Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love and Hake

Daithi O’Se is allegedly Ireland's most eligible bachelor. He ‘presents’ RTE’s afternoon lifestyle tour-de-force ‘Four Live’ with an intense mixture of off-the cuff-banter, wildly ill informed comments and strange gurgling animal noises. He has hosted the Rose of Tralee, is an outspoken judge on the All Ireland Talent Show, and regularly globe-trotts for TG4. He was also the face of Bord Bia's healthy eating fish promotion, where he famously uttered the line 'Hake, so simple, even I can cook it', which apparently had Hakes everywhere going weak at their fishy knees. With such a reputation, National Disgrace couldn't wait to meet the man and ask him a few questions.

Typical Breakfast?

Jaysus, breakfast?? I’ve barely time to shove old Daithi junior into the old Y-fronts before I’m out on the field. When you’re face down in your lucky charms or your FLAHAVANS I tell ya, I'm usually up to the elbows in cow shit getting the auld bainne ready. Then I suppose, seeing as I’m always up for a laugh, it’s back to the house for a hooley!!

If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?

Ridin’ Clare Byrne bareback around Montrose wearing nothing but one of those county headband things you see at the all-Ireland.

I'm sorry?

Ah, a family show eh? Begog! OK so, sucking diesel at the Ballinasloe turf cutting championships with a mighty big mug of stout in my lamha! Yum Yum Yum.. love the auld black stuff... Rhianna would be my favourite.

What is your comfort food?

I horse down the old Bacon and Cabbage when I’m feeling a bit low. Raw like.

What website do you look at most?

Are you trying to get me into trouble (laughs uncontrollably and nervously deletes the browsing history on his laptop). Aman’t I always surfing the RTE website and!!! 

How often do you exercise?

I go for a bit of a gallop every morning, just around the field.. 

What do you watch on TV?

You remember ‘Hands’ on Telefis Eireann? Be the Hokey, I’m glued to the TV when it comes on.. I have a pair of hands meself, as Claire Byrne knows, so I have a bit of an auld affinity with it.. I also like that Television X channel.. all the young ones wearing next to nothing and turning the air blue.. be Janey, I lock the sitting room door for that to be sure.. Yeeee Haaaw!

What Irish person do you most admire?

Bibi Baskin and then I suppose me auld chara Dustin. I tell ya, I’d rather have that Turkey running the Dail than the clowns in charge now. What? ha ha ha ha ha ha ... There’s a very good reason we don’t eat clowns on Christmas Day you know. Can you imagine? Bernie, this dinner tastes a bit ‘funny’... ha ha.. you can have that one... UP THE WHEST!!

What Irish person do you least admire?

Larry Murphy, the convicted Rapist.. not his biggest fan to be honest. I tell ya, he wouldn’t lasht a shecond down the Whest.. And Bono.. or Oh-No as I like to call him... Terrible bore. He should stick to the tunes and drop all that save the blind trees stuff.

How punctual are you?

I’m always where I need to be, when I need to be!! You could set your clock by me in fact, shure amant I here now and all!

What word or phrase do you overuse?

Get up the yard/Lovely Hurling/You’re a fine looking horse.

What is your favourite shop?

McGettigans general stores in Abbeymara. If it’s a plaster for an auld cut or just a loaf of bread for the sambos, good old Ying Wang will have it. A real old traditional Irish shop and shadly, one of the lasht around... Ying Wang if you’re listening, ‘half a pound of Kerrymaid!’ YE MAD THING!

What was the last text you sent?

‘Giddy Up’ to Claire Byrne.

What radio station do you listen to?

Radio Na Gaeltachta.. And Spin when I’m up with the BIG SCHMOKE and fancy a bit of an auld shuffle.

Are you good with credit cards?

I’m BRUTAL TO BE HONEST. Went wild at Christmas on the EBAY and the old AMAZON and bought all sorts of yokes for the kids and the like.. Give me a mattress and a wad of manky auld punts any day!!

What was your best holiday?

Trabolgan, hands down, 1973.. I made shite out of the pitch and putt course though, golfing with a hurley isn’t as easy as it looks!

How long does it take you to get ready

I’m always ready.. As my old pal Fr Seery used to say, ‘always wear your Wellies to bed Daithi, I like you in them’. Great advice and now I hop up every morning ready to take on the world, rain shleet or snow.

What is your biggest regret?

Not kissing Brenda Shaughnessy at the school dishco back in 1986.. I believe she got hit by a car a few weeks later on the Manorberry road, just outside Athy. A Datsun Cherry it was too.

What can you not live without?

My heart and lungs and brain. I could probably do without the auld legs and arms, but I’d be fairly down about it to be honest, and not just literally!! 

When did you last use public transport?

I hitched a ride on Skuller Delaneys horse and cart last Wednesday on me way to mass.

What do you worry about?

Blight, a return to the old days of British rule, the collapse of the dome in Tralee and resulting untimely death of all the Roses, and of course the auld electric bills.. It’s fierce dear and all that.. I remember when it cosht nothin, back before electricity!

Who did you last vote for?

Mary Byrne on the X-Factor. Horsh of a woman.. but be jaysus the tits on her!!

What would you do if you won the Lotto?

I’d go down the road to O’Mearas and buy a round for the locals and then I’d build a giant statue of my Mickey on the M6 outside Galway.

What time do you go to bed at?

About 3am, and then afterwards, I’ll go home!! Go on ye chancer eh!! Fancy a bit yourself do ye? 


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Red Lines (Don't Do It)

A trip on the Luas Red Line - Cert 18 - 41 minutes - Horror/Scat

There is a shocking scene in 'National Disgraces guide to the Red Line Luas' (essentially a summary of his many journeys on said public transport system since his extradition to Suburbia 6 months ago, written as a pretend movie review) where two ‘ladies’ of the skobie persuasion take the romantic lead, in a warts and all (literally) display of human debasement, for all fellow passengers to see. It was a lunch moving scene, where our two ‘heroins’ tongue wrestle each other, becoming one, and in turn cause every other passenger to question their own existences. This vomit riser sums up the Red Line Luas; Disgusting, and not at all sexy.

But it’s not like you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security though. The opening credits are barely over when the journey delivers its first sick twist. With obvious reference to George A Romero, passengers are seen as a blur trying to negotiate a minefield of the Undead and risking life, limb and handbag as they attempt to get off the ‘Square’ Luas platform to the relative safety of the tram itself. Romero’s Zombies have been given a modern makeover here, decked in leisure clothing and carrying strange urine coloured liquids in what were once Coca Cola Bottles, the Luas ‘Undead’ move quicker and can actually eject something resembling language. It’s terrifying, and you can sense the fear of each passenger as they pray the automatic doors nearest to them doesn’t open before it takes off. And so the scene has been set. If you thought this was going to be a pleasant travelogue, you’re wrong. Every time the tram speeds up, you share the relief of the passengers. But with sickening regularity, it begins to dawn on them that rather than getting away from danger as fast as they can, they’re actually hurtling towards it. Stop after stop, Skobie after skobie. Even the pre-recorded voice informing us of the next destination has an unnerving quiver in her voice. At one stage she says "Next stop", screams quite piercingly, goes a bit silent, and finishes with a whispering, paranoid "Fatima.." and all that can be heard when the tram makes its arrival at Four Courts is the sound of someone running away very, very fast.

It’s not a subtle journey, or an enjoyable one. But there are moments of comic relief. A group of girls arrive on at Kylemore, and in whatever confusion their life has brought (house being raided perhaps) they actually came out in their pyjamas. This raises a smile on the passengers faces, albeit only temporarily, as our ‘sleeping beauties’ are clearly not to be messed with. The dialogue shifts, like the scenery, to something more grey and industrial. There’s not so much poetry of the words as a total absence of any warmth. A full scale to and fro about thrush and the vital differences between STD and STI’s are ping-ponged around the carriages at astonishing volume. Some people are banging at the windows, trying franticly to get the attention of drivers, others bless themselves beneath showers of tears. The tram passes a church, which somehow even manages to look away sadly, in that way that a large church does

It’s only in the final quarter that they turn the horror up to 11. The arrival at ‘James Hospital’ signals the beginning of the trips frightening final stages. Like in many chilling classics, when day becomes night and good gives way to evil, the last stop before we enter the North Side is teased at us agonisingly. A last shot at freedom, those brave enough to take leave now, know that they’ll be spared ‘the crossing of the Liffey’ but in reality they’re only swapping one kind of horror for another. The evil ensemble is replenished here, for the journeys last acts, and the really big scares are introduced. Semi-bandaged, still connected to drips and some even in theatre gowns, one imagines the hospital of the damned has opened its doors and a mass evacuation has occurred. Clever sound effects add to the claustrophobic drama. Groans float above your head, sorrowful and heavy. What sounds like a chainsaw turns out to be two eyeless Skangers engaged in a noisy altercation. It’s a masterstroke of tension as the tram fills up. Once you see the water of the river pass underneath all hell breaks loose. I won’t spoil the ending, but what happens at the ‘Four Courts’ is so shocking that this writer was left thinking about ending it all with a fistful of popcorn. And the infamous lesbian scene. Much will be written of it. Was it a step too far to see two deathly thin women, each sporting a variety of lesions and bruises (as if to say beauty is more than skin deep) embrace so passionately? As their saliva stuck to their battered skin, forming little glistening pools on their faces, do we see ourselves in the reflection?

I certainly didn’t, as I was too busy vomiting.