Archive for June 27th, 2005

The Final Countdown (groans)

In a blow to retired people and indolent students throughout the UK and Ireland, Richard Whiteley is dead. This is sad news. I was a big fan of Countdown in the days before I had to go out and get a job.

It is a bit of a conundrum deciding what to write in tribute. He seems irreplaceable. Perhaps the move to recruit a replacement will become known as the DAILY WRETCH HIRE?

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When You’ve Bin Had

In the area where I live, it seems like the only place there are bins is in the railway station. And those were only put there last week.

The same goes for any area of Dublin outside the city centre.

Running my first marathon some two and a half years ago, a street urchin from Dublin 12 ran up alongside me clutching a shiny bar of something, saying ‘here mister, take wunna deeze. It’s wha Sonia O’Sullivan eats’. As I was beginning to hit what some people call ‘the wall’, it felt like a good time to get some extra energy. 30 seconds and one mouthful of sickly sweet banana-flavoured chewy plastic later, I needed to find a bin without breaking my stride. If I broke my stride, I wasn’t sure I’d get it back. This particular stretch of the marathon wound through quite a few roads of the estates on the south side of the city, so I was confident of finding one sooner or later.

20 minutes later, now half way through Phoenix Park, I was beginning to worry that my finishing line photograph would show me crossing the line with a half-eaten banana bar in my hand. Being a bit of a stickler for civic responsibility, I was loathe to throw the bar on the ground for someone else to pick up. I had run 3 miles along the roads of Dublin’s south side without finding a single bin. In what seemed a cruel parody of a relay race, I ended up passing the bar to a rather tougher and grimier street urchin from Dublin 7, asking him to dispose of it. Load lightened, I headed for the finish line.

Clarityn O Clarityn

I thought I could go through the hay fever season without resorting to steroids. The word steroids makes me think of shiny, angry weightlifters in posing pouches.

The cold turkey method is not working. I write this with puffy eyes and and a red raw septum. I look like a coke fiend. This evening I took a stroll down to the shops for a loaf of bread and sneezed the whole way back. While washing the dishes my nose unleashed a sudden Niagara of watery snatters that dropped into the sink.


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