Yesterday, satirical social observationists Waterford Whispers News produced one of their finest pieces of work to date- a tale of a checkout aisle stampede at a Lidl store in Dunboyne, Co. Meath.
This morning, a brilliant new twist: German news magazine 'FOCUS' got hold of it, and reported it as a legitimate news story under the Finance section of its website.
The typically hysterical tall tale metaphorically encapsulated that feeling of entrapment that you may or may not have experienced in a Lidl during peak hours; over 30 people were said to be injured as a second till was opened in the store, with keen customers causing some dangerous congestion in their efforts to pay for their shopping and exit.
The Whispers report on the 'incident' began,
"AMBULANCES are still at a Meath branch of Lidl this morning which was the scene of a near-tragic incident that left over thirty people injured, after a newly-opened checkout queue invoked a mass stampede."
Disgruntled local customer 'Sheila Mannion' was described to have bitched about her only carrying a loaf of bread to the checkout and still not being allowed overtake fellow customers with full trolleys. Pretty standard stuff from Sheila, really.
Naturally, the story was written all in jest. Astonishingly, Germany's Focus Magazine - which retains a circulation of over 500,000 readers - took it to be the gospel truth, in a fantastic, presumably Google Translate-related faux-pas of epic proportions. They posted the story on their website.
The headline roughly translates as,
"Because only one checkout was open, edgy customers cause mass panic in Lidl store."
Focus, which is the third largest news magazine in Germany, even included quotes from Sheila Mannion in their take on the story, "as reported by Waterford Whispers News."
They cited the need for Lidl to open more checkouts at peak times, but stopped short of Waterford Whispers' stunningly astute assertion that,
"...this would cut down on the amount of staff available to push pallets of bottled water around the shop at all times."
The original Focus article has since been replaced by a fairly appreciable tip of the hat to their Irish 'News' counterparts who unintentionally duped them.
Or, as we might read it,
"Shared almost 25,000 times
Satire report on stampede in Lidle store thrilled the net."
The amended article still produces a chuckle and can be translated (loosely) into English.