A misunderstanding in Coagh yesterday saw hundreds of people leaping into the Ballinderry River believing that gold has been found, when in fact a local man had re-discovered a lost piece of music.
Damien Hetherington, a 46-year old candle extinguisher from Coagh, explained,
“Sure, I’ve been looking for my copy of ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet for years. It’s been missing since my big ‘Top Trumps’ clear-out of 1993, but I found it yesterday. Unbelievable. It was hiding underneath my Kajagoogoo collection. I happened to mention to the lads in Donnelly’s Bar that after years of searching I had found ‘Gold’. That’s why I was a bit excited, see? Some chanter thon big Tony Hadley. And the two brothers in it were great as well, until they went to London and turned into gangsters. Ronnie and Reggie. Such a shame”.
“Excited?” said local man Shaun Donaghy, who was in the bar at time. “That’s a feckin’ understatement. He burst through the door of the pub yelling, I’ve found gold! I’ve found gold!” and shouting about how he was going to throw a big party with wile music. Jaysus, he could hardly speak. It was like he was about to soil himself. Before you knew it there was a hundred running down the street and jumping into the Ballinderry River like eejits. There was grown men fighting each other. I’ve not seen anything like it since that time Costcutters started selling king-sized Mars Bars”.
The rumour quickly spread like wildfire, assisted by the knowledge that Tyrone already has gold beneath its hills, with more than one gold mine already in production in the local area. A variety of implements were used to pan for the non-existent gold, including hub caps, colanders, satellite dishes, vases, frying pans, dustbin lids, and in one instance a car door.
The fictitious gold rush also had a strange effect on some, including 74-year old Seamie Faloon, a farmer from Aughabrack, who appeared to have miraculously re-located to somewhere near the Mississippi River in the 1920s.
“Dang”, he said. “There’s gold in them thar hills. I can smell it. But them critters ain’t gonna get no little bitty nuggets cos they ain’t got the Faloon smarts. No sirree. Ah’m gonna get me a l’il piece of purty gold, sure as eggs is eggs. Mighty craic. Y’all”, before sitting down to an enormous plate of grits and beans.
As of this morning, the pan-handling had yielded six tadpoles, a dead pollen fish, and and an old roller-skate.