Category Archives: Humor

Sweet Nothings

Things I’ve said on dates –

“If you throw that snowball at me, I will will force feed you it!”

“With political views like that, you’d never make it in politics. No one would vote for you. In fact, you’d have to be a dictator to enact ridiculous policies like forcing unemployed people to do public service.”

“I showed your picture to my friend. She thought you were very handsome but had big ears.”

“You have a twin sister? Do you look alike?”

“The sauce in this banoffee is delicious. What is it?”

“Zsa Zsa Gabor had her leg amputated. I heard it on some celebrity gossip show … Wait, maybe I made that up.”

“Yeah, there’s nothing worse than coming across desperate. I’m not desperate. Well, eh … No, no, I am not desperate.”

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I Wanna Know What Love Is!

This month, I am single a year. A year is a good amount of time. Ideally, my life should have moved along nicely. It seems many things around me have, yet I remain stationary, admiring the change around me. This clearly is not the case. I’m just impatient.

The biggest indicator for me that I am moving on from the Great Break Up would be to meet someone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a boyfriend or a sex friend. What I would like is to go on date and actually have an interest in seeing the person again; a second date. I would appreciate meeting someone who won’t say something so stupid that I take them down a peg. Is that really a lot?

I’ve felt a little dead from the waist down for some time. It has been years since I fancied someone proper. It would be nice to remember the sensation of a crush. How does one describe a fancy? If this were a Disney movie, I’d burst into song.

“Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang,

When you are near

Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang

Loud in my ear

Pounding away, pounding away

Won’t you be mine?

Boom bang-a-bang-bang all the time

It’s such a lovely feeling

When I’m in your arms”

Or …

“He’s a one stop, gotcha hot, making all the panties drop

Sweet sugar candyman

He’s a one stop, got me hot, making my ugh pop

Sweet sugar candyman

He’s a one stop, get it while it’s hot, baby don’t stop

Sweet sugar”

Or …

“You’re the one that I want

You are the one I want

Oo-oo-oo, honey

The one that I want

You are the one I want

Oo-oo-oo, honey

The one that I want

You are the one I want

Oo-oo-oo, the one I need

Oh, yes indeed”

Following a qualitative analysis of the above information it would seem love is an intense emotion. It should make your heart go “boom bang-a-bang”. He should “make your panties drop”. He should make you declare “you are the one that I want oo-oo-oo honey”. These highly credible sources can perhaps be summarised by physiological response, lust and declaration of love.

I’m waiting … and humming.

Basket Test Case

Now and again, I pop into the Tesco store in Ringsend. Tesco in general can be pretty crap since they scaled down their ‘fancy’ product offerings two years ago. Tesco in Ringsend is extra crap. I recall a hissy fit when I realised they sold four different types of grated cheddar cheese and there was not a triangle of Parmesan (nor the grated variety) to be had. Parmesan is pretty basic, no? Last month, I again left the store, mumbling furiously to myself, when apples were the only fruit on sale. I have braces; I can’t bite into apples. I wanted a banana. Do you think there was a banana to be had? No! I flipped my imaginary hair furiously, turned on my heels and vowed never to set foot in the nutritionally void store again. The only item guaranteed in stock in Tesco Ringsend is scurvy.

Last week, out of pure necessity, I returned to same Tesco in Ringsend. I set my expectations low. Expect nothing ‘fancy’, fresh or organic, I reminded myself. Jubilations, there were bananas. I threw some into my basket. Since I prepared for an evening of study, I wanted Crunchy Nut Cornflakes to snack on. En route to the cereal aisle, which as you can guess is quite prominent – and barren of porridge and granola, I encountered a sight to behold. There, beside the small offering of vegetables stood a beautiful man. His hair was dark, almost black, was cut shortly and stylishly. His sharp cheek bones angled towards a dimpled chin. From his complexion – and lack of proximity – I guessed his eyes were blue. When dealing with a specimen of this calibre, it is essential to weigh up the whole package; I checked out his clothes. He wore a tweed jacket, most definitely from Zara, dark slim fit jeans and white Adidas Tiger runners. This boy ticked all the right boxes. It was imperative I travel to the cereal aisle via the vegetables and fruit. I slipped by, apologising as I did. He didn’t even notice.

Ten minutes later, my shopping basket brimmed with junk food. It was time to queue for a cashier. There were only four people in the queue. I noted the absence of Beautiful Man. The store is quite small. I hadn’t bumped into him on any other of the aisles. Where could he be? I asked. Did he leave? This required an investigation … or a stalk. He wasn’t on the alcohol aisle. Neither was he in the convenience food section. He was nowhere near the baked goods. He must have managed to sneak by me, I realised. Perhaps, he is still in the fruit and veg section? I pondered. Carrying my heavy basket, I wobbled in that direction. There he stood tall, looking as beautiful as ever, examining the label of some pre-packed corn-on-the cob. This man clearly makes an effort to eat healthily. I would never buy corn-on-the-cob, never mind examine the label. My presence had still not come on his radar. I took an opportunity to check out the contents of his shopping basket. In his basket was:

  • Strawberries
  • Glenisk yoghurt
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Onions

While his shopping list was clearly not representational of his final purchase, it gave an accurate assessment of how important his diet was, given his lean, healthy appearance and the considerable amount of time he spent choosing his fruit and veg. I was disappointed with his purchases. I too like to eat healthily, but there was no fun in his diet. It’s clear I am placing waaaaaaay too much emphasis on Beautiful Man’s purchases to soften the insult of his failure to acknowledge me as I purposely collided into him with my shopping basket. I dismissed him and his dull basket. The man I want will be as good looking as Beautiful Man, cook with fresh ingredients just as I am sure Beautiful man does, but my man will have a streak of fun in him. He’ll have a Box of Frosties, Oreos or a pack of Wagon Wheels in his shopping basket.

Never Meet your Heroes

Over Christmas, Fiona invited me to her home for a gathering of friends and family. The evening was relaxed. Red wine flowed. By around eight o’clock, the attendants formed small pockets in the various rooms on the ground floor. A group of us intimately huddled on sofas in a quiet corner next to the Christmas tree, discussing subjects that varied from water shortages to previous relationships. During the course of the evening, I attentively received a story. I will attempt the tale as confidently told by Naidi. Please forgive inaccuracies, lack of detail and embellishments in certain areas.

“My friend completed a masters in some college in the UK, maybe about twenty years ago. One of her professors, an eccentric lady in her fifties, had a PhD in women’s’ rights or something like that. Despite the professor’s age, she remained unmarried, spending most of her life campaigning for women’s rights in the workplace. The female students of the college loved her.” Naidi lifted her goblet-like glass and sipped her red wine.

“Following a lecture with this professor, my friend remained behind in the lecture hall. She loitered, while other students vacated the room. She nervously approached the revered professor, who sat at a large, oak desk, packing papers and books into a satchel. For a number of weeks, she had wanted to speak with the professor. She drew breath and put the question to her. ‘Looking back on your life, if you could give a young woman one piece of advice what would it be?’ The professor remained seated, consumed in thought, while my friend stood. ‘My advice to a young woman of today is to always moisturise your neck and chest.’”

Naidi shook her head. “My friend was furious. This professor, who was held in high esteem for her research and efforts on women’s rights, could only offer advice on skin care régime. My friend expected so much more from that answer. Needless to say, she was disappointed and lost all respect for the professor.”

The story was momentarily interrupted by a discussion between Naidi and Fiona on the benefits of moisturising one’s neck and chest. Naidi finished the story.

“My friend, who is now in her late forties, told me this story last year, twenty years on from the completion of her masters. I decided to ask the same question of her. ‘Considering the advice of the professor that enraged you, and hindsight on your life, if you were asked the same question, what wisdom you would impart for a young woman today?’”

“‘If I could give advice to a girl today’, my friend said, ‘it would be to always moisturise your neck and chest.’”

Awkwardness Is …

About a month ago I was on a first date with a guy I quite liked (at the time). We did drinks in the Secret Bar, during which the laughs and conversation flowed. He then suggested we grab some food. Over noodles in Wagamama, he declined my invite to another pub.

“Let’s go back to your place,” he casually suggested.

By this time I’d had four glasses of wine. Despite my drunken haze, my date’s forwardness caused me to choke on my fifth glass of wine. I thought for a moment, weighing up the situation. “OK then!”

He had consumed only Sprite that evening and so drove us home in his small, pratical car. I’m sure my merry chirp irked him slightly. He parked the car and we made for my apartment block. He walked on ahead of me. Compacted snow was thick on the ground. My impractical brown shoes made the short journey treacherous. I slipped two or three times.

About twenty metres or so from the apartment block door I heard a loud squelch.

“Did you just fart?” I asked.

My companion cautiously turned on the ice and looked at me. “Eh, no.” His surprise was evident. He turned and recommenced his slow trek along the icy pathway.

I should have stopped there. “Are you sure you didn’t fart?”

“Eh, yes,” he replied in a bewildered tone.

It then dawned on me the squelch could only have been caused by his step on the snow. The five glasses of wine had caused me to bypass my already flimsy think before you speak policy. I said no more to him until we were in the lift, hoping the elapsed twenty seconds may have induced some sort of amnesia.

Gullibility is …

My inability to lie developed in my late teens. It came around the time I just got sick of the bullshit popularity in school, longed for college and promised to always say what I thought. To me, honesty is one of the best qualities in a person. A liar is someone who cannot account for their truths.

In appreciating honesty, I often expect truth and in doing so, I am incredibly gullible. Now and again, friends feed me false information, which I rarely question. Later, when I think it through clearly, I realise it is horse shit.

About three years ago, in one of my many jobs, I decided to take a basic ECDL course to demonstrate my proficiency in Microsoft. Each week, I attended a class or two with view to completing an exam. Needless to say, the exams were simple and I passed all modules. One day after work, over tea and scones in Bewley’s, I told Brian that I was doing basic ECDL.

“Is it not boring?” Brian enquired, lifting the tea cup to his mouth.

“Nah, there is good craic in the class. And I get a certificate at the end of it.”

“Do you know that ECDL was invented by the same people who created the Special Olympics?”

“No, it wasn’t.” I scrunched my face, digesting this odd, titbit of information.

Brian nodded energetically. “Think about it. It makes sense.”

The conversation quickly moved on. I thought no more on his claim.

One week later, I sat in the training room behind an antiquated PC. The ECDL tutor and ten other students awaited the tea trolley. We usually chatted for ten minutes or so before starting a class. A knock on the door, followed by the comforting clink of tea cups, signified the arrival of refreshments. We jumped to our feet and gathered around the customary offering of fancy biscuits. Only when biscuits were placed next to full, steaming cups, did we return to our seats. The subject matter of our conversations was always inoffensive. We chatted about current affairs, weather or television, injecting a good dose of humour when possible. As per usual, I was the chattiest.

I piped up once my dunked biscuit was swallowed. “Is it true the ECDL was invented by the Special Olympics?” I directed my question at the tutor.

“Excuse me?” said the tutor. I noted an element of surprise in her voice.

I repeated my question.

She stuttered momentarily. “I don’t think so,” she said. She looked around the room at the other faces in the class.

“A mate of mine told me ECDL was invented by Special Olympics. If you think about it, it makes sense. I mean it was probably created to encourage disabled persons into the workplace by promoting their IT literacy.”

“I never heard that before.” The tutor’s eyes were wide. “Are you sure your friend isn’t feeding you misinformation?”

“No, he’s not like that. I’ll try a Google search and see what I get.”

I ran “Special Olympics ECDL” through Google and received irrelevant matches. “I got no matches,” I announced to the class.

Another student Deirdre joined the chat. “Stephen, I think your friend might be taking the piss.”

“He’s not like that,” I assured. “Why would he do that?”

The tutor picked up the ECDL manual. Tea break was over. “I’ll ask in the office, but I honestly don’t think your friend’s claim is right.” She commenced the class.

While she gave us instructions on how to set up our computers for the upcoming class, I picked up my phone and texted Brian.

“Brian, I am in my ECDL course at the moment. Where did you hear about it being invented by the Special Olympics?”

Brian replied within minutes. “It was a joke.”

“OMG I just told my entire ECDL course it was invented by the Special Olympics people.”

“You muppet! I cannot stop laughing.”

I sat back in my chair taken aback by the fact I had absorbed Brian’s misinformation on the creation of ECDL. It was clearly ridiculous. Not only had I not questioned whether it was truthful, I obviously thought on it enough to embellish it for my “encourage disabled persons into the workplace” spiel. An all too rare embarrassment came down over me. I blushed. I kept my realisation to myself and prayed the tutor would not follow up on my query with her colleagues later that day.

Hey Mumble, Mumble Italiano

Two Fridays ago, I felt the need for a good night out; a few drinks, laughs and a dance. A few texts later, it transpired my friends, Shane and Brian, intended doing the same. I agreed to join them later that night. To offset the calorie value of a night on the beer, I decided to hit the gym before joining my friends. One must watch those sneaky beer-calories, y’know.

Following a brisk workout, I marched home to shower and change. Brian and Shane, already in town, instructed me to join them at my leisure. I showered, shaved and rifled through my wardrobe. I had few clean clothes. I threw on a shirt – too tight for my liking – that I had acquired in a sale for €7. I pulled on my jeans, tucking in the shirt, and fastened my ensemble with a brown studded belt. I ran for the door in untied brown shoes, intending to tie my laces in the lift.

Hogan’s was busy, filled with its usual mish mash of well dressed and funky characters. Shane and Brian were, as usual, in good form. We chatted, howling with laughter regularly. Two “swiftys” later, I crossed the road to the Dragon, to boogie until the wee hours.

Shane and I performed our usual ritual of flamboyant dance moves on a sparsely occupied dance floor. Brian watched and giggled. Now and again, I left the company of Shane and Brian to scope out the talent on offer. While standing on my own near the dance floor, a guy approached from my right and tapped my shoulder. He was average looking. His wrinkled shirt, which he had nicely paired with bad shoes, hung loose over his jeans.

“Hi,” I said in expectation.

“Hi,” he replied loudly, to compensate for the loud music. He moved in front of me, obviously determined to have a deep and meaningful. Despite his close proximity, he continued to shout. He bellowed “where are you from?”

“Ireland,” I replied shyly.

“Ireland?” he responded with obvious surprise. “You look Italian. Your clothes and dark hair make you look Italian.”

“Oh right.”

He attempted to quash my obvious confusion with a compliment. “It’s a good thing.”

I side stepped to the left. Fighting the urge to sprint, I maintained eye contact and smiled. “Grazie mille,” I called as I moved away from him.

I shared the details of this interaction with Shane and Brian. “Why would he think I’m Italian?” I asked.

“It’s the hair,” answered Shane.

Within an hour of my awkward deflection, another man approached me. This fellow was much younger than the last guy. He was tall and gangly, demonstrating a slight stoop as he leaned in to talk. He seemed inebriated. He blasted words into my ear as we made tedious conversation.

“Your English is really good.” He leaned back, smiling, in expectation of some appreciation for his kind words.

“I told you I’m Irish,” I said in an unfriendly tone. “I’m from Dublin.”

“I know, but I don’t believe you.”

We continued to talk for a minute more, before I used a well-practised dismissal. I touched his forearm and smiled warmly. “It was nice talking to you. Have a good evening.”

“Same to you.” He turned and rejoined his friends in the corner.

I remained near the dance floor. What the fuck? I asked myself. Am I giving off some Italiano vibe or wha? I ventured to the bathroom to make sure I hadn’t subconsciously painted the Italian flag to my face. I checked myself in the mirror. My hair, which I had earlier spent seconds spiking, sagged and appeared slicked back. This particular hair product has a habit of making my hair look darker. The ill-fitting, tight shirt, tucked into my jeans compounded my Italian appearance. I shrugged. Meh, what of it? I thought. I returned to my standing place near the dance floor.

Within minutes, another potential suitor, a man in his early thirties, greeted me. I checked him out. His cheeks were flushed and rosy. His hair had no particular style. I knew he was in the club alone. He resembled someone separated from his friends, during a night out in the “Big Shhmoke”, who happened to stumble upon a gay bar. I looked down at his feet, expecting to find wellies.

“Hello,” I said in return of  his greeting.

He leaned in. He shaped his mouth into an “O”, as he over-pronounced his words, loudly, and slowly, in that unmistakeable manner only used by English speakers when addressing foreigners. “Where are you from?” I sighed and thought for a second.

“I am-a frrrrom Rrrroma” I cried enthusiastically in my best Italian accent, ensuring I used stereotyped hand gestures.

“Really?” he asked with raised eye brows.

I rounded my answer with a higher pitch. “Yesss-a.”

“Why are you in Dublin?”

“I am-a ‘ere for learrrrning my English-a.”

“Your English is very good.”

If I genuinely were foreign, I would definitely be insulted by this condescending fucker. I smiled proudly. “Grazie,” I said. “I learn-a my English-a in schooool-a forrrr five-a yearrrs-a”. I held five fingers in front of his face.

“It’s really very good. How long have you been in Dublin for? Are you in college?”

“I ‘ave-a been in Dublino forrrr two months-a. I am-a working ‘ere.”

“Do you work in a restaurant?”

“Yesss-a!” I exclaimed loudly, to stifle a laugh. “I work-a in-a restaurrrrant-a.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

I nodded. “Yesss-a, I ‘ave-a an Boyfrrrriend at home-a in Rrrroma.”

“Do you? And do you like Irish men?”

I held myself for a moment to give the impression of a pensive stance. I flicked my hand in front of me with an extended finger. “I like-a Irish men not-a-so-much-a.”

My new friend looked curious. He came closer. “Why is that?”

With my arms stretched both sides of me, as if delivering an operatic finalé,  I proclaimed “they drrrink-a toooo-much-a”.

My companion, with no good bye or parting words, turned and left my side.

Blinded by Bresy

One evening at a party, I got a call from Sarah, asking if I’d come to Oxegen the next day. “I have an extra press pass,” she screamed. “You have to come!”

I never considered myself a festival goer, often preferring to sit at home in comfort with a glass of wine and CD. In my living room there is no moshing or boisterous behaviour. Sarah advised I wouldn’t have to rough it; the press pass guaranteed access to a clean bathroom and luxurious bar. After initial hesitance, I agreed to go. My imagination, and verbal accounts from friends, created an Oxegen full of hundreds of people sloshing about in mud. I remembered the location of my Wellington boots.

On arrival the thud of heavy tempo, somewhere in the distance, registered in my ears. Surprisingly, the day was dry, even sunny at times. My pale skin took a scorching. Unexpectedly, there was no muck; dry, bark chippings littered the ground. My heart raced as we passed the burly security men at the Press Entrance with eight cans of Budweiser in tow.

Sarah instantly recognised people in the Press Area. She schmoozed while her boyfriend Ross and I made chat.

A random girl, packing away a microphone, piped up. “Who are you excited about?” she asked me from behind a large, untrendy pair of glasses.

I was caught off guard. “Eh, Kate Nash. I like Kate Nash.” I hoped this would satisfy her.

“MGMT are on in ten minutes. We are going there now. Do you want to come?”

“Who are MGMT?” I asked.

“Eh, only one of the hottest groups playing today”.  She turned and was gone.

Sarah continued chatting as the numbers in the Press Area, affected by the allure of MGMT, dwindled. Sarah’s boyfriend Ross nudged me now and again to point out an occasional celebrity here and there. I recognised few. I really was a fish out of water.

Moments later, Sarah announced we were to leave. We left the small enclosure of the Press Area and made our way across a type of allotment towards  more oversized security guards.

“Hang on a moment,” instructed Ross. “There’s Bresy!”

I turned to Sarah. “Who is Bresy?” She didn’t hear me.

“Hi Bresy!” called Ross enthusiastically to a tall man about ten or fifteen feet away.

“Hey,” answered Bresy in a friendly tone. Bresy moved towards us.

Sarah and I stood next to Ross. She beamed at Bresy. I assumed he was a friend. I stood there awaiting an introduction. I passed the time by analysing Bresy. He had nice hair, beautiful eyes, good height and a muscular frame. I realised Bresy was in fact very attractive. I drank in the sight of him.

“I heard the new album,” said Ross. “It sounds pretty good. Are you happy with the result?”

“Yeah, we are,” Bresy answered. “It’s about as good as anyone from Mullingar could come up with.”

Why is Ross asking about an album? Who is this guy? I asked myself. I cleared my throat. “I’m from Athlone,” I announced, staring into Bresy’s beautiful eyes.

He looked surprised. “Are you? Oh right.”

Bresy and Ross chatted for a few more minutes. Bresy said goodbye and strolled in the direction of a heavily attended Performer’s Area.

“Who was that?” I asked, a little peeved I received no introduction.

“That’s Niall Breslin,” answered Ross, as we shuffled towards the main concert area.

“Who is he?”

“He’s the lead singer of the Blizzards.”

“The Blizzards? Oh I know them. Oh right. So I randomly informed the lead singer of the Blizzards I am from Athlone?”

“Yep, you did.”

“Fuck, he’s hot though, isn’t he?”

Ross said nothing. Sarah laughed and put her arm around my waist.

 

Niall "Bresy" Breslin

Nice Guys Come Last in Line

The airport on Saturday morning was busy. The queue for security snaked in a visually deceptive manner. On my last visit to Dublin airport, when I flew to Brussels, the queue was longer, but only took twenty minutes to get through. I remained calm. After all, I had more than forty-five minutes until boarding.

Five minutes later the line had barely moved. I stressed. Others in the queue panicked. Numerous queuers made telephone calls to vent frustration. One such person tried to engage a DAA staff member, to receive a courteous reply that he should have allowed ninety minutes to pass through airport security.

I continually monitored the front of the queue to assess the pace at which it moved. I recognised a few people who had been near me only minutes ago. Somehow, they had managed to navigate to the front of the line. Minutes later, after crawling a few feet, I witnessed a group of girls duck under the partition and scramble towards the security check. I watched. No one protested at their brazen disrespect for the queuers behind them. Even the security guard said nothing.

I have never been a skipper since I greatly disapprove of cutting in line. Depending on my mood, I will object if someone tries to cut in front of me. Perhaps, it was the tiredness or the stress, but there and then I decided I too would skip the queue since so many others had done it with ease. I slipped under the guide rope, pulled my suit case and stood up tall.

My rule-breaking-induced adrenaline rush was rudely interrupted by a shrill, annoyingly nasal, American accented, female voice. “Get back! Get back!” I heard. I turned to observe a small lady, maybe five foot or so, with curly hair, fanny-pack and woeful, white sneakers. Her hand gestures were as if she were shooing away a misbehaved puppy. “Get Back!”.  I made an assessment; she was short, no threat at all, and her husband took no interest in the situation.  I could take her no problem, should it come to blows, I thought.

“Sorry,” I said insincerely and turned my back. I prayed the queue would move quickly.

“He just skipped the queue! Who does he think he is? He just skipped the queue. He can’t do that.” The Yankee dwarf’s volume dial and pitch was on max.

I listened to the loud, attention grabbing, nasal hissy fit emanating behind me. Again, I willed the queue forward. I felt another tap on my back. I turned around and stooped over to look my challenger in the eye. The American pointed towards a security guard and boy did she have a smug look on her face. “He wants to talk to you,” she said with her arms folded.

“Is it true you skipped the queue?” asked the security guard.

“Yes,” I answered like a scolded child.

The greying, middle aged security guard commenced his lecture. “You know you can’t just skip the queue. All these other people are ahead of you so you can’t just pass them. Where were you in the line?”

I raised my arm and pointed to the floor beside me. “There,” I answered, looking down in shame. Much to the amusement of others in the line, he unhitched the guide rope and returned me from whence I came.

A gentleman whom I stood next to minutes earlier smiled in amusement, despite the fact he had by now probably missed his flight.

“Well, it was worth a try.”

Awkwardness is …

Standing in a queue behind a female colleague and audibly singing,  “Ooo ooo Come n getcha some come n getcha some Candy“.

Said colleague turns around with an unexpected look of shock on her face and looks at you questioningly.

You think about the words of the song, pause for a moment and apologise.