THE Dáil bar was doing a roaring trade after all the NAMA drama, but the three main party leaders were noticeable by their absence.
Which was a bit of shame as you were left wondering what would happen if we gave up on any lingering hope of inspiration and just made them entertain us and sing for their sumptuous pay and perks package instead?
Brian Cowen would, of course, make a mesmerising Meatloaf, and with opinion polls showing 96% of voters want him to quit (and the margin of error probably adding another 3% to the total) he’d convincingly croon: “I’ll doing anything for Ireland – but I won’t do that.”
Enda Kenny could easily slip into Daniel O’Donnell mode.
But what about the mystery man of Irish politics, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore – how would he get the crowd going?
A clue came to light in yesterday’s Dáil exchanges on NAMA, as so determined was he to use his latest soundbite at every opportunity, he never failed to slip the “toxic triangle” of Fianna Fáil, dodgy developers and greedy bankers into every sentence with the rapidity of a pub singer asking for tips and pints as he lashes into another rendition of The Auld Triangle once again.
Maybe Mr Gilmore could broaden the appeal of his macro economic theorem by combining the two approaches?
To the tune of The Auld Triangle – all together now with Eamon: “Oh! the bankers’ relief was sighing/ And the economy was dying/ As the taxpayer lay crying/ In his debtors prison cell/ And that auld toxic triangle went jingle- bloody-angle/ All throughout the banks of the NAMA cash canal...”
At least it would have livened up a an anti-climatic day in the Dáil which brought with it an underlying feeling of menace, but no bite.
But the bankers still love Biffo – which is more than can be said for his own troops, if the chilling silence that greeted his championing of NAMA was anything to go by.
Not a pair of back-bench hands clapped, not a half-hearted cheer emerged form the ministerial row, it was as quiet as John O’Donoghue caught sneaking out of a luxury limo and into a taxpayer funded €1,000 a night hotel.
But to be fair to them, most were probably half dead with boredom after one of the most tedious and vapid pieces of verbiage to emerge from the Taoiseach in a long time.
Ironically, proceedings only momentarily came to life when he started talking about zombies.
No, not the ones in the cabinet who have lumbered around from crisis to crisis like the undead for the past year, seeking to feed off the now bled-dry corpse of the poor old taxpayer, but “zombie banks”.
These, apparently, would be what we would get if NAMA was not there to bail out our elite corps of financial vandals.
The claim saw a deeply subdued Brian Lenihan explode into delirious animation as he rocked back and forth in his chair, smirking and pointing wildly at the opposition benches.
Then the Dáil chamber became bed chamber once again and all fell to sleep.
How different from the atmosphere in Bar Spiv at Hotel Reckless where it was trebles and back-slapping all round, as NAMA was toasted to the rafters on the back of soaring bank shares.
Those who feared they were drinking in the last chance saloon for the past year suddenly saw a whole new vista of boom and bust they could devour at will loom into view.
“Oh, the auld toxic triangle goes jingle-bloody-jangle...”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved