A recent survey carried out on local streets and ramparts have concluded that, contrary to popular opinion, unqualified middle-aged boiler servicers make women go weak at the knees, especially those over the age of 50.
Boiler men have relegated stove fitters, farmers and part-time electricians to also-rans after 360 local women from Clady to Brocagh were quizzed whilst out shopping or just walking about, regarding their romantic preferences .
Francie Hagan, a 63-year old boiler man from Aghyaran, is not surprised at the results. Whilst fixing a boiler in Castlederg for a 67-year old widow, Hagan told us:
“Not one bit shocked. I’ve been finding myself flat-out since I turned 50, especially with older women wanting their pipes looked at when there’s nothing wrong with them at all. It’s a bit embarrassing sometimes as I’m friendly with a few of the husbands. I’m no looker myself but I think the smell of home heating oil and the dirty boiler suit seems to drive the women mad. I’m not complaining. £100 for a call out every time.”
Patricia Morgan, a 55-year old retired hairdresser from Moortown, explained:
“There’s an oul man around these parts and he’s exhausted running about fixing boilers that don’t seem to need fixing. I sort of feel sorry for him but he charges £50 for even looking at the boiler from a distance. Then if you add on another £50 for a frock we’d buy for him coming and it’s a bucking fortune we’re out. He smells deadly though.”
Since the publication of the survey, angry housewives have been accompanying their boiler-servicing husbands on jobs, posing as apprentices.
Meanwhile, many local discos have registered a rise in young boys looking like old boiler men on nights out hoping to win the hearts of their female peers. Dancing with spanners and pliers in hand has become the 2014 craze in Cookstown and Omagh nightclubs.
A Caledon man is being treated for what is believed to be post traumatic stress disorder, after venturing into his wife’s handbag to get a Polo mint.
59-year old Fergal Coughlan, a gas-lighter from Caledon, was travelling back from mass with his wife Nellie on Sunday morning when he asked her for a sweet, who instructed him to ‘go into the left hand bit’ of her handbag.
“Jaysus, it was tara boys”, said the distressed Coughlan. “One minute I was asking for a wee sweetie and the next minute it was like falling down thon wormhole in Alice in Wonderland. Remember Mary Poppins’ handbag? It was like that, except with more stuff in it. I’ve seen things that’ll stay with me til I go to the grave”.
Coughlan claims he found a pair of pliers, a half-eaten Marathon bar, a balaclava, a ticket stub for ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, a verruca sock, an old photo of Kevin McCabe, some paper clips, and a packet of unused strawberry-flavoured condoms.
“I’m disgusted and affronted”, remarked Coughlan. “What on earth was she doing with a Marathon? She doesn’t even like chocolate. And it was covered with mould. It must have been there for years. The nuts nearly broke my teeth it was that bad”.
Coughlan also claims he found half a brick, a pair of castanets, three Betamax video recordings of Starsky and Hutch, a radiator bleed key, ten unused, ripped-up pairs of tickets for Gareth Gates, and a pound of mince.
Commenting on her husband’s traumatic episode, wife Kitty told us,
“He needs to grow a pair. A woman needs all sorts of bits and bobs. Be prepared, that’s my motto. And anyway, he went into the wrong bit. When I said ‘left hand bit’, I meant left hand bit at the front outside, not the inside at the back. The clift”.
“And after all that?” said the despondent husband. “No feckin’ polo mints”.
We went out and about this morning to catch the opinions of the early shoppers in Cookstown regarding how their Christmas went:
“Ghost-oh. It was some handlin. I had a few stiff ones on Christmas Eve but came home early to let herself head out to pick up a few last minutes. I must’ve had more drink in me than I thought as I fell asleep whilst looking after the weeins. I woke an hour later to find they’d opened every present under the tree and ate most of the chocolates. She was like a pishmire when she came home. Christmas was a cold, dark day. She didn’t even comment on the pliers I got her.” JOHN DEVLIN, ARDBOE
“Santa the bastard. Didn’t come near me. Well, he can slide on. Did ye hear oul Margaret died this morning? She’ll not have to do that again I suppose.” PATSY JOHNSTONE, DREGISH
“Ah it was OK. Big feed and all but you miss The Irish News.” DARREN HUBBERT, AGHALOO
“Terrible. I’ve nine children and they just wrecked the place. At one stage two of my sons were in casualty having shot each other in the eyeball with an air rifle. A daughter broke her ankle trying to roller-skate down Scotch Street. Uncle Joe got drunk by midday and vomited over his own dinner. Mark, my husband, didn’t like the pants I got him as they were too small and he thought I was sending him a message. Hateful memories.” CATHY MULLAN, DUNGANNON
“Brillant day altogether. Went to mass and all the wemen had new clothes on. I was so impressed I went to all the masses in the neighbouring parish to look at the women and their frocks. It’s my favourite day of the year.” SEAMUS MCANALLAY, OMAGH
“A buckin book about Louis the bollocks Walsh. What was he thinking, the miserable oul hoor.” KATE CAMPBELL, COALISLAND