Well known in other parts

By David Grima | Sep 15, 2016

Not a moment too soon, my longtime foreign correspondent Mr. Limerock has sent me a list of desperately underwhelming newspaper headlines from jolly old Britain. I present some of them to you, with a few words and phrases translated into American where appropriate.

1. Fugitive Dachshund Causes Mayhem

2. Out-Of-Date Pie Is Sold To Young Mum

3. Cat Hops Into Delivery Van

4. Puddle Splash Victim Vows Revenge

5. Newport Man Grows Huge Tomato

6. Exeter Seagulls Turned Off My TV

7. Woman Finds A Hat In A Tree

8. Man Freed After Getting His Head Stuck In Bin In Aberdeen

9. Student Attacked By Seagull

10. Seagull Attacked By Student

11. Angry Seagull Strikes Back

12. Police admit "biggest-ever" cocaine haul is dental powder

13. Footpath proves popular

14. Cheeky seagull nabs chips

15. Castle under attack from pigeons

16. Ducks take refuge from rain

17. "I’m not dead" says gran

18. Raging billy goats cause mischief

19. Drunk torched peanut bag and"‘made love to ambulance"

20. Reigate fury over giant hedge

21. George Bernard Shaw’s Shed Explodes

22. Jude Law Enjoys Fish Supper Near Newquay

23. Town centre cow drama

24. Charity boxing night ends in brawl

25. Hampstead shoppers slam Tesco after organic porridge oats disappear from store

26. Man threw snail at car

27. Chutney blew up my fridge

28. Village hall cooker to be cleaned more often

29. Kitten that looks like Hitler

30. Chickens removed from intersection

You will notice that several of these stunning news items refer to the ravages caused to human beings by seagulls. No doubt you will see how this terrifying information fits in nicely with the occasional news I am able to share about the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse, who frequent these concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live.

I should explain that British newspapers are quite likely to print almost anything that is phoned in by a loyal reader. Here we take a very high view of newspapers, believing that only the most important stuff is worthy of being splashed across the front pages. In Britain, everything is considered important. For example, the story about the man who threw a snail at a car was given full-page treatment in the front of that particular edition.

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Speaking of news from foreign places, I spent a couple of days over the border in New Hampshire last weekend and was astonished to discover that Lord Trumpleton is running for president there as well. I had no idea he was so well known in other parts.

It wasn't just in New Hampshire. Driving back into Maine through the Oxford hills, we passed by a very run-down and shabby-looking local convenience store, which had a hand-painted sign the size of a coffin lid set up outside proclaiming "I Endorse Lord Trumpleton For President," or words to that effect. Why someone who is obviously quite poor would choose to endorse Trumpleton is quite beyond me. I can only assume Trumpleton has promised to share his fictional wealth with all the poor people of America if they will vote for him, and that somehow this astonishing news slipped by me when I wasn't looking.

My message to the poor of America on this subject is, "don't hold your breath."

The weather in New Hampshire had turned stormy by Sunday morning, with lightning and pelting rain following us all through the White Mountains. Still, I was optimistic about the prospects ahead in Maine. I confidently predicted the rain would end by the time we reached Our Fair Capital City, and that blue skies would greet us as we crossed into Blessed Knox County. Sure enough, that's exactly what happened, and I am still wondering how on earth I got it so right. It will never happen again, I promise.

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I understand there is a plan to restore gravestones in Tolman Cemetery, on Lake Avenue. It's not so well known a spot as Achorn Cemetery on Old County Road, but Tolman does contain the mortal remains of several local men who fought in the Revolutionary War. According to information available at the South End gas station, the restoration project is being undertaken (spot the pun if you can) by Lady Knox Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Further information is said to be available at feltonmk@gmail.com.

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Speaking of political signs, I am told there is one in Cushing that reads "Love Trumps Hate." It represents an interesting study in the general vagueness of English as she is spoke and writ.

Taken one way, it could mean that the owner of the sign is expressing support for the hatred that Lord Trumpleton represents, as in "I love Trump's hate." We all know that nobody understands the rules governing apostrophes anymore, so this interpretation is not so far-fetched. For example, a bar in New Hampshire has a sign announcing Happy Hour, or something, at 7 p.m. Wednesday's. Or it might mean that love triumphs over hate, which we certainly hope it will.

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