My mate Paddy will never forget that St Patrick’s day, back in 1975. He was just aged 26 and I suppose if you asked me as a friend to describe his character, I would have to say; he is smart, reasonably good looking, a bit fond of the drink, but very good humoured; the sort of a guy any girl could bring home to meet the mother.
His then girlfriend Mary and himself had been dating at this time for well over a year, and indeed it was while on one of his famous drinking sessions that she had somehow cajoled him into a marriage proposal.
To be fair, it was while slightly intoxicated that Paddy had agreed in principal to this suggestion, however, on later more sober reflection he had admitted to me, privately that she might not be exactly his woman of final choice.
Now Paddy’s prospective little sister-in-law Ann was a totally different matter and he had often traded in the idea that she might be more suited to his, shall we say, active attentions.
Ann was only twenty-two, and always wore very tight seductive mini-skirts, same more suggestive of a broad belt, normally worn around the waist. Her choice of tight low-cut blouses, too, always reminded him of a trip he had taken that previous summer, to view that most scenic of areas in Tipperary, The Glen of Aherlow. Ann, so he claimed, would regularly appear and often bend down when he was near her. Images of that aforementioned picturesque valley nestling between Slievenamuck on one side and the Galtee Mountains on the other, with those sixteen miles of unspoilt countryside affording some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable, would immediately flash upon his inner eye. Sure as Paddy stated often, with obvious regret after that forth pint on a Saturday night; “She never carried on like that when she was hanging around anyone else, only me.”
On that particular fateful St Patrick’s afternoon back in 1975, just after a feed of his mothers bacon and cabbage, Paddy got a call. Out of the blue the lovely Ann phoned him, asking would he come over to check out the new wedding invitations that Mary had purchased. Ann was alone when he arrived and he was barely in the front door when she cuddled up close to him on the sofa. Then she began whispering to him that she had been entertaining, for some time, certain feelings and uncontrolled desires, if you understand, latter which she could no longer restrain. She told him that she wanted him just once, before he got married and became more fully committed to her older sister Mary.
Well, Paddy as you could imagine was in total shock and completely tongue tied. In the now hanging, deafening silence that followed, Ann began trailing her long pointed finger nails under Paddy’s close shaven chin. She began whispering in a quiet, yet breezy voice, words to the effect; “I’m going upstairs to my bedroom to slip into something more comfortable Paddy. Now if you want one last, mad, wild and final fling, well just come up in five minutes and give me a call.”
A stunned and shocked Paddy remained frozen to the spot, as he watched her slowly and teasingly ascend the wooden staircase. He was held there for a moment, her perfume still in his nostrils. Then summing up strength he never knew he possessed, he turned and bolted, making a beeline straight for the front door. On opening the door, he headed straight towards his old Volkswagen car.
As he fumbled with his car keys, there from the corner of his eye he suddenly caught a glimpse of movements emerging from behind some evergreen Golden Privet. When he fully focused, to his surprise there stood his entire future family; the Mother and Father-in-law and his soon to be wife Mary, all standing outside, all smiling and clapping their hands.
Paddy tried to control his heavy breathing and his rosy complexion of previous seconds now began to drain to a whiter more paler colour.
With tears in his eyes, Paddy’s soon to be father-in-law came forward and hugged him stated; “We are very happy that you have passed our test of honour. Mary’s mother and I couldn’t ask for a more faithful man for our daughter. Welcome, welcome to our family Paddy.”
As Paddy said to me, over a pint in Skehan’s Pub last night, the moral of that story is: “Always store your condoms in your car.”
A very happy St Patrick’s weekend to all our readers.
It has been confirmed that the counting of votes for the newly unified Tipperary County Council elections will be held for the first time in Thurles.
County election executives have decided to hold the count for the five electoral areas in the Presentation Convent, Cathedral Street, in Thurles. Previously the counting of votes in respect of both North Riding and South Riding Tipperary were held jointly in the towns of Nenagh and Clonmel respectively.
Ballot papers for the European elections will be checked and forwarded to the regional centre in Cork for inclusion in the Ireland South Constituency.
This venue is seen as ideal for purpose, since Thurles Town is situated centrally in this shortly to be amalgamated county authority area.
The tourism group Hidden Tipperary, under the Chairmanship of Mr Tom Noone, had recently highlighted the need for Thurles town to be viewed / identified, by both Local and National Government, as an existing central location, especially with regard to the availability of public services.
It is expected that up to 90 staff should be employed on the day to count the votes for this new 40 seat county authority, however it is expected that the ‘usual suspects’ will be rounded up to undertake this electoral task, namely retired Bank officials, Teachers, Gardaí, Civil Servants and their respective wives, latter also already in receipt of generous pensions from the Irish State.
However if you are currently unemployed, we suggest that you contact the Court Registrar, Nelson Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, Tel: 052-6129183, (Mr. Gerard Connolly Office Manager) and register yourself as being available to participate in this “Nice little earner.”
Note: At any possible future interview, be positive and point out that you are aware that our present Government is a “Caring Government” and devoted to “Taking care of the vulnerable and less well off in our society.”
Lament On The Absence Of The Thurles Clothesline.
The clothesline was a news forecast to the neighbours passing bye. There were no secrets you could keep when clothes hung out to dry.
It also was a friendly link for the neighbours always knew, if company had stopped on bye, to spend the night with you.
For then they’d see those “fancy sheets,” that towel upon the line; they’d see that “special table cloth,” with its elaborate design.
This line announced a baby’s birth from the folks who lived inside, as brand new infant clothes were hung, so carefully with pride.
The ages of their children too, could so readily be known, by watching how their sizes changed; you’d know how much they’d grown.
It also told when illness struck, as extra sheets were hung; your nightclothes and a bathrobe too, when irregularly were strung.
It also said, “On holidays now,” when lines swung limp and bare. It told, “We’re back,” when full lines sagged, with not an inch to spare.
New folks in town were scorned upon, if their wash was dull and grey; as neighbours carefully raised their brows, then turned their eyes away.
But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work much less. Sure now what goes on inside a house, is anybody’s guess.
Ah sure I really miss that way of life; it was a friendly sign, when neighbours knew each other best, by what hung upon their line.
Shortly after the Ryanair flight had reached its correct cruising altitude, during yesterday’s extremely high winds, the Flight Captain’s voice came calmly over the plane’s intercom system.
Plane blown over by hurricane winds in Shannon yesterday
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Welcome aboard Ryanair Flight 101, non-stop from Shannon to New York.
The weather ahead will be somewhat turbulent over the next hour or so, but very soon we can expect to encounter a smoother and more uneventful flight. So do sit back, relax, and………OH… MY GOD!”
A short silence followed as lives flashed in front of the eyes of all seated passengers.
Some moments later, the captain came back on the intercom system announcing; “Ladies and Gentlemen, I must sincerely apologise if I scared you in any way. While I was talking to you, due to the present turbulence being experienced, a flight attendant accidentally spilled burning hot coffee into my lap. You should see the front of my pants at this moment in time!”
From the back of the plane, one Thurles passenger yelled out, “For the luvva sweet Jaysus Sir …… you should see the back of mine.”
The old monk Friar Francis, as he was affectionately known in his Franciscan Priory in New York, was returning to Thurles, Tipperary, flying Ryanair to Shannon airport. Unable to obtain his preferred window seat due to his late booking, he found himself seated beside the isle, on one side and a very attractive but rather glum faced, young woman with whom he had not yet become acquainted, seated next to the window.
Friar Francis missed not having his normal window seat, but the unexpected and sudden death of his brother had provoked this hurried reason to return to his native Tipperary. Speed was of the essence, as his brother’s funeral Mass in Thurles Cathedral was being delayed, awaiting his arrival.
Friar Francis closed his tired eyes, welcoming the silence emanating from his female co-passenger. His thoughts drifted back to his early youth. He remembered the one and only chastisement he had ever received from his long dead mother. It was for telling lies and he could still almost feel the painful sting from that unexpected wet dishcloth, which had made contact with his right ear. His mother, as she tucked him into bed later that night, had explained that her sudden wet dishcloth assault was meant to act as a future painful reminder and a deterrent. “Lying is unacceptable,” she had explained, after all “What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive,” she had continued.
The subject of his then deceit had been formulated around some stolen apples removed from Mrs Ryan’s orchard next door, which he remembered were of the hard green cooker variety and uneatable anyway, but the good Friar had been careful to never lie in the true sense, after that fateful date.
As he explored this now long past memory, behind his closed eyelids, the Friar was aware of the Central Remedial Clinic’s (CRC) scandal back in Ireland, sure the world knew about it, but lies come under several category headings, there are fraudulent greedy lies like CRC, slanderous lies and there are even truthful lies, the latter to which in two hours time he would knowingly now become a participant.
About two hours into the journey his thoughts of those happier times, now gone forever, had continued to flow. He was remembering his last meeting with his now deceased brother, when suddenly his meanderings were interrupted by the here-to-fore silent attractive female, who now, out of the blue, turned to him and asked in a whisper; “Father, may I ask a very great personal favour?”
Somewhat amused by the young lady addressing him as ‘Father, Friar Francis smiled and then stated “Of course child. What may I do for you?” “Well, Father, I bought my mother a very expensive GHD hair straighteners, while shopping yesterday in New York. It’s for her 60th birthday next week actually.” she whispered.
“Really, that’s great,” said Friar Francis yawning. “Remember child; always be nice to your mother. We should never ignore our parents, time passes so quickly and then they are gone, nothing but guilty memories tend to exist.” he continued.
“Oh I do Father, I do, but this GHD is unopened, still in the original box and well-over my limits for imported goods and I’m afraid Father that Customs will confiscate it. Is there any way maybe you could carry it through customs for me?” enquired the young lady in pleading tones. “Sure you could hide it easily under your habit maybe?”
Friar Francis thought for a moment or two in silence. Could this package contain illegal drugs? Images of a trained drugs sniffer dog identifying him at the ‘Arrivals Gate,’ flashed upon his inward eye. Yet this young lady looked innocent enough and after all she had remembered her mother’s birthday. Hardly the kind of action one would expect from a girl operating as a professional ‘Drug Mule’ for some as yet unrecognised Columbian drugs cartel.
“I would love to help you child, but however I must warn you, if your gift is identified on my person, I will not lie to Customs Officers on your behalf, to save your skin.” replied the kindly old Monk. “There exists already, too much dishonesty abounding in this rotten world of ours.”
“Thanks Father, God bless you, sure with your honest face, no one will hardly question you,” replied the young lady, releasing a sigh of relief.
Taking the rectangular box slipped to him by his new acquaintance, from her hand luggage and checking that the Stewardess was otherwise occupied, Friar Francis now slid the article up the long sleeve of his habit and adjourned to the toilet, where he then placed it securely into the elastic band of his underpants, before returning to his seat.
When they both arrived at Customs in Shannon, the young lady agreed to let the priest go ahead of her. The beady eyed Customs Official halted the Friar and asked, “Sir, do you have anything to declare?”
“From the top of my head down to my waist I have nothing to declare.” smiled the Monk, looking somewhat deviously, yet directly into the eyes of the questioning Customs man.
Thinking this a rather strange answer, the vigilant now smiling Customs Official, tongue in cheek, asked the Monk, “And Sir do you have anything to declare from your waist down to the floor?”
“I do, I have a marvellous instrument designed to be used only on women, but which to date remains unused.” replied the grinning Friar.
Roaring with laughter and with a wave of his hand the Customs Official replied, “You are good, go ahead Sir, – Next customer please.”