Archive for the ‘Getting oneself in the paper’ Category
The Local Paper Twats march on, forever bypassing human decency and sensitivity in the name of making a crap point and getting themselves in the paper.
Our latest Local Paper Twat thought nothing of approaching HMV staff faced with the prospect of shop closure and loss of their annual salaries in order to make a point about a £25 gift card.
Lincolnshire Echo, 24 January 2013 (story):
Grandad hands ‘defunct’ gift card to HMV staff
Feisty grandad Robert Hoare prompted a High Street stand-off with shop staff after swapping what was a defunct gift card for new earphones at HMV in Lincoln.
The 61-year-old said he was “standing up for all those who had lost out” after the beleaguered chain originally announced it would not accept vouchers from customers.
Mr Hoare slapped the £25 card on the counter and left the shop with four packs of earphones. Staff called police, but he kept the goods after officers said it was a civil matter.
Mr Hoare’s grandson, Josh Smith, 18, is a paper boy earning £30 a week. His card was actually issued by HMV as a refund. Mr Hoare, from Rowston, near Sleaford, said he was not afraid to have risked arrest to speak up for all who have lost out.
“I did this for my grandson and all those kids who have not been able to spend their vouchers which people bought for them in good faith,” he said. “Josh works six mornings a week in all weathers delivering papers and the £25 at stake here is nearly a week’s wages for him.
“Had I been arrested, I would have denied theft and gone to court to give publicity to all those kids who have lost out. I have proved my point and I wish more people would take a stand on this.”
Then on Monday, just 48 hours after Mr Hoare’s very public protest, HMV’s administrators performed a u-turn and revealed they would now accept gift cards.
“Egotistically, I think that it was all my fault that they changed their minds,” he said.
Sometimes the sanctity of local news is horribly soiled. All it takes is a quiet news day and a form of newsdesk desperation which means any old page-filler will do, regardless of how dubious its factual content or psychologically unstable its source. Suddenly your trusty local paper – which you rely on in hours of need for tales of A-road gridlock, locals in the dock or men flashing from under a frock – becomes a pantomime publication.
9 July 2013 was a particularly dark day for the Lewisham News Shopper.
Lewisham News Shopper, 9 July 2013 (story):
Catford fox horror for man on toilet
A CATFORD man was driven potty after being attacked by a fox which burst in on him as he sat on the toilet.
Anthony Schofield claims he was quietly going about his business in the little boys’ room on July 1 when the mangy creature strutted in before mauling him, his partner and his pet cat.
The startled 49-year-old leapt up from the bog with his trousers around his ankles before pursuing the creature around the living room in a farcical fox chase.
Mr Schofield, who lives in Ringstead Road, said: “I didn’t even have time to wipe myself.
“I just had to chase after it. It was so quick. The fox had pushed its nose through the door. I jumped off the toilet. In the meantime it had run into the front room and got the cat.
“It had the cat round the neck. She was in shock, bleeding from her face. It locked itself onto my arm but still had the cat as well. It was unbelievable – the strength in the little thing.
“There was blood everywhere. It was like a struggle for my life.”
The unemployed carpenter says he eventually managed to free himself from the animal’s jaws by hauling it outside – while it was still latched onto his arm.
He was treated at hospital for cuts and bruises while his 14-year-old rescue cat Jessie sustained facial injuries and is still too scared to enter the living room.
Just thank your lucky stars Mr Schofield survived his vulpine violation and was able to show off his voluptuous thighs in these ludicrous ‘999’-style photo reconstructions. What would Michael Buerk think? That’s what you should ask yourself every day – but especially today.
With thanks to Ben Chisnall, who will never relax on a toilet again.
Heard about the time the Worcester News took on retail giant Asda, and won? If not, then you’re clearly not reading the Worcester News enough.
But first things first. Personally, if I bought an Asda chicken curry ready meal which was missing the ‘chicken’, I’d be mightily relieved rather than get all miserable and Gazette-Facey about it.
Worcester News, 23 February 2013 (story):
The chicken curry – with no chicken in it
A FURIOUS shopper has vowed never to return to a supermarket after he found his chicken curry contained no chicken.
Darren Ford bought the meal from Asda in St Martin’s Quarter, Worcester, on Monday as part of a £6 deal. But when his family sat down to eat the food on Wednesday night, they were shocked to find the curry contained just sauce.
The married father-of-one then had to spend a further £20 on a takeaway to feed his wife Louise, 14-year-old Tara and her friend. However, when the trained chef complained to Asda, they refused to reimburse him for the extra expense.
The 44-year-old, of Guildford Close, Ronkswood, said: “It’s not something we regularly do because I’m a chef, but as it was the Brits and my wife had been working all week we thought we’d have it.
“I put it in the oven and I’m looking at it and thinking, ‘Where’s the chicken?’. We had to spend £20 on a takeaway because I can’t drive and it was late at night. I phoned customer services to be told I was only going to get a refund and a £5 gift voucher. I’ve told them they can keep their gift card and I won’t be going in there again.”
Thankfully, the Worcester News stepped in and saved the day, in a dispute which I’m sure went all the way to Walmart HQ .
After your Worcester News contacted Asda, they upped their offer to Mr Ford to a £35 voucher. He said he would spend the gift card on “anything but food”.
Maybe he can visit the books section and use the voucher for some cookbooks. He is a chef after all.
Thanks to Ben Chisnall.
It is every testosterone-splattered man’s dream to feature in the news as a have-a-go-hero who uses just one hand to floor attacker after attacker in a vicious street attack and escape unscathed. The dream came true for one pub landlord from Wisbech, in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, only to then come crashing down when it turned out the whole thing was a massive humongous fib.
Wisbech Standard, 20 February 2013 (story):
LIAR: The pub landlord who conned the world into believing he single-handedly fought off four muggers
A PUB landlord has admitted to police he lied about fighting off four attackers outside a Wisbech fish and chip shop.
The alleged attack – which made international news after John Wood, 37, first told his story to the Wisbech Standard – never happened.
The ‘heroic’ derring-do pub landlord from the Marshland Arms has even been forced to cough up an £80 fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
How Wood received his wounds – seen by our reporter and photographer – is not known but police are assured he did NOT get them from fielding off attackers.
Wood had alleged that four men cornered him in an alleyway off Lynn Road, Wisbech, as he emerged from Frank’s Fish & Chip Shop. But, despite suffering a stab wound which he claimed required 18 stitches, the 37-year-old alleged he floored all four of his attackers – and left with his dinner intact.
Wood claimed he had trained in martial arts as a teenager and said the men “stopped me and demanded my phone and wallet. I told them if they wanted it, come and get it.
“They all came at me at once. I kicked two of them in the leg. I used to do a little bit of aikido and I remembered to go for the knees. They fell to the floor and couldn’t get up.
“As I did that another clipped me in the face. I turned around and hit him and he fell.”
He then went into detail about the attacked and claimed “I didn’t even drop the chips. “It was all done one-handed. They weren’t even squashed when I got home!”
So impressive. Such a shame then that when the chips were down, the landlord’s story didn’t add up and he had to face this humiliation in the local paper, throwing the holy sacrament of ‘news’ into total disarray.
You’d think that would be the end of the matter, but no: the landlord came back for more and the Wisbech Standard published a follow-up story with yet more comments from him in which he desperately maintains his innocence.
Shamed pub landlord insists attacks did happen (story):
SHAMED pub landlord John Wood insisted today he did fight off four attackers and only accepted an £80 fine for wasting police time “to get them off my back”.
Faced with being branded by police as a liar, the 37 year-old landlord of the Marshland Arms remains adamant he was attacked outside Franks’ fish and chip shop.
“The reason I accepted a fine for wasting police time was because I wanted the whole thing finished,” he told me.
Two detectives quizzed him, he said, and explained they had examined CCTV in the area and would find no footage of the alleged attack.
“They asked if I had caused the injuries to myself- asked if my fiancée had done it or had the kids done it by accident,” he said.
Mr Wood said: “It was the most bizarre moment of my life being interviewed by people who didn’t believe me. Where did they think the injuries came from for goodness sake?
“I was told due to them actually spending time on the case I would have to a pay a fine. I said anything just to get this bloody matter finished. So they wrote up a statement, I signed it and left thinking that was over.
“Now these lies are being bandied about.”
A police spokesman said: “Officers began to investigate the allegations but soon realised his version of events did not add up.
“The 37 year old admitted he lied when he was interviewed yesterday.”
A real Wisbech whodunnit. I just don’t know what or who to believe any more.
Thanks to Peter Cragg.
Question: What do you do in that moment of blind panic when your 12-year-old son stumbles upon the secret world of vice and illegality you thought was well hidden on the family computer?
Options: (a) confess all, (b) slip your son a fiver to keep quiet, or (c) report it to the police, write to the Home Secretary, and parade you and your son in the pages of the local paper with Gazette Faces in order to prove it’s got nothing to do with your own online browsing habits.
Grimsby Telegraph, 19 January 2013 (story):
‘Dark web’ warning to parents as Cleethorpes boy stumbles on grim internet world
A 12-YEAR-old boy from Cleethorpes stumbled across an internet underworld selling guns and sex with underage girls while looking for games online.
His appalled father now wants to spread the word to other parents and has even written to the Home Secretary about it.
Robert Palmer, 53, of Arundel Place, Cleethorpes, was horrified when his son Morgan, who suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), told him what he had unearthed.
The computer whiz had found an ominous tutorial, explaining how to download a different web server, which he did, that unveiled the whole section of the internet not available to normal users.
Services advertised on the dark web include guns, contract killers, drugs, credit card skimmers, sex, child and animal pornography and identities for sale, which can be bought using an online currency called Bitcoins.
Sounds like a whole Narnia of sin. Not one to be selfish, the concerned moral crusader was keen to share news of this ‘whole section of the internet not available to normal users’ with other parents.
Mr Palmer said: “There is nothing you can’t get on there and some of it is pretty grim, so I think that other parents should know about it.
“Young people could get hold of drugs without even meeting a drug dealer, which is worrying. Morgan is sensible and luckily he told me.
Mr Palmer, who writes computer programmes himself, contacted Humberside Police but was told nothing could be done – although they have offered advice to parents and assured them that calls will be taken seriously.
Frustrated, he has written to Home Secretary Theresa May about the dark web, urging her to take action to protect the public from such blatant illegality.
Morgan, a gifted pupil at Cleethorpes Academy, said: “This is the mother-load of criminal websites – some of the things on there are appalling. I knew what it was straight away so I went to get my dad.”
It’s a bit out of order for little Morgan to drag his mother into this sordid episode.
Bolton awoke to the news today that customers are literally flocking to a local shop to get a glimpse of a wonder egg that has sent shock waves across the world. Well, the hen and grocery worlds at least.
The Bolton News, 05 February 2013 (story)
ONE hen has performed “eggs-tradinary” — after laying one of Britain’s biggest eggs.
Note to editor: if you’re happy to publish an article la(i)den with egg-scruciating egg puns, please ensure that the first one is not only hard-hitting but is also correctly spelt and makes sense.
But I digress.
The egg, which came from a chicken at an allotment in Breightmet, is four times the usual size of an egg.
It weighs 6.75oz (191g) is 8.25in in circumference and is 4in tall.
Normally, a large egg in the UK would weight about 73g.
Now I’m interested, tell me more.
Terry Paulcrompton was so “eggs-static” when he discovered the giant egg he took it to show his pal Laszlo Hamar, owner of nearby Wise Buys Discount Store in Bury Road. Mr Hamar said: “It’s the biggest egg I have ever seen. It’s absolutely enormous.
Quiet at the back.
Terry was really shocked when he found it, and when I saw it I couldn’t believe it either. “We have been looking on the internet and we think it’s one the biggest eggs ever laid in England.”
Not just the largest egg laid in England, Terry, but the largest in Britain!
The largest egg laid in Britain weighed in at 6.6oz and was produced by a Rhode Island chicken last year.
That, if my maths is correct, is a whole 0.15oz lighter than Terry’s find. Like Neil Kinnock, Kris Akabusi must be All Right-ing at the news.
And it’s not just the two pals that are egg-cited by their find.
…visitors have been flocking to view the egg, which is now on display at the shop.
Mr Hamar, aged 55, from Ainsworth, said: “Lots of people have been coming in to take photos of it.”
“Everyone is really shocked when they see it.”
Shell shocked, one can only assume. Much like the poor mother hen.
For a nation of shopkeepers, the British sure know how to bugger up a business deal. The collapse of the Great British High Street. The untimely gold-flogging of Gordon Brown. The transfer dealings of Mark Hughes. And it’s that fetid space where sport and finance mingle which brings us our latest local antihero.
Dorset Echo, 21 January 2013 (story)
I’m stuck with 10,000 Lance Armstrong DVDs to shift
A POOLE entrepreneur is looking for creative suggestions after becoming stuck with 10,000 DVDs featuring disgraced former US cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Karl Baxter of Wholesale Clearance UK at Willis Way bought the discs before the seven times Tour de France winner’s name was fatally tarnished in a doping scandal.
Oh, Karl. You must be rueing that decision.
A rueful Karl said: “I bought the DVDs at a good price. The idea was to sell them in small job lots so traders could go on eBay, Amazon or car boot sales and sell them on.
“There was a slight amount of risk. There was suspicion but he wasn’t admitting to it.
“I was hoping the problem would die down and I would be able to find a home for them. Now I don’t think I would get a tenth of the money back.”
Karl, who sometimes buys bankrupt stock from stores that have gone out of business, said: “This is one of the few things I’ve managed to buy that has come back to bite me.”
Apart from all that clearance stock he once bought from a false teeth factory, presumably.
What Karl needs is a bit of entrepreneurial flair. That’s what’s going to get the country out of this economic crisis, after all. A successful small businessman would be able to turn this crisis into an opportunity. With the right idea, he could secure enough investment to dig himself out of this hole. So let’s hear it.
I could make a tower or build a big dominoes track for my three-year-old.
Thanks to @davidjamesevans