Friday 20 April 2007

Welcome to the Galway Diet! Have a drink, drop a dress size!

Galway water
I cringe every time I hear the radio commercial that feebly tries to reassure prospective tourists that Galway is a safe place to visit.
Please come, and we promise not to poison you. We provide bottles of safe water for you to wash your teeth with, so you and your family will have a wonderful holiday.
Although clearly well-intentioned, it's all coming from the wrong place.
Deep in the pit of the Adley belly, lurking in the vile bile, marketing skills thrive aplenty.
To me these skills feel a little like a tape worm. I know they are there, but hold them in contempt. It hardly takes a genius to see that with our very special little watery crisis, we have to think outside of the box.
This is water, people, not a sea view. When tourists draw up a wish list for their weekend away, believe me, water isn't on it.
You won't sell holidays, hotel rooms and coach tour stop-offs by showing off about how the water is safe because it's in bottles.
Thinking 'outside of the box' requires lateral thought applied in a manipulative way. You know where you want to get to, and you found out that straight on is not an option.
So you think in a way that you hope your target audience is not expecting.
Thankfully, at the time of writing, nobody has yet died from the recent outbreak. If there is a god or karma, I who have not yet suffered from cryptosporidium will now doubtless be stricken gastric, for speaking out as I am about to, for the good of my adopted city and county.
Forsaking my health to the vagaries, cruelties and compassion of the Fates, I'm thinking out the box on behalf of Galway City's pubs, clubs and hotels.
We've established water is not part of a tourists' wish list, so what is?
Da craic. That's always there, especially in Galway. Havin' da craic, looking good, having a bit of a dance and a few shcoops or seven or eight blue sugarvodkas.
That's where the money is folks, and right now Galway is in a unique position to offer all of the above list, with spades and diamante knobs on.
People want to look slim and drink, and sure, hasn't Galway always been 'Drink City'?
So let's run a radio commercial, but let's be thinking more along the lines of this:
"Right now, in Galway City, the 100% natural way to drink more and lose weight! Come West and have the time of your life, enjoying the Galway Diet!
The Galway Diet doesn't have huge lists of Do's and Don'ts!
The Galway Diet stops you having to go to the gym for exercise!
The Galway Diet lets you eat everything you like, because you will lose weight anyway!
Using only completely organic bacteria, the Galway Diet frees you up from the inside out!
At last you will lose all those heavy internal blockages!
The Galway Diet removes all that old baggage you've carried for far too long!
The Galway Diet lets you move more freely than you ever thought possible!
The Galway Diet is not G.I. It's not Carb Free and it's not Protein High!
Out here in the West life is simple.
Out here it's just H2O for Size Zero.
Come to Galway, have a drink tonight, and drop a dress size tomorrow!"

Alright, settle down, I know it's not all about dropping a dress size. Anyway, I can't stand the Size Zero look; scares the pants off me, to be honest.
Mind you, speaking as a bloke here, sometimes women just confuse the hell out of me.
That bastion of testosterone, tit talk and all-things male, FHM magazine recently asked 2,000 men with an average age of 30 about their attitudes to parenting, home life and the way they saw their role in their relationship.
Astonishingly, 7 out of 10 men revealed that they had rejected the traditional male role as fulfilled by their fathers. Instead they preferred the idea of sharing the parenting, housekeeping and earning on a clear-cut 50/50 basis with their partners.
As this colyoom has been saying for some time, Brothers are doing it for ourselves.
Trouble is, the Sisters are still evolving. Just when we finally start to become the men they asked for, women are now having doubts about just what kind of women they want to be.
The FHM survey revealed a great deal of turmoil within the subjects' relationships.
50% of those men asked admitted that while they wanted to spend more time with their children at home, their partners were putting them under significant pressure to earn enough to allow the mother to stay home on a full time basis, and a further 38% said the same, except their partner was willing to settle for a part time job, as long as the man stayed in full time employment.
From what I remember of Women's Lib, and the Feminist Revolution, its major tenet was the 'Woman's Right To Choose', which I always took to mean her absolutely undeniable right to have both a career and a family, or one or neither.
Don't remember any sub-clauses about men having to subsidise this dream of independence.
And while we're at it, can anybody explain to me why men should be deprived of these choices? Are we not equally entitled to the same basic freedoms?
Whichever way you look at it, Mums and Dads get very tired. Indeed, for some poor souls, parenting is just too much hassle.
When I say 'poor', I mean of spirit in this case, because young flash, financially flush and highly strung couples in England are now paying somebody else to do it.
That's right, for £2,500 you can pay somebody to sort the whole thing, (apart from the messy bits between the sheets, and later in stirrups...).
Keely Paice, the enterprising woman who founded Baby Planners, reveals how she takes the strain out of giving birth:
"We will organise everything from sourcing the best baby carrier to creating the baby's bedroom and arranging Parent Confidence Classes... we will hire the best maternity nurse, shortlist nannies, advise on feeding patterns and help establishing routines."
How do young couples afford this kind of hoo-haa?
More to the point, what desperate and special hell might be represented by a 'Parent Confidence Class'?

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