Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The great overdo

Yesterday has bled into today and I've seen it happen. No fucking sleep and I feel like a discombobulated cretin. What had been a minor 'oweeee' in my throat has slowly metamorphosed into a fully running 'man flu,' whatever that is.

I dislike the term 'man flu,' I do, because I always picture some mocking madam elbowing her female cohort at the sniffle of the nearest male. "Yer man over there," nudge, wink, point, "him and his fucking man flu. Try and foist a period on him. OR A BABY!!!"

DUH DUH DUHHHHH.

Cough.

Overdid I did, though, at the Christmas. Sure it's 'The Great Overdo,' what with the buckets of spirits and stout and lager beer on offer down home in Luimneach. Puff pastry mince pies were winkled out of Marks And Spencer for our destroyment, as well as plentiful...

Yeah you know all this. We don't do it any differently, really, save for the fact that Maimie Radge creates - at the last count - 146 desserts per person. We're enough to keep dentistry out of the recession and my heart in irregular skips.

Cut to now and I'm back in the black pool, as the Vikings gave it, and I'm working from home because none of my colleagues could be fucked with the office while the turkey's still moistish. Suits me fine with my spluttering and simpering, and my nose the colour of this scarlet Christmas jumper.

If you could see me now.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kseniya Simonova

Another video, contextualised below. This is quite something.



'This video shows the winner of "Ukraine’s Got Talent," Kseniya Simonova, 24. Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch.

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about $130,000.00

She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.

It is replaced by a woman's face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman's face appears.

She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.

This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house.

In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.'

Friday, December 25, 2009

The worth of passion's pledge

My mother on the genesis of 'Raglan Road,' last night in the minor hours.

"It was written about a woman called Hilda Moriarty from Dingle. She was a student who caught the eye of Donough O'Malley, uncle of Dessie, from Limerick.

"O'Malley ran for office for Fianna Fáil instead of my father, who got sent to Iceland instead. Before he went on to become Minister for Education he met Hilda Moriarty, resident at the time on Raglan Road on Dublin's southside.

"Unbeknownst to her future husband, she had also caught the attention of Patrick Kavanagh. He fancied her so he wrote the poem about her."

= =

My da on an encounter with Luke Kelly. Everybody in Dublin over a certain age has a Luke Kelly story.

"It was Good Friday and myself and Dave Moore were walking up Grafton Street with a thirst on us.

"We saw Luke Kelly walking down towards us, so we stopped him.

""Here, Luke, you're the man to talk to," I said. "Any idea where we'd get a jar?"

"...to which he responded: "Lads, do you think if I knew where to get a pint on Good Friday I'd be stood here talking to the likes of youse?"

"The man made a fair point."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'll probably do what you tell me

This is a vow to post during Christmas.

I got into work an hour ago, updated the horse racing pages and then took to the blogs. I really couldn't be fucked with work when the windchill factor is making me shiver like an unwieldy analogy.

A lot of people saying 'that's it' for the festive period, that they won't be around until the tin of Roses is full of empty wrappers and Coffee Cremes. Bollocks that. I don't know how other people spend their Christmases, but for me it's a quarry of drink, food, Mass avoidance and wishing The Royle Family hadn't disappeared up Caroline Aherne's arse.

Really, it's like every other Sunday with added lightbulbs.

Constantly refreshing the live interweb feed for the football aside (the folks jettisoned their Sky Sports package years ago), I'll have nothing but time for these stylings, such as they are, and reflections on 2009 and all its tribulations.

For me, it comes down to a day in June - the 22nd - as I sat on my own cradling a pint amid the throng in John Mulligan.

"Look at you, all your sisters married and you sat there, sacked."

This from a fellow butchered colleague, gallows humour at its finest.

= = =

A word for Therese, whose blog has been my first port of call of a morning since I discovered it around the Spring. I can't laud the old Ampersand Seven highly enough as she counts down, or up, to this project's conclusion. Looking forward to what comes next.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Good World Restaurant

(In my cups I took this down last night, too close to the sarky givings out of a man that isn't me. However, Andrew spotted it in his feed reader and concurs with my appraisal, so back up it goes. I'm taking out the Paulo Tullio reference though.)

If you want balls of fat served in tissue paper - go there.

If you want a shcatter of beansprouts deep fried in crap and renamed a spring roll - go there.

If you're looking for globules of diarrhoea masquerading as a satay sauce - yeah.

If you order the crispy chilli chicken and boiled rice - fuck, I'm out of words.

This is supposedly Dublin's best Chinese restaurant.

I'm not fussy, but the shit we got served was just insulting. Insulting. I'm a generous tipper but fuck if I didn't gather up the coppers after that effluent.

Bleugh.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All that glitters...

I gurbled something to the gold dress girl, sought out my jacket and left. These things always end the same way, they do, different dress but the same sentiment and a mild sense of my own lack of comfort in compliment-giving.

That being said, I won't be too downcast because the room was full of my kind and I made no more nor less a tit of myself than my fellow single brethren.

Fucking office parties. They're meant for team bonding or some such wankology but usually end up on a cool day in March when the pang of realisation hits.

"I didn't... Oh fuck, I did too."

The same thing every year but at least there was some prime fillet beef and not the usual tat and mashed potato with the bits left in. That at least.

I can't be doing with the forced jollity, though, as there's always someone at the next table that you half know and fully want to avoid.

"So how's your year been?"

"Graysh, yeah, we had some setbacks but they've really pulled things back together so, like, yeah, you've got to be happy with that. I reckon we can turn a profit by spring so (looks around) let's fucking get locked like. And yourself?"

"Getting by. See ya."

"Later, man."

"(Sac.)"

The music. The music. Fuck off 'Galway Girl.' Fuck off 'Candle In The Wind.' Do one 'Merry Christmas Everyone,' you cretinous cock of a song.

And Aslan.

= =

When the free drink runs out you're left with shots at the bar, shots in the dark and a fuckload of meekness at the morning's delayed start time. That's all it amounts to, really.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What to do?

Christmas Party tonight and I'm weighing the pros up against those cons.

Pro: Free meal and drink for the duration in a readily escapable City Centre spot.

Con: Connie McEldowney won't be there. I had a big grá for Connie before she upped and left for brighter things, like a heavily levied income at a mildly less beleaguered series of pods.

Pro: One or two of the female number crunchers might fall afoul of my ready quip.

Con: There's midweek Premier League fitba on and I do hate to miss it, even if it does feature Berbiggub and Blackburn.

Pro: Mirabilis will be in attendance, so if all else fails we'll sit aside the dancing floor and poke fun at Attention Seeking Social Pariah Number 1.

Con: My arch nemesis won't be there, and by arch nemesis I mean the lad that got me drunk last night.

Pro: Myself and (recent re-blogger) Terence can resume our love affair from the weekend just gone in Waterford.

Con: I'd end up dancing, and nobody should have to witness that.

Pro: No work tomorrow.

Con: The same cunts that always do the music are doing the music, and they tend to play the fucking Fields Of Athenry. A lot.

Pro: Dinner plates. Their heads. 1-0.

Con: Having to make small talk with people whose names I should know by now.

Pro: Free drink.

Con: Teaching a class before it all kicks off, don't want to bring my notes to a place of potential destruction.

Pro: Ale gratis.

Con: Somebody, over the course of the evening, will inevitably ask: "Are you STILL working here?"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gone fishin'

I'm off to the countryside for the weekend where I'll likely drink my own husk in Leffe or homebrew or whatever the fates provide.

I'd like to think I'll come back with some stories, but I'll pre-empt all that by painting a picture of my foetal self, gasping for 'agua' like some dying Mexican in a Coen brothers film. Y'know, the one with Mickey Dolenz.

Yeah.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The cull

"You see, Radge, in your life you will meet four types of people. People you love, people you like, people you 'know' and people you detest.

"Few will fall into the first category. It's reserved for your family, your girlfriend and your closest friends.

"The second category is wider. Work colleagues that you might drunkenly chat to, try it on with, meet and pass the time of day before you realise you've exhausted all possible avenues of repartee. They're good souls, but...

"Also friends of friends, lads that are too tall to strike any kind of real bond with - the great Dr. Fell aside - but you get on fine with them.

"The third category? Wider still. These are the folks that you really hope you don't bump into while buying your morning pain au chocolat and foamy coffee. You have no problem with them, as such, but they straddle that line of 'do I need to talk to them or will a salutory nod suffice?' They think the same way about you so don't feel bad.

"The fourth category? Well, you find yourself wishing a very specific kind of harm upon them."

Wise words from 5X, spake over glasses of Ruby Leffe in Montparnasse last summer while ranking the 'woulds' from the 'wouldn't bothers.'

They came back to me recently when I was sorting through my Facebook account. I get embarrassed at having a Facebook account, truth told, because it seems all too sheepy when a greater stand against this kind of virtual interaction is called for.

I was on a cull.

My list of 'friends' or 'followers' or whatever the fucks had exceeded 180 so I took my imaginary red pen and hit delete, delete, delete. I had lazily agreed to any friend request that came my way over the space of a year and saw the page fill up with shite the likes of...

'Young one you fancied one night before realising she liked rugby scored 78,124 pseudopoints on Farmville.'

'That American lad who knew the other American lad who asked you for the time on Dawson Street THAT day is like, SO hungover dude.'


...and the clincher...

'Silly dull office receptionist grammar shunning bint became a fan of Stacey Fucking Solomon.'

...so something had to be done.

I tried to employ 5X's rule and immediately dethroned anyone I'd happily see burn in a house fire. That took care of about 30.

150 left, I went through it all again. Friends of far off relations - culled. Anyone I'd only met once - culled. Girls who suddenly stopped replying to my texts - Cul...no on second thoughts I'll leave them in.

I got it down to its current total of 127 and it still seems full fat when semi-skimmed will do.

Out of that 127 there are 34 people I converse with or drink with or give out about on a regular basis.

A further 72 fall into 5X's third category. I like 'em fine but I wouldn't necessarily have them in the flat or engage them in a heated debate on 'who has the prettier smile, Mary Hanafin or Coughlan?'

That leaves 22 that I really, really don't like but they're too connected to my everyday life to splice. These people are my gritted teeth clique, the sham merchants and nasty fuckers who make life miserable for me and mine in thousands of incremental ways, and yet I still have to know what kind of Shiraz they're drinking with their rabbit and colcannon mash.

Fuckin' status reports.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Somewhere, a village...

I should never have slagged off 'Val Falvey TD' as it seems that, when it comes to certain parts of Ireland, the gombeen is anything but fictional.

On Joe Duffy, just there now:

Joe: "I've Vincent from Cork on the line."

Vincent: "Hello Joe. I just wanted to say that the politicians in this country are getting too tough a time of it.

"Only this morning I opened the post to see the most BEAUTIFUL Christmas letter from TD Noel O'Flynn (he of a recent ignoble Prime Time appearance - Radge). It was lovely.

"The lettering was top notch and the message, from John 3:17, was beautifully done, Joe. Now, I don't think Noel would know me if I passed him on the street, so I thought it extra lovely to get this in the post.

"And what's more, Joe, he sent the same beautiful card and letter to my mother. Now, she's been dead for four years - I don't remember seeing him at the funeral - and he actually got her address wrong, but if she'd been around to see it she would have been thrilled."

Diwali (or always the quiet ones)

Indian music, I'm sure it has a specific name.

Kula Shaker tried to popularise it in the 1990s but even the sizable musical powers of Crispian Mills couldn't make it palatable to these isles.

Well I got a fucking blast of it last night.

She doesn't talk, the wife, at least not to me. I got a nod off her when we met in the laundry room there last week. I asked her how she was settling in? She nodded again and then looked down at the ground as if to usher me out without things becoming uncomfortable.

He talks, the husband, but only to complain about the bins. Sometimes I pass him while he smokes at the utility room door but it's a rare hello, more of a grunt and an exhale.

They fight. She gives him dog's abuse with the shrillest sounds this side of Anneka Rice while he gives it 'what the fuck did I come home to this for?' by way of response. It's all in the intonation even though the floorboards (thin as they are) rule out specifics.

Last night things were ratcheted up a notch. Screams and shouts and hurried speech, crying and wailing (his) and accusations and tirades (hers). Pots and pans hitting the ground above my head and fists bashing walls in anger. Quite the domestic.

Then, suddenly, it went quiet. "She must have finally done it," I said to my invisible bedfellow. "She's gone and offed him."

Then, suddenlier, this...



For a fucking hour and a half.

The make up sex must have been tremendous, and they're definitely on to me. Spoilsports.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Collar me blind

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said that at this moment, he believes that decisions on whether to resign by Cardinal Desmond Connell and others mentioned in the Murphy Report should be personal.


Well, I'm not going to put any of this as well as himself, but nothing about the aftermath of last week's Murphy Report doesn't make me ashamed to be Irish.

I'm talking about the sycophance, deference to the Church, the cowardice of the government, the disgusting cover-ups and excuses made, the cushy parish to parish relocations of these rapists and molesters (and they are nothing more than that) and the turning of the cheek.

It is, of course, all abhorrent to those of us that never drank the Kool Aid, never invited these people in to talk down to us at our kitchen tables. To those of us that wouldn't be told when to stand, to kneel and to "sit, Ubu, sit." To those among us that chose never to gawp for an hour, of a Sunday, at some papal miscreant, for those of us wise to the hypocrisy.

It is, was and has been sickmaking and worst of all is the collective shirking of responsibility by those who thought the bodies of these children were their God-given right.

In a way, it's hard to blame them because lots of lay people thought it too, that it was the done fucking thing if Fr. Friendly deemed it so.

In a far bigger way, though, it would be right and proper for those priests - those that raped, fiddled, molested and those that covered for them - to be subject to the full force of Irish justice, whatever that could be.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

80 minutes

My worst class.

I felt well prepared beforehand, notes demonstrating how major sporting events can instigate societal changes using the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa as the best example. Mandela and all that.

I also had last week as leverage and the killer opening line as the class simmered down to a gathered hush.

"So, quiet week in sport. Nothing to see here."

It got the requisite laugh and I asked them all to commit their thoughts on the Ireland match itself, coupled with the media response, to paper. Some good impromptu pieces but it left me with an hour and a half to kill and the ill-will to switch to the rugby topic.

It all went so-so until my monumental fuck up.

"So, you see that when Mandela mentioned the fact that he was more tense before this iconic rugby game than at any other stage in his life, it was because this event, this 70 minutes, was the tipping point of all that he had strived for throughout his..."

I heard some sniggering and immediately realised what I'd said.

"80 minutes. Fuck. 80 minutes. I was thinking of... I'm tired. It's the weather. It's... Oh shut up. No you shut up..."

My cover blown, I let them off early, waiting until they'd left the room to take a long and hard look at my reflection in the window. Soul searching completed I legged it, got into a taxi and caught the end of the Liverpool match. More humiliation and not a drop of whiskey in the flat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Word verification

I've turned on word verification for comments. I don't like it but I've had a flood of viagra merchants spamming me in the past week or so, and I'm insecure enough as it is.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Henryhandballandthenthefloodgate

There is no escape.

If you've no interest in the football, like the lad I found myself sat aside last week in the Morkesh Bor, then you're drowning in a sea of hyperbole. You seek solace away from the indignation of the media and head for town in the pissings of rain only to find a sea of Euro 88 replica shirts with torches at the ready, ready to march on the French embassy, citing the blood (fucking BLOOD, like!) on the hands of Henry as their imperative.

If you love your fitba, you've to put up with the so-called reasoned heads telling us all to cop on, that babies are dying in Bi-Africa, that Brian Cowen is trying to eat the country, that NAMA is coming to steal our beer money, that people are being airlifted from their homes in Cork, that the public sector and the private sector and the soccer sector are all going to converge in a glorious re-enactment of the opening scene of 'Gangs Of New York' - 'Gangs Of Westland Row' - unless we cop the fuck on and go back to worrying about our future without doing a fucking thing about it.

Where do I stand? I've moved on to worrying about what I'll have for lunch. Soup is the frontrunner but I'm open to cheese on toast.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A blog, on the internet

It really won't be long before there's an application on Facebook that accesses a page on Twitter that goes into a Wikipedia entry that redirects to an application on Facebook that accesses a page on Twitter that makes the whole internet collapse in upon itself leaving us with, well, our own, like, imaginations. The horror.

I'm giving some thought to giving up my mobile phone for one month and blogging about it. The possibilities are nul. Scratch that idea. It's shit. Which leads me, in no way, on to the subject of...

Katy French. I wonder if she was just a model who died from a drug overdose and not an allegory for the death of the Celtic Tiger. I wonder that.

Moving on, I've finished the first series of 'Flight Of The Conchords.' It was...alright, really. The two best bits I'd seen on YouTube months ago.

I felt dirty and used after work today.

Literarily, 'Blood Meridian' is beside my bed and has been for the last fortnight. Twenty pages in, the fucker's taunting me and I still can't decide if Cormac McCarthys casual attitude to the apostrophe is a triumphant device or a cynical little affectation.

I get very, very fucked off when I come across terms such as 'micro cleaning crystals' and 'auto hyleronic shimmer pustules' on television ads.

Garrett Fitzgerald, 127, is an impressive man, isn't he?

Earlier this evening, I caught myself wondering what I'd wear tomorrow night before inching my right hand down towards my scrotum. They were still there. Crisis averted.

When I was young I wanted to be nearly 31.

I had a chilli chicken ramen yesterday and it was the best thing I've eaten since 2002. I'm hungry now but if I eat anything between midnight and 6am I turn into Ryle Fucking Nugent.

Still no sign of the redundancy or the month's notice or the holiday pay but, fuck it, I've enough to get by on since I managed to kick that nasty Magnum Classic habit I'd cultivated since childhood.

I cut out less than I leave in.

'Movember' is a NAMA-distraction-ploy. Trust me on this.

For those who can't take a hint, I'd like a cohesive narrative for my birthday, please. And a water pistol.

Bittersweet me

There's a cracking, deviant niceness to still being in bed at the exact moment you should be turning on your computer at work, mainlining coffee and sneezing out the excesses of the weekend.

An hour and a half late today and I was still the first one in, giving giant yawns out to the open plan banality before the dribbity drab of leftover weekend effluent.

My idyll was spoiled, however, by the overhearing of the following exchange. For handiness' sake I'll reprint the email I sent to Fitzbollix in its wake.

'We're moving office shortly, and some lads have just come in looking around the place.

They asked one of my colleagues...

"Will these televisions be going to the new building?"

He replied...

"I'm not sure, I'll have to firm up with you on that."

Jesus fucking wept.'


For those of you that take the helicopter view, liaise with each other, run this item and that up the flagpole and get a steer on the latest figures...

...your face, my stick of justice.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Timing minute silences

"Where will you watch the match tomorrow night?"

"I don't really follow the football. Like, when there's a big game on I might sit through it but normally I don't... eh... who's playing?"

"Ireland are playing France in a play-off to get into the World Cup."

"Oh right, when's that on?"

"Next summer. In South Africa."

"Oh that'll be good. Do you think we'll get through?"

"It's hard to know, really. There are definite pluses and minuses. I mean, we look fairly defensively sound and Keane - if he's on his game - can really exploit the fact that they're going to use Abidal centrally. Decent player, Abidal, but bring him in from the left-back position and he could be exploited. France are also going to miss Toulalan. He is, for me, the closest thing they've had to a Makelele since Makelele retired. On the other hand St. Ledger is prone to lapses of concentration at the highest level and Keith Andrews is an imposter. You know?"

"I really don't. As I said, not really into the football. I'm just looking forward to the rugby on S..."

"Go away."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday. 16.32.

I couldn't find a Leona Lewis track to suit my mood - somewhere between 'a little off' and 'biblical' - so I figured I'd go back to an old favourite of mine and Elmo's.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shoot me now, but...

Had a good long ramble on the interweb chattamajob with 5X tonight. By my calculation he's been living in Paris nigh on three and a half years.

I was telling him about the public sector ballyhoo, the threatened strikes and the general pox surrounding the country, not to mention tax levies, child benefit cuts and everything else that makes us get drunk and bend over.

On the French tax system, he wrote:

'Here, you not only pay tax on your earnings which you see on your pay sheet at the end of the month, which is considerable, but you also pay les impots sur le revenue, which you have to declare for every year.

They calculate that and send you back the bill, then you also have to pay the tax d'habitation for HAVING somewhere to live, then I pay Paris municipal taxes for living in the city, then le devance audiovisuelle which is also a spicy meatball.

Serge Gainsbourg was right when he burned that 500 Franc note. I'm going to a fiscal paradise as soon as I make it big.'


We're not the only ones being sodomised, it seems.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Cowellgate

The Lord Edward pub. By some freakish turn of happenstance I'd never set foot inside it before last night, another one ticked off the list.

The bar was well stocked with worldly ales, whiskeys and vodkas for the Christchurch converts. Of course, you'd expect such things, what with the general publiness of the surrounds.

We took a seat near the door and immediately set to discussing the events of the day. A crashing bore of a football match, the nip in the air, the fact that my belt had missed a loop in my trouserwear. That kind of thing. Politics, both sexual and governmental, left unspoke.

The air changed some time around 8pm. A frisson of excitement, a definite heightening of the atmosphere. Pints were left at tables untended, beermats left atop to give the illusion of smoking outside.

It was not so. No.

No, they, the men with full grey stubble and betting slips, were huddled around the television three deep.

What great calling was this? What was causing these obvious grandfathers, these drinking men, these old time Dubliners to abandon all discourse in favour of the widescreen wankbox overhead?

It wasn't the Spanish football. They turned that off. It wasn't racing from Wolverhampton or Kempton. No. It wasn't even Anne Doyle and the stiffy that dare not speak its name.

It was, of course, the worst centre parting in the history of television, two little gimps that would be Bros and the shattered dreams of a girl called Lucie.








The Lucky Leopard's alive and well, pissing on O'Leary's grave.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Take that, Rico Suavé

It's a good thing that 'it's only a game' and 'there's always next season.' It's really a very good thing indeed because, otherwise, I'd be foetal right now.

I'd be typing out this little paean to Liverpool's capitulation with my twiddling toenails but thanks to the urgings of those who put more stock in things like real life, the economy, shoes, the Norwegian leather industry and hats I can see the wooded area for the trees.

What nonsense.

In truth I want to find the nearest clocktower, dust down the old Radge rifle and spray the masses beneath. "You're Andriy Voronin - boom!"..."You're Andriy Voronin - KABLAMO!"..."You're Andriy Voronin - rat a fucking tat..." until I'm accosted by six heavy men in SWAT garb called Earl.

I'm going to bed.

Suddenly, things are looking up

Im a fun luving typ f prsn who gets n wit evry1, my frends allways say Im lyk de bel f de ball. I lyk goin 2 d cinma n sumtimes goin 2 d pub wit my gurlies. My m8 sharon gets all d fellahs but Im d one who is dancin on d tables lol n havin d crack. Also lyk a nice nite in n watchin d x Factor i tink Simon Cowell is my ideel man hes gorge.

Im lukkin for d knd of fellah who nos how 2 treat a gurl rite, no messers need apply. N if u wanna pik me up in a pink limo all d better n sho me d sites of d town i liv in Blanch lol.

O n' Ive kist a lot of frogs :) but hopin 2 find d 1.

It cud be u.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Back in the game

These are the incontrovertible laws of i*t*rn*t d*t**g.

1) Lie.

Never tell the truth in your profile. If, like me, you're a touch on the diminutive side, attest to the fact that you're six feet and three inches tall and you have been this size since birth. If you're a tad on the bookish side, write that you spend all your free time feeding sliotars to the homeless and playing rugby with the huddled elderly masses while making soup from scratch and simultaneously rescuing kittens from something either tall or burning or both. Women love a sensitive sportsman.

2) Never lie.

When the time comes where you've arranged to meet someone to go to the panto, if she sees that you're really an average sized John Doe she WILL walk onwards, pretending that she only paused briefly to get something from her purse. You'll be left with the saddest bunch of carnations in Dublin and a half sunk bottle of Johnnie Walker Red before sundown.

3) Dress well.

Oh this is very important. While full top and tails may overreach a smidgeon, definitely clad yourself in a natty suit of dark colour and white shirt with the buttons casually left unjointed at the top. Shoes are important. Wear several pairs at once because women, as we all know, fucking love shoes.

4) Do not dress too well.

You're already not a rugby player, nor are you over six feet tall, so don't make matters worse by pretending to be something you're not. Day old socks add character and the very small tomato sauce stain on the sleeve of your long sleeved Next t-shirt will hint at a culinary prowess that isn't quite there but she doesn't know that.

5) Tell her she looks great.

You'd be a right old bastard if you didn't acknowledge the fact that she spent 17 minutes ironing the crinkles out of her eyelids before she came out. You don't want to be a right old bastard, do you?

6) Do not, under any cicumstances, compliment her on her looks.

First she'll smell the socks, then she'll sniff the desperation.

7) Ask her about her past relationships.

She'll think you're confident and fearless and not at all bothered that her last boyfriend only dumped her because he had a shot at Jessica Alba which he ultimately fucked up but she wasn't taking him back but you so don't want to go there.

8) Don't mention exes.

'You so don't want to go there.'

9) Ask her what she's reading.

This is always a conversation starter and lets you play to your strengths, or at least would do if the last book you read hadn't been the life story of the nearest deceased football player.

10) Don't ask her what she's reading.

If you hear the words Jade and Goody you'll immediately have to flee. Ignorance is bliss.

11) Ask her what her parents do.

This will give her the chance to wax on and wax off about her folks while you settle into your brand new arse groove somewhere cosy, but not too cosy, while you silently get drunk, but just drunk enough.

12) Do not ask her what her parents do.

They could be dead. And that's just awkward right there.

13) Pretend to fall asleep while she talks.

She'll find this disarming.

14) Don't actually fall asleep while she talks.

You'll wake up to a bill and no wallet.

15) Ask her if she wants to share a taxi home.

She'll be insulted if you don't and she will end up in Coppers, later that night getting sired by the exact person you pretended to be in your original profile.

16) Do not ask her to share a taxi home.

She'll see this as presumptuous in the extreme and it's a real pity because if you'd been a gentleman and waited until the next time - and there WAS going to be a next time - you'd have been doing the no-pants-dance in the flicker of one perfectly smoothed out eyelid.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fireworks

Ah yes, Hallowe'en.

That most dramatic of nights where every thought in my head is bookended by an explosion of light and noise from the outside.

'I wonder if this cheese is safe. Three days gone. I'll risk it.' - WHOOSHHHH!

'These pickles look sad. I think I'll throw them out.' - GRRRRNNNNN-WHEEEE!!!!

'Fuck it, I'll have a Dominos.' - ZZZZZiiiinnnNNNNGGGG!

'Bollix - this book was due back in the library weeks ago.' pop pop pop BAM!

You get the point. I had the offer of two separate fancy dress parties but my cross dressing days are long since over, my one-week run playing the world's gayest hobbit Sam Gamgee - full stage make-up and almost lady garb - putting me off dress up for the remainder of my days.

We won't mention the year of the punk priest and purple hair-dye. That was just deeply wrong and instigated a ten-year sex ban. Disgruntling times, them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spanish sailor indeed!

"How far is she gone, Margaret?"

"Jesus I couldn't tell you Marie. Four or five months by the look of her."

"Jesus, her poor mother."

"I know. Oh it's shockin'. And she's there still servin' away behind that counter, bould as brass."

"You wouldn't be up to her, Margaret."

"And her mother's a lovely woman. A LOVELY woman. Do you know her?"

"Ah I know her to see..."

"She took it very bad, God love her. She's the only daughter."

"Who's she having it for?"

"She's not sayin' or, if she is, I couldn't tell ya."

"It's like that film, isn't it Margaret?"

"Which one? The Ronnie Doyle one?"

"The very one. The one about the showband."

"Ah Jesus, Marie. Wait, here it is. Which one are you gettin'? The 121?"

"No I'll hang on for the 122. Don't forget your bag, Margaret."

"...where's me purse??? I'd forget me head if it wasn't screwed on. Bye bye Marie."

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Dublin pub guide

I'm still quite listful.

The Porterhouse (formerly Judge Roy Beans) - Like the Bada Bing, without the Bing.

The Bailey - Where formerly great pubs go to die.

The Dawson Lounge - Contrary to popular mention, nobody has ever tried to swing a cat therein.

The Chatham Cocktail Lounge - Nearys, but on a Friday night.

MacTurcaills - Eighteen yellow walls surrounding nothing at all.

Kehoes - Needs more red lit snugs.

The Stag's Head - All shadow drunks and substance.

The Long Hall - The slow pint.

Knightsbridge - Diddly squalor.

Mulligans - Not as friendly as it thinks it is.

Bowes - The seat by the window.

Flannerys - Mecca for muckers.

The Globe - You might drink there, despite yourself.

The Sackville Lounge - Sponsored by Racing UK.

Dicey Reillys - Coppers for bankers.

Coppers - Diceys for guards and lonely primary school mistresses.

Sheehans - Always seats available.

Noo Bar - Somebody really ought to apologise.

The International Bar - The great unwashed.

The George - Kooks and trannies.

Peter's Pub - Nobody has ever met Peter.

The Hairy Lemon - Be still my beating remortgage.

Chaplins - A fine pub for a break-up.

The Bank - Those waitresses!

Le Cirk - Winner of 'the best Dublin pub that used to be a Centra' award for 2009.

O'Neills, Suffolk Street - Was only in there looking for a way out of there.

O'Neills, Pearse Street - Can't see for the suits.

Doyles - Leave your sobriety at the door.

Q Bar - Not in a fit.

Messrs Maguire - The pub that 2001 forgot.

The Palace Bar, Fleet Street - One's raison d'etre.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bish bash bosh

Well, we know (or should know) the famous Hemingway six-word story. He called it the best thing he ever wrote - the literary equivalent of Eric Cantona saying a through ball for Denis Irwin to score, way back when against fuck knows who, bested all of his own match-winning exploits for the Rags.

Anyway, yeah, Hemingway's story was...

'For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.'

"It's good, very good in fact," as the superchefs over on BBC2 might say, so I'll take a stab myself.

Disclaimer: This is neither a meme nor a day-of-the-week regular feature.

Here goes...

1) 'What's that smell, Dmitri?' 'Petrol. Shit.'

2) 'A tenner for that? Fuck you.'

3) 'My word. What a lovely statue.'

4) 'Go home. Shut the door. Cunt.'

5) 'Gerrard... Torres... Lucas... deflection... wide... relegation.'

6) ''Just the women now!' 'Cluck, cluck.''

7) 'Some blogs worked. Hers was toss.'

8) 'Top, top player? You're fired, Jamie.'

9) 'Pack your bags. Unload the pistol.'

10) 'Her spilled drink said it all.'

11) 'Knee gnaw knee gnaw knee gnaw.'

12) 'Have another. Go on. One more.'

13) 'Tried the pilates. Steak was nicer.'

I always try to end on an upper.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reel it back in

I suppose it's just one of those nights of half formed ideas and irritations everywhere.

From the utility door left open, inviting back garden crooks, to the banger that went off only a few feet from me, all the way to work and the covering of Fulham v Hull - clash of the fucking titans - it's left me with a foggy and stupid head that's grateful for the fact that I live alone so I can turn my frustrations to drivel... such as this... and not towards some undeserving housemate.

Deep breath.

It really has just been one of those off kilter days. A stopped watch, clothes still damp, irrational faculty head demands, a shoelace broken and juice spilled on an outsized shirt sleeve rolled back. There was more and there was less and there was me threatening a smile before allowing my more miserablist tendencies to flourish but, again, there was nobody next to me to notice and that was the best thing about today.

I ran out of Twixes is all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Poop

"I think it was the breakfast."

"Definitely not the brandy or the beer or the wine or the four course meal containing rich foods, sauces, meats, chocolate and...?"

"It was the fucking breakfast."

Well whatever it was, it had me heaving and careening through the vacant pub toilets of Kilkenny, leaving a trail of uttermost radge in my wake yesterday. Safety came in the form of some little brown and green pills and I was able to resume with the beer, the grub and festivities, but I swear to jaysus I came rightly close to the touching of cloth.

Not nice. Not nice at all.

As for my little checklist of Thursday gone, let's have a looksee...

1) Will not sit under a tree for the best part of an hour, 300 yards from the action.

Successfully avoided. There was plush greenery aplenty but I eschewed it.

2) Will not drink brandy.

Unsuccessful. Hence some prized squits.

3) Will not dance.

Unsuccessful. It was late in the night and I can only barely recall it, but I don't think I broke any bones.

4) Will not sing, or play an instrument, or make any claims to poetry.

Successfully avoided, but my French accent went down a treat.

5) Will not be slapped.

Successfully avoided.

6) Will not go for a nap.

Avoided. I paced myself well enough until the clock struck twelve.

7) Will avoid, most studiously, the creature known as Sea Bee.

Unsuccessful. Eyewitnesses tell me I sat down at her table for all of 28 seconds before I remembered myself and our last encounter and promptly ran screaming under the gaze of her dick shrivelling lasers of hate. This one wasn't for turning.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Don't mind if I don't

Another weekend wedding and this time I...

1) Will not sit under a tree for the best part of an hour, 300 yards from the action.

2) Will not drink brandy.

3) Will not dance.

4) Will not sing, or play an instrument, or make any claims to poetry.

5) Will not be slapped.

6) Will not go for a nap.

7) Will avoid, most studiously, the creature known as Sea Bee.

All achievable bar the last as things could get very wrongly horny.

Until next week...

Clunk.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

These girls fall like dominos

Lank, straggly hair. A face full of shadows. Mad, staring eyes. A white tracksuit top and pink bottoms flecked with dirt, or shit, or something not quite dead yet. A smell like the devil's wanksock.

I've passed the same woman at exactly the same spot on the New Cabra Road for the last four days. As I make my way over to Spar to replenish my supply of fun-size Twixes and Benecol yogurts she passes me at the large tree between the corner of my road and Clarke's bakery.

It's really very unsettling, the repetitiveness of her.

I think she's an addict as she has never looked directly at me, just the fifty yard stare of a woman gone wrong. No matter how windy the day I catch the stench of detritus in her wake and the squelch of her broken runners. She could stop traffic but not in the good way.

She must be homeless and never rests, just circles the area over and over again. I've become in tune with her route, hence the daily tree-pass like something from a David Lynch hallucination, but please don't mention a certain type of synchronicity.

No, this is aggrieving because I know that some day she'll have taken her last swig of something awful and I'll be the one left calling for an ambulance, holding her heaving, piss-soaked embers in my arms.

I think I'll move out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The real Slim Shady

Noel O'Flynn - that was the fucker's name. I remembered Noel but in the ten minutes of 'Prime Time' I caught last week Miriam O'Callaghan had neglected to mention his surname.

Picture this fella, beamed in live from the Cork studio, sucking lamb fat from his cheeks when he thought nobody was looking. Snorting back his own sense of amorality when he thought the mic had passed elsewhere. It hadn't. I heard it.

Now, I'm going to paraphrase this ten-foot wide piece of effluent because I can't remember it verbatim at several days' remove, so forgive me, but I have the gist.

Noel O'Flynn: "I totally disagree Miriam... And I think if you ask (disremembered journalist) you'll find that it was his shower that kept quiet on FAS all these years when they were being flown left, right and centre..."

Miriam: "But it was a journalist from his very paper that first exposed the FAS situation..."

Noel O'Flynn: "Well... Urrrhhh... (Slurp, lick, slurp)..."

Miriam: "Let's address the government expenses scandal."

Noel O'Flynn: "I am paid a salary of €104,000-a-year, and when you think of all the things that have to come out of that..."

Now this is the part that really fucking galled me.

"I have to come up from the country to attend the Dáil, feed myself, clothe myself, attend functions and that, Miriam, is before you even mention my constituency office and having to work locally..."

Pity fucking about him. It's been said on countless other sites, but why the fuck should we pay for this cunt's lunch every day? I certainly don't get my food paid for.

He has to come to Dublin to attend the Dáil (read as: attend work)? He has to wear clothes? Bend over and kiss the arses of financiers and property developers while simultaneously shelling crab claws in the Mansion House?

Of course, this is all completely moot. The clincher for me is the fact they chose to enter government, every pampered, cretinous, grab-all-you-can, fuck-over-the-populace, 'that rocket salad has a real kick to it' one of them.

They chose this life, and they choose to fuck us over again and again and again and expect us to thank them for the privilege through evening wear, bottles of Chateau Lafite and varied expensive items of cuntitude.

I'll leave the last word to my friend.

"I want the public to know that we want them to be happy."

This, of course, makes it all better Noel, you patronising slug of a man.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ten for a fiver

Another night spent on the couch, another night of screeching and whooping and cheering from the folks next door.

I'd get annoyed if they didn't remind me of me, of us, in 32A circa 1999, or 2000, or whenever it was that we'd ritually gather in the tiny garden outside to throw young people at old people and to drink the Kwik Pils.

Ten for a fiver.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

May as well go all out and call me fucking 'dude'

I'm an intolerant fucker and I tend to take the most irrational of dislikes to certain people.

Neither rhyme nor reason to it, it just simply is. I have to stop myself in the pub waxing on and on about the people I wouldn't have in the flat, purely because I don't like the way they sneeze, the way they taaaalk verrrry verrrry slowly or the fact that they're, like, just SUPER every day of the week.

Gah.

Take the office last night, take me and one other lad a few rows down pulling our respective late shifts. I've never spoken to this boy but I've witnessed his drawl in conversation with others. He's a smile-talker. He talks through a perma-fucking-grin, even when he's being serious, nails on a blackboard.

What was his sin on this most unnoteworthy of Monday nights? He called me 'man.'

Leaving before me, he walked past, a simple 'see ya, man.'

I lifted my head from the keyboard, forehead indented by the qwerty, cocked my head with the anger of a thousand blazing Samuel L Jacksons, fixed him a look and asked...

"...the fuck you say?"

"Eh, just saying g'luck, man."

"...the fuck you calling me 'man' for? You know my fucking name?"

"Eh... Yeah... I..."

"Just get the fuck out and wipe that fucking smirk off your face..."

This is, quite obviously, a falsehood. I spake a timid "safe home" because, well, he'd take me in a fight. Mine is a silent rage.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The competition

I've never written of my culinary prowess before because, well, I'm the modest sort.

However, when presented with the opportunity to appear on 'Masterchef' I couldn't turn it down.

The competition was made up of three rounds.

Host Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins and sous chef Monica Something gathered the four contestants - myself included - into a room to demonstrate our skills and some basic cooking ability. One of the four would be eliminated, with three going on to cook for renowned Michelin tyre owner, sorry, Michelin star-having chef Michel Roux Jr.

= =

1) The Elimination Test: We were charged with de-packeting a Chomp bar and opening a jar of pickles.

The Chomp has a foil wrapper that, serated edges or no serrated edges, is piss easy to tear. Monica Something gave a tiny wee wince even though I knew I'd nailed it. Looking back now, I reckon her grimace was just for the cameras, the preening bitch.

Anyway, yeah, that proved no significant hurdle. I plated up and went on.

The pickle jar proved trickier. I'd had a pre-event tug to ease the nerves, so the bastard thing wouldn't take in my hand full of leftover man goo. I demonstrated considerable nous, however, in my tea towel technique and the lid popped off with such zeal that poor Billy Corgan's sizable dome almost took a cutting.

Monica Something: I admired your technique with the Chomp, you've clearly de-wrappered before. It's got the perfect texture of chocolate and caramel.

Billy Corgan: Myum myum.

Monica Something: The pickles in this jar have the faint taste of Radge inseminant, but by and large it's been a good effort.

Billy Corgan: Myum.


Result: I got through to cook for Chef Michel.

= =

2) The Ingredients Test: We were told by Chef Michel that we would have to use smoked fillet of thigh of French 30-year-old virgin to make two dishes.

Other ingredients included some Paxo, one turnip, some shallots, some men's hair, otter whiskers and nine glugs of whiskey.

In this round, improvisation is key. I whipped the turnip into a frenzy and interlaced it with a compote of shallots and men's hair (grey and thinning). I finished it off by roasting the virgin thigh and garnished it with leftover Chomp.

My second dish was exactly the same, but I cleverly used a bowl as opposed to a side dish.

Chef Michel: The compote is seasoned perfectly while there's a great texture to the thigh of 30-year-old French virgin. The Chomp lets you down, it's a little bit under-confident, but overall it works.

Billy Corgan: Nyam.

Chef Michel: For your second dish, the presentation is exquisite. You've used exactly the same ingredients and techniques to create something absolutely the same but wholeheartedly different.

Billy Corgan: Yur.


Result: They don't judge you until after the third test. Pay fucking attention.

= =

3) The Classic Recipe Test: Chef Michel told us to put together a dish of disgruntled pheasant, a Norwegian banquet staple, followed by a classic Lemon Tartlet.

This proved tricky. I loaded up and hit the fields with greatest haste. I was on the clock and knew I had to track down, kill, carry and cook a disgruntled pheasant before the clock struck 3pm.

As it happened, I got a mobile phone call telling me to get back to the studio, the pheasants had been pre-captured and were waiting in the car park to be evaluated.

I raced back, chose my pheasant, shot it, de-feathered it, threw it in the oven and tended to my garnishes and accoutrements.

I just managed to get it on to my plate before the judging started.

Chef Michel: Ooooh. Big problem here.

Me: Yes chef?

Chef Michel: This pheasant, while cooked perfectly, was clearly deeply morose in its last moments. It was far more than disgruntled. It's a beginner's mistake. The garnishes work fine but I'm afraid this isn't what we asked for.

Billy Corgan: No.

Chef Michel: And the classic Lemon Tartlet?

Me: Here it is chef.

Chef Michel: That's Kim Basinger.

Me: Yes chef.

Chef Michel: Go home.

Me: Sorry chef.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bleugh

One should never put too much faith in the restorative powers of probiotic natural yogurt with black cherry compote, whereas one ought salve oneself with many episodes of Entourage whilst feeling, still, like shit.

Oughtn't one?

Poxy virus.

There is little else of consequence to report.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lovely Lisa

There's something about bumping bottoms with Lisa Hannigan in Dublin's Long Hall pub that will take manners from a man. Don't doubt my truth in this.

YouTube her. Search for 'Lille.' She's every bit as comely in reality with her long red dress and her pint of Guinness.

For me, she could have done without the ginger man accompaniment, a person holding court over a table of quiffs and sycophance but I've got nothing against him really, old Glen. I just wish he'd leave lovely Lisa to me in some parallel universe where I'm not sitting at the next table, humming her tunes back to her while she pretends not to notice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rank

If it looks like swine flu, and it aches like swine flu, and it bleeds like swine flu, then surely it's a hangover.

But I haven't been drinking.

I've had to cancel plans for the next two nights, and I've come over the years to hate being a big flakey plan cancelling bastard, but the lurgy's got me good and proper this time.

I suppose Arthur's Day will come to pass again in 2259 and there is the added blessing that that fucking 'To Martha' ad will never air after tomorrow, but I feel as unkempt as a spilled box of party Smarties into a puddle of deepest rank.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Incredulous

Embarking on a new relationship?

Wondering if, finally, you've met the one?

Simply text your name and the name of your new squeeze to 57757 and we'll tell you if you've got the perfect match.

SMSs cost €10 per month.

= = =

Some questions.

How, HOW is this shit legal?

What fucking dingletwig would fall for such a ruse?

What's this €10 a month crap?

And don't get me started on their 'perfect baby name' promotion.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Take out a page from an ordinary sized copy

"Come here 'til I drink you."

I spake these words with great repetition last night. What had been intended as a quiet few jars with Terence, the brother-in-law (he loves when I call him that) and McMuck swelled to a portion of ten or twelve or however many of us embracing eejitry and liquor.

Oh mercy but it was a drunkening and sure to be my last for a while as the good people at the old educating place want me to shape young minds again.

Starting back with the lecturing next week, donning the elbow patches to spout forth on matters sport and journalism. It's a terrifying prospect what with the demands of two sets of Masters students, higher brow than I've attempted before, the loomingness of it driving me to drink and today's wretched hangover.

I'm off to the bibliotheque.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sing Hallelujah!

Oh it's a glorious day, a fine day to be shafted by the government. Before I go smilingly about my day I think I'll write a little poem.

Fuck off NAMA.
Fuck off Jordan.
Fuck off Peter Andre.
Fuck off Brian Lenihan.

Do one, Liam Carroll.
Do one, John O'Donoghue.
Do one, Cowen.
Do one, Anglo Irish Bank.

Roll over, Taxpayers.
Take this, Taxpayers.
You love it, Taxpayers.
Let's cuddle, Taxpayers.

I'll be singing all the way to the bus stop.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More plugs

I could reproduce my review of tonight's Dylan Moran show at Vicar Street verbatim or I could be a complete pain in the arse and tell you to go here to read it.

I choose the latter, if only so I can practice my linking skills.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The mail order maestro

I gave up taxi stories some time back - I should never read my negative reviews - but I'm breaking my fast.

I was tired, irritable, hungry and anxious to escape the City Centre so I hailed a taxi at the multi-dildoed Ulster Bank complex on the quays. We got chatting about work and the fact that I got let go in June.

I told him I was filling my days engaging in a bit of writing while doing my very least to find some new full-time employ.

"Do you know what you should write about? An article that, if it's written, will definitely make you a few bob..."

"What's that," I asked.

"Plugs."

"Plugs?"

"Plugs. When you buy an electric toothbrush they still come with those two-pronged plugs and no modern bathroom has an outlet for them. It's a disgrace. It's completely senseless..."

"Senseless, yeah..."

"It is. Yeah, you really get it. It's ridiculous! Stupid! I mean, if you write about that you'll be well on your way."

I figured he was taking the piss.

"That's a great idea."

"It really is, I mean I've never seen an article written about that and it's a real scandal, y'know?"

"I follow, yeah. Great stuff. I'll write it as soon as you drop me home. Maybe I'll win a Pulitzer!"

"Ah now, you'd hardly win a Pulitzer, but you'd definitely make a few quid for yourself."

He then went into detail about how to make a 'delicious chicken fried rice,' handed down to him by his mail order bride from Uganda, so it wasn't a completely lost cause.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just don't accredit me

I've been asked to write a guest blog somewhere, elsewhere, on the intersphere.

"Write anything you want! Go mad! No football though," I was telt in terms not uncertain.

Now that's all very well until all manner of ideas start jumbling into my head at stupid o'clock in the morning, forcing me computer-wards when - in some parallel sex life - I'd be doing appalling things to and/or with Zooey Deschanel.

(Yes, her again and no, I won't get over it anytime soon.)

I had a fucking great idea for this guest blog about an hour and a half ago, which coincided with 5.30 in the morning. I got up, brushed my teeth, put on a pot of coffee, checked my email and opened up Word.

If you saw, if you could only SEE the garbled load of nonsensewank that came frightened from my fingers. It was pish.

However, I will persist. You'll have your guest blog, unidentified mysterion, you'll have your guest blog.

Just don't accredit me.

Thanks.

Monday, September 07, 2009

In a green raincoat

I thumb through your CDs while you stand at the worktop, your worktop, doing something to asparagus.

Rod Stewart.
The Beatles.
Simon And Garfunkel.
Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
Emmylou Harris.
Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks.
Joe Dolan.

I smile.

"That's not mine, that's..." you trail off without looking over and I get up to prowl around your living space. I knock my leg off the table and a plant falls over somewhere else in the room. Behind me.

Disoriented, I examine your books. No Marian Keyes. No Cathy Kelly. No easy reads, just dictionaries and old covers, some travel books and journals. Folders and files and biographies of ordinary people who did remarkable things.

I see the picture of you with your dad when you were...

"I was six, I think," you say without my asking. "That's my favourite one of the two of us."

There are no other pictures, just the things that, in their own curious way, have led to you standing there with a plain white tea-towel, looking at me looking at your life, mischief in your eyes and calling me nosey.

"Make yourself useful," you hand me the wine.

We sit, I pour, we eat. I have to ask.

"Joe Dolan?"

"Shut up."

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Secrets of the stars and something about a dwarf

Fernando Torres has a Facebook page but he uses the name 'Ruel Fox.'

If you look sideways at a dwarf, then look the other way, then look again, then look away, then take one final sideways glance, nothing happens.

Amanda Brunker is the love-child of Twink and Derek Davis, but both refuse to talk about it. Ronan Collins knows but he was made to sign something at gunpoint.

Al Pacino and Mick Lally are not related after all.

Scarlett Johansson once had a summer job in Quinnsworth in Drumcondra.

It is impossible to lick Natalie Portman's elbow, though that didn't stop me trying (one fateful summer).

Sigourney Weaver has never, in her entire lifetime, been to Bray.

Madonna has a stash of Marathon bars that is just about to run out. She's allergic to Snickers.

I don't know who Zac or Zak Efron is.

Kelsey Grammer was second choice to play Dr. Frasier Crane when James Burrows was casting for 'Cheers.' He only got the role when Ringo Starr turned it down.

The actor Tony Curtis was once third choice to take over the vacant manager's position at Rotherham United.

Kevin Costner came up with the concept of NAMA.

Yesterday, Zooey Deschanel googled herself and came across this site, but within three seconds she'd clicked off as she couldn't see my face in the picture. Plus, she's engaged to the singer from Death Cab For Cutie.

Gordon Ramsay once fought off Barbra Streisand for the last pair of black Speedos in TK Maxx.

Sky Sports News presenter Millie Clode wants my mobile telephone number, and I've had to refuse her as a friend on Facebook twice.

Tom Selleck and Ben Stiller regularly watch Japanese porn together.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Radge replies: Andrew's problem

Andrew writes: 'Dear Uncie Radge,

I'm living a fine life at the moment. I'm a recession-proof sex demon and I'm pounding many of Dublin's highest quality babes on a regular basis.

Glenda Gilson? Check.
Sharon ní Bheoláin? Twice last week.
Katy French? One of the best, God rest her.

But a couple of months back I was driving through Cabra (quickly, like) and saw that this chubby bird in a pink Juicy Couture tracksuit. Hair tied back so tight it looked like it was going to tear her forehead and sovereign earrings dangling from her lobes. She had the lot, Uncie Radge. Yet I found myself getting the horn.

Ever since then I've been hankering after an old dirtbird or five all the fucking time. I'm mad into it now. I'll end up banging a traveller if this doesn't stop soon, a traveller!

Help me, Uncie Radge, you're my only hope.'

= = =

Radge replies: 'Thanks so much for the letter, Andrew. Living in Cabra, as I do, I have been better placed than most to see the allure of what is known as the Cabran lioness.

When Fr. John Cabra founded the citadel in early 1906, he brought with him a potion hewn from the spunk of the particularly sexual Mongolian zebras with whom he had cohabited in the early part of the 20th century. As an aside, a little known fact is that T-Rex wrote a song based on the bestial predilections of the wayward cleric.

Upon his arrival in Ireland, Fr. Cabra found the ecosphere ill-suited to his needs and searched high and wide and far and central until he arrived at the North Dublinic wastelands, as they weren't known at the time.

Combining his particular brand of jungle juice with the waters of the Royal Canal to be found nearby, he began applying his saucy little mixtures to the earliest prototypes of the common baby's bottle.

The solution remains pretty much the same, though it has been tweaked with Linden Village and TK Red Lemonade for added zip (by some, not all) since the 1980s.

There are some curiousome side effects, such as a second skin of pink (Fr. Cecil Unique's patenting of same for his clothing enterprise brought about some litigation in the '70s, which he won and followed up with the somewhat vivid clothing line you'll see, day to day, in and around the Ilac Centre) and somewhat wayward eye make-up, as well as the obligatory ponytail.

However, and this is the crucial part, certain (some, not all) find these Cabran lionesses irresistible in the sexy sex sense. Studies have shown that studies cannot explain this phenomenon but I, once, got stymied by a 'lady' by the name of Bags Lynch back in the 70s and had to venture to Mongolia in the seeking of an antidote that, thankfully, worked.

My flopsweat, however, has never been cured.

While Ryanair are yet to open their Mongolian trail, I do know of travel arrangements that can be made. Email me directly and, all being well, you will never again fall as prey to the Cabran lioness.

I hope this helps and, Andrew, be well.

Radge, having replied.'

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Love's young dream

From the 'Ask Adri' feature at the back of Saturday's Irish Independent weekend supplement. The 'Ask' is italicised for extra oomph, which is a word that people like Adri seem to be particularly fond of.

J, Blackrock writes: 'Dear Adriana, I've met a man who I think could be the one! I'm 32 and have been single for three years. I had started to think I was never going to meet anyone, when a friend introduced me to this man. He is 35, owns his own house and earns a really good salary. We've been seeing each other for a couple of months, and last week he invited me to his house for dinner - but he opened the door in a pair of tartan granddad slippers. It was an instant passion killer and now I can't stop seeing him as a fuddy-duddy and imagining what our lives will be like in 10 years. Am I being petty?'

Adriana Trigiani, who has written heartwarming novels such as 'Lucia, Lucia' and 'Very Valentine' - oh, and who also counts as a housemate Sex And The City writer Michael Patrick King, who has based much of the series on the life of our Adri - responds thusly...

'Dear J, yes, you are being ever so petty. But this is your job when you are sussing out the right life partner. When it comes to your future you cannot be too petty or too picky. Time will tell if this man is the one. In the meantime, pick him up a pair of slippers that are aesthetically pleasing to you. But remember: When you do this, you open the door to allowing him to ask you to wear something that pleases him. Good luck! Adri!'

Right.

The transcribation portion of the evening has ended. Allow me to editorialise. No, fuck that, I'm still unemployed and fast running out of options, so consider this an Agony Uncle audition.

Radge writes: 'Dear J, you are three years single, yes? Well that's easily explained. You are ill equipped to be a human being. I can only surmise that your previous boyfriend died of self-death. The poor lamb, probably called Gavin, your very own little piece of rugby shirt sporting hottyness, your sounding board, your BT2 clothes horse, chewed out his own intestines while you were straightening your hair in the spare bedroom.

Didn't he J? Didn't he? He was tired. Bless. Tired from hearing about Rebecca, and how Colm was being a complete 'mare' to her. Tired from trying not to look like a pederast while you shopped with the kiddies in Oasis. Tired from... Just fucking tired.

So you're in a bind now, yeah? This new fella, we'll call him Shane and his mates call him Shano, has made a few quid working in Deloitte.

He's borrowed his way to a plush pad overlooking some club full of hotties that, itself, overlooks Temple Bar from a garden terrace. He's not a bad lad, is old Shano, despite his predilection for chinos, Gordon D'Arcy posters and comfortable footgear to potter over his chestnut floors in.

You say you can't stop imagining what your lives would be like in 10 years?

Well, J, if you're trying to convince me that you hadn't married his magnificently appointed D2 villa the second you laid your serpent eyes on it, please desist.

He's got a small cock, hasn't he? I'm afraid I can't help you unless you're honest.

Yours deprecatingly, Radge Exclamation Mark.'

Whew, I enjoyed that. Better than spinning, that.

Send me your letters.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Number 500

I get up, I feel like shit, I decide not to visit the folks until later in the week, I make a Lemsip, I switch on the computer, I wait for a blog that won't come, I read other blogs, I wonder if I'll ever be topical and write something about NAMA...

...I google NAMA for the eighth time and, still, it doesn't stick...

...I eat some pineapple for breakfast because, apparently, it's the best food for my blood-type and I wait for a promised phonecall that never arrives...

...I take a scatological study borne of yesterday's beans and I don't light a match and...

...I send a mail seeking work and get no response but it's too soon and I really don't mind.

I undress and I shower and I re-dress and I slap my face with something that smells much better than me...

...before I sit back down and wait for a transfer that's never going to happen before it hits me that this, of all days, is one where things just are not going to happen...

...so I switch off my phone and lock up the flat and I go to the cinema and eat a club sandwich (expensive and rank) and drink a coffee and lament the fact that cinema advertisments are now interspersed with the trailers and...

...it wasn't like that in my day but...

...enough of that because the film is 'Funny People' and it proves more a hit than a miss and...

...I pick up my bag and head straight for the jacks where the beans are still fucking with my innards like little orange balls of Satan and...

...eventually I leave and I go shopping for food in the pissings of rain and get annoyed at the umbrellas blocking my view of the number 10 bus that takes ages to come and I switch on the iPod and the shuffle brings me to Bonnie Prince Billy...

...and he's too earthy for now so I go to Fourtet and that will do fine and...

...I alight the bus, still the pissings of rain, and I enter the flat and I empty the bin and I take clothes from the wash and I ramble in my mind around Howth for no reason...

...

...

...and I wake up by the sound of my very own farts and I ablute and I switch on the telly, no transfers, and I review the film for Culch and shamelessly plug myself and my brethren and that leads me to this...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bleedin' scarleh

The French teacher, the manky old crone, she's responsible for this. This perpetual reddening.

"Radgykins," she said, "come up here to the top of the class and point out the irregular verbs."

Of course, she didn't call me 'Radgykins' but she did apply the suffix '-kins' to my real world name, rendering me a shade of pink that colours my face to this day at the most inopportune of timings.

It's a fucking liability, especially when beautiful Czech women stop to talk on the subject of their homeland beers.

Her: "You like Budvar? It's great beer, yes?"

Me: "It's a great beer, yes."

Her: "You like Staropramen too?"

Me: "I love Staropramen."

Her: "It is my favourite beer. I like Ruby Leffe too. You like Ruby Leffe?"

Me: "I like it very much."

Her: "You are colour of Ruby Leffe. It's funny, cute Irish boy."

Me: "Ehm... Eh..."

Her: "You take my number, yes?"

I'll stop now before I get further into the realm of fiction.

That fuckin' French teacher.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did am will and might

1) Endeavour to make more food from scratch, inspired by Rick Stein's Far Eastern odyssey. Google tumeric. Discover spelling to be turmeric.

2) Write short story based on brief, yet unconsummated, flirtation with infidelity. Discover opening lines to need much work. Shelve.

3) Make decision to quit blogging. Write lengthy entry announcing decision to quit blogging. Brush teeth and come up with eight fresh ideas. Renounce decision to quit blogging.

4) Lament onset of male pattern baldness. Accept onset of male pattern baldness.

5) Do charity work in former place of employment.

6) Paint skirting boards while sober.

7) Muddle around issue of love.

8) Hold head in hands while bitter realisation that this will not be our season takes hold.

9) Walk to Glasnevin cemetary.

10) Speak to nice man about copperfastening lecturing position.

11) Wonder what 500th post will be about.

12) Read second of two books withdrawn from library on Navan Road last week.

13) Reorganise thoughts into one cohesive whole.

14) Decide on blade two, all over.

15) Bore fuck out of anyone still reading.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nites out wit de girlies

Check this out for 'top three turn offs,' courtesy of 'NotRealName' on oneofthosegenericfreeandpoxydatingsites.com.

1. Cheaters (we'll allow this, though surely it should be cheats?).
2. BO (fair enough).
3. Feet.

Feet? Feet, for fuck's sake? I hope the weather stays fine for her, but the feeling remains that she's in for a tough time. She's waiting at Trinity, he's a few minutes late, the anticipation's building. He approaches.

"Hi, I'm, I dunno, Graham."

"Hi, I'm notrealname. Tell me Graham, how did you get here."

"I walked."

"This isn't going to work for me."

According to her profile, this girl has a masters degree.

Not to pick on her too much, but she uses the one line that tears me away from these sites every time I think, just for a milibeat, that I might be up for meeting someone anonymously again after all this time.

The line is this: I love drunken nites out wit the girlies. Enjoy going to cinema and havin lazy nites in aswell.

It's not the conjoined 'aswell,' it's not the abandoned 'h' at the end of 'wit,' it's just that every fucking second profile has this line somewhere. It may as well read: I enjoy existing.

Moving on, some other examples...

xxbettyxx2xx writes: 'i is gona be honest i aint the type of gurl u look at on the tv or walkin down the road and say HEY I GOTS TI GET ME SUM OF THAT!!!'

lubejob writes: people wit no pic dont mail me cause ya wont get 1 bk

flimsylass likes rugby players and going to Santa Ponsa.

legseleven writes: love nothing more than going out socializing with friends or sitting in with a good bottle of wine, a dvd :)

missperfect can't live without her car and phone and her hairdresser and her handbag and just cos 'i don't have a pic up don't mean Im ugly I ain't.'

I'll let you all know how many replies I get.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not in my house

The 'I Wouldn't Have Them In The House Because They Have Distinctly Punchable Faces' Five:

1) Andrew Maxwell from The Panel.
2) Jimmy Carr.
3) Lee Evans.
4) John Terry.
5) Danny Dyer. Oh that's a good one. Danny fucking Dyer.

The 'Empty Vessels Make The Most Noise' Five:

1) Lee Evans.
2) Jordan.
3) A****r B*a** from work. You don't know this cunt, and would not want to.
4) Amanda Brunker.
5) Harvey Norman.

The 'How The Fuck Are They Famous?' Five:

1) Glenda Gilsen.
2) Lorraine Keane.
3) Kerry Katona.
4) Amanda Brunker.
5) Jordan.

The 'Least Favourite Footballers' Five:

1) Ronaldo.
2) Ashley Cole.
3) William Gallas.
4) John Terry.
5) John Terry.

I thought I'd get ten top fives out of this, but my well of hate has run dry. Shame. Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Unclean! UNCLEAN!!!

The house has been sealed off, the army are here with their white boiler suits and surgical gas masks.

It's raining Tamiflu tablets and they're powerhosing me down with alcohol hand rub.

They've set up an isolation chamber in the back garden and the rubber-neckers are out in force.

I just sneezed, you see, and I don't want to tell them it's the result of two nights' revelry and nothing more because they've gone to an awful lot of effort.

I suppose I'd better make them some tea.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A message from the chair of The Pale Separatist Movement

"We demand a blog from Radge," it says.

Well, it is my fifth blogday. It's Brain Day too, that being the seventh anniversary of getting my head cut open by the nice neurosurgeon in order to...

(Deletes finer details of cranial incision for fear of eliciting lovely sick stuff all over your shiny HP monitors.)

Every year I plan to recreate the splendour, the majesty, the incalculable fucking drunkenness of Brain Day 2004, a session so all-consuming that it must have taken at least a month from my life. They'll be the crap, nursing home years though, so I don't mind.

I digress.

We did it again in 2006, sectioning off the top floor of the Stag's Head for its purpose, but it felt more like an organised function than the 'scotch for breakfast' lunacy of its predecessor.

Sure, we had a personalised video message from Bono ("you're the ledge, Radge, Brain Day is the precursor and postcursor to my own vision of a united world order where CHANGE is gonna come, mister..." at which point we unplugged the telly) but it felt too commercialised so I haven't had one since.

Today, for Brain Day 7/Blog Day 5, I'm going looking for a bank loan. Then I might check out 'Mesrine' in the Screen. Then I'll come home and have a celebratory wank before going all foetal and wondering where it all went wrong.

Chin chin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Enoch Showunmi

There comes a point when a man takes stock of his surroundings, sips contentedly on his cup of tea (scald the vessel first), takes a bite of half a Viscount biscuit and says to himself:

"I have arrived."

For me, that moment came tonight, 64 minutes into Leeds United's workmanlike 1-0 victory over Darlington in the first round of this year's Rumbelows Cup.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Chaumes: Cheese of the week

I turn five this week. Thursday, being precise. Five years of Radgery. Isn't that nice?

Meh.

It started with a Waga Mama recipe from the white chair in Lucan, followed up with some Carpenters lyrics, onwards with three and a half years' worth of nights out chronicled - each entry as repetitive as the one before and after and before and after - and then a review of 'PS I Love You' that ushered in the current era of random nonsense that has seen me become a legend in my own granny flat.

Things I don't write that much about anymore:

Cheese.
The Stag's Head.
Harold's Cross.
Katy French.
Terence.
5X. But he will resurface.
Football.
Commuter love.
Uniflu.
Internet dating.
Blogger's block.
Pulchritude.
James Blunt.
My twenties.
Doughnuts.
Search terms.

I'm joking, of course. I have never written about doughnuts.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

'im indoors

I read once that a person should sporadically spend three days indoors, in one's own dwelling, without stepping outside before emerging empowered to see the world anew at its end.

I tried it today, one third of the allotted time. I hung curtains. I cooked a healthy dinner of fish and vegetables, the dregs at the back of the freezer consisting of three pieces of sliced carrot and a couple of bastardised florets of broccoli.

I watched television. I browsed the internet eighteen times. I re-read four chapters of a book I wished I'd written myself. I wore two different pairs of tracksuit bottoms, the first too elasticated for my expanding gullet. I wrote some football preview stuff that ranks among the worst crap I've ever committed to screen. I drank three mugs of strong coffee.

I thought long and hard about a blog entry before it occurred to me that I never pre-think my blog entries, so what was the point?

I finally went to the garden where a collective noun of ants had gathered in their thousands and was barked at by the hobbling dog next door. I encountered one blocked drain and the noise of a fighting couple over the wall next door.

At the death it occurred to me that the originator of this 'three-day solution to clarity' was both a cash rich rock star and somebody who has never lived in this dank little corner of Phibsborough.

Tomorrow I am going to see the sea.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Noise

Well, my telly's been reconnected. Not much has changed.

Sky Sports News is still obsessed with cricket and the frustrating bastard that is the Transfer Window.

The Lee Fucking Evans channel is still masquerading as Comedy Central.

Oprah is still emoting professionally.

Fucking ads everywhere.

I'm not turning it back on until the football season starts.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Those crazy kids

The former manager of the Jordan Formula 1 team Eddie Jordan was teaching me how to fly a plane and I nearly had it down. I was reaching for the throttle with only his words to guide me when I said...

"Do you know something, Eddie? I'm completely indifferent to Formula 1 and I don't think I'll ever need to fly a plane. Why are we in Iraq? Fuck off."

And he did, morphing into the actor Dennis Hopper splicing out weeds with me in my back garden, and then my front garden, in Charleville Road, before of a sudden I was drinking a pint with my Granny in Downey's across the road.

"Haven't you been dead for 13 years? Isn't brandy your drink? Hang on, you gave up the drink before I was born..."

Then the fucking students singing happy birthday to one of their brethren through the paper walls. No dream this. Inglorious, sleepy reality. In my fugue I thought about the couch. I've often pondered moving to it during the parties next door but never actually have, but Falco's 'Rock Me Amadeus' was my imperative.

I looked at the clock. 3.30am. I took my duvet and two sunken Dunnes Stores pillows to the sitting room and covered my face in seventeen layers of cushion and fluff, drowning out their middlenight chorus. I slept soundly, perfectly. I may make the move full-time.

McMuck's wedding today. I'll sleep tonight and all, the brandy will see to that.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can Wednesday

For a successful Can Wednesday, you will need:

14 cans of freshly purchased lager beer.
8 bottles of lager beer left over from previous Can Wednesday.
Two willing enablers (Enabler 1 and Enabler 2).
Digital Versatile Discs, three of.
One picture of Glenda Gilsen and Amanda Brunker gurning and making peace signs at the camera.
Two nine-inch Dunnes Stores pizza pies, toppings optional but must be primarily meat based.
One couch and one armchair.

Directions:

Chill beer in fridge, await arrival of Enabler 1. Put on clothes pre-appearance of said Enabler 1 as this is not - and never will be - Naked Can Wednesday.

Greet Enabler 1. Discuss the events of the day. Offer a sherry (beer). Drink. Discuss events of the day further.

Open gate to allow ingress of Enabler 2. Deposit his beer to an already well stocked fridge. Discuss the Permanent TSB interest rate hike (football).

Play DVD 1, in this case 'The Commitments'. Make arresting social commentary on how the Dublin of 2009 differs in no way from the Dublin of 1990, Docklands development aside. Talk over film discussing the events of the day (Burma, sorry, pre-season football friendlies and the impending loss of Xabi Alonso).

Get progressively drunker.

Take picture of Misses Gilsen and Brunker outside window of flat, appearing in clear sight of Enablers 1 and 2. Apply fire, watch burn.

Get progressively drunker, discuss the jobs crisis (breasts).

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees, wonder what smell is, discover it to be flatulence of self, Enabler 1 and Enabler 2.

Deposit pizza pies in oven. Set alarm on phone for 23 minutes' time.

Get progressively drunker.

Finish 'The Commitments', play DVD 2, in this case 'Withnail And I'.

Remove pizza pies from oven, divide in three, discover Enabler 2 has already eaten, divide in two, rejoice quietly at extra pizza pie. Drink in unison to film. Forget woes.

Wonder what smell is. Remember collective flatulence.

Finish 'Withnail And I', play DVD 3, in this case the first episode of the third series of 'Entourage'.

Notice burgeoning collection of cans and bottles sinkside. Mutter something about the green bin under breath. Drink.

Finish 'Entourage'. Exit Enabler 2 for home. Wearily re-discuss the events of the day with Enabler 1, slowly fading on couch. Prattle on without noticing Enabler 1 has fallen asleep on couch. Lament boring personality of self. Apply duvet carelessly to Enabler 1, brush teeth, remember to floss, gag, bed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

An air of positivity

A strange thing happened. I rang NTL today to come and sort out my television, wanting as I do access to all the beautiful football from the forthcoming season.

I had never phoned NTL before, scared to. I've heard of people waiting entire generations, watching their kids and grandchildren grow up and cultivate nice ketamine addictions before settling down and marrying someone called Patricia, while waiting for their call to be answered in rotation.

Not today. No no. There was just a two minute session of elevator beat before Mary answered. She was fucking.... lovely. Really. I told her I'd been cut off because my landlord had never paid his bill nor instructed us to.

All bullshit, obviously, I knew I was getting it for free.

She was sympathetic and just fucking.... lovely about the whole thing. We even discussed my broadband plight.

"You're with Irish Broadband? Sure they're crap. No no, go to O2 though my fella had some trouble with them. Or maybe Meteor. Can you get Meteor in Dublin? Of course you can, it's not like down here in..."

Limerick. She was from Limerick. We spoke about the societal ills of the city my parents call home, gassed about this and that and so charming was her way that I forgot I was paying my doler's life away in phone credit.

No problem to her, she got down to business and fixed a time for the nice man to show up and restore my idiot box to itself.

I had, as I've written before, a similar experience on my first visit to the dole office and my encounter with the very friendly Anne. Then the follow-up, an even nicer girl whose name I didn't catch.

Three thoughts came to me.

1) I'm just fucking.... lovely, myself.

2) You, you people there, are all a shower of bastards without a modicum of good manners and can't expect to see any in return.

3) They'd seen me on E4 in THAT sarong.

Monday, July 27, 2009

It's just a fucking toilet seat

I don't get it. I feel like I should, like I've been asleep through some seismic piece of world shattering opprobrium and I've just woken up but nobody's letting me in on it.

No Sky News. No radio in the flat. The newspaper stands are empty. The internet connection is down, except it clearly isn't. I'm trying to be metaphorical, and topical, and I don't do either well.

But did I miss something?

'Shop opens. Country wets self.'

I am convinced we had furniture before the latest Viking invasion. I'm fucking certain of it. Not only that, but apparently it's all flat-pack, stuff you have to put together on your own time. Sounds like a lot of effort to me.

"But it's cheap."

"So is Bargaintown, where you won't have to fend off the 3,000 people passing through the doors in the first hour of trading."

"But... but..."

"But nothing."

All of that being said, if it manages to put Harvey fucking Norman out of business, then foist me on a perfectly appointed, build-it-yourself chaise longue and carry me aloft to Ballymun.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not as sexy as Jeremy Paxman

75th.

Fucking 75th.

That's where I came in E4's countdown of the 100 Greatest Sex Symbols.

I'd just finished my Donegal Catch haddock and oven chips last night and took a scan through the telly channels. As I landed on the list they were at No.80 - Woody Allen, with this crusty aul bint from Marie Claire magazine espousing his wit, his humour and its ability to woo the most beautiful of women.

I always thought he was a paranoid and scrawny pair of misfitting glasses, but I dare not speak for the horny 50-year-old women of this world.

79 - Rock Hudson.

78 - David Walliams, the low-fat fat lad from Little Britain.

77 - Rachel Stevens.

76 - Wonder Woman.

I was just about to change to 'Last Of The Summer Wine' at this point, confident of making at least the top twenty, when...

75 - Radge.

I couldn't fucking believe it. "I can't fucking believe it," I said to nobody in the room.

The TV presenter Fearne Cotton said "Radge has that relaxed, Irishy way about him. If he asked me out for a drink I'd definitely hop on board the next Aer Lingus flight. Fwoarrrggghhh."

The LA Times columnist Sandy Banks said "he turned blogging from the perceived domain of the bedroom geek to something majestically sexual. Yowch."

Disgusting mess Kathy Burke said something about a king size Toblerone, while the Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher was ill impressed.

"There's no fucking way that (bleep) is sexier than Joanna Lumley."

74 - Denzel Washington.

73 - Red Leeroy.

72 - Jeremy Paxman.

71 - I switched over to Bergerac.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Whitewash

Elmo has sullied my good name, not for the first time in her 26 years, and I'd like you all to form an orderly queue and deride her for her unladylike comments.

I'm a 'bollox,' apparently. She gives no reason for this insult, she doesn't back it up, just a sweeping slur designed to shame me in the eyes of our mutual readership. Gah. Anyway, she needs to blog more, maybe this will initiate it.

It's been quiet here of late, employment has coaxed me back to its paying bosom - albeit in a minor capacity - while the last couple of days have been done painting the flat. By 'painting the flat' I mean sitting on the plastic covered couch supping lager beer while watching Fitzbollix applying glorious white to the formerly off-yellow walls of the sitting room, the tiny hall, the bathroom. The bedroom can wait indefinitely.

I'm not the handiest of men, preferring to throw money and beer at the problem while reclining on my rounding arse, shouting 'you missed a bit right there, you cretinous lump, now get it done.'

I'm still picking bits of brush hair from my backside.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Strike me down

He came out of Diesel on Suffolk Street with a hurried look about him, the 10 was drawing to its stop. Weighed down by bags of food and new clothing he ran awkwardly across to meet his way home.

Something caught his boots, his too old boots that have been worn to shreds with the heel separating from the rest, allowing in water on a rainy day.

A suit jacket and an incongruous grey button-up t-shirt tripping to the ground in front of the bus stopping inches from his face.

Fuck.

Groceries and garments at the wheel, hands scratched, scrambling for his goods with the concerned look of the bus driver above him.

Two Italian girls rush over, packing up his goods.

"You OK, you not hurt?"

"No, no, I'm fine, thanks so much. Thanks a million. Just a bit embarrassed."

"No need, we fall all time."

I fall all time, me and my stupid fucking loping gait.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Excerpt: New York, baby!

I reckon I could write chick lit. I've never read a trashy book-on-a-beach-turn-your-brain-off kind of 'novel' because, well, I'm testically endowed but I believe I could take a stab at it and make some proper bank.

= = =

Roisín in Avoca, the usual spot. She'll probably be late because she's a silly bitch but I love her, tardiness or not.

I take my usual seat and give a wink to Ramon, the hottie Spanish waiter who gives us extra bread rolls and knowing glances from the kitchen. He's young, maybe 23 or 24, too young for me but after the month I've had I figure there's no harm in a bit of innocent flirting.

After 15 minutes I've nearly finished my sparkling water when Roisín breezes in.

"I'm SO sorry I'm late," she says, kissing me in her best off-hand manner. Mwah. Mwah. "Disaster last night at pilates. Seriously, disaster. Kate never showed up so it was just me and the other two. My arse is in bits!"

"Oh Roisín, you're a fucking disaster girl."

She peruses the menu.

"Is Ramon working? He's SO cute. What I wouldn't do..."

"Oh leave him you bitch, he's so mine."

I wonder if she'll notice the slight sadness in my voice. I've been burned and I know she thinks I'm over it, over him, but I'm not.

"I think I'll have the sea bream and the mustard mash. Fuck it, the diet can wait, it's not every day I get to meet my favourite girl."

Roisín can be such a sweetheart. I begin to cry.

"Oh honey, what's wrong? You can't hide it from me. I know you like the back of my hand."

"It's nothing... I'm just hormonal."

"No, it's so not that. Tell me..."

I tell her everything. How Bryan called over last night, spouting the usual shit about being a free spirit but never wanting to hurt me. About how he ploughed me with Chablis and told me he'd bring me to Paris, or Barcelona, or wherever I wanted.

I tell her how we made love and, as soon as we were done, he put on his jeans and t-shirt and said he had an early start in the morning. Meetings, fucking meetings. Always the meetings in the morning. I tell her how he said he'd call me, and how he did that fingers to his lips thing, mocking a phone call, which I fucking hate.

I tell her how I texted him at 5am, telling him I needed him and that I hoped he was being true about going away. I tell her how, when he didn't respond, I rang his phone and SHE answered.

"Oh my darling, you need to lose that loser. You really do. We'll plan a girly weekend, how does New York sound?"

"New York?"

"Yeah, baby, I'll get on to Maddy and we'll so sort it for next week! We need to get you out of here. We need an adventure. We need New York."

Ramon comes over with our food, and he notices my smile.

"You look very pretty today, Miss."

"Oh Ramon, stop, you're making me blush."

= = =

It's going to be, like, such a fucking page-turner.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lamb chops

I slept until 11.15 this morning, I'm in Limerick.

Since losing my job I haven't stayed in the bed past 9.30. Call it my zeal to seek re-employment, call it my internet addiction, call it that first mug of Strength 5 Café Direct coffee, call it what you want but I can't sleep in when I'm in Dublin.

There's too much to the days up there, and I don't have my da in the flat ushering more whiskey down my throat and serving me up onion bhajis at midnight.

I don't have my mam's cheesy chicken and scallop potatoes.

Instead I have a slightly lumpy mattress and neighbours that whoop and holler to the strains of Jamie T at 3 in the fucking morning.

Someone remind me why I'm heading back up this evening...