Day 70

T-Shirtless Taoiseach

I have been asked, by government sources, to say something about the Taoiseach without portfolio row. The sources did not, however, specify what I should say, and they’ll know better next time. (I can be bought, but only at a price.) I’ll be brief so, and at least Leo kept them on. The State Torso is currently attached to a gay man; as such, I’m afraid it does not come up to gay man standards for torsos: there is a touch of man-boob going on there in those pictures, and judging by the belly overhang on the shorts, he appears to have drunk, rather than develop, any six-pack that came within his bailiwick. I would therefore advise Leo to keep the State assets loaned to him under cover during any future picnics in the park he has planned. (That Miriam Lord article linked up there is worth a read during your tea break – don’t just look at the picture. Also, while I am in here, while ‘tee-shirt’ appears to be an acceptable alternative – in English, but not in Irish – it does not cut the mustard for me: they are called T-shirts because they have the shape of an upper-case T, so why not reflect their origins in the spelling?)

But I have much more urgent things on (what remains of) my mind this morning, so I’ll just have a quiet word with Leo the next time I am down in government buildings to emphasise to him that the office currently lent to him should have some dignity attached to it, and that he does not want to be going down the Bertie ‘Anything for Money’ Ahern road of appearing coming out of a closet to advertise one of the Sunday rags.

The first urgent thing is that the cat has impressed upon me the need to specify that she, too, is a real person and not a literary creation. She did this by sitting on the keyboard and giving me one of her special stares, one eyebrow cocked in an inquisitive manner, until I finally understood by telepathy (her preferred method of communication) what she was trying to tell me. Mission accomplished, she then got up from the keyboard, turned around and typed out a message addressed to the female teenager and her mother to the effect that their efforts the previous night to interfere in her torturing of a baby bird she had captured were not only unwelcome, but were, to boot, an unwarranted and probably unlawful incursion into the Way of Nature.

She will phone up David Attenborough should it happen again, she warned. She signed off with the start of an Irish proverb, namely briseann an dúchas … and, by nodding in the direction of the interwobble, ordered me to put in a link to explain that to the hard of Irish. Finished with her typing, she turned around and stared at me again with the look that means, “Is is not time you were putting out some food for me, Human Chief? Get yourself a coffee while you’re in there, sure.” I’ll be back in about 59.6 seconds.

The second urgent thing [you may have to redefine ‘urgent’ for this one – Ed.] (How do you know what I am going to be writing about? I could change my mind while I’m in these brackets.) [If you do change your mind, get one that works this time (drops mic) – Ed.] is that the hunt for the remains of Red Hugh O’Donnell is finally over. (No, me neither). Diggers have apparently found a body, and a skull, and this is a better link to read about it.

Now, in case you’re wondering, and in case you do not do links, Mr O’Donnell is not one of the Disappeared, and the IRA has asked me to make clear that they had no hand not part in his disappearance. But they did not ask me nicely enough, so I will leave some doubt over that matter, despite the fact that the IRA as an organisation did not come into existence until roughly 307 years after Mr O’Donnell took himself off on a jaunt to the Continent.

Two further things to mention about those linked newspaper articles about the find. Firstly, the Irish Time should know better than to publish a picture of a deceased person’s face: descendants of Mr O’Donnell are still sadding about Donegal, and they may be very upset as seeing their dead great-great-great-great-second cousin once removed staring at them over their Cornflakes. Have some human sympathy, Irish Times! Secondly, why in Hell did the designers of the Chapel of Marvels put it under a city street? Would it not have been advisable to stick it above ground where everyone could see it if it was so marvellous? But that’s monks for you, I suppose.

I was going to extract the urine from this article off of really wick Wikipedia on the subject of Red Hugh Roe O’Neill, but I do not have time today. Well, actually, I have plenty, but not for that. Remind me tomorrow, please. If there is a tomorrow.


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