The case of the Tyrone tractor-seat sniffer remains unsolved after two farmers in the Pomeroy area confirmed their own CCTV footage revealed a hooded elderly man sniffing the seats of a Massey Ferguson 231 diesel and 1992 Ford New Holland respectively late on Sunday night, half a mile apart.
This brings the total spottings to 188 since last summer, covering a wide area from Moortown in the extreme east of the county to Donemana near the Donegal border. The most recent victim, Kieran Grimes, admits he froze on the spot when he saw the shadowy figure sniffing away at the seat in the yard:
“I wasn’t convinced he existed until that moment I set eyes on him. I was thinking the other 100 or so farmers were taking the hand out of me. But it’s true bejaysus. He had a crooked back and was wearing a big dirty duffle coat and boiler suit bottoms and a wooly hat. Worst of all I could hear the sniffs. Big sniffs. I just froze. And he slipped away into the mist.”
PSNI say this is consistent with the other 187 sightings and warn farmers not to approach him. They quote the example of a Galbally vigilante farmer who ran at the phantom sniffer:
“Peader Tally made the mistake of confronting him before Christmas and regretted his bravery. The sniffer, described as probably in his 70s and with mad red eyes, pulled out a piece of blue piping and skelped Tally all about the legs. This man is dangerous. We’ll work something out.”
Local psychiatrist Marjorie Mullan maintains this is not a few phenomenon and that most farmers are addicted to the smell of tractor seats but usually keep to their own.
A Donaghmore veterinary surgeon has temporarily moved into a caravan in Carland, away from her loughshore husband, after an on-going row about biscuits being bought for their house/mansion from the local filling station. Edward and Victoria Buckingham-Kensington have promised to patch up their differences in time but admit that a ‘time-out’ situation is the best course of action this weekend.
Victoria described what has forced her to desperate measures, and a trip to Carland:
“Frig the Fig Rolls. Donaghmore people do not eat Fig Rolls. Last week it was Bourbon Creams. The week before Custard Creams. What was he going to do next week? Jammy Dodgers or Pink Panthers? Hobs Nobs would even be better as they sound like the sort of biccie you’d eat around Ivybank Park alright. I’ve had enough. I know I shouldn’t have married a Derrylaughan man but I thought I could civilize him a bit by changing his surname from Donnelly to Buckingham-Kensington but obviously not. Fig Rolls, my posterior.”
Edward (previously known as Red Henry’s Lad) admitted he needs to up his effort if he’s to hold on to his Donaghmore dame:
“Aye, this is a bit of a blow. To be fair I saw the signs. Last week I told her I’d surprise her with a meal when she came back from horse-riding down the Pomeroy Road. I thought the corned-beef sandwiches plastered in brown sauce would do the trick but she went clean berserk and rubbed my face in it. I must try harder. I’m reconsidering the wellingtons and yard brush I got her for Christmas. Maybe I’ll change them for caviar or lobster or something these Donaghmore ones snack on.”
Victoria will remain in the caravan in Carland until her husband convinces her he can shake off the Derrylaughanish, starting with ditching the souped-up Massey he goes to parent-teacher meetings in.
Locals were left in confusion on Saturday afternoon at the Cappagh Summer Show after the gurning competition was accidentally won by a woman who had intended to the enter the ‘Miss Cappagh 2013’ contest.
It is thought that the judging process became confused after several of the judges had participated in the ‘Poitin Supplier of the Year’ competition, a hotly-contested category featuring different substances made variously of potatoes, barley, and water.
Clearly worse-for-wear head judge, local car-wash team leader Thomas McIlhenny, said,
“Ah sure, we had had a whole clatter of pints before the day started and the craytur on top. It was all a bit bewildering to be honest. This big lassie came up onto the stage, carrying plenty of timber. It did seem a bit odd her going in for the gurning wearing a swimsuit and talking about how she wanted nothing more than world peace and the new Nathan Carter album, but then I thought nothing of it. To be honest I had trouble seeing straight by that time. Then she started pulling all them grotesque faces like she was havin’ a fit. It was enough to bring the poitin back up. I thought she was a class act, mad for the gurning like. By the time we realised the mistake, it was too late. And we didn’t want to make a fuss. You know what Cappagh’s like. We’ve always been a really tolerant bunch”.
Fortunately, there will be no appeal:
“I was initially confused then surprised then shocked then a bit confused again”, said 26 year old winner Sinead Boyle from through a horse’s collar. “I’m happy now though. The prize for the gurning was a 10-second trolley dash down the biscuit aisle of Costcutter’s in Galbally, so I’m really pleased. I wasn’t really sure about entering the beauty competition anyway after I got my two front teeth kicked out by a heifer last year, but my ma persuaded me to go in for it”.
“She did great so she did”, said delighted mother Mary, a part-time cushion fluffer from Corlea Road. “Wee Sinead’s got a lazy eye and I think she must’ve went up onto the wrong stage. Still, she did us proud. We’ve enough Gypsy Creams to last us a year”.
In what is believed to be a further blunder by the judges, the beauty contest was eventually won by a 1982 light-blue Massey Ferguson MF82 tractor.
The PSNI were forced to respond yesterday to allegations that the extra police drafted in to the county for the G8 summit in Enniskillen have been so bored that they have resorted to playing children’s games and making preposterous allegations against residents.
The claims come following the arrest of Joe McElduff of Cappagh, who was lifted on Sunday evening on a charge of attempted arson whilst trying to light a barbeque in his garden in the rain. A number of what the police called ‘strange-smelling items’ were also removed from his property that subsequently turned out to be some burgers he had bought from Aldi in Dungannon. He was later released without charge.
On Monday, twenty-nine cattle were detained in a field near Benburb for four hours by over 200 officers in a controversial practice known as ‘kettling’, on the grounds that they were ‘acting suspiciously’ and ‘loitering with intent’, whilst a woman having lunch in Askin’s in Ballygawley was cautioned for ‘eating without due care and attention’ after she dribbled some mayonnaise down her chin.
Other people have claimed that a county-wide game of policeman hide and seek is underway, which is why officers are spending so much time parked on top of bridges and key access points across the county, as they try to spot colleagues who are in hiding in ditches, barns and fields.
DI Sean Robertson of the PSNI refuted the claims, saying,
“The PSNI and our mutual colleagues from across the water offer the highest standards of professionalism, a level that is demanded to protect some of the world’s leaders”.
The G8 is being policed by 4,400 PSNI officers together with some 3,600 who have been drafted in from England.
“These ridiculous claims that there’s some sort of childish game going on is a complete fabrication”,
whispered Robertson, from half-way up a tree in a field near Clogher.
Meanwhile 76-year old farmer Finbar Kerr from Plumbridge was stopped for allegedly speeding at over 80 miles per hour in a 1976 Massy Ferguson tractor and link box, whilst going from one field to another.
“80 miles an hour?” said a peeved Kerr. “That thing wouldn’t do 80 miles an hour if you pushed it off a cliff. Them police have nothing to do all day but sit. I have 3,000 litres of dirty diesel sitting out the back in a tank and they never so much much as looked at it. Call themselves policemen?”
“We’re here to do an important job”, said DI Joseph Bruce of the Yorkshire Constabulary. “There are dangerous criminals about and it’s our job to catch them. Which, if they’re as good as hiding as the PSNI, may take some time”.