Archive for December, 2009

Scared of clowns?

Posted in Favourite Publications, Food & Drink, Star "Style" on December 30, 2009 by Johnnie

Perhaps you ought to be, kids.

Cowen’s jobs “task” “force” already defunct

Posted in Grave News on December 30, 2009 by Johnnie

A taskforce set up last January by Brian Cowen to tackle the problem of Ireland’s rising unemployment has been declared “defunct essentially” after just one meeting.  A ‘spokesman’ from the Department of the Taoiseach confirmed that there were “no further meetings” of the group planned.  Fortunately, the spokesman also confirmed that the taskforce’s work would be brought foward by the cabinet committee on economic renewal.  What was this work?  Well, luckily, I Have Grave News has a transcript of that first and only meeting of the “jobs” “task” “force” which we are more than happy to share with you now: Continue reading

I’m always touched by your presents, dear

Posted in U Lads on December 16, 2009 by Johnnie

Hundreds of Christmases ago, before DVDs were invented, I bought someone the VHS of Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers. It turned out to be the wrong Christmas present. “I’ve already got this,” she said glumly. Apparently, I hadn’t listened properly, although, due to her subsequent, door-slamming, stomp off to her room, I was left unsure whether it was just the wrong Wallace and Gromit video or if she’d wanted an actual pair of trousers.

Anyway, I’m reminded of this gaffe every year when I think about going Christmas shopping. It ought to have taught me a lesson, to listen more, to write things down, to basically remember to get people whatever it is they asked for. Buying Christmas gifts is a minefield; and it’s a minefield under additional sniper fire when you’re buying for your significant other.

At the start of any relationship, when all is lovey-dovey, you’ll ask her what her heart would desire for a yuletide gift; and she’ll reply, in all sincerity, with that beautiful line from the great poet and sage, Mariah Carey: “All I want for Christmas is you.” Of course, she doesn’t mean it. Continue reading

You can’t always get what you want, but…

Posted in Advice, Grave News on December 16, 2009 by Johnnie

In 2004, I elected to take voluntary redundancy from a job which had sapped my personality, soul and energy for too long.  Ultimately, while others just got on with things, I thought too long and hard about them, became too bitter, narky and spiteful.  I had an imperceptible patience threshold which too many people took to be the limit of my personality.

I took this period not to be The End, but, in the immortal words of the sadly mortal Stephen Gateley, “time for a new beginning”.  I learned how to use a ‘puter properly; I found a job where I could use it better; I began to write for fun; soon after, I started to write for money.  Not a lot, but I was paid.  What’s more, people actively sought me out.  They asked for my opinion.  Some of them even paid for it.  For a while, I was having the time of my life.  I don’t say that lightly either.  I used to go to bed thanking my lucky stars each and every night. Continue reading

Liverpoo-el literacy “ledgends”

Posted in Calcio, Favourite Publications, Food & Drink on December 11, 2009 by Johnnie

As Liverpoo-el fans who might form part of my friends and family will doubtless agree, I have not gloated once about Fiorentina’s glorious double victory over them in the Champions League group.  And nor will I; I’ll simply celebrate on my own – as Viola fans are a bit thin on the ground ’round my way, not the sort of side people here traditionally cherry-pick for vicarious glory. 

Nevertheless, it seems as good a time as any to remind people of this hugely embarrassing ad, which appeared in the Herald earlier this year. Continue reading

Michael McIntyre denies he’s bland

Posted in Grave News, TV on December 5, 2009 by Johnnie

It might be difficult to fathom but there are people out there who don’t find Michael McIntyre funny.  Worse still, some have even suggested his routines are inoffensive and “middle class” in nature. So, in an effort to “lash out” at these accusations, McIntyre has given his side of the argument in an interview with the notoriously edgy, working class propaganda publication, the Radio Times. Continue reading