With record December temperatures showing no sign of abating, Strabane Council have revealed plans to put on a free ‘Turkey on the Barbie in Strabane’ on Christmas Day, placing the West Tyrone town on a par with Bondi Beach and Kenya during the festive period.
In a further development, Strabane linguist Jonathan Hinney maintains he is a shade darker than he was a week ago, attributing the sudden tanning to the warmer climes experienced in the province during the last few weeks.
“There has definitely been a change in my appearance since last week. I’ve been doing a lot of outside loitering and gaunching about recently and I think the exposure has had an effect, making me the first Irishman to get a tan in Ireland, naturally, in winter since records began in Castlederg in 1855. Strabane is currently a mild outdoor sunbed.”
In a loosely related incident, Hinney’s shower has been banjaxed during the same period, casting serious doubts on his tanning claims.
Meanwhile, the Strabane open-air Christmas Day turkey barbecue has already sold 38 tickets, despite claims from locals that the council got a bit too excited the day the temperature hit 15 degrees Celsius.
Lord Mayor Linda Shelley has pleaded with locals to trust their judgement:
“We have it on good authority from Frank Mitchell that it’ll be in the mid-20s on Christmas Day. I urge Strabanonians to ditch their jumpers and coats and don their finest swimwear and put the Aussies to shame. Global warming is not all bad, is it.”
Hugo Duncan has yet to confirm rumours that he’ll be lighting the barbecue wearing only a pair of tight red trunks.
Despite earlier predictions of a record-breaking savagely cold winter in mid-Tyrone, locals in Kildress have received communication which casts doubt on that original analysis of a seasonal hardship. Kildress is one of the last townlands in Ireland that still maintains a clan-like system with a leader voted in every four years, one calendar month after the American president is sworn in. He or she is elected on their ability to be at one with nature and possess the talent to predict weather changes in the immediate future as well as long-term for the important farming community. Current leader, Tommy Higney, a surprise choice four years ago, was exposed last night by his secretary as a fraud:
“It was that time of the year again when Tommy was being constantly approached to give his pronouncement on the winter. I knew he wasn’t a natural at that. He told me to phone up the NI Meteorological Dept and put him through. I heard the whole thing. He asked them what they thought about the winter coming. They said it was likely to be cold enough. He said rightso and then told everyone in Kildress to stock up on wood as it’ll be a cold one.”
Higney didn’t stop there though. So that the locals thought he was a truly reliable leader, he kept in touch with the Dept for constant updates.
“Every time he phoned he’d get more accurate news. The second time they said it would be even colder than they first thought. Tommy went straight out and told the locals to cut down even more trees and store them for winter. The third time he was told it’d be a severe winter. Same story again, Tommy declares after mass that they need to prepare for the worst winter in 100 years by stockpiling wood.”
Fearing for his community’s well-being he made one more call to the Meterological crowd to ask how they arrived at their analysis for the coming season. Secretary McGurk explained:
“I heard the whole thing. They firstly told Tommy that this’ll be the worst winter on record be he asked. He flipped out and asked how they could predict this worsening scenario. Yer man said it was classified information but as Tommy was an avid weather watcher, he’d let him in on the secret. They predict the future by watching Kildress people and their tree-cutting habits. The more they cut, the worst the weather was going to be, said the official, and they’d been cutting like mad lately. Tommy nearly choked. I barely muffled my laughing.”
Mary McGurk immediately exposed Higney’s backhandedness and declared herself a runner for the forthcoming elections.