“The Dáil want to have their own brand of House wine” my chum Spike Righteous read from the newspaper down in the club yesterday evening “well I for one am glad that our leaders have their priorities right….they’re not shopping at Lidl’s….buy Irish that’s what I say”. “I think you may be missing the point Righteous” I intervened, lighting up one of my Monte Cristo no.4’s “don’t you think there are more pressing matters at hand….mass emigration….our economy in hibernation….bank evictions….of course the Dáil having its own brand of wine has to be top of the list”. “But don’t you see Thackeray” Biffo The Garda Boyle butted in “if our rulers the poor misfortunes…are up all night in the Dáil drinking….so they can make important decisions concerning the entire citizens of the State….then I think they should at least be drinking a House Red”. “It will be good for tourism they say” Spike added, nodding his head. “”Well the Dáil is obviously a Mecca for tourism isn’t it Spike” I said throwing back a glass of our club’s own brand of wine called Toxic “I mean where else in the world can tourists go to see political leaders half canned by 3.30 in the afternoon….I mean it’s better than going to the theatre….it’s like a live version of the Muppet Show”. “What will they call it….that’s what I’d like to know” Spike said scratching his chin in bewilderment. “Maybe they’ll call the House Red…Quiff d’enda Kenny” I answered quickly “that’s guaranteed to make you throw up after one glass”. “I suppose they wont be calling one after our Minister for Injustice” Biffo added “a glass of Shatter wouldn’t inspire you much”. “Aptly named though Biffo my chum” I tutted “no doubt our Minister for Propaganda….Goebbels Rabbitte….will be holding a launch of the new red wine or perhaps in his case diluted red…. I can see it now…..sitting at the Dáil Bar at 5am….can I have a small Rabbitte….and a Gilmore shandy for the wife”. “Where will they make it….I don’t know of any vineyards in Ireland” Spike asked scratching the other side of his head. “Oh Enda’s been given a vineyard in France for being such a good boy in Brussels….I heard he’s going to call the first batch…Merkel Je T’aime….” I guffawed. Dáil wine….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….
“Pat Rabbitte has announced that Ireland is free of cavemen” Biffo Boyle read from the newspaper down in the club yesterday “the former cavemen told him I suppose since….he is the Minister for Communications….that their cavemen days are over”. “I’m not so confident about that” I said cautiously “I know that Mayo where Rabbitte comes from… most of the people still live in caves”. “Well he’s saying here that even if they do live in a cave, they’ll still be charged a broadcasting charge for the use of a television” Biffo said, shaking his head “that seems a bit harsh now”. “I suppose with a name like Rabbitte…he’s been down every hole and cave in the country checking to make sure” Spike Righteous added and we all nodded in agreement. “Isn’t it great though that our Minister for Communications is broadcasting to the world that Ireland is free of cavemen….that’s just the type of media exposure we need to encourage foreign investment” I said matter of factly “come to Ireland….we’ve only just emerged from caves….our banks have fleeced the country….our former Taoiseach never had a bank account and escaped paying tax because he said he won it on a horse….our Minister for the Gaeltacht can’t speak Irish….and our Minister for Small Business is bankrupt….sure they’ll be queuing up to invest”. “I reckon they must think that the boom happened because when we came out of the caves we couldn’t stop ourselves building” Biffo said, taking a swig of his snakebite in exasperation “lost the run of ourselves so we did… building everywhere we saw a patch of grass….built 150,000 houses we didn’t need just because we could….just for the hell of it”.
“I don’t own a television” Spike announced proudly “I can’t bear listening to them….and I don’t live in a cave….do I still have to pay the charge?”. “Well according to the Rabbitte Man – the Caveman Seeker….yes you do…cos you have such brilliant internet and mobile coverage…that you’ll be watching television on that” Biffo answered lamentably. “Did you not hear Spike” I asked in mock surprise “Ireland has 97% broadband coverage….according to our Minister for Communications that is”. “Then why do I have to get satellite broadband?” he asked “and why can’t I get any coverage on my phone….sure the most common phrase on the phone in Ireland is….can you hear me now”. “Ah that’s because the 97% coverage is in the cities and the 3% is spread out amongst the rest of the country where nearly half the population live” I said in wonderment. “Im very confused now…if I’m paying for my internet myself…and I’m paying for my mobile myself….then why am I paying for broadcasting?” Spike asked, scratching his head. “Oh that’s because The Rabbitte isn’t paying for his internet or mobile….that comes under expenses…..and you have to pay for that…and all Irish politicians are paid more than any politicians in Europe….sure aren’t they worth every penny” I guffawed “we’re the laughing stock of the Western World”. “There’s something wrong here lads” Biffo said shaking his head “when the President of the United States who looks after 317 million people is paid less than Enda Kenny who can’t manage to look after 4 million….I’m not an accountant like you Thackeray….but I think the figures don’t add up”. “They certainly do not my good man….the con goes on” I said gravely. “I dunno lads” Spike said sadly “but I reckon The Rabbitte Man has forgotten his roots…maybe he needs to go back down that warren cave where he came from”. Freedom of Speech….still it seemed like a good idea at the time…
“Who will win the Rose of Tralee Biffo?” Spike Righteous asked as he went through all of the hopeful entrants on his I-Phone “I fancy the New York Rose myself”. “No…it can’t be New York…they won a few years ago….I reckon it’ll be Germany since Kenny is going for the Euro Job and we need more money off them….or else maybe Australia or Canada as we need them to give more visas for the thousands that are emigrating there every week” Biffo replied knowledgeably. “Do you mean to say that you think the Rose of Tralee is rigged….like our county council elections….what a terrible thought” Spike answered, utterly appalled by the suggestion. “Well now…it may not be as bad as the elections….sure you couldn’t find a pen between them that would write straight….no I just think they play it cute….and there’s no one cuter than those Kerry hoor’s”, Biffo answered and everyone in the club nodded. “This is Ireland chaps” I said with a sigh “the reason we’ve have the highest cholesterol in Europe is that we have to take a bucket of salt with everything we hear”. “The old patriots would be turning in their grave to see things the way they are now” Biffo lamented. “They wouldn’t want to….they’d be charged property tax if they moved an inch” I scoffed “romantic Ireland’s dead and gone….tis with O’Leary in the grave”. “I didn’t know the Ryanair chief was dead….when did that happen?” Spike asked, getting up from his stool and looking around him as if a Boeing 747 was about to land. “Never mind Spike” I said shaking my head “have another Giggle Juice”.
“You know I often fancied myself as one of the Rose of Tralee Escorts” I said coolly “with my debonair good looks and impeccable dress sense…I’d have the pick of the bunch I’d wager”. “Pity you have the head of Benjamin Button as a child though” Biffo answered with a guffaw. “Well I don’t recall too many Guards being escorts….they’d understand it to drive them around on a motorbike all day long at 150mph” I retorted angrily. “I was an escort once” Spike said suddenly, stirring his cocktail with his comb before using it to side-part his hair. “You what” I shouted “YOU were an escort Spike…don’t you mean you owned a ford escort”. “No Thackeray…I mean I WAS an escort” Spike replied with a sigh “I don’t know why you find that so hard to believe. “When Spike…and where?” Biffo asked, putting on his Garda hat to emphasise his question. “If you must know I was an escort at the Aherlow Attractive Ass Competition in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety seven” Spike said, nonchalantly taking a sip of his drink. “Attractive Ass Competition” I bellowed in disbelief “why haven’t I heard of this before….I should have been a judge….I gaze at ass’s every day”. “Well it’s not very well known I suppose and it’s very difficult to organise it” Spike answered honestly. “I bet you’re right” Biffo answered smacking his lips thinking about it “I suppose those women’s lib enjoyment crunchers would be protesting all the time”. “What did it involve Spike….did the proverbial ass’s have to be manhandled so to speak to check quality and substance” I said, gulping back my brandy to keep my temperature down. “There was some of that certainly” Spike answered, nodding his head “but it could be very troublesome as we had to lead them onto the stage with a rope and sometimes they’d resist”. “Good God…I knew they were backward over there…but leading them with a rope…brilliant idea…but….I mean how did they actually get away with it?” I asked dumbfounded. “Well donkeys are generally placid creatures but sometimes you’d come across a fiery one” Spike answered matter of factly before howling with laughter. “You’re a cad and a scoundrel Spike Righteous….a cad and a scoundrel”. Being an escort….still it seemed like a good idea at the time…
“Why do we have to go to the Charity Ball?” my chum Biffo Boyle grumbled on Friday evening down in the club “I mean didn’t we give them something last year”. “Because its charity Biffo” I answered with a sigh “we have to be seen to be doing these things”. “Who was it for last year anyway….I forget with all the donations I give” Biffo continued, shaking the jar on the counter marked “Brown Babies Appeal” for some change for the juke box. “I think it was the homeless people of Tanzania” Spike Righteous answered knowledgeably “as a result of your kind benevolent nature….there was 22 more huts built in time for the hurricanes in the Autumn”. “That was jolly decent of you Biffo” I added with a smile “that’s the PAYE brethren for you….just all heart”. “But what about the homeless here at home….do they have a reciprocal charity for them over in Tanzania?” Biffo asked with interest. “Don’t be a buffoon….we’re one of the developed countries….our homeless people are homeless by choice….otherwise why would we have thousands of empty homes all over the country” I said seriously “anyway it looks better for Kenny to help people in Tanzania…it’ll score him great points for that job he’s after in Europe”.
“How much are we expected to give this year then?” Spike asked, carefully removing the cobwebs from his wallet so as not to disrupt the third generation of spiders nesting in there. “I don’t think there’s any specific amount Spike….last year I gave a pair of our canteen luncheon vouchers” Biffo answered proudly. “But isn’t it only Guards that can use them” Spike asked, dropping his wallet when one of the larger spiders growled at him. “It’s the thought that counts Spike…we’re not all accountants you know” he answered crossly. “We certainly are not” I added “accountants…such as myself…really are the chosen people”. “So how much did you give last year then Thackeray…..it was a lot I suppose” Spike asked embarrassedly. “I didn’t ACTUALLY give anything” I said with a low cough “I spend it all on my tuxedo”. “You WHAT” Biffo shouted “you didn’t give a red cent….you cheapskate….and you have the nerve to say that I should be giving something”. “It’s all about perception chaps” I said aloofly “when people see me…an affluent chartered accountant….looking snazzy in my Armani tuxedo….it encourages others to give….it’s a very important role you know”. “Good God Thackeray…that just beats all” Biffo replied shaking his head “no wonder the country is the way it is”. “Once again Biffo…you fail to see the bigger picture” I said with a heavy sigh “when you turn up wearing a tuxedo by De Paul St Vincent….then people are quite rightly horrified and will give nothing….there’s no prestige in it….the charities that do the best…are the best dressed charities….it’s pure economics you see….the more glamorous the charities….the more money they get….just wait for Christmas”. “Isn’t there something very wrong with that picture” Spike asked, scratching his head “won’t there be an awful amount of money wasted that should go to the poor people”. “But they still get some” I answered, annoyed with his line of questioning “after the cost of hiring out The Westbury, the fireworks display, the supermodels, the 40ft hand crafted ice sculpture of a swan, Bon Jovi and the €25,000 bar bill….they usually get enough for a packet of chips each….so I don’t really see your point”. “Well I think it’s a sham” Biffo announced “meanwhile Spike it’s your round….charity begins at home”. Charity Balls…still it seemed like a good idea at the time….