Monthly Archives: February 2016

Peggy is Furious. Day 5

Well, I’m dreading the final leaders’ debate on Tuesday night. I watched the one the other week on TV 3 and with all the shouting, I couldn’t make out a word they were saying. Peggy says that the four of them should get a right belt across the pus and she’d be the wan to give it to them if they were anywhere near her. If the scholars below in the school carried on like that in the classroom, they’d be war, she says and she’s right. She says they were as ignorant as pigs’ bladders, the whole lot of them, all talking over each other and roaring and bawling like the mob you’d see below in the Singing Donkey Lounge Bar after yet another defeat in the county final.

She watched the debate with me and at one stage, I thought she’d put her size eights through my new 32 inch television. To see her shaking her fist and yelling obscenities at the screen, well! There was only a few minutes of silence and that happened when the Taoiseach looks out at the two of us and wags his finger and says there’s going to be a E25 rise in the Old Age pension. Well, Peggy lets a screech out of her and starts roaring ‘Hup, ya boy ya’ and stamping her feet. I thought she’d bring on some sort of attack on herself because her blood pressure must have soared like a rocket. And to tell the truth, what with the screaming in the studio and Peggy beside me yelling at the screen and stamping her feet and me having to listen to all of them, mine can’t have been too healthy at that point either. Then the next minute she’s screaming and swearing again at Kenny like a woman demented.

‘Jesus, Christ,’ she turns to me, ‘did you hear what that smarmy bastard is just after saying? The fecking raise isn’t going to come to us until 2021, shure, what good is a raise to me in five years’ time?  I could be dead and buried by 2021. And isn’t that what the little shoneen wants – to have the whole lot of us, the plain people of Ireland, six feet under by 2021, so he won’t be obliged to pay us an extra brown penny.’  And back she goes to bawling at Kenny on the television again.

Well, I know one thing for certain, she couldn’t have got a better incentive to live longer -if it’s only to spite Kenny and Burton, that woman is going to live to 2021 and far beyond, come what may, so that she’ll get the extra E25 in her pocket and feck the begrudgers.

 

PS: Peggy is delighted that the crowd above in RTE are after listening to her and bringing Sharon Ní Bheoláin back into the warmth of the studio. She’s even more delighted that they’re after sending Brian Dobson out. It isn’t that she doesn’t like Dobson but she says he’s a fine strong man with a heavy suit on him that will keep him fine and warm in all weathers. But she can’t understand why Dobson is inside in a room, albeit with glass windows, sitting down on a comfortable armchair and that poor girleen was left standing outside in all sorts of weathers and she shivering like a stray cat in totally unsuitable clothing.

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Peggy is Confused

Day 4 (or is it 5? My God, does time go this slowly all the time when there’s an election on?)

Does anyone know the reason for RTE 6 One news insistence on keeping Sharon Ni Bheoláin outdoors while conducting interviews with our politicians, both current and aspiring? Peggy says she can’t watch any of the features because the girleen is shivering with the cauld most of the time. She says she feels guilty sitting beside her roaring coal fire while she’s watching her. Why they can’t have them indoors in a nice studio is beyond her, she says throwing her hands up in the air in bewilderment. It’s the girl she feels sorry for, she goes on to say, because the politicians’ skins are so thick that nothing at all will go through it. ‘Which wan of them politicians is worth getting double pneumonia for?,’ she says with a contemptuous sniff. (I wish she’d use her handkerchief. For a woman who’s so particular about germs, she’s very casual sometimes about her own habits)

I try to persuade her that not all politicians are like that and in fairness, politics is a thankless job- in vain! She looks at me and if looks could kill, I’d be lying prostrate on her kitchen floor. She gets up and sweeps by me as if I’m something contagious.

And do you know, I could swear I heard her mutter ‘simpleton’ as she slammed her kitchen door shut behind her!

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Election Diary cont:

Day 3.   

It’s begun – the canvassing, I mean and we’re besieged from all sides. I’ve made up my mind that any candidate who even whispers the word Fiscal Space will get short shrift and no vote from me. Peggy says that they’re all a disgrace and the boys and girls of 1916 are only spinning in their graves at what kind of Ireland these shooneens are after creating. She’s fond of saying the whole lot of them, starting with De Valera, have made a right dog’s dinner of running the country. Anyway she says that for years wasn’t it the Catholic church that ruled the roost and there we all were, bowing and scraping and kissing the bishops’ rings whenever they appeared. Kissing bishops’ rings like they were fecking royalty, she scoffs. Apart from anything else, shure, wasn’t it downright unhygienic, couldn’t we have caught anything from it? Imagine, all the germs dancing on top of them rings? She shudders at the thought but continues on without pausing for breath.

Then after getting rid of the bishops, it was the builders, the speculators and the bankers that were ruling the place. Anyway, she says what can you expect from people like Baldy Biggane of Fianna Fáil who, when it comes right down to it, doesn’t know his arse from his elbow and there he is, sitting in a cushy seat above in the Dail telling the rest of us what we must do to save the country. She says they whole lot of them have necks as thick as swans.

But wait, she’s started again on Fianna Fáil’s Baldy Biggane. She has her knife into him for the last fifteen years. In fact, the man avoids her like the plague when he sees her approaching. I’ve seen him duck into butchers’ shops and slip into doorways where he cowers until she’s well out of sight so there’ll be no chance of him attacking her in front of a delighted audience. And what’s it all about? A medical card, imagine!  According to Peggy, she was entitled to a medical card being a lone woman with no means except the state pension, blah, blah, blah. Then, she made the mistake of going into Baldy’s clinic so that he’d fill the form for her and make the whole thing go faster. Shure, we all know how things work in Ireland. Instead of that didn’t  ‘the thick made a right fecking hames of it’ so she had no card for years and going into the doctors for any ailment, particularly her rickety knees have cost her a fecking fortune, so it has. Oho, she says she’s only waiting for Biggane to stick his bald head around the door and when he does, by God, she says, won’t he be the sorry man?

I know damm well that if Baldy Biggane has any sense of self-preservation, he won’t go within an asses’ roar of her doorstep but I say nothing and let her rant on. Shure, there’s no stopping her anyway when she’s in full flow like this.

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Valentine’s Day is Subversive

Well, we’re having what my father would have called a bit of a ‘divarsion’ from the politics for the last few hours. Peggy’s gone on to another of her hobby horses ‘St. Valentine’s Day’ and how thick people are to fall for such an American gimmick. She has her knife rightly into the Americans for some reason at the moment.  She has no time at all for it, thinks it’s the greatest load of codswallop since we allowed Halloween to be hijacked by all that American nonsense, says it’s only a way of making a fast buck for the shopkeepers, the hotels and the florists and anyone who participates in it should be downright ashamed of themselves. I tried to point out to her that it’s a godsend for business people who have it tough most of the year, a chance to make a few well-earned bob and shure, what harm is it anyway, only a bit of fun. But Peggy, as you know, is a woman of strong opinions and was having none of it. So I thought it best to shut my mouth and listen as she ranted on. At least, it makes a change from her political rants on Enda and Joan and Gerry and Michéal. It also gives me a bit of a break from her aversion to Fianna Fáil’s Baldy Biggane, for the moment anyway. God knows, she’ll be back to all that fast enough seeing that there’s another two weeks left to the election.

So she stands there in the middle of the kitchen with her legs planted firmly apart as if she’s giving a party political broadcast. Remember,  like they used do long ‘go from the backs of lorries and trailers outside the church after mass. To be honest, I think the woman should go in for political office herself, she’d certainly give the others a good run for their money up in the Dáil. Even Shane Ross would have a hard time getting a word in edgeways with her.

Valentine’s Day, she says must be the most idiotic of the many idiotic occasions we’re after selling our soul for in this country. Husbands and wives who spend the rest of the year pasting each other around the kitchen and getting barring orders, there they are now, all lovey- dovey inside in restaurants paying through their noses for food they’d get below in Lidl for a fraction of the price. She says ‘tis many the time she’s been inside in Super-Value getting a few messages when in comes some fella and it nearly closing time. Next thing she sees him grabbing a bunch of wilting, limp flowers for E1.99 and telling the shop assistant that herself will be disappointed if she doesn’t get something, being the day that’s in it. She says she thanks her lucky stars she was never tempted to make that trip of ruination down the aisle herself because if any man belonging to her turned up with an offering of flowers that looked three days old, she’d crown him with the bloody things, so she would.

Then throwing her arms out in front of her, she asks, what’s the sense in going out to eat on a night when all the prices go through the roof?‘ If they want to go out,’ says she rhetorically, ‘why can’t they go the night before or the night after like any sensible people?’  She says she’ll never understand people –like,  why won’t the husband prepare a meal at home for the wife or lave her in bed to sleep in of a morning or take out the children to give her a bit of peace for a few hours? Shure, why can’t they be nice to each other during the other 365 days of the year? Fecking bleddy eejits,’ she says.

Here I just manage to get a word in to say it’s the romance of it, just for the wan day like, She looks at me as if I’m a farthing short of the full shilling and raises her eyes to heaven. Romance, she snorts, romance, my arse, aren’t we Irish, aren’t we, and since when did the Irish fecking start doing romance? For Christ’s sake, will you ever have a bit of sense for yourself, girl.!

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Day 2

It really shouldn’t be allowed. I woke up this morning and went to open the curtains and there outside the window grinning in at me was a huge poster of some candidate from Sinn Fein. When I squinted to look down the street and across to the other side, the whole place was plastered with posters of every different colour, dozens of ‘em, from every party and no party, hanging off poles everywhere. The whole village was destroyed with ‘em and the next thing I see is that a poster of Enda and Michael Noonan is hanging on the pole just outside Peggy’s front door and I know she’ll be fit to be tied because apart from her antipathy to all politicians, the woman is just allergic to the two of them.

Then, just as I’m turning away from the window, who do I see but the bould Peggy advancing backwards out her front door manoeuvring something. I peer closer and open the window and there she is puffing and panting and she dragging a ladder out the front door. Before I can say anything, she gives a yelp of triumph as the ladder finally flies out the door so fast that she nearly falls over. But she rights herself pretty quick and lands the ladder smartly up against the pole and starts climbing. Jesus, my heart nearly stopped, I mean the woman is eighty if she’s a day and has rickety knees and there she is, actually clambering up a ladder and pulling down every poster on her way up so that Sinn Fein, Labour, Independent and Fianna Fáil are all in a heap on the pavement and the woman is still climbing because of course as luck would have it, Enda and Noonan are at the very top of the pole. From where I’m standing, I can see the ladder wobbling but Peggy has such a rage on her, she doesn’t even notice.

So I leave the window, my heart in my mouth and silently cursing the woman with all the swear words I know. I race downstairs in my pyjamas(thank God, they’re respectable and new from Penneys) and find myself at the bottom of the ladder holding it steady while I narrowly miss being rendered unconscious by Michael Noonan as he sails ignominiously just past my head and lands face downwards on the pavement beside me. All I can do is close my eyes and hold on grimly at the foot of the ladder and pray that the next three weeks pass by quickly and that we’ll all be still safe and sound and in the land of the living by the end of it.

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Peggy’s Election Diary

Day 1

Well, Peggy is driving me demented. The election is only just called and already she’s up to high dow, ranting and raving about what she’ll say to the scoundrels and blackguards that will call to her door looking for her vote. She says she’s only sorry she doesn’t have a dog because if she did, she’d have him trained to go straight form the jugular of every fecking wan of ‘em. When I was foolish enough to snap and say how in the name of God would the dog know who to go for, she says that she’d have him in training since the summer scrutinising the candidates’ faces in the paper so he’d recognise them when they’d call. That way, she says without a hint of a smile, he wouldn’t go savaging innocent neighbours like me who’d be regularly calling in for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat.

When Peggy gets like this, there’s no talking to her, I’ve told you this before. So I sit there like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car as she goes on about the self- serving gombeens who’ll say anything and promise anything to get into the Dáil and of course, once they’re inside, with their arses warming the seats for the next five years, they’ll be no more thought of the promises and lies they spouted without a blush on the doorsteps to get themselves elected.  She says that she’s too long in the tooth though to be fooled by such crookedness now and she’ll be the one getting rightly stuck into them when they plank their big ignorant feet on her doorstep. Honestly, if I had the money, I’d leave the  country or at least, get some place well away from Peggy for the next three weeks to avoid getting my head done in. I really fear that I could end up a gibbering idiot before the campaign is over. And if Peggy won’t drive me mad it will be this endless talk of fiscal space. Why can’t they speak in simple English, for Christ’s sake?

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