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.