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Paying €60 for a short plank in Dunnes Stores

As the economy goes up, our collective IQ seems to go down in a bizarre see-saw way that might well explain the utter madness of the property bubble. And what better metaphor for the return to collective stupidity than the small piece of timber Dunnes Stores are selling for €60?

Dunnes Stores Paul Costello plank

A small plank. About 20mm thick and maybe 450mm long by 150mm wide. Or as we used to say, three-quarters of an inch thick and 18 inches long by six inches wide.

A very small and light board, but a board with a difference. This little board, you see, has been designed by a designer. A proper designer. Paul I-worked-in-Paris Costelloe, to be precise.

And Paul Costelloe designed this little board to be simple, yet refined as Dunnes say in their blurb.

You can almost smell the simplicity and refinement as you congratulate yourself on the purchase of this minimalist, uncompromising artifact. Imagine how impressed your friends will be when you serve them cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti on this elegant little, eh, plank.

This thing? Oh, it was only €60, you know. It would hardly pay for an hour of Sneachtfra’s Montessori.

The great design maestro himself, Paul Costelloe, got a free plug on Ray D’Arcy’s show this afternoon.

What’s all this about a plank for €60? asked Ray. (Or words to that effect).

Well, it’s oak, said Paul. Do you realise I worked in Paris?

Oak! Paul intoned the word like he was telling Ray the board was carved from the living roots of Yggdrasil.

Oak? That would be the stuff of which I have a half dozen planks in the workshop. Proper planks and not the effete 3/4-inch fly-swatters Dunnes are selling.

Could you make them at home? asked Ray.

Oh well, you could try, said Paul Costelloe. Because, as everyone knows, sanding a small piece of wood is perhaps the hardest thing anyone has ever tried. And if I heard correctly, he also seemed to mention that the wood was treated with something, which is not really what you want in a board you’re going to use for serving cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti. Oak does just fine with no preservatives, which is why generations of shipwrights have used it to build ocean-going vessels but of course Paul Costelloe would have known that from his years working in Paris.

Obviously I must have misheard him.

I was probably distracted by the intense purity of the 90-degree corners and the clean smooth lines he designed.