Thursday, 31 January 2013

Your pants appear to be smouldering...

When was the last time you told a lie? It was about five minutes ago, wasn’t it?
Hopefully it was a little white ‘the bus was late’ type fib and not ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman’ style barefaced deceit. Don’t feel too bad; we’re all lying our arses off all the time (Although if you did have sexual relations with that woman, you should feel bad, very bad indeed, ya cheating fecker!)
Fraud starts when we’re tiny, when we’re mostly the victims of lies, or lyees if you will. I blame the parents. They will tell their children anything for an easier life, ranging from the innocent (carrots give you x-ray vision), to the ominous (that’s not an ice-cream van, it’s the child-catcher). But, giving parental types the benefit of the doubt, most of their little inaccuracies aim to protect or entertain. Siblings on the other hand… the lies they tell are intended only to upset, torture and mentally scar.
My brother is a rather good liar. They say it’s all in the detail, and he has an active (and sometimes disturbing) imagination. One of my earliest memories is of him telling me I was the only person in the world without a willy, because my mother had dropped me on a chainsaw when I was a baby. I believed this for what must have been several weeks or months (I felt quite special god love me) and his ruse was only rumbled when I casually asked my mother about her willy one day.
Slightly more traumatic was him telling our small nephew that Bosco was dead. Run over by a truck while out riding his Harley Davidson apparently. Oh the tears!
[For the non-paddies amongst you, Bosco was a squeaky-voiced, woolly-haired hand puppet beloved by generations of Irish children].
The old ‘you’re adopted’ is quite a common one, so it wasn’t good enough for my loving, caring, nurturing siblings. As I’m the only ginger in the family, they told me I came from the knackers. The story goes (note the present tense) that the family were out for a drive one day, passed a halting site and a baby (me) came flying through the window. So they kept me, and I am still known affectionately by my gypsy name at home. And what I said earlier about parents generally lying for the benefit of their child? Well they also do it for their own amusement. My parents were, and are, only too happy to verify this story. In fact I think they might have started it…
But it’s all good character-building stuff I tell myself (and maybe some day, a psychiatrist). Excuse me while I go and rock in the corner for a while… Only joking! Those driveways aren’t going to tarmac themselves.

Monday, 14 January 2013

New Year, and no beer?!

So, two weeks in. How are you all doing? All skinny, sober and speaking Swahili? No…? Shocker!
New year, new possibilities, new start. Blah blah blah. I, for one, can't be arsed. Every year we labour under the misconception that the New Year has the mystical properties required to transform our lives beyond recognition. I suppose our brains are so clogged with Christmas cake, cheese and chocolate that lard-induced hallucinations are not surprising really.
What is surprising is the timing of it all. Choosing, for example, to give up booze in January of all months is utterly ridiculous (and, ironically enough, is generally a declaration made whilst chugging New Year’s eve bubbles like they’re going out of fashion).
If we can veer into a little corporate twaddle momentarily (sorry, it’ll be over in a jiffy and you won’t feel a thing) let’s have a quick check if this is a SMART objective:
Specific – yes, in it’s stupidity
Measurable – only with tears of anguish
Achievable – not on your nelly
Realistic – see above
Timely – it’s January for feck’s sake!
January. The least popular kid in the playground, the Aunt that nobody likes, the traffic warden of the calendar year. Gyms are overflowing, pubs are deserted and people on diets are dull at best, frightening at worst (‘DON’T LET ME HAVE CHOCOLATE!’ they scream at you, a manic, stricken look in their hollow, joyless eyes). Why, oh why, would we choose to take away all the things that could help take the edge of the cold dark days?

The term is HAPPY New Year.
Don't take away the beer...
If you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution, and avoid unpleasant self-flagellation when it all goes to pot, keep it simple. The only resolution I have ever managed to keep was to floss every day. One small step for a small ginger, one giant leap in avoiding gingivitis. I have long since given up telling myself I will lose two stone in January, repairing my liver while I’m at it. It will never happen.
But if you’re made of sterner stuff than me and you’re sticking with the Swahili lessons, good on you. Here’s a useful little phrase to help you along…
I’d like a cold beer please: Tafadhali nataka bia pombe baridi.

Now doesn't that look lovely...?