The Ulster Fry: The News at it Should Be | Book Review
Authors: Billy McWilliams & Seamus O’Shea
By Conor O’Neill
Those unfamiliar with The Ulster Fry should stop reading this immediately and visit theulsterfry.com and immerse yourself in the intensely funny world of Billy McWilliams and Seamus O’Shea. In 2014, these two teamed up to starting raking through the mishaps and happenings concerning the silent majority of the North of our wee island. Two years later and Blackstaff Press picked up the ball and selected some of the best of the irreverent side-swipes at both the establishment and the ‘average’ man and woman on the street.
Be warned though, if you’re a beard-sporting trendy, hanging round the stylish bars of Belfast drinking craft ales from jam-jars, a sophisticate eating seared sea bass off a roof tile in Holywood, a spide from Rathcoole or a culchie from Dungannon … you’re going to get the bake ripped clean off ya. But fear not, if you can take a good look and laugh at yourself then this is the book and website for you. Prince Charles, Conor McGregor, dyslexic TUV voters, Belfast Bikes, Edwin Poots, Stephen Hawking, the Balmoral Show, Gerry Adams, Balix, GAWA, David Cameron’s pig, the Larne Crown, Craigavon’s roundabouts, The Fall, Sporting Lisburn, Barry The Blender Henderson, Pamela Ballantine and too many others to mention all get the gleeful wrath of The Ulster Fry.
Divided into four seasons, the articles run from the satirical to the pure ridiculous and if read by someone from somewhere else on the planet would make little or no sense at all. Thankfully, though otherwise divided, the humour here is pure Norn Iron, the one thing that unites us. Apart from some of the great and not-so-good mentioned above, what is quite gorgeous about this little book is the little things and people that get an airing here. One sample picked at random looks at the pastry giant Greggs plans to open shops here. The article details Gordon Snowball from PASTIE (Protestant Association of Stuffing Tastiness Into Everything) getting in touch with Paddy Jampuff from CAKES (Catholic Agency of Kreme-y Edible Stuff) to try and stop the encroachment of the British giant by forming Flegs, a cross community mega organisation. Believe me, it reads a lot better than my description. And the book is simply choc-a-bloc with dozens of other little fancies, including the headline ‘Local man who leaves door open was actually born in a field’, ‘Donald Trump to build a wall around Lisburn’ and characters such as Fred Zeppelin, Hans, Luggage, Ali Minium, Dawson Creek and Professor Killjoy. All are guaranteed to bring a smile and giggle to your face.
The website is great with regular updates and a Readers’ Club option and divided into sub-sections depending on your interests, but it’s nice to have these little laughs in book form. So take action, ‘pipe the fuck down’ or you’ll get a ‘wile kickin’ and buy this hilarious and too-close-to-the-funny-bone book.
To order yours visit the ‘Shap’ section of the website and work away.www.ulsterfry.com