I am the finest of all farm specimens...

As you are well aware, I’m not a vain man. I might be in excellent physical condition, with everything in working order, from my head to my toes, and, indeed, I might well be considered a reasonably good-looking man, by many.

But that has nothing whatsoever to do with vanity — that is simply me pointing out the facts as I see them.

And with regards to the face department, yes, indeed, I’m blessed with those chiselled good looks. Movie-star looks, I sometimes believe, when I catch a glimpse of myself in a certain light.

And looking at my strong, well-defined chin, there are heavyweight boxing contenders the world over who would kill for a chin of granite like mine.

My glasses, too, I feel, give me an air of a man with intelligence. And, of course, my hair, my glorious mane that still adorns my head, is like a beautifully constructed thatch.

I might be 44 on paper, but, honestly, if you look at me from a distance, I could easily pass for 21.

Anyway, moving on, I happened to be out with the family over the weekend in the Mahon Shopping Centre, in Cork, and browsing around here and there, I came across this outpost with an enormous collection of 2015 calendars for sale. It’s easy to know the year is coming to an end when the calendars start appearing.

Looking through the pile, I spotted the seasonal Cliff Richard effort, and there was another calendar based on the movie, The Quiet Man.

There were no calendars, that I could see, relating to Garth Brooks. They must be all sold, I figured, just like his concert tickets.

Moving on, the next thing I spotted was the Bóthar calendar for 2015.

For the 12 months of the coming year, the possessor of the latest Bóthar calendar will get the opportunity to view 12 able-bodied farmers in various forms of undress, performing a whole range of farming activities.

For instance, the fellow on the front cover has a goat flung over his muscular back. So, I turned the pages, and went from month to month, and when I came to Mr December, I let out a roar.

There I stood, in this outpost in Mahon, looking at a calendar that supposedly contained the finest specimens that Irish farming life has to offer, but there was no place on the calendar for the likes of me? I was fuming. I was like the Bull McCabe when he stormed into the priest’s house, demanding to see the Yank.

“Has the world gone mad entirely?” I roared, squeezing the calendar tight with rage.

Twelve men where chosen, and I wasn’t amongst their number.

I put the calendar back on the stand, my hands shaking. I simply couldn’t conceive how I could have been overlooked.

I have a few more miles on the clock, in comparison to the young farmers pictured in the Bóthar calendar, but isn’t there always a place in life for the George Clooney type? The well-seasoned fellow, who appeals to the more discerning lady?

I would have happily stripped off for the camera, leaning over my gas dehorner, or a strategically placed grease gun.

For pity’s sake, ’twas a photo crying out to be taken!

Bóthar, you have made a big mistake. Great and all as you may be at exporting farm animals to the poorer regions of the world, without me in your upcoming calendar you have overshot the runway completely.


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