Monday, February 25, 2008

National Treasure - The book of dickheads

So the Oscars came and went, and amid the genuine success of Glen 'I once spilt a bottle of champagne all over National Disgrace in Whelans' Hansard, I was drawn inevitably to the subject of National Disgrace, the movie. I have sat on the screenplay for a long time, due in part to my lack of furniture, but also to a fetish for feeling paper on my arse. Described by those who read it as equal parts Rain Man, Chariots of Fire and Emanuele 17- The tale of the erotic paraplegic, I have been urged to put my pain to celluloid for so long that I'm thinking it might be time to brush up on my Oscar speech.

The story writes itself. The tale of an early thirties Lothario, in reflective mood as he awakes early one Monday morning, tied up in Caroline Morahans basement. Fearing his days numbered, he seeks redemption through re-imagining his memories. Scene by scene, it's an almost facsimile of the many tales of the man who was once described as the 'Pele of Hockey'. Clint Eastwoond, playing Papa Disgrace and Halle Berry as Mama Disgrace, feature heavily in the formative years, as the young Disgrace is seen warding off GAA recruiters, local paedophiles and pimples. Disgraces two sisters, ably played by the Culkin brothers, make an appearance in the shocking 'beat our little brother with a hoover' scene, an episode which will plague the mature Disgrace for the rest of his life. The man behind the Fake, Mr Fakey McFake's appearance in 1983 as 'the cunt who was playing with my fisher price garage when I came home from school one day' is played by the ever versatile Cate Blanchett, and later, in more recent times, by Prince.

Disgraces teen years, a whirlwind of upheavals, leaving certs and covert masturbation, forms the backbone of the movie, as the audience are given front row seats on the birth of a hero. The puberty period is an abstract scene, courtesy of Michel Gondry and will simply consist of a cat licking a block of cheese for 14 minutes. As I cannot remember most of my 20's, this time is briefly touched upon with tender images of the people who shared this difficult time. I won't name names, due largely to respect but also to an ongoing Gardai investigation but there
was a certain half Spanish lady who was a wonderful influence to Disgrace and a former Pizza Hut employee who I'll never understand.

The main action scenes centre around the period 2001-2007. Choreographed by the guys behind riverdance and Jean Claude Van Damme, the maturing disgrace bounces from emotional car crash to humourous car crash with the swagger of a corpse in a riptide. The most recent Mrs Disgrace, portrayed on screen by a computer generated half mix of Bridget Bardot and Pee Wee Herman, takes over the narration at this stage and waxes lyrical about the person she simply knew as 'a Disgrace'.. At this stage, this confusing, but enthralling mix of musical, comedy and snuff, reaches it's apex. Dressed only in Pajama bottoms, and holding a tennis racquet National Disgrace somehow finds himself in the basement of a Ms Morahan and he suddenly realises he's had enough..

And that's where Woody Allen takes over

Popcorn anyone?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hughie and Me

I should of known when I saw Twink coming out of Chadwicks with a bag of cement and a pesticide sprayer that it was awards ceremony time. Bumping into Hughie (formerly of Fair City) outside Spar in Rathgar should also of alerted me, although when you consider that he was half dressed and could only say 'Help me... Please', you could forgive me for not spotting the clue there. No, despite all this it was the fact that every celebrity in the world was in Dublin this weekend, for a weekend of awards, that drew my attention. The IFTA's and the Meteors respectively.

Dublin's singing photo-fits, Aslan, sensationally won Best Irish Band at the Meteors and in a modest gesture, sent up a homeless guy they met outside Thomas St Social Welfare office to collect the award. He rattled on for a number of minutes with immense vulgarity, but it was a touching gesture nonetheless. Another of the highlights was the reunion of Boyzone, who were reunited on stage, under the name of Boyzone. A visibly pregnant Stephen Gately bellowed out all their hits, in such an impressive display of campness that was so camp, it would not of been surprising in the least for him to suddenly turn into a huge tent. There was endless other jaw-dropping displays on offer. The Saw Doctors proved why Ireland is at the cutting edge of modern music, with a high brow and literate performance of 'N-17', that was only a fraction better than being repeatedly sexually assaulted by a drunk relative. Security were lax when a group of drugged wasters, calling themselves 'The Coronas' got on stage and slapped away at what were once musical instruments, but had now become 'horrible noise makers'. Truly dreadful stuff.

Of course, as with all awards ceremonies, the real action starts after the show, and Friday was no different.. According to Hughie, when I met him again yesterday outside Spar, 'Just a few bob... for a cup of tea?'.

Saturday night was the IFTA's turn. I'd spent the whole evening looking for Hughie, but somehow ended up in a skip with Kathryn Thomas. She was an able replacement and thus I duly missed Mel Gibson's entertaining speech about nothing whatsoever. Pat Shortt obviously won best actor, but it was his display when accepting the award which I will always remember, particularly as he was taken away by 'mental men' after the ceremony. Again, as with the previous night, the post-awards was where it was it at. According to Hughie again, who I met this morning as I waited for a bus

'Me bleedin' gimpy leg!'

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day Massacre

"Oh, think of the money you'll save" said one of the people who do worky stuff in my office after they'd asked me what I was doing for Valentines.. They must of misheard me, because I had said "putting an orange in my mouth and tying myself to a door frame".

For only the second time in 15 years, ND finds himself flying solo on the feast day of love. Now, considering I once left roses down the toilet in a bid to surprise an ex-Mrs Disgrace, I don't think the world of romance is missing out too much. And I don't think I am either

Still, I suppose with the money I save I could buy a rope..

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bear with me

There must be a point in the lives of people who go mad, when they know, that they've just gone mad. The transition I'd say is fairly swift. One minute it's intelligent conversation, and the next, it's shoes in the fridge. I don't buy this gradual lose of senses and sanity lark. If you wake up one day and start telling your dog to 'put some lipstick on', you're mad. You're not going mad. You're not stood at the peak of a slippery slope, considering a life of craziness. You're already gone.

Last night, I lay in my bed (a weird 3/4 size bed, that I jokingly refer to as a tall Childs bed when I have visitors, such as the NTL man) I sat and looked at the ceiling for about 3 hours. As I lay there, a symphony of annoying noises filled the room. Tap tap taps, rattles, smashes and dull thuds, all apparently coming from just above my ceiling, or roof if you will. Now, I'll be first to admit that my flat is unlikely to be getting it's Quality Built Home certificate anytime soon. The fact that when you flick the hall light switch a tap starts running is bad enough, so I've come accustomed to it's quirks. If it's windy, it tends to sway slightly and a slightly aggressive slam of the door can occasionally result in the collapse of the gable wall. All ok with me, and manageable.

Lat night however, it all went a little crazy. The thuds and bumps on the roof intensified until I was pretty sure that whatever was up there was on the verge of coming through the ceiling, and onto my toned, bronzed naked body, as I lay, Godlike in my half adult sized bed. It honestly sounded like someone on the roof.

However, let's go back to the start of this post and particularly the madness bit. At exactly 01.38am I officially went mad. I became convinced that a bear was on my roof. Each noise, was his heavy paw, ripping up roof slates. Each Tap Tap Tap was him tapping his little bears hammer at the beams on the ceiling. Each ROAR!! was his ROAR!! as he made his way across the top of the house to eat me, in my slightly less than average sized bed.. *(although it could of been passing traffic). It was terrifying. For a while. Then, I became quite content. Sure, I still had the image of a blood thirsty bear, leaping at me from the top of my wardrobe, but it didn't matter.

I was now officially crazy, and safe in that knowledge I went straight to sleep, in my little strange sized bed

Monday, February 11, 2008

Blog Awards Update

Thanks to all who nominated me in the Irish Blog awards. I didn't get past the longlist stage for the 'Best Blog' award, but I am on the initial shortlist for Most Humourous Post, for this.. Hope to see most of you at the ceremony, I presume everyone goes in disguise?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I scream, You scream, We all SCREAM for Ice Cream

So, I have just discovered a time machine. In an instant you can go from 1980's Thatcherite Britain, to, well, 1960's Thatcherite Britain. Marvel at how HP brown sauce became the 'CONDIMENT OF THE RECESSION' and the inspired bigoted attitude that saw Margret Thatcher become the 'MOST FEARED MAN IN EUROPE. Thanks to this Time Travelling
extravaganza, you can parade around the set of 'HOWARD'S WAY'. Except it's not Howards Way. And it's not a time machine.

No siree, in fact.. It's Gibraltar

I was last week 'treated' to a sensational visit to the Rock by a good friend of mine who lives a number of miles away, in reality (Malaga). Expecting monkeys riding unicycles and Sean Connery hanging from Nicolas cages testicles, it quickly became apparent that this 'Rock' had all the appeal of a 17 year old piece of Bray souvenir candy. As soon as I stepped over the border (which was literally a huge runway) from the palm treed and cultured La Linea in Spain, I found myself in an episode of Minder.The sunshine and tanned breasts that heaved around the Costa Del Sol was quickly replaced by Fish and Chip toned stomachs and an overhanging grey cloud that faintly whispered 'MINERS STRIKE'. Accents changed from lisping Spanish to the kind of British Dialect that has been missing since 1960's soccer commentaries. Red buses, Red phone boxes and Red necks all jostled along a street that looked like a recently atom bombed Blackburn. The cloud, which lingered above Gibraltar like a visiting Paedophile, seemed only to cover the rock itself and cause unusually inbred shadows of the natives. I was referred to as a Paddy on one of my first visits to a pub, a place that had Formica tables, fruit machines and sloppy sticky bitter in abundance. Yep, there was plenty of 'bitter'.

The first stop on our tour was the elegant 'SHELL GARAGE'. This, as well as offering tasty diesel and petrol, was also the venue for the infamous shooting dead of three IRA members as they jovially enjoyed an ice cream. Perhaps mistaking a CHOC ICE for a loaded bazooka and a Mr Freeze for a 250lb car bomb, the SAS blew the three of them away before any of them could say 'SUPER SPLIT'. The is no plaque to this unarmed dead, but there is a real bargain to be had on Anti-Freeze.

On Winston Churchill avenue, the litter ruled the roost and cross eyed natives sped along in their souped up sports cars, as we made our way to Casemates, the areas main Square. Boasting all the class of a drunk hooker at a funeral, this square was equal parts Lovejoy and equal parts Mountjoy. Filled to the brim with yobos, piss and pre-teens in crotchless outfits, it honestly made Temple Bar look like the hanging gardens of Babylon.

The people I spoke to, were all nice enough. Sure, they all looked like they'd been sired by a horse, and there eyes were unusually close together, but on the whole they were fine. The only thing is, they seemed to be living in this forgotten era. A time when British Colonys actually had a purpose. The area was a strategic port with honest military advantages. Now it's a very hollowed out rock with very little soul, a big fuck off grey cloud and 99 pence Unleaded.

Anyone for an Iceberger?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I'd like to thank...

Despite having the literary grace of an overturned school bus, the humour of a Christmas Day house fire and the intelligence of a lemming, National Disgrace has been longlisted at the Irish Blog Awards. In such lofty categories of Best Blog and Most Humourous Post, ND finds himself up against some seriously good competition. Some of the others can actually spell.

Still, in anticipation of a shock shortlisting, I have had my Tux dry cleaned, de-loused, scraped and restitched. I've had the missing leg restored, removed the blood and sandblasted the crotch area. Then I destroyed it and bought a new one.

I'm already wearing it