Archive for April, 2009

Poe Little Puddy Tat

Posted in Books, Dearly Departed, Grave News on April 23, 2009 by Johnnie

“I had walled the monster up within the tomb!”


I couldn’t help but shudder at the story of Richard Parsons, a funeral director from Ugborough, near Plymouth in Devon, whose builders uncovered a 400-year-old mummified cat in the wall of his cottage’s bathroom.   It immediately evokes the terrifying climactic twist of Edgar Allan Poe’s tale, The Black Cat, in which the narrator’s murderous deed is betrayed by his once-beloved ‘moggy’. Cheerfully, there was no human body within this particular cavity to go with the cat. Continue reading

Delorentos “Not Dead” Shocker

Posted in Music on April 22, 2009 by Johnnie

“It was all a dream,” says Rónan*


Time for a huge and grateful sigh of relief.  It may not quite be timed to coincide with Easter but nevertheless, one of Ireland’s very finest bands, Delorentos have been resurrected before they’d even properly split. 

Singer/guitarist Rónan Yourell, whose departure from the band in February led to the decision to split, announced via the band’s website and MySpace blog that he has reconsidered his decision to quit.  “I’m writing to let you know that about a week ago I asked the other delorentos if they’d consider allowing me rejoin the group. After several good chats we’ve decided to continue on, together.” Continue reading

We All Go Down Together

Posted in Favourite Publications, Grave News on April 21, 2009 by Johnnie

myersCan any teacher, or other public servant for that matter, actually come up with a better argument than this excellent analysis from Kevin Myers, published in today’s Irish Independent?  I can’t open the papers without getting riled these days. Yes, I think the government is deplorable, and could not be more irate with people who voted Fianna Fail at the last election, either because they weren’t old enough to think for (or, by extension, feed) themselves, or for “I’m all right, Jack” self-interest – well, like all of Thatcher’s loyal voters who fell on hard times during the early ’90s recession in the UK,  ‘ha ha ha’,  if you’re reaping what you sowed.  Continue reading

Axe Polls Now!

Posted in Grave News on April 20, 2009 by Johnnie
"I'm being bullied in work / Oh, how it sucks / Being bullied in work / 'cause my girlfriend left me / and my gaffer insists I get in on time..."

"I'm being bullied in work / Oh, how it sucks / Being bullied in work / 'cause my girlfriend left me / and my gaffer insists I get in on time..."

We’ve done our best to escape the unrelenting misery heaped on us by Damien Rice, David Gray, but, come the recession, back come the woe-is-me brigade.  According to a survey in this morning’s Herald AM, 100% of respondents claimed they had experienced bullying in the workplace.  Yes, 100%.  That’s everyone.

Now, I don’t know what the parameters were, or if people’s ‘experience’ was limited to watching other people being bullied from behind a filing cabinet, but my guess is that everyone suddenly felt the need to say they had definitely been picked on in some way or other.  Even if it wasn’t happening now, there were no doubt repressed memories waiting to be dredged out, to the closing theme tune of EastEnders, of an entirely justified bollocking they once got for being late, or being caught smoking, or simply being a workshy waste of space and oxygen, which are now being conveniently reinterpreted as ‘bullying’.  I’m not having it.  Continue reading

Ham Acting Is The Least Of It…

Posted in Grave News, Music, TV on April 20, 2009 by Johnnie

Just how much humiliation can one band inflict upon itself?

My Lovely Horsey Weekend

Posted in Advice, Travel on April 17, 2009 by Johnnie


(From Evening Herald HQ article “Cheap Tricks”, 16th April 2009)

Day one: I wake up to my youngest daughter singing Barbie’s annoyingly catchy dirge (I Feel) Connected.  Barbie is, of course, the ultimate consumer chick, but we’re having none of that this weekend.

Our challenge is to have three days connected to nature, away from mod cons and money grabbing. Back to basics, if you will. Children don’t need to understand recessions, you can’t moan that the Government’s emergency Budget was designed to screw us all into penury – it just requires a collective change of tactic. So, we’re at their grandmother’s isolated home in the [English] countryside. It’s the ideal place to experiment with frugality; no shops, no internet or mobile phone signal, and the telly and DVD player are conveniently “broken”.  Daddy’s iPod is nowhere to be found either. All we have is the great outdoors and the limits of our imaginations. Continue reading

The Radio Contributor Cliché Drinking Game

Posted in Advice, Words on April 17, 2009 by Johnnie


Here’s a fun drinking game for any housebound people (e.g. the elderly, the unemployed, freelance hacks or waiters actors) sitting listening to the wireless of a morning/afternoon.  Your drink of choice could be anything at all – Vodka, Mi Wadi, tea, Jeyes Fluid, the floor’s the limit, really.

The rules are simple enough.  Continue reading