New rules introduced by the EU via Stormont will see the village of Fivemiletown in Tyrone renamed Eightkilometretown from next Monday.
Council workers were today hard at work changing signage in and around the town to ensure that the Ulster councils do not fall foul of a new
EU directive designed to ensure consistency and transparency across European members, which includes the standardisation from imperial measures to metric.
Fivemiletown is not the only location in Tyrone affected. Sixmilecross village today similarly becomes Ninekilometrecross, whilst one of the county’s best-known visitor attractions, the Beaghmore Stone Circles, a site of significant archaeological interest, becomes the Beaghmore Kilo Circles. Retail outlets are also affected, with Poundland in Dungannon’s Scotch Street changing to Gramland from next week.
Other plans which may be introduced over the next twelve months include driving on the right hand side of the road, horsemeat being sold throughout the county, again, and compulsory three-hour siestas on any day the sun comes out.
Local Tyrone councillor Enda McMann confirmed the changes:
“It makes sense. Sort of. If we’re trying to encourage Johnny Foreigner to come and visit the county we don’t want him all confused with the inches and the miles and driving on the wrong side of the road and suchlike. We want him thinking it’s just an extension of his own country. That’s why this time next year places like Cappagh and Galbally will have pavement cafes, street artists, and a branch of Harrods. A bit like Donaghmore really”.
“Imagine walking through Greencastle up to your arse in Michelin-starred restaurants. That’s what it’ll be like. And the Garvaghey complex will probably get bulldozed and turned into a big marina with million pound yachts and pedalo boats and things. Yep, we’re going the whole nine yards. Sorry, metres”.
As part of the re-naming programme, all possible racial references will be removed to ensure that no-one can take the slightest offence, with plans already under way for the River Blackwater to be re-named the River-Of-Non-Defined-Origin-Water from October.
An absent-minded Dungannon bookmaker lost an estimated £30’000 after forgetting to put his clock forward this morning. Toan’s admitted they were caught out badly but have vowed to make up for it by laying on bets for anything going including two men running up a road.
Punters in the town were made aware of the error after early riser and chronic gambler Kieran McGahey put a bet on a race in Australia having realised Toan’s clocks were all wrong. In addition to this, due to essential maintenance work all TVs were down. Already knowing the result, he claimed a 1-2-3 forecast and pocketed himself £250 in the process. Before long, the premises were heaving with hopeful punters. Mary Corr (71) explained:
“I hadn’t set foot in a bookies in my life. I went straight from Mass to Toan’s when I got the text from one of the altar boys during the Homily to say the bookies were on the wrong time. There must’ve been 200 people squeezed into Toan’s, all putting money on Shakalakaboomboom to win the 12:30 in Melbourne, even though it was already 1:30. I can’t believe Toan himself didn’t cop on. I think he was still stocious from the Abba Tribute concert the night before.”
The penny finally dropped with Toan after 450 people phoned in to bet on an unknown footballer named Dale Carrick to score the first goal in the Hearts v Hibs Scottish league game.
“I should have known. When I saw Mary Corr in her best frock and feathered hat in the shop scribbling away on a docket I should have copped on. Even the priest himself phoned in about Dale Carrick scoring first, which he did after a few minutes of the game. I had to pay him £4000. Those bloody clocks. I still had Mamma Mia ringing around my head this morning to think straight.”
Toan has promised to recoup the money by setting up a series of bets on things like the colour of the next car to pass the shop or the woman with the biggest feet on Scotch Street etc.
The success of the the BBC’s recent series of Celebrity Come Dancing has kick-started a ballroom dancing revolution amongst men across the County.
Barny Patton, a farmer from Carnteel, admitted that the dancing bug had got a hold of him.
“I’ve always been forward thinking when it comes to technology. I see myself as a bit of a Fred Astaire and having no sense of rhythm whatsoever isn’t going to stop me. And neither is a club foot. Dancing’s class. There’s nothing I like more than slipping into my tailcoats and top hat after I’ve finished rounding up the cattle.”
Asked for his expert view to help make sense out of the phenomenon, Russian-born former top ballroom dancer Demitri Vladovic addedd,
“Them Tyrone boyos are mad hoors for the ballroom. It’s all high kicks and suchlike any time you see a group of men round Dungannon Square. They can’t get enough of it. Walk into Paddy Power in Scotch Street and it’s like Riverdance ”.
“They do the zumba in Killeeshil Community Centre every Monday night, and I reckoned they’d go wild for the ballroom”, admitted dance enthusiast Gareth McAvoy, a 42-year old mechanic from Cabragh . “So I walked straight in and grabbed this big redhead by the waist and leaned her backwards like in thon picters of returning American GIs, until her head was nearly on the floor. Classy? You’d think so, but she didn’t. And neither did the police. £300 fine and an injunction from going within 500 yards of the community centre for the next two years. Tara”.
Sources confirmed that many hen sheds across the County have secretly been converted into make-shift ballrooms.
“I didn’t think much of it to begin with”, said wife Sheila Cunningham. “Why shouldn’t my husband install a 3-foot wide glitterball hanging down from the roof? I just thought it was there to cheer them poor wee chickens up. But when I saw him execute a perfect cross-body lead with reverse turn whilst scooping three dead hens up off the floor, I started to have a few suspicions”.
Other men confirmed that they struggled to find an outlet for their passion.
“I went to Mantis Night Club in Omagh on Saturday”, explained 23-year old slaughterhouse worker Frankie Cush from Drumquin. “I thought it would be the perfect location to throw a few of my new ballroom moves, but it was a fiasco. You try doing the pasa doble to ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ by the Prodigy. I ended up having to switch to the rhumba. I was mortified”.
Meanwhile, the influence of reality television shows continues unabated following reports of a surge in menfolk banning wives from kitchens whilst they have a ‘mad try at the baking’.
In what has been described as a ‘brave and completely nonsensical’ proposal, Dungannon Council have tabled a bid to the central County Authority to postpone Christmas this year until next February or so. The bold idea was drawn up this morning in an alleyway in Scotch Street with all six members of the powerful council agreeing to put back the holiday in a straight swap for Valentine’s Day, blaming the mild weather for the change.
Seamus McAliskey, a 30 year old steam train driver from the lowlands, reckons there’s a dark secret they’re not telling us:
“Listen, I was in Germany last week driving a train and all these Germans were asking me if it was true that Dungannon spent all its money on dud sparklers and bangers from Nutt’s Corner. Apparently that’s all the talk on the continent. I reckon the buggers have no money for lights and stuff til the new budget comes through in January.”
Dungannon Lord Mayor Hilary McGettican refutes the allegations:
“Whilst I acknowledge the mistake we made with the Algerian sparklers, we still have money left. We are proposing having Christmas on the 25th of February for many reasons. I am now going to talk in bullet points…”
- There’s no money in the country at this time for builders, gardeners and farmers
- There’s usually far more snow in February
- We can raid shops in other counties for half price stock-clearance Christmas stuff in the week after Christmas
- It’s far too close to Boxing Day and the New Year
- We won’t have to listen to Slade or Mariah Carey on the radio”
Under the new conditions, if passed, Valentine’s Day will be sandwiched between Christmas Eve and St Stephen’s Day.
The central council will debate the proposal on Tuesday straight after they deal with the 10th Tattyreagh bid for city status.
In other news, Coalisland’s Olly Kerr has reminded people his threat from last year still stands – Click here . He has added to his hit list anyone who posts “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” on their facebook status.
Dungannon residents were celebrating yesterday over plans agreed for the town to get its own quarter-mile long open-air water slide.
“We’re delighted”, said local Councillor Declan Brady. “It’s going to run down the hill on Scotch Street from Thomas Street. We’ll give people a free tub of Vaseline if they’re not going fast enough, or if the fat ones get a bit stuck. We don’t want a pile-up outside Sammy Trotter’s. The slide ends in the freezer aisle of Tesco so people can get a wee Cornetto if they’re a bit hot. Mighty”.
The announcement comes after the ill-timed Dungannon open-air ice rink opened last Saturday in Dungannon Square and promptly closed down just three hours later owing to ‘surface temperature problems’, when all the ice melted and flooded Boots. Brady is hoping for greater success with the ‘Flume of Doom’.
“Them boys from Disney in Americay will come knocking once they see this yolk. Their water slides only go downhill. Ours will go up the hill as well. Or it will just as soon as we’ve sorted out the anti-gravity situation. And if that doesn’t work we’ll hire one of thon big water cannon trucks from Belfast and we’ll just blast people back up the slide. They won’t mind. Especially the Granville ones”.
The timing of the announcement comes in the middle of the warmest summer in the county for several years, prompting residents to start rolling up long johns, sticking their arses into fridges, and showering weekly whether they need to or not.
Environmentalist have expressed concerns about potential water wastage.
“No problem. That’s why we’re banning the drinking of water with immediate effect throughout the County”, countered Brady. “If it gets any worse we might have to impose a hosepipe ban, but obviously that’s a last resort. And people should be looking at other ways to cut down, like fattening up the weans so that they’ll take up less water in the bath”.
The open-air slide is expected to be operational by December.
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