So what do you think of the situation in Chechnya?

I couldn’t give a fuck, Jones.

Admit it, we all have occasions where we’re compelled to gag our inner Daniel Cleaver by mimicking the other person’s disgust and flexing our impressive empathy muscles. This is best achieved through a slo-mo head-nod and a momentary gaze into the middle distance to figure out how to change the subject without getting busted. A delicate manoeuvre that takes years of practice.

Some recent examples…

Friend: That Iona Institute crowd are just mental. Aren’t they?

Me: Absolutely. Bonkers. Madder than two mad things stuck together with Vatican-endorsed adhesive.

[I mean this sincerely, but am unable to sustain the outrage without getting hungry, or have conversations about them through outbursts of 140 characters or less from a person sitting right next to me; especially when 60 of those characters tend to be hogged by exclamation marks]

*momentary gaze*

Fancy sharing a slice of lemon meringue?

Friend: G’wan then

[So weak]


Dad: I see Topaz has a sale on petrol. You’d be better getting it this side of the border. It’s far cheaper. How much is it in the North these days?

Me: Ermm

*momentary gaze*

[My Da is gearing up for a full-on rant on the price of fuel. These are occasionally subtitles for ‘I love you’ in Father-of-a-certain-generation Irish. So is ‘how’s the job going?’, and ‘how’s the car going?’. Chances are though, he will quickly veer off into the realm of the “scandalous” way the energy companies have been slow in reducing the cost of domestic oil. We’ve been here before. Speckles of red mist are already forming on the horizon. I do sympathise. But having been raised in a house where this obsessional interest in ‘the price of oil’ was considered a conversational piece and something reflected on during that five second window the priest gives mass-goers for their own special intentions, central heating was relegated to the basics in my hierarchy of needs early on. Consequently, I can’t get worked up about it to quite the same psychotic extent.]

Hmm. Not sure. My car is diesel and sure that’s always cheaper anyway.

Dad: I’m going for a walk.

[A cruel move of me, I know]


Colleague: You…like…you’ve never ever even tasted tea? Like, ever?

Me: Never

*momentary gaze*

[For some inexplicable reason, there is a cohort of Irish people who deem this an unpatriotic act and recoil in horror at the casual way I cause the architects of the Easter Rising to twirl in their graves. Was this what they fought for? Our freedom to show outrageous indifference to the national tipple? That’s me in the dodgy photo-fit flashed on the screen on Crime Call last night by the ever radiant Gráinne. I am the one. Kill me.]

I have tickled a pig under my arm though, and had a wank with a shillelagh.

Colleague: Seriously?


Friend: You’re from an Irish-speaking county, do you not think it’s absolutely ridiculous how few gael scoil places there are?

Me: Absolutely!

*momentary gaze*

[No offence, Peig, but I couldn’t give a shite. But this is not the time to challenge the middle-class aspirations of my nearest and dearest. I’d probably risk leaving myself open to charges of hypocrisy down the line when I start protesting about Electric Picnic taking place before the new school year starts. Sigh. Besides, I got hit by shrapnel from a stray ‘absolutely’ at an open evening at a pre-school the other week. Nasty.]

Have you watched Catastrophe yet? Hilarious


Mum: Would you look at that amadan *points to Enda Kenny* He’s a liar…

Me: *momentary gaze*

[Uh oh.]

*leaves room*

Mum: …would you look at the state of him. Like someone who wandered out of the ploughing championships…

Me: *gets into car*

Mum:…and they give out about Fianna Fail, but sure they’re just as bad…

Me: *drives away*

Mum:..I can’t STAND him….

Me: *arrives home*

Mum:..sitting there in the Dail for the last umpteen years and what did he ever do?…

Me: *turns off bed-side light*

Mum:..keeping the farmers sweet and nevermind the rest of us…


Sheryl was outraged to discover she had only 3 characters left


24 thoughts on “So what do you think of the situation in Chechnya?

  1. Hahahahahaha, brilliant.

    Hang on. You DON’T LIKE TEA? Oh, you’re one of *those* Irish people. I have a friend who doesn’t like hot drinks. He’s a bit of a sociopath. Not saying anything, like…

    (Pssst… Sheryl, ‘WTF’ are an appropriate three characters for the tea revelation alone)

  2. Fabulous. Here’s me sitting feeling sorry for myself because a favourite colleague has just left the building for ever……and along you come 🙂 I do like your wee rants. For extra interest I often throw in an “aye” whilst nodding and smiling. An Elvis curl of the lip accompanied by a slight grunt usually conveys enough disinterest to make the speaker stop. Isn’t Catastrophe great!!!! Right, off to put the kettle on…..for coffee of course:-)

    • It’s quotable (“horny and depressed at exactly the same moment”) so already a classic. I heard earlier they’ve commissioned a second series. Yay.

      Gutted for you re: departing colleague. Never a good thing when the good’uns are so rare. Hope you gave them a good send off. Is there a replacement? *slightly dramatic violins*

      O – guess who?

      (clue: *dodgy cockney accent* Wot you playing at?)

      Hope you’re feeling better.

      • Phil Mitchell????!!!! Keep the violins going, no replacement – no funding confirmed. It will be me – that’s 3 jobs I’ve got now. Woop woop blah. Cheered up now thanks, good old resilience! Sent random emails and texted a friend til going home time. Revving up for the next “daily” post 🙂

      • To paramoticon your good self… :/ The cuts are desperate, eh? A kick in the face for morale and a depressing impact on the work. I’m on the move, too (see my last post before this).

        Glad you’ve picked up. Hope your paths cross again soon. And *rubs hands* great to hear you’re assembling some daily reading.

      • Sigh. Cork and Galeway–so rainy and green. Mmmmm. Blood pudding and Guiness sitting next to weathered old men with missing teeth. My female cousin and I being called “Laddies” by the youth-hostel girl.
        The one thing I DID miss while there–salad. Or even veggies in general. But I was a student and poor, and eating in pubs, so what do I expect? My gut recovered eventually.

      • Ah, that must’ve been when it was a developing country. Good times *misty eyed*. We’ve coleslaw now. And Americanos. And play-dates. Even dating. And (my personal favourite) grown men and women standing in front of their houses at Christmas debating where to place a 20ft inflatable Santa with a straight face. You’d be right at home 🙂

      • When you say “tarted it up”, do you mean you dress like sluts, or that you serve delicious pie-like desserts? Or perhaps even better, both?

  3. Love the Dad subtitles, so true. I could add to that “what’ll I get your mother for her birthday” and “how’s [significant other]”. I always knew he was trying to say “when I think about the fact that you’re my daughter, I get massively choked up with gratitude and awe, so I do”

    • It’s why I stand in front of the Hallmark lined shelves in any given card shop and think.. they don’t understand us, these Americans. Saying ‘I love you’ is a sign of weakness where I come from. Serious gap in the card market.

      • I couldn’t agree more, so I won’t. We should start up a new line of father-daughter cards. Starting with “will I change your oil filter for you” and my personal favourite, “by any chance does the boyfriend like the rugby”

  4. The dad ones are true for me too: “have you got your antivirus software up to date?” or, since I left Ireland, weather updates generally outlining the epic never before experienced front of Scandinavian rain coming in over the northwest!

    *whispers* I don’t drink tea or Guinness

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