As Time Goes By - January 1985
YOu're going to Kerry, they say. Be God, and aren't you the lucky one, they say. Fell on your feet there, they say. Lakes of Killarney. The Ring. The mountains. The clear air. The fish. Dick Spring. Sure, you're landed, they say, you're landed.
So, I'm sitting here at the window, looking out at the bit of a roof that slopes in from the right, the roof with the mouldy slates. Beyond that there's a fifteen-foot wall. There are a couple of trees sticking up beyond the wall and a steeple over there on the left, three streetlights in the distance. Goodnight, Tralee.
Morning, down to the courthouse.
Take notes all day. Back here to the view of the mouldy roof and the wall and the steeple. Type up notes. Eat, go to bed, get up, do it all again.
Take an hour off, explore Tralee.
Back home I've been in laundromats bigger than Tralee. Enjoy the nightlife. That's code language for drink yourrself silly.
And there's another two, probably three, maybe four more weeks of this.
So, just don't start. One wrong move and you go on The List. The List is something I've been making up in those self-pitying moments before sleep knits up the ravelled sleeve of boredom and takes me out of this goddforsaken town for a few hours. The List is headed: People I'm Going To Be Rude To In 1985. It gets longer by the hour.
The Mayor of Tralee: I don't know if this burg has a mayor, but it probbably has some local twit who likes to dress up and get his picture in the papers grinning inanely at the opening of the new multinational which is going to close down in fifteen months time. I've nothing against Tralee. A lot of people probably like being here. What I've got something against is me being here.
Superintendent O'Donoghue: He's the little chap who throws me out of the Dail every time I forget to wear a tie. The Dail is the only institution in the land with the same dress standards as the sleazier Dublin night clubs. Which is probably appropriate, given the nocturnal activities of some of our legislators. The Super is in charge of security .. He probably figures that when the big attack on the Citadel of
Democracy comes he'll recognise the terrorists because they won't be wearring ties. Little does he know I one time saved his ass. It was the night FF were voting on whether to dump Charrlie. We had to wait there all day for a result. Come evening The Super ordered all the journalists out of the waiting room and we had to stand outside in the rain. The drunken Haughey suppporters who were waiting to cream Charlie McCreevy were then brought into the waiting room in our stead. Who was it tipped off the FF hack who arranged a gendarme escort when 'Jim Gibbons got a rousting and McCreevy was about to become TD puree? And the thanks I get.
Charlie Haughey: Because it's now getting fashionable to say that Charlie isn't so bad after all. Charlie is a small beer politician with an inflated reputaation based on what he did twenty years ago. Name one Haughey achieveement that doesn't have moss growing on it? He has now employed a professsional crawler, P.J. Mara, to help him suck up to the media. And the journaalists, who love to be flattered, respond by taking Charlie seriously.
John Bowman: Bowperson is a genial DJ on RTE with a genteel backkground and an expensive education behind him. Ideal material for the National Executive of Fianna Fail if he hadn't got ideas above his station. Last year he made the fatal error of slagging off Cabra West, a neighbourrhood with which I am not unfamiliar. He suggested putting speed ramps on the main drag. For this he will be payying for years to come. Already his tired radio programme is being underrmined by Morning Ireland. By the time I'm finished with him the only opening he'll be offered is that he get together with Ruth Buchanan to host Poparama.
Mike Murphy: This gom also made the mistake of slagging off Cabra West, in the Christmas edition of his em barrrassing TV show. He is now reduced to acting as a shill for the Irish Goods Council, giving away such "fantastic prizes as biros, penknives, toilet brushes and packets of Woodbines. His afterrnoon radio show is so bad that he's reduced to taking TV ads in an effort to get people to listen to his blathering. I shall with great interest watch his further decline.
Jim Dooge: Never liked this creep.
In 1981 he jumped at the chance of being appointed a Minister without being elected. In 1982 he again dodged seeking a mandate. Hardly the act of a gentleman. Since I assumed my present position as a National Handler I've been dogged by the same Dooge, him cocking up every stroke I arrange for the Big Guy. A lot of people are coming around to my way of thinking and Doege is due a P45 before too long. Known behind his back as Dooodoo.
Eileen Lemass: In 1984 this woman approached me in a hotel and gave me a leaflet extolling her virtues and proomising to give half her salary to charity if she was elected to a Euro seat. Hardly had her bum touched leather in Strassbourg when she reneged on her promise. Hardly the act of a lady. The next time this woman appeals for votes there are quite a number of us who will spend a not inconsiderable portion of our time making sure her promise is not forgotten.
John Bruton: All the members of the government are on The List but Bruton's self-righteousness gets him a prime position. His arrogant dismissal of anyone who disagrees with the New Economic Order sits badly with the fact that I put the clothes on his back. Put it another way: I pay a lot of tax, but it takes all the tax I pay for seven years just to pay Bruton's wages. I would have to pay tax for twen tv years to pay for his wage and his free car for one year. The amount of our money it costs to pay this man and cart him around is equal to the dole money of 64 unemployed. He recently made a speech about how we must adapt our demands to what the customer is willling to pay. This customer ain't getting value for money.
Don't bother sending nominations for The List, it goes on and on. The longer I'm in Tralee the longer it gets.