Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Things to do in Dublin when you're dying

1. Drag yourself to the supermarket with trackie bottoms and a hoody on over your PJs to buy medicaments for the return to robust good health. Haven't showered, haven't shaved, not eating properly, look very sad and lonesome like Droopy Dog/Chris O'Dowd off the IT crowd with a facefull of stubble and possibly, a heroin habit. Stare blithely through the shelves for some minutes and perhaps even fall asleep in my standing momentarily before weighing up my options. Lemsip sounds way too girly - like gymslip, or a delicate wild herb for ladies' troubles - so I go for the pornstar and rugged sounding Panadol Max Strength.

2. Watch TV. A documentary about sperm last night on Channel 4. A quarter of a billion sperm are ejaculated on average - apparently, I'd never have the patience to count them, Lord knows - but only about two or three make it as far as the egg. This is because, and you'll forgive my layman's terminology here, women's fiddledy bits don't like the look of invader sperm and are hostile towards them so as soon as the quarter billion hopefuls get to arrivals, they're attracted up dark alleys, attacked, beaten to a pulp and left to die. The ever dwindling number of survivors go through endless other travails and assaults, like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, until a few of them reach the egg and fertilise it.
It's like nature's X factor except Simon Cowell isn't there rolling his eyes and telling tear-stained tadpoles that their tail action is shit and they'll never make it.
Anyway, women have some cheek, killing our sperm like that. You'd think they'd welcome them and their 'DNA payload' what with its key role in the miracle of life and shit, maybe plump a cushion and offer them somewhere to sit with a nice cup of refreshing green tea before sending them on their next leg of the journey rejuvenated. Anything instead of massacring the little critters!
I like to think that when the sperm that was me in a baser form arrived at the egg, I hung back a little, lit a fag, read the paper, wondered if I'd remember this for my first blog some thirty years later and made that egg fucking well wait until I was good and ready. Hrrmph.

3. Come up with a pant-wettingly funny joke about a hard-of-hearing man going to the doctor.

"Doctor, I'm very sick, I need to be examined but please speak up because I'm a little bit deaf."

"Certainly my good man, can you list the symptoms?"

"Of course. There's Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa...."

4. Spunk €500 on car insurance. Yeah baby! If you're feeling sick and down in the dumps, answer interminable questions from an endless series of faceless phone drones about your claims convictions refusals of insurance in last three years is it in your own name and how many years no claims bonus and can you furnish proof of that and your average mileage (in kilometres) and is it kept at that address in a garage or driveway for at least four nights of the week? It'll remind you of just how much worse you could have been feeling before you bothered, and will teach you not to complain in future, you ungrateful shite.

5. Come up with another side-splittingly hilarious gag about a really slutty girl, who's the town bike and everyone has shagged her. Anyway, one night she goes to a talent show in the local pub, and when she walks past the Clapometer machine, it red lines and explodes.

6. Google-research a spot of cosmetic self surgery. (What with the old reshesh an' all, I'm cutting back on the botox). I have a skin tag on my neck that I don't like much but apparently, if you tie thread or dental floss around the base of it and tie it tight, it starves it of blood and it just kinda dies and fucks off.

7. Get an e-card from hope which is a talking cow sitting at a table full of beer and wheeze, laugh and splutter till I cough up mucus and almost die. Maybe my appendix got hocked up as well, who knows, sure it'll never be missed unless I'm in a mad dash one day and need a supplementary reference section for myself with a full list of attributed sources.

8. Start reading Marley and Me, a book I borrowed from my sister. Immediately resolve to track down the most pathologically stupid rampaging dolt of an animal in the entire world and keep it as a pet. I would then write a light, breezy book about our comical madcap slapstick adventures, but with some endearing life lessons along the way, and make millions.
Get depressed when I realise there's nowhere in the apartment where I can keep a Rhinoceros. Fucks sake.

9. Be aghast to realise how the blog has been neglected during my brave battle for life.

10. Curse my anal-list-completion habit that means I can't write a numbered list of stuff without finishing on a nice round number, even when I've run out of stuff to write.

11. Ah fuck it, everyone goes crazy once in a while, huh?
Thursday, March 12, 2009

Terence Bueller's days off

Wednesday, 8pm, The Gate Theatre
A date with a hot bird, that isn't roast turkey and trimmings, our first for too long as far as I'm concerned.

As we climb the steps to see Stoppard's The Real Thing (which has a little loveheart over the 'i' in thing) I proffer to her, by way of coarse yet tasteful amusement, that this is the first piece of culture we've shared that isn't bacterial. A rumour of a laugh tinkled beside me, I think.

The play, I opine loftily afterwards, was jaunty, effervescent and fizzing with sparkling humour, and wonderfully well crafted. This is just functional generosity, of course, and what I really mean is that it made me realise how I can't write half as cleverly and wittily as I'd like to think I might some day be able to. I secretly resolve to boot Tom Stoppard in the balls if I ever meet him, for being such a talented bastard. Then I decide against it, because the fecker would probably dash off an uproariously funny play about it and that'd just defeat the purpose entirely.
If he could describe a turgid and banal protest play, in which the author attacks all the usual targets such as Church, State etc, as: "It's like being run over very slowly by a travelling freak show full of your favourite simpletons," well fuck it, I might as well give up.

10.45pm, The Elephant and Castle, Temple Bar
Jesus, those chicken wings are something else. Well not literally something else in that they're still chicken wings and not, say, pieces of a donkey, but you get my drift no doubt. Typically however, there's something on the sauce that makes me sweat like Christy Moore on the Late Late* and when I slink off to the bathroom to 'freshen up' as I say suavely to my date (in italics and all, I'm fierce smooth me) I'm shocked to find I've spent the last 15 minutes all blotchy and odd-coloured like Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson.

11.43, The Porterhouse, Temple Bar
Two pints of Porterhouse Red, the second one quite illegal, served as it was at 12.15am. It was the sweeter of the two, naturally, so I drained it with a gulp, lipsmack and a sigh, and empathised with Adam and Eve for fucking everything up for the rest of us like they did.
Then I plant a big kiss on the apple of my eye and she seems to like it so I do it again.

Thursday, 11.50am The Breakfast and Supper Club, Ranelagh
Porridge, honey, raisins, coffee. It barely touched the sides.

On the way out, I pass a lone woman sitting at a table reading a book called Release Your Inner Power.
God's teeth! That book clearly works, I thought, as I gagged a little in the fresh fumes of her fart.

12.45pm, Luas
The person beside me is listening too loudly on their impersonal stereo to a tune called the 'Great Defector.' I have one of those moments where despite myself I think of how funny a typo 'Great Defecator' would be and before I can stifle things, I'm giggling to myself and mothers are watching me slitty-eyed and gathering their children unto themselves.

1.26pm, Grafton Street
I have some time to kill before wanting something else to eat so I opt for shop browsing, to sharpen my skills at the old fending off recessionarily underworked and over eager shop assistants. I resolve not to buy any more nice gym gear because I simply spend too much on it.

1.53pm, Champion Sports
Running shorts and a teeshirt, €36, paid for on the never-never, or Mastercard to the uninitiated. I'm nothing if not steadfast.

2.20pm, Ha'penny Bridge
There's a woman throwing bread to the seagulls off the Liffey boardwalk. I remember a piece I read in the Sunday Times magazine about the urbanisation of seagulls - it was a quiet Sunday - who find so much rich pickings in landfills and cities that they can't be arsed living at sea and fishing any more like they're supposed to. They're becoming so numerous they're not far from being classified as pests, and so territorial and narky they've started attacking humans.
I wonder if this Mary Poppins was ankle deep in embroiled rats in a sewer would she feel the same and feed them chocolates. Then again, who thinks of seagulls like this?

3pm, Messrs. Maguire, O'Connell Bridge

Roast turkey.

I'm nothing if not steadfast.

3.37, Tara Street Dart Station
I'm standing on the platform reading a book called The Shadow of the Wind. An old woman with a faraway smile glances down at it and asks me if I like Charlie Lansborough?

I'm too thrown to answer so I just nod enthusiastically and she goes off happily, trailing her bockety tartan shopping thingummy after her.

4.30pm, home
I read through my blogroll. I laugh at Leeroy, I marvel at Meadow, I do alliterative things to others also but my vocab won't stretch as far at outlining precisely how and besides, it doesn't strike the right chord to say I ROFL'd at Radge and sniggered at Susan and what not.
I sigh and wonder what Tom Stoppard would write. I pause, fingers poised, then I sit down and type.

Then I give up and write this instead because as days off go, these weren't bad ones at all you know. I'd have loved a classic Ferrari and a teacher called Ed Rooney to torment, before singing Twist and Shout atop a Saint Paddy's Day float, but listen, you can't have it all.

*Oliver, Galway. Cowzer's stag.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm not eating that!

You know how restaurants are great at aggrandising and purple-prosing the descriptions of their dishes? As in, fried cheese and jam becomes 'Delicate slivers of crumbed brie, deep fried and drizzled with a mouthwatering cranberry jus...' and so on?

Look, that's all well and good, a bit of gerrymanderrenderbending with reality never hurt anybody as far as I'm concerned. I've got a few snogs that way myself and job adverts, menus, estate agents, well they all have more pliable versions of their truth when they sit down to write it and most people have the requisite cynicism not to be over duped.

Besides, and the reason for today's post is this, just think of how food sounds when they don't big those menus up all high falutin' style. There's things people won't eat when they smell them; me, I make judgements on the sounds they make when you say them. Now that's how to be a true gourmand, fuckers.

They tell me that 'Dripping' is animal fat used in cooking, or, in some parts of Yorkshire, spread on bread to make a sandwich. A real culinary treat Ooop North is, I've learned, a sandwich consisting simply of bread and brown fat (better than ordinary fat it seems. Tastier. Fattier. Fuck knows). This is known as a 'mucky fat sandwich.' Hmmm. Mucky. Fat. Sandwich.
As a total sumptuous overindulgence, however, king of them all is 'Dripping Cake', where the congealed sticky fat 'forms a toffee-like layer at the base of a cake'. They describe this like it's a good thing, in case you're wondering. Beef fat flavoured cake. Sounds yummy enough, alright.
I'm crying as I write this. Seriously.

Listen, to sum up, it's like this. Annoying leaky tap = dripping. Snotty noses = dripping. Incontinent people = dripping. Oversexed dogs on heat = dripping.

I'm not hungry thanks.

Toad in the hole
Apparently it's some sort of sausage dish but seriously, whose tastebuds are any way tickled by images of a slimy curious frog poking its head of your anus?
There's nothing more I can add really. Save for the small aside that when I was ten, I read the Adrian Mole diary and roared laughing when one of his schoolmates refused to eat his canteen dinner, telling the cook it was "all fucking hole and no toad."
They don't write 'em like that any more.

Don't we usually describe something as 'tripe' when we want to imply that it is, literally, bullshit? Well, the apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree, or indeed the shit from the cow, in the linguistic sense because Wiki tells me that tripe is the muscular lining of a cow's stomach. One of or all four of them, I can't be arsed finding out, so you see it is technically involved in the bullshit process at some juncture or other.
Furthermore, tripe's a versatile feast that can be contributed to by many animals of the herd, so you can be equally disgusted by alternatively eating a sheep's or a pig's stomach instead, although they say, wait for it, that the sheep or pig's stomach "isn't as nice."
I can only imagine this is like deliberating over a menu at a shoemakers and opting to eat the Doc Marten boots instead of wellies, because the wellies "can be a bit chewy, I find."
The wonders of tripe don't end there either. Sometimes it's called 'green tripe' because of the way in which undigested grass colours it before removal. Mmmm, rubbery stomach and chlorophyll goodness to boot, simply divine!

My mother used to threaten to serve this for dinner whenever I was misbehaving. So I knew it was bad. When I was really bold, she'd tell me she'd take things a step further and actually have my father cook it, so I knew I was really fucked then.
Anyway, it turns out they're boiled and salted pigs feet, so clearly, my mother knew what she was talking about.

Spotted Dick
Ah Jasus. This is too easy. Just do the maths yourselves:

Willys + syphillis = ?


Now, of course you will find someone who, when you mention the above foods to them, will say "Oh yes, it tastes like chicken, you should try it."

Pay them no heed. There's fuckers out there who'll tell you that boiled shite tastes like chicken, before adding knowledgeably "it's just a little tougher is all."

Me hole.

And divil a toad up there either.

And the ferret thing was just a rumour as well.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009

'Disappointed from Cavan' writes...

Busy March? It's coming in and like a lion and will go out like a herd of elephants as far as workload for lickle Terence is concerned, but I've a day off today - an oasis of calm in the storm - and now find to my dismay that it is already ruined, entirely.

I was sitting, patient and expectant in front of the TV, waiting for my favourite show to start, and now I'm not a happy man.

What I want to know is this: What heedless fucker decided to take the seminal educational programme, Bananas in Pyjamas, off the air? For fucks sake people, Bananas in Pyjamas is a stone cold classic of the genre! It's great to watch and it's even funny just to say it, it ticks all the boxes for 32-year-olds looking in of a weekday morning and I can't fathom why faceless TV fat cats would deprive me of one of the few things I enjoy on the box these days. And they leave shite like Tellytubbies on the air and it hasn't even got any fruit in it! Two bananas of a morning is two down out of your five a day, yis hoors, ever think of that before reefing it out of the schedules?

So now I'm sitting here on my day off (I got one, as in singular), looking at Sylvester and Tweety like I've quantum leaped back 25 years. Not doing it for me at all, despite the, I admit grudgingly, somewhat engaging layers of subtle subtexts, recurring imagery and multi-dimensional plots. Balamory is on there at the moment however and it's wrecking me head altogether because it's trippy and disturbing in a Scottish type of way.

I could handle a bit of Bear in the Big Blue House but no sign of him either. So, where's me bananas? The ones in pyjamas? They come down the stairs? In pairs? Chase teddy bears, catch them unawares?

Now, listen, I understand that pyjama wearing in daytime has recently become much maligned, because of POW-looking skanger burds from the flats roaming the streets in their nightwear, but think about it, maybe this is an act of solidarity with their put upon banana brethren? Maybe they miss them too? For truly, Bananas in Pyjamas speak to all classes and creeds you know, they transcend boundaries and have life lessons for us all.

It's rumoured too, that such is their universal popularity, Channel 4 wanted them to appear in Skins as love interests for Ardal O'Hanlon's character but the Bananas in Pyjamas know their demographic and don't do drugs or porn or drink vodka.

Have a look at this full episode if you've time and you'll see what I mean. They come across a bit hapless and dim alright but they just want you to think that, they're fiendishly clever at the back of it all. Like big yellow Columbos in PJs.

Is anyone with me here?

Hrrrmph. Those TV flash harries have probably replaced them with some new fangled, sexed up version. Zucchini in Bikinis or something.