Another decade over! Already? Wowsers! Well, I guess it's time for Fugger to round up the highs and lows of the Noughties (just like they are in the Sunday supplements and on TV shows with insightful contributions from people like Blaithnaid Ni Chofaigh or Stuart Maconie etc. . .)
Barack Obama: At last, a black candidate who won't turn the White House into a crack house. Could we really have said that for Jesse Jackson?
Blogs: Thanks to the outlet provided by blogs and Internet forums, killing sprees are down by 15%.
Marley and Me: Jen Aniston and a big old cuddly lab. What's not to like? This decade's answer to Dunston Checks In.
Live8: Trade justice for all and Coldplay too? What an afternoon! Take that Black Bloc!
Madonna Cares: Madge strikes a pre-emptive blow for altruism by adopting orphans before they are even orphaned! You go gal!
Joe (Hulk) Joyce: Congrats to Joe (Hulk) Joyce on becoming King of the Travellers after knocking lumps out of lads in a car park in West Meath. Now tell us Joe, was that Ms. Glenda Gilson we saw on your arm during the Marie Keating Foundation Christmas fund raiser?
Dr. Who Returns: Always loved this show! Hid behind the sofa when the morlocks came on. John Leslie for the Doctor in the Twenny-tens, the campaign starts here!
Susan Boyle: On first sight we thought she should be gassed but then we heard her beautiful voice!
New Bond: Craig Fairbass finally gets the keys to the Aston Martin. Gritty.
Hitler Still Dead: Yay!
9-11: Tragic. Watch them babies fall! No more of that please Mr. Bin Laden!
SARS/Bird Flu/Swine Flu/Ebola: I think I've got the sniffles!
Paedophile Priests: Hey! Hands off Padre!
The Death of Diana: OMG! The car was like completely wrapped around that pillar!
The Death of Michael Jackson: He died too? Wowsers!
Recession: Enough already!
Floods: From Sallins to New Orleans . . .glug glug!
Keano in Saipan: This was our Iraq.
Iraq: We're like sooooo over it now!
Africa: Are you still here?
Well that was the Noughties now let's get ready for the Twenny-Tens and the dawn of the Quantum Age! An era when we realise that 'reality' is just a selective cognitive macro level interpretation and that petty emotional and financial schemes amount to less than nothing when faced with the incomprehensible maelstrom of subatomic lunacy that is the true fabric of the Universe! OMFG! It's gonna be nuts! LOLZ!
This Christmas, as you enjoy the cheer and revelry to be found amongst family and friends, please spare a thought for John.
John can usually be found trampling about the coast of south county Dublin in his familiar long black coat. Sometimes he'll stop and chat with other local characters like Eoghan. You might have seen them, lost in discussion in the People's Park. Happily reminiscing over the good governance and moral authority of days gone by. Later in a given afternoon, you might see John in the window of the local Kylemore Cafe, scribbling his thoughts in a notebook whilst enjoying a slice of cake and a pot of tea. Tea for one.
But, what of Christmas day? On Christmas day the Kylemore will be closed and John will have nowhere to go. Eoghan will be ensconced at home with his new bird and the park gates will be chained shut. What will John do then?
Well, John will awake. He will arise. He will wash and he will attend mass, as will many of us. However, instead of spending the rest of the day in the company of loved ones, John will instead pass his time glaring at the few baubles he pinned above the mantle in a desperate nod to the season. No one told him it would be like this. This wasn't the Christmas McQuaid's Ireland envisioned for a man such as he. John will begin to feel a bit cheated. His mood will grow sour and soon he will be in high dudgeon, tapping wildly into the laptop ( ...as I am now ironically) on subjects ranging from the denigration of Dev to the ascendancy of bloody women.
So please spare a thought for John this Christmas as you settle back with family members to play boardgames, watch Doctor Who or enjoy whatever DVD RTE have rented for the evening. Please, spare a thought for John because . . .John is alone this Christmas.
I'm really sick of the way superheroes and the excessive use of the imagination debase the medium of sequential arts. So, you can imagine how pleased I was to pick up a copy of the ground breaking indie publication Tales from My Man-Bag. An example of its refreshing down to earthness can be found above. Click to enlarge and empathise.
I wrote this poem as a kind of lament. Like most good poems it doesn’t rhyme and its appeal is hard to determine. In fact, it might seem a bit shite at first but try reading it in a solemn Paul Durkinish kind of way and you’ll soon realise how good it is.
And so, without further ado, I give you:
ORANGE FACED LADY
My orange faced lady Where did you go? I used meet you at the close of day Coming with determined face From counter or desk among Dundrum Town Centre resplendent Kathleen Ni Houlihan dressed in Ralph Lauren Optimism incarnate Escalator rider Nay sayer chider Your name, was heard in the right places You knew Conrad Gallagher He sent you a fondue set for Christmas And you kept it Just for fun, for a laugh, a-ha-ha-ha So look into my face Marie-Claire reader And remember just who you are For the light it does fade The tangerine foundation gives way A chill wind blows through the House of Fraser It was all boots and bags Now its riches back to rags Don the shawl again and wanly peer from beneath it Cut your cloth to your measure For the wonderful dream is over The kids’ karate lessons are for the chop It’s Portumna for summer Oh what a bummer What could have been A terrible beauty stillborn Do you remember the back streets of Naples? Just for fun, for a laugh, a-ha-ha-ha Oompa Loompa doompadah dee If you are wise you'll listen to me My orange faced lady Where did you go?
They were at the kids you say? Interfering with them like?
(Falls silent, strokes chin)
That’s Awful. Seriously now, that’s terrible altogether. . . . I had no idea. I mean how could you? Who’d have dreamt? Ah no. It’s very discommoding to hear that.
(Momentarily loses self in thought)
And did no one contact the gardai no? And what happened? Were there arrests? No? That’s awful. The poor kids. No one believed them at all? . . .shocking.
(Another reflective pause. Inhales. Sits up a bit and speaks assertively)
Well, there’ll be words I’m telling you. I’m not having this carry on, oh no. This is a shocking state of affairs. Did they not listen to Jesus at all?
(Sighs. Slumps back into seat. Falls silent again, stroking chin. Mumbles something. Gets to his feet. Wanders to window. Gazes out for a spell. Produces Ten Major from pouch in robe and lights one up. Turns. Quietly asks aide to bring two more sherries. Returns to seat.)
I’ll tell you what. Leave it with me. Give us a bit of elbow room and I’ll get things back ship shape. I’ll get the lads to reconnect with the words of our saviour and that kind of thing. That should stop all the funny business. How does that sound? Have we a deal? I’m as shocked now, . . .seriously, . . .I’ll be needing this sherry I tell you.
(Gulps down sherry. Discretely nods to aide. Aide escorts everyone from the room. Puts feet up. Reaches for digital remote control. Selects Sky Sports. Watches WWE wrestling event.)