A relieved Deputy Chief Minister Bernard Flouquet has expressed his last minute gratitude to Guernsey Futu for choosing not to linger over the controversy surrounding his allegedly racist Obama-related joke about golliwogs, made in early 2009.
“I must say, when I first heard that Guernsey had its own satirical news site, I imagined the worst. After all, my gag about President Obama’s presence on the world stage being a green light to reintroduce golliwogs on jam jar labels was probably the most appalling thing a public figure from this Island had said in years,” he chuckled. ” I mean, wow! What a target, right?”
“But I suppose by the time you appeared it was too much like old news. I mean it’s, what… two years ago, now?” he added with a wink. “Anyway, since you’re calling it quits I’d just like to say thanks for not going out of your way to remind everyone about my moment of incredible bad judgement.”
Aside from receiving strong criticism at the time, and having to survive a divisive confidence vote in the Chamber, Deputy Flouquet was roundly defended by some.
“I couldn’t believe all the hoo ha,” said golliwog maker, Joan Headpat. “They were just harmless words, after all, and it’s not words that matter, but deeds – and a politician’s deeds are fundamentally based upon his words, so…so…
“Oh my word! Now I get it!” she said.
Islanders are trying to digest the news that a local man, Ian Chimney, has yet to visit Le Friquet Garden Centre.
The oversight was revealed during lunch with friends, when conversation turned, inevitably, to the unbelievable variety of items on offer at the unimaginably sprawling octagonal garden retail park.
“We were all deciding underneath exactly which spot in the central courtyard we would like to be buried,” said his friend Lizzie Busy, “when Ian turned round, casual as you like, and just mentioned that he’d never once set foot in the place. I thought he was just trying to make me choke, but it’s true.”
Commentators have said in unison that “you can’t, just…not go to the Friquet Centre,” whilst owners, the Blue Diamond Group, have also expressed their dismay.
“I don’t mean to sound rude,” said manager Brixton McNairn, “but what in Christ’s name has he been doing for the last four years? We’d been under the impression that everyone on Guernsey had visited us within six days of our opening.
“We’ve already actioned a full-scale promotional campaign specifically targeting Mr Chimney,” he added. “We’ll reel the bugger in.”
As pressure to explain himself continued to mount, Mr Chimney remembered that he’d actually been in a coma since just before the store opened.
“That’s not going to wash with us,” said Mr McNairn.
“We regularly have coma patients being wheeled through our doors. The numerous water features have a therapeutic affect; whilst our range of pressed flowers “Get Out Of Your Coma Soon” greetings cards are among our top sellers.
A vintage St Peter Port food outlet has had its plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment approved by the States.
Ribshack proprietor, Zeferino Gouffre, said his ambition to grow the business from its humble beginnings has never been absent. “My great-grandfather, Simão, opened for business on this very spot,” he said, “when he pressed two pieces of bread around a burnt steak he was carrying and sold it to an injured soldier freshly returned from the Boer War.”
Ribshack is known for having retained its rustic charms, despite marked regeneration projects taking shape on all sides in recent years. But Mr Gouffre, and his relatives before him, have astutely set aside every penny of profit made from selling chips and cheese, chips, curry sauce and cheese, chips, burgers, tuna and curried cheese, and Pepsi, in order to facilitate the new investment.
“When we reopen next January, customers will marvel at how large the Ribshack will be. Really, absolutely huge. People will come and say ‘Oh my god, those are the biggest picture menus I’ve ever seen’.”
In fact, the plans are simpler than might be expected, consisting of simply scaling the building upwards until it is a replica five times the size of the original.
“Absolutely,” confirmed Mr Gouffre. “Everything from the pigeon dung smeared across the vintage awning to the empty chicken nugget boxes left outside – bigger, better, and bigger!
Mr Gouffre added that the £30m fund does not currently stretch to improving the menu. “No, the money’s all going into the giant doors and the 18 litre ketchup bottles, but I have my Papa Simão’s entrepreneurial spirit in my blood. We’ll just start saving up again.”
A Futu journalist with a tight deadline ould not omplete an arti le last night as the letter between ‘x’ and ‘v’ on his keyboard pa ked in.
“Oh rap!” shouted sub-editor hris des arteret as he rushed to on lude his puff-pie e on the astel hurh ommunity hoir on ert. “How am I going to omplete this o k-su king arti le without a unting ‘ ‘?”
An otherwise perfectly intelligent middle-aged woman was rooted to the spot yesterday lunchtime after being confronted by a complex meal deal.
As part of a new promotion, Boots has introduced a two-tier meal deal system whereby customers can realise a range of savings depending on the combination of consumables selected.
The decision to increase the amount of foods eligible for the meal deal, plus the exclusion of key brands, proved too much for advertising executive Mary Clutch.
“I just want to buy some sodding lunch,” Ms Clutch told Guernsey Futu. “But at the same time, I want to maximise the amount of money I save under the new system.
“I don’t understand how I can save less money if I buy more expensive items under the cheaper meal deal offer, but if I buy fewer cheaper items under the pricier deal, I’m better off, relatively speaking. I think.”
When Ms Clutch was talking to Guernsey Futu a number of customers breezed into the aisle and, after a single glance at 14 rows of differently-priced foods, confidently swept their chosen lunchtime combo into their basket.
“Bastards,” said Ms Clutch. “Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I’m over-thinking it. Right. Here goes… so the coronation chicken is £3.29 outside of the second Meal Deal, but in effect becomes £1.43 if I have a 500ml bottle of water rather than the 300ml… but if I have the three-bean wrap and a fruit salad I’ve saved £14.00… no, wait, that can’t be right…”
Guernsey Futu left her to it.
Three boys are reported to have spent the best part of today trying, but failing, to get lost on their bikes.
9 year olds Toby Fury, Dieter Trestle and Harry Sablon set out this morning from their homes near Port Soif, determined to become impenetrably lost in the seemingly labyrinthine lanes of the western parishes.
“We knew we had to start early with the clocks going forward,” said Trestle. “We needed the whole day to get really, really lost and maybe end up never seeing our parents again and people calling the police and our photos getting shown on the TV and that.”
However, their tactic of venturing down only the narrowest, darkest lanes they can find has resulted in growing frustration as, without fail, they emerge barely minutes later onto roads they already know.
“We found one lane which looked like no one had ever gone down it since, like, the war,” said Fury, pointing out the twisty byroad on his mobile’s Google app. “We wondered if we’d ever find our way home again.”
“Then further down there was this car coming the other way,” Sablon interjected. “It turned out it was Dieter’s uncle Mark, and he started waving at us. We were gutted.”
The boys were last seen in the Hougue Falle area, unaware they were headed straight for the Longfrie Inn, which absolutely everyone knows about.
Mourners attending a St Peter Port funeral were stunned yesterday when Father Joseph Cormac O’Donnell departed from his touching tribute to the deceased and embarked on a 10 minute tirade denouncing computer manufacturer Apple’s “monopolising tactics”.
“He was in the middle of an anecdote when he noticed someone in the congregation checking her iPhone,” said funeral director, John Seeby. “Next minute he’s chiding her for falling into Steve Jobs’ pockets. After that, there was no stopping him. I’d like to say we haven’t been here before, but I’d be lying.”
“In mass last Sunday,” a verger told Guernsey Futu anonymously, “he told the story about Eve giving Adam the sinful apple, but updated it for the youngsters; so now Adam becomes angry because he’s forced to purchase all his mp3s solely via the iTunes store.”
The verger, who claims to have glimpsed Father O’Donnell’s notes for his upcoming Easter sermon, believes he is gearing up to address his bête noire in a more deliberate fashion.
“From what I saw, it’s entitled ‘Deliver us from Apple: How MS-DOS will get you into heaven,'” he said.
The Royal Court heard yesterday how Retcombe Hawkes, 29, used his 2002 Peugeot 306 as a homemade iron lung for his aunt, Ms Iris Clipton, without adequate insurance.
Representing himself, Mr Hawkes, who described his profession as “nounist”, pleaded not guilty and asked Jurat Weatherpocket for leniency in light of “certain voles” that wanted to “show the Jurat what they’ve done with the yellow room”. When Jurat Weatherpocket asked Mr Hawkes “How do you know about the voles?” Hawkes replied, “Iris needs just one more pelt.”
Following a brief adjournment Mr Hawkes requested he be allowed to send an apology “to the man crying in the yellow room”, whereupon a tearful Jurat asked Mr Hawkes to “please get out of my head” before promptly dismissing the case.
The Guille-Allès Library is to build a special soundproof room to house its noisiest books.
Readers have complained that books such as The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner have been disturbing the library’s quiet atmosphere with their rowdy titles.
Head Librarian, Mary Le Livre, confirmed that some books were ignoring the library’s ‘sshhh’ signs.
“The worst offenders, like Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, are very disruptive. Even a firm shushing from the staff doesn’t shut them up,” she said.
“We asked them, ‘Why can’t you be more like All Quiet on the Western Front or Silence of the Lambs?’. We even tried throwing them out of the library, but they kept on being returned,” said Mrs Le Livre, who added that segregating the volumes into a soundproofed area would finally solve the problem for good.
Regular library users, like bi-monthly reader Bill Spears, have welcomed the news.
“It’s fantastic that peace will finally be restored to the library,” whispered Mr Spears. “I was in there last week, reading Fahrenheit 451 to keep warm, and I found myself sitting across from Lady Chatterley’s Lover. She just would not shut the hell up.”
The soundproofed reading room will be completed by the end of the month. Before entering the room readers will be asked to don a blindfold to protect their ears.
41-year old accountant Andrew Dunkitt lived to regret his “rash optimism” yesterday in his search for a lunchtime parking space.
On a shopping errand in Town, the collector of samurai swords had dismissed thoughts of gambling on a Crown Pier place. “Town was pretty busy so I sensibly decided to try the 2-hour zone on the North Beach,” he told Futu from his police cell.
However a “knee jerk reaction” saw him swoop into the more convenient car park at the last second. “No sooner had I committed myself than I realised the folly of what I’d done,” he lamented. “There was barely room for my car to leave the road before I came up against a queue of other drivers who had evidently had the same bollocks idea.”
Just as Mr Dunkitt eventually found a space, he noticed another one had appeared at the other end, close to the shops. “I had to grab such a glorious opportunity,” he said.
Unfortunately, as he neared the ‘space’ it turned out to be occupied by a diminutive Smart Car, prompting an agitated Mr Dunkitt to abandon his vehicle and embark on a killing spree in which 13 were decapitated.
More on the spree next Friday.