Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Loved a Woman Once.

Like a forlorn gumshoe without a crime to solve, I wandered the streets of this smoggy city, aimless and quite alone. Then I crossed her path and everything changed. She was on my mind every minute and every second of those minutes. I mulled over her every enunciation and then remulled over those enunciations. My inner world became a delightful delirium, an aesthetically overwhelming mash-up: her graceful perambulation, her shoulder blades, her calves, her ankles, her hips, the tinkling bell of her laugh, her lively eye-balls, all that shite. She ruled my mind like a lovely dictator so I asked her out for dinner and then a movie.

She momentarily excused herself in the restaurant, leaving a small number of her belongings on our table. Amongst these belongings lay a hair clip, one that she kept removing and reinserting for some feminine reason that was beyond me. I regarded the clip and my heart swelled at the sweetness of the object. It held her hair in place. HER hair. It was a little baby blue clip and it was there, on the table, resting. It was adorable. I began speaking to it. 'Who's the little clip?' I asked it rhetorically. 'You are,' I answered, 'you are the little ickle blue hair clip'. Becoming absorbed in this reverential interrogation of the inanimate object, I lowered my head closer to the clip and tickled it under its chin (or where it would most likely have a chin if it had a chin). 'You're the ickleist, loveliest, ickle dickle clip in the world, aren't you, yes you are, yes you are,' I said in a somewhat ridiculous voice through pursed lips. I then realised that she (the clip's owner and wearer) had returned from the bathroom and was standing behind me. Looking perturbed, she retook her seat.

No matter how hard I tried, from that point on, all attempt at conversation was futile. She ate quickly and after the meal she made an excuse and stood to go. As she left, I called after her. 'You forgot your. . .' I held up the hair clip, 'this' I said weakly. She looked at me with mild disdain and told me I could keep it. 'I hope the two of you will be very happy together,' she said and then walked away.

I never saw her again but have since heard that she formed an organisation called The Immigration Control Platform. Oh Aine, how the heart makes fools of us all. Lucky break I suppose, I still have the lovely ickle clip and at least that's not racist.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I love the political banter so I was just watching Pat's Chat there on telefis. There was a right to do about the fact that (like for many that suffer serious enduring illnesses) care for people suffering from dementia is pretty substandard in this country (non-existent in most areas) and that the only alternative is to fork out over a grand a week to a private nursing home (that may have trained staff).

Well, I could see the cause for concern but I was pleased when minister Aine Brady assuaged anxieties by speaking of the government's new Positive Illness Strategy (or P.I.S.). P.I.S. will see top public relations consultants putting their heads together to produce a brochure that will exemplify standards of excellence in graphic design and perception management going forward. JOB DONE!

Now, where's my millennium candle/iodine tablet lucky bag?

Friday, May 21, 2010


Check out Windell's promo and the exciting and recently unearthed episode of The Hat both in staggering 3D!!!!

Click the links below:



Of course you need the right type of glasses (red and blue) but once you have them it's basically Avatar on steroids. I hear The Sun newspaper are giving away free 3D glasses in early June if you're without. If you do have glasses, check it out and tell me if it's any good. I've no glasses myself so I'm taking Windell's tech division's word for it. They have yet to fail.

In other Windell news, why not check out the hero who never made it to the compendium by clicking the link to the RDC blog below:


. . .oh yeah, and it turns out The Hat was keeping a blog on a while ago. Scroll down and there's four or so, . . .um . . .interesting pieces on today's issues. Click the link below, etc. blah:

The Hat Tells It Like It Is!!!

...right, there's reading and watching in that to be getting along with. Good day to you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Second Law of Thermodynamics or Happy Birthday to Me

It was my birthday recently and friends arranged a surprise celebration. (When I say ‘friends’ I mean various oddballs I frequently happen upon due to circumstance). A woman baked a cake. The decoration was quite novel and it tasted OK. The cake baker’s name escapes me at the moment although I do recollect visiting her house on a few occasions and I remember her noisy children. Anyway, Mrs. Noisy Child Woman, or whatever your name is, let me thank you for the OK cake. People bought me drinks also. The fact that I am trying to get my life back together seemed to mean little to them. That aside, thanks to those who bought me drinks.

Later in the evening, images were projected onto a screen. This was supposedly done in my honour but I found much of this ‘show’ to be overly familiar and somewhat disrespectful. Everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves though so I said nothing until I was asked to give a speech. (When I say ‘asked to give a speech’ I actually mean the word ‘speech’ was screamed repeatedly in my face until I complied). I used the speech to tell those in attendance how I felt they had held me back in life. I spoke of how I regretted not keeping better company in the past and how, by now, I really should be working in RTE and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tubridy and Dobson. I called everyone in the room ‘fuckers’ and concluded my speech by verbally castigating all of my former lovers (neither of which even bothered to show up).

Needless to say, my speech resulted in an awkward silence that could only be broken by lines of ‘Snow’ from the headshop. Everyone then started talking hurriedly, loudly and at once about the true nature of the true nature of the true nature of the true nature of the true nature of something or other. It all seemed very interesting at the time. I was mainly talking to an attractive young woman who eventually told me I used to be in a band with her Dad.

I awoke the next morning with the usual measure of detoxificator’s self-loathing and went to the bathroom. I took a long piss and looked in the mirror. Nothing seems to have changed but deep down I know that I am middle-aged. I have gone ‘over the hill’ and am now clambering down into a new landscape. A barren landscape, populated by bewildered and hurt looking people in comfortable footwear. I can faintly hear the guitar riff of Clapton’s Layla on the wind.

Middle-aged, mmmmmmiiiiiiiiiiiiidllllllllllllleeeee aaaaaaaggggeeeed. Oh well. The fact that I can no longer be considered a young person is some consolation at least. To be associated with the youth of today is frankly embarrassing. Today’s young are merely a commodified and watered down pastiche of former generations. Nothing exciting has happened since the illegal dance parties of the early nineties. Hippies. Punks. Ravers. All of them wanted to shake things up in their way but these days, in a time of unprecedented change, the young do nothing. They do not react. They do not protest. Shame on the young. Being middle-aged, I should hate them. If I hated them I might at least respect them. Instead I am indifferent and that makes me sad.

I will finish this post the quoting 1 Corinthians 13:11:

‘When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me except for my comics and Doctor Who DVDs and a load of other shit I wasn’t willing to part with.’

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a Second Law of Thermodynamics to succumb to, if I understand that law correctly, which I probably don’t.

. . .Laaayyyyla, you got me on my knees. Laaayyyyla, I beggin’ darlin please. . . Yeah, that tune’s not bad actually.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paul Williams

I’m a great admirer of Paul Williams. I wish I was more like him. A stand up guy. Dublin’s Gary Cooper. Wears a suit to work. Trainers and jeans at home. Listens to Dido in the car. Hates scumbags. SCUMBAGS! I really enjoyed his film about the Shell to Sea crowd. It was called Satan Walks Amongst Us. Great stuff. Those campaigners are total eccentrics and, as Paul points out, the letter ‘e’ is in the word ‘eccentrics’ and the letter ‘e’ is also in the word ‘evil’. Paul rests his case. SCUMBAGS! It is also no coincidence that the letters ‘I’, ‘R’ and ‘A’ all appear in the name Ken Saro Wiwa. Or maybe it is a coincidence but even if it is a coincidence it’s probably not. Paul rests his case. SCUMBAGS! Paul needs a stiff drink after work. He gets maudlin thinking about all the scumbags he has to put up with. SCUMBAGS! He listens to the song Why by Annie Lennox. Annie Lennox is almost as good as Dido. He listens to Dido in the car. SCUMBAGS! I have all Paul’s books. They are a great read. I have Limerick: Scumbag Town, I have Paul Versus the Scumbags, I have Paul’s Scumbag Adventure, I have Valley of the Scumbags, I have The Scumbags that Time Forgot, I have Dracula: Lord of the Scumbags and I have Destroy All Scumbags. SCUMBAGS! He listens to Dido in the car. Paul likes the taste of Chili Con Carne. He drinks four cups of coffee a day and when he was a child his favourite TV show was The High Chaparral. He once saw Dire Straits playing in the RDS. Great gig. He’s never seen Dido though. He listens to Dido in the car. SCUMBAGS!

Monday, May 3, 2010

SEASON FINALE: For the Geeks! (danger, non-geek types may be thoroughly confused)

First came the shadows, darting beyond the dismal webbed roof of our nation. The Goddess of Night seemed perturbed. There was a build up of static in the air, a distinct electrical charge silently awaiting activation, like a calm before a storm. The demonic agents of malign Samhain stopped cackling, whirling and screeching. Instead, they sat upon rooftops, silently sharpening spears and watching the skies. Nyx’s antennae moved to and fro, wary, attempting to detect something. Beltane approaches. The gates are opening again.

For every demon that resides in the Collective-Unconscious there is also an angel. They are unruly angels but they are angels nevertheless. You will have seen them, recurring as archetypes in popular culture. The ones you rooted for in the tales of your childhood. I had taken advantage of Beltane, a favourable 24 hours when the divisions between dimensions are weakest, to activate the portal. The portal is probably one of the most powerful artefacts known in the world of the occult. It tears down the walls that separate fantasy from reality. As you can imagine, this results in mayhem. The portal should only be used by experts. I bought mine in Spar.

Letting the paranormal stand-off continue for the days leading to May 1st, I finally, that afternoon, opened the portal properly and let what lay in wait above break through. Great fiery seams tore across the dirty grey net that held back the heavens. The agents of Nyx took their positions and the Goddess herself assumed a defensive posture. There was a sound, like a distant roaring ocean, and then, through the rips in the firmament, poured the first wave of the mighty army that would be our salvation. The contents of the human imagination made incarnate. Battle Commenced!
The first battalion comprised of the Mythologicals: the Tuatha Dé Danann in their mighty sky ships, Fin and the giant Cu, the Knights of the Round Table, Robin Hood, Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy (the latter three looking just like they did on the TV show). Monkey swept down on his cloud, hammering demons with his staff. Harpoons shot out from the sky ships, embedding themselves in the sides of a shrieking Nyx. The sky was a mess of combat with things whizzing about in all directions. The cacophony of clashing swords and injured howls was deafening.

Things were looking good for while but Nyx had met these foes before. She had their number. The Mythologicals were corralled into a valley and surrounded. Battered and weakened, they awaited their grim fate when, from up above, came the sound of roaring motors and reinforcements. ‘High ex!’ bellowed a voice and no one was more pleased than I to see Judge Dredd, Cassandra Anderson, Jonny Alpha, Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock, RoJaws, Hammerstein, Mek Quake and a whole 2000AD rocket powered regiment enter the fray with astonishingly savage abandon. They plummeted downward, hitting the legions of darkness like a blazing metal fist. BOOM! CRASH! BUDDABUDDABUDDA! BIG JOBS!

‘Follow our lead’, ordered Dredd, ‘my girlfriend will use her psychic powers to detect vulnerabilities’. Anderson seemed a little ruffled by this command. ‘Um, I’m not your girlfriend Dredd’, she pointed out. Dredd looked back at her and barked, ‘silence Anderson or you’ll do cube time for insurrection.’ This tiny Mega-City domestic was the gap Nyx needed. She used her own psychic powers to infuse internecine animosity in the 2000AD ranks and soon they were engaged in combat amongst themselves.

The hallowed ranks of both Marvel and DC comics were next to show up but they got bogged down keeping the 2000ADers from each other’s throats (and poaching the more conventionally talented amongst them). It looked like the positive forces of the twilight realms were truly on the back foot. Nyx began to chuckle. Her minions began to bay in celebration. Then came another sound, a kind of groaning, stretching sound. As if time and space were being forced to give birth to, . . .to what? . . .a blue box?

An eccentrically attired little man got out of the box and attempted to reason with Nyx. Big mistake. She stood on him. Squish! But when she moved her leg another strange man was there. This second man, or ‘Doctor’ as he called himself, continued on the same tack as the last and he too was squished, only to reveal another man, Squish! and then another man, Squish! and then another man, Squish! and . . .I swear this must’ve happened twelve or thirteen times before the final ‘Doctor’ realised that softly softly wasn’t going to catchy monkey and instead pointed some kind of futuristic wand at the sky. ‘There could’ve been another way’ he said to himself in momentary sombre reflection before instantly cheering up and shouting the word ‘Geronimo!’

A blistering bolt of incandescent light shot down toward the wand (or screwdriver as he called it) which seemed to be acting as a kind of conductor. The cobweb curtain across the sky was incinerated, its remains floating to earth in blazing ribbons. Then came the rest of the battalions that comprise the army of human imagination. Oh, Nyx was f***ed now and no mistake.

Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Zorro, White Fang, Black Beauty, Babe the Pig, Champion the Wonder Horse, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, TinTin, Captain Haddock, Chewbacca, Popeye, Desperate Dan, all the Disney creeps, some yokes from those Pixar films, the New Shmoo, the cast of Happy Days, Blake’s Seven and every possible protagonist you can think of from fiction (except Ronald McDonald because he was actually on Nyx’s side) came raining down upon the spider Goddess and her legions of depravity.

I saw the Good Fairy from At Swim Two Birds kicking the jaws off lads and a posse of cowboys riding up from Ringsend, shooting harpies from the air. I distinctly heard James T. Kirk say that he was going to ‘ride’ the Old Hag and Spock say ‘I’ll watch Captain’. I saw Moomin Mama chase the animal headed children of Nyx back down to Hades by banging pots and pans together and saying ‘shoo now’ (simple but effective). I saw Iorek Byrnison swallow a goblin whole like it was a fish. I saw Godzilla kick the butts of Nyx’s ogre horde. I saw the Banana Splits run over a werewolf with their dune buggy. I saw the A-Team and McGuyver turn a bunk bed into a tank and badly concuss (but not actually kill) a few monsters. I saw Cornelius from Planet of the Apes leap down on an unsuspecting Shadow Hat Man. I saw Starsky and Hutch make some arrests. I saw the Sweeny bashing heads. I did not see any Stargate characters because they’re crap. I saw the Wombles pick up litter.

Then, I heard MUSIC, intriguing and slowly building, and then I saw the SUN. The Sun we thought was gone forever (kicked to death in a shop doorway) was being raised back into the heavens on a system of pulleys that were heaved up by Princess Mononoke, Chihiro, Haku and the rest of the Miyazaki fusiliers. The Sun was not dead, just hungover. Badly hungover. He opened his mouth wide, wretched and then proceeded to puke up a spectacular yellow morning. Honey light spread across the earth like a blanket of golden goodness. Flowers raised their bowed heads and drank deep of it. Children cheered and birds sang. Nyx however, Nyx cowered.

Looking around her, Nyx saw that her legions had been laid low. She turned and fled toward a great black chasm that led to her dark nether world (the same place Moomin Mama chased the animal headed devil children off to). ‘Stop her’, I roared, ‘if she escapes she’ll only return some day’. The army of imagination gave chase but Nyx dowsed them in webbing and they were incapacitated. Oh, we were so close but now it looked like this war was to continue. Or so I thought, until, from the tangled sticky heap of cobweb, I heard two defiant little whistles. Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe, two wee but worthy warriors were summoning something . . .and that something came.

CAT BUS. Yeah, you read right. Mutha fuckin Cat Bus. The strangest and perhaps greatest trooper in the imagination’s army. You could tell Nyx was well discommoded by the sight of Cat Bus as he soared though the clouds and began to orbit the Sun at incredible speed. As Nyx sped away, Cat Bus caught fire. ‘Oh No!’ But then the flaming Cat Bus dived, kamikaze style, straight into the alarmed and agog mandibles of the spider goddess. Like a comet, he dove down her throat and was swallowed whole. Nyx seemed overcome. Her antennae waved about like demented windscreen wipers. She scuttled in one direction, then another, then around and around in circles. It looked, for all the world, as if she was malfunctioning. Then she stopped still. Totally and completely still. And then . . .KARAKAAABOOOOOM! . . .she exploded into a billion pieces. A billion pieces of rancid spider flesh flew high into the air and came back to earth with a SPLAT.
Ireland was free
. . .again.

Everyone spent the following days cleaning bits of Nyx from their cars, homes and streets. They were happy though, assisting each other and taking time out to prepare bunting for a special celebration. A state funeral was held for Cat Bus. Seamus Heaney said a few words in his honour which everyone pretended to understand and appreciate but it was the eulogy delivered by Cat Bus’s little friend Satsuki that really had us all in tears. A huge monument in the likeness of the mighty Cat Bus was unveiled on O’Connell Street on the day of the mighty celebration and a new National Anthem was written in his honour.

In all fairness, Nyx had rid Ireland of the church and establishment in general (did I ever get around to telling you what she did to Tony O’Reilly? . . .yikes) and that was something at least. The population of Ireland decided to replace the old order with a system of bottom up governance based upon Anarchist principles. People sat down and really thought about what they wanted to do with their lives and how they could ease each other’s burdens. There was a lot of vegetarian quiche about the place and much basket weaving. I was getting a bit worried it was going to be boring to be honest but I took perverse comfort in the thought that things can never be perfect. No one can expect a perfect life. There’ll always be some darkness.

Anyhoo, looking up, you can see that the sun is getting stronger in the sky. Summer is almost upon us and there’s always fun to be had down the beach (don't play too rough now).

. . .see you there.

The END.