The old terraced house, situated at Number 1922, Liberty Square, Thurles, had been up for sale for years. The delay in its sale attributed to the lull brought about by the bursting of the Irish housing bubble. This latter caused by greedy people, urged on by greedy bankers, builders and politicians who spent far too much time at the Galway races. This has since been confirmed to me on the phone just last night by my friend Enda, currently holidaying in Davos.
To be honest, the original valuation of €2.5 million placed on the property, had been suggested by the auctioneer and not the vendor. The auctioneer had this gut feeling that one of our now rarely seen elected representatives might know someone who would view this property as a suitable site for a waste recycling centre or even a Casino. After all it stood in a fine central residential location, with easy access to supermarkets, chip shops and betting offices.
However, regrettably for all concerned, genuine interest was slow to materialise and the vendors eventually let the property go on the market for its true but disappointingly low value of €90,000. But then as my friend Wayne knowingly said to me later, “Sure you couldn’t bury the wife at night in the back garden of that property, without half the town gawking at you.”
The first inkling that the property was sold actually came via Wayne’s wife, Imelda May, latter who suffers from a slight speech impediment, easily recognised by the fact that every now and then she stops talking long enough to catch her breath. Imelda, I should add, never misses a trick, squinting as she does, from behind that off-white net curtain, covering her front window. It was she who first spotted the large removal van parked outside, with men busy carrying inwards, the usual ordinary everyday household goods required to set up a loving, caring, close knit family unit, in a modern Irish State like ours. You know the things I mean; Versailles Silver Side Cabinets, Corona Computer Desk, Nevada Pine Bedroom Furniture, St Austell chairs, a Lille Oak table, and enough hydroponic equipment to grow your own personal supply of marijuana.
Wishing to know more about her new neighbours, Imelda suggested to Wayne, that perhaps it would be seen as a neighbourly gesture, for them to introduce themselves and welcome the new residents. This suggestion was repeated by her for several days, until Wayne, now resigned to the fact that if his marriage was made in heaven, then it was quite obvious that someone up there didn’t like him, agreed. So true to form our Imelda, followed reluctantly by Wayne, marched across the road a few days later, rapping loudly on a paint cracked front door. Eventually the door opened slightly, offering a limited close-up view of the new residents.
New residents, Randall and Britney, seemed pleasant enough and while Wayne and Imelda were not actually invited inside, an invitation was extended for the following night to call over and partake in, a new craze which has just hit Thurles, the drinking of iced tea.
Well as Wayne remarked to me later; “What with the ever increasing price of milk, electricity, the influx of foreign job seekers, household and septic tank charges not to mention a massive hike in the price of watered down supermarket larger, the drinking of iced tea in the month of January, was eventually bound to catch on over here.”
Before Wayne could get a word in edge-ways, Imelda had enthusiastically accepted their invitation, and the visitors now took their leave. The following evening Wayne and Imelda, latter sporting a new frock, followed up on their invitation and to cut a long story short, having drunk several glasses of iced tea, Wayne asked Britney if he could be directed to their host’s bathroom. Having followed the directions given, (straight in front, at the top of the stairs) Wayne, on entering, was astonished to see that the bathroom fixtures included a solid gold urinal.
Later on, while their host and hostess were busy in the kitchen preparing another jug of iced tea, Wayne whispered to wife Imelda that he had just relieved himself, for the very first time, in a gold urinal. Imelda was impressed and later, when Wayne and Randall had retired to the library, for a smoke and discussion on burning the bond holders, Imelda, anxious to make friends, told Britney how impressed her Wayne had been, at his discovery of their unusual bathroom fixture. Britney seemed confused but decided in the interest of future friendship, not to follow up on this remark.
Later that evening, when Wayne and Imelda had left for home, having extended their invitation for a return visit, Britney, now getting ready for bed, began to think more deeply about Imelda’s bathroom remark. Then it hit her, like those sharp pricks that bursts our housing bubble.
Britney smiled and called out to Randall ; “While you are in the bathroom dear, do check, I think you may find that someone has urinated in that damned saxophone of yours.”
Ah sure nothing is as it seems here in this country anymore.