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Well, what can we say?

"Massive blow jobs for Belmullet," the headline that's shaking Ireland (with laughter)

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Well, what can we say?

The Mayo Advertiser, a small newspaper in the west of Ireland, may have — or may not have — just written the front-page headline of the century:

"Massive blow jobs for Belmullet."

The story — and a photo of the front-page — are racing around the Internet a LOT faster than the Advertiser's presses.

It's not that anybody outside the area particularly cares about the subjectof the story — that telecom giant Eurotel is cutting jobs in the North Mayo town of Belmullet, and that such a job cut would be a massive blow to jobs in the area — but to the eye-popping headline.

Was it one of those horrific typos that is every newspaper publisher's greatest fear — the one that got away no matter how many proofreaders looked at it, the inside-office "joke" that somehow made it onto the printing presses and into the hands of readers?

The paper isn't saying, which is probably not helping their case. The Irish blogging community has stepped into the mess, with many hysterical observers saying that "there's one copy editor who'll never find another job" to graphic artists who have been carefully eyeballing the headline and think they smell a forgery.

"Total Photoshop job," sniffed one self-described typography expert, noting that the alignment of letters gave it away.

"All I did was adjust levels in Photoshop to enhance colors," argued one." The red line and text from the reverse side of the page are out of place behind the word "blow" indicate it was pasted."

But graphic expertise collapses in the face of the Irish love of fun. Real or fake, many are having the time of their lives cracking comments about the "misprint" all over the Internet.

"He's now blackballed from ever working in the Irish press again," howled one poster.

"Nah, he'll come back to his job. Real working stiff, etc etc." countered another, who was soon rejoined with "I hope so. It would be hard on his family if he stayed unemployed."

The newspaper's website doesn't give any hint that there was a problem with its edition last Friday. The front page "blow-up" on the site shows only the clunky — if sanitary — headline, "Massive jobs blow to Belmullet," and the website's article has a matching G-rated headline.

Many town residents contacted by IrishCentral were thrilled at a call from "the States" but had trouble believing their local paper was the subject of such controversy.

Those who knew about the mess said it wasn't an error in the print edition, but did appear that way on the paper's website. None knew how it happened, or how long the racy headline stayed on the Internet.

"I heard something about it," said a bartender who would only give his name as Padraig. "But to tell you the truth, I don't often pick up the paper."

When told what the story was about, Padraig could only say of the plant cutback: "Well now, that would be a big blow!"

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