Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2010

Three Dependants, Rented Accommodation

I was in the Credit Union the other day. For those of you not in the know, the Credit Union is a bit like a bank that doesn’t supply a laser card. You can’t get an overdraft, it’s impossible to pay utility bills and likewise you can’t really do anything that involves monthly money transaction stuff. Bottom line, you pay in money and they’ll give you a loan of about three times how much you have put in. The good thing is that most Credit Unions don’t do a credit check on you; they use their own judgement so it means that people like me can be deemed as credit worthy. In a way, it should be called the Debt Union, because most people I know don’t have any credit, just a loan that goes on for years and years because whenever you’re broke they offer to top up your loan for you. It means you end up always in debt and they earn money on the interest. Well anyways, there I was in the Credit Union and couldn’t find my account number, so the nice lady with the red neck scarf looks me up in the c…

Sex Within Marriage Yes, but Don't Masturbate

One day, about thirty odd years ago I was taught all I needed to know about sex ever. Sr. Something-or-Other with the evil eye explained that if you don’t receive God’s call to become a nun, you may end up getting married and should that abominable union take place you must be prepared that the man will insert his penis (she pronounced it ‘penace’, god love her) into your vagina. It would be a painful process, but luckily the procedure was only necessary when conception was desired. She then proceeded to bring up some more relevant issues to help us through puberty. One was that patent leather shoes reflect your knickers so don’t wear them. There was a  long rigmarole on how to wrap sanitary towels in newspaper and dispose of them in a manner that wouldn’t cause all the local dogs to rip the bin apart and resurrect your towel. Tampons were not mentioned. We were told that if you were put into the unavoidable situation of sitting on a boy’s knee, you should put a phone book between you…

The Thing About the Lotto

What’s all this rubbish that the Lotto is a ‘tax on people who are bad at maths?’ I’m great at maths. I’m even aware that statistically you are 600 times more likely to be hit by lightning than you are of winning the lotto. But that’s rubbish, because every week you hear about people winning the Lotto but you seldom hear about people being struck by lightning. So you could say that the Lotto is taxing on people who are good at maths. I spend €4 a week for the pleasure of lying in bed planning how I’m going to spend my winnings, and €4 is a cheap high. So saying that the Lotto is a tax on people who are bad at maths ( or ‘math’ pronounced with a lisp if you’re American), is like saying that going for coffee is a tax on people who are bad at understanding health issues. Let’s face it, life is about getting high: sugar, drugs, drink, ambition, fear, greed, anything that gets you out of bed in the morning. Playing the Lotto is about the buzz of being in with a chance. I know that I’m unlike…

Body of Christ, Anyone?

I’m just back from a First Holy Communion Party. For those of you who are not up on the festivals of the Catholic Church, it is the celebration of a child’s first time to receive the Eucharist. And the Eucharist, if I understand correctly, means that the priest utters some sort of spell to turn bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. They call it transubstantiation. You go up to the altar. The priest holds up a piece of bread in front of you and claims that it’s the body of Christ. You agree. It’s all very complex and that is why you have to wait until you are seven years old to receive it, because seven, according to the same church, is the age of reason.  If you are to go with tradition, girls wear white dresses as a symbol of their innocence and boys wear pathetic little three piece suits as a symbol of I don’t know what. Perhaps it is to highlight that they are all set for a career in banking or as circus ringmasters. The communion celebration that I went to was quite no…

I might be a Blogstitute

I’ve just donated to the Poetry Bus Blog! You should check it out on my blog roll; it’s a great new poetry thingy. I donated for two reasons. Firstly, because they have a donation button on their site that I was curious about, and secondly, because I prefer reading things that are not governed by media moguls, and while I’m forced to pay for newspapers ( and I do buy them, supposedly for intellectual stimulation but really to do the crossword and Sudoku) nobody makes you pay to read their blog, which is, when you think about it, the refreshing work of an independent thinker. Unless, of course, the writer is being paid to produce it by some giant media mogul. So who pays the bloggers? Well that’s it, nobody. Granted there are some blogs that I would gladly donate towards the demise of, but the bottom line for me is that blogging is a relatively new form of reaching people, and things like the Poetry Bus are original, great and dependant upon generosity. I gave them a fiver by the way. I…

Book Clubs are not about Books, are they?

I’ve promised myself never to join a book club. Never again, that is. Now this may seem odd coming from a person with an obsession for reading. Thing is though, I’ve discovered that book clubs are not about reading books. My first book club was following a college course. Someone suggested keeping in touch by starting up a book club. Great idea! Problem was that the members of this book club were all female and feminist with a slight penchant for reading books about the plight of women, especially women in Muslim countries. After a couple of sessions discussing novels based on true stories about women having their clitoris (clitorises, clitori?) Well you know what I mean, books about girls having their clits cut off, becoming slaves, being raped, etc… after a few of those books I feigned a bad period and didn’t turn up. Instead, I bought a Cecilia Ahern novel, took it to bed with wine and chocolate and that was the end of book club number one. But let’s be fair here, not all book clubs…

Funeral Playlists

Not that I consider myself in any way moribund, but recently I’ve started thinking about a song list for my funeral. As I’m only 45 (I tell people I’m 55 in order to hear them say how incredibly young I look), I’m probably quite unlikely to kick the bucket any time soon. But funerals are the new weddings and I want to pick my own songs. I’ve come across some desperate ones. I recently gate crashed a funeral in Dublin when catching up with some friends, and even though I never knew the corpse in his living days, I still felt that Garth Brooks’ ‘The Dance’ was a tad twee as a funeral song. After all, it does conjure up the image of line dancing non drinkers in cowboy hats, and the corpse had apparently been a hash smoking hippie who met his death when his boat capsized on a lake. Of course, I do understand that the song itself relates to cherishing special memories, but if you listen to the lyrics it is actually all about a relationship gone wrong. Yuck.
So now the problem is that every …

The Safest Place for Teens

Having escaped the possibility of a short respite in prison, things are back to normal. I’m still living the ‘free’ life, which means I share my house with a sullen girl and two teenage sons. I’ll save the daughter for a more bulletproof blog and tell you about the boys: for the sake of anonymity on the web, let’s call them Lazy Git and I’ll do it Later (their real names are Eddie and Tom.) Unfortunately when Lazy Git turned 13 a few years back, I had just read a book saying that your living room is the safest place for teenage boys. As a result, I now have an ex-living room. The 42” TV (comes with valid license) is now attached to an Xbox, and there seem to be various other teens living in there on and off. It’s hard sometimes to know who’s who, they all look the same: pale, a tiny bit taller than me, way too skinny with deep voices and that type of fluff on their faces that old ladies in nursing homes sometimes have. So apart from marking out their territory with a whiff of combined …

T.V. License

I've just opened a letter from the post office. It's about me not having a current TV licnese.  It's bilingual Irish and English, so it opens with: dear customer/ a chara. In Irish 'a chara' means friend, so right away I'm on my guard. Do Irish speaking people attack T.V. license inspectors with hurley sticks and goats horns? And because of this do the T.V. license people strategically address them as friends? Maybe there isn't a word in Irish for customer, after all, I only learnt Irish for five days a week over a period of 12 years, so I obviously only know how to ask if I can use the toilet and just about say what my name is.
Anyways, bottom line, I don't have a T.V. license and I need one and they cost 160 quid. As an English speaker, I am aware that the T.V. license inspector has heard all the excuses so I won't bother getting  back to them with mine, which is: I don't have the money, well I do, but I don't really and in my house, bills…