The scene on the steps of the Count O’Blather’s house, this morning (Reuters)
It has reached the point (where else does it reach?) here at Blather High Command that the faintest mention of the word ‘Ree-Session’ has me dusting off my late grandfather’s dueling irons. I have taken to pot-shooting the television every time some smirking BBC, RTE or Sky News doomsayer slides the dirty word into some appallingly unrelated news story – like the plight of polar bears in the Arctic or the nocturnal antics of soccer players in one of Ireland’s dependencies (e.g. ‘England’). My valet has insisted on having the old gogglebox fitted with bulletproof glass to cut down on the expenditure, but my god, the ricochets are now something fierce – I’ve taken to crouching behind the bathchair in order to avoid the “friendly fire” and sporadic gun-play emanating from the Six-One news. The drawing room is a no-go area, and the frescos are completely ruined. There will be (hell) to pay, and Ann Doyle and Brian Dobson will be receiving strongly worded telegraphs from my private secretary, wherever the little nuisance has go to. I am not above taking aim at any other gleeful naysayer, depressive, pessimist, fearmonger, “I told you so” bore, moaner, begrudger, human sheep, muckraker, spreader of hysteria, economist, fumbler in greasy till or minister for finance that sits crying on my front steps, demanding alms that they can re-invest in some Wall St. pyramid scheme.
Still, regardless of whether we believe in it or not, we at Blather are committed to beating the recession – out of every one of these gobshites who appears to have succumbed to the mass hallucination. We’ll not hear of any doom. We cannot abide the like of it. This article captures our own (copious) research on how to escape the recession hysteria and to keep warm – but we call on every (man, woman and child in the country) to submit their own suggestions.
The Emergency II: High Dudgeon:
Perplexed by this ongoing global recession hysteria, which even the Man In The Street seems affected by, I turned to the pages of Cruiskeen Lawn, a weekly article aimed at the Plain People of Ireland, written between the years 1940 and 1966 by my late relative, Myles na Gopaleen (the younger). It turns out that nigh on 70 years ago, during The Emergency, fear and loathing stalked the streets of Dublin, supplies were rationed, and Something Had To Be Done. Myles, while at a bus stop, came across a formidable solution, via a wretched aquantaince who was obsessed with the musics of The Brother. In the text below, simply replace the word ‘war’ with ‘recession’, and ‘Free State’ with ‘Celtic TigerLand’, ‘iron’ with ‘digital’, etc., to accelerate towards a solution for one and all.
THE BROTHER has it all worked out.
The war. How we can get through the war here in the Free State. I mean the rationing and the brown bread and all that class of thing. The brother has a plan. Begob you’ll be surprised when you hear it. A very high view was taken when it was explained in the digs the other night.
What is the nature of this plan?
It’s like this. I’ll tell you. We all go to bed for one week every month. Every single man, woman and child in the country. Cripples, drunks, policemen, watchmen – everybody. Nobody is allowed to be up. No newspapers, ‘buses, pictures, or any other class of amusement allowed at all. And no matter who you are you must be stuck inside in the bed there. Readin’ a book of course, if you like. But no getting up stakes.
That strikes me a curious solution to difficulties in this dynamic iron age.
D’ye see, when nobody is up, you save clothes, shoes, rubber, petrol, coal, turf, timber and everything we’re short of. And food too, remember. Because tell me this – what makes you hungry? It’s work that makes you hungry. Work and walking around and swallying pints and chawin’ the rag at the street corner. Stop in bed an’ all you’ll ask for is an odd slice of bread. Or a slice of fried bread to make your hair curly, says you. If nobody’s up, there’s no need for anybody to do any work because everybody in the world does be workin’ for everybody else.
I see. In a year therefore you would effect a saving of twenty-five per cent in the consumption of essential commodities.
Well now, I don’t know about that, but you’d save a quarter of everything, and that would be enough to see us right.
But why get up after a week?
The bakers, man. The bakers would have to get up to bake more bread, an if wan is up, all has to be up. Do you know why? Because damn the bit of bread your men the bakers would make for you if the rest of us were in bed. Your men couldn’t bear the idea of everybody else being in bed and them working away in the bakery. The brother says we have to make allowances for poor old human nature. That’s what he called it. Poor old human nature. And begob he’s not far wrong.
Very interesting. He would do well to communicate this plan to responsible Government department.
You’re not far wrong there yourself. Bye-bye, here’s me bus!
(from Cruiskeen Lawn, in The Irish Times, during The Emergency. Available in Flann O’Brien’s “The Best of Myles”
Blather media staff interviewing Plain People of Ireland in bed, Yesterday. (Getty)
Taking to the bed would great for that mysterious entity, the “environment” too. As the fortunes of Hibernia have increased in recent decades, we’ve been fortunate enough to welcome a proportionate increase in the amount of environment about the place. I expect we’ve been importing the stuff, probably from China. As I look out my window here, with some fine patriotic Celtic rain streaming across the bullet-cracked windows, I see none of the usual crowds streaming around Henrietta St. Even the gaggle of well-wishers, corner boys, hanger-ons, nuns, bailiffs, priests, washerwomen, stockbrokers, ragamuffins, harlots, assassins and milkmen that usually hang around my front door are missing. They have, presumably, taken to the bed – every other man, woman and child in the country with them. It’s a wonderful state of affairs. Let’s make a habit of it (we can sell them to the Presentation nuns) , and watch the birthrate climb. Some of the money saved can be spent extending the Rotunda and Holles St. In the meantime, anyone seem roaming the streets in pyjamas will be shot on sight, and deported, even they’re only going out for a ‘canacoke’. You heard me.
Great Gas (altogether)
We here at Blather High Command are terribly concerned by the recent disagreement between the Russians and the Ukrainians over the old gas supplies – and how this petite fracas has led to millions taking to their beds in the eastern provinces of Ireland – Bulgaria, Slovakia, and so forth. I would dearly like to consult Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (clearly a gas woman herself) on this issue, at her earliest convenience (I can promise a turf fire and some soothing sherry, at the very least. Or perhaps a neck and shoulder rub. She’d like that, I imagine. I digress, but will return later). Gazprom, a gas giant, seems to be at least partially to blame – we suggest that they should be bypassed, and that our government persuade ASA to start bringing gas in from the Jovians. Failing that, it might be high time to hassle our fantastic government into re-initiating the Irish space programme, as a way of putting people back to work and kick-starting the economy (in the head).
Our correspondent in Bulgaria, Horatio O’ DeValera nÃ©e Churchill, writes
“Begob sure aren’t we all perished here with the cowld. Every man, woman and child has taken to the leaba. This class of carry on has no place in today’s Bulgaria. It’ll get worse before it gets better. There’ll be hell to pay. A strongly worded letter to your local TD wouldn’t be out of order. Still, there’s a great stretch in the day now. Pint for yourself is it? Sure a burd never flew on wan wing, wha?”
Ireland, so far, seems largely unaffected by this current gas turmoil, but we should take the opportunity to make ourselves at least 100% self-sufficient in the meantime. With all this fabled downturn in the economy, and the loss of both Charles J Haughey and Bertie Ahern from the political limelight (itself a refreshing shade of green), we’ve had to temporarily given up on the (mooted) plan to sail Ireland to a warmer climate (See the Evil Gerald: Ireland sets sights on Steam Scheme).
To explore alternative possibilities, the Blather HC Research Team, made up of (the esteemed) Lord Jagged and myself, took ourselves on a grand tour of Dublin hostelries on Friday night last, in order to see how the Plain People of Ireland were dealing with the ‘recession’ and the gas problem.
Several bottles of Krug later, interspersed with the odd pint of warm saki and chased with a slug of absinthe, we discovered that Dublin has an abundance of gas. In fact, in every public house we entered, great gas (altogether) was to be had. If only we could impress upon Taoiseach Cowan and Ministers Lenihan (that gobshite), Ryan and Gormley the enormity of this wondrous natural resource, we’d be away on a hack, on a pig’s back, plain sailing out of the woods and laughing all the way to the bank, if we had a bank. Of course, we also have an abundance of craic, but the market for that seems to have collapsed, and merchants involved in its distribution have taken to settling their differences with muskets, usually around Summerhill, Dublin 1.
To achieve the sequestration of this great gas (altogether), we at Blather HC suggest the construction of an elaborate network of mahogany gaspipelines throughout Ireland’s major towns and cities, such as Dublin, Cork, Liverpool, Mullingar and Varna. The raw materials could be culled from the mahogany herds that currently roam the plains of the Amazon, eating everything before them, including trees and genetically modified cabbage. Thus, several endangered species could be shot with the same bullet, and this would cut down on deforestation and climate change by the dozen. In the meantime, another network of mahogany gaspipelines could be run from DÃ¡il Ã‰ireann, from where lashin’s of hot air could be sequestered, and redistributed into schools, libraries and massage parlours throughout Dublin. And an anaerobic digester could be installed on the Merrion Square side of Leinster house, into which all the bullshit could be pumped and turned into yet more gas.
Example of mahogany gaspipe, as used by the explorer, James Cook, yesterday.(AP)
We have submitted a draft of the network, with meticulous detail outlining our findings, to Bord Gais and the Minister for energy, and have a dispatch rider urgently waiting a reply. The poor crather is nearly perished with the cowld and the horse is demanding overtime. I have my doubts about the visionary potential of these political types- the same sleeven’s who turned down na Gopaleens plans for lighting the city using sewer gas. Renewables, me arse.
Please post your own ideas below! We won’t patent them ourselves, I swear on the nearest copy of Ireland’s Own.
– The Hon. Count O’Blather, Esq., CIE & ESB (Rtd.), Ba. Beans (Hons), ONO, PTO, PAYE, PRSI, HSE, NRA, RSVP, NUJ, SDLP, SIPTU