Sunday 19 December 2010

Maybe this 'year' lark is not so stupid...

As I posted the colyoom below, I noticed on the right of the web page that it was the 52nd post of 2010.

Here we are at year's end, with me wondering at how the posting of this colyoom has felt so arbitrary, yet somehow and purely coincidentally matched the number of weeks in the year.

Maybe there's something to this calendar malarkey after all. Whether yea or nay, I wish all of you, my regular colyoomistas and random readers, a safe warm and happy new year, and thanks for havin' a gander at my blather.

It started with a banana and got completely out of control!

Doubtless over the next few weeks we’ll be assaulted by a barrage of advertising gyms and preachy magazine articles trying to make us feel like slothful fat slobs.
We all want to live longer and most of us these days recognise that it’s our personal responsibility to do what we can to look after ourselves. 

Tread carefully, dear colyoomistas, into the world of self-medication. I turned round the other day and realised that I’d let a little harmless prevention grow into a monstrous behaviour pattern that threatened to run amok.

It all started very harmlessly, as these things tend to do. Why indeed , it started with a banana. What’s more benign than a banana?

Yes, with due respect to Errol Brown, it started with a banana, just as each of my days do. I drink water, take my blood pressure pills and then sit in bed and read. A splendid way to start each day. That little banana hits me with some sugar, a healthy dose of vitamins C and B6, a little dietary fibre, some potassium to settle the blood pressure and some tryptophan to settle the dark and dangerous early morning thoughts.

Then it’s downstairs to squeeze a lemon into a glass of water. Apparently my Great Aunt Threedlewhispy used to do this every day of her life and she lived to be 143 years old. I know it’s meant to be squeezed into warm water, but fuck it, cold it is and a lovely sharp healthy buzz it gives too, as well as more vitamin C and all those other blardeeblars we get from fresh  fruit.

Then a handful of omega 3 capsules, which really do seem to help with the depression, as well as obscurely and imperceptibly helping my heart.
Sadly they’re not doing a great deal to help my joints. Refusing to be denied the pleasure of walking beside the sea, I try to defy the pain of osteo-arthritis, so I put a tablespoon of cider vinegar into a mug of hot water, and drop in a generous teaspoon of honey, followed by a teaspoon of molasses in a glass of warm water. This triple act might help to reduce the inflammation of arthritis, by reducing the acid levels in my body, whilst beefing up the haemoglobin, which is often low in arthritis sufferers.

But if I'm doing this, I shouldn’t be putting citrus fruit into my body at all, so why did I do that?
Move on, Adley, move on regardless, to the sachet of glucosamine sulphate, which the doctor prescribed for me, despite his own misgivings that it might help form cartilage. 

Thanks to nutritionist friend Annette, I then eat a spoonful of lecithin granules, because she insists that with my family history I need to emulsify my fats better, and this strange mouthful I wash down with a benecol anti-cholesterol drink and

- and hang on just a bleedin’ moment - 

A year ago I did only the banana, the lemon juice and the omegas. 

Now I’m looking like an obsessive nutter hypochondriac who's devouring the contents of health food shop before he even gets to breakfast. 

It’s got to stop. 
I’ve got ease up on this nonsense. 
I’ve got to get back to banana basics.

Hey, did someone mention breakfast?

That’s right, breakfast. 
Hmmmmm, I’m bloody starving.
Think I’ll have a fry. No harm with some bacon and eggs now that I’ve taken that lot!

Thursday 9 December 2010

Stop attacking the black ice -it's only fulfilling its own destiny!


You’ll have to excuse this scribbler his fascination with words. I just can’t help it when one comes along and gets used every minute of every day, regardless of whether its usage is correct or apt.

The official word of the present cold spell afflicting Ireland and the U.K. is ‘treacherous’. The roads are treacherous. The pavements are treacherous. The black ice is treacherous. News readers and nanny’s alike use the word at every and any given opportunity, but each time the sad pedant that I am hears it, I want to wander off with that person into a gentle line of whimsical enquiry.

Do they really feel that the roads are treacherous? Do they believe the little lumps of tarmac are conspiring to trick them? Will the pavements chuckle with evil mirth as the old fella slips on the ice?

At a push, I can accept that we rely on the safety of surfaces upon which we walk and drive, so that if they should suddenly become dangerous they are in no small way letting us down. Even though I see ‘treachery’ as something rather grander, involving a castle, a king, a dagger and a close confidante sneaking into a royal bedchamber in the cold dark night, I can see how a pavement or a road might be construed as treacherous, if rather than supporting you safely it suddenly threatens your life.

But give a break to the black ice, eh? Black ice is designed to be dangerous and invisible. As it causes your car to skid it is simply fulfilling its own destiny. If black ice were to be truly treacherous it would probably have to melt upon impact with rubber, thus letting the black ice side down altogether.

If it’s treacherous you want, take a look at the way Nick Clegg and his Lib Dems have sold out their voters in England,.or the way the Irish people have been financially murderated to save the euro.

The black ice is innocent. It may be lethal , but it’s meant to be.


Friday 3 December 2010

Relax and enjoy the movie - as long as you're not a fat slut behind the wheel of a death trap!


Went to the movies last night. Stocked up on 2 shcoops at the heavily-hyped Ben and Jerry’s ice cream concession in the cinema and took our seats.

The lights go out and we settle back to be smothered in the wonder of cinema.

First up, the advertising reel, which starts with a short film featuring a fat 20Something lad (message: loser) living with his mother (loser waster sexual failure), being fed too many sausages (glutton pig farty slob) waltzing through his sad lonely non-life towards an early death (don’t be a fat greedy lazy basstid or you’ll die). 

Okay, but don’t sell me lardy buckets of ice cream and then make me feel like a glutton.

That was cheerful. 
Glad I came out.

Now a commercial for a mobile phone network. Phew, what a relief. Lots of pretty colours and loud music, perfect. Escapist and nonsensical, just what we expect.

This is followed by - oh god - another cautionary tale, this time about unwanted pregnancies (message: you slut) and where to go if you make a mistake (you whore), and how easily they can be avoided (you dirty irresponsible vixen). Preachy and depressing, especially in a context where sex and promiscuity is being sold to us as an aspirational lifestyle choice in the movie.  

I’ve left my home and paid to be entertained.
This is meant to be a fun night out.

A couple of ads for takeaway food and cologne respectively, (to help you get fat and get someone pregnant!) followed by a harrowing and deeply disturbing short film involving a car crash, young people dying, general dismemberment and terminal scarring, ending with the tag line:

“If you drive on drugs, you’re out of your mind.”

Well said, of course, but pleeeeeaaase, can we just have some fun and not feel assaulted by this finger-wagging ├║ber-parental shite?

Aha, the ads are over and the film is - no, there’s a new slide on the screen, and a voiceover. 
Don’t drop litter. 
Don’t chew gum. 
Don’t talk or use your mobile phones. 

Don’t eat bad stuff or you’ll never have sex and then die early.
Don’t die in a car crash.
Don’t have a heart attack.
Don’t have a baby you didn’t plan for. 
Arrghhhh....

Ahaha, the film. At last - let the suspension of disbelief begin!

I’m all ready to let myself drift off into the magical and escapist world created by the gods of film, except I can’t, because the doors have suddenly opened and large groups of people who have been hanging around outside are coming in to find seats in the dark. 

They have avoided all the lecturing messages that we’ve been bombarded with.
But how on earth can I lose myself in the movie when there are hordes of students stumbling around, giggling, talking and blocking the screen as they try to find seats in the dark?

We’ve paid good money, been preached at and lectured to, and now we can’t actually enjoy the movie, so what’s the point of leaving the cave at all?

Maybe the cinema should ease up on its ‘Don’t live your life like this don’t live your life like that’ attitude, and worry more about its customers’ experiences under its own roof.

They might even think of starting off with: Don’t allow people into the theatre once the film has started. 




Wednesday 1 December 2010

The Euro has already failed!


Always good to see people exercising their right to march in protest on Irish streets, but to whom are they protesting? 

To the property developers whose greed had no bounds? 
To the (at best) criminally negligent Irish bankers?
To the complicit politicians who sucked money from the dirty sponge of corruption?
To the self-serving ECB?
To the floundering EU?
To the anonymous monolithic IMF?

Whoever it is you're most upset with, march loud angry and proud, because your footsteps are the soundtrack to the sight of capitalism eating itself. 

The EU decided that their currency is more important than the people of Europe. Everything must be done to protect the euro. The people of Ireland haven’t been helped in any way whatsoever. We have been sacrificed on the altar of the euro. The people of Greece and Ireland (and maybe Portugal next) will suffer for decades so that the single currency might survive for the greater good.

For ‘greater good’ read: ‘German and French economies.’

The Euro has already failed. The bailout which injected us with untold billions of new national debt is the same Band-Aid they used to cover up the mess in Greece, in the vain hope that the speculators won’t move in on Portugal and then Spain. 

If Spain goes down, the euro disappears. No amount of Band-Aid debt injection will revive an economy that size. So we people of little PIGs (Portugal Ireland Greece) are deemed expendable to the survival of the euro. 

Except it’s not working, because they’re missing the whole point of capitalism, which is to make as much money as possible and devil take the hindmost. Those speculating bondholders are flying around like fiscal Death Eaters, moving from this ailing economy to that, all for the dream of making a fast buck.

They are as likely to stop as you are to walk past a big fat 50 note sitting on your doorstep. 
Collect fire wood now.

Friday 19 November 2010

Dear Michael O’Leary - I’ve invented a whole new extra charge I want to pay to Ryanair!


Dear Michael O’Leary

I know how much you love to come up with new ways of making money, so I’ve decided to help you make even more. My idea came to me when I was onboard one of your very fine all plastic yellow and blue flights, which arrived on time, giving us another chance to hear the taped applause preceding that manly Scottish accent telling us how Ryanair is the bestest ever thing since the Book of Genesis.

You get all upset when your customers give out about paying extra charges. I know, aren’t we just a huge old pain in the hole. But worry not, I’m not one of those idiots. In fact, I’ve come up with a brand new extra charge that I’d happily pay to you .

You see, I had expected to pay the tax on my flight. I knew I’d pay extra for my priority boarding, and I’d pay extra for checking in my suitcase. I was only too aware that I was going to pay for checking in online, which is weird, because you have to. Equally strange, but utterly inevitable at this stage of things, I knew I’d pay 4 separate credit card charges, despite only one sum appearing on my credit card bill. One whole charge for each time the Snapper's delicate behind and my voluminous arse hit one of your plane seats.

So no, I had no problem paying for all those items that don’t appear on the price of the advertised flight.
I knew the story.

I also knew that from the moment I sat on the plane I was going to be assaulted for the full 55 minutes of the flight, as your poor wretched wonderful staff desperately tried to make me give you more of my money. 

But no.
I was ready. 
I knew not to listen, each and every 30 seconds, as your rushed stressed staff shouted into the cabin tannoy or careered along the aisle attempting to sell us charity calendars, scratchcards, phone cards, whiskey in a bag, hot sandwiches and breakfast baps, imitation cigarettes that pump you full of nicotine, David Beckham Cologne and Jade Goodie perfume, a newspaper, tickets for the train - and then, it came to me.

It came to me, because even though I knew I was going to pay all that extra money for my flight over the ticket price, just as I knew I was then going to be aurally attacked by a never-ending barrage of sales pitches for overpriced poor quality products, my defences were inadequate. 

You broke my will, man. I didn’t buy anything, god no, but I wanted to stand up and scream “Shut the fuck up, pleeeeease!”, to exhibit strong emotions and possibly even violent actions that would have had me arrested and escorted from the plane in handcuffs.

so clear,

so lovely and clear.

Michael O’Leary, I  will gladly pay you ten more whole English Pounds or ten more European Euro, yes, over and above everything you already make me pay for to fly on your yellow and blue plastic planes. 

Just offer me a silent flight, and my money is yours. 

We have designated quiet carriages on trains, so why not have slightly more costly silent Ryanair flights, upon which nobody tries to flog anybody anything, unless a customer requests it?

In pure business terms, it makes great sense. I never have and never will buy anything on one of your planes, because it would only encourage the attack on my senses and wallet. 

But I will give you my money for silence. 

Deal?


Wednesday 17 November 2010

Brian C. 4 Dave C. forever.

16.11.2010.

Dear Smiley-Smooth-Skin Davie C,

C’mere to me now and tell me you’re not loving winning dat election a while back, eh, eh, eh? Jaize isn’t it great now, to be be in power! And sure, haven’t you gone and got yourselves a cuddly coalition bunny, jus’ like myself. C’mere, amn’t they da sure, da da da sure da da da, just da sows nipples, dya know.

So here’s da ting, like. Bin tinking and you know how it goes. Can’t live with ye can’t live widout ye. 800 feckin years of oppression, and now there here we are, the whole world gone mad, and us thinking like, how, well, jaize, dunno but we kinda miss ya, dja know da way?. 

So what I was tinking was like, if we could have our own, dya know, Irish version of da notes, wass da chances of taking us back into de old Sterling again? 

Couldn’t be doing da Queen, to be fair, you understand. But but we could have say say, say Bono on da 50s and say Dana on the 20s. Sure, we could even have JFK on da 10s. Yanks’d like dat. Could be a nice little spinner, all on its own. So what dya say? To be fair, now, to be fair to be fair, ‘twas you we didn’t like. Yer money was fine. So whadya say?

Love to Bunny Clegg. Bunny Gormley said something too.

Missing you across da miles,
Big Bri Lovelips.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

What exactly is a perfect oil level?


There I was, driving down to the service station to check Shaaanny car’s tyre pressures and oil level, thinking simple manly thoughts about how this colyoom has recently risked disappearing up its own philosophical arsehole.

Despite the promise of a couple of posts ago, normal service has not been resumed. 

The tyre pressures were all spot on, perfect, and the oil level was midpoint between F and E on the dipstick.

Perfect.
But then, erm, I’m driving to Knock airport and back, so she’ll burn some oil, so shouldn’t I put a half litre in now to make up for what she’ll burn?

Yes, yes, that makes perfect sense.

Perfect, except that the reading I’m looking at on the dipstick is perfect too. If I top up when the reading says perfect, then what the hell’s the point of perfect?

If perfect has cropped up on just the other side of midway, then midway is not the middle of everything. If there's no absolute middle there can be no absolute perfect, and oh wah wah mumma, here we go again.

Clearly this colyoom has not finished staring up its rear view mirror. 
Normal service, might never be resumed, but no doubt something will happen.
Hopefully when it does, it arrives entwined in a sense of humour, gord helpus and save us.

Monday 8 November 2010

What's the shape of an unwritten word?


It’s not that I haven’t any material. 
This is not another tedious case of writer’s block or any other such deceit. 

Today I could write all manner of shite on a myriad of topics that might entertain, bemuse, annoy or even, possibly, inform or illuminate. 

Aaahze got tings to make yez laaarf and tings to make yez crahhhh.
Yet for some reason at present neither fully identified nor understood, I don’t want to. 

Save for the 4 years I lived in Amercia, I have published something every single week, from 1992 onwards. Sometimes I’ve written 3 in a week and sometimes barely one satisfactory word, but not right now.

Big whoops for the evidence that this is here. These words, stating that I’m not going to publish anything this week.

Words that by the intention of their own meaning do not exist.
Ooer missis. Getting a bit Zen.

There are no doubt souls out there who might believe that if a word is unread, it does not exist.

But what about a word that is unwritten?
Calling the Guru! Calling the Guru! Are you out there, my old friend? 

Thursday 4 November 2010

Normal service...

...will be resumed shortly... thanks to all colyoomistas for their patience...

Monday 25 October 2010

Either I’m ridiculously handsome, hideously ugly, a wizard, or they’re just blinded by love!


Pootle pootle, here I am, driving into town, pootling in a slow steady stream of traffic. Pootle pootle, there’s a bloke who wants to turn into this road from a side road. 

The cars in front of me are easing along pootle pootle style, so I stop, flash my lights, smile at him and wave my hand in a gesture that suggests I won’t smash my car into the side of his car, should he want to join the main road now.

Now. 

Now!
Now! Come on mate!
NOW!

He sits and stares at me with gaping vacant eyes, his face and body frozen, zombiefied, wretched.

Oh bloomin’ Nora, not another one!

Over the last week I’ve been letting the same amount of fellow drivers turn in, turn off and turn around in the road as I usually do, but for some reason they have been acting collectively bizarrely.

It matters not whether it’s a young lass in an Opel Corsa, a granny in a Nissan Micra or a male sales rep in a suit in a Toyota Avensis. As one they sit and stare at me, gormless and glassy, suddenly having lost the use of their limbs, their minds and any desire to acknowledge or show signs of life.

As I have stopped in the road to let them in, the traffic builds up behind me, and others become impatient. So then I drive off, and then, of course, they drive out into the road, causing me to break sharply in an effort not to smash my car into the side of their car.

So this time I’m just going to wait, be more patient; see how long it takes for Grizzly Graham here in the VW Golf to beam back down into Galway.

But he just sits there staring at me like a waxwork on holiday.

When I mentioned this recent phenomenon to the Snapper, she suggested rather generously that all these drivers must be blinded by my radiant handsomeness, to which I pointed out that they uniformly wore a horrified and sad expression in their catatonic states. They looked like they had seen the most despicably evil and disgusting image the universe could ever offer the driver of a 5 year-old hatchback. 

Being protective, she countered that maybe I was, in fact, a wizard, and when I swept my arm across the air to motion them to pull out, I was in fact casting a spell upon them, enchanting them into dreamy timelessness. I told her to cut down on the Harry Potter, whilst secretly liking the idea of being a street sorcerer.

The only other possibility is just too sad to contemplate: that they are, in fact, in shock, because somebody has offered a random and simple act of courtesy. 

No, no no no, I don’t want to believe that minor manners and minuscule generosities are perceived as outrageous outbursts of love, throwing normal behaviour patterns out of the window.

I much prefer to live in the world of the hunky, ugly or magic options. Those make much more sense.

Thursday 14 October 2010

The Strange Case of the Anti-Smug House.



Sunday midday, and I’m daring to feel just the slightest bit happy.
If I was bold I might even say smug. 

Life has been hectic and fairly horrible for the last few weeks, but now there is a chance of a breather. 

The Snapper is off at work until 6. 
The lemon, garlic and thyme have been crushed into butter and smeared all over and inside the chicken. 
The spuds, parsnips and onions are prepped and ready for roasting. 
Dalooney is coming over later, when the three of us will sit down and feast and drink wine and do what Sunday does best.

But right now I have a few hours of calm, peace, solitude and boy, do I need it.

Stepping outside, I stroll idly along the garden wall where the sweet peas are tall and tattered in their autumnal decline. For some reason I take pride in coaxing every last blast of flowers out of them, so I tweak and push and nurture them for a while, loving the fact that the only sound I can hear is my own breathing. 

Time for a peeper, so I head back into the house, but - what? 

The back door will not open.
I try it again, and again, again, rattle bang kick and swear out loud. 
Try it again and again kick kick shake it curse and swear curse and swear Lord Kildare and kick it again.

There are times in all our lives when we are guilty of locking ourselves out of our own homes. We close a door that has a Yale lock behind us, and then stamp our feet and wail and berate ourselves for our stupidity.

But this is different. 
I have not locked myself out of my own house. 
My house has contrived to lock me out. 

The back door has a Chubb lock and a heavy old sliding bolt, so there was never any thought of caution in my head when I earlier closed the door behind me, to keep the warmth inside. Yet for some reason (which, despite the inanimate nature of the building in question, I can only assume is malicious), the house decided that it would move its sliding bolt across its back door frame and leave it resting in its locking slot on the wall.

Sunday midday, and I was daring to feel just the slightest bit happy. 
If I was bold I might even have said smug. Now I’m knocked back, tipped off the top of my little mountain of joy, plummeting groundwards, back into the black hole of despair.

Get a grip Adley. 
Breathe, count.

I’m stuck outside my own house, on a cold cloudy grey morning, with no mobile phone, no money and no key. 

Oh, and I’m in my slippers. Hoo - beedin’-ray.

Over the years I’ve noticed that sometimes, at those rare and splendid moments when I dare to raise the good flag ‘Happy’ and display it to the universe, it can act like a magnet for shite. Before I’m able to declare ‘Life is pretty good at the moment’ the love leeches and sympathy slugs come rushing over the horizon, looking to feast and gorge themselves on my new-found joy and strength.

But this time I was only nibbling a taste of calm. I was barely out of my own personal mire, when my house, my own home of many years, decides to lock me out. 

My afternoon of calm is gone. The anticipated quiet hours of reflection and self-indulgence have been washed down the plug hole of fate, but of course there is a silver lining to this despondent cloud. 

In The Body I have a great friend, and once I have walked disconsolate in my slippers up and down the Prom, trying to find a friend awake who might lend me the use of a phone or a bus fare, himself responds and drives me into town, where I can pick up a key from the Snapper.

Mind you, there is still one more cringing moment I have to endure. After I explain my situation to herself, she heads off to the staff room to get her key, announcing that her poor husband has locked himself out of the house and is standing in the shop right now in his slippers, at which signal, quite naturally, all of her colleagues rush out to take a look at my sad tatty grubby self, and have a good laugh.

While I adamantly refuse to believe that one cannot declare oneself happy without incurring attack from legions of Joy Suckers, I have my doubts about my house. Despite enjoying many good times living here, I suspect the building cannot abide me feeling smug, that minefield which lurks at the edge of happy, on the borders of pride and arrogance.

And then again, maybe I’m going mental and it’s just a house; a pile of stone and wood which happened to rattle the wrong way. 

No, that’s just plain silly. I know when my house locks me out, and that’s what it did.


Why would you do something lovely if you didn't have to?

I love flowers and I love my woman, and sometimes when those two emotions collide I have been known to buy a bouquet for the Snapper. It doesn’t have to be for any other reason than those of love outlined above, but I have noticed over the years that when I spend a little more than the minimum, the person selling the flowers might well hiss and tut and say something along the lines of

“Oh tush tush, been a very bad boy, have we?”

Being generally and daily bemused by the world as a way of life, I’ve never really given this attitude too much thought. Surely men don’t only buy flowers for women as a way of saying ‘sorry’, do they?

Any doubts I might have had about my gender’s behaviour patterns were sadly set in concrete last weekend, when I heard what happened to an excellent friend of mine. 

He happens to be a responsible lover as well as a hopeless romantic, so he was buying a precautionary ‘Pack of 3’, before heading off to visit his girlfriend. Approaching the counter, he asked the male shopkeeper if they sold flowers, by any chance?

The auld fella lifted his head, looked at my friend quizzically and raised an eyebrow.

“Sure, what do you need flowers for if you’re buying condoms?”

Ah, the poetry, the joy.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Presidential knee attacks opponent's testicular zone!

There’s doubtless a lot of people out there who’d just love to knee their least favourite politician in the groin, but not many national leaders grasp the opportunity to do it to their rivals. 

Step up Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, who was playing a game of football as part of the opening ceremony of a stadium in La Paz, against a team formed by the city’s mayor, Luis Revilla. Apparently Morales and Revilla used to be politico buddies until their relationship fell apart, and evidently the mayor had told his players to take no prisoners.

Five minutes after kick-off, mayoral defender Daniel Gustavo Cartagena slid studs-up into the president of his country, leaving a bleeding gash on his right leg.

As The Guardian’s Rory Carroll reported, the nation’s 50 year-old President “... is not known for indulging critics, let alone people who foul him.”

Morales walked up to the offending defender, showed him his wound and proceeded to blatantly and purposefully knee him in what officials delicately described as the “testicular zone”.

You can see it here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_0a_qnjqYA, but first let your Irish imaginations run riot, as you envisage President Mary McAleese sliding on her stately bottom towards the knobbly hairy knees of a shorts-clad Brian Cowen. Gasp with delight as she lands a kidney-exploding dose of crushing pain onto the stout defender of the rich and reckless’ prize bollocks.

Ah me, if only. 

Saturday 2 October 2010

We don’t bleed ill people any more, so why do we cut jobs?


I’m not sure what the definition of an economist is, but if the following irrefutable facts add up to anything more than fiscal nonsense, I may well be one.

Four things happen when you cut a job. 

The employer, State or private, saves the cost of a wage.

The government loses income tax revenue from the employer and the worker.

The worker cannot spend or in any way invest in the economy.

The State has to pay the worker benefit.

So if you’re an economist, or even a philosopher, help me out here, please, because this is your job we’re talking about; your mother’s nurse; your kid’s teacher.

Unless the worker who lost their job was earning a fortune (and we all know how likely the rich are to lose their jobs compared to us proles) how does the saving made by the cost of the wage in any way compare with the cost of the other three losses?

How does cutting jobs help an economy?