Thursday, December 24, 2009


"Ride me sideways", that was another one.


In other, entirely unrelated news, I seem to have suddenly adopted that habit people have of saying "oh, stop!" in order to express their complete agreement with a statement someone else is making.
As in:
"Jesus, it's so fucking cold outside I think my nipples might snap off."
"Oh, stop!"


"Did you see on the news about those people down in Kerry queueing up to shake hands with that rapist fella from Listowel? I think it's terrible, so I do..."
"Oh, stop!"

The missus caught me doing it twice today and roundly, rightly ripped the piss. But her camp, hand-flapping impression of me the first time I did it wasn't quite on the mark, as I hadn't really been doing it in all that effete a manner. No, we realised the second time around that I can only have picked up this most unwanted of mannerisms from all the auld ones I've been working with in the charity shop. Auld ones love a bit of "oh, stop!" and use it to register their feelings on subjects ranging from diplomatic relations between Britain and Libya to the Christmas number one ("Full of effin' and blindin' it is, Connie." "Oh, stop!"). Popular variants include "Ah, would ya stop!" and "Stop the lights!"

No harm in any of this at all, only that it once again exposes how impressionable my vocal chords are, what a blank canvas my early years of moving around have left me with. After 27 years of referring to my mother as 'mum' I have now, after little more than one year, picked up the fiancée's preference for 'mam' - the kind of lingual slip that could probably see me excommunicated from the Church of Ireland (if they did excommunication). And a full twenty years since I left Cork, I still find that a few days down there leave me spouting stuff like "Ah, 'tis desperate altogedder". Australian friends have misled me into calling flip-flops 'thongs'. I could go on, but you're smart, you get it.

Next month, all being well, I'll be starting some voluntary work in this place. It was set up by the inestimable Roddy Doyle, a man who should be a hero to every right-thinking Irish person. I believe he can be seen about the place, so I'm looking forward to his influence upon my continuing adventures in idiom.

Happy Christmas, yiz fucks.

Monday, December 21, 2009


and the way the night just seemed to turn the colour of orangeade

"Get the fuck up! Now!"

My shrill warning comes just in time for my brother to leap out of his seat and clear a path for the monstrosity in an ill-fitting aquamarine satin dress behind him (let's call her Sonya), teetering perilously close to the top of his head with a desperate hand to her mouth and ominously bulging cheeks. The contents of her guts are spilt inches from my feet instead. There's always carrots, isn't there?
Seats are vacated to accommodate the ensuing acid, acrid stench, but this pub full of demon drunks and festive finery allows us no quarter to move our group to, and the night is too cold and too far on to be seeking a fresh hostelry.
Lady Sonya of the Sickly Stomach is briefly escorted away by her friend, only to rapidly return with a fresh drink in hand, looking more chipper than ever, holding court and administering fulsome hugs unashamedly close to her oozing pool of vomit being trampled all over the pub by those oblivious to the feel of chunky slime beneath their feet. As it happens, there is but one degree of separation between us, a degree who arrives not long after, spies me, and foists an introduction to Sonya upon me.
"Oh my God!!! HI!!!"
I am generally cuddlier than Barney the motherfucking Dinosaur, but I visibly flinch as she lunges toward me with arms open and pursed lips.
Sonya is celebrating her 28th birthday and is having a brilliant night, as are her friends. In some countries they call a blasé attitude to adults puking publicly a problem. In Ireland the government celebrate its place within our culture in its Budget.
The Fiancée and I leave before kicking-out time, 28 too, and tired. We pick our way through the throngs of George'sWexfordCamden Street liberated by the First X-factorless Saturday of Advent. It is one long tracking shot of a scene midway between the last days of Rome and the last night of Oxegen. We fail to enjoy our solitary stale Spanish cigarette, we talk ourselves away from the hotdog van.  I  think of Essex Dogs as we hopscotch over streams and puddles of the generosity of Brian Lenihan.

The smell of puke and piss on your stilettos.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Is that the new thing?

The bloke at the till next to the one I'm paying at in Tesco Express wears a few  tragically disparate whiskers and speaks with the upwards inflection favoured mostly by the young, the terminally stupid and the Australian. And he's from no further south than Stillorgan...

"Hi, do you have any of those, like, larger naggins of vodka?"
"You want a half-bottle?"
"No, it's like a naggin, only larger?"
"Yes, you mean a half-bottle, a shoulder."
"Um, I think it's called a 'daddy naggin'?"


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Strange news from another star

I don't check my Hotmail account very often any more. They have appallingly bad spam filters and Gmail is preferable in just about every way. I popped in for the first time in about a week last night and found this:

Get RickO'Shea to loose.‏
From: Curtis J (

Dear Andrew

Your country needs you. Well Charlotte Flood needs you. 

Charlotte is competing in one of the annual awards in this years things. anyways. 

She is close to but still second to Mr Rick O'Shea, you may know him. 

I have already set up a number of people, both nationwide and overseas to vote for Miss Flood to win but we need to recruit more and more. 

To help us you need to vote for Charlotte as much as possible! 

I find if you lower the zoom on the browser (by hitting CTRL and '-' at the same time) you can vote quicker as there is less scrolling involved! 
You are allowed vote 100 times in one go , it is tedious but we need all the votes we can get for good ol Chalotte. It resets after a few hours so if you use up all your votes try later that day and vote another 100 times. 

I hope you will be as committed to this cause as we are. 

Spread the word and get as many people as humanly possible to vote. 

Have a nice day
Who the fuck is that guy? How did he get my email address, how the fuck does he know I know Rick O'Shea and why the fuck does he think I'd care enough to help him rig a poll? I'd rather listen to Peter Andre having an attack of the scutters than any of the tools who pollute the daytime airwaves, but that's neither here nor there. Rick O'Shea is, presumably, running one hell of a campaign himself as he's still way ahead in that particular category, as is his merry band of try-hards (Gimme has said all that needs to be said on that particular matter)., your poll is dodgier than a Zimbabwean election.

Now, Internet, I'm going to be away from you for a few days, holed up in a cottage in Mayo with nowt but a fire, a jigsaw puzzle and at least one scantily-clad lady for company. When I come back I wish to hear no more of this frippery. I wish for you to become once again the calm, measured forum for intelligent debate that you've always been up to now. Or at least ensure that Karen Koster claims her rightful crown as 'Best Xposé Presenter', yeah?

Chancing my arm, biting my lip

Things people say to staff in the Irish Cancer Society shop:

"I'm buying three of these shirts, I should get a discount."

"€1.50 for that? I'll give you €1.20 for it."
(Proceeds to pay with a €50 note.)

"Could you not throw that one in for free? Sure yiz get all your stuff for free anyway."

"30 cent for The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, brilliant."
"I think we have another of her books out in the back, will I get it for you?"
(upon returning) "That's 40 cent for that one, please."
"Oh, it's dearer?"

(To the manager)
"I'm not waiting till Saturday to buy that figurine in the window display, I want it now. I'm calling the head office to make a complaint."

"There's a tiny stone missing from this brooch, can you give it to me for a fiver instead of 7.50?"
"It's 7.50 because there's a stone missing, it's worth at least 40 otherwise."
"I'll give you six for it if you'll wrap it up for me."

What this member of staff thinks about saying to these people every day:

"One in four of you will contract some kind of cancer one day, cuntos, one in four of you."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


What others were feeling like today #14


Old Irish airs on violin. I love Ireland: were she only not Catholic! But would she be Ireland otherwise?

After yet another foul, fetid week in the history of this country a diary entry from exactly 140 years ago has summed things up better than I can. As have Radge and Gimme.