Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Farting cows and drugged up roses Sept 4 2008

Lets drug up our Roses
AS the world's greatest international contest drew to a close last week and nothing but the blood, sweat and tears of competition were left behind on the arena floor, I wondered how much longer we will have to wait before Limerick once again tastes sweet success at the Rose of Tralee.

It's been 14 years since the coveted crown came to the Shannonside and that's far too long for a county that has more than its fair share of lookers.

With that said, having the goods in the looks department doesn't always guarantee a win in the competition. So where is it that we are falling short?And more importantly, where should we be looking to get the edge over the rest?

After devoting an afternoon to this dilemma, I found a loophole in the RoT rules, an oversight so great that all other major competitions – such as the Olympics and World Cup – addressed the matter many decades ago. Yes ladies and gentlemen, the secret to regaining this prestigious crown lies in the lack of drug testing at the Rose of Tralee.

Year after year, every Biddy, Eileen and Sheila turns up in Tralee with their tin whistle, harp or dancing shoes at the ready. They churn out the same old performance that could have come from anyother competitor over the last 50 years, and have a little chuckle about how they're taller than Ray Darcy before tottering off the stage to make way for the next clone.

But imagine if the Limerick Rose at next year's event, instead of reading her favourite piece of poetry, bench pressed 200 kilos. Then, instead of talking to diminutive Darcy, she lifted him above herhead and flung him to the back of the festival dome – shot putt style. How could the judges possibly give first place to anyone else?

Admittedly, this wouldn't do much for the reputation of Limerick's ladies – and it may be hard to describe a girl with biceps like bowling balls as a rose – but we're looking at the big picture here.

So there you have it, the organisers of the Limerick Rose competition just need to invest in some steroids, protein shakes and gym membership for the 2009 entrants.

Another benefit of this is next year's rose could also potentially claim glory for Limerick in the world of competitive bodybuilding or powerlifting.

That's gas

WHILE flatulence is rarely welcomed with open nostrils by many people, it has become a particular bone of contention for my father in recent weeks, but not for the most obvious of reasons.

Unlike his son, who spends his days sitting in front of a computer, my father has a real job, the kind that leaves you stiff, muddied and occasionally soaked come evening time.

It was while at home on the farm this week that my dad told me how it may prove troublesome in the future to try and expand his stock due to our animals' "gassy" tendencies.

The EU, you see, may be putting a quota on the number of cattle a farmer can keep, so as to curb the amount of greenhouse gases being produced by farting European cows. Apparently broken wind from cattle is responsible for 35 per cent ofIreland's greenhouse-gas emissions.

Being the helpful sort, I suggestedto my father that we switch the cattle to a diet that would yield low gas intestinal production (less farts).

After a few weeks of a strict diet of cranberry juice, rice noodles and salad, they should pose far less of a risk to the ozone, I told him.

My father told me to stick with the journalism.

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