Skip to main content

Trapped!



There’s a story I heard about this guy from Galway who couldn’t read or write. I heard it because I teach people literacy skills and they teach me life skills. Well anyways, this guy was offered a job cleaning toilets, so he was delighted with himself, because bad and all as it might be, it was a job, and there were plenty who didn’t have jobs. The day before he was due to start he went up to the council office to get everything sorted, brought along his insurance number and all that jazz. He was asked to fill out a form and when he couldn’t the council guy said that sorry, but he couldn’t give him the job if he couldn’t read or write. So off goes yer man with no job and emigrates to America.
Well years later he came back to Galway a rich man. He’d driven a snow plough in the States, saved like mad and ended up running his own business hiring out equipment. The local politicians were delighted with him returning home and bringing a bit of wealth to the area. He set up a similar business in Galway and now employs about a dozen people. So one day, one of these smart politicians says to him ‘you’re a very clever man, imagine what you could have done with your life had you been able to read and write.’ And of course yer man says, ‘yeah, just imagine, I could have been cleaning toilets!’
Well there you go, stories are great. That’s why I started the Loose Lips Story Slam with Tommy Tiernan last February. So if you live anywhere near Galway, come along to the Roisin Dubh next Wednesday at 9pm and tell your story or listen to a whole load of other peoples stories. I’ve been gobsmacked with the stuff people get up and tell an audience. If you don’t live in Galway, get on a bus, train or plane and come along. This month the theme is ‘trapped’, and I am very looking forward to it, as I myself am a fat person trapped in the body of an obese person. I was trapped in a lift once, but I won’t be telling that story as the fact that I will be there to tell the story ruins the suspense as it’s kind of obvious that it ended in my rescue. However, for those trapped in their own heads, trapped in relationships, jobs, situations and all kinds of wacky things that I haven’t thought about but am sure to hear, the night will be great.
So, if, like some of my readers, you relate my blog to your own personal situation, you may wish to comment with your ‘trapped’ experience, or do you feel trapped by words themselves?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Packet of Solpadeine and a Lecture Please

Years ago I was a respectable lady married to a nice German doctor, and it was he who brought to my attention that in Germany you can only buy pain killers in a chemist and not in a petrol station, pub or supermarket and that there was not a chance in hell that you could ever buy a pain killer with codeine in it directly from a pharmacy, which in Ireland, you can - Solpadeine.
Then a friend of mine who is a pharmacist told me that Solpadeine was her best seller. So lucrative were the sales that she did not have enough room to store the stuff in her pharmacy. But that was also back in the time when I was respectable, and in the meantime the Solpadeine police seem to be out on patrol.
Now if you ask me, I think it's pure madness to sell substances with codeine in them over the counter at a pharmacy, and I'm also a bit iffy about buying paracetemol in the supermarket, given that any 13 year old can go in and stock up on a drug that is lethal in relatively small doses. But there a…

The MoMa, a Beggar and my Limp

There’s a woman who walks up and down the streets around West 82nd and Amsterdam Avenue asking people if they’ll give her a dollar. I’d put her around 80. Small, wiry, bent, wispy hair. Brittle bird legs in black tights, but still a follower of fashion in a knit skirt with a tartan pattern, more the kind of skirt you might see on a 20-year-old Asian student. Pale pink lipstick, and a crimson red blouse topped with a cream overcoat despite the muggy August New York heat. I wonder what she does with the money she collects. She doesn’t look like she eats anything, can’t tell if she drinks. She’s sober when she pushes her trolley bag up and down 82nd, asking ‘do you have a dollar for me?’ I don’t give her one. I keep my dollars for the MoMa. My feet are killing me after walking into the city, but I’m scared of the subway. I did make a weak attempt, but have no idea what they mean by uptown and downtown. Both of these expressions mean the same thing where I come from: Uptown – as in, I’m…

The Now or the Nervous Breakdown?

There’s a thin line between reaching a state of inner peace comparable to that of a Buddhist monk and being bang on in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Thing is, I’m never sure which state I currently find myself in. It’s true that one feeds the other at times. You need to have a proper meltdown to let the storm settle and find your peace. And peace wouldn’t be peace if you didn’t allow the true tempest of this life to enter your accepting and non-judgemental state of whatever you want to call not letting stuff get to you.
The buzz word nowadays is ‘Mindfulness’. If I understand it correctly, it means that you should mind your mind, like think of it as a place where you set yourself up for feeling good or bad, and as with all of these pop psychology hits, it’s about living in the now. Like Buddhism it involves meditation and sitting cross legged on a straight-backed chair, and then you have to focus, focus, focus…
So far, I’m pretty good at not sweating the small stuff. I don’t worry…