Archive for December 18th, 2007

As Good As It Gets

Maurice Hayes has been doing up the box room:

IKEA is thus an important part of the regeneration of Belfast and of Northern Ireland, a symbol of hope and of restored morale.

The portrayal of IKEA as a symbol of hope and restored morale strikes me as a symbol of despair and flagging morale. My hope is that people will look back in 50 years time and laugh at the times their parents went apeshit for IKEA.

Oh Calcutta

Dublin’s traffic congestion ranks as among the worst in Europe, with a survey of international cities revealing that congestion was only worse in Calcutta.

You’ll never guess where I was mid-morning yesterday. On the M1, north of the port tunnel, busting for a slash. Operation Freeflow indeed.

Tell you what though, whatever the hellfire and brimstone they might spit over the phone to their TD when their second provisional licence is no longer valid, Irish drivers are oddly accepting of their gridlocked fate. Not one of the thousands of drivers beeped their horn in anger at the situation. Maybe they were all fiddling with their satnav equipment, in case they might ever need to use it.

I was thinking about the proliferation of big ignorant cars on Irish roads. At first glance, one is inclined to think that this is evidence of chronic status-seeking on the part of a substantial whack of the population. Yet this ignores the fact that many people have to live in their cars. Would you deny them the luxury? Have a heart. It’s Christmas.

Next year’s Christmas toy: In-car fart filters.

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December 2007