A friends post on Facebook brought a book to my attention. I tracked it down and bought it. At this point I feel that I should point out that the majority of this post is blatant plagiarism. But it tickled me, so I shall share.
As I may have already mentioned, I live in the UK. To be more precise, I live in Kent, England. (That is the bottom right hand corner of our hallowed isle, for you foreign folk.)
To be totally exact I live on the coast in a town called Whitstable, just a little north of Canterbury (that place with a big church which is famous for having an arch-bishop who is the top bod of the Anglican church, for having a guy called Thomas being murdered in it cos of a glib comment of a king and for being the main ‘stop-n-pray’ church for everyone who felt the urge to go to the Holy Lands in the middle ages and kill anyone who didn’t think God was English).
Actually, we don’t feel the need to base our fame upon our nearby historical centres. Whitstable Oysters are world famous. But I am straying from my point (like that is unusual).
This was just filler to make more sense of why I went looking for this book.
The book is called… ‘WHITSTABLE MUM IN CUSTARD SHORTAGE… and other world exclusives from Britain’s finest local newspapers’ (a link at the bottom of this post will take you to a page where you can purchase the book).
Now you get it, right?
I don’t know if our nation’s local papers are indicative of the quality of local papers worldwide, but here… they kinda rock, for all the wrong reasons. And this book highlights some of the best stories.
I must confess, usually the headline is the best part. Once you get into the story itself, it gets a bit mundane. But with headlines like these, what more do you actually need… And I should point out that these are all real. Reality is often more bizarre than fiction…
Pensioner in Pants Foils Angry Burglar
(I should point out to any Americans… Over here ‘pants’ does not mean trousers. It means underwear. Now that you know this, read it again… I’ll wait here while you do… I know, right? And you think I’d start with the best?)
Village is ‘Crime Free’
‘No crime was reported in a North Somerset village last month’.
Church Window Nearly Smashed
A football (soccer ball for you Yanks) was kicked and just missed the stained glass window. Headline stuff!!!
I’ll fight Council over sausage roll
Don’t ask. Just enjoy.
No Evidence of Drink Driving Detected
‘More than 80 vehicles were stopped over the last weekend during the festive road safety campaign’.
No Charges for man, 37
He was arrested, and released without charge. Not only was this newsworthy… but his age was also pertinent enough to put in the headline (he wasn't the 37th man pulled up for the crime, whatever it was).
Mystery as Hanging Basket is Stolen – Then Returned
What more can I say. Surrey was both shocked and incensed, and then relieved.
Milk Stolen From Outside Property
‘Two people were seen getting into a blue hatchback car’.
Hunt For Worthing ‘Poo Thief’
‘A bag-snatcher on a bicycle pinched a bag of poo from an elderly dog walker in Worthing’.
Boiled Egg Explodes
‘An elderly woman exploded a boiled egg. Watch manager Chris Roddaway, at Chester fire station, said: “She boiled it dry – they just go bang and it blackened the pan’.
Don’t Let Your Dog Eat Antifreeze – Says Whitnash Vet
Hamster Caught Speeding on Prom
Guides Delighted With Their Rubbish Award
Any explanation would spoil it.
Car Hits Hedge
‘A woman escaped without injury after the car she was driving ran into a hedge in West Cornwall yesterday.’
And a few short headlines before we get to our main feature…
Surrey Police Report No Deaths in Custody
Cows On The Run After Tractor Theft
Crabs Attack In Hampton
Woman, 79, Has To Cut Verges
Welsh Bungalow Has Neat Garden
But, more importantly…
Whitstable Mum In Custard Shortage
‘A MUM of three is dis-custard after a hunt for the dessert sauce in the town proved fruitless.‘
‘Keen baker Jules Serkin, 43, of West Cliff, Whitstable, needed a tin of custard powder to top off her apple and blackcurrant crumble.‘
‘But she was left with a sour taste in her mouth after getting no joy in either Co-ops at Oxford Street and Canterbury Road, and in Somerfield, in the High Street.‘
‘Even a trek to Tankerton's Tesco Express – a corner shop version of its superstores – was wasted.‘
‘"I try to support my local businesses, but in the end I had to resort to going to one of the big supermarkets to get what I needed," said Jules, a holiday rental company director.‘
‘"I feel very sad that I can't seem to get basic stuff from my high street, and am driven to go online.‘
‘"Custard is a staple product on my shopping list and I cannot understand why it should be so hard to find.‘
‘"An assistant in Somerfield said they'd had other shoppers asking for tins of custard, but it hadn't been in stock since the shop was refurbished.‘
‘"And in the Co-ops I was just greeted with an empty shelf where it should be, and no idea when they might be getting it in.‘
‘"I am upset because it seems these shops cannot order a product that customers are demanding as it doesn't seem to fit in with what they are selling.‘
‘"I had to resort to buying sachets which cost 0nly a few pence less than a tin, and don't go very far at all. If I buy a tin, it goes in my pantry and will last me quite a few crumbles.”‘
I know right? Where is the justice? No custard within walking distance??!!
Ok, actually there was custard within walking distance. In fact there was custard in all of the shops that she went to. The problem was that it wasn’t the brand of custard that she wanted. But even so… The injustice!!! No wonder that it made the headlines, raised a national outcry and prompted a book titled after her plight.
Ok. Two out of three in’t too bad. Even if the headlines were only in the local paper, and the book was about stupid local headlines… and this was the stupidest.
Incidentally, there was no national outcry. In fact, this scandal only happened 5 years ago. I have been living in Whitstable over 10 years, and I only heard about it cos of a fr… But you know this.
You don’t? It’s the first sentence! Go back to the start and read it again. And this time take notes!
((The book is mildly chucklesome, and cheap (now). Go buy it. Even if you flip through it then palm it off to someone as a gift… Which is my plan. Happy birthday Dad))