Man realizes he ‘joke’ landed him in Wigan, a part of Greater Manchester also named after the train line

Every Friday, Geoff Pearce goes to the shop to buy a bottle of vinegar for his chicken shop and delivery van. The restaurant is in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, but there is a clear connection with his home town of Bristol, southwest England. His flat is near the northern terminus of the Western Railway line, named after the area’s first locomotive. The line goes on to Wigan, a suburb that Pearce said was like him: poor, part Indian and part Pakistani.

But on Friday morning, Pearce walked into the shop and saw someone had left a parcel on the counter. He picked it up and opened it. Inside was a letter: It started with something like “My name is Mick, from Wigan and love ya, mate.”

Pearce said the note had been attached to the parcel, so he could get proof of the sender’s address. His mobile phone confirmed his identity to the letter writer. A map depicted Wigan on it and Pearce posted photos of it on Facebook with the caption: “The Wigan train station today.” He also included a photo of the package and called the postman to return it to the sender. The items were then returned to their owner.

“This doesn’t make me any money,” he told The Huffington Post. “This is one of my best friends in Wigan and I was just playing a game,” he said. “This joke has spread all over the world.”

The joke had earned him a reaction that Pearce hadn’t expected. It was an email exchange with a fellow comedian in Australia. “She had heard my joke and thought it was funny and started to follow up,” he said. It is likely that he already knew his friend’s address.

“She started to ask me loads of questions,” he said. “Do you want the parcel back?”

“I said yes,” he said. “She said can I call you and said we’re gonna be in Wigan tomorrow.”

The first time it appeared on his Facebook page was Monday, but Pearce posted about it on the thousands of pages he has on Facebook and the joke exploded. He didn’t expect the attention, but has received calls from local schools and impressed everyone.

Pearce said he has some serious medical issues and has difficulty driving and had suffered from dizziness from time to time. He doesn’t have internet in his flat. He probably isn’t to be seen in Wigan again, he said.

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.


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