Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm off to have steel toe-caps fitted to my boots. Now that the Fiscal Reich is in power the name of the game is Looking After Number One, right? Hail the New Economic Order! Prices up, wages down! Unemployment up, tax social welfare, right? These days everyone's in love with the New Patriotism - ask not what your country can do for you, ask only what your country can do you for. Dawn raids on dole scroungers, right?
Gene Kerrigan: As Time Goes By
Okay, kid, another year gone by, another birthday clocked up, and how are we doin'? Well, it's still the same old story, a fight for love and glory (and precious little of either), a case of do or die, the world will always welcome lovers (then how come you need a marriage certificate in the chemist shop?), as time goes by.
We had it all worked out. The posters were printed: Don't vote, it only encourages them, Whoever you vote for the politicians win, etc., all the usual stuff.
At eleven o'clock they came in twos and threes from the darkness and gathered under the street lamp on The Tarmac on Valley Park Road. All adult males.
To the men of Valley Park: We the residents of Valley Park Estate, due to the increase in vandalism, car thefts, cider parties and damage to properties etc. we feel now is the time to take action. We cannot wait until some child gets injured or killed, due to the motor bikes and stolen cars in the area. It has to stop now!
To the men of Valley Park:
We the residents of Valley Park Estate, due to the increase in vandalism, car thefts, cider parties and damage to properties etc. we feel now is the time to take action. We cannot wait until some child gets injured or killed, due to the motor bikes and stolen cars in the area. It has to stop now!
People can be nasty, spiteful, hurt you for the hell of it. So-called friends. The postcards have been comming in over the past few weeks. The States, Russia, Italy, Greece, Ballavary and places like that. (Me, I got to go out to Dollymount Strand a couple of Thursdays back with a couple of friends. After half an hour of looking at what was washing up on the sand and telling each other that, no, it couldn't be, we decided it was and left. End of Holiday '82.)
What's all the fuss about? What we have here is an experiment in open government, a form of partiicipatory democracy - that's what you could call it. An aggrieved citizen merely had to pick up a phone, dial 789911, ask to talk to anyone - a TD, senator, journalist, usher, cook, bottleewasher - and spout away. And the message could go right into the office of the Taoiseach. It's called keeping one's ear to the pulse of the nation.
I Paid off the taxi, didn't wait for change, and gave the hinges on the pub door some rough exercise. Inside, it wasn't difficult to spot Fingers Kav~ anagh. He was the one in the corner with the five rugby types ranged arround him in a horseshoe formation and they weren't wishing him good luck. Lazy Pete Maguire was off to one side making placatory noises.
Sometimes it all gets to be too much. Too many stones in the shoe of happiness, right? In an effort to improve my mood I spent a day wandering around the city, tearing up Wet Paint sings. The yelps of outrage from subsequently smudged gentlefolk should have helped raise the gloom there's nothing cheers me up like playying a particularly nasty trick on someeone - but, no, it needed more than that. Things have been closing in.
Was a time when I knew all the words to How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life? And with a half decent guitar in my mitts and a strong wind at my back I can still do a fair enough job on John Hartford's I've Heard That Tear-Stained Monologue You Do There By The Door Before You Go. And before age withered my memory the drop of a hat would launch me into the late Johnny Mercer's first published song:
The glasses will have to go. Let them see the sexy eyelashes. Then, maybe, a pipe. Not one of those curving professorial types. A straight pipe. Assertive. Smouldering. Or, maybe, black Russian cigarettes would be better. Yeah, and a gold lighter.