Archive for February 2010
It’s a famous old joke, I know, but how many firefighters does it take to free a penis from a steel pipe?
Southern Daily Echo, 7 January 2010:
Southampton man cut free after getting penis stuck in steel pipe
A MAN who got his genitalia stuck in a steel pipe had to be cut free by eight firefighters using an industrial grinder.
The heavy duty cutting gear had to be used to remove the three-inch long hollow pipe after medics were unable to release it.
The painstaking operation, which involved eight firefighters, took around an hour.
The drama began after the man took himself to the accident and emergency department of Southampton General Hospital.
This is a fine example of a story for which a regional newspaper could easily adopt a comic, national tabloid tone to its coverage, but instead opts for the deadpan approach.
Restricted blood flow had left the man in a state of arousal, and unable to remove the pipe.
Staff there were so concerned that they phoned the emergency services and a crew from Redbridge Fire Station were initially dispatched.
But they had to bring in backup from St Mary’s station which has a fire truck equipped with specialist cutting gear.
A disc gutter cutter, with a four-and-a-half-inch blade, was used to slice open the stainless steel pipe.
The man, in his 30s, offered no explanation for his predicament but was said to be “quite concerned and anxious”. He had been given an anaesthetic to prepare for the procedure.
The finest insight is provided by the boss of the brave firefighter who successfully unclasped the penis in question.
St Mary’s crew manager Adrian Johnson said: “It was a very delicate operation. We did not want anything heating up.
“The person who did it deserves a commendation for his nerve and steady hand.” […]
The man’s private parts were left bruised and swollen.
I love the idea of opening your heart and your linen cupboard simultaneously. The Andover Advertiser makes it sound so easy, but in reality the task of disclosing one’s innermost emotions and dealing with the burden of day-to-day housekeeping can be too daunting for many.
Andover Advertiser, 20 January 2010:
Dogs Trust rehoming centre ‘critically low on bedding’
DOGS Trust is calling all dog lovers to open their hearts and their linen cupboards to assist with an urgent appeal for warm bedding to beat the cold.
The rehoming centre team at Newton Tony, just south of Tidworth, are desperately looking for donations of clean bedding, which is vital to keep the dogs in their care warm and to help them feel secure in their kennel.
Centre manager, Alison Rodger said: “We are urging everyone to delve in to their blanket boxes and airing cupboards to see if they have any clean blankets or duvets to spare.
“Many of the dogs at our Centre have not had the best start in life and something to snuggle in is an essential provision to help them feel secure.”
It’s a dog’s life (whatever that means). Thankfully help is close at hand in Andover in the shape of a “crack team of local knitters”. I’m not even lying – Andover heart.
Dogs Trust is also working with Simon Colligan estate agents in Amesbury who are running a winter wool appeal.
Their crack team of local knitters are turning the donated yarn into lovely snug blankets for the Rehoming Centre dogs. […]
The Rehoming Centre is running critically low of bedding and so any donation no matter how small will be gratefully received by the 70 dogs there.
And to think we all thought estate agents were nothing more than evil, ruthless fraudsters, when really some of them knit stuff for dogs!
Thanks to Ellie for opening her heart, linen cupboard, laptop lid and web browser to point this story out.
Local interest grass-roots campaigns just aren’t what they used to be. Proof, if proof be need be, is provided by this most depressing of Facebook campaigns calling for a McDonalds to be built in Louth, Lincolnshire.
Louth Leader, 12 January 2010:
Online fast-food fans join form petition for McDonalds in Louth
[…] The group, created by Fatbiker (online name) is acting as a type of petition set up to show Louth Town Council how many people want a McDonald’s in Louth.
So far 370 fast-food fanatics have joined the group and many admit they frequently drive the 15 miles to Grimsby to satisfy their junk-food cravings.
One member of the group writes: “They shud make one in the town centre in Louth so people who shop in Louth can eat der instead of having fish and chips”.
Another agreed saying: “We def need one, then we won’t have to travel 16 miles to keep the kiddies happy”.
While other posts support any fast-food restaurant which sets its sights on Louth, saying: “A fast food outlet YES, be it KFC or BK (Burger King) or Mcd’s (McDonalds)”.
Thankfully for Louth (there are three words you don’t hear often), the Leader was able to report some good news for the anti-McDonald’s set after securing an exclusive interview with a suspiciously automated-sounding spokesman for the Fast Food Giant®.
A spokesperson said: “McDonald’s wants to delight its customers every day and we would love to open new stores in every location where there is demand but sadly we have no current plans to open a restaurant in this location”.
Naturally, this report meant it all kicked off on the Louth Leader letters page the following week. This first letter signals a welcome return for the favoured retort of choice for those opposing the introduction of new amenities to their local area: if you want [insert amenity], then move!
Louth Leader, 20 January 2010:
Burger fans should move!
EDITOR – I have a fantastic money saving scheme for all the people living in Louth who want a McDonald’s on their doorstep – move to Grimsby!!
Not only will you get tiny burgers for only 99p but you’ll be able to sell your house in Louth and get one in Grimsby for half the price leaving you tens of thousands of pounds to spend in Tesco and Asda!!
Honestly – if being near a Tesco or a McDonald’s is really important then MOVE!
Meanwhile, email account owner Melanie Jones appears to be operating under the misapprehension that students never eat with their fingers.
Louth Leader, 20 January 2010:
McDonalds would kill the town’s character
EDITOR – Absolutely NO to a Mcdonalds in Louth.
My reasons are -–
1) It is important Louth keeps its character and diversity of individual shops and takeaways. When shops are individually owned, the owners take care of them and have a pride in their businesses. Profit made re-enters the community.
2) Parents should be investing in their children’s future health by teaching them good nutrition. Food is not a choice between fish and chips or McDonalds. There are alternatives, and what is wrong with cooking decent food at home.
3) McDonalds is a retrograde step for learning decent table manners. How many children nowadays know table etiquette? Some regard this as snobby or posh – but if these children take a university education and have to mix socially, McDonalds will not really give the grounding.
Eating out of a piece of tissue paper with fingers is hardly civilised.
Sent via email
Thanks to regular McDonald’s user Anna Holden for continuing to maintain Lincolnshire’s place in the national consciousness.
It’s always heartwarming when an ignorant old bigot of a Tory like Norman Tebbit holds his hands up and says: “I was wrong.”
Unfortunately, he’s only admitting to being wrong about the origin of some empty wine bottles in Bury St Edmunds so far, but still, it’s progress.
East Anglian Daily Times, 24 November 2009:
Lord Tebbit’s apology to local pub
WHEN the manager of a town centre pub noticed someone piling empty wine bottles onto its window ledges late one Sunday night he got a bit of a shock when he went outside to ask why he was doing it.
As he drew closer he realised it was none other than Lord Tebbit, a formidable high-profile member of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in the 1980s when, as Employment Secretary, he was the scourge of the trade unions.
Joel Shepherd, 28, manager of the Queen’s Head in Bury St Edmunds, said: “I was a bit surprised to say the least and I asked him what he was doing. He turned around and was clearly quite agitated, saying the bottles were obviously from the pub and he was returning them for us.”
Mr Shepherd, who has managed the former coaching inn in Churchgate Street for the past four years, said he tried to explain that the bottles were not sold at his pub.
“It got a little tense so I invited him in to prove that we really were not responsible for the bottles, but at that point he clearly wasn’t in the mood and didn’t take up the offer,” he added.
Oh dear, what a sad way for Tebbit to wile away the latter chapters of his life: wandering around East Anglia in the middle of the night, arranging empty wine bottles on window ledges to no discernible end. Insanity on an Alan Partridgian scale.
It’s interesting that the East Anglian Daily Times appears to acknowledge that being a fan of Tebbit’s politics is on a par with admitting to torturing kittens or providing secure storage facilities for paedophiles.
Mr Shepherd, who admitted to being a fan of Lord Tebbit’s politics, said: “I didn’t expect to hear anything but I have to admit that what happened next only increased my respect for him. I received a personal letter with an apology on headed notepaper, admitting that he had got it wrong.” […]
A further surprise came when Lord Tebbit, a former Financial Times journalist and RAF pilot, visited Mr Shepherd to apologise, insisting he wanted to retain a good relationship with the pub. […]
Lord Tebbit, who stood down as an MP in 1992 and was granted a life peerage, told the EADT that he accepted he had made a mistake and was in complete support of the Queen’s Head.
He said: “I’m totally convinced that the bottles were not from the pub and were in fact from a supermarket. I made a mistake which I was happy to acknowledge and I hope to carry on with the good relationship we now have, and I may well soon take up that offer of a beer very soon.”
What a guy. Now keep on apologising, Tebbit; we’re listening.
It’s time for the next installment of facial bypasses.
Redcar club owner hits out over signs
Snakes give Marton neighbours fright of their lives
Minister speaks out after theft from Stockton church
Lingdale’s nothing like the Wild West say villagers
I’ve been to Lingdale plenty of times, and can confirm it’s nothing like the wild west. Not that I’ve been to the wild west, mind you.
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 5 February 2010:
[…] Another Lingdale man, who asked not to be named, said: “They seem to be saying Lingdale is lawless, but its just like anywhere else.” A young woman said: “I dont think Lingdale is any more violent than other places on Teesside.”
And another local man said: “It’s got blown out of proportion by these lawyers. They’ve probably never been to Lingdale!”
A married local couple, originating from Boosbeck, said: “We find it a friendly place.”
Gresham residents in plea as parking problems escalate
Netherfields pensioner’s lucky escape after neighbour hits outhouse with car
Brave dad beats off robbers in Norton shop attack
Thorntree couple speak out after yobs set fire to car
Fury at Saltburn allotments fire
Dog walker attacked by horse in Redcar
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 11 February 2010 (story):
A WARNING was flashed today after a shocked dog walker was chased, head-butted and bitten by a horse.
Sue Cooper says her early morning stroll became a nightmare yesterday when a horse in Redcar’s Coatham Enclosure area turned nasty. […]
“I turned round and all I could see was this big mouth and teeth coming at me.”
Sue, who had Jester [her dog] on a lead, says the horse “headbutted her” in the back, knocking her onto the muddy grass.
Covered in mud, she got up and ran, still pursued by the piebald horse.
“I felt its hot breath on me and I had slaver all over my coat,” said Sue. […]
When the Gazette visited the scene yesterday afternoon, the horse was on a long blue leash and seemed more interested in eating grass than chasing our photographer – or a clearly nervous Sue for that matter. But we didn’t have a dog with us, as many who walk there do.
Aaahhhh! Slaver all over her coat!
For good measure, even the horse gets in on the action: Why the long Gazette Face?
Link: Gazette Faces catalogue
Ever had that feeling where everything seems to go against you and you start to blame your personal problems and low self-esteem on politically correct environmentalists around the globe?
If so, it looks like you accidentally wrote all about it to Devon’s Tavistock Times Gazette.
Tavistock Times Gazette, 30 December 2009:
Seeking festive spirit
I WISH I could get into some kind of Christmas Spirit, even if it were the alcoholic kind, it would make a change, but alas even that has escaped me as the famous Scottish ‘falling doon water’ clashes with my various prescribed drugs.
The world is getting warmer, so they tell us, (Not according to my feet and hands this morning).
We must stop burning fossil fuels and driving down to the supermarket for our electric blankets and Beluga caviar, we must use the limited public transport and only buy sustainable food items, and don’t even think of using a plastic bag to put it in, or you will be in trouble with the PCs, (that’s the political corrects).
If the major governments of the world really wanted to reduce emissions into the atmosphere, they would get together and instruct the car industries that all cars would have a maximum speed imposed on them, and engine sizes and functions would be controlled.
As for planning permission for wind farms, well, everyone thinks they are a good idea but don’t build it near where I live. A wise old fox once said: ‘If you are going to drain the pond, you don’t consult the frogs.’
This is not the season to be jolly, it’s the season for watching the same old stuff on the TV and for paying through the nose for it.
This is the season before the next election to think about what has been going on in the banks and in parliament, and just how much more rubbish they can feed to us before the rest of us say, ‘Can I have some more please?’.
I could be described as a miserable old git, but then again maybe I’m just reacting to what is floating around the airwaves and wondering how my pension is going to stretch just another little bit more than it did last Christmas.
16 Morris Close
Thanks to Emily Harding for this State of the Nation address from Monty Montgomery, President of the People’s Republic of Alcohol-Soaked NIMBYs.
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 7 November 2009:
Girl’s plea to Gazette readers over missing Teddy
A HEARTBROKEN little girl is hoping a Gazette reader has spotted her missing teddy bear.
Six-year-old Rebecca Howard was out shopping with her mum, Miriam McCann, sister Phoebe, four, six- month-old brother Zack, and Teddy.
Except Teddy went missing in one of the shops on Stockton’s Portrack Lane, and hasn’t been seen since.
“Rebecca is distraught – her and Teddy go everywhere together and have done since she was 18 months old.
“He’s been to weddings, gone on holiday, they’re inseparable.
“When she realised he was missing, she was hysterical for about half an hour,” said Miriam, 28, of Harsley Road, Hartburn, Stockton.
Hysterical for half an hour, eh? Hardly surprising, really, judging by this girl’s stunning ability to turn on the melodrama for the camera at a moment’s notice.
She’s gone well beyond Gazette Face territory with these exceptional levels of self-pity. She doesn’t even know she’s born.
Excruciatingly, the online news story features a YouTube video jam-packed with emotional scenes of Rebecca and Teddy in better days.
Miriam contacted the Gazette after she made a solemn vow to her daughter to find Teddy, a gift from a family friend.
She even made a compilation of pictures and put it on the website youtube in the hope that someone’s memory might be jogged.
Rebecca can’t watch the video, set to the track “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen, because it upsets her.
Oh get a grip.
Have you seen Teddy? Call our newsdesk on 01642 234255.
No. Face it, love – Teddy has gone and is not coming back.