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 clich├ęd 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.