How Did Everything Get So Weird?

In January a friend messaged me and asked me if I’d heard there was a new virus in China. Since we’ve had a new virus about every two years that, so far as I can tell, did not affect my life in any way whatsoever, my instant reaction was that it was a load of old clickbait bullshit that the drug companies would magically have a vaccine for almost as soon as we first heard about it. Indeed, I seem to remember this happened with the Swine Flu outbreak, which I believe both myself and brother contracted and which turned out to be little more than three days of the sweats.

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Panic Buying In The Time Of Coronavirus

“Have you any tinned mackerel?” I ask the lady in Tescos who is in the process of stocking the shelves.
“I’m not sure. Oh yes, I see them here. How many do you want?”
“Two, please,” I say, and she proceeds to take two tins out of the box.
“No, I meant two boxes,” I say.
“JESUS CHRIST!” she utters in a biblical tone.

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Love In The Time Of Coronavirus

“I’m not going,” she says.

“Ah come on, don’t be daft,” I say, “sure it’s all hysteria. You’re more likely to die of diabetes but that doesn’t stop you eating all those chocolate bars, does it?”

“What are you trying to say?” she asks.

“Well, nothing, just that, you know, you like chocolate.”

“And so what if I like it? I know what you’re saying, you asshole.”

“I’m not saying anything. We’ve been looking forward to this gig for weeks. It’d be a shame not to go just because of some silly virus.” Continue reading “Love In The Time Of Coronavirus”

GOING LOWER TO HIT HIGHER AT THE DUBLIN CITY MARATHON 2019

Double Jameson

Part 1: No Bed at The INN

“Give me your documents or there will be no bed for you here tonight and you must sleep on the cold October streets,” is the reception I get when I arrive at my accommodation in The Ritz the night before the Dublin Marathon. Except that it’s not actually The Ritz and that’s not exactly what the receptionist said. But while the €56 for a bunk bed in a room shared with strangers could hardly be described as The Ritz, the reality is I am literally going to be turned out onto the streets as the identification I have, even though it is photo ID and has been accepted everywhere else I’ve ever used it, does not come in the form of a passport or driving licence. Lovely.

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One Day In Aughrim, Galway

“He had this green growth on his langer and so he went to the doctor. The doctor asked him if he’d been out somewhere foreign and he said he’d been to Mongolia and so the doctor said, ‘ah, you have the Green Mongolian Veneral Disease then, you might have to have it amputated’. So, he goes to a Chinese specialist and asks him, ‘Will I have to have it amputated?’ and the Chinese lad says, ‘no,’ to which he breathes a sigh of relief. And then the Chinese doctor continues, ’It will fall off all by itself.’” Continue reading “One Day In Aughrim, Galway”

One Day In Bray

Sitting down on the train to go to Bray (all pics here) I get a bad smell, really bad, and it’s wafting off of my jeans. It’s a smell that reminds me of a teacher I had in school years ago. The man smelled so bad I used to sit right at the back of the class and his stink would still offend my nostrils. Continue reading “One Day In Bray”

One Day In Clifden

Standing Stones, Clifden. These are thought to date back thousands of years to the Bronze Age and may have been where druids made human sacrifices

Arriving in Clifden with a sleepy head at 11.30, the first thing I go in search of is a cup of coffee. Entering a bakery in Market Street to acquire same I am served by a pleasant young black woman and when she speaks she has as Galway an accent as anybody could ever hear. I don’t know why this surprises me, but it does, and is a sort of wow moment which makes me smile a bit.

“Where’s the loo?” I ask.

“You mean the toilet?” she replies, to which I nod. These days I feel I am increasingly speaking a different language to the youth of today.

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