Friday, January 30, 2009

A Perfect Day, Elise.

Anne Hathaway. You would. She's a bit gangly for me, but you still would. She's in that 'Rachel Getting Married' which I saw yesterday. It was good. Moving, even, because of her performance and those of her fellow actors. Heavy on the tension too, you felt throughout it was a pin-prick away from something nucular.


I also saw 'Frost/Nixon,' loving as I was the opportunity to see two films back-to-back on the first day of my holidays.

It was far from flawless - I thought Frost's volte face was a little too sudden, to be all wanky about it - but it never lost me and I came away thawly satisfied at a good film, well made.

Then I drank some stout.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lucas fucking Leiva.


Useless shower of stupid fucking frustrating mindless shitheads.

And why am I cussing like a sailor on crack?

It was a gruelling last couple of hours in Setanta Towers, updating scores and writing round-ups, fretting over the morning push. This will mean nothing to most of you, but suffice to say I was looking forward to getting home in time for the highlights on Match Of The Day before the bearded one intervened and...

Lucas Fucking Leiva.

I feel like Monty in Withnail and I, when the cat's running amok in the den.

'Get that damned little swine out of here. It's trying to get itself in with you. It's trying for even more advantage... It will die, it will die!'

Much like our title challenge.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


It is upon me, I can nearly taste it behind the vat of blackened coffee I've just drunk. Drank? No, it's definitely drunk.

Two and a half weeks off. After today's 3-11 shift covering the football and Liverpool's capitulation to Wigan, I'm not back in work until February 15th.

There's a wedding this weekend in the Midlands, then I'm off to see the folks briefly before three days in Dingle spent alone. I've just booked a room. I'm going to put some shape to an idea I've had for a while, one that's been knocking on my head in the quiet times, cajoling me into writing it.

When that is done I'll set about the project proper, maybe stopping for refreshments and cinema appointments and blogging along the way.

Then, just when I'm getting used to the languor, I'll sink into deepest depression at the prospect of becoming a desk jockey, once again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All that.

'Jesus I'm locked. I went to the pub tonight with two people you've never met and nor are you likely to meet. I drank nine pints of some piss you don't care about and bumped into four more people you'd pass on the street without stopping.

'Then a dreadful pun happened, and the whole thing ended with an in-joke that will be funny to both of you reading this.

'By the way, I saw that film and she was deadly in it. You know who I'm talking about because I just spoke to both of you about her earlier on. But how could I have spoken to you if we've never met? That's what you implied in your first paragraph when you said the thing about the people you... Oh forget it, not only have used two consecutive contractions, but now I'm jumping from the first person to the second person singular and back to the first again.'

I had cause to look over my old posts today, creating as I was a list of random posts at the side.

Christ I was shit. You'd hardly recognise me because I'm a fucking champ now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Apparently a small victory.

...or I could tell you about the April Fool's Day prank to beat all pranks, back in 2004 it was.

The previous week we'd all gone drinking, though I can't remember who the 'all' were at almost five year's remove. All I know is 5X was there, in the Corner Stone, and he was getting very chatty with the girl I keened for, back in that weather. Let's call her 'Gillian', for that is her name to this day.

They were getting very friendly and I was doing my best 'pretend not to give a shit but secretly die a little inside' impression. Whatever way my barren spell falls now, it was much worse back then. I was petrified of getting laid.

They talked, got closer, talked, got closer, kissed. "Fuck." Kissed. "The cunt," I thought, "the all powerful, all-confident, all consuming cunt," I thought.

I stropped out with too much beer taken, and he followed me out on to the stairs.

"I'm really sorry, man, look, it won't happen again."

"Go fuck yourself."

"Hit me, go on, it's grand. Hit me a dig. You'll feel better."

I fled home, pissed off, drunk, pissed off, drunk.

- - -

The next day came. Ireful fucking hangover but there was a match on the telly in County Lucan so we took to the beer, myself and Johnny and Owen. My phone rang, it was a Setanta number.


"Alright Radge, look man, sorry again for last night."

"Fuck it, it's ok. It's my own fault. I should have made a move ages ago."

I was, in fact, ok with it. Sobriety loaned me some perspective, these things happen, not worth falling out with a mate over.

That was all grand, I started drinking, all forgotten. Then a text from 5X.

'So now that everything's cool, can I have her number?'

I could only laugh at the audacity of the man. Pure fucking cheek.

'Get to fuck...' I responded, and he wrote back 'fair enough.'

Then I got to thinking. Then I got to thinking. He doesn't have Johnny's number. This could be... Yes... Brilliant.

About an hour later I texted him back, saying I was being childish, and he could have her number after all. It didn't take him five minutes before Johnny's phone beeped, him thinking he was on for the ride and wanting to set up a date.

For the following week Johnny would regale me with 5X's flirtings, all the while I'd go into work and ask the man himself for progress reports.

- - -

The 'date' was set for April 1st, by sheer coincidence. Johnny had erased his voice message and put Private Number on his phone, and it was all done in text. All coming together.

I walked along Townsend Street and made out 5X's strutting frame in the distance, all leather jacket and cocksuredness as he entered The Long Stone. All coming together.

I met Johnny to discuss tactics in MacTurcaills, a quick pint, then in.

We scoured the downstairs of the Long Stone and there was no sign of 5X.

We walked up the stairs, knowing our prey was about to get a right fucking land, this was going to be pure gold.

We appeared in front of him. He was reading the Herald. He looked at us, looked at his paper again, looked up and down, and said very very quietly, "I knew it was ye cunts. I knew it was ye cunts."

- - -

I got the man a pint, it was 1-1, he paid tribute to our cunning but as the pints turned to many, his calm diminished and diminished until it was no more.

He got as close to violence against me as was possible in Mahaffy's, we were jarred, but instead of my chin it was my phone that took the charge, hurled as it was to the ground in a fit of tumultuous pique.


I understood perfectly.


The daughter of the former rebel leader of Sudan wants a piece of Radge action.

Isn't that good news?

And how do I know this? I set up a new email address for all of you lovely people to get me on the direct line (look to your right) and initially foresook the 'at' and the 'dot' for the proper link.

Cue my first email at said address from herself, saying she has access to 12.6 millions of dollars, but in order to get her hands on it she has to have a 'sponsor' in another country.

It's really very uncomplicated. Once I send her my bank details she'll throw that money straight in there (giving BOI a nice shot in the arm to boot) before she hops on a flight and settles down with me in Radge Central. Actually, fuck that, we'll be able to afford to buy a whole road in Leixlip, or somewhere else anonymous on the commuter belt.

I'm getting 20% of the money too, I should have mentioned that.

Happy days. I'll probably have to give up blogging, so busy will I be with my new love making the grandchildren of the insurrection, but I'll try and log in every now and again just to let you all know how I'm getting on.

Going to head off now and get me in some lobster.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letter to M.

I was always known to say that there was a touch of the Samba about you, as though you were Carlow by accident. Your first touch on the ball, your way with the ladies, THAT jacket. Pure Brazilian magic.

Little old me? Little old me you ask? Well I'm just dandy. Went out for Dave's birthday last night to O'Neills on Pearse Street. An old haunt. It was very bloody merry, with pint after pint of brownest ale sunk in the man's honour.

A strange thing happened. I had just left Ollie to go and search for food, he in a taxi, me wandering drunkenly towards McDonalds when I was stopped by a young lady.

'Radge?' she asked.

I looked around to see the most pulchritudinous lass of my 30 years.

'Oh yes,' I replied. 'And who might you be?'

'I'm J, Lynn's friend. We met briefly before on Dame Street.'

'Ah. J. Yes. How are you doing?'

My better self would have taken this chance of a lifetime and romantically dazzled her, but my real self intervened, awkward and garbling with liquor. She disappeared to the night all too quickly and I went and had a quarter pounder with cheese, lamenting my shitness with very beautiful women.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration (we're still on that)

People of Ireland, first of all let me say what an honour it is to be chosen to lead this great state into what will be difficult times. We will be tested by the current economic environment, we will need to make sacrifices, and we will be forced to write the wrongs of the past to go forward into a future filled with promise.

Challenges must be met but they. will. be. met.

These challenges will be fierce, we need to be strong, but let me tell you this - I will see to it that rugby will be obliterated from our beautiful before my time is up.

No more abbreviations of privately schooled players' names from Clontarf.

No more George Hook.

No MORE Heineken Cup hysteria.



(Pauses for applause)

The road will be long, it will be tough, but together we can reinstitute the League of Ireland as the NATIONAL OBSESSION OF CHOICE!!!

(Pauses for cough in the audience)

Moving on, I have instructed my staff to come up with a ten-point plan to abolish RTE. With a little luck and great perseverence we can consign to the history books such detritus as 'The Big Bow Wow,' as 'Nighthawks,' as 'Tubridy Tonight,' 'Ryan Confidential' and 'Fair City'. RTE's raping of our airwaves will be consigned to the past. Repeat after me - fuck Pat Kenny.


Thank you. Thank you.

This brings me to the final part of my speech, my mandate, my reason for being in this job, and I can tell you now that I have delivered. My aides have just informed me that Amanda Brunker has been isolated and taken to a secure location somewhere between Naas and Athy. It will be my great pleasure to confront the great cancer of our society tomorrow and bear witness to her all too timely demise by dint of firing squad.

This is the reason you have elected me your leader, this is why I am here, this is why I am staying until Ireland, my country, is rid of these odious examples of rectile cuntitude.

I will not rest until my job is complete, this is just the beginning. God bless you all.

(Pauses to hear someone say, 'sorry boss, didn't catch that last bit')

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Wrestler

I saw The Wrestler today.

The sequence where he runs afoul of a staple gun is masterful. Mickey Rourke is discussing with great articulation the moves to come with his opponent, a bookish type who looks for all the world like Stanley Kubrick, before they proceed to knock seven shades of dinner out of each other.

Nicely done and yes indeed, all the scenes with his brethren worked juxtapositional magic, but I wasn't won over by the whole film, so slavishly did it stick to formula.

Yeah yeah, Marisa Tomei's the tart with the heart. Yeah yeah, Evan Rachel Wood is the wronged daughter. Yeah yeah, the little man beats him down 'til he can't takes no more and he has to go for that one last hurrah.

Rourke's charisma made it entertaining, but at the heart was a film carefully choreographed and lacking in genuine tension, much like the sport itself.

Off message.

Why doesn't Barack Obama just get it over with, find the nearest phone box and emerge in Ann Summers' finest with a great big dirty 'S' tattooed on his chest?

Well, that's about as topical as it gets here on Radgery. I wouldn't know the zeitgeist if it sauntered up and asked me where it could buy a brand new, flame grilled recession burger.

No no, I'm on to talk about the windy walk, that time when our souls met kindred for the first time, that first kiss, the first taster of love so visceral...

Wait. Stop. No that's not going to work either. I'm simply jittery with hormonic yearnings. No need to broadcast it to the world. And there was no seminal walk down Howth pier. Stop making shit up, Radge.

Film reviews - Well, I did happen upon 'Definitely Maybe' on Sky Movies earlier, starring Shannon from Home And Away and some lad who looks and sounds just like Jason Lee, but isn't Jason Lee. Ryan Reynolds, that's it.

Oh and the kid from 'Little Miss Sunshine'. Wasn't 'Little Miss Sunshine' a load of tosswank? Anyway, 'Definitely Maybe'. Yeah, I watched 18 minutes of it and I'm never getting it back.

Expressions and bile - Do you know what I fucking hate? 'It does what it says on the tin'. It was fine as an ad, but the amount of dickheads using it out of context, well, it's wearing.

'Yeah, Denilson's a good player. He does exactly what it says on the tin...'

What fucking tin? Where? Show it to me. You can't? No. No you can't.

So, yeah, Obama...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One small step.

'Can someone interview Kevin Moran about Darren O'Dea? His number's here.'

I was on the football today and knew this one was heading my way, hard as I tried to scurry under my desk and hide out beside the phone lines and bins beneath.

Pathetic as it sounds, I haven't interviewed anyone in... well... a long fucking time.

Starting off at this journalism lark I was adept at it. If not quite Jeremy Paxman, I could hold my own against the Eircom League managers and Premiership plodders. An exclusive with the Blackburn club secretary was a high point.

Then we lost contracts and the work became more banal, before I spent three years on the 'entertainment' package which was handy for the film screenings and free gigs.

Following that was a spell in purgatory, writing up TV schedules, until I inched up the ladder to an editorial position that was really just mutton dressed as a copy, paste and edit job.

Treading water.

Knowing that there's only so much bluffing a man can do before his mind gets lost, I recently started a work blog. Football, of course, as it's well within the comfort zone. The boss doesn't mind my words and feedback has been encouraging, so with this in mind I picked up the phone.

No answer. Sweet.

An hour later. No answer. Sweet.

After lunch, one more try and I'm out. He answers. Fuck.


'Yeah ok but can you make it quick?'

I muddled my way through three and a half minutes of easy interrogation on the subject of the Celtic defender, and then the Stephen Ireland controversy of which the entire isle is surely bored to fuck.

It didn't go terribly and I got two news stories out of it, having to listen back to my own idiot voice*, but fuck if I didn't get off that phone a redder and sweatier yet slightly proud radge bastard.

*Am I really a little bit of a posh cunt?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Origin of 'Radge'

So where did the name Radge come from, anyway? I've had to explain it in person many times over, but it never occurred to me to blog it until I replied to a comment from Holemaster earlier, asking him about his own moniker.

I went to Geneva eight years ago with Johnny, over to visit a friend from the 32A days. She had gone to Switzerland to build a career and plot a well-funded insurrection from the cowardly centre of chocolate.

Michelle put us up on her couch, the sharing of which wakes me to this moment screaming, sobbing, gasping for my anal virginity*.

It was a great week. We settled ourselves into our hostess' carefully stocked cabinet while she'd go to work during the day. We'd sit around her magnificently appointed one-bedroom domicile and take our drinks from bottled beer, starting at 10am or earlier if necessary.

Between sups Johnny was reading Irvine Welsh's 'Glue,' written entirely in the man's Scottish vernacular. 'Radge' was used primarily in an adjectival sense, meaning crude or awful or shitty...

'Nae radge cunt is gunnae tek that'...

We'd get drunker and drunker, at one point combining vodka, wine, beer and orange juice, mixing in some Aftershock, in a punchbowl or vase or glorified petri-dish. Straws mandatory for added zip.

The looser tongued we got, the freer Titface would get with the insults towards poor, innocent, inebriated me, affixing 'radge' to his glorious repertoire of vituperative slammings.

It stuck, it came home with us, going on to outlast stories of how Johnny had been raped by Slash from Guns 'N' Roses during our stay. But that's another story.

Eventually it morphed into a noun, and soon the noun became me. It spread to work when Terence came over to 32A one evening and became a 'Radge' convert. Now I respond to it as quickly as I do when I hear my real name, which isn't Vern.

Curiously, very few ladyfriends use it. Emma Nar, for certain, and Elmo from time to time, but generally it's proven one for the lads.

It also explains why I have so many hits from Scotland.

*Disclaimer: Johnny's nae a friggin' radge buffty.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is it Claire or Doris?

This letter was in my post, addressed to my place but not to me. It's been in the hallway for a while now. I eventually decided to open it.

= = =


You'll have to tell Ciarán I won't make it to his mass on Saturday. I feel terrible about it so I do but I wouldn't be able to go.

Doris you and Paddy where (sic) always so kind and so good to me and I thank you again for it but what happened should have stayed quite (sic) because I never meant the house to be a bad thing. I thought and I was maybe, looking back, mistaken that it would put the past behind us.

You and Mary never fixed things and I know we always stayed in contact but I think now we'll have to go or (sic) separated ways. Mary never understood that eaten bread is soon forgotten.

Please pass on my love to Ciarán and I hope that all things go well for him.

Goodbye and all the very best,


= = =

So many questions...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

50 good things.

Turns out the glass was half full after all...

1. Crab. Not crabs.

2. Red wine horizontal.

3. Salzburg.

4. Torres.

5. 'The Gathering'.

6. 'Venus,' and the line about calling around for a little drinky.

7. 5X's laugh, loud and celebratory.

8. Whiskey with my da at all hours.

9. The National's 'City Middle'.

10. This.

11. Fitzpatrick's, Kilcrohane.

12. Erstwhile middlenight sexy time.

13. The apartment on Forbes Quay.

14. Olbas pastilles.

15. 25th May, 2005.

16. Robbie Fowler refusing the penalty against Arsenal.

17. Head down, eyes up.

18. Frosty, clear, cold and dark mornings.

19. Cambozola cheese.

20. The Stag's Head, crossed arms and drinking stout with Skehan.

21. Johnny's regular new insults.

22. Miaows down the phone-line.

23. Dingle Harbour drinking cans.

24. Weddings - the events, not the preamble.

25. New iPod Touch. Cheers Yamo.

26. Maimie.

27. Austrian women. Some of.

28. The hug in the bookshop.

29. St. Peter's Church.

30. Catting.

31. Arguments. Not rows.

32. John Benny Moriartys.

33. Comments on my blog.

34. The story of Twenty Quid that I haven't told yet.

35. The catwalk at work.

36. Sushi.

37. 'The Office,' American. Not English.

38. Radiohead post-OK Computer.

39. Hot Press pre-the last four years.

40. Coffee. Black. Strong. Unsweetened.

41. Me. White. Feeble. Unsweetened.

42. Sarah Gostrangely.

43. Having my own toilet. The things we take for granted.

44. Elmo.

45. 'Heat'.

46. Responsible parenting.

47. The way her eyebrow arches.

48. Secrets.

49. Stout.

50. An Capall Dubh.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Territorial musings.

With my toilet still knackered I procured a key from the property manager for the empty flat upstairs, all ablutive purposes taken care of but in a very makeshift way.

Not ideal for the middlenight pissings, but my ban on all drinks post 10pm have seen me through the night unwakened so far. Tom the plumber is calling tomorrow morning between the hours of 10.30am and 11.30am, so hopefully he'll have shown up by March and I can put this whole shambolic, rim-smashing episode behind me.

So, the flat upstairs.

I was always curious about it and its former inhabitant, a rather sexy Polish sort by the name of Babooshka or something. We never spoke, we'd only awkwardly gesture at the washing machine from time to time but I would have, like, given the chance.

I'd hear noises when she lived there. THOSE noises.

I'd match her thrust for thrust in the squeaking stakes, and became inventive with a stash of helium to maintain the illusion, once my singlehood was redeemed. I assumed her bed was situated directly over mine, a similar lay-out in her flat to my own, the lack of sound-proofing the window to wonderings about how long she could go on and on and on...

She'd smoke out the window as I'd leave my flat, I'd salute and assume it was post-coital given the undulating torrents of whackery just minutes before.

Not so, it turns out, not so.

Upon receipt of the key to this newly abandoned sex den, I had a good look around and noted that the bed was situated in the corner of the living space, like the shittiest of student bedsits and nothing like my two-room palace. Her bed over my living room, yes, but a good ten metres from the spot above my head as I'd sleep.

North of my cot? The bathroom I now frequent to do my quiet business.

This has caused me to wonder, and look, and wonder again while sitting aprop her former pisspot - what the fuck was she doing with that showerhead?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Then I...

While my almost-empty bottle of Eternity remains intact, the ceramic rim of my toilet took an awful shattering on Friday afternoon. I dropped the former on the latter, you see, and was surprised to see the damage inflicted.

Fucking massive chunks of former toilet on the floor.

Then I flushed it to see what would happen. Deluge.

Then I mopped it up with a towel that stinks like fuck now. It's in the utility room going rank as I type.

Then I took the only respectable course of action left to me. I went into town and got drunk.

Then I came home, pissed in the garden under cover of darkness, and sent a text message.

Then I uncorked a bottle of Faustino V.

Then I...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Apparently another dating mishap.

She wrote good mails, did Gemma. She amused me for her lack of textese and tales of her Polish roommate, who stole crisps that didn't belong to her and fiddled with herself openly.

I agreed to meet her, fearing this one could turn into something.

There's 'how wrong can a man be?' and then there was Gemma.

She was late, I was stood outside Tower Records like a spare prick before someone who could, might, be her roved into view. It wasn't her. The pattern repeated itself until she was in front of my face while I was busy composing a Plan B text message, and we headed for Dakota.

She was drinking vodka and white and I was on the pints. This was before the days where I learned a pre-date sup was the way to go, so I was nervous, sweating and dying for a piss.

I left the drinks at the table and headed for the jacks, composed myself and walked back to the table affecting some sort of stupid swagger.

She had half her drink gone in the two minutes it took me to unzip, unleash and unwind.

Fair enough, I figured, she's nervous too. We chatted inanely about weddings and the Polish twat, who liked to masturbate furiously in the presense of hot leg wax.

(No, me neither.)

I was waiting for the ice to break. And waiting. And waiting. I got her in another drink even though I was only half-way through my pint, and waited. Nothing.

As happens with these things, when uncomfortable I try to switch on the funny, but no funny would come. Just her half-smirks and eye rolling, like she couldn't wait to be thrust in the face with a brick.

Christ, I thought, I'll have to get drunk. I'll have to get royally drunk.

The bar again. Me buying the drinks, again. A chaser for me. A 'cunt cocktail' for her.

She had showed up without a jacket, wearing a dark top and trousers that seemed not to allow for a purse or even a Laser card. She was one of those, not even an offer of a gargle for me.

Fuck that.

We talked about her family, her dog, her job, her exes, her experiences online. When I reciprocated, the eye-rolling and the distance-into-looking. Bitch.

Four pints and a whiskey in I'd had enough. I pretended my phone was vibrating.

"Sorry, I have to take this."

I turned away but made sure she could still hear me.

"You're what, Ollie.... Sorry, I can't... You're breaking up. OK I have you now.

"So, you're on a fucking disastrous date and you want me to come and save you? Let me think for a sec... Right. See you in twelve minutes at the appointed place."

I ended the call.

"I'm sorry about this. I have to go."

"I know. I heard. Bit of a cunt, aren't you?"

"I try to be. Enjoy your drink. Here's a tenner."

And I went to meet the lads in Mulligans.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Not everything literal, not everything literary either.

I pass her in the hall in Griffith, this person that used to work with me in Kays. She's a lecturer now, I presume, she has that air to her as she walks towards me all busy and carrying.

I am a lecturer too, I reason. Isn't this nice. Sympatico. We've done alright, I reason, I'll say hello.

"Hi Jackie." I give her my friendliest smile.

"Hi..." and she walks straight past me. Rushing, carrying, not stopping.

Maybe she doesn't recognise me? Hardly. We worked together for two years, talked each week, sat down to lunches together.

Maybe she left that part of her life behind forever, that coleslaw-making, customer-friendly, kitchen-toiling part of her old life that she doesn't want to acknowledge.

They may have been her bad times, her 2000 rags to the 2009 riches.

I see her life.

In getting her degree she concludes the pursuit of happyness and takes herself on to a Masters and scholarly glory and, finally, to becoming an academic with hair frizzier than when I first knew her.

Were she to say hello, hold a proper conversation with this relic from the serving days, would the cosmos intervene and launch her back to those dirty fucking dishes?

Probably not. Thinking on it now, not everything is literary, she's just an ignorant bitch.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


"You know it will be different this time, don't you? You know you gave it up too easily last time, the four months killed if off, you were never the same. Never the same. You didn't care and that showed...

Antipathy to it. The man don't give a fuck but left it way too early. Remember when you gave it a chance? Thrived for a while. Thrived for months and then you thrived too much, got too comfortable before the gnawing started and you opted out, the very second that happened.

It's different now, they're not all idiots. Some, maybe most, but not all. Do it again and tell us the stories and write about it. Show your fucking bones."

No I fucking won't.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


My name is Radge, and I went to Belvedere College.

Hi Radge.

OK that wasn't so hard, I've been messing with that confession for quite some time now. I went into it at 12-years-old hoping for 'Dead Poets Society.' What I got was 'Renards - The Early Years.'

Those years were marked out thusly:

1st year - One Grammar Loyola
2nd year - Three Syntax Loyola
3rd year - Two Syntax Loyola
4th year - One Syntax Loyola
5th year - Poetry Loyola
6th year - Rhetoric Loyola.

We were hard, we Loyolans. Barry Donlon once lit a match in class, and another time we arranged all the desks back to front before the sub walked in. Hard fucking out.

I remember the accents around me at thirteen and the sheer fucking annoyance of it. Lads from Killiney affecting their toughest Darndale brogue, only for their soft 't's to give them away.

I wasn't unpopular but I wasn't popular either. In moments of weakness I'd sidle up to the cool kids and laugh in all the wrong places before being told to fock awf, but for the most part I was happy thinking of the outside, with an equally perplexed group of three.

I hated the teachers who were all about the school and nothing else. I respected those that clearly came in to pay the bills and would leg it out the school gates at 3.30 to drink or be with their families. "Extra-curricular activities? Fuck you on about?" DZZZZNNNNG. "I'm out of here."

There were bright spots. I hold two of my classmates close even if I only see them once a year or thereabouts, and it bred in me a healthy hatred of rugby that serves me to this day.

And there was Paul Bermingham, our Latin teacher, an inspiring and terrifying man. No more chilling a phrase than 'take out a page from an ordinary-sized copy' have I heard uttered since. It meant test time, and time for me to fuck up my nouns from my verbs.

"Annus, Anne, Annum..." fuck fuck "...Anni, Anno, Anno?"

"Very good, 'Radge,' but you learned that three years ago. GIVE ME A FUCKING GERUND BEFORE I GO FUCKING POSTAL."

Shite sir, I'm all out.

"See me after class."

In my second year parent-teacher meeting I was described as a 'phenomenal' Latin student. By sixth, I 'could' get a C. I reddened more and more every year when he'd look my way, it was shit.

He cared, that was his problem, he cared about more than rugby and the yearly opera, which was really just a school play, but they called it an opera.

You see?

Around this time last year I met Colm on the street. I barely knew him in school but he recognised me.

"What are you doing with yourself?"

"I'm working for Setanta, pays the bills, standard response, you know? You?"

"Oh I'm a stockbroker or something. Or maybe a solicitor. I can't remember. Anyway, are you going to the reunion?"


"Yeah all the buds are going to be there. Girv, ROG, Geordan, BOD..."

"Are you naming rugby cunts?"

"Well we're all the one really, aren't we fnar fnar fnar fuck I'm after getting froth on my tie. Anyway, yah, here's my number beside the 'ccino stain on this napkin. Call me to sort, yah?"

"Yeah, yeah, that seems like... yeah."


"Good luck."

Luckily, there was a bin nearby.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


"But I'm not tiiiiired..."

"You are. You're exhausted. You've been rubbing your eyes for the last half an hour. Get up those stairs."

"Ten more minutes."


"Ten more minutes. Pleeeeease."

"You know the deal. Glenroe is finished, bed!"

(Coughs) "I don't feel very well."

"What's wrong with you?"

"I think I'm sick. I know you won't believe me but I was feeling sick all day."

"You weren't sick when we went to Blake's."

"Yeah I was but I didn't want to say anything."

"You ate all your dinner. You didn't seem very sick to me."

"I didn't want to leave it because you were paying for it. Thanks?"

"That won't work."


(Feels forehead): "You're fine."

(Simpering): "I'm NOT fine! If I faint tomorrow in school it'll be your fault!"

"If you're so sick you should be in bed."

"And if I'm still sick tomorrow?"

"We'll see."

(Under breath): "Yes!!!"

Saturday, January 03, 2009


A formidable woman, my mother.

So formidable, in fact, that she's taken to switching on her interweb machine, typing in, hitting the 'post a comment' button and disguising herself as Maimie.

I just rang her to confirm. She's a born actress, feigned complete ignorance for a minute or two, before repeating back the comment she left in the small hours of the morning. To describe her ensuing laugh as maniacal would be to understate the cackle.

She got me. She knew it. Fuck.

I thought of inventing a drug addiction or a life threatening illness to write about, but that wouldn't be subtle enough. No no. I'll seek retribution otherwise. May she be warned!

Friday, January 02, 2009

What's in that box on the floor?

Eight people tried to convince me it was Friday today. It isn't. It's fucking Monday again. I won't be moved on this.

The 0ffice was empty yesterday. The chickenheads returned this morning. Monday. Don't try and tell me otherwise.

Despite all this, the longest working week known to man, I'm in topmost spirits. Work was better than most days, Christmas has dissolved to its busy bastard past and I'm left with just the words and better times ahead. I like the lack of complication, me.