D’ya hear yer man

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A load of rubbish

Being the first person in the street to leave your bins out is a big responsibility. I was that person last week. I never keep track of what bins go out when. It’s not high up my list of priorities. It falls somewhere between remembering to empty the sent items from my email and making sure socks are fully unfurled before entering the washing machine.

I looked up and down the street to see if anyone else had put their bins out so I could follow their lead. The street was empty. It was up to me. I had to set the standard for what bins were going out this week. I hedged my bets, putting all four bins out - the ‘dirty’ bin, the brown bin and the two recycling boxes. My rule is ‘If there’s no bin you can’t win’. You can laugh, but at least half a dozen others followed suit.

I can just imagine my neighbours looking at me, putting out four bins and saying to themselves, “Is that boy wise in the head? He’s leaving out all four bins even though they’re only collecting the recycling boxes this week.”

Then after some serious pondering, my neighbours renege. “What if he knows something we don’t?” they ask themselves. “What have I got to lose by putting all four bins out? I’m sorry Maureen, but I’m putting the lot out. To hell with what the council leaflet says.”

In the end only the recycling boxes were emptied but I took consolation in the fact I’d led most of the street on a merry dance.

Teething problems

My dad spent much of last week without his two front teeth due to a mishap with a cashew nut. He was spotted walking through Lurgan Park with a copy of the ‘MAIL’ under his arm and some passers-by mistook him for a vagrant looking for a park bench to bed down for the night.

But every cloud has a silver lining. While his toothless grin mightn’t have looked that endearing, the gap between his teeth came in very handy as a bottle opener.

Dead on time

Newspapers have deadlines. For example all display advertising has to be with the Lurgan Mail before 12.30pm on a Tuesday and the deadline to have the paper sent to head office to be printed is 12noon on a Wednesday.

With this concept of deadlines in mind, I give you the following story...

On Tuesday Clint got a now legendary email from his boss Damian, who lives at head office in Carn, saying ‘Need you here at 12 tomorrow’.

On Wednesday at 12 Clint turned up at head office only to be told by Damian, “I meant the paper had to be here at 12, not you personally.”

So, who’s to blame for this comical misunderstanding? Is it Clint for blindly following orders or Damian for his ambiguous email?

You don’t seriously think I’m going to answer that? I value my job too much!

A strange smell

I came into the office the other morning and Jenna was sitting in reception drinking Red Bull. The smell of the stuff would have turned you.

I walked up the stairs to the first floor of the office, which for those of you not familiar with the layout of ‘MAIL’ HQ, is where you’ll find the advertising department and the kitchen. The kitchen used to be Geoff’s darkroom in the days when photographers were akin to goths, preferring to while away their days in black solitude. Now it houses a kitchen with all mod cons including a kettle, toaster, sink, fridge, microwave and enough vinegar to preserve an African elephant.

Anyway, back to Jenna’s smelly energy drink. I was standing on the landing of the first floor and could still smell the pungent stench of Red Bull.

I called down to Jenna. “I can still smell that Red Bull up here,” I said.

Jenna called back, “It’s probably my other can of Red Bull in the fridge that you smell.”

I’m a man of many rare talents but smelling a tin of Red Bull through two closed doors and a sealed refrigerator is not one of them.

Red Bull might give you wings but I’m very worried about what it does to your braincells.

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: the man who pushed his car and ended up bankrupt was playing Monopoly.

Here’s this week’s teaser: Can you solve the following devilishly tricky Dingbat-style puzzle...

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