welcomed the news that the local clergy will possibly provide a fresh market in what they describe as ‘cat area’ for finding a man. 22 year old Eilish Chambers pulled no punches:
“Let’s be honest. The boys in this area wouldn’t be the best now. If you’re approached by a lad from the Washingbay Road or the Stewartstown direction you can guarantee three things: He’ll smell of diesel and cattle, he’ll just grunt instead of talking like a normal human and he’ll attempt to carry you under his arm instead of hand-in-hand. I’m sick and tired of courting fellas from here who just talk of twin cams, diffing and bulling. These priests will seem like Hollywood stars. I’m sure they’ll be a bit raw at first but give them a couple of weeks and they’ll get the hang of us. I pray to God every night that the Pope gives them the nod.”
The police are on standby tonight outside the Glenavon area as a backlash is expected from single lads from the lowlands. Although the clergy will be in civvies, the Munchie Militia have issued a statement that anyone who even just looks holy will get a kicking.