A Cornish Catastrophe (Issue 2)

An uneasy calm had returned to the streets of a Cornish village today following a tragic incident late yesterday afternoon. (see cover photograph) Mrs Gloria Thickpasty, 61, was just yards from her doctor’s surgery in the hamlet of Molehole when she was approached by her friend of 30 years, Mr Frank Penwalligan. It was reported that after talking for a few minutes, Mr Penwalligan turned to leave and patted Mrs Thickpasty on the back. Tragically, Mrs Thickpasty exploded on impact and was later pronounced dead on arrival at Cornwall’s three main hospitals where she had been taken in a fleet of four ambulances.

Mr Penwalligan, who was covered in Gloria, but otherwise miraculously unhurt, told reporters this morning that his friend had suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for some months. Allowing herself to be influenced by the persuasive argument of television advertising, she had recently taken a preparatory IBS medication. However, this seemed to be having the opposite effect and, in the last few days, she was becoming more and more bloated.

Mrs Thickpasty was about to visit her doctor, Arthur Decko, when the fatal accident occurred. When asked earlier today if he could have saved his patient, Dr Decko said, “It’s unlikely. I was advising Mrs Thickpasty on the correct diet, but I’ve seen at least three tins of beans in her shopping bag on more than one occasion. Some people seem unable to help even themselves.

I just thank the Lord that she didn’t go off in a packed waiting room!” Home Office statistics show that Mrs Thickpasty is the seventh pensioner to explode in the last six months, although only three have been attributed to IBS. A spokesperson urged everyone to remain calm, eat sensibly and visit their doctor at the first signs of flatulence.

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