Earlier this week, I bumped into none other than the Minister for Agriculture.
Twas no surprise, for isn’t he living only about eight miles away, or four as the crow flies.
Anyhow, I congratulated Minister Creed on his recent appointment and assured him of the continued support of Irish farmers.
“So long as the money keeps rolling, the farmers will back you,” says I.
“It’s as simple as that.”
And with that, being a busy man, I told him I needed to shove off.
Twas only later in the day that I realised I had left a fierce opportunity slip through my hands.
“Lehane,” says I, as I sat by the fire that evening, “you must be the greatest fool that ever walked the land.”
“There you were, in the company of none other than the newly appointed Minister for Agriculture, and you never asked him the most important question of all. ‘Have you got a driver yet?’”
Since the scrapping of the ministerial car, all ministers now have a driver.
And with me having a jeep in my yard just itching for road, sure I’d have been the ideal candidate.
I’m sure I would have got the job too, if only it had dawned on me to ask him.
And what better way would there be for a Minister for Agriculture to arrive at public engagements than in the passenger seat of a battered old Hilux?
All would say, as plumes of engine smoke announced his arrival, that we have a minister with his feet firmly on the ground.
And with me handsomely rewarded for my efforts, there would be no stopping us.
Except, that is, for the hills. My jeep has a deep dislike of hills of all varieties. Should a road rise in any manner, the jeep starts to splutter.
And make no mistake, it will refuse point blank to go up a steep hill if the notion takes it.
So I would have to stress before taking up the post of ministerial driver that under no circumstances could we take on a road with a hill, unless we had a very good run up to it.
But that’s only a technical issue, something that could be sorted out with proper planning of the roads we needed to travel.
On the plus side, my Hilux would be ideal for the Minister in that he could toss whatever bundles of paperwork he wished into the open back, with the assurance, that provided it didn’t rain, it would be safe.
Of course, being on the road with the minister on a daily basis would give me a great opportunity to pick up whatever odds and ends I needed for the successful running of the farm back home.
Like, for example, if we happened to be passing a co-op, I could always slip in for a bag of milk replacer or a bag of beef nuts.
And I’m telling you, if those in the co-op got wind that the Minister was outside in the Ministerial Jeep, wouldn’t it be great for his image and reputation to be known as the minster who is happy to go around in such a wreck?
“Creed,” they would cry, “you are a mighty man.”
Having a minster on board would be a great help for me should any cattle break out during the day.
“Minister,” I would say, “hold tough on that trip to Brussels, I must just swing home first. We need to corral a few wayward bullocks.”
Yerra, ’tis a fright entirely that I slipped up, for my Ministerial Jeep would have been the makings of him.
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