Saddam Hussein’s top tips for tourists

Newsflash! Irish local newspapers come through with bizarre-ness yet again:

Fermanagh man Tom Daly (72) is a former schoolteacher and lecturer who spent 15 years working in the Middle East. In an interview with the paper Mr Daly told how in 1988 he arrived in Baghdad and was on his way to the city of Basra …

‘All these taxi drivers were coming down to me offering to take my bags and drive me down to Basra for 60 quid and I wasn’t sure what to do. Then a man in a long dark coat came over to me, put his hand up and said: ‘Don’t listen to them. Take a taxi (sic), it will cost you £10’. I thought this was a much better idea and was glad of the help. All the taxi drivers had also backed away so I asked some of them afterwards: ‘Who was that man?’

They said: ‘That was Mr Saddam Hussein’.’

Tune in next week, when Saddam helps out with some tricky carpet-buying negotiations…

Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 09:21:19 +0100
From: Joe McNally (spam-protected)
To: Yahoogroups Forteana (spam-protected)
Subject: And on the lighter side…

http://www.irishnews.com/access/daily/current.asp?SID=429949

Irish farmer is ‘a cut above the rest’

Paper Clips: A round-up of the weekly press

By Tony Bailie

MOST of the north’s regional papers again carried stories last week giving a local perspective on the war in Iraq, but the most remarkable was in the Impartial Reporter.

Fermanagh man Tom Daly (72) is a former schoolteacher and lecturer who spent 15 years working in the Middle East.

In an interview with the paper Mr Daly told how in 1988 he arrived in Baghdad and was on his way to the city of Basra to take up a lecturing post.

He told the paper: “I had just flown into the country and landed at Baghdad airport in the dead of night. I took a taxi to the bus station to make my way down to Basra which was about 60 kilometres away.

“All these taxi drivers were coming down to me offering to take my bags and drive me down to Basra for 60 quid and I wasn’t sure what to do.

“Then a man in a long dark coat came over to me, put his hand up and said: ‘Don’t listen to them. Take a taxi (sic), it will cost you £10’.

“I thought this was a much better idea and was glad of the help. All the taxi drivers had also backed away so I asked some of them afterwards: ‘Who was that man?’

and they said: ‘That was Mr Saddam Hussein’.”

According to the Larne Times the borough council found itself in an awkward position because of the war.

The town, which is due to host Iraqi athletes during the Special Olympics in June, had put up a sign declaring: “Larne Host Town to Iraq”.

However, according to the paper the wife of a serving British soldier, currently in southern Iraq, objected and called for the sign to be taken down.

The paper reported: “She said she felt the wording of the sign and the timing of its erection was ‘inappropriate’.”

“Others took more direct action, however, spray painting the head of the town sign ‘No Way’.” A few days later the words “Ulster Says No” where added.

According to the Larne Times the sign was subsequently removed, a decision described by Larne Borough Council chief executive Colm McGarry as “common sense”.

The soldier’s wife who lodged the objection stressed that she had no objections to the Special Olympics.

“It was the wording of the sign that annoyed me – I nearly crashed my car when I saw it,” she told the paper.

However, Larne’s mayor, Councillor Bobby McKee, told the paper that while he sympathised with the objectors he believed the sign should have stayed up.

“The war is against Saddam Hussein and his regime, not against disabled people. I find great difficulty in getting my head around any opposition to people with a disability,” he told the paper.

— Joe McNally :: Flaneur at Large :: http://www.flaneur.org.uk

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