After 500 years of pretending to like them, the Belgian nation have finally admitted that Brussels Sprouts were all a big joke and that they were tired of it now.
The sprouts, whose distinctive taste has been described as something you’d likely to experience if you licked a toilet bowl, have been a staple feature of Irish dinner tables since the early 1900s despite pleas from children not to ruin the day.
Belgian minister Henry Poirot admitted today that enough was enough and that it was time to wise up:
“I think the joke had worn thin at the turn of the century but we let it run what with the recession and all and the need for light relief. But with Brexit on the horizon, we feel it’s time to let you all know that we were only codding. We hate them.”
Over 19 million sprouts were bought in Tyrone just last week with fights breaking out all over the county’s supermarkets with children refusing to accept another year of sprout eating hours after their happiest morning of the year.
Meanwhile, Santas across the county have been accused of forsaking the spirit of Christmas after charging up to £100 a go for children to sit on their lap to get a selection box and a pile of crayons.
The family of a 71-year old grandmother confirmed she’ll never be invited to their Hallowe’en party again after a series of calculated moves to win every party game including putting a magnet in her mouth as well as slobbering into the apple-bobbing bowl.
Margaret O’Flynn, who has over 50 grandchildren, was caught cheating red-handed when she accidentally coughed up a magnet after winning the ‘guess the apple pie slice with 20p in it’ game EIGHT times in succession. Her daughter, Linda (44), added:
“She was sniffing every slice really up close but we just thought she had some kind of elderly 6th sense. Little did we know she had a horseshoe magnet in her mouth and it was moving any time she hovered over the 20p. My children were fairly pissed off after her 5th win in a row.”
Mrs O’Flynn proceeded to ruin the apple-bobbing game by demanding to go first and then coughing, spluttering and retching into the bowl, causing children to opt out of the game every time a new bowl was set up.
“Not only that, but she had her dentures re-set earlier that day so that her mouth opened twice as wide as a normal person’s mouth. There were times she was able to fit THREE apples in it at the one time. No one stood a chance!”
O’Flynn is not a stranger to ruining children’s parties. In 1998 she exposed Santa Claus as her second cousin during his stint at the local Fintona Youth Club by yanking his beard off him as he arrived on stage and calling him a ‘miserable tramp‘, referring to a long-standing family feud over access to a field.
The organisers of ‘Santa Comes To The Island’ have admitted they should have given the event a bit more thought after Santa was forced to leave under cover around the back of the hall.
Pat Quinn, a joiner who was asked to play Santa at short notice, turned up in a red Brackaville GFC coat buttoned to the top and sporting his trademark thick black handlebar moustache. To add to the visual disappointment, organisers forgot to put together presents for the children and had to resort to lifting things around the hall to present as gifts including used bulbs, screwdrivers, Allen keys, foldable seats and old newspapers.
Mother of 6, Patricia Lyons, maintains it might take a long time for her children to get over this:
“I paid £8 per child and all they got was a small used bowling mat, masking tape, a spanner, yesterday’s Irish News, a bottle of Lucozade already open and a stick – all presented by Pat Quinn. Even the children were saying ‘Well Pat’ when sat on his knee, and him with the black moustache from ear to ear and the Brackaville coat on him. A complete farce. He didn’t even say ‘ho ho ho’ .”
Organisers managed to get ‘Santa’ away from the baying crowd by turning off the lights for three minutes, throwing the hall into a mass of screams and crying children. Quinn was bundled into a blue Ford Ka and was last seen speeding up the Brackaville Road with his £500 appearance fee on the passenger seat.
Despite initially telling parents that their children were just spoilt, organisers announced they will refund any unhappy customers with free mineral tomorrow if they call between the hours of 7am and 8am.
Parents woke up on Boxing Day to a subtle shift in the balance of power between them and their offspring, with the fact having dawned on children that their parents can no longer control their behaviour with the warning of Santa not coming unless they’re good.
“It’s tara”, bemoaned Claire McCausland from Cloughfin. “I’ve been using Santy since the start of September to get my three cubs to do my bidding. It’s been grand. Plates cleared, clothes tidied away, and all in bed by 8. Now I’m hiding in the utility room fearing my own safety. This morning they all watched ‘Home Alone’ and it must’ve given them ideas. That’s why my husband’s now walking about covered in treacle out the larder and feathers out one of my best cushions. Honestly, it’s like ‘Lord Of The Flies’ out there”.
Angela Morgan, a worried mum of two from Tullyhogue, agreed.
“Our Ralph sneezed three times this morning and didn’t cover his mouth once. How am I supposed to deal with that? He’d never have got away with that a week ago. I tried telling him that the Easter Bunny won’t come but it fell on deaf ears. I’ll be scraping mucus off the sofa for months”.
7-year old Simon McCoy, a full-time child from Dregish, said,
“Easter Bunny? No-one’s going to fall for that oul’ mince. What would I be doing with Easter Eggs when it’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in here. Jaysus, I’ve more chocolate than I can shake a stick at”,
he said, as he tried to climb up the living room curtains holding two fistfuls of Celebrations.
Ebenezer O’Neill, a child psychologist from Aughabrack, said,
“It’s gradually dawned on children that now that Santa’s passed out all the toys, they’ve got the upper hand. Plus they’ve got time off from school and the constant sugar rush of eating two selection boxes an hour. If you combine that lot with the ideas they get from playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’, it’s the perfect storm. No wonder the part-time PSNI have been called in”.
The PSNI confirmed that several children had already been apprehended for offences such as splashing in puddles whilst wearing only slippers, not wearing scarves when it was close to freezing, answering back, not finishing their breakfast, drawing all over the back of Grandad’s head with Magic Marker when he was asleep, and vomiting into mummy’s make-up bag.
If true, this is not the first time a Tyrone village has been affected by questionable behaviour. In 1964 Pomeroy was completely ignored by the Clauses after a wrecking session in the AOH Hall outside the Diamond when the Plunketts won the Junior Championship.
The disgruntled Elf, ‘Charlie’, leaked the list after he was told he wouldn’t be on the sleigh again on Christmas Eve – the 32nd consecutive year he’d have to sit it out. 39 names from Ireland were on the supposed naughty list; 31 from Carrickmore, 6 from Dublin and 2 from Keady. Charlie was clear as to why Carrickmore were badly hit:
“After they went out of the championship to Clonoe early on we expected a small bit of messing but they wrecked about for the guts of two weeks. Broken lamp posts, men falling into hedges and shouting at the children were the main offences. Of the 31 on the list, 24 are squad members, 6 uncles of players, and the parish priest. Mr Claus was rubbing his hands at the thought of not having to go up the Termon Road the year.”
Meanwhile, Ballygawley Roundabout spokesperson Sheila Bryans has reminded Santa of the need to adhere to road etiquette at all times:
“We’re sick of the Clauses leaving the roundabout in tatters every year. He just goes straight through the middle of it and leaves the bushes in s***e. One more time, and we’ll be waiting on him next year. And yes, that is a threat.”
North Pole PR secretary promised to be more careful this year but blamed Ardboe residents for leaving whiskey out for the reindeer every year.
A recent survey by a man in America has revealed that Tattyreagh children are the best behaved in the world but are also told the most lies by over-cautious parents. To back up his findings, Dr Zeus Valencia interviewed 120 Tattyreagh exiles who listed ‘white lies’ that have haunted them well into middle age.
Amongst the most effective were:
- If you swallow chewing gum you’ll fart bubbles
- If you misbehave, Santa will eat you
- If you aren’t in bed by 9pm, God will kidnap you
- If you don’t eat your crusts, you’ll be bald in the morning
- Mushy peas are chopped up lizards
- If you don’t come with me now, I’ll leave you here by yourself.
- Maybe tomorrow
- If you make faces and the wind changes you’ll stay like that.
Ciaran Kelly, a 46 year old forklift operator, maintains he’ll never shake off a few of the fears:
“My ma used to stop me from taking food from the fridge by claiming that there was an angry wee man in there who operated the light. Even now I’m tara afraid to open it, 40 years later. Last week I didn’t eat for three days. Then there’s the one where my da would say if I didn’t shut up he’d tell ‘the man’. I wake up in tears sometimes thinking the man is outside the house. It’s a nightmare life I lead. Tattyreagh must change.”
Jane Hurson, who left Tattyreagh for Seskinore in 1987, claims she has even passed down some of the lies to her own children:
“I feel so ashamed. Yesterday I told my daughter the one about the ice cream van – if it plays music that means it has run out of ice cream. It’s like a disease we have. I went straight to confessions and doubled the penance. Next I’ll be telling her the Brits took our dog instead of just saying it died. I need help. Please.”
The Tattyreagh Parents’ Society released a statement today saying the report was ‘a load of balls’ and ‘pure lies’. They added that ‘we all know God cries when someone lies’, predicting heavy rain all week.
Rioters ran amok in Greencastle last night following the publication of a controversial book challenging the existence of fairies.
Gerard Fox from Coalisland published ‘The Fairy Delusion’ last week to critical acclaim in the literary capital of Omagh, but closer to home locals have been less than welcoming.
Local Greencastle man Hugh McElvogue was particularly scathing about the book.
“Shhh. Keep the voice down”, he whispered furiously. “Them ones at the bottom of the garden might be listening”. He went on, “Once we got someone in the parish to explain all the big words in the book a lot of people went off the bap. This is blasphemous. He can’t go saying fairies don’t exist when the bible says they do. It does, doesn’t it? Or am I getting mixed up with elves?”
The book goes on to make further allegations regarding the existence or otherwise of other creatures. The author asserts that sprites don’t exist although mermaids do, gnomes don’t, unicorns do, ogres do, trolls don’t, and remains uncertain about midgets.
“It’s not been easy the past few days”, admitted Fox. “All people are doing is focusing on the fairies bit of the book. Like, I definitely don’t believe in fairies although to be honest I can’t really explain how the tooth fairy works. That’s a hard one. That’s why I’ve argued in the book about not cutting down fairy trees, but maybe just giving them a wee trim and then running away, or maybe blaming the neighbours. You can’t be too careful”.
The author was keen to discuss other material in the book.
“Them ones in Greencastle need to wise up. They’re even going on about the comment that Hugo Duncan is a myth and everyone’s known that for years. Even the ones in Clogher. Same goes for Daniel O’Donnell. He was invented by parents as a threat to children that they’d put his music on if they didn’t get to bed”.
Violence in Greencastle escalated after someone misquoted the book as saying that Santa was an ‘evil old arsehole’ and should be renounced by everyone, especially children. It transpired that the book was actually making a reference to Satan.
It emerged this morning that the last child still believing in ‘The Man’ in Loughmacrory has given up the ghost on the fictional disciplinarian, leaving parents to think of new ways to keep tabs on their children.
Seamus Campbell, a five year old terror from the Ballybrack Road, told his mother this morning to ‘bring it on, big girl’ after she threatened him with ‘The Man’ if he didn’t get his uniform on quickly.
A visibly shaken Mary Campbell confirmed the worst:
“We were aware that our Seamus was the last child in The Lough to still believe in The Man. This is a sad day for the area. The Man was a brilliant psychological tactic to employ over the years. The restaurant here was a peace haven as children sat timidly in case ‘The Man’ would come and shout at them. Bedtime wasn’t a bother as ‘The Man’ would find out and be cross. It was deadly easy raring young uns. I myself lived in fear of The Man anywhere I went, especially at Mass. If I spoke at all, I was told that ‘The Man’ would drag me out by the hair and kick me around the field. Did me no harm.”
It appears that the lack of belief in ‘The Man’ arrived in Loughmacrory around the time that Peter Barry, aged six at the time, was told that ‘The Man’ would give him a clip around the ear if he didn’t stop throwing white bonbons at the Santa during the Christmas Show in the clubrooms. When the rebellious Barry refused to stop and the fictional ‘Man’ never appeared, other youngsters began to cop on to the fact that possibly The Man didn’t exist at all. They all began pelting Santa with Wine Gums.
“Myself and the husband will have to think of something new now. Loughmacrory has gone to the dogs with children running amok at night breaking things and shouting. They’ve no fear now at all. I’ve threatened them with ‘Daddy’ but my four year old just laughed and fired a tuna sandwich at his head. The country’s couped.”
The Loughmacrory Parents’ Association are thinking of hiring some shadowy foreign actor, preferably unshaven with a big scar on his face, to walk around the roads with a scowl on his face, pretending to be The Man. 98% of children in Tattyreagh still believe in ‘The Man’.
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.