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ULSTER MAN OF THE PEOPLE: Be prepared for 2001.. a very spaced out Odyssey.

Byline: SHANE DONAGHEY

IT'S definitely time that this column introduced an almanac.

So this is what Olde Donagheye (try pronouncing that one tonight after a skinful) thinks will happen after gazing into his crystal balls.

The UUP is in crisis as deputy leader John Taylor announces he is waiting for clarification from the PM on certain issues before he can decide whether or not to like his Christmas presents.

Following on from not meeting the Dalai Lama and Bill Clinton at Belfast City Hall, Lord Mayor Sammy Wilson says he had a prior engagement in his garden, and wasn't available when God called, who he'd never heard of anyway.

During his city hall press conference, God says he isn't responsible for Ulster nor nor middle east unrest, so he'd be grateful if everyone stopped blaming Him.

UTV produces a half-decent entertainment show. Fundamentalists take it as proof that the end of the world is nigh...

Pro-Agreement unionists breathe easily when John Taylor announces his Christmas presents are just fab.

Anne Widdecombe calls for poor people to be publicly flogged

The Assembly announces that rates are to increase once again, to pay for their members' next massive pay hike...

The IRA ceasefire is on a knife edge as they demand that the grass on the other side of the fence be painted the right shade of republican green.

William Hague dresses up as Ali G in a pathetic attempt to look cool, not realising that Ali G is soooo year 2000.

The Waterfront Hall, against all odds, turns a profit. It's thanks to the UUP, which is now hiring the building for a weekly crisis meeting.

The Assembly is suspended for three months on full pay because the poor dears need a rest.

Former members of the INLA start shooting each other in a new feud. "We were missing the old days," says a source.

Good news, the 1980s revival sees Kylie's comeback well and truly cemented. Bad news, Jason Donovan storms the charts again.

The last hospital West of the Bann is shut. A management consultant says in an emergency it should be easy to get from one of the Sperrin mountains to the RVH in Belfast. He did it. In a BMW. At four in the morning.

The Queen is forced out of Buckingham Palace after Ulster Secretary Peter Mandelson decides Hillsborough Castle isn't a grand enough residence.

Someone from a small, far away country points out to the new US Secretary of State that his name is Colin Powell, not `colon'. After checking that they are a small country, new President George W Bush orders it blasted off that piece of paper on his desk. An aide tells him it's a map).

The UUP faces another crisis meeting in the Waterfront Hall. After a knife edge vote, those who prefer sparkling mineral water to still, win the day with 50.1 per cent of the vote. John Taylor asks for further clarification.

Someone realises that Liz Hurley can't act, and says so. It's further realised that nobody actually cares that she can't act.

The Oscars are cancelled after the worst year for movies in living memory. The Tories are cancelled too, due to lack of interest. But Drumcree 2001 goes ahead, despite the complete lack of interest.

After one joke too many about the US `Accidency', and that election Dubya orders Chad blown off the map.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams finally gets the job he wanted all his life. No, not Mary McAleese's but that of an Open University lecturer. (That beard, those glasses, that droning voice which is perfect for insomnia telly...)

William Hague loses the election. New Tory leader Anne Widdecombe announces that those who leave back library books after the date will be jailed. Any refugees who leave books back late will be hanged.

The Assembly gives themselves a pay rise to pay for Christmas 2001.

Happy new year!

CAPTION(S):

LIZ: Can't act, who cares?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Dec 31, 2000
Words:662
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