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.


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


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


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.


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...

Monday, July 13, 2009


Me: I don't know how I'd tell them.

Her: How you'd tell them what?

Me: My folks. I don't how I'd tell them that I'm... y'know...

Her: No. I don't know.

Me: Even telling you is really hard, and you're one of the most easy going people I know.

Her: You can tell me anything. You know that.

Me: I've never been able to tell my parents that I'm.... straight.

Her: Holy fuck!

Me: Yeah, it's true. I fancy women. I love women. Fuck, it feels so good to say it out loud.

Her: Your parents would understand.

Me: No they fucking wouldn't.

Her: Look. They love you. They'll accept you for what you are. You're just going to have to be honest with them.

Me: But, I mean, my father... my father's father before him.... All gays. There's no way they'd get it.

Her: I'd come with you, for moral support.

Me: You're joking, aren't you? First of all I tell them I'm straight, then they see me with you! I would never put you through that. Fuck it, I wouldn't put myself through it.

Her: Well, I'm here if you need me. I'm a bit shocked, myself... But, y'know, it'll be ok. There are plenty of straight bars around. It's nothing to be ashamed of nowadays.

Me: Thanks. You've been a rock through this entire ordeal.

The tricolour woman

Those fucking portaloos, is it any wonder I never frequented Oxegen or Witness or Glastonbury or Woodstock or the Newport Folk Festival? It is not.

I missed 'The Ghost Of Tom Joad,' missed the opportunity to drift off into the world of my 15-year-old leafing through 'The Grapes Of Wrath' looking for symbolism.

Instead I was eating greasy chips and two sausages that had been recooked 17 times, queueing with the other ponchos in the pissings of rain.

I offered a chip to the couple in front of me. She took one, he didn't, he just glared at me, like the proffering of potato-subsitute to his missus was an invite to coitus.

He left her there, though, heading back to his seat and I got talking to his better, blonder half.

"I'm 27," she said, shaking my hand. "I'm dying for a piss."

I think she was drunk.

"I'm 30," I replied. "I had one too many banana daiquiries."

Nothing from her.

"The gig's shite, isn't it? I don't even like Bruce Springsteen."

"Ah, no, I think it's good. I just wish this fucking queue wasn't so long."

A girl fell out of our kabin, puke trailing down her face and a muddle on her shoes.

"Holy fuck," said the girl. "I don't think we should use that one."

"Well I'm not queueing again."

She looked me up and down.

"Are you single?"

"Come again?"

"Are you here with someone, like? I'm from Monaghan."

"Yeah I'm here with someone. Was that not your fella?"

"Yeah, my husband," she told me. "I was just asking, like. I'm from Monaghan."

"Well that explains.... nothing at all really. Want to finish my chips?"

She took them, she ate them greedily.

"Does he not feed you?"

Again, she didn't laugh.

"Ach, he's in shite form. Leave him off. We've been fightin' all day. What's your name?"

"Radge. What's yours?"

"Elaine. Radge is a funny name. You don't look Indian."

"Well, Michael Jackson didn't look black, did he?"

Again, she didn't laugh.

"My husband would kill me if he saw me talking to you. He gets very jealous."

Nothing from me.

We got to the top of the queue, I wished her luck. Aeons later and she was still inside, I'd grown a beard in my standing, so I gave her a knock. The door opened and she reappeared, her green face off-setting her golden hair nicely.

"Oh look, you're a tricolour!"

She laughed at that one.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Status Report

I've just finished watching 'Burn After Reading'. What a steaming puddle of piss that film is. I should have learned my lesson after 'Intolerable Cruelty'.

Moving on, and things are looking up on the job front/redundancy front/me feeding my addiction to cheap (and crap) DVDs front, more of which anon because I'm not about to jinx the fucker.

It's a doler's life for me, I've been busily exploring avenues of employment and the pubs of Dublin with relish. One begets the other. I'm off to the RDS tomorrow night to see if Bruce Springsteen can hold a candle to the Funderland of my formative years, I've barely been back since.

And, well, that's all really. This really has just been one long Facebook status report. My apologies.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Death By Chocolate

A man has died in New Jersey after falling into a vat of melting chocolate.

Yep, I'm only writing this so I can use that headline.

= = =

Post Scriptum: A quick Google search and The Mail got in there before me. Another reason to hate the bastards.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fairfield Road

I was on Fairfield Road last night, visiting a friend of mine who still lives there, the street I grew up on.

You probably know it. Drive from Phibsborough towards Glasnevin, head down Botanic Road and it's down there on your right with a Bank Of Ireland as a landmark. You've probably passed it.

I haven't been down there much lately, maybe twice or three times in the five years since I left the area. Feels like longer. It was quiet last night and I was slightly annoyed I didn't get to meet any of the old neighbours.

"What are you doing with yourself?"

"Well, I'm still in Seta... actually, no, I'm not. I have to stop telling people that. I'm dolerising. You?"

Nobody was about though.

I wanted to kick a ball into the Leahy's garden, knock on the window and run away. I wanted to do a knick-knack on Leo's house next door. I wanted to give my one fingered salute to Donal Gunn across the road. I wanted to run and trip and bleed, just very slightly. I wanted to knock into Kev's to see if he was playing heads and volleys or last man back. I wanted to see my grandmother walking down the street from her sitting room window, looking stately and careful in her beige coat.

I rang Austin's bell, many things the same as when his family lived there. The back garden with toys for his brothers' children, where we used to convene and kick each other accidentally.

He told me about the neighbours, who has been scandalised by this and that, who has died or moved out and the people that have taken their place. I went outside to the front for another look. The trees that were never there before and nobody stirring, still.

I left close to 1am, drunk, walking up to the bank on the right-hand side and in a certain split second I was seven, I was 12, I was 22, I was home.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ollie's 30th

I'm supping in Dick Mack's snug, starting it all off, inviting drunkenness.

I'm eating monkfish and toasting Oliver.

I'm falling a little bit in love with a barefooted chanteuse.

I'm requesting Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore from Fergus O'Flaherty who lives on Grey's Lane.

I'm whirring and stomping and moving on to the whiskey.

I'm handing over my jacket in a deluge, lamenting immediately my chivalry.

I'm applying the shirt to the hand-dryer, naked from the waist up.

I'm being filmed dancing a foxtrot with unsolicited hands on my arse.


I'm waking up, cursing my exit after one spectacular night.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Who knew?

Who knew unemployment could be so all-consuming?

I've been harassing and emailing and updating and replenishing and queueing and form-filling-outing and unionising and...

Fuck, even that sentence took more out of me than my last three months of work and I'm sure it was a bitch to read, too.

I take my leave tomorrow for a couple of days down the country, spending my few remaining shekels in Dingle and Limerick and Kilkenny before I return to the great unhoovered carpet that lies underfoot.

Who has the time for vacuuming? WHO?

I need to cook now. Another fucking 'ing'.