|Barack drinks the black in Moneygall|
1. He hasn’t got a drink problem. That’s to say, when he pulls on a pint, he doesn’t leave a moustache of froth on his upper lip, or if he does he makes sure it’s clear before the cameras see it. Plus he made sure he took a manly swally first time, not one of these effeminate sips. Somebody probably tipped him off about the old Irish tradition of taking Guinness sippers round behind the jacks for a kicking after closing time.
2. He’s good with babies. Admittedly those could have been planted Moneygall babies, drugged to the eyeballs so they didn’t start screaming blue murder the minute he touched them; but he did do a nice little bouncy-bouncy motion with them and he knew to warn the father not to stick the dummy back in the baby’s gob after he’d dropped it on the ground (the dummy, not the baby).
3. He’s got enormous feet. If you were watching when he was sitting with Enda Kenny on those two chairs, his trousers were hitched and his ankles and shoes were on display. Cheesh. Size 12 at least.. That’s Mother Nature for you. The guy likes to play a little basketball so she equips him with big solid feet : that way, when he lands after a jump, he’s got lots of contact-acreage to keep him upright. I didn’t see Michelle’s feet, which is probably as well. You know what they say about women with big feet.
4. He calls older men ‘Sir’, even when they’re not Sir Tony O’Reilly or Sir Bob Geldof. I was in the States a few years back and during a conversation my son’s friend kept calling me ‘Sir’ and my present wife ‘Ma’am’. At first I thought he was taking the mickey but he explained that this was considered good form in his family, every-day courtesy, so I put down the chair. Still not sure I like it. If everybody gets called ‘Sir’, Tony and Bob are going to end up feeling their Buck House grovel was hardly worth it.
5. He can make a really great speech. After College Green, RTÉ interviewed a number of people and they all said he’d been terrific, they felt so much better after it, inspired even. So did I. I was striding around the living-room punching the air and roaring “Is feidir linn! Is feidir linn!” when the present Mrs Collins came home from work. “But what did he actually say? Is he going to give an amnesty to Irish illegals in the US? Is he going to send us some Yank firms with jobs? What about those rendition flights at Shannon?” She’s a bit like that, the present Mrs C – always going on about the need for specifics. I ignore such small-minded thinking. “Is feidir linn!” I continued chanting until, just before EastEnders, I fell over the cat and hit my head on the edge of the coffee-table. Great orators have that kind of effect.