Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Slinking and slithering

Oh look, it’s the start of December, and in his twelfth new month’s resolution of 2008, Terence slides apologetically from the undergrowth with a new post and a pledge to blog more often.

I'll preface this by revealing my promise to stop publishing posts that explain away my frequent absences, because one can become reliant on them in the way that stellar journalist Tom Humphries over-employed the old writing a column about not being able to think of an idea for his column idea. It punishes me a little bit more to have to think harder you see, on top of the annoyance at having something under my care that I’m not tending to properly. There's only one way to do something and that's the right way or not at all. That's what I always say. When someone's doing something for me.
I know too how irritating it is for readers because when I visit blogs I like and it's just chill winds and tumbleweeds everywhere, it gives me a pain in the rashers so it does. And I don’t even know where me rashers are, although they say the government has them.

Anyway, I got prompted to reconnect with my blog because I checked the email where the blog comments go to, and there I discovered that rampant serial taggist Susan has once again done her worst in an effort to rouse me, and succeeded. It’s a typically Susanesque tag as well, very girly and pink and sweet-smelling which throws me out of my comfort zone; she requests that I list off six things I value the most, which is actually a neat meeting of minds because I was planning one of my anti-rants anyway, to restore karmic balance on the blog, as one must do, so here goes.


1. My signed copy of John McGahern’s Memoir

As one of only 250 ever issued, it’s probably worth a few bob (800 yoyo on some sites, less on others) but it’s not for that reason this is among my most prized possessions. McGahern and I went to the same college, are from, roughly, the same part of the country, he was the subject I chose for my English thesis and basically, I just think he was a cracking writer in a very understated, spartan sort of way. The opposite of me, indeed, I lean a little more towards the verbose.

Anyway, his memoir was long awaited because his private life had generally been just that; private. It was difficult finding out meaty stuff about him for my thesis, and I had to make do without it, but the memoir filled in all the blanks a few years later and having a rare copy of it in the house which he personally handled and inked, just for me, well it’s a little bit tremendous. In my book anyway. Boom, boom.

2. Hamsters
I only discovered the comic potential in hamsters there last Christmas.
I’ll clear it up right now that this won’t stray into Richard Gere-myth land, just to get it out of the way early.
Anyway, my seven-year-old niece got a hamster for Christmas two years ago. She entrusted Uncle Terence to feed it on Christmas Eve last year while she went off to bed where she had promised solemnly and fairy-like to “fall fawwwst asleep in deep and silent slumber.” In fairness, she’d been at the Enid Blyton books, bless her.
I, however, had been at the Southern Comfort.
Anyway, I started feeding him nuts and no matter how many I gave him, he kept taking them. I’d give him a nut, he’d grasp it squirrelishly, briefly examine it, pop it in his mouth and then stare twinkly-eyed and buck-toothed at me for another. So I kept obliging the wee fella, it was the season of giving after all.
A full packet and 15 minutes later, he was still ramming them in the little bastard. By that stage, a sort of silent standoff had developed between us. I wanted him to just wave a paw at me and admit he was beaten but he wouldn’t, he just kept packing the nuts into his jowly cheeks where he was storing everything for gorging himself on later.
I got afraid he might swell up and explode cartoonishly but in any event, I ran out of nuts before he ran out of space. I think he thought he was on the Krypton factor endurance test for hamsters or something.
It was fun though, he looked like Quagmire off Family Guy at the end. Giggidy.

Hamsters. Sigh, the gift that keeps on taking.

3. Family

Family is King. End of. It’s only now that I’m a little bit older that I realise not everybody was brought up in an environment where their parents were happy together, got on well with their brothers and sisters and still look forward to returning home and hooking up with them all whenever possible.
Charles Manson and the Krays know exactly what I’m talking about here.

4. GAA
Now here’s one I haven’t covered on the blog before. I’m a total Gah head who’s been following Cavan’s gaelic football fortunes oe’r hill and across dale since I was a nipper. You can’t really grow up in Cavan and not follow ‘the football’. See? We even put a ‘the’ in front of it, like it’s an exalted, higher reality or entity you can touch and see. We talk about nothing else down home.

And this normally mild-mannered McDanger turns into a red roaring lunatic at a match, I’ll admit. I dunno, it’s just part of what I am now. My Dad started bringing me to matches and it’s a passion we’ve shared together ever since. We’re very similar, my Dad and I, so even though I have four brothers who’d profess an interest in the game as well, it’s me and Dad that always go to the football together. The rest of them just flirt with the football, Dad and I married it. That’s why it's been an important influence in my life.
By the way, Cavan win absolutely fuck all so it’s something of a curse to have been born there and therefore have to support them, (where you’re born dictates everything in GAA). We won a big cup back in 1997 and it was one of the best days and nights (one day, I think there was two of the nights, it’s all a bit hazy) of my life.
We’ve a new manager for the season ahead, here’s hoping fortunes improve. I probably won’t write too much about it here though, I don’t think anyone would get it.

5. Personal contentment
You don’t know what it is to have lost this for a long time until you’ve found it again. 2008 wasn’t an easy year for me, that’s all I’m saying.

6. Women
No, seriously, I’m not playing to the gallery here and I don’t mean it in the very obvious way, but I absolutely love women. They’re great. I still haven’t a clue how they actually work or anything but even growing up I’ve always had more female friends than male. In 80s/90s rural Cavan, this immediately and ironically bracketed me as an ardent homosexual but I didn’t mind.
I think I just get on better with women. Maybe I’m nicer to them because I’m generally trying to get off with one of them. Maybe I’m not threatening because unbeknownst to myself, I come across as asexual. Like an amoeba. Or maybe, as Radge often tells me, to make me blush like a schoolgirl, I’m just a great big massive cuddly hunk o' love.
Whatever the reason, most of my close and significant friendships in life have been with women, and most of the girls I’ve snogged have been women as well, so all things considered, women are just great.
Terence says: Embrace women wholeheartedly.


Now, I know I'm supposed to tag six others but I haven't got the heart to be honest, I've fulfilled the difficult end of the bargain and will leave it there.

After posting, I'm typically awash with new enthusiasm for blogging and fully intend to be back with more nonsense. I really want to tell you all about the luckiest thing ever that happened to me, ever, I hope I make it back before 2009 to tell you.

15 moos and woofs:

Thriftcriminal said...

Don't get married if you want to maintain a clutch of female friends dude.

hope said...

He's alive! Susan and I were about to pool our funds to hire a detective...or at least someone who could check your pulse. ;)

Interesting list. Although I wish you wonderful things in life, how about not make us hold our breath in anticipation? Just check in say, TWICE a month or so for a pulse check. Like Susan, I actually miss the words you keep to yourself. Be nice...share.

Kath Lockett said...

If The Radge (see what I did there?) describes you as a big ol cuddly Hunk of love you have absolutely nothing to worry abuot.

The Hamster one was my favourite. Did he survive your, erm, 'attentions' ?

Baino said...

Well welcome back you Cavan Culchie (I lurnded a nu word wile u woz away).
Can I have a slice of your personal contentment please, mine's in short supply. Mass of cuddly love is just fine!

Terence McDanger said...

Thrift, I intend to bear that in mind for the foreseeable and perhaps beyond.

Hope, I will do my berry vest. But my good intentions keep falling by the wayside under waves of work and other issues. Bah!

Kath, Radge is indeed a higher exalted reality that you can see, but I wouldn't touch him for quids, cos' there's a worryingly high possibility he'd enjoy it.

Baino, I'm in thrall to your new vocab. I guess you didn't have Irish equivalents of 'Hymen Wye' and 'Nyebuzz' on the telly to tach you slang like I did. I might write a piece on Cavan slang actually, it might be interesting.

Radge said...

Radge does not come out of this well, but was happy at the opportunity to third person himself.

Susan said...

HURRAY!! It's good to see you.

So is that why your blog is decorated in blue and white, the Cavan thing? And I nearly wet myself laughing over the hamster, by the way...though uh, that could just be my age.

No, it was you.

But I melted away over your tribute to women...aaawwwww. You're a treasure, McDanger, POST MORE GODDAM OFTEN!

It doesn't have to be so much as this (though this is awful nice) ... just a photo perhaps, or a quote from your day, or a list of the pints you consumed the night before. Tell us how Cavan's doing as they go on with the new manager, go on.

Anyhow, I was sort of hoping you'd tag Rosie. We haven't had fireworks here since Halloween after all...which was about the last time you posted, actually.


Terence McDanger said...

Radge will come out if it better when I reveal he just emailed me this with a subject line of 'nudge and wink'. Indeed.
Anyway, I started feeding him nuts and no matter how many I gave him, he kept taking them. I’d give him a nut, he’d grasp it squirrelishly, briefly examine it, pop it in his mouth and then stare twinkly-eyed and buck-toothed at me for another. So I kept obliging the wee fella, it was the season of giving after all.
I can't believe I wrote that and didn't cop.

Susan, the track of Rosie's five fingers is still emblazoned and red raw on my cheek after the stinging slap I got the first time (the only time) I tagged her. Haven't the heart? Haven't the balls more like. She's dangerous when she's riz.

Annie A said...

"Embrace women wholeheartedly."

i like

Moon said...

We used to have hamsters, they were brilliant houdini easque escapees !!!

I used to have loads of female friends, problem was I always wanted to shag them .... Mrs M was the saviour from that !

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