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American who’s visited 40 countries says Blackpool is the ‘weirdest place’ he’s been

‘Maybe it’s the combo of sleazy and family-friendly’

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Wikimedia Commons & Brannigans Blackpool / Facebook

An American author has revealed that Blackpool is the weirdest place he has ever visited in his lifetime.

In a tweet that may not surprise many, Jeff VanderMeer explained that out of all forty countries he has travelled to in his life, Lancashire’s Blackpool ‘absolutely and unnervingly’ stands out as the strangest. 

VanderMeer wrote: “Weirdest place I’ve ever been, btw, since it’s coming up in the news… is Blackpool, England. That includes over 40 countries I’ve been to. Absolutely and unnervingly at the top of the list.”

He followed up his tweet with a brief explanation as to why Blackpool is at the top of his list, crediting mainly the combination of sleaze, donkeys and ‘effed up’ architecture. 

VanderMeer wrote: “Look, take too many tweets to explain why. Maybe the combo of sleazy and family-friendly, the weird night vibe of jubilation and violence.

“The donkeys on the beach. The effed [sic] up types of architecture shoved together in the same buildings. The slapping thing at the end of alley.”

In response, many locals jumped to their hometown’s defence, with one person even going as far as to describe it as ‘the English Venice’.

Read More: Plans for new £300m leisure complex in Blackpool with three theme parks given go ahead

They wrote: “Blackpool is the English Venice:it’s not surprising they give off a similar Don’t Look Now vibe – glitz and decay, carnival and despair, cultural overdetermination set against the wild otherness of the sea, a sense of being on the sheerest edge of civilisation. I love the place.”

Questionable but you’ve got to appreciate their commitment to the cause.

Others, however, agreed wholeheartedly that Blackpool is one of the strangest places on this Earth, with some even providing evidence to back up the argument.

Someone shared a photo of a Spongebob-emblazoned sign for a gun shop, while another Twitter user posted a photo of the disabled toilet on the pier, which appears to have a cartoon of a pirate with a peg leg on it.

One person recalled their visit to Blackpool, writing: “I went there with 300 people for a conference in Feb 2018 – someone put a welcome banner up on a motorway bridge (???), we were the only people in town and I truly thought we were going to be hunted and eaten by locals.”

And another simply wrote: “I once got chatting to a ride operator one the Central Pier a few years back, turns out he was one of the original Gene Wilder Oompa Loompas.”

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Nearly 120,000 people sign pensioner’s petition for Tesco to bring back tills

‘Talking with human staff is important to me… Now that experience has been taken away’

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Tesco PLC / Flickr

A pensioner’s petition urging Tesco to bring back its tills and to stop ‘replacing people with machines’ has reached nearly 120,000 signatures.

Pat McCarthy, sixty-nine, launched the petition with her daughter after she found herself continuously struggling to use the self check-out tills at her local Tesco mega-store.

Noting that talking with human staff is important to her, Pat implored for Tesco’s Chief Executive Officer Ken Murphy to reinstate more staffed tills and check-outs.

Pat, a retired volunteer helping disabled people to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) forms, wrote: “What used to be a great shopping experience has now become physically difficult, overwhelming, and a ‘nightmare’.

Tesco PLC / Flickr

“At my local Tesco mega-store, and probably all over the country, Tesco is bringing in new self-service and sort-it-out-yourself card only till machines. They make up 2/3 of the tills now.

“These new tills are not accessible for people who don’t have credit cards and can only use cash or those with little confidence to use these self-service card-only tills – myself included.

Read More: Morrisons is trialling an ‘unmanned’ cashless store with no staff

“People such as carers, older people, disabled people with mobility problems or lifting problems have to queue waiting for more than thirty minutes.

“I love chatting with the staff, albeit briefly, especially as l live on my own. Talking with human staff is important to me. Now that experience has been taken away.”

Tesco PLC / Flickr

Pat went on to point out that, as an older woman, she struggles with the heavy lifting these self-serve tills require, as do many disabled people.

She concluded: “I want Ken Murphy the Chief Executive Officer of Tesco’s to bring more staffed tills and check outs. I want him to commit to a People & Profit Policy not a Profits before People Policy.”

Pat’s petition has been met with a huge wave of support, with it having a massive 119,996 signatures at the time of writing.

A Tesco spokesperson has since addressed the petition, saying in a statement: “Our colleagues and the friendly service they provide are absolutely vital to our stores and will always be on hand to help our customers, whether they are checking out at one of our colleague-operated or self-service checkouts.”

To read Pat’s cause in full and to sign the petition yourself, click here.

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Angry man blocks McDonald’s drive-thru after refusing to wait for sausage and egg McMuffins

After being made to wait for fifteen minutes in the same Leyland restaurant one week prior, the hangry customer decided to take a stand…

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David Lally / Geograph & @onehungryasian / Instagram

A McDonald’s drive-thru was blocked for two hours after a furious customer refused to park and wait for his McMuffins.

Stuart Yates, fifty-five, drove to his local McDonald’s in Leyland, Lancashire, at around 9:30am yesterday morning for his Sunday breakfast fix. 

However, when he was asked by staff to park in one of the parking bays to wait for his order, Stuart refused, the Lancashire Post reports.

Speaking to the newspaper, Stuart insisted that he had been made to wait for over ‘fifteen minutes’ when he was last asked to park in one of the bays at the Churchill Way restaurant, resulting in him complaining to management. 

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He said: “A week ago I got made to wait in the car park for over fifteen minutes. A lad spotted me and said ‘oh, it’s him again’, because last time I complained.

“They said go and wait in the car park, so I said ‘I’m not going anywhere until I get my food’.”

Stuart then refused to move from his position in the queue, resulting in the drive-thru being closed to other customers.

He claims he was then offered a cash refund by the restaurant – but he instead wanted the money put back on his credit card.

@jemmalikesfood / Instagram

Stuart said an employee even came out and ‘threw the money’ onto the roof of his car and threatened to call the police if he didn’t move on.

Undeterred by the staff member’s threats, however, Stuart reiterated his stance and informed workers that he would wait ‘all week’ if necessary.

He said: “I said I’m not moving, I’m well within my rights asking for a refund to be put back onto my card.

“They eventually gave me a refund and tried passing me a long letter they had typed out, but I refused to accept it.

David Lally / Geograph

“I hadn’t sworn, I hadn’t done anything threatening. I hadn’t broken any laws.”

Stuart went on to block traffic for another two hours, only leaving when the police arrived.

And, somewhat ironically, Stuart was forced to leave without his McMuffins – though he did instead order two Big Macs on UberEats when he got home.

McDonald’s is yet to comment on the drive-thru debacle. 

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Manchester City players seen celebrating Premier League title at ‘boozy’ party at the Ivy

Jack Grealish had already promised ‘three or four’ nights of celebrations…

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@branston93 / Instagram

Manchester City players were seen celebrating their Premier League victory in style at a ‘boozy’ bash at the Ivy late last night.

Jack Grealish was among the players celebrating their league win, with him sharing a photo of himself sipping a lager in the City dressing room immediately after the match, alongside the caption: “Ooffft the first of many”.

He was later pictured looking a little worse for wear in the Ivy in Spinningfields, where the rest of the squad and their partners celebrated the victory until the early hours. 

Manchester City’s kitman Brandon Ashton shared a series of photos from the celebrations, where he was seen posing with Grealish and Riyad Mahrez. 

Grealish had already hinted at his plans to celebrate in style in his post-match interview with pundit Roy Keane, who had warned him to ‘stay off the top shelf’ and to ‘stick with beer’. 

At this, the England player quipped back: “Not for the next three nights, no chance, maybe four!”

Read More: Manchester City announce open-top bus parade today to celebrate Premier League title

Grealish also invited Gary Neville and his daughter Sophie out to celebrate when prompted by former City star Micah Richards on air.

He joked: “What camera am I looking at? Hello Sophie, I hope you’re bringing your dad out tonight, and we’ll have a great night celebrating!”

In yesterday’s dramatic match against Aston Villa, Man City overcame a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in the last twenty minutes, securing their fourth title as Premier League champions in five years.

The Blues have since confirmed that they will be parading through Manchester in a traditional open-top bus parade today, Monday May 23rd, at 6pm.

The club said in a statement: “Manchester City will celebrate retaining the Premier League title with an open-top bus parade through Manchester city centre on Monday 23rd May.”

Visit the Manchester City website for more information on tonight’s parade. 

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