His inspiration had become fully formulated after Pat Tobin had read about “Miss Jenny”.
Miss Jenny, latter a London ‘girleen’, who back in the 1820’s, had made a living selling used, hand-washed Condoms; reselling them at very affordable prices to those best described at being at the lower end of the social ladder.
In 1986 Thurles native Pat Tobin, who ran a combined Grocery and Chemist business here in Liberty Square, Thurles, was ‘feeling the pinch’, financially, like so many other small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s). The controversial Health (Family Planning Amendment) Act, of 1985, which liberalised Irish law governing the sale of Condoms, to people over 18 years, had at this stage been fully enacted. This law meant that no longer had persons to visit ‘North of the Border’, or indeed present a Prescription, while attempting to purchase such personal and intimate unmentionables.
However Pat’s problem was that such sales were still somewhat limited to certain categories of places named in this Act. For Pat, the future ‘looked on the up’, again financially, following his visit to a certain Galway Tent, and after a chat with Charlie, he ‘got the nod’; yes his small pharmaceutical premises would, most definitely, be included as one of the places where such then very contentious products could be freely purchased.
[Note: This political promise now cancelled Pat’s already developed ‘Plan B’, which was to obtain Crocodile Droppings; to be imported into Ireland, from the Nile region of Egypt, under the cover of ‘Organic Fertiliser’, after he had learned that prior to the mass production of rubber; amorous ancient Egyptian women had successfully used crocodile pooh as a pessary, to avoid unwanted pregnancy.]
Based on this now promise from the very lips of ‘The Man who would be King’, Charlie himself; Pat set about obtaining a reliable supplier who would provide a product with outstanding elastic properties, and with same located; Pat ordered the minimum initial consignment of 5,000 packs.
Maybe it was a poor public telephone kiosk connection on the day, or was it a failure to fully understand Pat’s strong Tipperary brogue; either way, one week later Pat received 25,000 packs of three, arrayed in varying sizes. Pat, at the time of placing his order believed that such items would only be used on weekends, e.g. 1 for Friday night, 1 for Saturday night and 1 for Sunday night. However, due to this disastrous logistical error and aware of his existing poor finances, (not to mention the enormous cost of return postage), Pat decided it would be best to hold on to the full consignment.
To encourage massive sales, Pat set to work on a plan, deciding to boost retail trade with a careful but strong worded advert in the local Tipperary Star newspaper. Logically, Pat believed that locals known to him would be too embarrassed to purchase, so he needed to attract those less familiar customers from Tipperary’s outlying towns and villages. So, after much consideration, Pat came up with a strong wording and an enticing marketing strategy. “Condoms For Sale At Half Price – Will Be Fitted By A Blonde Female“, ran the exciting headline in the following weeks local paper.
Solitary sheep farmer and Upperchurch native, Micky Ryan, normally came down from the hills, above Thurles, once a week; usually on a Friday, to draw his State Old Age Pension entitlement and to pick up a few necessary groceries. With two Collie sheepdogs, both restrained with lengths of binder-twine and usually wearing a well patched dungarees, together with larger than required heavy Wellington boots, Micky entered the less frequented business premises of Pat Tobin & Son.
Having already read Pat’s advert in the previous weeks Tipp Star, Micky was not surprised to encounter a blonde lady in the form of Pat’s wife no less, working behind the counter; busily watering down, as was her custom, the fresh creamy milk which had been delivered a short time previously.
“Excuse me Mrs”, said Micky “Would you be the woman who fits those Condoms?”
Mrs Tobin smiled, “Indeed I am Sir, and how many will you be needing?”
“None”, replied Micky loudly, “But would you be a decent girl and give your hands a good scrub, before you slice me up a quarter pound of cooked ham.”
Judge Michael Ryan was interviewing a woman regarding her pending divorce. All papers had been lodged and the proceedings were being held, in camera, at Thurles Courthouse.
Mary O’Brien had married Johnny Everard here in Thurles in 2011, but just a mere two weeks after their marriage, he had chosen to separate and they were since living apart. Now, five years on, Johnny had decided to seek a legal divorce.
In his efforts to fully understand the reasons leading up to this request for a termination of the couple’s marriage, Judge Ryan asked Mary, “What are the grounds for your divorce?”
“About four acres and a nice three bed-roomed thatched cottage, near to a stream, which runs close-by,” replied the soon to be discarded wife.
“No”, said the Judge, “I mean what are the foundations of this case?”
“So far as I know, it is made of a mix of concrete, bricks and mortar,” she responded.
“OK”, he continued with a grin, “Can you inform me as to what your relations are like presently?”
“Myself, I have an aunt and uncle still living and about 12 cousins unemployed, but resident locally here in Thurles. And then there is my estranged husband; he has only his parents still living out in Littleton, as far as I am aware”, she replied.
The judge grinned again and taking a deep breath, he asked, “Do you have a real grudge?”
“No garage as such your Honour “, she replied, “However I do have a carport, but I don’t need one since I don’t have a car”, she added
“Please,” the busy judge tried again, “Is there any kind of infidelity in your marriage?”
“Yes, my only son, which I brought up on my own; he has one of those Infidelity stereo music players”, she responded. “I, myself don’t particularly like his choice of loud, bawdy music – all that hip hop and rap racket – but sure I can’t seem to be able to do anything about it.”
Now displaying a little impatience in his voice, the judge asked, “Ma’am, does your husband ever beat you up?”
“Most certainly”, she replied, “Before our living apart, he got up almost every morning before meself; to made the tae.”
The judge tried again, asking, “Would you say your husband was a nagger?”
“Oh, hell no”, she replied, “Sure to my knowledge he was never involved in the disposal of dead or unwanted animals flesh in his life”.
Finally, in total frustration, the judge asked, “Lady, why in hell do you want a divorce?”
“Oh good Lord, I don’t want a divorce”, Mary replied. “I’ve never wanted a divorce. It’s me husband that does; the idiot claims that he can’t fully communicate with me intelligently in even the simplest of conversations.”
Following a meeting of Cabinet in Leinster House, it has been decided that new first time elected members of Dáil Éireann will sign up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, under the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) acts, necessarily introduced in 2009 and imposed on public servants.
In a public statement issued by Cabinet on Thursday last, the government stated that it did not wish to be seen by the general public as acting unfairly in any future dealings, in particular with Secondary School Teachers, who share less holiday time, and the drastically reduced membership of An Garda Síochána, latter who put their lives on the line protecting Irish TD’s from death threats for a mere €23,500 per annum. Readers will be aware for the most part that both these said groups are refusing to participate in this aforementioned agreement.
To this end, as and from July 1st 2016 some 52 new Teachtaí Dála (TD’s) elected to the Lower House of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament – Dáil Éireann), for the first time, following the General Election held on February 26th last, will now be subjected to a considerable reductions in both pay and expenses.
New first time elected TD’s will now only receive approximately €46,000 in salary during the life time of this present government, instead of their €87,258 salary as is the present case. The perk of granting new mobile phones; purchased to the maximum cost of €750 in any 18-month period, and previously allowed to all new TD’s; has also been removed.
In relation to mileage expenses, those residing 15.5 miles from Dáil Éireann will also no longer receive the customary untaxed €25,295 extra for turning up to work on their average of 3 days or less each week, regardless.
A full list of all Parliamentary Standard Allowances (PSA’s) will be published on the Houses of the Oireachtas Website later this coming week, with similar reductions expected to affect Seanad Éireann, latter the Upper House of the Oireachtas .
Meanwhile the Minister for the Environment is understood to be looking into the possibility of running an educational campaign to encourage water conservation in the home.
According to the Irish Environmental Protection Agency, flushing toilets accounts for around 25% of Irish people’s waters usage, with a standard toilet using 1.8 gallons of water or more per flush.
The Minister is now suggesting that people should take their first pee of the day, while taking their morning shower. Such practise would see around 0.880 gallons of water only leave your shower head in the 22 seconds it takes for a human being to finish peeing; unless you possibly have been ‘on the p..s’ the night previously. Regardless this practise, if encouraged in every home, would lead to considerably less water wastage than used with a standard toilet flush.
Good news also for those of you who insist on wiping after peeing in the toilet; a huge saving can also be made in the weekly purchase of toilet rolls. With an average of 400 squares of paper currently found on most toilet rolls, peeing in the shower would in fact eradicate the wastage of up to 5 squares per roll on any standard wipe.
The Health Service Executive (HSE), are also supporting this initiative, based on the proven fact that hard-working household servants in Victorian times steeped their feet in urine, to ensure relaxed, soft, flexible foot skin.
Meanwhile strong opposition is expected to these proposed regulations from Irish Supermarkets and the manufactures of foot care products, including foot orthotics and insoles; both claiming hundreds of jobs will be lost to industry if these new rules come into force.
OK – If you believe the above, you would believe anything. However the solution given to those tired, callused and toughened areas of skin on your feet is absolutely true. Try steeping your feet in your urine for 15 minutes every night and after a week note the massive difference to your ‘trotters’.
Viral rash indicating a possible attack of ‘Shingles’.
“There is no doubt there are major problems in our health service, of which we are not even aware”, Paddy confirmed to me over a pint, down in Hickey’s Pub, Cathedral Street, Thurles, last night. Paddy was relating to me details of a rather embarrassing incident which had happened to a mate of his, early yesterday morning.
According to Paddy, his mate Mick, a local lorry driver; latter well known as holding a somewhat easy-going, composed and obliging personality, had paid a rather unscheduled visit to a doctor.
Mick had walked into the new Primary Care Centre, located in Carrick-on-Suir. “Sure you know the place”, said Paddy, “Set up under a Public Private Partnership by the European Investment Bank, in yet another attempt to privatise our Irish health service and further promote our existing two tier health system.”
According to Paddy, Mick approached the reception desk and a young lady queried as to his problem. ‘Shingles’, said Mick. The receptionist, knowledgeable enough to know it was not possible to catch shingles from someone else with that condition, then asked him a load of personal questions. She sought his name; his address; his private telephone number and (the all important question), whether or not he held private Medical Insurance. Having received positive answers to all questions, she then invited him to have a seat in the public waiting room.
Some fifteen minutes later a nurse’s aide arrived; calling him by name, she again asked him what was his particular problem?. ‘Shingles’, said Mike. The nurse’s aide measured his height; took details of his weight; asked if he ever had chickenpox in the past and then told him to remain seated in the examination room.
A half hour later a registered nurse came along and asked Mike yet again what was his problem. ‘Shingles’, said Mike. So the nurse took his blood pressure, a blood sample test, gave him an electrocardiogram (ECG), before asking him to remove all his clothing in preparation for a full examination by the doctor; whom would be along shortly.
An hour later the doctor arrived and found Mike sitting patiently, in his birthday suit. He again enquired as to Mike’s problem. ‘Shingles’, said a now somewhat agitated Mike. The doctor asked, ‘Where?’ Mike said, ‘Outside on me truck. I was just wondering where you would like me to unload ’em?.’
Hope you filled your Census correctly. Water comes uncontrolled from the Sky, thank God.
We were gathered in the Arch Bar in Liberty Square celebrating, having completed filling-up the Census form last weekend. There was myself and Mick; all two of us supping pints to beat the band, while discussing, reasonably I hasten to add, the all important political issues currently pertaining to our local Tipperary economy.
Discussions centred mainly around former Minister Alan Kelly and the unpaid €3 a week Irish Water invoices; the 1,432 pre-election jobs he promised to North & South Tipperary, which never appeared to actually materialise; the sudden jolt to people’s pockets as a €3.50 a week flat tax was seized in the Budget, through the implementation of an increase in tobacco costs; and the more than generous Labour Party donation of €3 per week, granted to old aged pensioners. It was not surprising then that the sticky issue of Kelly’s failure to provide that new era of faster Broadband to rural Tipperary; (promised in 2014), would raise its ugly head.
In relation to the latter topic, Paddy more than illustrated the overall devastating consequences to family life of this Alan Kelly broadband failure. In graphic detail he told me the heart breaking story of the local family, whose mother-in-law arrived home from Lidl, to find her son-in-law David rushing around in a steaming rage, hurriedly packing his few belongings.
“What’s happening David ?” she asks anxiously.
“What’s happening?, What’s happening? I’ll tell you what’s happened”, the obviously enraged David ranted. “I sent an email to my wife; yes your daughter Victoria, this very morning informing her I was coming home today from my fishing trip. I get home here and guess what I find? Yes, your daughter, my wife Victoria, naked with Francie Murphy in our marital bed! This behaviour is unforgivable; it’s the end of our marriage; I’m done with her – done with you – and I’m out of here forever!”
“Ah now, calm down, calm down David!” says his mother-in-law. “Sure there’s something very odd going on here. My daughter would never behave in such a manner! There must be a very simple explanation. I’ll phone her immediately and find out the truth of what really happened.”
Moments later, his mother-in-law comes back with a big, wide smile. “David” said she, “Didn’t I tell you there was a very simple explanation ….. sure she never got your feckin E-mail!”
I ask you is it any wonder that Alan Kelly’s Labour Constituency Office has closed suddenly on Slievenamon Road, as our much loved rural Tipperary is allowed to sinks further into deep decline.