Archive for February 2011
I’ve heard of newspapers hitting doormats, but have rarely heard of doormats becoming the content of newspapers themselves. Tuesday 25 January 2011 was the day when domestic carpet maintenance concerns finally exploded onto the news agenda in Huddersfield.
Huddersfield Examiner, 25 January 2011:
Please wipe your feet
I AM sure I am not on my own when I say how annoying it is when you have visitors to your house who refuse to wipe their shoes, although you have provided a door mat. I have a daily battle against trainers, shoes, boots etc.
If there is an inventor somewhere who could come up with a device that would ask people to politely wipe their feet on entering your house door, it would be a number one seller.
Until then I remain an annoyed, constant hall carpet cleaner.
Hmmm, if only a really clever inventor somewhere could come up with something like, you know, a doormat with words on or something.
Turns out this disconcertingly vaguely named ‘READER’ is not the only one prepared to speak out on this sorry mess:
Huddersfield Examiner, 8 February 2011:
Please wipe your feet
LIKE your Netherton reader (Mailbag, January 25) I also am annoyed when people do not wipe their feet on the door mat provided (back and front) of my house. I always do so at other people’s homes.
It must be second nature to me. I cannot remember being told when I was much younger. Perhaps telling the children will have the desired effect for the next generation.
Mrs E Taylor
Here come the bloody ‘better at wiping my feet than thou’ brigade…
The humbling generosity of Louth’s leading newspaper, the Louth Leader, just rumbles on and on.
Mmmmm, and what wonderfully fresh and juicy pipless oranges at that… what else could one wish for? Apart from some long, thin cheese flavoured pastry items, of course.
I’m sure I recognise her face. Turns out she is Louth’s leading gift-giver, of previous sausage roll fame. Incredible scenes.
If there is a sudden boom in baby births in Louth in nine months’ time, the Louth Leader is clearly to blame:
And yet more sweet snacks…
It’s time to comprehensively list the goodies the benevolent Louth Leader has given away to its readership in recent months:
- a free scone;
- free butchers’ sausages;
- a free sausage roll;
- a free Cadbury Bliss bar;
- a free mince pie;
- free jewellery;
- free bath fizz hearts;
- free doughnuts;
- free soup;
- a holiday for just £10;
- free cheese straws;
- a free valentine’s love heart biscuit; and
- a free gingerbread man.
Bloody hell. And to think newspapers were once all about news.
Honestly, the lengths some people will go to just to avoid being traced by their fingerprints.
York Press, 11 February 2011 (story):
‘Gloves’ caused bomb scare
THE bomb scare which delayed thousands of York commuters and forced the evacuation of hundreds of workers was caused by a pair of gloves, it has emerged.
A large part of York city centre was brought to a standstill for more than two hours on Wednesday morning after a suspect package was found in the mail room of Aviva’s Yorkshire House office on Rougier Street, at about 7.20am.
The Press has now learned from sources in the emergency services that the package, addressed to a senior executive, contained a pair of gloves with a heating element.
Staff were concerned about the package, and called the emergency services, which led to the deployment of a bomb disposal team.
It’s not that often a package gets more suspicious once the authorities have established what’s in it. In the absence of any further details, the mind boggles. What type of gloves were these? They might have been a lovely pair of mittens, given that those spacious hand compartments would be very appropriate for storing copious explosives. Or perhaps they were fingerless gloves, no doubt the prehensile sheath of choice for the sophisticated glove bomber.
It appears some of the locals were very unhappy with this whole episode:
GOD-UHHH. How typical of boring bloody York to not even have a real bomb and get destroyed or something, just to liven the place up. Zzzzz zzzz zzz.
Thanks for this story go to exiled York resident Daniel Gray (stramashthebook.com), no doubt the sender of this suspicious package in the first bloody place.
This could have ended in horrible tragedy, but it didn’t, and that means we’re allowed to laugh at it.
Reading Post, 6 November 2010 (story):
Mum and daughter rescued from bog
A mother and teenage daughter were rescued when they became trapped in a bog in South Reading this afternoon.
A police helicopter located the pair who were walking a Jack Russell dog in the flood plain of the River Kennet near Big Yellow Self Storage in Rose Kiln Lane.
The daughter had sunk to her chest in the muddy bog and her mother was lying next to her with one leg submerged.
Because the girl was in such danger, a firefighter and police officer entered the bog to rescue her at once.
I bet that’s the last time this pair will be reaching for their copy of Flood Plain Strolls of Britain when they fancy a stretch of the legs.
The story on the Reading Post website features a gripping video of the rescue bid, replete with commentary by concerned emergency services staff. It’s a must-watch if you’re amused by the idea of seeing four Power Rangers needing their maximum strength to drag this big old unit from a bog:
Crew manager Crook said there was a real danger she would sink blelow the surface.
He said: “It is particulary dangerous if you keep moving about. It is the worst thing you can do.”
He added: “The dog was rescued first. He hadn’t sunk in at all.”
In that case, you’d think the dog would have helped. But no. So much for being man’s best friend.
The letters page of the Whitby Gazette is a reliably wonderful festival of misanthropy. Serving as a weekly noticeboard of human hatred, nearly every issue of the paper sees someone publicly attacking their fellow Whitby residents for crimes committed in the course of everyday life.
Whitby Gazette, 5 January 2011:
Joggers should have their own stretch of beach
I would like to open a debate about joggers having their own stretch of beach. Possibly, the area near to the west extension when the tide is in.
Not only do joggers expect all other human beings to either step aside, fall down, or jump over the cliff in order to clear their path, but they assume deafness to a happy ‘good morning’ and blindness to a smile, and at the risk of running out of sync, a kick in the ribs to the dog.
Oh yes dear reader, I am a dog owner and also, as it happens, like seagulls!
Miss P Smithson, Upgang Lane, Whitby
For those of you not intimately familiar with the geography of Whitby beach, the ‘area near to the West extension when the tide is in‘ would not be ideally suited for jogging, as this picture demonstrates. Hats off to Miss Smithson for publicly calling for the death of all joggers.
News just in: Dog owners have shit for brains!
Whitby Gazette, 12 January 2011:
Littering with dog mess
It never ceases to amaze me to see dog owners pick up their dog mess in a plastic bag and proceed to throw it up a tree or into the hedge back.
Not only littering with dog mess, but also with plastic. All I can say is the contents of the plastic bag is equal to what is keeping their ears apart.
Mal Greenley, the man with the white lurcher, Helredale Road, Whitby
More news just in: Dog owners deliberately make children go blind!
Whitby Gazette, 26 January 2011:
Clean up after your dogs
May I, through the Whitby Gazette, thank the person (and I know who you are), for allowing your dog to leave a large ‘deposit’ on the path outside my house this morning (Tuesday 25 Jan).
As a thank-you to you, I have informed the dog fouling authorities and you should be receiving a visit from the Dog Warden in due course.
The responsibility of looking after a dog is no different to looking after a young child. You have to feed it and clean up after it. If you are not willing or prepared to clean up its mess, then you shouldn’t have it in the first place. You are totally irresponsible and should be ashamed of yourself. Toxoplasmosis is a disease which is passed to humans via dog faeces and can cause blindness. It is extremely dangerous for children and pregnant women. Many children play on the two grassed play areas on Queen’s Drive and frequently go home with dog faeces either on their shoes or on their clothing. These are children’s play areas. If they were designated dog walking areas, they would have dog litter bins in situ.
On a final note. To those of you who fail to pick up your dog’s mess whilst walking it on or near the grass at the bottom of Queen’s Drive, I will not hesitate to report you. Enough said.
Mrs Ward, Queens Drive, Whitby
Local newspapers: truly the lifeblood of any community.
To Kent, where the men clearly know how to show a bird a good time.
Sevenoaks Chronicle, 4 February 2011 (story):
Chicken on the run has trio in a flutter
WE ALL know the question asking ‘why did the chicken cross the road?’
But shoppers and staff in Sevenoaks were flummoxed when one turned up in a retail complex accompanied by three men. The trio called in at Pets Corner in Blighs Meadow last Thursday to buy chicken feed.
Stephanie Harper and her colleague quizzed them on their feathered friend and the men revealed they were taking it out for “some fresh air”.
The 20-year-old sales adviser said: “The man holding the bird kept kissing it and they asked if we sold small harnesses they could use to take it for a walk.
“It was fairly odd but the chicken didn’t look fazed. They clearly loved the bird, although at first we were concerned it was some sort of prank. But I know what a distressed animal looks like and it definitely wasn’t scared or upset.”
Without wishing to generalise, Kent really is full of freaks. Even this chicken soon realised, and made a run for it.
Shopper Evy Barry witnessed a similar scene in the Blighs car park as she got out of her car to buy a birthday present for a family member.
She said: “I was just buying my ticket when suddenly these three lads ran by in hot pursuit of this chicken. It was like a comedy sketch. They just couldn’t catch it.
“The bird didn’t look scared, just indignant. It had a look on its face like it was thinking ‘I’m just trying to walk across the car park, what’s your problem? Why are you chasing me?'”
“Eventually I had to go to buy the present and when I came back ten minutes later I saw the men getting into a blue car, no sign of the chicken, so I missed the end of the show. It was the most bizarre thing.”
Imagine if the only thing lending a smidgeon of sanity to your provincial existence was the local branch of Burton, and then it suddenly closed down. Such is the plight of this poor mite from Tonbridge, Kent. A truly heartbreaking tale of teenage alienation, boredom and despair.
Kent and Sussex Courier, 28 January 2011 (story):
There’s nothing for us teenagers in Tonbridge
TEENAGERS from Tonbridge are forced to travel to Tunbridge Wells or Maidstone for shopping or “any kind of life”, according to a 17-year-old.
K College student Reece Heron has this week spoken out to raise the issues in the hope it will be a first step to change.
He has lifted the lid on what it is like growing up as a teen in the town after seeing Burton, the only shop he ever visited, announce its closure.
“All we’ve got to attract shoppers and tourists is New Look and the castle – there’s not a lot else,” he said.
“It annoys me when all I see is charity shops. Burton is going, so there’s pretty much nothing for me to go into now. I never say to my friends, ‘oh, let’s go to the British Heart Foundation for a browse’. It’s never my first thought.”
If it wasn’t for the Kent and Sussex Courier, Reece’s message might have been lost forever. But now, drunk on the attention that inevitably comes with starring in a quarter-page article in the local paper, he strides forward with a messianic sense of purpose and the confident belief that he can deliver true and meaningful change, i.e. a few extra chain shops in Tonbridge.
“We’d like to see Top Man, River Island, and other shops which Tunbridge Wells provides, but they’re getting rid of them in Tonbridge.
Reece is the first teenager, directly affected by the problem, to speak out in depth about the issue.
He added: “It’s a problem across the whole of Tonbridge, in particular for teenage boys and young men. For women you have New Look, Monsoon and shoes places, but the downfall is there’s nothing for guys.
“I don’t think many people of my age would open up about these sort of things because they think they don’t have a voice.
“But I see there’s a huge problem in the town and it needs sorting. Speaking out is my first step in trying to change things.”
This is exactly how Bono started.