Sunday, November 15, 2009

Television and the Worthless Loser

According to the statistics, there's double the amount of jobless men in Ireland than women. This obviously doesn’t include stay-at-home mothers and high class prostitutes, but still is an interesting marker. What all of this means is that roughly the same amount of penises as breasts spend their day lurking about the house in pitiful states of self-loathing.

As of today, daytime television is 87% geared towards women. This means that the dominant of the jobless species – the man, is subjected to daily reminders of just how worthless his life is. For a woman to be out of work, it’s like a holiday. There’s more TV shows about shoes and curtains than they can ever absorb, and I’m pretty sure they wake every morning with the giddy anticipation that only the early morning repeat of yesterdays ‘Afternoon Show’ can provide. Men meanwhile are best advised not to surface until 6.1 starts. Should they rise earlier they will have to either endure Dr Phil, Jeremy Kyle, multiple ‘How Clean is your house?’ and hours of programming subtly informing them how much of a loser they are. The rest of the listings, especially RTE2, is aimed towards children. Unless you live in Thailand, children are exempt from unemployment. Daytime, they should be in school, or down a mine, but not flicking through the channels.

All of this suggests that TV programming is all over the shop. Their target audience isn’t watching, Most home bound females will already be through their second bottle of Rosé by the time ‘Doctors’ has started it marathon afternoon run and the sort of children that don’t go to school will be up to their little necks in superglue down the park. That leaves men. Well, a casual flick of the remote will reveal nothing in the line of macho TV. No meaningful sport is aired on weekdays, no explosion filled blockbusters come on at breakfast and there’s little in the way of tits before Nationwide.

It’s no wonder that we all go to the Pub at 12.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This is the News

They say no news is good news, not perhaps if you’re waiting for an urgent liver donation or the details of the whereabouts of a much loved family pet that had a penchant for biting moving tyres, but otherwise that old cliche is particularly true. Good news however is super. Good news is quite simply good news and way better than no news. Bad News though, is mostly flirting with the negative. Except for TV3 news, which is so bad it’s actually good news, bad news is generally just bad news, but bad news is good news occasionally, especially if you’re Sky News.

“Any News?”


“you’re fired”, says the director to Anne Doyle.

Today I had good news. I was expecting bad news, because in Disgraceland the cup is always half on fire, and was pleasantly surprised by it. I cracked a smile, stuck out my belly and blew a cheeky raspberry at my reflection.

That’s why I’ve gone mad.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Grimes Twins

If I was the Grimes Twins Father, I’d have them both shot. I’d send them to a borstal. I’d pay a Limerick man to spring on them with a bicycle chain. I’d have them help me pour concrete for a new 'patio' in the garden and try to convince my wife that she's gone crazy and that we never even had kids when she wonders where they are. I’d spend 10 years studying orbital-mechanics just to be able to build a rocket in which to blast them into space. I’d get them a pet bear for their room and goad him with insulting text messages until he finally goes berserk. I’d have them boiled. I’d encourage them to bathe, face down, with a rucksack of bricks and toasters on their backs. I’d paste their faces onto tins of dog food and gradually train the pet Doberman to think of them as food. I’d invite disgraced priests for sleep-over's.

Think that’s cruel? Just about to dial the Garda confidential hot-line or are you already on Joe Duffy?? Well, before you say anything, have a think. Which is worse – the above litany of poor parenting, or the one which the two boys are already subjected to?

You see, pushing these boys onto X-Factor is a million million times worse that any of my evil suggestions.

Throw an industrial sized pot of hair gel into the air and you’ll hit someone who truly hates them. Their arrogant swagger. Their atrocious singing. The hair. They are a joke, actually, they are two jokes. But it’s not their fault.

When you’re 17, you’re pretty much the biggest dickhead ever to walk the planet. You’re a grade A knob-end, thinking you know everything. You’re brainless, clueless and need constant monitoring in case you do something very foolish. It’s with the grace of god and some good parenting that you emerge the other side a better person. When your life eventually makes sense, at around the 29 mark, you’ll look back at your younger, slimmer self and laugh. The poor Grimey Twins won’t be able to do that, because after the constant abuse they have been receiving on the show and the fact that they’ll always be defined at ‘those vertical haired Irish fucktards who couldn’t hold a note if it had handles’, they’ll have killed themselves.

Their Father, who appears in the news almost as much as they do, should have pulled them off the show ages ago. It’s one thing seeing your sons prancing around the stage singing ‘Oops I did it again’ in cat-suits and it’s another altogether when you stand by and let them take the abuse.

Disgraceful, says Disgrace.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Brides of Franc

I don’t know if any of you have ever seen ‘Brides of Franc’ (RTE1 Tuesdays) but if you haven’t you should gouge out your eyes right now to save you from ever watching it. If you have seen it, and haven’t got around to removing your eyeballs just yet, you’re probably standing on the edge of a cliff replaying some final happy memories. A lack of eyes would also help at this juncture, as hurling yourself into the Atlantic at a horrifying speed will probably remind you so much of Franc and his assorted newly weds that it will ruin the sense of relief as you go one on one with the jagged rocks. Yes, ‘Brides of Franc’ is like the worst kind of suicide. One that lasts 30 painful minutes, is followed by Fair City and on again next week.

Franc is a ‘wedding designer’. He’s a camp, puffed up happy sort of chap who creates high profile, fun, couture and exclusive events. He’s internationally known, but so was Harold Shipman and the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. He will turn your perfectly normal happy day into a seedy orgy of excess and sparkling things. And he’ll do it for less than treble the amount of money you actually have. Franc is sort of like a shirt-lifting Celtic Tiger. Even the name suggests horror. But, for all his flaws, Franc is not the worst thing about this show.

D&G are Dee and Graham. Their friends like to call them ‘Dolce and Gabana’ which Dee seems to wear as a badge of honour and not as a sandwich board of utter contempt and disrespect that their friends obviously meant. She says ‘Bling’ a lot and instructs Franc to make it ‘Razzle dazzle sparkle shiny glittery wow factor glamour’. She’s like a fucking Magpie, except she’s an orange. She’s a terrorist attack. Graham looks like an Aldi Simon Pegg and hasn’t seen his balls since their second date.

The theme is ‘Nightclub’. They’ve picked the venue, the Westin in Dublin. It has wonderful chandeliers apparently so Franc suggests mirrored tables, incredibly with a straight face, so the guests don’t have to bend their necks looking at the ceiling. Venue chosen, Graham then stars in an advert for Louis Copeland but Dee doesn’t think the chosen suit is bling enough. She stalls just short of asking if they have anything in solid gold. It’s heartfelt stuff, for a moment she almost weakens and acts like it’s not just her getting married.

“How’s the crotch G?” asks Louis

“A bit loose, but there's a good reason for that ”

Despite everything, the show actually plays out like a government warning advertisement. It’s a drink driving ad for obscene spending. They should have shown this show on repeat every hour on the hour every day for the last ten years. I swear, if they had, we’d all be doing fine now. We’d all have an economy and places to live. We’d still have our eyes.

It continues. Graham, possibly undergoing a nervous breakdown the day before the wedding, sends Franc out to buy him some shoes, under the flimsy pretence of being ‘busy’ at work.

“Preferably Runners Franc”, he should have said.

Dee is getting her digits hacked at and indulges in some pained cross-class conversation with her naildresser (or whatever they’re called), whilst Grahams friends hide all the cutlery and cordon off the balcony and settle down to some cigars and cards. Franc arrives at the hotel brandishing an ice sculpture with the iconic D&G carved into it. Despite admitting that the room is going to be ‘on fire’ with candles, the idea of something made of ice melting doesn’t seem to have registered with him. Until it melts that is.

Then Francs big surprise, a comedian. Not just any comedian, in fact not even a comedian. He’s wheels out Dave Young, a guy that is to comedy, what a terrifying sexual assault is to your communion day. Another reason to say goodbye to your sight.

And that's it. They get married. D&G become D&G and the economy lies in ruins. And seeing the icy D&G, which Franc probably carved with his money fuelled erection, turn to mush and drip all over the specially laid carpet, is simply a metaphor too far for this blogger.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Holy Mary Mother of Bejaysus

They say that Sean Connery got the James Bond gig after his performance in Darby O’Gill and the little People. The Bond director Albert Broccoli was apparently so impressed that he was cast immediately. I wonder what it was about his portrayal of ‘Michael McBride’ that swung it in his favour? Maybe it was the accent, which was strangely closer to ‘stately Englishman’ than it was Irish anyway, or was it his stylish and almost 007-like dispatch of Pony Sugrue at the Rathcullen Arms. Either way, James Bond went from strength to strength and the Darby O’Gill series came to halt after the loss of its big star. Connery did briefly reprised the role once again in The Untouchables, where he even managed to whistle Danny Boy like a heartbroken leprechaun.

The legacy of all of this is that it seems that Darby O'Gill serves as a tutorial for all actors to study and perfect their Irish accents. Spaceman Tom Cruise must have got some inspiration from it for his role in ‘Far and Away’ – either that or by studying the mating call of the pigeon. Brad Pitt’s obscene brogue in ‘The Devils Own’ is credited with setting back the peace process by a dozen or so years. Julia Roberts has in the past demonstrated a wide array of accents, it’s just a shame she did them all in Michael Collins’. The list goes on. Kevin Spacey in ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal’, an accent that meandered back and forth from American to Semi-Scottish so much that Shannon Airport demanded a mandatory stop-over. Richard Gere wasn’t so much a man running from the troubles in ‘The Jackal’, as a man with a serious Helium addiction.

All of this got me thinking of an idea. It’s a bit out there though, and sorta radical.

How about hiring Irish actors to play Irish Roles!!

Mega-star Jason Barry, the guy who looked like he was a member of the film crew that forgot to get out of shot in Titanic, has assembled a motley crew of actors for his historical epic, Easter 16. Rather than learn the lessons of the past, Barry has pretty much guaranteed his place in ‘Oirish’ folklore already with his curious casting choices.

Chris O’Donnell, whose own contribution to the rape of the Irish Accent in ‘Circle of Friends’ was too heinous to mention above, has been drafted in to play that well known 1916 hero, ‘Ross’. He’s particularly happy with the scene where he storms the GPO with Monica and bravely fights off Chandler and Phoebe at Stephens Green.

Guy Pearce, the Australian, will play conveniently enough ‘Padraig Pearse’, just with slightly more of a tan, and perhaps with less children in the vicinity.

Another actor who’s passport is also lacking a harp is the one and only Anthony LaPaglia. His half Aussie, half Italian background will be perfect for his portrayal of the infamous free state rebel, ‘Spindler’.

Craig Kelly, an British actor famous for his antics on Coronation Street swaps the cobbles of Corrie for the cobbles of Temple Bar in his casting as 'Captain Hawkins'.

The kid from the abysmal and degrading ‘Millions’ will be ‘Spike’, whilst Oscar bother-er Nicola Charles swaps Ramsey Street for Grafton Street for her role as, well it’s not confirmed, but possibly Dev himself. This is the sort of thing that could break the United Nations people!

Shelly Goldstein is lined up to play ‘Sadie the Shawlie’. Sadie the fucking Shawlie??? What is this, the Disney version of the Rising? Oh look, here comes Captain Fluffy pants and the rest of the black and tans.

‘Rudi’ (a Mayo name I believe) will be played by up and coming British actor Neil Larson and lastly, but not leastly, but definitely thankfully, the much sought after role of 'Private Edwards' is to be ably filled by Trance DJ MARK TABBERNER!!

It's enough to make a Banshee wail!! (played by Denzel Washington)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh Mary..

An extract from the latest Autobiography to be released by an Irish Politician?

Chapter 17, Eating Babies:

Despite being Minister for Health, it was my first time in the Mater Hospital. I’d always meant to drop in, but I just couldn’t find anyone to make me pregnant enough. In fact, I was on my way there last April, when I ordered my driver to stop after seeing an injured Swan struggling on the footpath near Portobello Bridge. I have a thing for Swans you see and I simply couldn't leave him lying there to die. Later, back in my kitchen, my driver also agreed that Swans were indeed great (although I like to think it was my special secret ingredient Pepper Sauce that made the dish!).

Anyway, I eventually accepted an invitation to visit the Mater and arrived there last June. The Mother Superior was lovely, if not quite seasoned enough, and showed me to the room she called ‘the Ward of Angels’. It was a wonderful experience, but a very sad one too. Dozens of glass cases with all sorts of machines attached to them hummed and buzzed in an otherwise serene silence.

‘These are incubators’ she added, almost sadly.

I stepped up to one of them and gazed in. I looked on in silence

‘When will this one be ready?’ I enquired, signaling to my driver to get my special bib…

Monday, October 19, 2009

TV3 - New Season

Launching their new schedule at the Rape Crisis Centre earlier this week, TV3 announced a host of new, original, and '60% less racist than last year', programmes to keep you shivering through the Autumn months..

Here's a sample day, which will be repeated the following day and for a number of other days after.

Breakfast at Tiffany's – Tiffany is a 18 year old mother of three and has kindly invited us into ‘her’ ‘home’ (it’s owned by the council) for our new morning show. Expect lots of ‘crack’ (smoking and injecting) as Tiffany greets the yawning and waking nation in her own inimitable style. There'll be shouting, spitting, Pajama wearing, and lots of negative talk about people not born in Ireland. Sponsored by Hitler’s, Castlerea.

Brush, Twice Daily - Lively magazine show presented by Brush Sheils. Expect guests, adverts, some more guests, some more adverts, a cookery section, some more adverts, and a totally obscene solo masturbation segment from Brush himself. Part two later.

Xpose! – Halloween Special - Blood sucking vampires, horrific masks and bony skeletons!! A normal episode so? No, not quite, we also have a pumpkin in the background to celebrate Halloween, officially the ‘scariest’ holiday of the year! Boo!!!

‘Horse’ with laughter - Brand new show where we take an ordinary horse from an ordinary west Dublin household and make them into a comedy genius. Tonight; the audience are left cold after an overcooked political routine from a 2 year old Mare falls flat, and also because someone left the door open. Sponsored by Superglue.

Lunchtime News - 2 murders, a tax increase, a look at hospital bed shortages and a bomb in Burma!!

Alan Hughes, GAA superstar – TV3’s shining light continues his insightful series by becoming a GAA player for a week with Ballymun Kickhams. Tonight Alan is beaten quite close to death with hurleys, verbally abused by arriving at the North Dublin junior final in a frock, raises violent eyebrows for offering flowers to a referee after a late tackle and castigated by his own team for constantly trying to score at the ‘wrong end’.. That’s our Alan! Sponsored by Gypsum Concrete.

Hammered! - The comedy that puts the ‘sex’ back into the ‘sex counties’ and that continues to knaw at the sectarian bone, is back. In this episode Liam barely makes it past the prison gates before his limbs are sent into orbit by a well placed car bomb. Meanwhile, ‘across the bridge’, Maggie is left with a moral dilemma when she finds a loyalist in her wedding dress. Will she wed? Or will she bleed to death? In fact, she does both!

TV3 at the races - Even hardworking TV3 people like to bet their earnings on the ‘nags’. Back after the final race.

All I do each night is Pray - Fascinating Documentary featuring Maggie Moore, an 87-year-old woman from Derry who has spent the last 26 years in a sleepless state due to her addiction to Prayers. We interview a priest who says she’s a dead cert for heaven, unless she commits a heinous crime.

Chicken Corrie and Chips - Due to a contract dispute with the mainland we are unable to bring you today's Coronation Street, but we have cleverly side-stepped the issue by creating a mock up episode featuring real live chickens. In this show, Chic-Ken Barlow attacks the hen loft after a heavy rain shower and a few too many bourbons, and there’s blood on the cobbles when a cock fight at the Rovers spills out onto the street. Followed by a classic episode of Chips, if only just to tie the whole title thing up!

Chaos! Disaster!! Annihilation!!! - Ant and Dec present a sobering study on the global climate crisis by inviting several celebrities to take part in simulated ‘worst case’ scenarios. Former English Rugby captain Laurence Dallaglio is tied to a pole one mile out to sea in the Oslo fjord, just outside Oslo, to demonstrate rising sea levels, and Avengers star Honor Blackman is hit full in the face with a comet to demonstrate being hit full in the face by a comet. Please note a special fund has been set up for Laurence's family, a text donation number will appear after the show, which viewers in the ROI (wherever that is) will not be able to SMS.

Down by the ancient fairy tree, she cast a maidens wondrous shadow, whilst the elderly piper and his band challenged the moonlight to a dance, far far away in the coal black sky – Lengthy titled Music Show.

Brush, Twice Daily - Second installment of the day for Brush and the gang. In this episode we’re forced to come live from the Dole Office, as Brush was going to be delayed due to a lengthy queue!

A Film - "This Camel has the hump” – Even the ‘straight to DVD’ gang rejected this, and with reviews like ‘vile’, ‘vacuous and alarming’, ‘almost Nazi’ and ‘The scene where the camel slips in the shower is not only an insult to the Catholic Church, but also our intelligence’ it’s sure to raise an opinion with you. (1986, Spike Roderick)

Play TV – It’s prizes (or even SUR-PRIZES) galore in our late night interactive game show. Simply call the number, punch in your credit card details and you’re done! You’ve just won a nasty surprise when you statement drops through the letterbox next week!!

Nightvision - Exciting look at nighttime. Tonight’s episode - Complete

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What you don't know WILL kill you!

After years of weighing up the pros and cons, I’m now in a position to declare: I don’t like being sick.

I guess it started when I emerged from my Mums womb (which is odd seeing as it was a caesarean) with all the athleticism of a wet towel. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I had the terrifying Yellow Jaundice. The writing was literally on the wall, although it did say ‘Maternity Ward’. But it may as well have said ‘See you soon Disgrace, even though this is the Coombe and all of your future illnesses will be dealt with in a proper medical type hospital, but you get the message right?’.

It was a long winded sign, but it was right.

I spent my pre-teens in a blur of revolving doors and ambulances. I had bendy toes that needed unbending and this involved first breaking them, then seeing how it went, and after realising they were probably better toes the way there were, them being broken back to their previous position. I wore glasses for a number of years at the advice of a family friend, who had little in the way of an optometrists qualification, and more in the way of a 'making me look like a cross-eyed nerd' degree. I had countless tonsillitis episodes. I once tripped and fell into wet cement with disastrous results. I caught blood poisoning after an unspeakable act with my first girlfriend under Templeogue Bridge. I’ve been hospitalised three times over complications with ingrown toenails. And then there was my now legendary sort-of heart attack.

The thing is, I breezed through all of these issues with grace, dignity and a carefree attitude that should have seen me pick up the Nobel prize for bravery. Of course, the reason I did so, is because when I had the misfortune to arrive at the above medical emergencies, I didn’t have the internet to self-diagnose myself with. I simply thought, ‘Yes, it’s normal for your toes to look like the Walkinstown Roundabout. There’s no reason to be alarmed at being able to see both your ears at the same time. Blood seeping from my eyeballs, no panic.. must have nicked myself shaving!’

Simple times, and I survived them all.

Nowadays, thanks largely to the internet, things are altogether different.

Throw a simple combination of ‘Sore Throat’ and ‘Slight Limp’ into Google and it automatically redirects you to the Fanagans Funeral Homes website.

I’ve had a cold of sorts for the last few weeks. In the past I’d simply come downstairs to my Mum and sniffle. She’d boil some 7-Up and soon I’d be right as rain and back, face down, in wet cement. Now, the internet is my mother. And it’s a bad parent (even though I still have a mother, and she's a good parent)

I possibly, (according the great search engine), have any of the following – Strep Throat, Leukemia, HIV, Swine Flu, Cancer, Scarlett Fever, Twins, Leprosy, Wood-rot, the Common Cold and/or an allergy to Bamboo.

‘What you don’t know won’t kill you’ is a clichéd expression, but it’s wrong. The stress that Google has caused me lately will most likely bring on one of the above illnesses.

In fact, if you type ‘What you don’t know, won’t kill you’ into a search engine of your choice you’ll be given an answer

“Although it probably will”.

Disgrace, 18 October, 2009. Sick.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ulster says 'Yippe-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker'

There was a time when UTV News had all the vital ingredients of a Hollywood Blockbuster. It would burst in half way through something like ‘Die Hard’ with headlines that would make Bruce Willis' antics look like a particularly mundane entry at the Chelsea Flower show.

Semtex festival ends in disaster for hundreds. ‘I saw it coming’ says Republican who planted the explosives’.

Corpse found on the moon believed to have been blown clean off a toilet in Strabane in 1979. ‘That's the last time I order a UVF Vindaloo’ claims relative'.

Even the sports news upped the drama:

20 dead as horse explodes in a crowded bistro. ‘I ordered the lamb’ explained one suddenly armless customer, ‘little did I know it would be a saddle!’.

Half time oranges replaced with grenades angers Linfield players. ‘I’ve been to an Orange lodge’ said one of the team, ‘but I’ve never had one LODGED up my arse’.

And the weather didn’t escape the shocks either,

Umbrellas prove futile as loyalists jump from rain cloud.

From Sub-zero temperatures to Sub-machine guns. Icy weather AND icy killers claims more lives. The Met office says wrap up tomorrow, preferably in something bulletproof”.

The Lotto Results didn’t even escape the troubles;

Tonight's winning numbers. '12 dead, 15 injured, 22 left with minor scars, 30 new additions to the council for the blind, ‘legs’ 11 people kneecapped and finally 1 person hung from the Harland and Wolf crane. That concludes our winning numbers.. Winners are advised to leave the country under cover of darkness or forever pay protection money'.

And then the dead donkey news, supposed to end the news of a light hearted note;

The Man nailed to a makeshift crucifix on the Falls Road was apparently a goalkeeper. According to teammates he was always ‘terrible with crosses’.

“Ha Ha, on that note, it's back to the late movie. More mindless violence and horrific killings. Tomorrow, on UTV live”.

Of course, things changed. The last ten years or so, Ulster news has been dominated with tame stories about economic issues, gay rights and minor maimings.. until tonight…

According to BBC NI Newsline,

“A man who was walking with his family, was attacked by a lively Stag. He was close to death when aid arrived in the form of an Ulster man, famed for cage fighting, who wrestled the animal to submission. The Stag was eventually shot by an ‘expert’ marksman".

They must be hard to come by in the North, expert marksman and cage fighters..

Good to have you back, Ulster!

Now, back to flower arranging with John McClane..

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I've AD enough

When the latest Muller advert breaks into song you might be forgiven for going postal on the nearest large gathering of people. To hear what appears to be a child but could well be an adult who has spent too much time slurping shit yogurt, sing ‘I’ve got my berries’ you’ll have lost all potential remorse and blown your Uncles head clean off with whatever weapon you’ve equipped yourself with. As an Irishman, as I am, to also hear that it comes direct from their farm in ‘Shropshire’ is about as relevant to me personally as a tampon. Or even a Muller tampon, with crunchy bits.

I hate advertising. All of it. It’s rubbish. Fakey might disagree, but his bread and butter is advertising, ‘today's bread today’ and ‘its feet will touch Irish soil first’ and all that, all it does is make my angry that they want my money. And i have no money, largely because of them in the first place.

Thankfully, we Irish haven’t don’t invest as much time into the big sing-song vibe that British Advertisers do. Take the such and such ad where a ‘wacky’ bunch appear in a park and sing Christmas songs to advertise whatever mindless shite it is they are advertising. Every demographic is dragged out, laughing at the hilarity of it all, instead of injecting heroin and selling knock off handbags like most of them do. The Cadbury ad where they imagine an island called ‘Chocolate Island’ with a Caribbean accent that would have Jar Jar binx blushing. The Avonmore ad with some Gaiety wannabe, her glasses on her head like some weird sacrifice to the Celtic Tiger, is as annoying as a milky brick in the face. The Oreo ad where a chilling injection of sexual tension between two 7 years old's encourages ‘dunking’ makes me want to invade Poland. The Meteor ad, which features two bona-fide fuckwits locked into a freezer has me reaching for the padlock. The Stena-line adverts, where they make the child speak like an adult instead of pushing him over the railings like they should, makes me sea-sick. The Guinness ad, ‘Arthur's Day’. Someone should develop a stout called Martha, cause from what I hear, there’s plenty of knobends who’d devour it. ‘To Martha’?? YOU ASSHOLE!

I could go on. And I will..

Coors light. ‘No they’re tears. Maybe he looked at head on you…”. Christ in a blender, this raises my blood pressure. I might just burn down Kielys now. I certainly won’t drink Coors anyway. Spar, Bertie and Louis. About as funny as the receipt you get after handing over the deeds of your house for some nappies in one of their shops. Ikea. ‘Oh my, look at our daughter!! she has turned up at her in a red dress, what a rebel’. Eh, folks? You’re heading for a Madeline McCann of your own if you have the sort of 7 year old that can go out and buy a dress by herself, and arrive independently at her own communion. ‘We have to make some cuts’ from Bulmers. How about starting with the ad?

Go Disgracey Go!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


On the right are pictures from the Pixies Gig in the Olympia last Wednesday. Westy and I managed to grab them in the 60 seconds or so that the band actually remained on stage.

A lot has been written about these gigs in the Olympia. Firstly, it was marketed as a rare chance to catch such a legendary act in such an intimate environment. And that it was. It was also quite clear that it was a ‘Dolittle’ album tour, where the band would play all the tracks from that era, and in order. However, nowhere in the press did they mention you would be home in time for Eastenders or be treated to an astonishingly ignorant display from Frank Black.

At nearly €1 euro per minute, we may have been thankful that it ended so soon, but it would have been nice to know beforehand. Perhaps MCD could have told the people that this was a rehearsal tour for the UK/Europe leg, and would be bare bones and lacking in any frills. Perhaps, but then they would not have been able to charge as much. In Glasgow two nights ago, Pixies played 8 extra songs. They also had a state of the art visual display that they ‘forgot’ to bring to Ireland. They also charged a lot, lot less.. (Scotland, €32: Ireland €55).

Now, what they did, they did very well. Technically excellent. And we can forgive Kim Deal for making about as much sense as a chocolate radiator, but what about Mr Black Francis? Obviously taking note of Ronan Keating's mega-hit, he decided he’d say it best, by saying nothing at all. One thing he should probably have said though, was ‘sorry’

Where is my mind??

Where is my refund!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Onions make me cry

I love surprises. I honestly do, but I pretty much only care for good ones. Such as grabbing an old pair of jeans and finding a crisp 50 in the pocket, or arriving home and finding a ladies volleyball team in the fridge. Bad surprises I can live without. I could happily meander through life without ever being treated to ‘surprise sex’ from a gang of deranged homeless men or being treated to the ‘surprise’ of exiting a taxi though the windscreen. In fact, keep your surprises. For every good one, there’s generally a skip full of bad ones waiting around the corner. I’d gladly trade every ‘surprise, I got you a packet of Rolo in the shops’ and ‘Surprise, you’re fired’ for simply knowing what I’m getting. If I buy toilet roll, I want it to be toilet roll and not, say, Carving Knives.

On three occasions last month, I bought onions from the street traders on Camden Street. Now, when I buy an onion, I want it to be an onion. I don’t want to cut into it and find a big black lump dressed up as an onion. On these three separate visits, I was let down. I also let myself down, because I was victim to the woman’s pushy sales techniques and returned home with peaches or strawberries which I never ate. So, like any good disgruntled customer, I continued to shop at the same stall.

Today, I’m making something that requires an onion so without thinking I was back at the stall like a heavily bruised housewife who wouldn’t listen to advice. I bought the onions, and some bananas that I didn’t want, and headed home.

It will come as no surprise to you that my onions were a bit worse for wear. Of the seven that were in the net, two would barely have scraped by in an ‘are you an onion?’ contest, whilst the other five had serious issues. Some were black, or grey, whilst one disturbingly puffed out a kind of dust when I sliced into it.

I’d promised myself the last time that I’d speak up if it ever happened again and so I did. I grabbed them and returned to the stall.

“Sorry about that Love, here ye go” she said calmly, handing me a fresh net and mentally pushing me away.

Well, you’re not going to need to use much brainpower to figure out what happened next and why tonight’s ‘Onion surprise’ is a bit light on the onion.

That’s ok though, because you’re not invited.

Although, you could surprise me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pirates of the Has-Been

It’s been five months since I cashed in my cards. I turned my back on a huge raise, laughed loudly and ceremoniously burned my slacks. I emerged from Corporate Hell HQ and waved about my imaginary giant cheque like I was a pervert with some imaginary giant cock. The world was my oyster you see, but the next morning, as is with Oysters, I awoke feeling my stomach.

Still, I quickly shook it off. I had a dream you see. A talented writer, or so I’d been told, who’d only recently been commissioned to ghost write a major icons biography, only to lose the gig by submitting a below par and badly spelled 6th chapter. But still, it was a start. I figured it would pan out as follows. Collect dole, hit Bia-Bar, stagger home, find inspiration and end up in some motel throwing money in the air. As the months passed, the dream lingered on. Still have 5 months rent in the bank, no need to panic. Crack open a cold one. Then the 5 months became 4, 4 became 3 and suddenly, today, 3 became 2.

Then it hit me like a Luas. And I was a bus. And the Luas hit the bus. And the bus was me.

It was just a dream. Like the time I went hot air ballooning with David Beckham or was the man in charge with providing soap to Scarlett Johansson in the shower, it wasn’t real. ‘Real’ is shaking a cup at strangers on Camden street or taking it for the cause under a bridge on the grand canal. ‘Real’ is less buying CD’s I could have downloaded for free and more eating yesterdays newspaper from the recycle bin outside Centra. It dawned on me abruptly, like an aprupt evening time dawn. 200 euro a week does not allow one to mix in the iced glass of high society. Signing on for what used to constitute a ‘quiet night out’ does not allow the pocket to relax. Soon, it suggested, I would be getting used to particularly starchy and cardboardy bed linen, or worse, sleeping on my mothers floor.

I then broke my coffee machine by being so out of sorts that I forgot to put water in it. It wheezed and puffed away wondering why it’d been treated to such an act of ignorance and decided to sail off to electric heaven.

Without coffee, my day would drag. That temporary high used to get me through the afternoon show and the comedown would usually require a nap that would bring me past the dangerous hours of five to seven. Then, it was normally a case of putting a crease in the pants and hitting Wexford St. Now, with the cold slap of reality and a defunct coffee maker, I was left alone. Worse still, left alone with my thoughts.

“Even if you get a job, it’ll be a back month, and then some, before you get paid” I whispered to myself

“And that’s unlikely, as there are no jobs” I hummed, irritatingly

“And what’s more, you’re a grade A fuckwit, who has really let himself go. I wouldn’t hire you, and I AM you” my mind went on, rather callously.

I tinkered with the coffee machine. But the fact that several parts of it had by now been made airborne by my impatience, it was always going to be a disaster.

I looked at my calendar, and where once dancing smiley faces occupied the days, a scull and crossbones now lingered.

“That’s it” I thought, showing a remarkable level of mindlessness, despite the lack of coffee

“I’ll become a pirate!”

Seriously though, hand-jobs for a fiver anyone?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Goodness...

I woke up this morning thinking it just your average Wednesday. Then, after realising it was Thursday, I again comforted myself with the fact that today would just be another day, albeit slightly later in the week than I originally thought.

Then the texts started.

They all seemed to be concerned with an individual called Arthur. Yes, I knew that today was the anniversary of Guinness but it didn't register with me just how enormous this day had become. Practically everyone I know is in the pub as I write this (except Fakey). Those that aren't are happy in the knowledge that they have tickets for one of the many, many gigs around Dublin tonight. Some bands are playing twice, and even three times, in different venues. Just like Phil Collins did back in 84. Whilst sadly there's no Phil tonight, it does has a twisted Live Aid vibe about it.

Sorta like a Live Aid for Alcoholics. Which says it all about this little country I think...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Disgrace Experiments #1

Blog through the night

Tonight, I shall provide a minute by minute update of the goings on in Dublin City, when the masses have retired for a bit of the old horizontal. Every Garda Siren, Owl Hoot and defenceless female scream for help will be reported here, as it happens.

It's now 1AM (in the morning) and with the aid of a pot of fresh coffee, with the same consistency as the M50, I have to tools to keep the eyelids raised and bring to you the sordid tales of a nocturnally active city. Yes indeed, I shall remain awake and deliver to you the headlines from an unprinted nighttime paper and tell you what actually happens when you're asleep and sleeping. It's sure going to be exciting. With my envied view of the back of the Harcourt St Garda headquarters I expect to bring you instant news of murderous killings, terrifying illegal robberies and the exact goings on in the mysterious Gardai staff only 'gay rendezvous' room..

My curtains, like your anticipation, are twitching. The night has fallen and I'm ready. I chop up a cup of coffee and chew away.. It's gonna be a long night folks, I suggest you buckle up.

01:17AM : Heading to Bed. Good luck.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Stuff I Hate

Social Networking - People who call photo albums on Facebook and Bebo ‘London Baby!’ or ‘it’s all about me’. Firstly, ‘It’s all about me’ is like the morning worship call of a pervert, and 'London Baby’ could more imaginatively be substituted with ‘A trip to the Capital of England’ or ‘Photos of me and my friends in London’.

Tralee – It’s a bona-fide shithole. Don’t think so? Ask the two can wielding teenage girls that tried to kill the newly crowned Rose of Tralee the other night.

The Rose of Tralee – If only those girls hadn’t got cans, they might have been sober enough to do some damage.

The Red Sauce/Tomato Ketchup debate - It’s a particularly vulgar person that refers to tomato ketchup as ‘red sauce’. It’s a bit like calling Dutch Gold ‘fizzy piss’, technically correct, but lazy. In fact, the only thing more vulgar is consuming either.

Skobie Oul Ones – If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard a deep manly voice ask a shopkeeper for ‘20 blue and a packet of papers’, only look up to realise that it’s a woman, I’d be in the company of a lot of useless currency.

Motorways – I’ve just returned from Achill, in the time it takes to watch about 8 episodes of Coronation Street. Motorways, like exploding airplanes, take the fun out of traveling. Gone is the joy of finding yourself stuck in a bog in a place that even the maps shy away from. Gone is the chance to break down on a boreen, and after trekking to the nearest house, find yourself tied up and repeatedly violated in a farmhouse. Instead, miles and miles of straight road, flanked on either side by bored trees, with little chance of a lively collision with a tractor.

Instant Noodles – If falling down the stairs, or a shotgun blast to the chest had the same preparation time as these so called quick snacks, there’d be a lot less tragic stairs related shootings in this country. If bring to the boil, simmer, allow to cool, and take a leisurely walk before serving equals instant, then I’m a Chinese farmer with relationship issues.

Jenny Huston on 2fm – A glorified Oreo advert. Not one minute goes by without her mentioning how great Oreos are, or her reading out texts that someone supposedly sent in proclaiming their love for these biscuits. Oreos, are possibly the worst thing to come out of America since ‘Little Boy’ and the Black Eyed Peas. Plus, where’s the fun in a biscuit which you can’t run your finger along the middle and end up with a jam topped digit that simply screams decadence. No Mikado's are Oreo indeed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fakey and the Art Theft

He was in one of those moods. He’d begun ordering by the crate, and dismissed anything that didn’t have an alcohol rating of ‘skull and crossbones’. He’s begun picking fights with himself, and losing. Like the May bank holiday, this occasion doesn’t happen every week, so I simply sat back and enjoyed the ride.

I am of course talking about my boyhood chum, husband of my ex’s sister and token asthmatic contemporary, Mr Fakey. We had steaks. While he waxed lyrical about the rump, I devoured it like an escaped orphan. As he measured the amount of blood that seeped from its centre, I was wiping my face and asking for the dessert menu. Between dipping his barometer into the flesh and challenging the waiter to produce the cows birth certificate, I had ordered a second plate of chips. It was that kind of night. The kind of night when going for dinner actually meant eating and not the Rose of Tralee equivalent of interrogating your food. Eventually, happy that all in the world was right he ingested the fare, and declaring it a fine nosebag, proceeded to dive into the wine like a depressed housewife.

It wasn’t long before he had that look. You know the one, his eyes veered like the headlights of a car heading off a cliff edge. He spoke of revolution and violent tangos in a burning Buenos Aires. He had pulled his pockets out and was showing all his white eared elephant trick. It takes a friend to see behind the facade. It takes a long time buddy to read between the lines. And when he started pissing into his wallet, I could safely declare; Fakey is drunk.

We continued on to an unnamed wine bar (unnamed for a very good reason) and I watched as his pupils boarded the waltzer. His frenzied appetite for wine could not be contained, and before long his physical demeanour had taken a more horizontal position. He was talking of starring down government tanks, freeing the imprisoned and why St Patricks Athletic needed a new defender. It was impassioned stuff and I sat agog, almost thinking it was a young Che at the table. Or at least a heavily pregnant Derek Davis.

I knew the night was on fire. I had once seen him like this before, back in 1994 when he took his poetic out on a secret tree house in a forest close to where I lived. I had 999 entered into my phone when he reappeared from the toilet, with a little bit more of the bar’s furniture than he went with.

“Run!!” he shouted, echoing the time we had a free slap up breakfast in some greasy spoon at the back of Clerys. Run I did, and soon, as the cold air hit me like a Limerick Snowman, he unveiled his revolution. It was a theft to rival the Generals assault on Russborough or the Munch incident. Fakey, stood there shaking. In his hands, where I would by now expect to see a kebab, was a freshly pilfered painting from the very bar we had been drinking. His eyes danced like two incestuous cousins and his smile curled around the back of his head like someone who’d simply drank too much and stole something.

Fearful of hard labour by means of association, I separated from this modern day Ronnie Biggs and allowed myself into my flat. I didn’t know what was next, but I was pretty sure that his soap handling skills would be called into action for the first time since the Community Games overnighter in Ferns. I downed my nightcap uneasily, possibly because it was an actual nightcap, but more likely because I knew he’d be for the high jump.

And so it was. Minutes later, as I unnecessarily describe to you that I was naked as a horse and lathering my flesh in the shower, a call arrived into my phone. It was of course Fakey. He’d been ordered to return, like all good criminals, to the scene of the crime and replace the ‘hot’ article. By none other than his wife.

I can only imagine what he felt, as he was essentially beaten by the system, into re-hanging that painting. There would now be no great books or ballads about the day Fakey infiltrated the ‘man’ and ran like a special Olympian with a painting of a dog under his jacket. No, instead there’d be another story about how a drunk guy gets his orders served medium rare by a woman who just didn’t understand why he did it.

But then again, maybe she didn’t fancy seeing her husband being passed around like today's Herald in a crowded prison rec room. Which really sucks, cos I sure did.


By the way, prize for whoever can guess where this occurred. Look closely, as the painting is quite obvious, as he re-hung it upside down and still remains that way. Clue one, it’s in Fallon and Byrnes.

Oh, and I have a Twitter.. link on right.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

At Furst I was afraid..

You know you’ve about as much chance of selling your property as you do of landing on the moon, when, all of a sudden, this stuff rears it’s evil head again.

Once the only alternative to Harp, and indeed punishment beatings, Irelands favourite import since Oliver Cromwell, Furstenberg, is back like an estranged father. It once gave a tantalising glimpse of the outside world to a country that was busy deciding which cousin it wanted to marry, picking between London or Boston and winning Eurovision. This German beer, that remains strangely unknown is Germany, is responsible for many a lost weekend in my blossoming youth. We all remember the ad, chopped up cut scenes featuring different leather jacket wearing sorts continuing conversations from stranger to stranger. What didn’t make the final cut however is the time Fakey woke up in Bushy park with his trousers on back to front, or the time Disgrace confidently strutted through an occupied hotel room in the Fairways hotel in Dundalk, on his way (via a drainpipe I’ll have you know!) back to the nightclub after being justifiably removed for a sort of sexual act during Pearl Jams ‘Jeremy’. That’s the sort of carry on that this beverage can lead to, and courtesy of Tesco Rathmines, it’s back..

I don’t know an awful lot about this brew, but the fact that it disappeared when people began to have taste and money and suddenly remerges when taste and money have been left raped and bleeding on a laneway off Pearse street is worrying..

I’d better brush up on my climbing skills again. And fakey had better start wearing pants too….

*and yes, they are my underpants in the background, for those that wondered where they’d seen them before..

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

All Ireland Hurling

“What’s a traveller?” asked Westy.

“Well, they’re a gypsy people Westy. They live in Caravans, mend those pesky damaged pots that we all get sometimes and engage in a kind of hokey ritual that involves beating the living shit out of each other. Think Riverdance, but with fists”

“Aa, bit like a posh Glaswegian” He replied.

“You’ve been living here for 2 years now and you didn’t know what a Traveller was?” I asked, “You do know what a Culchie is don’t you?”

There was a loud shriek of a bagpipe, before he looked back up at me, his head shaking from side to side like a mournful thistle.

“Right” I said, with my voice, “Time to educate you!”

Living, as I do, at the top of Harcourt Street gives me a distinct advantage in the observations of the Irish human. I merely have to lie on my bed and I can hear the loud drink fuelled symphony that floats in my windows from Copper Face Jacks. I can now call your county colours by sound alone. The Kerry native, for example, generally sings like a lost Moose. I can confidently proclaim Donegal people to be ‘in the house’ anytime I hear that distinct, ‘slow motion’ ambulance siren type sound that they wail through the night. And I can tell the Limerick gang are knocking about by the amount of gunshots. Westy though wouldn’t know a Langer from Ladyboy, so I decided where better to start his naturalisation than good old Harcourt St.

It was 3am, and the place was mental. Westy remarked that he had not seen chaos like this since he accidentally tossed his Caber into the viewing stand at the 1992 Highland Games.

“Do you know what a ladyboy is?” I asked him.

He nodded sadly, like someone who had just remembered a regrettable event.

“Not the sexy ones Westy, I mean the ‘Leinster’ ones!”

I pointed at a pool of vomit. It was of a fine and sturdy consistency, with the unmistakable fizz of Prosecco bubbling from beneath the frothy surface. There were also traces of Cappuccino and cocaine.

“That product Westy, was served up by a ‘D4’ head. Typically a Lenister Rugby fan. Commonly called ‘Ladyboys’ by their detractors. ”

The next pavement exhibit was that of a Culchie. It’s lumpy layabout was arranged a bit like a poster in Supermacs. An astonishing amount of ingredients seemingly matching County colours. Whole back puddings bounced on top.

“A culchie Westy. Somebody from outside of Dublin. Genetically, 99.5% similar to humans. Can be tracked down to their lairs by simply following the scrape marks on the footpath. From their knuckles Westy”

“What’s this one?” Westy enquired, needlessly running his finger through the paving Picasso.

“Ah, that’s a girls projectile, my curious Celtic cousin, can’t you tell?”

There were tiny droplets of tanned sick floating on a thick green fruity smelling liquid. A heavy infiltration of orange colour proves what we fear, that they’ve started tanning their insides too.

I led Westy like an aging belled cow trough the crowds to the next sidewalk stomach sample. This one was mostly made of chips, but was a volatile heap. Minor explosions, probably caused by the chemical additive of Dutch Gold meant distance should be kept. Old betting slips and watches appeared occasionally from beneath the mist

“That, I’m quite sure, is the gastric gathering of a Skobie. Very rare to see this Westy, as they usually scoop it up and have it for dinner.

Westy was absorbing the info nicely, and despite his pre-occupation with slurping his cock-a-leekie soup between lessons, he was a good student.

Our next belly bonanza was the most curious one. Of the selected tarmac tummy towers this one had me scratching my head. It was of typical stock, lumpy in all the right places and a level of vegetation that proved that this person lived well. A staggering amount of what appeared to be palazzo della torre wine made up the rest of this outdoor oesophagus offering, and it was neatly topped by a freshly ironed pair of socks

“Ah, that’ll be Fakeys” I said to Westy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cook off

When I was younger, I’d always insist on a small present anytime I had to visit anywhere remotely uncomfortable, places like the dentist, barbers or even some of my relatives. It was classic stamping your feet behaviour and generally I won out. I once had a lower tooth removed but emerged satisfied from the Dentist with a wind up space shuttle. Haircuts always resulted in dinky cars, and I once got Buck-a-roo for permitting myself to be admitted to hospital with serious blood poisoning. But as the years pass, you begin to realise that you don’t always get what you want. You occasionally have to put in as much as you get and sometimes, you have to cut your losses, pick up your underpants and leave before her husband reaches the landing.

The gang in Thomas Cook are brats of the highest order. Like the Electricians before them, they believe that the recession is OK for other people but not for them. They were handed their pink slips, a more than satisfactory wedge of cash and told to leave. Instead of doing the honourable thing (such as heading for the nearest pub or having their babies), they decided to illegally hole themselves up in the now closed store and most likely rob as much stationary as their non ‘woe is me’ placard hand could carry.

The Gardai quite rightly, and under court orders, moved in to remove them. The protesters however acted like they were auditioning for a Jim Sheridan movie. The Birmingham Six should be looking for royalties. SIPTU then announced that is was “absurd” that staff who were losing their jobs were facing a court. In a Libel avoiding act of animal cruelty, I dressed up my dog as the SIPTU spokesman and conducted an interview with him. I put it to him that the Gardai are not arresting them because they lost their jobs, but because they illegally occupied someone else's property. The SIPTU spokesman, as cute as can be, simply hung his tongue out of the left side of his mouth and wee’d gently into the slacks that I’d ruined trying to get him into. The interview ended, as it does with many trade union officials, with my face being licked and a little rub behind the ear.

You see, I too recently was the proud recipient of redundancy, and yes, whilst I did fill up my man-bag with anything that wasn’t nailed to the floor, I didn’t fluff up my pillows on the managers desk, drink some cocoa and dye my hair for the cameras. I simply took the money, and left with grace (via a quick buttock printing session on the photocopier). That’s life folks.

However, something tells me that this gangs relationship with Thomas Cook isn’t over. I mean, there’s obviously the hundreds of package holidays to the Costa Del Sol that they probably booked before they were removed to look forward to.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Virtual Insanitary

I remember in school one of the cool guys brought a Tampon into class one day. I looked at my Jam sandwiches (with butter!) and back to the giggling audience that had gathered and felt cheated. Why was this guy getting all the attention? Despite having two sisters, and a mother, I still wasn’t sure exactly what a female was, however I could read by then and had noticed boxes of these peculiar devices lurking about the bathroom on many occasions. Despite not knowing how it worked, why it did what it did and crucially the correct pronunciation, I slid the sandwiches behind me and approached the large gathering.

“Nice Tampoon” I said.

Now, most of my classmates already knew I was a fully paid up member of the idiot society but this merely bolstered my reputation as its shining light. I remember turning to Westy, despite the fact I didn’t meet him for another 22 years and told him to get the car and meet me out front. It was a pretty low moment to be honest.

A few years later and I was still registering Olympic standard boo boos. I was 16 and headed to the Zoo Bar for my first pint. I don’t know what it is but back in the early 90’s, underage patrons everywhere used to wear suits to pubs and clubs in an attempt to look older. Think Mini-pops doing Reservoir Dogs. Unfortunately I hadn’t remembered to remove my communion medal first and for all intensive purposed looked like Angus from AC/DC. Fakey was with me and had been training his mustache since he was seduced by John Aldridge's face fringe back in Euro 88, so he was automatically one step ahead. Anyway, due to my sartorial impressiveness and an unattended side entrance I soon found myself at the bar. I ordered a pint of Guinness in my then curious mixture of falsetto and baritone and promptly handed over the money I had taken from my Mums purse. My image only slightly damaged by the fact that I brought the purse with me. The barman did the first part of the pour and left the pint on the top of the bar. I say ‘first part’ as if I’m an expert in the art of serving Guinness, because I certainly wasn’t back then. I swiftly took the pint, or rather 3/4 pint, and started knocking it back. Just like the faces that all turned to me with quiet pity when I sung of my ignorance with my infamous sanitary faux pas, the barman looked at me and spoke not in words, but simply by shaking his head from side to side

“Are you the guy who said Tampoon in school"?” He asked.

My response (‘I like them like this’) only resulted in me having to drink 3/4 filled pints for the rest of night, which considering I was on my knees behind a skip outside 10 minutes later wasn’t much of an issue.

A while later, but still in my awkward first 30 years, I was stranding in the queue to U2’s Zooropa gig at the RDS and was casually chatting to a guy from Northern Ireland about anything but the troubles. We were having a good old sing song, getting in to the sprit of it. He had put behind the terror of sectarian violence, and me, the memories of my first pint and Tampax. We hit on the song ‘One’. I remember not thinking that this was a song that could unite even the most hardened enemies, years before anyone else.

We sang.

Is it getting better ...One love ...It's one love ... like you never had love ...”

I took the lead then. Confidently, I sang my comic variation on the words..

“You say love is a tampon, love a press on towel.. you ask me to….”

My war beaten pal interrupted me..

“Erm, I think you mean Tampoon?” He said, in a peaceful, non paramilitary voice, a little like a massive car bomb being diffused.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Brush with Fate

I haven’t seen his ears prick up in such a way in a long time. Even his beret had returned, going from being in his hand on the Hapenney bridge to it’s rightful resting place, his head. His grin, whilst not dazzling, or indeed containing many teeth, still lit up the TV screen. There was a spring in his step, despite the fact he was sitting down. And correct me if I’m wrong, but he also seemed to be sporting an engorged organ. But then again, he was on Miriam tonight after all..

I am talking of course about Mr. Brush Sheils.

It’s easy to imagine the scenario. The young and the wealthy are shunning the traditional bread and butter entertainment of Brush and his cohorts for something a little more flashy. You can just picture him, in only his underpants seething through the curtains as they trip past the window snorting cocaine and quaffing back Champers. They all sit down for dinner at a Michelin star whereas he tucks into his underpants for sustenance. They listen to Girls Aloud and Il Divo, whilst Brush's battered old record player crackles out ‘Me and Jimmy Magee’ on repeat. His tears, whilst a welcoming source of fluids, still hurt his face.

But we live in post-boom days now, and when the papers screamed ‘Shit, it’s over’, Brush knew what to do. He slipped the beret back on, picked up his guitar and said goodbye to the wheelie bin he’d be living in.

Saturdays Miriam was like a trip back in time. Literally, as I watched the repeat. Brush was centre of attention of course, and was flanked by an assorted bunch of fellow survivors.

The songs were new, but rung out with a comforting familiarity. We Irish have always dealt with adversity with an auld ditty. Think back to the famine (“Where’s me chips?”) and the rising (“Come out ye Black and Tans and give us a kiss”) and Brush and Co delivered once again.

Joe Duffy was there. So too were some other people. And there were jokes.

“The recession Miriam, it’s affecting everybody…I met a guy the other day who said he joined a bridge club”.

Miriam raises her eyebrows.

“He said he was jumping off next Tuesday!!”


“I met a guy Miriam, you know suffering from the recession. He was biting his nails. so I asked him, are you nervous?”

“No” he said “Lunch”.

I laughed heartily. Brush is back and everything is going to be alright. Got me thinking though, you don’t actually have to be a member of a bridge club to chuck yourself off it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Westy and the woman


I’d met her the day I moved in. She slid in from the shadows like a competent roller skating rapist. No noise, just a slight change in temperature heralded her arrival and there she was, as if she’d always been there. It was if I’d zoomed in with a camera. It was almost like the entire room moved towards her.

The first thing I noticed was her hair. She looked a little like a drag queen Aonghus MacAnally. The roots, long confused as to it’s natural colour decided they would try a little of everything. Her eyes looked triple glazed and she seemed to have a little more grass growing out of her than the average human being. The strap had slipped off her shoulder, not in a provocative manner, but in a horror filled act of seduction that warned me if I was not careful, the other one would be next.

Westy was busy stacking all my belongings lovingly against the wall. He seemed startled by her sudden existence and emitted his usual clichéd Scottish “Ach Eye!!”

“Those walls have been freshly painted” she delivered in a coldness that would make a Wibbly Wobbly Wonder shiver. The room turned and she was now on the other side of me inspecting the paintwork. Without words she ordered a humbled Westy to moved the offending boxes a good 2 inches from the wall.

“ I notice you are parked in my space” she continued. Dogs 5 miles away started to bark, “you have five minutes”

I held my hand out, and introduced myself. She didn’t blink. She just sorted of hummed, like a fridge.

Westy emitted a gentle cough, nothing serious, probably just a wee bit of haggis caught in his throat. It was barely a noise. It sounded a bit like a leaf.

“This building” She said, “This building is MOSTLY owner occupied! We expect people to be quiet”. Her eyes gazed towards Westy and he retreated slightly, towards Edinburgh.

“I’m the rep for the management committee” she rasped, “And anyone causing trouble is dealt with severely!”.

Westy nearly spat out his deep fried Mars Bar.

And then she was gone. All she left behind was the feeling that we’d been stripped naked by some silent force and made wear each others clothes. That and an almost visible odour of whiskey.

“A bonny lass that” Westy said “ pure fukin hardcore hefty mingers wehey ya mink get tae china ye stink ae pishh pally ya mad auld cheese baw rocket get it up yee”

“Westy” I said “ How many Irn-Bru have you had?”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Christy does Disgrace

Bleedin Hell!!! Jayzus, the last time I was near a computer was when I waz carryin’ it out through the window of some posh feckers gaff out in Blackrock!!

Despite the above response to my initial approach, I can proudly announce that today's guest blogger on ND is Mr Christy Dignam, he of the Aslan.

Well ladz!! It’ been a rough day alright. Me and the bowzeys were down the studio dropping some tunes for the new record. Drummer guy joked that we’re the only band with more CRIMINAL records than ACTUAL records.. I didn’t know whether to laugh me bleedin hole off or take another bite of me battered sausie.. I did both to be fooking honest, and now I’ve got a raging bastard of heartburn...

Anyway, we managed one bit of the auld tuneage today.. a sort of a tribute to the late Phil Lynott (I say late, cos we invited the sap to record with us in 1982 and he still hasn’t arrived!!!.. but also cos he’s brown bread).. Called ‘Had my Phil” it was a bit of an experimento song to be honest.. I had to sing in a falsetto voice, you know, like a bird, and bleedin magee, it wasn’t aaasy.. some of the lyrics I wrote were off the jaysus North wall!! here, take a listen;

“Phil, you fill me.. I have a hole in me heart, won't you fill me hole Phil”..

The lyrics are always difficult, what with the words and the letters and stuff but one of the lads who’s been to school helped me.. He joked afterwards that I was a ‘total and utter idiot’. If his parents are readin, I’d try the liffey (wink).

Anyway, the recession is deadly isn’t it? Bargains to be had everywhere. I was taking a slash down the back of the Sallynoggin Inn the other night and a hardly eaten breadroll popped up out of the bin like a bleedin jack in the box!!!.. I mean, it was Cuisine the bollixin France for Jaysus sake!! I milled it down and finished me whizz and headed back under the bridge to the lads. "The Queen of Engalnd” they all called me when I was telling them of the feast, and I’ll be honest, a broken bottle appeared.. scars make the man me aul one used to say after one of her fistfights outside the dole office, and god bless her, the fuckin roll was delish!!

Me and the drummer robbed a dog for the laugh the other night.

What’s the story with the country right now?? I was on my way back from the scratcher the other day when I bumped into Brush Sheils... selling blow jobs for a tenner and an auld jig for an extra fiver.. It was only after I paid him that I realised that people are really desperate for munso at the mo.. But come on government yokes!! Pull the bleedin finger out. My Niece just had a babby, and for fooks sake she can barely afford to feed the thing (although her communion is coming up, so that should bring in a few bob).

Right lads!! been brillo chatting to you all and remember, be safe and be seen (wear a luminous condom!! ha ha)



Oh, by the way anyone wanna buy a dog?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Complicated Plate of Potatoes

“no man in an island.. except maybe for the Isle of Mann”

I think it was Basil Brush who said this, and who am I to argue for I’d wager it’d be as futile as trying to blutack an omelete to the underside of a horse.

You’d better get used to these meandering's folks, as I do not have the luxury of choosing when I post anymore. Like Christ spending 40 days and 40 nights without internet, I am reliant on some distant unsecured network drifting towards my new flat in the breeze, offering with it a moments window in which to share my thoughts.

Tonight's connection comes courtesy of WLAN-AP and unfortunately for the readers finds me in one of those moods that generally result in meaningless posts with ridiculous titles..


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Circle in the sand

Talk amongst yourselves while I sort out some internet for this new flat of mine...

In the meantime, here’s something interesting I heard recently:

“Humming along to a Belinda Carlisle song is a bit like arriving at a Petrol station and realising that you forgot your car!!”


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TV3 summer schedule

9AM: Look ‘Hughes’ Talking : Lively chat from the ever flexible Alan Hughes. On this mornings episode, Nobel prize winning politician John Hume storms out after being gunged, and a topical debate on the the dangers of nettles in cruising destinations. Followed by news for the deaf (stereo).

11AM: Brendan O’Carroll on... Wine : The lovable crimin...sorry, Comedian, continues his cultural journey with a guide to the finest wines and vineyards around. Tonight: Brendan gets pissed on a special offer Shiraz and urinates on a Luas.

12PM: Zchewky un Blarti - Ukrainian comedy from Estonia (with Greek subtitles) - A mysterious Welshman arrives in town and unsettles the local Turks with his loud flute playing and disdain for Mexicans (winner of best Maori television series at the Latvian media awards).

1PM: The Afternoon movie: An American Werewolf on the Orient Express (1968). Heart stopping thriller from the producer of ‘Satan visits Fundrerland’ and the Dairy Boards generic cheese advert. A trip on the fabled train turns to horror for a young family of Mormons as one by one they are savaged by a werewolf. Will Jean Claude Van Damme come to their rescue? Unlikely, as he is not in this movie.

5PM: Xp-LOSION: Live coverage of a tragic explosion at TV3 HQ during the recording of Xpose.

5:27PM: Xpose 2: A special episode of the popular entertainment magazine featuring a tribute to the untimely passing of all the previous presenters. Also, why tartan is IN this season.

7PM: Sports!! Sports!! Sports!! : A timely repeat of the Mongolian Trampoline championships of 1977, an event marred by a Llama invasion that sent the shock waves though the world.

8PM: Hammered: The taboo breaking Ulster comedy is back. The McGuiggans celebrate the release from prison of their elderly grandmother with a good old fashioned Ulster Fry (ie they burn a church), Meanwhile ‘over the fence’ the Harpersons are faced with a tough decision when ‘Snappy’, the family terrier, wags his tail during the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis. Warning, contains images of animal cruelty.

9PM: Boomerang Bay: The sex filled Aussie soap is back, and bolder than ever. Tonight, Wanga is horrified to find an orphan in her cornflakes and Greg tells Martha that he loves her, in a series of punches meant to represent sign language.

9.30PM: Cribs, with Brian Cowen!- Leader of the country Brian Cowen gives viewers a glimpse into his private life and explains why he keeps a herd of sheep in his garden.

10PM: Sheep Thrills: - The rape of Dolly - Alarming expose into the recent ‘sheep buggering’ episode that rocked Irish Politics, with an as yet unnamed Taoiseach at the forefront of the allegations. Music by The Script.

10.45PM: - Live Windsurfing ( Not the cool kind ) - All the action from today's goings on in Courtown. Filmed from a distance in the back of a moving car. Sponsored by Chewits

11.45PM: - Mind your own Quizness - The return of the popular Quiz.. Now, with ACTUAL prizes!... Sponsored my Mickey's Hardware - Ballina ' if It's hard and ware, it has to be Mickey's ' Open 3 Days a week.

12.30AM: The Valley - Soap set in rural Greenland. Today, a large snowstorm blows into town. Eué has difficulty shutting a window and a moose is keeping Júúúp awake

1AM: Cagney and Lacy: Disturbing drunken camera phone footage from the TV3 Christmas party where Mark Cagney models lacy underwear for the staff of Copper Face Jacks.

1.30AM: After Dark presents: Nurses in heat (2006). An amateur theatre group form Tallaght hospital present their version of ht hit motion picture ‘Heat’, with Matron (Concepta O’Shaugnessy) in the role of Al Pacino.

4AM: Power Cut - Due to a surprise power cut, programming tonight will end abruptly. See ya in a fortnight, The TV3 'team'.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things to do in Bristol when you've just murdered

I took one look at Westy and my mind was already scouting locations of where to bury his body. His wife (Missus Westy) stood over his shoulder. Make that two bodies.

I guess it started when I got that pre-travel fear that most of us get. You know, when you’re packing your socks and a sudden image of a burning plane and a mountain side flashes into your mind. Usually, I’m a good flyer, but for some reason I was apprehensive this time. I even cleaned my apartment and deleted my Internet history as I knew my family would be in rifling through my stuff before the black box was found.

Anyway, back to the murdering bit. So, here I am standing in the brutalist centre of Bristol (sort of like a peak hour Dundalk, but after a large explosion or some sort of catastrophic event) looking up at the B&B that Westy had somehow found lurking about on the Internet. If dereliction was a public holiday, this would be Christmas. The other buildings on this street had long decided to pack their bags and it stood alone. Of course, this was Bristol. And being boarded up or showing signs of police tape on the doors didn’t mean it was closed for business. A sign on the door said ‘for B&B’ (and suspiciously, ‘other services’) ‘call this number’. A number then followed. Call we did and eventually getting through a panting landlord who said in that ‘OO-AR’ accent that he’d be round in a bit. My mind was already wandering to that Marriot we saw on the way into town, and when the landlord stumbled around the corner, it was already unpacking its bags.

Looking somewhere between a Spiders era Bowie and a heroin addicted Joanna Lumley, he wobbled up the street in a pair of hot pants and a fur coat.

“Did we get you out of bed?” Westy ventured

“No, just working around in the Sauna” was the creatures response. (The Village Sauna, as we found out, was just round the corner and proudly had a poster urging people to ‘out’ Homophobes).

We entered the ex-building through a broken fence, and stepping over an old rusty cooker, we were led into the bar. In the darkness, we could see the whites of eyes scurrying into the shadows. Like a great chess player I was two moves ahead, and had already swung a shovel, left the bodies behind and was sitting in the airport bar. But alas, I chickened out of mass murder, paid for my room and resigned myself to a night on the set of Hostel.

It began to amuse me actually, we literally had to climb over a roof to get to the rooms. And even though he said with a mischievous grin that there was ‘no other guests, haven’t been for some time actually’, a barking dog could be heard clearly from one of the other rooms. Still, my room was clean (as in, whoever had last killed there had been meticulous in removing all evidence) and I had planned to be so drunk later as not to notice anyway.

And that was the case. We were in Bristol to see the amazing Twilight Sad, and by god, they saved Westy's life.

That and the fact that murder is bad.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ryan's Slaughter

Disgrace, whilst waiting for Fakey in the transsexual section of Soho books Rathmines (don’t know why he insists on meeting there) uncovered this. The full script for Ryan Tubridy's pilot episode of the Late Late Show. Shudder with me folks...

Opening sequence

(Owl replaced by a floating cabbage. On the intro, Tubridy’s face is to be morphed onto recognisable celebrity faces. There he is with Jordan’s breasts. Next he’s on the body of Stephen Hawking. Hilarious montage follows of Boyzone, each members face replaced with the gurning grin of Lord Tubington.)


(Ryan moonwalks behind a screen in silhouette, as the Camembert Quartet (renamed ‘Four Pricks and a Piano’) break into ‘Rocket Man’. His face appears and revolves at impossible speed. Several viewers have fits. Cue applause, canned)

(The screen lifts and there he is. The man who put the ‘oh sweet Jesus Christ’ back in Montrose, clapping his hands and jigging. The set looks like a prostitute’s blouse.)


“Well ladies and gentlemen, what can I say about standing here? On the shoulders of giants! Like Gaybo!! That’s only his name folks, it's not a lifstyle!! Taps nose and swings finger towards the band. Boom Tish noise. And not forgetting Pat Kenny before me (grabs crotch). Trumpet solo. I intend to bring you not only top quality entertainment, but intelligent debate, pressing issues and topics that some may consider taboo, in the interest of furthering this great nation of ours. And on that note Ladies and Gentlemen, our first guest, Basil Brush!!”

“Basil, are you an arse or a leg man?”


Topical political issue next with Fintan O’Toole

“Fintan, what measures do you think the government need to put in place to restore consumer confidence, and more so, faith from the public”

“Well, Pat, sorry, Ryan, if this nation stands up for itself and real.”

“Sorry Finners, got to interrupt you because it’s time for ... (Drum Solo), RYAN’S SLAUGHTER!! Are we ready to embarrass a member of the audience with a secret from their past Folks????!!!”

Edit out groans.

Cue Four Pricks, ‘Y.M.C.A’

Ryan enters audience (make sure he doesn’t take this literally – Producer)

“Who are you?”

“Erm, I’m Bernie. My family were killed in a carpet laying accident and I’m here to discuss the problem with Des Kelly’s recent recruitment drive in Mountjoy. You know Ryan, since I’ve lost my family, I have had all my floors removed. I just can’t face them... blubber... tears... wail.”

Tubs, with a smile bigger than O’Connell Street

“Who wants to see this lady take the ‘truth or SCARE’ challenge???”

He pulls her from her Wheelchair.


Music from Smokie. It would be funny if Ryan closed this sequence with a witty comment??

“Alice, who the FUDGE is Alice” he shouts, to minimal laughter. Cue gurning!! (Does anyone have Miriam’s number? – Producer)

Next Guest, comedy sensation Tommy Tiernan, who’s routine literally consists of him waving his member in front of the Special Olympics team. (Turn down volume of phones in the office please!! And get Ryan to stop touching it!!)

Cue the band!!

And bring back GAY!!!

“But I’m already here” pleads Ryan.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Questions and Chancers

Following on from the British Expenses row, National Disgrace has uncovered some startling evidence of dubious expense claims amongst our own politicians. Whilst some of the claims may be genuine (Mary Harneys €300 claim for 110 litres of Diet Coke and a horse Troff was up for questioning, but has been dismissed as apparently she has been known to be partial to the boiling a number of hams in the popular soft drink), others such as Brian Lenihans €11.50 claim for ‘a calculator’, have raised alarm bells. It was Lenihans startling admission to Disgrace in a libel avoiding dream last night that ‘He doesn’t know how to operate things with buttons’ which got me suspicious.

Amongst the most astonishing tax claims:

Taoiseach Brian Cowen : €1000 worth of Pajamas (Hanna Montana motif). This has raised eyebrows as it is a well known fact that Mr Cowan sleeps entirely in the nude. The busty brunette also ordered 12 volumes of the Koran, despite some observers note that he has very few Islamic fundamentalist tendencies.

Minister for Defence Wille O’Dea's claims for 'knuckle dusters' and the entire 'box set of Rambo' are not in doubt, but questions marks have popped up over his €13.40 claim for 'luxury scented toilet roll'. Those in the know (ie. the toilet attendants at the Dail and the Limerick gun club) have said that O’Dea (not to be confused with overdose) likes to ‘wipe’ with a live grenade!

John Gormley's (Green Party) expenses raise the astonishment bar even further by putting in receipts for 'two leaking oil tankers' and an ‘instant forest fire kit’. His spokes-goat was unavailable for comment today but Disgrace did receive a knitted note saying that "the Minister rejects claims of irregular claims, and will fist fight Disgrace back to the Internet to prove it!".

Mary Harney, Minister of Health as stated before has an exotic taste for coke boiled ham, but her balancing book it seems is a bit like her weighing scales, under incredible pressure. Amongst the invoices the Minister (often claimed to be the only TD visible from Space) lodged were ‘size ten knickers’, 'Trampoline' and a ‘beard trimmer’. Actually, I’ve just been alerted that the beard trimmer was a genuine purchase.

Despite being hotly tipped to star in the remake of the Munsters, Minister for taking money from people, Brian Lenihan has a very un-Hollywood approach to buying things. Amongst some of his suspicious purchases are ‘Irish Banks’ and a 'Fisher Price Money printing machine'.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, also lodged his spending with the Exchequer and despite not having any history of irregular financial matters whatsoever, has also been subject to some scrutiny. Mr Ahern, now living in Fagans public house has billed the taxpayer thousands for a ‘goat dressed as a ballet dancer’ and a ‘bucket of rubber gloves’. Some have referred to the reported ‘Goat fiddling’ contests in Fagans of Drumcondra as an ample explanation, others however, have not.

Mary Hanafin, who still to this day refutes the claim to being an ex Christian Brother also clocks up the euros with her monthly expenses. Amongst the ones being questioned from the Minister for mis-education are an ‘underwater school’ and an ‘increase in teacher numbers’.

The list goes on. Dick Roche (‘Panda food’ and ‘the history of the hill of Tara’), Trevor Sargent (‘Prostitutes’) and Sean Haughey (‘Fake mustaches’) all are to be investigated also.

It’s a terrible and sad state of affairs. For the country that brought you the Irish Civil War and Ros Na Run, to be exposed as a corrupt and scandalous society is something that sickens Disgrace to the stomach.

It’s enough to have Dev (12 shillings for 'Internet cafe charges!!') spinning in his grave.