Scientists at the University of Ulster have confirmed that a lesser-talked about side effect from the last couple of years has been the rise in local men and women starting to fancy their cousins again, especially those on the Derry side of Ballinderry and Lissan.
Due to part-isolation and not straying too far from their localities, the century old problem of cousins tackling each other in hedges and bell towers has risen its head to levels not seen since the 1950s in the Mid-Ulster area.
Schools have already been asked to educate pupils on the dangers of cousin-fancying and point to some unusual looking families on the Tyrone/Derry border as evidence, although most of that was put down to just marrying Derry ones.
Ulster GAA have already confirmed that should Tyrone defeat in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship and go on to meet Derry, there will be piles of segregation going on between the two sets of supporters to prevent further fancying, with a dozen priests signed up to roam the stand in order to cut out the scourge of related courting.
A Stewartstown boiler servicer is currently involved in a stand-off with his cousin after the latter won £25 on a scratch card the former bought him for his 50th birthday.
Aphonsis Logan (51) is refusing to talk to his relative, Proinsias, until he hands back at least £12.50 from the winnings, and has even gone as far as saying he’ll settle for a tenner, reluctantly.
“What kind of a bollocks scratches a winning card that was gifted to him, and then boasts about it to the man who bought it for him. I’m currently in discussion with our other cousin Fergal to see if there is a legal entitlement here. And he can forget about crossing my land to get to the well.”
Proinsias has been instructed by his wife not to budge on the matter, insisting that the £25 has been spent already anyway, in the local butchers.
In other news, a speed bump has been erected up the aisle in a church near Lissan after the local priest complained of being put under pressure to dish out communion.
A Cookstown boiler servicer has been refused a refund after purchasing over 200 items at a charity auction in Cookstown last weekend.
Patsy Sheehey, who had been at a 40th birthday party until 6am that morning, admitted that although he may have still been intoxicated the morning of the auction, it was the tremors that resulted in him bidding for over 200 items consecutively.
Sheehey returned home with a car full of useless household goods including a freshwater pearl, five broken grandfather clocks, an octopus mermaid ornament, a lobster in tangled lights ornament, a squirrel in underpants ornament, a toilet plunger ornament, a pirate girl pink flamingo ornament and a replica of Steven Hawking’s chair.
“It’s a disaster. I only went to see what an auction was like. I didn’t expect to spend £50’000 and come home with three cracked Belleek Crystal Bells amongst other stuff. It was just the jitters after the drinking session that had me bidding and I didn’t even know it.”
The charity has requested that Sheehey pays up in full by the end of the month, with the money going towards a much needed shelter for lonely and depressed donkeys in the greater East Tyrone area.
Meanwhile, a snowman was built on Tuesday morning at 5am outside Lissan.
Calls for stiffer GCSEs have more than trebled today after the first cohort of students studying ‘Acting The Lig’ all passed with A* grades.
The new Acting The Lig course, which saw two practical exams where pupils had to stand in the corner of the The Square in Stewartstown lighting illegal French crackers and giving passers-by the fingers whilst sipping from small bottles of Buckfast, will offer students the chance now to head off to other towns now to gaunch about in style.
Despite their success, the general public have asked questions as to the appropriate difficulty of such courses. Padraig Logan, who passed an O Level in 1977 in ‘Cement Mixing’ maintains today’s generation aren’t really tested:
“Acting the lig in the 1970s was much more difficult back then. We were goading men with rifles and tacklin women from Lissan. These days a lig just gives the middle finger to oul women driving cars. Where’s the danger in that?”
Examination board CCEA have defended the course, adding that the question papers were set by some of the biggest ligs in the country, including several MLAs. One such question asked pupils ‘What is the best way to greet someone from Cookstown who may have mistakenly strayed from their ghetto?’ The two points were award if a candidate referred to ‘threatening to kick their bollocks in’.
A gang of about 12 Ardboe women, who peak through their venetian blinds at other members of their community going about their daily business and posting it online, have upped their reign of terror by setting up a blog whistle-blowing on people who are getting Jobseekers’ Allowance whilst working locally.
The notorious group also vowed to expose alledged under the counter deals, people driving whilst texting and general gulpin behaviour on their multiple social media sites by purchasing more venetian blinds for other minor rooms in their houses to look through.
Polly Coyle, the notorious Head of Operations for the Peakys, added:
“This is a new period of expansion for us. Ghost-oh, but the price of the venetian blinds is killing us though. And plasters too. A few of our women have sliced their fingers on these new razor-blade blinds. Our order of the Peaky Blinders will have to change to softer-edged ones.”
To date, the Peakys have waged war on communist Moortownians, Ballinderry unionists and pledged to sort out the Brocagh mafia before the year is out.
Meanwhile, a suspect crystal meth lab in Lissan which was raided on Monday has been deemed a false alarm. A local school teacher and his ex pupil were released after it emerged the lab was simply an elaborate poitin-making operation which is still legal in the village.
The Castlederg Met Office have issued a BROWN warning tonight which indicates housewives and modern househusbands should get the clothes on the line overnight as it’ll be a deadly night for drying with Hurricane Abigail approaching.
Farmers are also urged to cut any overlooked hay as it’ll be bone dry in the morning and ready for lifting.
Strabane woman Nuala McIlhinney revealed she’ll have everything on the line tonight:
“I’d be a woman who doesn’t buy new undergarments that much so the stuff I wear wouldn’t be in great shape. I wouldn’t be seen dead hanging them out normally. But in pure darkness I can dry the whole lot in the West Tyrone air without a care in the world.”
Strabane Council have reminded people that the 10-pieces-of-underwear rule which exists in the town is now suspended following the BROWN warning.
Old people have been urged to stay indoors after five pensioners were reportedly spotted sailing through the air over Plumbridge around 6pm after coming out of bingo. One has landed already near Lissan.
Young people have also been warned not to make faces into the wind as they might stay like that.
The late Ian Paisley’s vast personal library, which opened for any member of the public to come and browse through a collection of 55,000 volumes, produced a couple of surprises after it emerged that Eoin Mulligan’s autobiography ‘Mugsy – My Story‘ was given pride of place at the front door, encased in bullet-proof glass.
Paisley, who rarely attended GAA games, is said to have closely identified with the Cooktown sharp-shooter and attended his book signing incognito, dressed as a farmer from Lissan.
Our journalist, Kenny Archibald, was allowed a sneak flick through Paisley’s copy and noticed a couple of annotations on the book:
“There were a few pages when Mulligan is describing an amusing incident in his life and you can see where Paisley has written ‘LOL’ or ‘some crack’. The chapter where Mugsy describes getting suspended from school for mooning out the window is heavily annotated with one comment, written in red pen, saying ‘he’s some boyo’. It’s obvious there was some connection between the pair.”
Archibald went on to describe a more startling revelation:
“More importantly, the book was signed at the front by Mulligan with a personal touch. It read ‘To the big Rev – Keep er lit – Lámh Dhearg Abú! ‘, suggesting Mugsy knew rightly on the night of the book signing that the farmer from Lissan was actually the former leader of the DUP. It’s quite a remarkable friendship.”
Coalisland journalist Ronan McSherry’s book Ronan’s Rants was also amongst Paisley’s collection. The only annotation was a moustache which Paisley had drawn on McSherry’s face.
A Creggan man who set up a business offering to rid houses of troublesome ghosts had mixed success with his first assignment earlier today at a house in Lissan.
Plunkett Hamill was called to the property this morning to deal with a noisy poltergeist after 56-year old housewife Finnuala Loughran responded to an advert Hamill had placed in the Tyrone Times which read,
‘Call Ghost-Oh-Buster to rid your home of scary other-worldly forces, like demons, devils and dwarves. Experienced with witches, ghouls, goblins, munchkins and much more. Two-for-one deal on exorcisms during July’.
Hamill said he arrived at the house to find the poltergeist in full flow.
“Aye, there was this really loud ghostly rattling in the pipes and radiators, really angry like, making lots of clanking and knocking noises. It happened every time the central heating came on. Terrifying, but I ain’t afraid of no ghost”.
However, Loughran’s exasperated husband, John Joe, raged:
“I’ve told her a hundred times but she won’t listen. The only thing those damned radiators need is a bleed key but I can’t find it. Poltergeist my arse. To be honest I haven’t the energy for this. I had a huge vindaloo out the Rupali in Cookstown last night and can barely move. In the meantime I have that bollix wreckin’ about the house”. He continued, “He’s an eejit. He waltzed in pretending to be one the boys out of that Ghostbusters movie, wearing a rucksack with a fire extinguisher in it and a pair of swimming goggles on his head. Clift”.
Hamill had a different view.
“Blocked pipes? Never”, he insisted. “It wasn’t just the noise, it was the smell too. I was tip-toeing along the hallway hunting out the poltergeist, and I started to notice this really foul stench, really powerful, like something evil from the very depths of hell itself had manifested itself in the house. It was just outside the toilet. Jaysus, my eyes were doing some deadly watering. I kept going, but I think it must have sensed me and left the house, because the smell went away once I opened a window. Explain that”.
Hamill also spent several hours this afternoon examining a strange substance which he initially believed to be ‘solidified ectoplasm’, which turned out to be a half-eaten naan broad.
The thieving community across the county last night said it was in crisis as the ever-increasing demands of health and safety tookits toll on the criminal fraternity.
Gang leaders claim that they are getting so many compensation claims in from gang members who have injured themselves that they have no alternative but to insist on taking adequate health and safety measures.
“It’s tara boys”, said Kieran, a crook from Fintona. “In the olden days you could steal a whole lock of cattle in a couple of hours and still be in time for last orders. Now I’m not allowed to do it unless I’ve done a two-week course in feckin’ animal husbandry. What’s that all about? It’s almost enough to force you into an honest living”.
But master-thieves were quick to point out they were merely reacting to changes in society. Bill Fagin, the head villain of a gang of thieves from ‘somewhere near the Dooish mountain’, said,
“It’s not our fault. It’s the claims culture. I’m getting demands for compensation left, right and centre. I’ve one boy who’s claiming five grand for having made him ‘allergic to the dark’, and another claiming the same amount after the eejit swallowed nearly a litre of red diesel when he was siphoning it out of a digger near Glenelly, and had to have his stomach pumped. That’s why we now give them manual handling training on how to lift a stolen plasma TV. They might hurt their backs and make a claim. Some handlin’. Literally”.
He went on,
“We can’t have them boys stumbling about in the dark on a remote farm in Killyman or somewhere when they’re trying to steal a lorry. They might bump into something and injure themselves. That’s why they need to wear the hi-viz jackets. And put up floodlighting. Or even better, come back and do it in the daylight. Safety first boys, safety first”.
But most thieves have condemned the actions as being over the top, and for compromising their chances of a clean getaway.
“We had one boy breaking in through the first floor window of a factory in Lissan last week”, confided Hugh, a swindler from Tattyreagh. “But he took so long filling out his ‘Working at Height’ form and putting up scaffolding that he got caught. Jaysus, in the good old days we just climbed up the drainpipe”.
Fully-qualified thief Declan from Plumbridge, was resigned to the changes.
“Aye, I suppose now I’m all trained up I won’t injure myself. I was breaking and entering into a big house in Donaghmore last month and although the risk assessments took over an hour to complete, at least I knew I’d be safe”,
he said, before being led back to his prison cell to complete a two-year sentence.
After five days of intensive observation, housewife eye-candy Dr Brian Cox has headed back to England ‘despondent and bewildered’ after failing to explain how time has developed completely different dimensions in Stewartstown compared to everywhere else in the world.
Speaking from his laboratory in London, Cox revealed a few of the unsolvable conundrums which have left him a broken man:
“They kept this from us at the College of Physics I went to. For example, on the first night I went for a pint in the Roadside Tavern and the bartender said he’s be with me ‘in a minute’. I timed him and he returned to me in 4 mins 33 seconds. In that period he had checked the horse racing and spoke to another punter about Logan and the Under 21s. I just couldn’t work out if I’d just witnessed time travel or not. I couldn’t sleep that night.”
As Cox collected more evidence of a parallel universe in Stewartstown he explained another phenomenon which confirmed that time had different properties in mid-Ulster.
“I wanted to go to Cookstown to buy jeans in the world-famous market and asked a local if I needed to get a bus to there. He said it was ‘only down the road’ and that it was only ‘a locka minutes’. TWO HOURS it took walking and I was near wrote off on the Poplar Hill Road by a boy from Lissan in an Escort. That confirmed to me that ‘time’ as we know it has bypassed Stewartstown.”
Cox is also investigating the possibility that time is also standing still since the 80s after discovering the following telltale signs:
- 80% of 40 year olds are still wearing A-Team sweatshirts
- Every night closing time in pubs is signalled by the playing of ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe
- Many parents collected their children from school on space-hoppers
- ‘I Shot JR’ is spray-painted on most gable walls.
- ‘Big Hair and Mullet’ combo sales in local barbers.
The county’s tanning salons and hairdressers have reported a 300% rise in bookings in the last month, finally confirming that Tyrone women are going that extra mile to look a bit better in case the American president sees them on a random spin around the roads. Excitement amongst Red Hand women has reached fever pitch with many husbands and boyfriends complaining about their partners being ‘a right bit distracted’ over the last few weeks with the arrival of President Obama imminent for the G8 summit in Fermanagh. Mary’s Salon in The Rock explained the extent of the grooming:
“It’s been deadly. I’d say about three-quarters of the Rock’s women have their hair set already. Even women who should know better, grannies and the like, have been getting blue rinses since Easter almost on a weekly basis. Women from as far as Moortown were coming here to get their eyebrows mowed or for Turkish shaves. I’m completely out of Pond’s anti-wrinkle cream. The Fitzgerald family from Derrytresk bought the whole box. You’d think Robert Redford had landed in the county. Deadly stuff altogether.”
Mary’s have reported a rise in toenail cutting appointments from Eglish and hairy chin removals in Lissan with a noticeable rise in Tattyreagh women looking ‘them there push-up bras’. Omagh women have been the highest users of the leg-shaving services, preferring the cut-throat blade after years of neglect. Not all reports have been of a positive nature with stories of sabotage leaking through to us on a regular basis. Fr Kelly from Donaghmore says it could cut up rough yet:
“I see the way the wemen are looking at each other during mass, especially at those wearing new frocks. I saw it coming but last week a woman tripped her cousin going up for communion, ruining her sexy trendy banded casual above the knee mini dress, not that I would know about those things. I caught two of the sacristans pulling the hair out of each other during Stations of the Cross. I’ve a bad feeling about how this will end up.”
Neglected Tyrone Husbands have started up a website to cater for men who feel a bit hacked off about the whole thing. They can share stories and have a good old communal cry.