The water crisis in West Tyrone had escalated to the extent that many friends and visitors of those affected were unable to tell the difference between them and Derry people, especially around Castlederg.
As the NI Water industrial action temporarily ends, enabling most homes to return to normal, baths and showers have been running freely again with many people returning unused Lynx and Soft & Gentle Roll-On deodorant to chemists.
During the height of the crisis, with rivers close to an unbearable temperature, many decided to hold out from a full body washing in the hope that the NI Water came to their senses and looked after its customers.
A cousin of one of those affected informed us:
“You’d have thought you were in Feeny or Dungiven or Maghera even. There was a wile smell of Derry off the Castlederg folk and it was quite confusing. It would be like sniffing a clove rock and smelling Brussels sprouts.”
One of those affected, Brian Furey, admitted he almost took home the wrong wife during a shopping expedition in the Spar in Claudy, Co Derry:
“There were a pile of women at the check-out and I normally can indentify my wife due to her neutral odour compared to the Derry women. But because of the water crisis she just blended in. I closed my eyes and luckily grabbed the right one.”
A 44-year old father of three in Strabane is still refusing to wash, claiming he is taking part in an experiment after he read somewhere in the Readers’ Digest in the 1980s that the human body cleans itself after three weeks anyway.
The NI Water Board are allegedly on the verge on contacting anyone who took part in the MND/ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after spending over 3000 hours scouring facebook and other media outlets for water wastage.
Categorised under the ‘non-domestic charges’, the board has scrutinised thousands of challenges and identified those which took place on farm land, business property, charity premises, churches, schools, hospitals as well as any property where the house cannot be clearly seen. Back-billing is due to commence early December, with many people being hit in the run up to Christmas.
Tyrone man Brendy Woods admitted he was distraught at the news:
“I went a bit over the top and had three digger loads of water poured over me at the uncle’s farm. Then the sister showered me with the power hose for about 10 minutes. I calculated I could be hit for £4000 at the least. I thought about contacting the MND charity for a loan of the money back but that’d be wrong. This is a nightmare.”
In a show of generosity, the NI Water Board have offered to set up direct debits for anyone who used more than £1000, allowing monthly payments of £500. CEO Patrick Volvic confirmed:
“We want to show that we can get into the spirit of things by offering this generous direct debit for anyone who went too far with the challenge. We also will turn a blind eye to the ice which also constitutes a waste of water. We’re not total killjoys and will donate £5 ourselves to the charity.”
PSNI have confirmed they are looking into threats painted on a wall in Coalisland, calling for the Water Board to be waterboarded.
You can donate to MND here: http://www.mndassociation.org/news-and-events/Latest+News/the-mnd-ice-bucket-challenge