This article has been doing the rounds the last few days and if you’re a dancer there’s a chance that like me you’ve had it shared to you by a non-dancing friend. It’s usually accompanied by comments along the lines of “only in England/Suffolk” or “you couldn’t make it up”.
Except, of course, someone has.
Unfortunately, the Suffolk Gazette is a spoof local news site (which, given the article is bylined by Crime Reporter Hugh Dunnett, you’d have thought more people might have noticed). It’s a new take on the classic joke; Why do Morris dancers wear bells on their legs? So they can annoy blind people too…
I say unfortunately because as well as a fantastic headline it really is a funny article, containing such gems as:
More blind footballers then joined the melee, kicking out at the bells and then being surprised when they were punched by furious morris men.
Three morris men suffered severely bruised legs, while one of the footballers had a cut caused by being hit on the head with a morris dancer’s stick.
The ‘police spokesman’ added:
“We took no further action, but recommended that the morris men did not use bells on their uniforms when the blind footballers were playing nearby.”
I find it amusing how many of those sharing it have been perfectly willing to believe that morris dancers really would get into a fight with blind footballers; I’m not sure if we should be concerned by what this says about our reputation. It helps that the Suffolk Gazette is a pretty good satire site and local news can be so ridiculous anyway that a spoof can be hard to spot. But when other stories include Farmer uses sex dolls for scarecrows (by Farming Correspondent Ivor Traktor) and Suffolk faces Norfolk-bumpkin migrant crisis (by Doug Trench – Defence Editor) you’ve got to wonder at peoples’ willingness to believe the ‘unbelievable’.