TERRY PRONE: A nation drunk on sunshine could produce another baby boom

The good weather helped increase attendances at the first day of Bloom at the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

Apparently, we fancy a bit of sexual action much more in the sunshine than when the weather is chilly, writes Terry Prone

IT HASN’T been a bad long weekend so far, has it? Thirty percent higher attendance at the first day of Bloom, for one thing. For another, the possibility of a baby boom with numbers also increased by 30%, just nine months from now.

The first is pure good news. Lovely event, beautifully organised, with loads of flowers and gardens giving cover for the wicked minority of us who couldn’t care less about geraniums, but just want to see, taste and buy the plethora of food offerings.

I have a weather theory I plan to run past the Met Office as soon as they all stop appearing on every radio programme to tell us how pressure is creating the sunshine. My weather theory is that we in Ireland are so unused to sunshine that it makes us drunk. Let’s be honest, it makes us drunker than the average cider party in the local field. We’re happy out. Blissful. We don’t care about tomorrow or three weeks from now. We get so drunk on sunshine that if we meet a real live politician in the street, we’re nearly nice to them.

We briefly get over our chronic outrage. Once bathed in sunshine, this nation stops resenting what we would normally resent. We still do low-level resentment, but there’s no real venom in it. Anaesthetised by the sun, we find it easy to sleep on another man’s wound: even when we sympathise with kids getting ready to do their exams, we do it from an emotional distance.

And then there’s the sunshine sex. We have a lot of it, apparently, in a recklessly unprotected way.

A nation drunk on sunshine could produce another baby boom

Now, this is nuanced bad news for whoever has Simon Coveney’s job in about 20 years, God help her or him. The reality is that if we get the baby boom which is predicted to happen nine months from now, that baby boom has implications. It has implications for the parents, inevitably. Every baby has implications for its parents. At the time they get into baby-making, they have no idea about those implications, which is why the human race keeps going.

But this possible baby implications for the rest of us, too. Imagine if the 30% increase in attendance at Bloom is mirrored by a 30% increase in births in January 2017. The masters of the Maternity Hospitals are going to need tents out the back to accommodate all the women popping sprogs .

Longer term, though, if we get as natally productive is as predicted nine months from this weekend, the minister for whatever they will call the Department of the Environment by then is going to rue this warm weekend. The Minister for Education isn’t going to be that happy, either. They’re going to face a seriously increased demand for student grants and the requirement for accommodation is going to be fierce. The people who will gain most from this are the actuaries.

All of this is purely (or impurely) as a result of the rampant sex generated by the glorious sunshine this last week. Apparently, and according to the powers-that-be in the sex department, we fancy a bit of sexual action much more in the sunshine than when the weather is drizzling and chilly. You might think cold weather would be conducive to a bit of bedroom action, if only as a fun way to warm up, but no. Sunshine is what provokes it.

The sex itself does not have to happen in the sunshine, we hasten to clarify, lest Bloom’s final days be enlivened by communal orgasms. Although, in marketing terms, what could be better than a slogan that goes “Flowers, gardens, food and sex”? It might take a little persuading of An Bord Bia, the sponsor. Sponsors, if they’re state bodies, have a peculiar reluctance to support sex. They’re a bit proper, that way, but someone should help them relax a bit. It’s time An Bord Bia was joined, as key sponsor for Bloom, by Victoria’s Secret.

Not all of us have had a great weekend, though. On Friday, the man in my life decided to take off for where he comes from to socialise with the natives up there and stick his sister with the task of feeding him. Now, when he sets off on any journey, it occasions a number of false starts as he returns for his wallet, glasses or phone. On this occasion, all seemed to be well. The ten minute second-thought timespan was passed. I started to baby-oil the fridge, because it is of such exciting tasks my long weekends consist.

Then a noise happened, small at first (the way an ambulance or squad car is small, in noise terms, before it gets up close and personal) and then loud. The sound was like God sandpapering the world. I went out to investigate, and found the man in my life returning in his car which was making this noise and emitting sparks from its rear end, which I thought a vast improvement on its usual behaviour. Its driver did not seem to agree. He got out with a face on him like a funeral and — with his customary succinctness — uttered.

“My effing exhaust pipe fell off,” he said, through gritted teeth.

A nation drunk on sunshine could produce another baby boom

It was at this point that I made a serious marital mistake. I laughed. I just straight-up laughed. The reason I laughed was that it was the car’s exhaust pipe that had fallen off, rather than any part of his own person, but it was still a mistake.

As was pointing out that the exhaust pipe hadn’t actually fallen off. It had prolapsed. Hence the noise.

This provoked a small speech about the problems of exhaust pipe prolapse. If I got it right, what it amounts to is that if an exhaust pipe falls off, you stop the car, grab the fallen part, and reverse. Reversing is not possible with pipe prolapse. You have to keep driving, dragging your ass in car mechanic terms, with everybody in the line of traffic wondering how the hell you’re missing the fact that your metal bit is sparking off the road and deafening passers by.

You have to keep driving until you can do a turn that doesn’t involve reversing, which would drive your pipe into even more painful and potentially noisy places, before returning to base.

“I’m taking your car,” the man in my life said, with as much enthusiasm as if I was forcing him to have an overall body wax. Normally, I’d have sympathised. My car is a ten-year-old BMW I hate with a passion, because it has a deranged hypochondriacal computer that keeps announcing it’s got hoose, worms and paranoids, or at least that’s what I interpret the icons as meaning. It has tyres that cost about ten thousand euro to replace. In this instance, however, I thought he had a nerve, getting picky about taking away the only set of functional wheels in the family.

I said not a word, however, because — in common with the rest of the nation — I was drunk on sunshine. Long may it last.


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