After five days of intensive observation, housewife eye-candy Dr Brian Cox has headed back to England ‘despondent and bewildered’ after failing to explain how time has developed completely different dimensions in Stewartstown compared to everywhere else in the world.
Speaking from his laboratory in London, Cox revealed a few of the unsolvable conundrums which have left him a broken man:
“They kept this from us at the College of Physics I went to. For example, on the first night I went for a pint in the Roadside Tavern and the bartender said he’s be with me ‘in a minute’. I timed him and he returned to me in 4 mins 33 seconds. In that period he had checked the horse racing and spoke to another punter about Logan and the Under 21s. I just couldn’t work out if I’d just witnessed time travel or not. I couldn’t sleep that night.”
As Cox collected more evidence of a parallel universe in Stewartstown he explained another phenomenon which confirmed that time had different properties in mid-Ulster.
“I wanted to go to Cookstown to buy jeans in the world-famous market and asked a local if I needed to get a bus to there. He said it was ‘only down the road’ and that it was only ‘a locka minutes’. TWO HOURS it took walking and I was near wrote off on the Poplar Hill Road by a boy from Lissan in an Escort. That confirmed to me that ‘time’ as we know it has bypassed Stewartstown.”
Cox is also investigating the possibility that time is also standing still since the 80s after discovering the following telltale signs:
- 80% of 40 year olds are still wearing A-Team sweatshirts
- Every night closing time in pubs is signalled by the playing of ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe
- Many parents collected their children from school on space-hoppers
- ‘I Shot JR’ is spray-painted on most gable walls.
- ‘Big Hair and Mullet’ combo sales in local barbers.
A Ballygawley clergyman has been told by his peers to cut out the singing parts during any service due to complaints from the congregation that it was setting off hearing aids and bothering babies. Fr Shelvin (61) has been PP in the area for a few years and often sang up to 50% of the mass, even bits of his homily. The church sacristan, Maggie McAleer, maintains it was about time action was taken:
“I vividly recall the first time I heard him sing. It was like a cross between a cat in heat and rubbing a shovel fornenst metal. He’d be singing nearly every bit of it too, even whilst dishing out the communion. At the end everyone used to roar ‘Thanks be to God’ but I think they meant it in a different way than oul Shelvin thought they did. People would run from the building, weans crying and pensioners banging their hearing aids. You’d think in Maynooth they’d practise the singing a bit during those seven years”
Reports suggest a recording was sent to the current Pope who supposedly cursed in Italian before slapping a ban on him singing until he was trained up by one of those singing priests. Shelvin is reluctant to follow orders:
“These Ballygawley ones would need to lighten up a bit. When I was seven I won the Quinn’s Corner ‘Sing Like Baby Elvis’ competition with a spirited rendition of Wooden Heart. You don’t become a bad singer overnight like. I’ve sent Pope Francis a tape of me singing ‘The Heat Is On’ and ‘The Final Countdown’ in the bath this morning. Who does he think he is anyway – Simon Cowell? I’ll be singing this Sunday so the people of Ballygawley can lump it.”
Bookies reckon there’ll be no drop in numbers as Shelvin does Mass in 23 minutes on average, more than half the time of the other boy in the parish. Skin-coloured camouflaged earmuffs will be sold outside though by McAleer with funds going towards 100 pairs of gutties for the local walking club.