YOU’RE going to need something today. A tonic of some description. The weather in March, so far, has been as if winter slept in late, has arrived into the office at 11am, and is now acting fierce busy.
And then there’s Brexit. This past week has been so strange, it’s impossible to even think of an analogy. Somehow, a prime minister voted against her own government’s amendment and then lost when the amendment was passed.
I don’t even know what the analogy is there. Perhaps it’s akin to running into the middle of a gun fight, wrestling the gun off someone, and then taking careful aim at your own foot and missing, but the bullet ricocheting up and taking off half your ear. And still retaining your marksman job.
Feet up, for a change.March 17, 2019
If you are in need of a pick-me-up, watch the ‘St Patrick’s Day Round Up Of The Parades’ from around the country. If you’ve missed it, find it on the RTE Player, under the category of ‘wholesome content.’
It’s not the main new bulletin. That’s reserved for the big parades. The New York one is held on the Saturday this year, because there’s a big junior B match on the Sunday and they don’t know if they’d get the turnout.
Dublin will have frozen majorettes and buffetted tourists with shamrocks on, saying how much they love ‘Eye-er-land.’ The cameras in Dublin tend to cut away from the footage after about midday. At that point, the city undergoes a sort of transformation. It’s not unlike what happens the dog in the ‘Bonzo Wants To Go Out’ advertisement for sheep-worrying (or, rather, against sheep-worrying) from the 1980s.
Galway will have Macnas, the theme being the Sea God battling the Hound of the Snurach. Tokyo will have nice weather and some Irish teacher who has taught his charges to sing ‘Come Out Ye Black and Tans’ phonetically.
But, eventually, we get to the country ones. And that’s where rural Ireland comes into its own. Key elements will give your parade a fighting chance of making the round-up.
Ciaran Mulloolly, or some other regional correspondent, will say that rain didn’t dampen the spirits today in [INSERT NAME OF VILLAGE]. This will be accompanied by a toddler waving a flag. The toddler then starts crying, as a local in fancy dress approaches too quickly. Which brings us to the second element: the representation of local concerns.
St Patrick’s Day parades are part celebration, part protest. Someone will dress up as ‘the local issue.’ Someone else will dress up as the ‘the politician taking brown envelopes and doing nothing about the local issue.’ The local issue may be recognisable to those outside the town — general underfunding of services and being ignored by a blithe establishment focussed on spin — or it might very specific: The traffic-light sequence in the town is too unforgiving for those turning right.
Either way, now is the chance to get to be in that sentence that begins with ‘and local concerns were very much to the fore in Ballyspidge.’
Occasionally, a tiny village may take it upon themselves to address world affairs. Hence, the aforementioned toddler might be menaced by the local postman dressed as Kim Jong Un or Venezuelan leader, Nicolas Maduro.
There could be a float that references an ‘odd thing that happened.’ Last year, two villages did a Lidl looting floats. It’s not clear what they will do this year. One hopes someone will take the piss out of the tinfoil hat-wearing, anti-vax, homophobic, racist Irish alt-right, but they would need to invest in stock imagery and fake election candidates for that.
And, finally, your village doesn’t even exist if the RTÉ regional correspondent doesn’t finish with, ‘but not everyone was impressed’ and cut to a shot of a sleeping baby.
Happy St Patrick’s aftermath and happy ‘Roundup’ watching.
Did Colm mention his novel? I’d say he did. Anyway he has a novel out in the shops, called Ann Devine.