Friday 17 April 2009

Wanna be in my gang?

At some point in the aftermath of Roy Collins' murder, our fearless crime fighting, underpants-outside-his-trousers-wearing Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern obviously thought "Shit - better be seen to act on this". And act he did - he acted like a man with a firm grasp on his brief (not the ones outside his trousers) and brought in a new law.

The new, improved (and possibly lemon fresh) Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Bill 2009, will make it illegal to be a member of a criminal gang.

To be honest, I would have thought that was fairly self explanatory - what with a criminal being an individual who partakes in illegal acts. But leaving that aside, I want to know how exactly will the gardaí know if somebody is a member of a criminal gang?

One can only assume the McCarthy/Dundon gang are in the habbit of issuing laminated, credit-card sized membership cards for the aspiring gangster's wallet.

Or else the yearly membership fee paid by a standing order made out to the McCarthy/Dundon Crime Syndicate will be a dead giveaway.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Buckets of Rain..

Dear Amina,

It was lovely to hear from you again - and many thanks for your kind letter and the enclosed photograph.

Amina, we have been writing to each other on and off for over a year now. During that time you described the poverty and daily hardships facing you - and other African children. You also explained how World Vision Ireland were using the money donated by many Irish families to help your community move towards self sufficiency, and to break free from the chains of poverty in doing so.

I feel that I have shown great compassion when confronted with your plight. I have shown empathy and sympathy in equal measure. I have prayed for you, crossed my fingers for you and above all sent some of my pocket money to you.

I even went so far as to devise plans for shipping Irish rain water to your village when you described how a lack of clean water - causing sickness and making crop farming an impossibility - was a major problem.

Well Amina, quite frankly after receiving your picture in the post this morning I am beginning to doubt the veracity of your story. In fact, I suspect you are involved in the organisation and execution of a highly complex 419 scam. What finally gave the game away? Well, I'll tell you - your teeth!"

You say you live in a poor village in the 3rd world, that you have no money and very little food. If you are as poor and hungry as you have led me to believe I can't imagine a toothbrush and good fluoride toothpaste wouldn't be very high on your family's weekly shopping list. Even if you could afford such luxuries, surely the dirty water you've been telling me about would counter act the work of the good people in Colgate.

Amina I live with my middle class parents in a relatively prosperous, first world country. We use Colgate whitening toothpaste, oral-b electric toothbrushes and Listerine (the green one - we tried the brown one, but Jesus it blows the head off you). Fluoride (which is essential for healthy teeth) is added to our drinking water before it reaches us - yet my teeth aren't nearly as white as yours.

You have the type of gleaming white smile that would convince small woodland creatures it was time to come out of hibernation. Were Tom Cruise to see them I have no doubt he would feel his gnashers were comparable to those of Shane McGowan.

Amina, this leads me to only one possible conclusion - not only are you not as impoverished as you have suggested, not only are you able to afford toothbrushes and tooth paste but you also have enough money at your disposal to afford a program of laser teeth whitening.

This will be the last letter you will ever receive from me - please don't reply to it.



Friday 20 March 2009

I can't change....

When you look up from your monitor to see your colleagues' aghast at your frantic head nodding antics, "Listening to Freebird - the 9 minute version" is a perfectly acceptable excuse.

Isn't it?

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Misleading Headline of the Day #2

From today's Irish Times...

Guidelines on child sexual abuse

Because sometimes, under certain conditions, and if you keep within the rules, its perfectly acceptable.

Friday 20 February 2009

The Friday Album Cover #33

They want you to be Jesus*,
They'll go down on one knee,
But they'll want their money back, If you're alive at 33.

Bit of a toughie this week I feel.

* No John Lennon style "bigger than Jesus" proclamations here.... and, while I'm at it, there will be no "turning tricks" with or without** religous paraphernalia.

** Pun completely unintentional... promise.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Millicent wore a surrealist comb

(made of bits of mosaic from St. Peter's in Rome)

Watching coverage of the protests outside Leinster House on yesterday evening's Six One news, I spied a placard towards the rear of the crowd saying

No to biscuits

"Good to see the surrealists protesting" I thought.

During the 9 o'clock news I realised my mistake.

No to bus cuts

Friday 13 February 2009

The Friday Album Cover #32

Dear Friday Album Cover Aficionados,


A quickly running out of ideas Ambassador

Wednesday 11 February 2009

When you're down and troubled....

For Caro (I feel your pain) ...... and nerds everywhere.

I must confess to splitting my sides laughing for a good 5 minutes when T-man sent this on.

While I'm at it.... I've just head that Dublin County Council aren't happy with the duration of last year's Paddy's Day Parade. Apparently in an effort to speed things up, they are planning to change all the floats to ints.

Monday 9 February 2009

I believe the children are our future!

Cathal Ó Searcaigh, poet and scourge of Leaving Cert students (through his poetry!), was due to appear on The Late Late last Friday. At the eleventh hour, Ó Searcaigh pulled out (don't!) after RTÉ indicated their intention, based on legal advice received, to pre-record the interview.

On Friday evening, unaware of Ó Searcaigh's withdrawl, I chanced upon The Late Late Show while flicking through the channels* and caught Pat the Plank "interviewing" the judges of RTÉ's money spinning, soul destroying 'All Ireland Talent Show'.

Given the diverse range of talents on display at the auditions, Pat the Plank was curious as to how the judges had gone about selecting the finalists.

"How" Pat wondered, "do you separate a 5-year-old-fiddler from a young dancer?"

Unfortunately the man best placed to answer that particular poser was home on his couch in Donegal.

* I was just flicking. Honest! It was just while I was getting reading to go out for a night of drunken revellry and substance abuse with the hip kids.

Friday 6 February 2009

The Friday Album Cover #31

T minus 125 days. Eek!

I haven't seen my bike in a week thanks to the snow (I may be stupid and foolhardy - but not to the extent that I would take it skiing). I miss it terribly.

On the plus side, the complete "The Wire" box set arrived yesterday. I've heard and read nothing but good things about it so very much looking forward to that.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

The Friday Album Cover #30 (Side B)

And the answer was......

Friday 30 January 2009

The Friday Album Cover #30

How did this reach 30 so quickly!

Wednesday 28 January 2009

You put your left hand in....

T-man just pointed me in the direction of this

As he said himself, "Crikes!"

Anything you want - you got it!

M's brother, D, is the type of guy who "knows a guy". Guys who can "procure" things, guys who can "fix" things - he knows a lot of guys. If I was looking for a doctor who would remove a bullet without asking questions, he'd be my first port of call.

While sitting in her kitchen last week I noticed the new, futuristic looking washer/drier gleaming proudly under her counter top.

With funky buttons and a digital display it looked like the type of contraption that, with a few minor tweaks, could be modified to offer time travel capabilities.

"Very fancy!" I said nodding in the direction of the clothes washing, time-space continuum altering contraption.

"Yeah" she replied, "€200".

"Impressive! Where did you get it?"

"Fell off the back of a lorry" she answered, matter-of-factly.

"D got it for you?"

"No. It actually fell off the back of a lorry. When it was being delivered. It left a dent in the side. The people who ordered it didn't want it so D.I.D were selling it at a much reduced price"

Note to self: Mustn't jump to conclusions.

Monday 26 January 2009


I went to see the Bodies Exhibition at the weekend.


If Interpol have a "Suspected Necrophiliacs List" there is now a good chance my name appears on it.

I couldn't help noticing how tasty we look - like enormous boiled hunks of ham!

Perhaps I should be on their "Potential Cannibals" list instead.

Friday 23 January 2009

Alright! Alright! Everything's gonna be alright!

From today's Irish times...

Ireland "has a thriving economy", and it would be wrong to compare the country's economic situation with that of Iceland's, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has said.

Phew! For a second there, I thought we were in the shit!

The Friday Album Cover #29

Another easy one - if you are an Irish child of the 80s. Can you recall the album name without Google's help though?

This is a personal indulgence. It's an album cover I've wanted to do for a long time - but I'd never been able to find a picture of the cover.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Answering Questions Posed in Songs #2

Answering Questions Posed in Songs #1

The question is hidden as white text on a white background -it won't be visible unless you select it.

Q: Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?
A: Well that depends largely on the size of your life assurance policy and how much I stand to inherit.

Q: What you gon' do with all that junk?/All that junk inside your trunk?
Hold a garage sale. My golf clubs won't fit if I don't get rid of it all.

Q: I know what I know, if you know what I mean, d-doo yeah?
A: Talk about stating the obvious. But yes, I have a rough idea what you're on about.

Q: What I am is what I am Are you what you are or what?
A: I'm what I am too. Look, this is getting uncomfortable Edie, I have to go now

Q: Are we human or are we dancers?
A: I never realised the two were mutually exclusive. Can't we be both?

Q: How does it feel, to be on your own, like a rolling stone?
A: Perhaps unsurprisingly, it feels a lot like a being rolling stone.

Q: Why do fools fall in love?
A: Love, like all emotions, Is inherently irrational. As such, fools are naturally susceptible to it.

Q: Why do birds sing so gay?
Isn't that a bit homophobic?

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Good Advices

Being neither a smoker nor an arsonist, I have scant need for matches. In fact, were it not for a few pub tricks, I would hardly ever use them.

When I do find myself with a box of matches in my hands I immediately seek out the quip, quote or saying that is invariably printed somewhere on it.

Much like a page-a-day calendar, while some may be mildly amusing, most are hackneyed bits of advice ("A closed mouth gathers no feet") or quaint, traditional blessings ("May you be in heaven half an hour before the divil knows you're dead").

Yesterday, I came across what was possibly the best piece of advice I have ever seen or heard, printed on a box of matches...

Keep away from children!

Monday 19 January 2009

Downhill from here

One of yesterday's papers contained a short filler article outlining the main causes of (so-called) 'Postnuptial depression'.

These post-honeymoon blues manifest themselves when the excitement of planning and preparing for "the big day" has passed and the newlyweds find themselves deep in debt ,with their ambitious plans to build an extension/buy a new car/get a new kitchen no more than a pipe dream.

"Preposterous!*", declared Daddy Ambassador, "For a start, where did all these conditions and syndrome's come from?"

"Stockholm?" suggested Mammy Ambassador.

"For instance", he continued unperturbed, "there was no such thing as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder when you were a 2 year old knocking holes in everything in sight. You were just being a little shit - nothing more, nothing less - and your mother and I had to teach you right from wrong. There was no 'Repetitive Strain Injury' or 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder' then either. When things got tough you gritted your teeth and got on with it. Now-a-days rather than take action to actually deal with hardship, people find it more convenient to invent some cock-and-bull syndrome that explains, justifies or excuses their behaviour."

"In any case, it has nothing to do with post wedding blues, mountains of debt or some newly invented disorder. Young people get married expecting life to be like something from Friends or that thing Helen Hunt was in. But life's not like that - not when you're married and certainly not when you have kids. Young couples enter into marriage with unrealistic expectations because of these shows".

"Is that why you and Mam are so happily married? Because there was no 'Friends' back then?"

"Exactly!" he replied.

"All we had was Eastenders - and compared to that, anybody's life would seem like bliss".

* Daddy Ambassador's grew up in Dolphin's Barn, so what he actually said was "Bollox!".

Friday 16 January 2009

The Friday Album Cover #28

... and we're back. (Just about).

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Calendar Girl

A few days into January the CPF was gifted a page-a-day desktop calendar - "Life's Little Instruction Calendar 2009" offering 365 pearls of wisdom from the pen of H. Jackson Brown.

While such calendar's are hardly enough to base a whole belief system on, I've always liked them because among the trite, time worn cliches there are always a few gems that are original, quirky or funny enough to warrant committing to memory.

I presume the instinct to seek out key personal dates on receiving such calendars is not unique to me. The CPF, for one, does it too.

Yesterday evening she giddily presented me with the calendar opened on the date of our fast approaching nuptials*. It said...

Marry the right person, its life's only shortcut to happiness.

Of course that's not strictly true, there are numerous other shortcut's to happiness. Fast motorbikes, good wine (or simply 'lots of wine'), lottery wins, hard drugs, or the slow painful death of Louis Walsh to name but a few. It is a nice thought however - and far more preferable to the one I recently tore off and swiftly binned lest the CPF see it and stick it on the fridge:

It's never over until your wife says it's over.

* T minus less-than-5-months (and counting) to the big day.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Sign of the Times

These are tough times - companies are going up shit creek, down the Swanee, into examinership and out of existence on a daily basis.

Yesterday was the turn of Land of Leather.

Deloitte, the examiners in question, have established an email address through which customers who have placed orders or paid deposits can find out where they stand.

It seems one of Deloitte's techies is looking on the bright side, laughing in the face of adversity or engaging in some serious schadenfreude. The email address:

Monday 12 January 2009

More, more, more

Out and about earlier, I found myself travelling behind an '08 Renault Espace with a taxi plate on the roof.

Obviously deciding a few extra quid wouldn't go amiss in these recessionary times, he had stuck an A4 page inside his rear window advertising his vehicle for hire as a mini-bus.

In addition to "Mini Bus For Hire" and the contact details, there was the (seemingly obligatory on all small ads) promise....

"No job to big or small"

According to,the Espace is a 7-seater.

So 8 people might be considered a job too big then?

Thursday 8 January 2009

If no one knows your face, then no one knows your name

I was sitting in Thomas Read's, with my back to a bookcase as she made her way over. GW was to my right, CPF and P across the table deep in discussion about wedding dresses, flowers and honeymoons.

I had noticed her casting furtive glances in our direction ever since her friend had taken her elbow, pulled her close and whispered in a "don't look now.... but" manner. Having seen it happen a thousand times before, I was certain I knew what was coming.

Beautiful in an elegant, effortlessly understated way, she fixed her skirt and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear as she approached.

"Hi" she said brightly, flashing a mega-watt smile.

"Hel-lo" I replied, confused. This wasn't the way these things usually went.

From the corner of my eye I noticed the CPF's inquisitive "Who the bejaysus is she and how do you know her" look. Curious to see how the situation would progress I ignored it, she obviously didn't realise what was happening.

"How are things?" she asked.

"Good, thanks. And yourself?"



She looked at me for a few seconds, as if waiting for me to continue the conversation before finally asking with mock indignation...

"Are you not going to shake my hand?"

With a theatrical nod of the head in GW's direction, I replied "I think you need to look a bit to the left"

"No I don't"

"Trust me - you should look a teeny bit to the left"


"Just look"

"No. You'll laugh at me.. or make jokes about me."

I stood up and stepped past the CPF's chair to shake her hand.

"Should I know you?"

"No" she said.

"But you know me?"

"Yes... well no. I mean, I don't know you personally but I know who you are"

"You do?"


"Because you've seen me on TV?"


"That's right. Because I am...?"


"I think you'll find that's GW"

Turning to see her friends delighting in her mistake, she held her head in her hands and groaned in embarrassment.

"Shit! You're right. I recognise him now. They just pointed in this direction and said 'That's GW over there' . I thought it was you. I'm sooo sorry for disturbing you. "

Then she turned on her heel and fled.

Without even saying hello to GW.

Wednesday 7 January 2009

A cloudy day in metropolis... delivered A Pocketful of Kryptonite* yesterday.

Cool, what are you going to do with that?

What do you mean - what am I going to do with it? I'm going to listen to it.


Its an album from the early 90s....

[blank expression] the Spin Doctors?...

[blank expression]

...They sing 'Two Princes'?

Ahhh! Now that makes much more sense than a lump of rock with the potential to seriously damage Superman's health!

Indeed..... You know, if DID sell Kryptonite, I don't think they would sell it by the "pocketful". You'd probably have to buy it by the kilo. At least until the "pocketful" is adopted as a recognised SI unit of measure. I mean, not all pockets are the same size are they?

Good point.

* I used to have a copy of this on cassette back in the day - and I'm not ashamed to admit a crippling addiction to its funky goodness. When browsing before Christmas I saw a CD copy for just €7. At that price Little Miss Can't Be Wrong.

Chain Reaction

The fancy digital display* on the bike read -3o centigrade.

At such temperatures the visor is so cold, even the meekest of exhalations will cause it to fog up.

Unable to hold my breath for the entire 20 minute journey, the visor fogged up fairly quickly.

Eager to actually see where I was going, I flipped the visor up exposing my face to the sub zero temperatures and biting wind.

Which made my eyes water.

This water promptly froze.

Freezing my eyelashes to my face!


* While this may be a common feature in cars, most motorbikes don't even have a fuel gauge. Actually, anything more than a speedo and an indicator light on the "dash" is positively hi-tech.

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Wherever I lay my hat

(That's my hat-stand)

"Everything has its place - and everything in its place" is a commonly heard battle cry of the Irish Mammy.

Take Mammy Ambassador for example: When I was still a university student living in Ambassador Towers, every morning without fail she would sweep through the kitchen where I sat eating a bowl of cereal, scoop up the carton of milk and put it in the fridge. Despite my daily protestations that I wasn't quite finished with it as I planned to pour a cup of tea 2 minutes later (and that it would hardly turn that quickly), nothing ever changed.

Evidently the CPF's mother is also a keen proponent of this belief for she appears to have learned from the best.

The only problem is, from time to time objects find their way into the house on a short term basis. The drill you borrowed for example, or the Christmas present you agreed to hold on to because the intended recipient would find it were it stored in their house.

By their very nature these things don't warrant an agreed, definable long-term space. Instead, all you can do is try to find an unobtrusive spot* to store them. Somewhere they will be fit neatly and tidily without inconveniencing anybody.

So, how come when I find a suitable spot for such guest items the CPF always seems to declare it the most unsuitable, inconvenient, ill thought out location possible and requests that I move it "out of the way" as soon as I can.

Yet, when the CPF places a something in the same spot on a short term basis it is perfectly acceptable?

*It's always under the stairs isn't it?