Perhaps reader I am one among a pregnant myriad of the Guinness fed, red faced, bellicose cattle – an Irishman bloated and soggy, inured to a faux glow of mirth and jollity. The emigrés who’ve already left Dublin in search of a more rewarding life elsewhere are those who are wise to the ruse we’ve been sold at ‘home’; that we are a nation of convivial participants, of a genial, collaborative nature. This is entirely untrue. Give us a bellyful of cheap stout and cheap food and we’re content to adopt the tag of the mildly drunk, the playfully cantankerous, the cheeky Irish, content to sit discreetly in the corner flicking clichés in your eye.  A perniciously divisive society, unintegrated, agitated, boorish and drunken. What’s not to love? External observers applaud our spirited (spirit falsely roused by a savage, liquid malevolence: alcohol), concrete bonds with our fellow Irish men and women, our ungovernable smiles and our unbreakable fondness towards back-slapping social outings, conversation, sports of all kinds and that most ancient of sonic affections, music.  And reader – on top of that, perhaps I am one noisy mouth among a gelatinous, milky slew of opinionated young men with an internet connection, a whirring, eyeless laptop and an opinion full of bile, torque and false claw. I don’t claim to write anything transcendentally life changing; I didn’t invent scented soap, the Swedish complexion or the French riviera; my views are simple, modest and rooted in a literary philosophy which I shall clutch dearly throughout my writing life. And having elucidated thus, I will recount to you in the most illustrative way it is possible for a man of mortal transience to, of the first time I left in search of this most of elusive carrots; local, common prosperity.

Steady now, I am sensing edginess.

It all sprang to mind that I should document my young adult life when it fell deftly upon my conscience, like drops of rain on a dry sundial, that I as a Dubliner endlessly analyse all things social – be they funny, horrid or innocuous. Irishmen have always been favourable towards a good chat or a good story, and I feel in our current post Celtic puppy atmosphere, the responsibility rests needily on the shoulders of young artists to fossilize this most historic of times for Ireland, so as our future generations can both recoil and exalt at this peculiar, frightening coridoor in our recent Irish history. And it is as thus that I shall begin.

You’re using social media, don’t forget. A most transparent yet paradoxically perishable means of arsenal.

My veritable Dubliner taxi driver was a quintessential, run of the mill Billy Two Shoes. From the off he announced punchily with a commanding emphysemic croak, “Howryeddoign”, his wet vocals sounded abused by a diet of old betting pencils, cold chrome flasks, erupting brimful with a sludge, cartons of damp Major and a rare egg or two. His name was Larry Macstannardgrammlypordge and his threatened throat spluttered like a clogged squid – “Ah jayz, ye can finish yer smoke there mate, there’s no hurry.” “Ah, you are very kind, thank you.”, I replied. I stood and dragged under his white gaze, somewhat queasy given the late hour.  His stoic patience, which he persisted to display struck me as socially incongruous as the toweringly adjacent lamplight outside my drive which treacled sonorously upon his honest yet horrific gait glowed upon him with a beatific radiance, an inverted concept of his own saintliness registered within me. He is the Drimnagh Messiah. His glory shone upon me and all surrounding wildlife. He was to be my destined escort to the most glorious of contemporary portals; the right honourable Dublin airport. He surely would have vaildated my want toward a pack of twenty of the finest cigarettes available to man were I to begin to puff; his eyes bulging, engrossed in a psychedelic nicotine rapture like some crazed and woebegone toad, a lunatic of the pulsing, bruised night.

Easy now, steady on.

I with my modest and slender self rolled cigarette (most economical practice in a recession) could not obilge such a strange riddle and so adopted a rapid, quickfire smoking technique; I felt it would have been a doomed, yet fascinating experiment to explore his attitude towards social brevity even further, and duly stymied our departure; regarding his dark, molten eyes as they burned into the ground like seething, cheap chocolate. Drooling maltesers. This is precisely what one can not find in other European cities; you wouldn’t get that in any other city. Whatever that is, says you. Yes, quite. I did, however dial for the cab before. Perhaps this gives you special dispensation to condescendingly stymy your latent departure for as long as you like. Not really, no. “Don’t worry mate, finish War and Peace and we’ll be off, there’s no rush like.” “Well thank you very much, I was going to baste this pheasant in a rare strain of Afghani marmalade that I recently shot in a field not far from where you’re standing.” Or; “Take your time man! I enjoy raw creme brulée just as much as the next man” or, “Softly pet this orphan goose. His mother left him under a bridge, and he was not far off death before I nobly discovered his bleeding chin.” An unlikely parlance. And so, he took my belongings with crooked panache ” Take yer time buddy, I’ll just get yer suitcase for ye there.” “Thank you very much, you are very kind.” A most amiable man. He gripped my orange suitcase and placed it neatly in the dark boot. You may get that in another city, but not in the manner with which this old biscuit did it. It was like watching a golden virus consuming my suitcase in a firm yet ancient way, as if the contents of my bag may be valuable and not as they were; containing meek and banal paraphernelia such as odd and permeable socks, ashenbluewhite shirts, some aftershave (bad odour is considered abhorrent in Paris), important books, and other rudimentarily gloomy garb. He fondled my bounty like a coarse Corkman would nurse a sickly blind lamb, or a prize fighting boxer would deign to console a dazed butterfly with a scuffed wing after a boozy encounter with a twig. “You’re very kind”, I said. “No bother at all”, he said. And sure wasn’t it no bother to him or I at all.

A most aggressive departure.

Having not buckled us in, Larry accelerated to 15o mph with his assumably massive club foot. The Drimnagh Saint: a powerful and respected man. He thus inquired as to my relationship with existentialism. “You back to reality then, eh pal?” Having been taken aback by his forceful questioning I had to adjust my teeth to respond to his fuzzy conundrum, bemoaning the ramps on Orwell park impertinently in order to gather a suitable response; “they’re a pain in the arse aren’t they? “Some aren’t as bad as this, but these are particularly frustrating”, he snipped, registering that I had adroitly dodged his line of enquiry, a trifly aggressively might I add, considering the late hour of 3am and the fact we had only just gone through the preliminaries of facile cab parlance, whatever they may be. (sic) ‘The right honourable Bjorn Stimmelswerg has posited  topics such as the mendaciously ancestral origins of two legged domestic pets, Meso-American architecture, and the relative venerability of pre-Raphaelite topographical landscape paintings as permissible vehicular parlaying taboos. Stimmelswerg meanwhile insists that to broach the subject of European philosophy is considered a heinous and rotten offense among what he suggests are the easily peeved cab drivers of contemporary Tel-Aviv).  I indulged his obtuse philosophical ponderings nonetheless. “I am just considering the beauty of Dublin by night.”, I replied.  In the mirror I saw that his countenance had faltered, and palsy slowly crept across his face like poison savaging the face of a small hen or like when a brown wig falls off the head of an unsuspecting priest at a funeral. His drowsy psychological reach had clearly only extended as far as Payne or Locke rather than Keats or Marvell,  as he had no doubt intended, leaving me in a right figgy spot, having convoluted both conversational propositions in my snoozy, wine filled head. He reassembled his cheeks and nose which had fallen off his head momentarily, and his round pink face opened: “Ah, sure it’s all grand in anyway.” “Ah yes quite,quite.” I replied tersely, lest  I be held responsible for his premature retirement from the cab trade, let alone my very own assault, as I sensed our muddled conversation had left within him an injurious compunction to flee the taxi! To jump into the fructuous hedges of Dartry yonder, leaving me stranded in a moving vehicle..with a heart full of l’amour, clutching un billet pour Paris.. all because..perhaps.. his wife Annie had always said he had a great gift for understanding and connecting with people – whatever their age or cog.’ The right honourable maiden of the impervious Drimnagh Saint. ‘You’ve got a real way with people Lar, so you do.’, she’d presumably say. ‘One of the tings dat really attracted me to ye at the begginin’. It’s yer way with wurds…yev really got, I dunno lyk, a grasp on t’English languij.’

The fugue ascends.

Having regained his consciousness, Lar found the terminal and regarded me finally with a glance which witheld savage torrents of putrid self-loathing. Graciously reader, I was informed recently by an associate that Lar had returned to work the next morning wearing a green smock with a child’s schoolbag with the number 8 scrawled on the rear in aggressive red industrial paint, and in full confidence handed in his resignation. The last that was heard of him, I have on most honourable account, vouchsafe, was that he was in Rio de Janeiro and became involved in anachronistic 1970’s disco agenda, had become engaged to be married to a member of the Brazilian monarchy, a man of 7’11: Homem. Mendinho Carlinhos Bombanho Ofloxixonsisisisi. Their wedding was purportedly a grand failure, as was anticipated by the Brasilien bourgeoiseé, as the cake was set upon by a jealous ex-lover of Mendinho’s, one Japetson Fullagullapum, who seized upon the sugary treasure and devoured the cake whole, shocking the guests of the celebration, of which there were none.

Hunger.

Muddy Dublin comes to me in lucid gusts which causes that peculiar bone behind my ear to twitch.  On one innocuous weekday I was purchasing some delicious white mushrooms and several boneless lumps of chicken and was horrified when I saw what kind of pinky band-aid plaster hue each pallid tranche of poultry boasted – a disconcerting shade of whitepink, which only a man bereft of agricultural principles would dare to lick, sniff, nuzzle or nibble – let alone chew, screw or swallow. They arrived with an exclamatory message ; “Superquinn badge of authenticy”, with a picture of a disfigured yet benign, smiling farmer on the outer packaging as if to affirm he was personally in charge of slitting each clucking animal’s throat individually and with sadistic relish. My mind twirled in febrile, dissolute bemusement so I plucked for a tub of the right honourable and venerable chickpea hummus, a stick of dry, seeded bread and a packet of Serrano ham and olives with Feta cheese.   A befitting lunch for a man with thirst of stomach and hunger of mind.

It’s hard to penetrate the collective feeling of displeasure in an Irish supermarket, wherein shoals of young men toil monotonously , wearing on their pinched faces the candour of malnourished grim lizards. Suffused with labour, morosely unwrapping innumerable  packages, their minds lost in sheets of clingphilm and tinfoil, their hands slowly metamorphosing into cabbage and sausages because this is what they touch every day, their wives comprised solely of jam and celery. An easy marriage: cheap gowns. Gerry O’Xudraogogo, the right honourable Butcher of Mt.Merrion renown, has now become part lamb as he cuts it for display every morning. His constant contact with the meat has resulted in hooves growing where the back of his knees should be, prompting relatively serious derision from his wife to which he brushes of as “mere whinging, she’s always at me for want of a traditional husband, bleedin’ pain in the neck so she is”. It has been recently relayed to an associate of mine, working with those poor unfortunates in Head Office who are saying it’s time for Gerry to be put down, to pack it in; that is, to be shot in the face at point blank range with a gun and his delicious hinds sold off into the black market. Few other solutions have been posited. Although and however PiotrKlskjks, a Polish member of staff,put forward the idea of allowing Gerry roam free in the wild planes of Wicklow, when the metamorphosis had fully devoured him, and truth be known there are currently a tribunal of the country’s finest legal minds dealing with the case since this came to press.

A most peculiar fog.

The floor staff continue to toil, the elves of the machine, waggling their swipe card keychains, mauling their telephones in order to make all items materialize from nothing – a trick learned in the necromantic chambers of Tesco HQ. Oh, the dark doldrums? Have you been? Well, have you ever seen a banana levitating on Tesco, Fleet Street? I cannot say that I have had the luxury. It is there, I assure thee. Right, and could you vouchsafe….The body odour which festers and permeates after such toilsome work could only be described as a crude, polygamous hybrid of the yellow scum on a bawdy badger’s larynx borne after a long night growling at ships in Cobh, or if distilled, the cottled moss that curdles on the underside of an incontinent pensioners girdle. I have it on good authority that this stuff would blind your sister’s uncle. When the accusation was put forward to a member of staff, Séamus, 19, from Cabra (irrelevant), simply denied any association with his armpits let alone his corporeality en masse. As you say, Dublin is a smelly auld hoor.

And what is to be said for the barren lands?

This is of course, not to mention the bleeding, weeping farms which cradle the recently childless mothers, the mothers whose husbands fell among the drink and sons leapt gleefully to America, to nuzzle at her liberal golden bosom, to find the prospects farer than the fallow state of Ireland’s very own economy. “And what jobs can you do son, are you fresh out of college, another spiky Gaelic raggamuffin, or a leprechaun with a pint and a stick and a foul mouth?” “I’m a degree in agricultural science from UCD” “That’s you have son, you have.” “Ah sure, yeah exactly, that’s what me Ma says when she’s out the back with the milk and the butter and that akhfljhfljhdfjhldhlfa!.” “…..welcome aboard!” And so there they have it. They’re gone. To the salubrious harbours of Australia and America without even the slightest perusal of their aptitude or the slightest peek at their cog- alarmed as the authorities would be to find it equal to that of a photograph of David Platt, or a half eaten chipstick, some brown gravel, or a sock full of old Victorian biscuits.

Yes – from Boston to Queensland, the Irish have flown the nest and spread their wings gaily, carrying the tradition of John-Joe from the bog who revolutionized the organic poultry exports of the respectable plains of Indiana, receiving hearty slaps on the back each night in his local, “The Venereal Shrub”, as he necked his 19th pint of lager, his anecdotes becoming less and less intelligible, sounding more like underhand, slurred hexes against humanity as the night wore on. Or speak to me of  the cascading windfalls Ristéard the Brute of Roscrea made as his commerce degree from UCG catapulted him into a position of noticable acclaim in the boardrooms of Manhattan’s lingerie sector – ‘who knew Irish men had such a discerning eye for women’s negligé?’ ‘I couldn’t believe it – his discerning eye for, and adroit mastery of cup sizes is a revelation!’, his dazzled colleagues were quoted as saying.

Well friend, emigration does happen and it is part of my life too. I myself chose Paris for what I feel are her abundances of pleasure, thrill and mystery. But I digress… as I say, we are very good as a people, at exploiting our domestic history at her peaks and troughs. This “gathering” scheme, this “gathering” plot..this ruse..is a ghastly idea, truly ghastly. The less said about that the better I feel.  Ok, I’ll go on. The word gathering has such spiritual connotations. ‘Gather round and I will tell you how to serve banoffi pie with a comb. “Gathering” is nonsense. Those who are emigrating are an upwardly mobile breed of ambitious, confident, gregarious and suave young Irish adults – this is something to be proud of, to promote our people’s will to embrace a temporary exodus, not begrudge or bleat about like a Sheep whining just because her offspring are supple enough to hurdle the old fence to taste the sumptuous flora that are in the other field. Labelling it “The Gathering” is a pitious distress call to all of Ireland’s expatriots. Gathering around damp sandwiches in Grogan’s on a bleak Thursday lunchtime with pints of amphetamine strength Guinness is nobody’s idea of patriotic pageantry let alone a ‘homecoming’. What’s the manifesto, why should we stay, bud? “Just sayin” a recently sinful, confused depiction of Dublin as an odious, knife to the heart symphony of take-away restaurants, illiterate slogans and depressed, stubbly pill heads and alcoholics with “kewl” wurking class accents. Get on the buzz, bud. We’re all Dub’s man, yer missin’ out. Right, that’s me done. I’m off, there’s me bus, g’luck.  We should be encouraging the exploration of Europe and beyond, learning second and third languages, seeing how other cities operate with actual functioning transport systems, respected government bodies and an active, switched on young electorate, spatially aware architects (Dublin’s docklands prostitutes her wares of faux-modern chrome mortuaries and desolate, disconnected urban dwellings, bereft of nightlife, integration and a flagship theatre that looks like an frustrated spaceship rather than any kind of cradle of art or culture)  multi-racial, exciting cities which, when embraced, are denigrated as snatching Ireland’s bestest and brightest minds. What’s the reason to stay? Give me a reason to stay please. Dundrum shopping centre, crass, consumerist mecca’s such as the recent despicable piss-pit on Dublin’s most promising area, ( I refer to the unpardonable teen clitoris chamber Abercrombie & Fitch), and the media impose an insidious guilt complex on the nations graduates – of whom I consider myself a part of. “Oh…you’re leavin, well, don’t be comin’ back anytime soon, you’ve toorned yer back on the country and ye left when she needed ye the most..” As if stewing in an Argos tent in front of central bank in some sort of lobotomised political gesture, when in reality you would be sleeping in a tent in a field if this economic mess wasn’t happening you just have nowhere to go and can’t read, speak or write because the nation neglected you in the first place, and forgot to brush your teeth, wipe your hole and wrap up your mickey so, God forbid, yer missus doesn’t wiggle out any more doomed cretins. “De economy is fuckked man…dirr’s no jobs n evrybody’s leavin’….shite it is………..any pills?” -this quote was taken by an honourable colleague of mine from a spokesman from last years, but lingeringly fetid, occupy Dame St. campaign. If the country is sinking, get out fast and don’t come back until the salmon fumée is in your mouth and Moet Chandon is being poured on your man breasts. Don’t come back until the next boom, you deserve it. How long is one supposed to stare at a decaying nightlife, a null and void transport system and a gastro-culture headed by egg headed sperm socks like the (sorry to say it) skull shatteringly ubiquitous Dylan McGrath.

This is the thing, we are a nation of hedonists. We adore pleasure, we simply inject it incorrectly and it gets lodged in our tear ducts. We define it as the “craic”. Catholic Rejection And Insatiable Craving. The French have a sussed state of mind, and earned it on a plausible base of merit and pastoral balance, as the French are known for. But the recent Irish generation could be considered decadent indulgents during the period of the Boom to principles of an extortionate, fraudulent, corrupt and civically negligent régime which excoriated the housing market, leaving students at an immediate disadvantage, not only in the prosaic sense but in the sense of dreams, wishes, aspirations – that tingling, hair on the back of your neck stuff which sparks the synapses of any young person. The Irish economy finally soiled himself in front of his denizens when he was asked to show his receipts. Mirroring the behaviour of a child who smeared the ice cream all over his face, he opened his purse to reveal lint and straw. Like the dishonourable loans manager Jim Scullion, comatose after the few too many dthrops of Tullamore Dew, recently deposited dry poo in his socks, only to be escorted ignominiously from the conference by his mortified secretary Saoirse, who wept diarrhea; a one time loans manager of a once influential Irish bank. The Lachrymose Demise of Ireland’s Dalliance With Affluence. It ended here, with a final, abrupt odour.

A continued embarrassment.

As I discussed with the honourable O.T O’Flaherty, is there is something deeper, more ancestral that informs this existence of the “craic”. As a postcolonial city –  a former pantheon of Anglican pomp and demure, which Dublin rightfully should still be thought as in some respects – the British foot and hand print embossed on our soft old bricks is discernable in our squares and in our parks, from Mountjoy Sq. to Merrion Sq. the podgy hand of the mildly inebriated Brit can still be felt. Touch it, it is soft and feels like raw pork wrapped in flour and placed in a white bag. And as I was discussing with the right honourable R.T O’Sullivan, as was his want, perhaps during the 90’s, there was an impulse to eliminate these previously repressed impulses and the obsequious servility we were civically obliged to exhbit in the past was thumped into dust by our new fiscal ebullience and monetary independence. We were the neo-Celts, the sophisticated, fizzy Celts who wore suits, ate more than just yellow mash and hoof, and could afford Maseratis, pallets of esoteric French wine and saunter through the city with grams of cocaine and credit cards. Our fusty historical deference to les gens de la Grande Bretagne was no more, at least that’s perhaps as we felt, and we were free to carelessly imbibe as much stout, beef or sambuca as we liked, without remorse or recourse.  Perhaps, as K.Bundon has suggested to me over many a grim pint of stout, ‘the dissolving of these ancestral factors play a part in why our current Irish generation are a nation of hedonistic seeking emigrés. A gushing diaspora of brilliant musicians, engineers, scientists, designers, writers, artists and architects who are looking after their own excitable desires in their chosen adopted nations.’ People still think I’m British when I’m abroad. “You don’t really have an accent”, they say. And as I say, Ireland will always be home – with out without the accent – but the larder is empty at the moment and smells like a dead rat’s hole.

Reasons for, or possible remedies to, anxiety and fear.

And so along came the new-wave. Riverdance, Boyzone, Bulmers, Bushmills on ice, Father Ted, Graham Norton, Irish Rugby, Matt Holland , Terry Wogan, Provincial Rugby (please take a seat, right honourable Jarlath Moriarty from Limerick), Saipan, U2, The Frames, Damien Rice, Mary Robinson’s benevolent face, Just-Eat.ie, Vomit on Harcourt Street, Craicmopolis, Burrito’s, Polish diffidence and the rest. Perhaps reader, this encapsulates Ireland’s new, outward looking philosophy, as a way of compensating for our previously parochial manifesto which, I can’t assert with surity, I wasn’t there, seemed to prioritize chastity, abstemiousness, a tenacious devotion to an invisible force, crying during the Angelus because of Micheal, sending letters to estranged relatives with An Post stamped with the tears produced as a result of grey, unending loneliness, the Gaa, pints of guilty stout, slip roads unveiled by triple chinned duplicitous politicians, Daniel O’Donnell’s voice, the Angelus, Dana, confused disdain for homosexuality, flippant, vehicular racism, promulgation of paddywhackery and endless ironic, self effacing disregard for the abilities of Irish men and women throughout the four provinces and beyond. Most savage insights, do continue.

This birth of a new Ireland, an emerging economy dubbed “The Celtic Tiger”, and a sanguineness concerning the future and its possibilities left the generation who grew up during its time with the somewhat ‘American’ belief that ambition and unyielding desire will conquer all hiccups. And this is absolutely true, it reminds me of the time I watched a dog climb a tree for over four hours, for absolutely no reason, only to read an edition of The Sunday Times before hopping down. For those who begrudge those who are moving away in search of a better life with more opportunities, you’re optical prescription may be thirty or fourty years out of date, or you may have acute cataracts, or you may have hollowed out some gone wrong parsnips and tied them around your face because you can’t afford glasses, you loon. An unlikely occurence considering our day in age. We live on an elastic hunk of stone  – look at the European residue living in our boroughs and suburbs. The greater Dublin region, and it’s desperate boozy fog,  could be Gdansk if you stand on Military Hill, under certain trees and squint your eyes through a cracked bottle of ale. Our xenophobic tendencies will deprive us of the stunning facial graces of Dublin’s new arrivals. The fusion is good and will pique our palette for the better, the current menacing pugnacity of the faces of the British Isles is vast and capacious – from Barnsley to Armagh we look as if we’ve been victims of failed experiments between unwanted cutlery and dogs.

I digress, and the subcutaneous need to ejaculate truth persists.

One also must consider how highly skilled our graduates are. I saw one hollowing an avocado recently. Close to Ross Road, she put salt and vegetable oil on the thing and it looked absolutely delicious and this is exactly what we’re dealing with.  A most precise illustration. They are leaving in search of a position which befits people of their educational accomplishments. Consider Valerie Malone. Valerie completed her finals in medicine and has been offered a respectable position in Vancouver with a reliable income and benefits. Are you going to tell Valerie she is unpatriotic for leaving her dear old Ireland? Of course you wouldn’t dare; Valerie would scoff at you, spitting crumbs at you through her expensive teeth from her boho-chic apartment in downtown Vancouver for saying that, you malnourished pleb. What is she supposed to do, shun her seven years hard work in the name of faux patriotism and forced devotion to our tri-colour?  Get a grip, old chap.

The Tiger’s roar was a way of ameliorating all of that ‘little man,big man’ psychology that the British indoctrinated into the psyches of our timorous, cap-touching ancestors (God love them). But; there was an ugly, reverberating flip side. Ghost estates, Dundrum town shopping centre and her lamentable legacy to squirt black, consumerist whisked phlegm into the despondent eyes of parents who are foolishly trying to keep up with their equally dishevelled competitors, to perpetuate the myth that the boom is still livid, still alive in Dublin, engaged in a tragi-comic, implicit contractual agreement with the owners of Hollister and Apple, because the competitive nature of ‘teens’ demands your child to be seen in the latest artless and tawdry couture, that you wouldn’t dress a deaf hen in, sold to you in a room which evokes the ambience of an underground gay rave in Detroit at the beginning of the 90’s. Here, staff look frightened, tired, underdressed and underfed. Buying a hoody, if you actually get that far, feels like buying the corpse of a dead child after it was penetrated to death by a shark. The atmosphere is so grim and relentlessly dislocating it’s like deliberately drinking a can of lynx during a job interview. These hallucinatory playgrounds for non blossoming pre-pubescents must be extremely intimidating and hugely intoxicating, and I’m suprised the survivors who hurdle the glittery gauntlet don’t writhe down the escalators in paroxyms of wild terror, their esteem irrevocably compromised. The teens of Ireland would seem to have corporate power embossed on their organs and one fears owners may soon need to either have to gouge the corporate barcoding from their souls, or update the latest software and type a password into the back of their skulls to wake them up. As one L.M Huggard recalled recently on the increasingly artificial and vacant expression on his child’s head; “He wont eat his breakfast unless he takes a picture of it, posts it on facebook and it receives at least twelves comments and nine likes.”

Cranberries were a way of ameliorating all of…. (I wrote this sentence, have no idea where it’s come from, and I find it hilarious so am leaving it here.)

So – do we stay for 2013? Sidle up to a fair bosomed beur from Magheracroone, the type who will dab your brow, scrape your feet, mow the hedge and scoop the soup. The kind of woman who will take the blame even though their husbands have been conspciuously hostile to people who merely ‘cut infront’ at LUAS platforms.”Ah, he’s under pressure in work.” “Grainne, my legs are tired, I’m going to nut him” “Niall, please don’t nut him, I’ll do that thing you like with my ears later.” “Ok, but that’s a promise – and use the greek yoghurt this time please” “It’s in the fridge dear.”

A brief condemnation of silence.

We have been known for our great women: Mary Robinson, Brendan O’Connor, The Rat Pack, Every single TG4 presenter, the list is as long as a giraffe’s tongue. And so, I leave it up to you. Cairo or Doohamlet? St.Sebastian or Tydavnet? Look sharp old chap, look sharp.

Old Conrad waffled about under the floorboards of the townhouse, his grey coat and yellowish, mustardish, pea-green ish tie, shoes and handkerchief hiding the recently daubed leg of sudocream applied to cover up the recent accident where old Beryl walked into a radiator. Bless her, her shins aren’t as tough as they were in her Elm Park tennis playing days when she’d thrash the ball so hard it almost had Conrad divorce her for someone more timorous. She had all the men chasing after her then,and still does, Tim Oxbody is known to be amused to tease, not to mention Christopher Shortall who finds her furrowed cleavage reminds him of the dried prunes his aunt Mathilde used to feed him in Grenoble when he was young.   – D.Black – “The Black Vines”, 2014, ed.tbc.

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