The news that 11 new super-Councils are to be created throughout Northern Ireland from the existing 26 and that each is to be given extended powers, has resulted in hundreds of people throughout Tyrone believing that the Councils are actually to be granted magical superpowers.
Following the publication at the weekend of a survey by the Irish Council for Statistics, it appears that entire villages have caught the wrong end of the stick, with an alarming 16% of residents believing that council staff might turn into levitating, shape-shifting, fire-breathing oddballs, all at the tax payer’s expense.
56-year old Harry Patterson of Cabragh told us,
“Being given superpowers like time travel and trigonometry and the like is a bridge too far. It’s a breach of my human rights. I don’t want them council ones spying on me when I’m out in the shed doing stuff. Not that I’m doing anything wrong like. And certainly not with that woman from next door. There’s nothin’ wrong with being neighbourly, you know”, he said defensively.
The view was shared by Jacinta Ferguson, a 42-year old housewife from Urney.
“It’s a waste of damn time. I don’t want the council coming round, self-spawning all over my front garden or manipulating gravity and stuff, when all I want is my gutters rodded. They should get their priorities right”.
“If they end up having superpowers like Spider-Man there’s no saying where it could end”, agreed Tony Laverty from Windmill. “We can’t have people suddenly going into slow motion like in ‘The Matrix’ at the drop of a hat, can we? It would be like that TV programme where all them weird-looking hoors have amazing superpowers. ‘Mastermind’, that’s it”.
“We might end up with Barry McElduff waltzing through Carrickmore wearing a Batman outfit, and then where would be?” declared Deirdre Hughes from Drumquin. “I have no wish to see that man in tights, let me tell you that. I’m not making that mistake again. If them councillors want a superpower then they can go and teleport themselves to feck”.
Some were more circumspect, with a keen interest in what the superpowers might be.
“Will you maybe be able to get x-ray vision specs from the council?” enquired a 58-year old man from Trillick who didn’t want to be named. “That would be handy right enough, for, like, all sorts of things. And would you be able to see through like material, like say, I don’t know, clothes and suchlike? Just asking”. He added, “And a couple of them super-strength ones like The Hulk could rightly work some wonders for the St Macartan’s hi. Has anyone told Mickey Harte about this?”
58 year old Rebecca O’Neill from Brantry however was much less positive, snorting,
“They should go and speak to the Roads Department. Have you seen the state of my street? In my opinion they’ve been practising invisibility for bloody years”.
The new councils are expected to come into effect in a few months time.
An unfortunate error saw a whole one-hour show hosted by Piers Morgan dedicated to the life and times of Strabane pig farmer Tom Hughes, screened live to initially 7.3m viewers across the UK last night.
Morgan was slow to realise a mistake had been made and that Tom Hughes was not the Tom Cruise they had been preparing for since the Spring season line-up was announced shortly after Christmas.
Hughes, who was only in London that day to inspect a champion pot-bellied pig that a woman had been auctioning on Gumtree, had decided to kill a few hours by visiting the TV studios in the capital city:
“I was just dandering around the TV place when someone shouted if Tom Hughes was here yet. I presumed they’d heard I’d be in London as you know what Strabane people are like for the gossiping. I put my hand up and they ushered me onto the set and this boy started asking me questions about Top Gun and Mission Impossible. It was a bit odd for him to be quizzing me about that stuff and I just told him I’d never seen them at which the audience laughed heartily.”
The penny dropped when Hughes started talking about his love of mashed spuds and scallions and needing to get home before the Angelus came on the TV.
“The man then asked me if I was the real Tom Cruise atall and says I sure I’m Tom Hughes from Strabane, one of the Baker Hughes’ from Lifford originally. To be fair to him he kept on with the interview as it was apparently live and they’d spent over a million pounds making it. The audience fairly emptied though and the women who’d thrown their knickers at me as I came on to the set at the start retrieved their underwear sheepishly.”
Viewing figures plummeted during the second half of the show with only seven people watching as Hughes told of his love of scorching through Strabane in his Nissan Sunny with the soundtrack from The Matrix or Jaws playing full blast on the car radio, making him feel he was in the movies himself.
Morgan finished the interview, clearly embarrassed, by claiming that Hughes was possibly one of the most unhinged people he’d ever met.
Next week, Morgan interviews Bruno Tonioli.