There were shocking scenes at the allotments in Ryde, Isle of Wight, yesterday, after a Tesco plastic bag was spotted floating dangerously close to pensioners as they tended their root vegetables in the afternoon sun.
‘I was just sitting back, holding me spuds, when I saw this bird-like thing hovering about 20 yards above the sheds,’ said retired science teacher Bertie Childs, who was the first to sight the UFO. ‘At first, I thought it was one of those predatory seagull beasts, so I shouted to the men to grab their turnips and take cover.’
Only when Mr Childs removed his glasses and the breeze brought the characteristic blue and red markings within an arm’s length did he realise what he was actually seeing. Fellow vegetable grower Cecil Cartwright confirmed his neighbour’s account, adding that the bag floated aimlessly, almost weightlessly, above his cabbages for at least 15 seconds before a sudden south-westerly gust blew it in the direction of Ventnor.
Although this is believed to be the first sighting of a Tesco carrier bag in Isle of Wight airspace, it is not the first aeronautical incident to make the headlines on the popular holiday island. In 1983, now famous local butcher-cum-stuntman Colin Vowles attempted to emulate Superman by jumping from the cliffs near Black Gang Chine dressed in a blue leotard and red wellies, only to fracture his groin after landing awkwardly on an unsuspecting gnome that he later alleged had been ‘strategically’ placed by one of the five-strong crowd.
Neither of the elderly vegetable growers was harmed in yesterday’s Tesco bag incident. However, Mr Childs claimed that, as a result of a sudden movement to avoid the bag, his King Edwards are slightly swollen.
It has separately been reported that a tourist cycling near Ventnor was rushed to hospital in Sandown with massive internal injuries after he mysteriously rode his bike into a wall. No updated information was available on his condition as Mrs Carstairs, who usually chats to the Cowes Evening Reporter about this kind of thing, had gone home early to pick up her mum from the bridge club.