Thursday, 11 December 2008

Vertigo, cough bottle and Cork Con

MANY so called “experts” will try and tell you that this pesky recession was brought about by the burst of the housing bubble but I can exclusively reveal that a fear of heights amongst Clare people is the real reason for the downturn. Well, in Limerick at least.

It was while ploughing through the archives of the Limerick Leader that I discovered a city council report which predicted Ireland’s economic woes while the Celtic Tiger was still only a suckling kitten.

“Families from Broadford and Scariff,” said one insightful councillor, “don’t come in to town as much anymore, because many of them are nervous about car parks like Arthur’s Quay.”

Of course! It’s those bloody tall buildings that did it! How could we expect those poor Clare folk to spend money here if they’ve to park their cars and carts several storeys up?

The valuable custom of Clare shoppers would be lost to supermarkets in Ennis where people could park at ground level as God had intended, the councillor predicted.

He added that he knew 20 or 30 families from Clare who had abandoned shopping in Limerick because of a fear of our skyscraping multi-storey car parks.

Years later, now that the recession is in full swing, don’t we look like the right gaggle of idiots, with our big fancy tall buildings and nobody to go shopping in them.

If you - like me - don’t intend on ignoring these wise words for a second time, then petition city council to invest in a big swinging wrecking ball and take it to any building in the city that has the temerity to go up more than one storey.

Let’s not ignore the wise words of this particular public representative and ensure that the Limerick of the future will be known for having nothing upstairs.

No place for Con
YOU have to love this. Cork Con - the rebel county’s premier rugby side (a fact on which they very much pride themselves) - have been denied permission to enter the Social Rugby World Championships because the organisers reckoned they were too likely to train for the event.

“We had an enquiry from Cork Constitution and we had to turn them away after looking at their website. It's not personal, it's just that they would have been training for it,” said tournament organiser Rolf Fitschen.

The two-week tournament will be held in Cape Town and will be run with the ethos that rugby should be about meeting and making new friends, having a few drinks and not worrying about the result.

"We wanted to set up a tournament which was a global outlet for the players still playing for fun only, for those who do not want to worry about getting dropped, who play because of the mateship, for complete and basic amateurs. That's what this is. A good team in this tournament would look like dicks," the ever-eloquent Fitschen continued.

With that in mind - and if the Corkonians aren’t qualified to be the Irish entrants - might I suggest the Bruff seconds throw their hats in the ring?

I can guarantee that we will remain thoroughly uncompetitive throughout the tournament and as alien as it sounds to us, we will even try and buy into this idea of enjoying the post-match drinks as much as the game itself.

Cough bottle conundrum
GOING to a chemists is never fun. More often than not it means that you’re sick or, worse again, someone else is sick and guilting you into getting something for them because they’re too ill to get off their own infected behind.

On top of that, the potential for embarrassment is huge at the chemists. One wrong turn and you’re in the aisle for womens’ products where you have no business and may not realise your error before reading the back of the hair removal kit you picked up thinking it was hair gel.

Before you know it, you either look like your girlfriend/sister/mother has you so under-thumbed that you’re buying her moustache-remover or you’re the kind of guy that dons high heels and likes to be called Felicity at the weekends (apologies to Felicities everywhere).

The fear of a repeat of such embarrassment leaves me ill-at-ease when at the chemists, not quite a quivering wreck but about as keen to be there as a monk at a Cradle of Filth concert.

This visit was necessitated, however, by a bark of a cough that was keeping my housemates awake at night and making small children cry during the day.

After identifying and ensuring to keep a safe distance from the dreaded womens’ aisle, I located the cough medicine and discovered that the previously simple task of picking the correct bottle had now been turned into a rather perplexing chore.

In the past, it was simple. You either had a chesty or dry cough. Now, however it seems like they have decided to name cough medicine after the seven dwarves with Productive, Non-productive and Tickly joining up with Dry and Chesty. Industry insiders tell me that Smokey and Whoopi will be coming out in the new year.

Unable to decide which one of the bottles best suited my condition and aware that my booming cough had made the shop’s staff uneasy, I grabbed a few of each, threw money over the counter and made a bee-line for the door.

At least nobody’s going to call me Felicity this time.

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