Our lives

Talking to myself

Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? You know, like when you’re completely pissed off for no particular reason that you can put your finger on, and you wander around the house muttering to yourself. Or worse – walking in the street muttering to yourself. Fuckin bastard. I’ll find out where you live and I’ll pour a nest of ants through your letterbox.

I do that kind of thing.

I could be in the middle of a crowd, strolling along having an entire conversation with myself. Both sides.

Hmmm. I can see your point, but on the other hand –

I know.

Stop finishing my fucking –


Yes! It’s really –

I know. Irritating.

People nudge each other with their elbows and frown in my direction, nodding.

Sometimes, I find myself re-enacting entire conversations I’ve had with someone, except this time, I get all the best bits. Witty devastating one-liners like Fuck you, you fat prick!!

I even laugh out loud and sing snatches of music-hall standards, or maybe a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan. I am the very model of a modern major-general. It’s less common, I find, to unconsciously cover the White Stripes, though lately I notice I’ve been singing ’bout my doorbell, when ya gonna ring it, when ya gonna ring it? I rarely find myself mouthing Slayer songs, but that’s mainly because I don’t know any and I’ve never actually heard Slayer.

I suppose it must be evidence of passive-aggressive behaviour, or something. Maybe I take shit from people and then go off and rework history so that I look like the hero. That would work all right, and it would make a lot of sense except that it isn’t true. If people hassle me, I tend to tell them to fuck off. Hmmm. What could it be then? I worry about the day when I find myself making loud animal noises at a meeting.

I don’t know. Is this normal?


David Ervine

David Ervine died today. This was a guy who came from the heartland of bigotry and reached out across the divide. Whatever you think of his personal flaws, at least he tried, which is more than you could say for most of them.

Some people didn’t like him, but so what?

I salute him. I even admire him.


The Gaaaaaaaaaaaa

Tonight, I thought I’d start by bringing you a few quotes from the great man, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh. No introduction needed.

Here we go:-

“… and Brian Dooher is down injured. And while he is, I’ll tell ye a little story. I was in Times Square in New York last week, and I was missing the Championship back home. So I approached a newsstand and I said ‘I suppose ye wouldn’t have the Kerryman would ye?’ To which, the Egyptian behind the counter turned to me and he said ‘do you want the North Kerry edition or the South Kerry edition?’… he had both…so I bought both. And Dooher is back on his feet…”

“Anthony Lynch the Cork corner back will be the last person to let you down – his people are undertakers”.

“I saw a few Sligo people at Mass in Gardiner Street this morning and the omens seem to be good for them, the priest was wearing the same colours as the Sligo jersey! 40 yards out on the Hogan stand side of the field Ciaran Whelan goes on a rampage, it’s a goal. So much for religion”.

“Colin Corkery on the 45 lets go with the right boot.  It’s over the bar. This man shouldn’t be playing football. He’s made an almost Lazarus-like recovery from a heart condition. Lazarus was a great man but he couldn’t kick points like Colin Corkery”.

“1-5 to 0-8..well from Lapland to the Antarctic, that’s level scores in any man’s language”.

“Pat Fox has it on his hurl and is motoring well now … but here comes Joe Rabbitte hot on his tail …… I’ve seen it all now, a Rabbitte chasing a Fox around Croke Park!”

“I see John O Donnell dispensing water on the sideline. Tipperary, sponsored by a water company. Cork Sponsored by a tae company. I wonder will they meet later for afternoon tae”.

“Teddy looks at the ball, the ball looks at Teddy”.

“Danny The Yank Culloty. He came down from the mountains and hasn’t he done well”.

“He grabs the sliotar, he’s on the 50……he’s on the 40……he’s on the 30……. he’s on the ground”.

“In the first half they played with the wind. In the second half they played with the ball”.

“He kicks the ball lán san aer, could’ve been a goal, could’ve been a point………….it went wide”.

“Stephen Byrne with the puck out for Offaly….Stephen, one of 12……all but one are here to-day, the one that’s missing is Mary, she’s at home minding the house…..and the ball is dropping i lár na bpáirce….”

“Pat Fox out to the forty and grabs the sliotar, I bought a dog from his father last week. Fox turns and sprints for goal, the dog ran a great race last Tuesday in Limerick. Fox to the 21 fires a shot, it goes to the left and wide….. and the dog lost as well”.

“Seán Óg Ó hAilpín…. his father’s from Fermanagh, his mother’s from Fiji, neither a hurling stronghold”.

“Teddy McCarthy to John McCarthy, no relation, John McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation”.

“And that’s it for another All Ireland Day, never have such scenes been seen in Croke Park as the day Tyrone lifted the Sam Maguire, but credit must go to Armagh, cos lets face it, they’re going to need a lot of credit in the weeks and years to come.”

And while we’re on a general Gaaaa sort of thing, here’s something I stole:

A Gaaaaaa glossary for the Big Match.

Mighty – very good

Hames – a right fuck-up – eg.”he made a hames of that clearance”

Timber – intimidation of a hurling opponent

Welt – swing at

Lamp – a good thump

A Crowd – eg. “that crowd from Cavan are a right shower of bollixes”

Schkelp – a good thump

Bullin’ – angry. eg. “the centre half back was bullin’ after I lamped him”

Bull thick – very angry

Joult – a push

Joshel – a shoulder push

The Comm-it-eeee – Local GAA fuckers in general

Bushted – eg. “Jayz me arm is bushted”

The Bomber – a very popular nickname for a GAA player

A hang sangwidge – consumed with tay on the sides of roads after matches in Croker or Clones.

Citeog – he hit it with his citeog. ie. left handed/footed

Warp – hit something hard as in “I’ll fuckin warp you”

Blasht – A great amount of anything.

Rake – Also a great amount of anything, usually pints of Guinness

A Schemozzle – a group of players shkelpin’ one another but not exactly hittin’ anyone at the same time! (Probably an import from the heavily Jewish-influenced New York Gaaaaa)

Flakin’ – usually goes on for a whole game….. eg. “Jayz Gareth Curran Gave John Ryan an awful flakin’ below in Halton on Sunday”. (To “flake”a lad for a whole game usually starts off with a bit of “joshellin'” and “joultin'” and develops into a bit of “weltin'” and may even result in a good “lampin'” for the victim especially if he gets”bull thick”.)

Flakin’ – Alternative meaning: Excellent. eg Jaysus, that’s a flakin’ trailer!

Name-a-jaysus – What was that for, referee?

Ya-bollix-ya – Corner back’s formal recognition of a score by his opponent

Mullocker – untidy or awkward players

Horsed – bout of rough play or intimidatory tactics as in we horsed them out of it. Sometimes referred to as kicking/batin’ the shite out of the opposing team.

Horse – untidy or rough player. There’s one in every club

Burst the cunt- Common exhortation also referred to as the Turlough roar.

Row – Fight involving four or more players swinging hurls like lunatics

Massive Row – Row involving both team, substitutes and supporters jumping fences

Running Row – A massive row that continues out in the parking area and or dressing room areas.

Bata – eg “I gave it bata” – I put a fair bit of effort into it

Stomached – surprised. “Jaysus when he came up behind me I was awful stomached”

Bollix – Pat Spillane

Here’s a few Gaaaaa quotes:

“I love Cork so much that if I caught one of their hurlers in bed with my missus, I’d tiptoe downstairs and make him a cup of tea”- Joe Lynch, actor.

“I’m not giving away any secrets like that to Tipperary. If I had my way, I wouldn’t even tell them the time of the throw-in” – Ger Loughnane.

“Whenever a team loses, there’s always a row at half time but when they win, it’s an inspirational speech” –John O’ Mahony.

“The wheel fell off my mobile home” — Offaly’s Eugene McGee explains why he was late for training.

‘We’re taking this match awful seriously.We’re training three times a week now, and some of the boys are off the beer since Tuesday’ -Offaly hurler quote in the week before a Leinster hurling final vs. Kilkenny

‘Ger Loughnane was fair, he treated us all the same during training. Like dogs’ – anonymous Clare hurler

Any chance of an autograph? Its for the wife….she really hates you’ -Tipp fan to Ger Loughnane

‘You can’t win derbies with donkeys’ – Babs Keating before Tipp played Cork in 1990

Sheep in a heap’ – Babs Keating description of Offaly in 1998.

‘Babs Keating ‘resigned’ as coach because of illness and fatigue. The players were sick and tired of him’ – Offaly fan in 1998

‘Meath make football a colourful game-you get all black and blue’ – another Cork fan 1988

‘Colin Corkery is deceptive.  He is slower than he looks’ – Kerry fan

Life isn’t all beer and football…some of us haven’t touched a football in months’ – Kerry player during league campaign 1980s

And finally . . . .especially for Limerick people. A quote from Michael Cusack, founder of the Gaaaaaaa!!!

Cusack, who will be familiar to many readers as the inspiration for The Citizen in the Cyclops chapter of Ulysses, described rugby as a denationalising plague carrying on through winter the work of ruin that cricket was doing through the summer.  This is why Michael Cusack is almost idolised in Limerick City.



Hyperzenchef called from Japan, but this didn’t surprise me, as he lives there. He ran away to Japan a few years back to join the Yakuza, intending eventually to come home and start a Limerick branch: the Knackuza. I don’t know how he’s getting on with the plan, as he’s not allowed to discuss such matters. In fact, if he even thinks about it, he has to cut off a bit of his finger, which you have to admit is a fucking nuisance. As a cover to his real activities, he works as a chef, just like Casey Ryback.

A typical day for HZC, as we associates call him (he can’t afford friends: they tend to die awful fast, just for knowin’ him) involves leaping out of the pressure-cooker where he sleeps – if you could call what he does, “sleep” – pushing a spice rack through the eyeballs of a sneering ex-marine and then there’s just time for a quick run along the roof of a speeding train before he sucks back a poisoned fugo fish on toast from Keane’s bakery. Delivered twice daily by a mysterious autogyro pilot code-named Cierva.

He meant to settle in Tokyo, but he’s dyslexic and now lives in Kyoto. He doesn’t realise that, and we haven’t told him. He runs an Irish pub/restaurant called Murty MacFinnegan’s Bacon-and-Cabbage Begorrah Is That What You Want You Little Fucker I’ll Give You Bacon and Fucking Cabbage Bistro. It’s frequented by all the Irish ex-pats who long for the true Irish experience once more. The bouncers are all dressed like Christian Brothers, and they pick on customers at random, delivering mindless beatings for no obvious reason: “Cad atá á dhéanamh agat, a phlaidhce mór? “ Bang! Thump! Crunch! Music is provided by Sharon Shannon, who drives around the pub in a tiny car, completely drunk and playing a concertina with her feet. He’s appointed a committee to run the place. They’re called the Government, and they comprise the biggest and most incompetent wankers HZC could find in the Kyoto region. Basically, it’s a little Ireland away from home and it’s going to be a huge success, because he’ll hire Polish bar staff to run it properly.

He has different themed rooms dedicated to different Irish people who’ve achieved greatness. For example, there’s the Mother Teresa Room, dedicated to the biggest scam artist who ever lived. It includes an original DVD of an Mathair Treasa, as she was known in her native Corca Dhuibhne, accepting a cheque from a group of lepers. Included is actual footage of Cardinal Marcinkus personally throwing the lepers out of the Vatican Bank after their cheque has cleared. The DVD is now officially declared by the Vatican to be a Class I relic.

Then there’s the Ratzinger Room, celebrating the achievements of Seosamh MacRatzinger of Gaoth Dobhair, who started out in life as a humble Hitler Youth, but went on to direct the Inquisition, or as it modestly renamed itself, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ultimately, as you know, he became Pope Ratzo the First, but that hasn’t got in the way of his natural Irish humility. As he puts it himself, “Ah, sure, ’twas only a wee bit of luck, right enough and sure, it could as easily have been the Donegal Guards as meself became the Pope, only they were a crowd of bastards surely and I was just a wee Nazi anti-aircraft gunner. Aye surely. Would you like a wee cup of tea?

The walls of the Brian Kennedy Room are entirely covered by pictures of Van Morrison eating the World’s Largest Curry. Friends explained that this artistic experiment occurred at a period in his life when Morrison was trying to cut back on food. He had recently split up with the French Prime Minister, after many years together as a couple, and was suffering from low self-esteem. He had stopped eating motorbikes and was beginning to worry that people didn’t hate him any more. A framed quote from Morrison himself explains the thinking behing the montage: “Fuck off, you wee prick

The walls of the Van Morrison room are entirely covered by pictures of Brian Kennedy wishing he was eating Van Morrison.

The Artukovic Room. Perhaps the greatest Irishman of the 20th century has to be Andrija Artukovic. Oh, you don’t know him? What a pity. Andrija was the interior minister of Catholic Croatia who, during WWII, gave the order to “Kill all the Serbs and Jews without exception.” It was Artukovic who warned the mayor of Cerin: “If you can’t kill Serbs or Jews you are an enemy of the state.” What a guy! What an Irishman! After the war, Artukovic came to Dublin, where he lived for two years and where his son was born. He subsequently went to the USA under false papers issued by the Irish government, and why not? Dammit, if you can’t look after your own, what the hell good are you? The Artukovic Room is one of the most visited exhibits in MacFinnegans, and rightly so too.

OK. Let’s see now. Of course I forgot the Cascarino Room. A great Irish footballer, who pulled off one of the greatest achievements ever in Irish sport. What patriotism it takes to play for Ireland 88 times when you haven’t one single Irish relative ever in your family tree. Respect!! Tony scored 19 goals for Ireland and Hyperzenchef travelled the world buying them from collectors. He now owns all of Cascarino’s international goals and has them on display in MacFinnegans. If you make arrangements in advance, HZC will let you touch one of the goals.

There are many other rooms in Murty MacFinnegan’s Bacon-and-Cabbage Begorrah Is That What You Want You Little Fucker I’ll Give You Bacon and Fucking Cabbage Bistro, but really, you should go there yourself to savour the true Irish ambience. Don’t take my word for it.

When you’re there, ask for Hyperzenchef and tell him Bock sent you. Tell him Bock Lives! Ah, fuck it, just tell him I said where’s my Atomic Rooster album?


Wrinkly Joe speaks

Joe sent an email about the Kilkenny trip. I thought I might share it with you:

Friday night was bad, first time playing with the drummer, his electronic kit and a small indifferent crowd. Saturday night was worse. We were playing in the Springhill Hotel
which is about 2 miles outside the city and most certainly not on the walking route. There was a hick wedding on there and when we arrived it was between the meal and the start of ‘de afters’, so the bar was full of shrill over dressed country girls and thick-necked cunt-faced bogmen, neither of which could give a shit about the band in the corner except to complain about the noise. As the evening went on they all gradually drifted out to the wedding and left us (almost) alone in the bar. We ended up playing to about ten people, three of which were our wives. When it ended and we sat down to have a few pints, the barman tried to steal my guitar and someone stole the hubcaps off the bass player’s car.

Not a pleasant evening !!

I was not really looking forward to Sunday’s two gigs but as it turned out, they were absolutely amazing. The drummer had switched to a ‘normal’ kit and was , by now, familiar with the set. Because the venue was on the walking route people were actually waiting for us when we were setting up the gear. We tore into them with the minimum of mistakes and it really worked. Sunday afternoon in a packed pub with the entire pub screaming for more was the experience we went to Kilkenny for. Sunday night was just as good. So, overall, it was a positive trip, did a lot for the confidence of the band.

So there you have it. Life on the road for a Wrinkly Romeo.

Business Politics


I’ve been in fairly frequent correspondence with my old friend Joe-who-works-for-Halliburton-the-unprincipled-bastard. Let’s call him Joe d’Arab, for simplicity. Actually, he’s a baldy fucker from Tipperary (hock-thooey!) but we’ll overlook that. His second most recent email was to point out to me that Denis Leamy is from the next parish to him outside Fethard, and I thought to myself, well isn’t that a good one. Here’s a guy living in some 99th floor luxury penthouse in Cairo. His business card says something like

Hyper-mega-vice-deputy-assistant President,
Halliburton Asset-stripping Division,
Northern Hemisphere
The World
The Universe

And he’s up there on top of a gigantic tower there in downtown Cairo, relaxing in his tennis whites after a hard day schmoozing with the King of Bhutan, and what is he thinking? Is he thinking, Christ, what a tycoon I am. Dick will be delighted with me and the next time we go hunting together, he won’t shoot me or anything? No. Is he thinking, that was great the way I bought all the oil in Iraq for fourpence, and now I’m going to sell it for 93 squillion hobnobnillion dollaroids? No.

He’s thinking, I can’t let that fucker get away with calling Leamy a Limerickman.

Nice one Joe.

Food & Drink

Talking of AA meetings

I hate the word “workaholic”. I think it represents all that is stupid and illiterate in modern society. “Alcoholic” I can understand, but where did “workaholic” come from – “workahol”? Or “chocaholic” – chocahol, perhaps?

What about fuckahol?

But Alcoholics Anonymous is something else again. It’s the anonymous bit that I love: you have all these WORLD FAMOUS actors, musicians, athletes and electricians, and they’re all members of Alcoholics Anonymous. I mean, come on. There’s George Best, over there in the corner, looking diffident and self-effacing. Hi. I’m George, and I’m an alcoholic. They’re all going “That’s George fucking Best and look!! He’s a piss-artist too, just like me”. Not that it would come as much surprise to anybody. Anonymous? Ah come on.

PS I know he’s dead.

Food & Drink

Hints and wrinkles

I’m getting worried about Wrinkly Paddy. He seems to be hitting the sauce very hard at the moment, and he’s becoming abusive to anyone straying inside his field of vision which, admittedly, has shrunk to about two metric feet. I heard that he’s been wandering around housing estates knocking on doors, screaming at the people who come out, “I know where you fuckin live!!!” He’s completely fluent in the Garda dialect by now, and could easily pass for a Member, but what’s even more worrying is the fact that myself and The Bullet have to stay in his house on Sunday night. You see, Wrinkly Joe – the only man who can talk him down from a homicidal seizure – is still in Australia. When I say “talk him down”, I really mean the only one of us who has a stun gun, but let’s not split hairs. I brought a bottle of Mace back from Prague last month when I was over there with the Rockhopper recruiting a team of assassins and Hoors for a special project. So if necessary, I’ll either mace him or hoor him. Joe has a problem in Oz (as we call it down here). He can’t find a pub showing the game on Sunday. What? In Australia? Yeah, mate. In Australia, It seems all the pubs are showing the fucking Celtic match instead. What?? Ah, come on! WTF?

So, here’s to Wrinkly Joe. I hope he’s reading this in the Antipodes. Joe, if you’re listening, we’ll be texting you, mate. No worries!! G’day!

As for Wrinkly Paddy, well, I don’t know. I have this second-hand humane killer that I bought the last time I holidayed in Ballyhaunis, but it just doesn’t seem right. I know him such a long time that, if ever I killed him, it probably shouldn’t be done humanely.


More legal stuff

Received a bill today from my lawyer, Gonad the Ballbearian. I hadn’t seen him since the last bill he sent, and so I was a little surprised to receive this one. Here’s what it said. You decide.

To Services Rendered
Not listening to unmitigated drivel — 432 euro
Being deprived of opportunity to offer opinion on Munster’s chances — 1872 euro
Emitting self-pitying whine — 135 euro
Refresher — 1827 euro
Not helping with crossword — 756 euro
Not getting free pints — 432 euro
Refresher — 1827 euro
Not listening to shite — 324 euro
Supplementary refresher — 1647 euro
Counsel’s opinion — one pint
Special Refresher — 1233 euro
Being deprived of opportunity to offer opinion on Munster’s chances — 1872 euro
Rugby opinion supplement — 18360 euro
Pints for counsel— 99 euro
Postage, photocopying, searches,
bollock-scratching, leering at secretary
and looking out window — 14,571 euro
CASH TOTAL — 45,387 euro and one pint

A not insignificant amount, I’m sure you’ll agree. Even by my own gargantuan standards, this represents a nice little nibble. I have a good mind to call into his office and tell him to feck off.

More Gonad:

The Christmas Crib

Dead Accountants’ Society

popular culture

Rain Debate

Years and years and years ago (cos I’m incredibly old, and can remember such things) there was an American series on TV, called The Invaders. A Quinn-Martin production, like Rockford, and Cannon and a whole shitload of others involving guys with very dodgy moustaches and check jackets. Admittedly, Rockford had no moustache, but in a virtual sort of way, you felt he would have had one if only he could let himself go. Personally, I could never grow a decent moustache, which was thing that blighted both of my teenage years. Neither could my father, I think, but I have no evidence to support that, as he never tried, because nobody was gay in his time. I’m not gay either, but hey, nobody’s perfect. It didn’t stop me growing a series of very dodgy Village People caterpillars over the years, but at least I never dressed up. Why? Well, what the fuck would you dress up as in Ireland? A traffic warden? A Christian Brother? Young Man . . .

I think not.

The Invaders was a follyer-upper show based on the premise (licensed) that Earth had been invaded by creatures who took on human form, and let me tell you, the whole of Ireland followed it to see how poor Roy Thinnes would get on from week to week in his terrifying black-and-white world. Not that his world was anywhere near as terrifying as the nightmare poor Dr Richard Kimball had to endure. An innocent man, unjustly accused of his wife’s murder, and relentlessly pursued across the United States by the tireless Lieutenant Gerrard, played by Barry Morse. The bastard. Or maybe the black-and-white was just a Limerick thing, and came naturally from the miserable ambience we have here. Anyhow, they didn’t exactly follow it. They just stared at the fucking one-channel box because it was better than the death-inducing Catholic wasteland they’d inhabited before television, which was exactly two years previously.

You see, the thing about the Invaders was this: they had one dead give-away. Their little finger stuck out, the way it used to do when you were a kid playing snowballs. If you could spot it in time, you could kill the evil alien bastards, but I don’t remember how. I think they grew in a seed tray the same way you grow Busy Lizzies.

Where’s this going? It’s this. I think we have a new wave of invaders. About ten years ago, I noticed a new accent appearing in this country, on a newish radio programme called AA Roadwatch. Maybe it was longer, I don’t know. Will we call it twelve years? Anyhow, the thing that really struck me was the pronunciation of “roundabout”. I’d never heard this before. Were they saying “rang debangt”? That wouldn’t make any sense at all. What about “rine debite”? Still no sense. I thought about it for months before it came to me. They were saying “rain debate”. I don’t know why they were saying “rain debate”, but for some reason, AA employed a series of girls from the same street, who all said “rain debate” the same way.

Now here’s the sinister bit. That was years ago and a bit of a laugh. The AA girls who talked that way just sounded like fools. But now, people all over the country are talking exactly the same way, and what’s even scarier is that nobody notices!! Little finger or what??