The case of the Tyrone tractor-seat sniffer remains unsolved after two farmers in the Pomeroy area confirmed their own CCTV footage revealed a hooded elderly man sniffing the seats of a Massey Ferguson 231 diesel and 1992 Ford New Holland respectively late on Sunday night, half a mile apart.
This brings the total spottings to 188 since last summer, covering a wide area from Moortown in the extreme east of the county to Donemana near the Donegal border. The most recent victim, Kieran Grimes, admits he froze on the spot when he saw the shadowy figure sniffing away at the seat in the yard:
“I wasn’t convinced he existed until that moment I set eyes on him. I was thinking the other 100 or so farmers were taking the hand out of me. But it’s true bejaysus. He had a crooked back and was wearing a big dirty duffle coat and boiler suit bottoms and a wooly hat. Worst of all I could hear the sniffs. Big sniffs. I just froze. And he slipped away into the mist.”
PSNI say this is consistent with the other 187 sightings and warn farmers not to approach him. They quote the example of a Galbally vigilante farmer who ran at the phantom sniffer:
“Peader Tally made the mistake of confronting him before Christmas and regretted his bravery. The sniffer, described as probably in his 70s and with mad red eyes, pulled out a piece of blue piping and skelped Tally all about the legs. This man is dangerous. We’ll work something out.”
Local psychiatrist Marjorie Mullan maintains this is not a few phenomenon and that most farmers are addicted to the smell of tractor seats but usually keep to their own.
This year’s Tyrone Valentine’s Limerick Competition was the “worst standard in living memory” prompting the county council to write an email to all school headmasters to “up the literacy skills a notch” according to sources at the Clogher Poetry Society Headquarters.
The annual poetry competition attracts thousands of entries from single men from all over the county looking for a partner. The top three poems are read out at a dance in the Clogher Halls by the winning poets who usually head home with three women from the pack who gather to hear and inspect the talented wordsters.
“Eff me pink, it was cat altogther,” Henry Wisdom, chair of the Clogher Poetry society told us. “I had to wade through mountains of pure tripe. I’d reckon that 90% of the entrants managed to slip in farm machinery or drinking. One boy, from the Moy, was able to somehow rhyme ‘X Factor’ with ‘Caterpillar Track-Type Tricycle Tractor’. Romance is dead in Tyrone. I pity the women, I really do.”
Despite the falling standards, the panel eventually managed to narrow the entrants down to three, with “Ardboe Women” getting top honours for its depiction of a man sneakily looking at a naked woman around the Lough shore.
Winning entries below:
1ST PLACE – ARDBOE WOMEN: By James Devlin
It’s great to live in Ardboe
To Moortown I’d hate to go
The women here are fair
And great when they’re bare
Like my neighbour beside me on Sundays, ghost-oh
2ND PLACE – NICE STRABANE MAIDENS: By John McElhaton
The women in Strabane are wile nice
But there’s none I can entice
What’s wrong with me?
I’ve a diesel turbo SUV
I’d buy you a chicken fried rice
3RD PLACE – LONELY IN BRACKAVILLE By Godfrey Gillis
This year I hope someone says yes
Now that I’ve a permanent address
But, if you say no
I couldn’t stick the woe
And I’ll have to torch the buckin wedding dress (that I bought in the Island)