Like a person who at an all-is-possible drinks party promised to take a Christmas Day plunge in the sea when they find themselves shivering on a beach, freezing waves washing their ankles, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil can hardly defer what now seems unavoidable for much longer.
They will have to man up — and woman up — and take the plunge.
The calendar may indulge prevarication but coronavirus demands the kind of response only a secure Government can offer. Conversely, and in a way appreciated by kingmakers, the virus offers a distraction that allows discreet courting.
That situation will not last as Saturday’s march opposed to a FG/FF pact in Dublin underlined. Though numbered in hundreds rather than thousands — Sinn Féin was not involved — it was the tip of a large iceberg of justified anger.
If those in FG and FF who find the prospect of such a plunge chastening they should consider how another election might change circumstances. It is not necessary to be “the most devious, the most cunning of them all” to anticipate that options available today would not be offered again.
And there’s more. Unless any two-plus-one coalition brings a new intensity — practical and philosophical — to resolving the three great issues of our day, all consequences of inaction, then they will have wasted their last throw of the dice. And, as John Wayne once told a bunch of hopeful young cowboys: “Trying don’t get it done ... and we’re burning daylight.”