“Are you feeling okay Thackeray” my chum Spike Righteous politely asked me as he saw me sneezing on my way to the bar. “I’m quite alright Spike thank you” I answered, beckoning Tracey man-barmaid to give me a hot toddy “ it’s just a dose of handsomeness….I’ve suffered from it all my life I’m afraid”. “I don’t think I’ve ever got that I’m glad to say” Spike said touching the marble counter with his head “and touch wood I never will”. “I’m pretty sure you’re safe Spike” I smiled “as for Biffo here…I think his family are genetically immune from ever contracting it”. Biffo who was playing hopscotch on his own at the other end of the bar, reacted in his usual manner when hearing his name taken in vain “Me…what….no…definitely not me”. “I rest my case….so Spike anything interesting in the propaganda newspapers?” I asked throwing back my whiskey with a flourish. “Well of course there are the usual ramblings from the politicians about the budget” Spike answered, leafing through his favourite daily newspaper “The Biased Independent”. “More for them and less for us” I mused ordering two more rounds on Biffo’s tab after I had seen him collapse whilst endeavouring a tricky manoeuvre in hopscotch that involved standing on one foot. “That pretty much sums it up Thackeray” Spike nodded “oh look here…scientists at Oxford have proven that… kissing… is a means of accessing compatibility between men and women”. “Only a scientist would come up with that…locked away with their lab rats for friends….proving what everyone else knows from when they were born” I scoffed. “That’s certainly true” said Tracey man-barmaid who was listening to our conversation “I’ve certainly kissed a few frogs in my life….you escaped though Thackeray…..there’s only so low I could go”. “Paid them did you” I retorted crossly “I’m sure they’re receiving counselling after that experience….now be off with you”. “It says here that the more attractive the person is…..the more picky they are about which partner they’ll settle down with” Spike read, shaking his head in awe. “Geniuses those chaps at Oxford are….that’s exactly why I haven’t been able to settle down with the right kind of woman” I said smacking my lips “I’m simply too attractive….and therefore too picky”. “My wife was the first person I ever kissed” Spike said, with a faraway gaze, fondly remembering the moment. “Need I say more Righteous….need I say more” I guffawed. The art of kissing….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….
“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….
“Did you know Thackeray now that you’re divorced you’re not allowed receive Holy Communion” Spike Righteous said with alarm in his voice as he read from the paper. “Why ever not?” I demanded, my face going scarlet. “Because you’re one of the unclean” Biffo “The Garda” Boyle replied with relish. “He’s right Thackeray…..unless you apologise sincerely for your sin of divorce The Catholic Church says there’s no bread for you” Spike replied, smacking his lips in delight. “Well they can bloody well keep their wafers then….I wont go hungry without them” I answered crossly “and I wont be paying for Fr Michael’s new BMW this year either….or his mansion….see how he likes that”. “Now now Thackeray” Biffo interrupted calmly “don’t be like that….just because you sinned against God….doesn’t mean that you are exempt from paying the Easter and Christmas dues….Church Law is very specific on money related matters…..it’s like the property tax”. “Of course you could have your marriage annulled” Spike suggested raising his eyebrow “then you could have as many wafers as you want I reckon”. “I’ve always liked annulments” Biffo said, shaking his head “the idea that it just simply never happened….250 guests….U2 playing as wedding band….best men…bridesmaids….wedding pictures….but no….get an annulment and it was all a figment of everyone’s imagination”. “How do I get one of those then Righteous?” I asked, frustration now in my voice “I mean its unlikely I’ll get to be Chairman of the club this year if I’m not seen in the front row every Sunday sticking out my tongue for the cream crackers…I mean there’s a lot at stake here”.
“Well you could say that the marriage was never consummated” Spike said solemnly “then that would be grounds for an annulment”. “But I have three children goddammit” I answered in exasperation “ why even Turlough is the very spit of me except I’m more debonair and sophisticated …obviously”. “You could try and say it was an immaculate conception” Biffo interjected helpfully “it’s worked before you know”. “You’ll never get away with it” Spike said shaking his head “if there was only one child you might…but three is just pushing it too far….you’ll just have to go for the other option”. “What other option” I shouted in surprise. “A brown envelope” Biffo and Spike answered together. “Do you mean to say it’s simply a matter of handing over a thick envelope just like I did at the Galway races with Bertie so I could get planning permission for that housing estate?” I asked in awe. “Well no Thackeray….Bertie won that on a horse remember” Biffo said, winking and nodding at the same time. “Yes…well the Church says that they can offer a special dispensation in particular cases…ie for an undisclosed sizeable sum and the matter will be cleaned up nicely” Spike said shrugging his shoulders. “You’ll have to spend some time in Limbo for your sins though” Biffo said “you can start paying for it now by getting a round in. “No….Limbo doesn’t exist anymore” Spike interrupted “they got rid of that….no money in it apparently”. “Get your own pint in then Biffo…you ungrateful cur….but I’ll have a mass said for you Spike for all your advice” I said patting him on the shoulder. “That’ll cost you €40 to have one of those done Thackeray….I’d rather have the pint instead” Spike said calling over Tracey man-barmaid. “I’m beginning to think this whole church thing is a money racket….still I wonder could they annul my bank debt if I threw in a few extra quid” I said in wonderment. “The Lord works in mysterious ways Thackeray” Biffo said with a smile “and while you’re at it why don’t you ask them to do that party trick of turning water into wine” and we all guffawed. Annulments…still it seemed like a good idea at the time…
“What on earth are you reading?” I asked Spike Righteous crossly, down in the club yesterday evening “its damned rude you know not to drink your brandy like a gentleman when its bought for you”. “But I bought my own Thackeray” Spike answered, his head still engrossed in his book “and yours too I’ll have you know”. “No reason to make a song and dance about it” I replied curtly, tipping the ash from my Monte Cristo no.4 on his shoes “well what drivel is it that you are reading that has you so consumed….the fictional story of weapons of mass destruction….the DIY manual of how to fix an electoral voting machine costing €50 million that doesn’t work ….or perhaps the self-help guide for grossly incompetent Taoiseach’s”. “None of the aforementioned I’m afraid Thackeray” Spike answered with a sigh “though they all sound very interesting….no…I’m reading the new novel by Diarmuid Hudner called “Im Happy Now.Com”….and it’s totally invigorating I can tell you”. “Well Im happy for him…fair play to him” Biffo “The Garda” Boyle said, taking a sip from his Giggle Juice “sure if he wasn’t happy before at least the cratur is now”. “So why does he have to tell everyone about it” I said irritably “thats writers for you….they think everyone cares whether they’re happy or not…well I don’t” I said ordering a round on Spike in disgust.
“That’s not what the book is about actually Thackeray” Spike intervened whilst at the same time nodding to Tracey man-barmaid to look to Biffo to pay for the round “he tells the story of how three young people who were experiencing different problems learnt how to find happiness in their lives”. “Well that’s just typical isn’t it” I said slamming my hand on the counter for effect “going around telling everyone how to be happy….damn nerve…who does he think he is ….Jehovah….what all this happiness lark about anyway”. “It’s very un-Irish alright” Biffo said sombrely “everyone knows that Irish people can’t be happy…..it’s all England’s fault for poisoning the spuds you know….if they’d just left well enough alone shure we’d be laughin”. “But the English are gone Biffo” Spike said pointing a finger at him. “Gone but not forgotten Righteous” Biffo answered angrily “I can never ate a British Queen without weeping”. “Well I think we should take this Hudner chappy out and give him a damn good thrashing…we’ll see how happy he is then” I said gulping back Biffo’s brandy while he cried about old Ireland. “But the book is about anti-bullying Thackeray….violence and intimidation is not the way to happiness” Spike said with a heavy sigh. “Well a good thrashing never hurt anyone….happened to me in school and look at me….a very well adjusted member of society” I said sticking out my chin. “That’s open to interpretation Thackeray” Biffo remarked shaking his head. “Hudner says that happiness is a conscious decision you make….it must be true because it’s selling out in Eason’s and Waterstones” Spike said shrugging his shoulders “and they’re gone mad for it in the States”. “Hudner bedamned….I’ll make my own decisions” I shouted drinking Spike’s Tequila Sunrise with a flourish “I’m an Irishman and a patriot and if that means making the decision to be unhappy for the rest of my days then so be it”. Being happy….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….
“He’s never been right after the trouble he had with the goureens” Biffo said sadly about our mutual friend “Killarney Jonah”. “That’s unfortunate….he never had any luck” I replied with a sigh. “That sounds painful” interrupted Spike Righteous who had just walked in on our conversation “I wouldn’t like that to happen to me now”. “What on earth are you talking about Righteous?” I asked, raising a disapproving eyebrow at him. “Getting a kick in the goureens….I’d say you wouldn’t be right after that for a month” he replied ordering a Giggle Juice for himself. “A goureen….my buffoon of a friend… is an endangered fish that lives in one of the lakes of Killarney” I said, shaking my head in disbelief “and our friend Killarney Jonah….who never caught a fish in his life….is now being fined €5000….after a kamikaze goureen leaped into his boat and died while he was out rowing on the lake….that’ll cost you a round Spike”. “Jaysus Thackeray….he’s got about as much luck as me” Spike answered ordering two more Giggle Juices on Biffo’s tab “we could have been brothers”. “What are you rambling on about now man” Biffo asked crossly “you’re not making any sense….have you been eating the blue smarties again….you know they don’t agree with you”.“ Look….didn’t you hear the news today….there’s a person emigrating from Ireland every six minutes” he said, burying his head in his hands “and since there is 60 people in our office….ten of us will probably be gone in the next hour…..do the math Biffo…do the math”. “Jesus wept” Biffo replied, guffawing loudly. “Laugh away chaps….laugh away…..but it’s like the advert for the National Lottery…..it could be you…..this could be one of the last drinks I have in the club” Spike answered, bordering on tears. “Well you better get a couple of more rounds in then before you go” I said, rushing to the bar and calling over Tracey man-barmaid “Goddammit…hurry yourself Tracey….Spike has less than an hour to get us uproariously drunk….3 brandy doubles, 3 tequilas, 3 jaeger bombs for starters…and make sure Spike pays his tab before he goes…because I won’t be landed with it”.
“Don’t worry yourself Spike” Biffo answered, slapping him on the shoulder “you have to do an IQ test to get into most country’s now….believe me you’re safe a while yet”. “Don’t be such a damn fool Biffo” I shouted angrily “at least wait until he’s got us plastered before you break the news to him”. “Thank you so much Biffo…I hadn’t thought about that….that’s a weight off my knees I can tell you….another round for Biffo Tracey….forget Thackeray….he’s a piranha goureen” Spike said with relief. “On a more serious note chaps” I said, leaning against the bar after throwing back the entire first round on my own before the others realised “I think it actually is the emigrant boat for me….it’s been on my mind for a good while now”. “But why Thackeray….why I ask you” Spike said pleadingly. “There’s nothing here anymore for a man of my obvious talents” I said, wiping a crocodile tear from my eye “what with corrupt politicians….incompetent state institutions….sorry Biffo I nearly forgot you were here…..GROSS incompetence in regards to the Guards….and an overwhelming lack of morality in the country….it’s just nowhere for a gentleman”. “But Thackeray….I thought that’s exactly the environment where someone of your talents would thrive in” Biffo said with genuine astonishment “if you can’t make it here….you can’t make it anywhere”. “Don’t try and change his mind Biffo” Tracey screamed out loud “if he wants to go….let him go….it must be Christmas” she said beginning to sing the Christmas carol “Joy to the World”. “But isn’t there age restrictions on getting into countries now Thackeray…..they might not take you” Spike said with hope in his voice. “What on earth do you mean?” I exclaimed “how dare you….I’d be like Christopher Columbus bringing civilisation to the heathens….why any country would welcome me with open arms”. “Well it would make it easier for you to fleece them certainly” Biffo said, nodding in agreement. “Call yourselves my friends….you’re insolent cads one and all…..you’ll miss me when I’m gone I tell you” I said contemptuously. Staying in Ireland…still it seemed like a good idea at the time…
Keira Knightly paid €40,000 for a Rolex for her husband” Spike read from the newspaper on his lap “sure you could never take that out in public”. “I think the Taoiseach got one of them….his office claimed €3.5 million in expenses in the last six months….he probably got one for all the Ministers and got a discount” I said taking a sip of my Giggle Juice. “He’ll probably say he saved the country money” Biffo added “and got one thrown in for free….if he’s cute he’ll give one to Merkel….she might put a word in for that new job he’s after in Europe” Biffo added knowledgeably. “No cuter hoor” Spike muttered under his breath reading more of the newspaper. “Anything else interesting Spike?” I asked, tipping the ash from my Monte Cristo no.4 on his coat. “Well actually….it says here that an artist in Russia has fled the country in fear after he painted a picture of the Russian Prime Minister Putin in women’s clothes” he said with a laugh. “He’s probably on his way here to paint the Ministers in the Dail drinking all night and grabbing women by the ass” Biffo guffawed. “Apparently Russian Law prohibits anyone from insulting State Authorities” Spike continued, shaking his head. “He’d be grand here…sure we’re very open-minded and cultured” I said with gusto “doesn’t our Minister for Justice write erotic novels and no one bats an eye”. “Mind you now….that Russian law sounds every bit like our law that prevents broadcasters from giving an opinion against the government….they’re only allowed to report it” Biffo The Guard said suspiciously “they snaked that one in without anyone noticing”. “Ah yes….that was our Minister for Propaganda…..Goebbels Rabbitte” I said tutting “I’d say he’s confused whether he’s a Redshirt or a Blueshirt the misfortune”.
“There’s a lot of confusion in this country….poor old Brian Cowen said they never had a Plan B for when the recession hit” Spike said sadly. “That’s assuming he had a Plan A” Biffo snorted “ we get everything wrong here….our first drive by shooting was done on a bicycle and he shot himself first…you’d have to laugh only its all true”. “He probably got a grant for the bike from the Green Party….in fairness to the Greens….if there’s going to be a shooting…by God they’ll try and make it an environmentally friendly one” I said carelessly blowing smoke at Spike. “Yeah it’s called their….Bike to Work Scheme” Biffo said with a guffaw. Competent politicians….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…
“A tie belonging to John Lennon fetched over €3000” Spike Righteous read out of the newspaper yesterday evening “sure where would you be goin”. “The question is” Biffo The Guard Boyle replied whilst putting on his policeman’s hat “how do we know that it is John Lennon’s tie…..does it have his name on it…..is it John Lennon from The Beatles….or John Lennon from Monaghan….these are the pertinent questions to be ascertained at the root of the matter ?”. “Good God Biffo….they’re actually sensible questions” I said with surprise “have you been watching NYPD Blue again to learn what a policeman does?”. “I won’t dignify that question with a response” Biffo answered with mock hurt “but they don’t call me…Inspector Morse Boyle…for nothing you know”. “That’s because they don’t call you that at all…..Inspector Gadget is more likely” I scoffed. “The woman said that John Lennon himself gave it to her” Spike interjected, reading further down the page. “Well that’s that so….case closed” Biffo answered, slapping the table confidently. “Well with that line of baffling reasoning….what if I put it to you that I have a bra belonging to Liz Hurley Biffo…..would you believe me?” I asked, lighting up one of my Monte Cristo no.4’s. “Of course not Thackeray….not for an instant” Biffo replied quickly. “But you believed that woman when she said John Lennon gave it to her with no proof whatsoever” I said, blowing smoke in his direction. “Ah yes but there are two reasons for not believing you” Biffo answered gravely “the first is that you….are an accountant and therefore lie for a living….and secondly….you would never…other than in your own mind….ever meet a girl like Liz Hurley….unless she was Liz Hurley from Kilkenny…and gave you a hurley”.
“That’s deuced ignorant of you Biffo…but I accept your point….I don’t have a bra belonging to Liz Hurley….I have one belonging to Marlyn Monroe” I said, taking a long drag of my cigar. “Of course you do….and I have a pair of boxer shorts belonging to Freddie Mercury” Biffo said with a laugh. “I believe you Biffo” Spike said, nodding his head “you were always a big Queen fan”. “I’d well believe it….as Spike said the evidence is there” I guffawed. “Of course I don’t have a pair of his shorts….how would I get a pair of his shorts” Biffo shouted crossly. “The mind boggles Biffo…the mind boggles….what you do in your spare time is your own affair of course….but you are a Guard….and your word is law….if you say you have a pair of Freddie Mercury’s shorts then who am I…a humble accountant…to argue with you….I believe Freddie God rest him…had a liking for men in uniform” I said, trying hard to hold back a smile. “I did NOT have a relationship with Freddie Mercury” Biffo shouted angrily and everyone in the club turned around in shock and horror. “I think Bill Clinton said something similar to that” Spike said, raising his eyebrow suspiciously “and he was proven wrong”. “Possession is nine tenths of the law Biffo….and since you possess his shorts….well….I’m not Ironside….but I’d say the evidence is stacking up against you old man” I said, shaking my head “what is it Hamlet said….the lady doth protest too much methinks”. “You two are impossible….I’ve had enough of this….I need a drink” Biffo muttered, turning towards the bar in disgust. “Its’ on me Biffo….especially now that your man-card has been revoked” I said with a smile and calling over Tracey the man-barmaid “Tracey get Biffo here a white wine will you”. “What would he like?” she asked in a rare show of interest. “I’m not sure” I answered sardonically “but you better make it something fruity”. Buying Celebrity merchandise….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….
“Imagine that…there were two earthquakes off the coast today” Tracey the man-barmaid announced as she read the newspaper on the bar counter down in the club. “Did the earth move for you Tracey me darlin…..did the vibration tell you I’m bringing sexy back?” my chum Biffo Boyle said, throwing her a wistful eye. “There would have to be a much larger earthquake than that before you’d ever bring sexy back Biffo” Tracey replied, folding the newspaper in disgust “that’s if you ever had it the first place”. “I’m mortally offended….I’ll have you know I was renowned for throwing shapes in my youth” he said, trying to spin around on one foot but his weight only succeeded in him making a half pirouette. “I wondered where that song…Murder on the Dancefloor…came from…now I know” she replied, snorting with laughter to herself. “She has you there Biffo” Spike Righteous added “you’d clear a dancefloor faster than a Kerryman in Cork”. “I know you’re trying to hide it Tracey…but I could be your Mr Right” Biffo said, unshaken by her response. “Well you might be…..but you’re just not Mr Right Now” she said, slapping the bar counter with her hand. “Don’t lower yourself Biffo” I said with annoyance at the verbal exchange “it only encourages her….what’s far more shocking than any earthquake…is being turned down by Tracey….which in itself Biffo should mean immediate expulsion from the club” I said solemnly. “You’re just jealous Thackeray….Tracey’s just got eyes for me” he said abruptly, following her up to the other side of the bar like a lost sheep. “She’s only got… A… eye Biffo…remember that when you’re asking her to see if a car is coming” I shouted after him.
“We’ll have tsunami’s next with all these earthquakes Thackeray….it must be the end of the world” Spike said, sticking his head in his hands in horror. “Never fear Spike” I said optimistically “earthquakes have been occurring in Ireland for centuries” I said with a sigh. “That’s just mad Thackeray” Spike said with surprise “I thought they only happen in them foreign parts”. “Precisely Spike….namely Roscommon and Mayo…they’ve been experiencing earthquakes since the dawn of time….hence they have no notable architecture of any kind” I said theatrically. “Because they’d fall down Thackeray?” Spike asked with eyes wide open. “Well originally yes….from hundreds of years of them building sheds to live in and continually falling down…genetics engineered the natives to tunnel instead….it’s no surprise that only Ros-Commoners and May-onnaisians were used to build the underground in London” I said nodding to Spike to get another round in if he wanted to hear the rest of the story “virtual moles they are…a later version of Hobbits as far as I know”. “Jaysus I didn’t know that now” Spike said, shaking his head “I watched that film The Hobbit you know….they have big hairy hands and feet…and very poor eyesight to boot”. “Exactly my point…who do you know from that neck of the woods that doesn’t fit that description….I didn’t want to say this before but it’s becoming blatantly obvious to the astute mind…..such as myself….that our chum Biffo here is a throwback from his third grandfather once removed…..and rarely talked about in the family…..the infamous….Burrowing Biffo from Mayo village…..note the big hairy paws and claw like nails…and his earlier assertion to possessing a hairy back….which in Roscommon is a sign of fertility….especially the women”. “Now that you mention it Thackeray” Spike said, his eyes screwed to observe Biffo in more detail….hair does seem to creep up over his collar…and as a Guard….he does dig for clues”. “There you have it…and Tracey…with her one good eye….ideal for burrowing underground…..they could fasten a torch onto the bad one…..must be like Helen of Troy to poor Biffo”. I said with a wry smile. “Isn’t it queer what brings people together” Spike said with a sigh “they’re right when they say love is blind”. Bringing sexy back…still it seemed like a good idea at the time…
“Sales of alcohol up nearly 8%” Spike Righteous declared, shaking his head as he sipped his double brandy “would you believe that….and the country broke”. “I can’t understand it at all at all” Biffo Boyle replied, sucking his pint of “Snakebite” up through a straw “I mean where are people’s priorities gone….it should be way higher than that”. “Over €6 billion a year we spend on booze” Spike added, reading down the newspaper and gulping back his drink to lessen his disbelief “there’s only one thing for it….people will have to cut back on other essential items….if it wasn’t for what we spend on alcohol….the show wouldn’t be kept on the road at all”. “I believe you’re looking at this the wrong way chaps” I said aloofly, removing the umbrella from my martini “I think what the headline is stressing…is that…the country is spending too much money on booze”. “That’s an outrageous statement to come out with Thackeray….this time you’ve just gone too far” Biffo said, stomping his foot in disgust. “I have to say Thackeray….I agree with Biffo on this one….you’ve crossed the line now” Spike added, shaking his head.
“Yet again….you two fail to get a grasp on the larger situation at hand as only I can…as an accountant” I said clicking my fingers for Tracey man-barmaid to fetch me another martini “get this one right Tracey….the last one was stirred not shaken…how many times do I have to tell you that Thackeray Bond drinks his martini’s the other way around”. “You’ll take it whatever way it’s given to you” Tracey answered abruptly “you’d drink it out of a shoe by the end of the night”. “You see Tracey here is a typical point in case of what I’m talking about” I said, sighing heavily “you have to understand the psychological reasoning behind the classes of drinkers in Ireland….Tracey here…like most of the sweaty masses to which she is a fully paid up member of….drink more alcohol in times of recession….to drown their sorrows….whereas the professional classes…like myself…drink in order to think….so that we can find new ways of getting the commoners back to work”. “Rubbish Thackeray….you come straight out of a comic book” Biffo answered crossly “are trying to say that only the professional classes should be allowed to drink….you don’t know the depression people feel because of the recession”. “I most certainly do Biffo my old chum” I said standing upright “I only know it too well….it’s a recession when it happens to you…and it’s a depression when it happens to me”. “By God Thackeray….you have a strange way of looking at things” Spike said, drinking from the glass in each hand “if the commoners weren’t spending everything they had on booze….then how else could we pay for bailing out the banks….or paying the highest salaries in Europe for our politicians….not to mention the €220 million in Troika fees…..the drinkers of Ireland are the backbone of the country”. “Well said….you’re the Spike…you’re the Spike….you’re the Spike” Biffo shouted, slapping his chum on the back and nearly spilling his drinks “the buck’s gotta stop somewhere”. “As always” I said, putting my head in my hands “I am shaken by your reasoning and never stirred”. Drink less booze….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….