Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

A Stranger's London

Church backs under 16 pill

Methodists have supported doctors who put under age girls on the pill without telling their parents.

Doctors should try to persuade girls under 16 to tell their partners if they wanted to go on the pill, said a resolution passed at the Methodist conference in Birmingham.

But the resolution added: "where such persuasion is unsuccessful, we believe a decision on whether to prescribe contraceptives should be determined in the best interests of the young person."

Jazzed up Romeo

Mr William Shakespeare, a mysterious announcement in my postbag tells me, is to have his humble efforts jazzed up into "inner city" speak.

Here, from his box-office hit Romeo and Juliet, is the dramatic scene between Tybalt and our young hero:

TYBALT: "You going' to eat asphalt, turkey..."

ROMEO: "The word is, you dead, sucker." (They fight. Tybalt is slain).

BENVOLIO: "Hey Romeo, m'man. Time t'split! The Heat are coming. Chu' listening' man? You stay here, you going to fry for sure. Haul ass, Bro!"

In the original, Romeo then sighs: "O, I am fortune's fool." Now the romantic, poetic youth blabs: "Sweet Christmas! Look what I done did!" It's all a joke, I trust.

Wedding couple held in punch-up

A couple spent what should have been their wedding night in separate cells after a fight among their guests.

The fighting broke out when the guests arrived in Southampton for a double wedding of punk rockers.

The battle continued as the 50 guests sporting mohican haircuts and wearing chains and leather gear, made their way to the register office.

Police moved in and arrested 17 people including Andy 'Flint' Cooper and Theresa Morgan, both 18, one of the prospective wedding couples.

The other couple - Sean 'Hitler' Monaghan, 19, and his bride Sara Beaurain, 18- were duly married at a ceremony attended by the remaining guests.

"We're planning to go on an LSD trip in a park tonight," said Mr Monaghan. "It's cheaper than a honeymoon".

Four policemen were injured in the battle.

£900,000 winner

A pool’s winner was too busy working to take a day off to collect his £900,000 jackpot.

Instead of going to a champagne reception in London, David Horobin was handed the cheque over the counter of his dry cleaning shop.

David, who picked up his winnings from TV actress Diane Keen, said: "We just couldn't abandon our customers".

David, who set up his own business in Hincley, Leicestershire, 18 months ago, revealed that he had also been too busy to fill in the winning coupon. He left the job to his son Dennis.

David, 48 said: "There certainly won't be a round-the-world cruise because my wife doesn't like sailing".

Nor will there be a big house. The family have just sold their terraced house and are about to move into a three-bedroom semi costing £18,000. David's wife Joan, 46, said: "We won't be changing our plans because of this win".

Tea's off! It's time for sex, chimps

The tea party is over for our zoo chimps - it's ruining their sex lives. Britain's zoos are stopping the traditional crowd-pulling tea parties so the chimps can get on with breeding.

Zoologist Jeremy Cherfus, presenter of the TV programme Zoo 2000 said: "The chimps forget how to behave and are not accepted by other chimps.

"Breeding has now improved, but it is still not good compared to other animals in zoos".

Mother runs over her baby son

A mother accidentally ran over and killed her baby son as he rushed to greet her.

Seventeen-month-old Tom Hackett was crushed as his mother Margaret reversed her Land Rover into the drive at their home. He had been waiting with her sister Jane, 17, but broke free and ran forwards at the last moment.

His father Mr William Hackett, a funeral director, tried desperately to revive him, but he died before reaching hospital.

Neighbours said last night: "Tommy was the little boy they had always wanted. "They had virtually given up hope of having a son. "Even when Margaret had a test showing she was expecting a boy, her husband refused to believe it until he was born.

"It is almost as if he was loaned to them to torment them".

Baby is killed by dog

A baby boy was killed by the family Alsatian as his drunken mother slept in bed beside him.

The baby's father, who was also drunk, was asleep on a downstairs couch.

Both showed a "total lack of concern" for the baby's welfare, Coroner Bryan North said at Bury, Greater Manchester.

The parents of 11-week-old Dean Rankine took it in turns to go to a pub near their home in Parkhills Road, Bury, the inquest heard.

Dean's father, Roger Rankine said he put the baby in bed with his mother and intended to join them later.

He thought he had shut the dog in the kitchen.

The baby's mother, Rankine's common-law wife Alma, told police: "I wouldn't have had so much to drink if it had been my turn to look after Dean." The baby had one leg missing and the other severed. The dog was destroyed hours later.

talking drums 1985-07-15 guinea sekou toure's legacy - writing for young africa