Simply red, was the colour which Jeff and Mutt saw when they looked through their rose-tinted BA-issued reconaissance binoculars in a wee northerly direction towards Croak Park from the shared space atop Liberty Hall.
Even as they waited to sing their first performance in public of the song first sung by Sam. (A little trifling financial detail still to be ironed out with their sponsors, that sine qua non of sign-on-the-dotted-line in these financially-straitened and narrow-minded Times, erm, Samsung).
And even as they gazed, Mutt the Hack’s inner Mick Hucknell hummed the tune ‘If you don’t know me by now’ to a Tone-deaf Jeff. But in a tender, generous and open way which is soo characteristic of the wooing technique from a Southern Yune to a Northern Yune.
Mutt knows, from his omniverous reading of the literary genre known as a RC, erm, Roman a Clef, that in the blink of a blood-shot eye, one word can wheel-barrow another, leading to a (gasp) falling out. And then, once push comes to shove, a falling-out can morph immediately and catastrophotically for at least one of the parties not in tune with the other, into a (gulp) falling over the brink.
The announcement of the birth of the Brave New Netherworld of the Orange Free Stateen must be unfurled with all the decorousness and dignity on display say, by Harry Trotter at the stable side of the Jiggy-jiggytown Stud (‘Say Hi! to Daisy ! Say Hi! to Dobbin ! in the background’) during the annunciation to an expectant world of the messianic Archie B. Bunker.
But first, something else had to be unfurled by the ever mindful Mutt to the still unjustifiably jittery Jeff, to wit, that the otherside of the sterling coin is, sadly, Death. Thus, the self-satisfied Saturday edition of The Unionist Times was the first item to be flagged before being unfurled.
This, gan dabht, is the Obituary edish is whch only the best and the brightest are laid to rest with due diligence being done to the dictates of decorum and discretion towards the newly dead.
–De mortuis nil nisi bonham, oops, bono, oops, bonum.
That kinda thngy. Or is it? Well, it was, up to the recent past, very. Take the obituary of Feargal Quinn when a new approach was adopted and a traditional red lion was crossed and indeed, bearded. A novel approach which eschewed the normal grovel and instead, growled:
-Feckin’ decorum ! Sez who?
Now, of all the recently deceased you’d imagine that the late Feargal Q was the very last person to come in for this mean-spirited approach, as bliggardly as it was niggardly. For disarming bouyancy, a sunshiny disposition and charm, Feargal Q would have been most folks’ choice for being first in line. That rare enough being: a genuine gent.
His obituary had all started off so conventionally with Red to the forefront as reference was made to how the Red Island holiday resort in Skerries had been owned and operated by the parents of the deceased.
(This was back in the Fabulous Fifties before Wineair had become even a fledgling, the same Red Wineair which flies duty-free bowsies who feel duty-bound, as the megaphony Oirish, to reach their sun destinations, drowsily screech-compliant, keg-empty and legless. Low life fares, made simple. Red Island, incidentally, is where, ahem, The Perkin made his, erm, stage debut. See below).
But, then, half way down the Obituary the mood took an unexpected turn, and not necessaily for the good of the newly departed.
Feargal Quinn would probably have admitted he was no saint.
He was socially conservative, working against such liberal reforms as the Civil Partnership Act in the Seanad. Senator David Norris remarked this week that Quinn had ‘associated himself with some exceptionally mean-spirited amendments’.
Lámha suas, when is the last time any of you heard ‘mean-spirited’ mentioned in an Ob Ed?
Mind you, there may well be a pattern emerging here: a patronising pattern, so well-liked of the morsupial Yunes south of the Black Sow’s dyke, and who are so desirous of welcoming their separated Yunes (brethern and sistern), north of the same dyke. To the shared space of DUPlin in a morally superior Orange Free Stateen where ‘Skippy, Skippy, the Bush Irish Stew’ will be le menu du jour. .
Consider, mar shampla, the following exceptionally mean-spirited homily (but justifiably so, according to TUT) delivered in the same Organ of Record in his Rite and Reason Column by its Rel Cor in velcro, the uber-patriotic Patsy McGarry. Who is also affectionately known as The Archie-Bishop of the Diocese of Tara Street. Much in the same way as his column is jovially referred to in concentric circles, as ‘Ooh, ahh, Up the RAR’, singing, ‘Ooh, ahh, Up the RAR’. Alternating with: ‘DUPlin in the RAR ould Times’.
-THE 1916 RISING WAS A CRIMINAL ACT PERPETRATED BY A SELF-SELECTED FEW.
Phew ! After covering his hydra-homily head with that red lion, the narky Archie-Bishop continued:
–But further it is a continuing surprise where the churches are concerned that no theologian has
ever addressed the explicit sin of blasphemy involved in those 1916 leaders consciously hijacking
the execution of Christ for their own political purposes by setting themselves us as similar martyrs
at Easter whose blood would ‘save’ their people.
Wow ! Martyr / Trouser Cougher. But, pray: would the cat-melodeon theologian be including, say, lemme see, ah yis, the morsupial Unitarian Church on Stephen’s Green, among the churches deserving of his crozier swipe ? The same reserché church which cannot complain of underexposure, as this RC-born son of Ballaghdareen is often seen to refer to it in tones that are tender, open and, yes, even, generous itself.
–For the first time, this year’s Good Friday ceremony at Dublin’s Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green will mark the dead of 1916, as well as those who died in the more recent conflict in Northern Ireland. Among the readers this year will be broadcaster Joe Duffy, who has written a book on the 40 children killed in Easter Week.
(That should be Somme, oops, some roll call/ altar list of the dead when Joe D’s putative playbook on the children killed in the First Great Anglo-Saxon Civil War (14-18) after the gallant disengaging, parliamentary-minded Irish soldiers took Das Schilling des Konigs, is finally launched, hopefully in time for the Bi-Centenary of the Blasphemers, not).
–The 1916 Rising was a criminal act perpetrated by a self-selected few who took up arms against a British state from which Ireland was then disengaging by parliamentary means. It was a method supported by the vast majority of Irish people.
Disengaging by parliamentary means, like, say, in the stenchy trenches of ‘Somme Enchanted Evenings’? Fingerpointed there by the itchy-bitchy, tranny-wanny Lord Kitchener of Ballykitch, aka The Boy named Sue wants You, who could well, in all wellness, have been the remote inspiraton for that sublime Shel Silverstein song about parliamentary means:
–Kitching and gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer
A dude might even hum it from the same hmmmmmm book if only he had not been born with, abair, a silver Unitarian toon in his mouth.Fancy that, Nancy: mixing politics with religion, religion with poltics ! Why, it even has the very sniffy whiff of a Popish plot about it, regardless, by gum, of little, defenceless, gallant, Catholic, Congo-conquering Belgium.
Small wonder then, that an increasingly but understandably stroppy Rel Cor of The Unionist Times has been put on a strict course of cough drops. Ever since his pulpit-thumping baritone, in his denunciation of the damnblasphemous agitprop of the vertical croppies, exceeded the suggested safe decibel levels of a (gulp) Trump himself.
Truly is Patsy, as non-political Rel Cors go, way out on his McGarry own, south of the Black Sow’s dyke.
But what can that loud sound be? Why it is the sound of a tome which has just flipflopped through the portcullis with its Solas Síoraí and on to the cobbled courtyard of Warbeck Towers with a rebounding thud, Ted. Entitled?
-A Shared Hume, oops, Home Place.
In large print:
Yes, and sharing the honours with…..in small print:
Deora Íosa agus Gadzooks !
You mean THE Andy Pollak, late of The Unionist Times and now a (gasp) expert on crossborder cooperation and (gulp) managing committee member of the Unitarian Church on St. Stephen’s Green ?!!! Such virtue-signalling versatility.
’Swunnerful, wunnerful, in a Lawrence Welky kinda way, all the same, to see the Ancient Irish Elk of cross, very cross border cooperaton politics, Seamus ‘Not as famous as he’d like to be’ Mallon at last come into his deceptively soft-centred own and between hard covers too.
For far too long – and shame on us for allowing it to linger by putting it on the long cranberried fingerpoint – dear Seamus was compelled to play Second Fiddle. Both on the political and also, on the prickly front. The Sullen Cuchulain himself, one of the Fews who could be both gabby and crabby but never, ever back-stabby. In short, fundamentally a tabby at heart.
Thus, he was a victim of his own good nature. Too often was he sent out to act as a – ouch ! – cat’s paw to test the milky waters for the SDLP. Thus, for Seamus, there was an uncertain inevitability about the morphing of the Tanaiste Bo Cúailgne. Into? Into a stellar perfomer (in his own fetchingly modest opinion) in the Oath-Taking Mother of the John Bulled Parliament, (not to be confused with the Oat-taking Daisy and Dobbin above) and where he so delighted in giving wellie to the Machiavellian swells.
And now to broach the sad, yet strangley liberating death of Grumpy the Global Cat: the newly famous Seamus can now at long, long last lay down his Second Fiddle and take up the First Violin, thereby giving the lie to the rank rumour that he was not pro-Violins.
Glacaimís sos ceolmhar anois ag Stáisiún Acomhail Luimní / Let us pause now for a musical interlude at Limerick Junction
THE KING’S MILLINERY
What size hat that’d fit the head of Mallon?
Who pats his own back with catlike tallon
(All slow learners
Such low earners)
Easy: a hat called the Ten (imperial) Gallon
CAT MARBH, CATH NUA.
Grumpy an cat míchlúiteach a fuair bás
Don seanlead cancrach cruthaítear spás
‘Is mé N. Paganini
Rogha na nDaoine’
Is a Stadivarius á dtogáil aige as a chás.
The finally famous First Fiddler’s ghostly written memoir played right into Dame Dosh Finucane’s spook playbook on RTE and so guaranteeing up this au revoir for an early airing over the airwaves. So disinterestedly neutral was the rigorously professional hostess that all of the read-out incoming phone calls were uniformly gushy towards Old Faithful.
Indeed, it was a toss-up whether the phone-in add-on was longer than the trimmings of a family rosary or – this is a shared space – the legendary Orange Order toast brimming with KTPisms.
In conclusion: having started with Red, as in birth, let us now finish with Black and Blue, as in death.
For Doris Day, the cigar-chomping cowgal in Calamity Jane, sadly it was T.A.L. Yes, that Doris Day, the one whom G. Marx once remarked that ‘he knew her before she became a virtue signaller’.
(It was her ‘Take me Back to the Black Hills’ which The Perkin sang when he made his stage debut in Red Island, back in the day. That was the start of his cellar-career as a world-wowing warbler. See above.)
Btw, to clear up a grey area: this Doris Day is in no way to the confused with Doris UDA. Whereas the former was The Queen of Bling, the latter was The King of Bling.
The death was also announced of Anton O Toole, aka The Blue Panther, the truly wonderful winger and sharpshooter of Heffo’s Army. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh anam Anto, fear uasal ar an bpáirc agus lasmuigh chomh maith.
Next week, it is intended to return to his namesake, if nothing else, who has been somewhat neglected this week: cé eile, but the Mutt who put the Cant into The Blue Cantor.
TUILLEADH LE TEACHT: TO BE CONTINUED