Man 1: What do you think of old Ruth?
Man 2: Old Ruth who?
Man 2: There’s only one old Ruth – Dudley Edwards.
Man 1: That’s got the makings of a chant in it: ‘There’s only one Ruth Dudley Edwards, one Ruth Dudley Eeeeedwards…’
Man 2: Yes but why do you call her ‘old Ruth’?
Man 1: Because she is. Well into her 70s.
Man 2: That’s a bit ageist. What’s age got to do with it?
Man 1: Or love.
Man 2: Eh?
Man 1: Little popular culture reference there. But I mention ageism because Old Ruth is banging on about it in her column in the Sindo today.
Man 2: She’s accusing herself of being old?
Man 1: No, more about how Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are old – even though they’re nearly ten years younger than her. Although to be fair, she does include herself in the same oldie category..
Man 2: She’s old and she’s whacking them for being old?
Man 1: I know. But that’s a mere detail. Old Ruth warns them that she’ll be around and working for some time to come.
Man2: Bet that’s cheered them up, in the mouth of their Ard Fheis next weekend.
Man 1: She says McGuinness is acting all statesman-like because he’s going to have a second go at being Irish President and Gerry Adams is acting all young to get in with the younger set.
Man 2: How does she know?
Man 1: She says a tweet a while back showed two school-boys standing in a shop with Gerry, and one of the kids had the comment ‘Great to meet you, thanks for asking to get in a photo with us!’
Man 2: Could the kid have been doing a bit of the irony thing?
Man 1: Probably. But Ruth doesn’t do irony.
Man 2: Does she say anything else of significance in her Sindo column?
Man 1: She ends by saying if Greece’s Syriza government gets more concessions from the EU, Gerry and Martin will be around for a long time.
Man 2: You baffle me. Is she agin ageism or not?
Man 1: She says if it was anybody else but Martin and Gerry, she’d be glad to see them ‘raising the banner against ageism’.
Man 2: And then she gives out about Gerry and Martin being top men in Sinn Féin?
Man 1: Right.
Man 2: Could it be that she just hates the Shinners?
Man 1: You could be on to something there. They say blind hatred is a great recipe for long life.
Man 2: Mmm. Did Ruth say that?
Man 1: No.
Man 2: Then it may well be true…Here’s my bus.
Man 1: You got a bus pass?
Man 2: Of course.
Man 1: Me too. Slan go foill
Man 2: Eh?
Man 1: Leprechaun for ‘ Bye for now’. Very old language, Leprechaun.
Man 2: Slan, so.