Supermarkets and off-licenses across the county have confirmed a sharp spike in wine purchased by parents between the ages of 25 and 50 over the weekend.
Consumer experts immediately explained the phenomenon as nothing unusual, linking the annual trend at this time of the year to the start of school holidays, adding that vineyards in France and Chile intentionally increase their production rate for women at this time of the year from Tyrone, as well as in Derry, Fermanagh and Armagh. Additionally, a group of stay-at-home-fathers have formed a counselling group in Cookstown to counter the summer trauma.
One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told us as she exited Tesco in Dungannon with over 30 bottles of savignon blanc:
“It’s completely medicinal. There’s only so many times you can tell them to stick on Frozen before you go a bit mad, like. A glass at 12pm eases the strain somewhat. By 4pm they can draw all over the walls for all I care or even notice.”
Businesses have also started to notice a rise in productivity as parents appear to be prepared to do any amount of over time, even free of charge. Many workers have also decided to forego their own transport and have taken to walking home from work, sometimes not returning until late evening after walking up to 15 miles.
Coalisland businessman Leo Keown added:
“It’s a pure lethal time of the year. Parents of young children are mad for the overtime and I’m paying them buck all. And they’re at the gates at 6am too. Long live the summer holidays.”
Meanwhile, a group of men in Brocagh have been arrested after trying to hack into the local primary school’s website and changing the calendar dates, creating a 31st July ‘Back to School’ deadline. One of the arrested claimed he was delighted to be caught and ‘hopefully jailed for a few weeks’.
A 76-year old pensioner, who popped out to Tesco for a few goods, was presumed dead after he failed to return home within six hours, resulting in a minute’s silence being observed for Leo Tally at a GAA friendly between Strabane and Urney.
The mistake was made after his wife of 49 years, Betty Tally, told neighbours he was ‘probably dead’ after he hadn’t returned due to the fact that he hated shops, spending money and big crowds, especially in the run up to Christmas. Mrs Tally has since said she was only codding and didn’t really mean for the local team’s manager to believe her.
The minute silence was interrupted when a spectator shouted:
“Sure that’s Leo Tally standing over there in the red raincoat”
whilst pointing at Tally who was also observing the minute silence, having missed who it was actually for.
Tally, a local playing legend from the 1960s, added:
“I was at Tesco for ages because everything I wanted to buy was on offer, 3 for the price of 2, so I ended up buying 3 of everything I wanted. That was about 120 items.”
Although Tally returned home before heading out to the game, his wife neglected to tell him she had informed others of his untimely passing.
“At first I was laughing about it but when I think back, I’m a bit annoyed that there were a few lads sniggering away during my minute silence and some were eating mineral and crisps. I’ll be having a word.
Strabane GAA have issued an apology to Mr Tally but reassured him that when he does die they’ll make sure everyone observes the silence perfectly.
Dungannon is set to launch a world-wide tourism initiative to showcase the quality of its parking facilities.
The announcement follows news that in the last three years Dungannon town centre has generated over £300,000 in revenue from parking in and around the town.
“Castle Hill’s the one we’re proudest of”, declared local councillor Enda McMann. “Fifty-five grand it brought in just in one year. Now that’s a class wee car park if ever I saw one. Worth every penny. Great views of Tyrone when you’re lugging your shopping back to the car. You know, you just can’t put a price on that. Well, actually, you can. £1.20 per hour and 80 pence for each hour thereafter. Mighty”.
“You go to places like Coalisland and the parking’s a disgrace there. You’re always reading about the poor parking or the bad driving or the buck eejit traffic wardens on these websites. What’s got into them journalists? Have they nothing better to do with their time? Anyway, come to Dungannon, and there will be parking spaces aplenty, I can assure you of that. London’s got the Thames, Paris has got that museum with the painting of the wummin in it with a face like thunder, but Dungannon has nice wide, clearly define parking bays. Bet them ones in New York couldn’t say that now, could they? We’ll be the envy of the world.”
However, criticism has poured in, accusing Dungannon Council of taking advantage of hard-pressed shoppers who have no alternative but to pay the parking charges.
“We’re getting criticised for taking money off residents of Tyrone”, said McMann. “Nonsense. Don’t worry, it’s all getting poured back into the local community. We’re going to use it to build more car parks. For example, folks is always sayin’ that there’s not enough room in the Tesco car park, and that they’re always parking on top of each other, so we’re going to demolish the Tesco completely and build one really really massive car park. That’ll sort it out. Smart thinking, see?”
The news follows from the announcement last week that by 2020 Omagh is expected to have more bridges than people.
A study carried out yesterday by the Northern Ireland Institute of Studies confirmed that the majority of people in Tyrone continue to stuff themselves senseless in an effort to get through all the left-over Christmas food before it goes past its sell-by date.
“Christmas itself was bad enough, but this is beyond a joke”, complained 54-year old Nuala O’Neill from Brocagh, through a mouthful of Tesco’s ‘Taste The Difference’ Plum Pudding. “I nearly gave myself the boke after eating a dozen roast potatoes out the fridge that had been there since Boxing Day. To be honest they were completely rancid, but they needed eaten. Can’t have these things going to waste you know”.
Mary Gough from The Moy agreed.
“I ate half a Christmas cake last night and then found out it can last for years. That wasn’t great news after having worked my way through the last of the turkey. We’ve had turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey pasta, turkey stew, and turkey surprise. I eventually ran out of ideas and ended up making turkey meringue pie. Quite nice actually”.
“The worst of it is I just can’t get rid of the stuff”, complained Sean McKenna of Aughabrack. “Someone gave me a tin of Marks & Spencer All-Butter Shortbread as a Christmas present, so I gave it to my ma as a gift on Boxing Day. Turns out she gave it to her niece on New Year’s Eve, who gave it to her daughter on New Year’s Day, who then gave it back to me as a present at the weekend. Feckin’ cheapskates”.
Marian Quinn from Cappagh admitted:
“I sent my 7 year old cub to school with fifteen mince pies for his packed lunch. Only two days to go before the sell-by date, so they needed used up. I know he’s allergic to pastry, but sure, he’ll manage fine”.
32-stone half-man, half-spacehopper Sidney Clarke from Ballygawley, said,
“I found a couple of smoothies in the fridge my mum had left and if truth be told I was wanting a more healthy diet for the new year anyway, so I got tore into them. I never realised one was clotted cream and the other pure goose fat. Tara. I got through three Cadbury’s selection boxes getting rid of the taste though, so it wasn’t all bad”.
Residents across Tyrone last night were prompted into getting heavy coats out and putting them onto beds as the temperature plummeted to as low as minus 4 degrees Centigrade in some parts of the County.
Donkey jackets, duffle coats, boiler suits, dressing gowns, overcoats, monkey hats and other outerwear were all hurriedly thrown onto beds, as faulty electric blankets were dug out of attics and hastily re-wired.
Local housewife and serial complainer Alison Brennan from Mountfield said,
“Jays, it was baltic. I don’t know how many blankets and coats we had on the bed but I could have survived a gunshot. You’ve no idea how cold this house is. I went out to the sales this morning and bought 14 more duffle coats for the beds. My husband told me to sit by the fire, but there’s not much point in that unless he’s going to light the feckin’ thing. Tight-fisted eejit”.
“I knew we were going to be in trouble when I was in Greencastle last night to get some wheaten, and the young lasses were out in what they call their ‘overcoats’. Or to give it its proper name, glitter spray”.
Others were faced with the prospect of having to have the central heating on all day.
“Have you seen the price of oil?” complained a man from Trillick, who preferred to remain anonymous. “We’re racing through the stuff. Christ, it was only the end of November since I siphoned 500 gallons of it from them ‘uns down the road. Now I’m going to have to do it all over again. It’s beyond a joke, it really is”.
Elsewhere, the roads were causing driving difficulties. Local PSNI Chief Inspector John Quinn said,
“The roads are like a bottle. People shouldn’t be out driving in this weather, and if they are they need to act responsibly. We were in Tesco car park last night trying to doing doughnuts in the panda car and it was almost impossible. Car was sliding all over the place. People should stay in”.
It has also been reported that 44 youngsters have been clipped around the ear over the holidays for leaving the immersion on for more than three hours after the water was used.
The cold weather continues.
A Donaghmore woman has strenuously denied being seen shopping at Lidl in Dungannon on Monday evening. Friends of 36-year old Marie McAleese reported that a woman matching her description was spotted in Dungannon on Monday evening at approximately 7.20pm, wearing dark glasses and pretending to have a limp, walking into the popular discount retailer in Market Yard.
“It’s a pack of lies”, protested McAleese. “I wouldn’t be seen dead in that place. Even if they are selling 40 metres of clingfilm for only £2.99. Jaysus, it’s nearly £4 in Asda. Anyway, I always to go Marks & Spencer for my shopping. And sometimes Tesco, but that’s only for milk and bread. And I’ve been complaining for years that Waitrose should open up a shop in Donaghmore. And Selfridges. So what would the likes of me be wanting in Lidl, buying multi-packs of Hula-Hoops at 89p for 7 packets? That’s no good to me. I don’t even like crisps. Except maybe cheese and onion. They’re okay. And the barbeque beef ones”.
A close friend of McAleese’s confided,
“Marie’s always been up herself. Too snooty for her own good. Who cares if she goes into Lidl? I heard she was in there the previous week wearing a balaclava, carrying a whole clatter of McVitie’s digestive biscuits. Enough to feed an army. That one’s got an eye for a bargain, make no mistake”.
On Monday McAleese allegedly purchased several bags of groceries, including 6 tins of Lidl’s own-brand baked beans, a ‘Fruits of the Forest’ Fresh Cream Luxury Meringue, and a big box of Midget Gems.
“Meringue? Are you having a laugh?” snorted McAleese. “I do all my own home baking. I’d never think about buying a shop-bought meringue. I’d make it at home with, you know, the flour and the milk and the yeast and suchlike. These are just stories making out that I’m some sort of cheapskate”. She went on, “I won’t have my head turned by that place, even if they are selling Carte D’Or Vanilla Ice Cream for £1.50 or £2.50 for two. And anyway, they weren’t digestives. It was Rich Tea I wasn’t buying. 99p a pack. Deadly”.