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.