Do you remember the grovelling midget who used to present the Late Late Show?
That’s him. Gay Byrne: patron saint of cardigans and perms. Bono’s garden gnome.
Do you remember his habit of pretending to be an expert? His world-weary been-there-done-that manner, his condescension to people with ten times his knowledge, though he never went anywhere or did anything in his life except talk nonsense on radio and tv.
Do you remember how he attacked Annie Murphy for daring to have a child with his favourite bishop, Eamon Casey, who entertained generations of Late Late Show audiences with his down-to-earth bonhomie, while Gaybo chuckled along with him? Lovely, lovely man. Lovely. And how he fawned on that despicable clerical hypocrite, Michael Cleary, another priest of the people who got to appear on the Late Late whenever his ego needed stroking.
Do you remember how he chuckled along with his good friend Brian Lenihan senior as the old windbag told a story about how he intimidated a Garda who had the cheek to enter a pub where Lenihan and his cronies were drinking after hours?
What about the toe-curling moment when he creaked himself aboard the Harley he got from U2 for being Arse-licker of the Century?
He has bluffed and patronised his way through half a century of broadcasting and now he launches into the biggest bluff of his career by making shapes at the Presidency. Already, he’s treating us to one of his post facto lectures, this time about the European Union, informing us that all his fears have been confirmed. A deeply dishonest statement sets the tone for Gaybo’s campaign as he seeks to distract attention from the real causes of our country’s calamitous state.
Isn’t it a shame that his hindsight seems to be so selective? I didn’t notice him saying anything about the corruption and incompetence of the Fianna Fáil party he’s so closely associated with. I didn’t hear him shouting, in all his boundless wisdom, about the disastrous road Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy were leading the country down. I didn’t hear him complaining when Brian Lenihan junior implemented the insane policy of propping up all the failed banks.
In Gay’s looking-glass world, the whole problem was caused by foreigners.
Maybe we deserve to have him in the Phoenix Park. With the power of all that selective hindsight, maybe he’ll conjure up a new history for us, cleansed of all the grubby maladministration and thievery that has brought the country to its current state. New histories for old, and one for everyone in the audience.
And of course, if Bono’s gnome gets the Áras, who better to stand at his shoulder than Gaybo’s Gollum?
The Ballyer Basher, Joe bleedin’ Duffy, man of the people.
Jesus, we could see a new side of the Presidency. Brush Shields. Brendan O’Carroll. Every day is Funny Friday at the Áras with Uncle Gaybo and his creations playing with the furniture?
Roll it there, Gaybo. Pull on those headphones.