Archive for May, 2010

All the fun of Dunderry Agricultural Fair…

Posted in Favourite Publications, Star "Style" on May 13, 2010 by Johnnie

Ah, this quaint photo of village dignitaries and rural maidens from the Meath Post makes me fair nostalgic for the countryside. Continue reading

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Walkers Crisp World Cup “taste” test – Part One

Posted in Food & Drink on May 13, 2010 by Johnnie

There are no fewer than 15 – 15! – new crisp flavours competing in Walkers Crisps World Cup.  IHGN is well known for its love of crisps, so it’s only right that we have a go at sampling the “delights” of the range.  This is a vegetarian blog, though, and we don’t take kindly to crisps we can’t try.  To this end, we have engaged a panel of anonymous reviewers who will give second, third and possibly zero opinions on what we bought.  So, without any further arguments against doing this, let’s get to the first six flavours we could lay our hands on and see if we’re shouting “YES!” or crying “FOUL!”… Continue reading

The Dutch Golden circle

Posted in Star "Style" on May 12, 2010 by Johnnie

So, why was there all that hoo-ha about Rosanna Davison’s skanger party?  Well, her Foxrock other-half’s brother’s party, anyway, but looking at the headlines, you’d think everyone’s favourite vegan was the ringleader and orchestrator of this monster’s ball.  Whoever’s party it is, it’s certainly got up the noses of a few commentators, who saw these rich revelers’ depictions of a certain type of Dublin “underclass” as being somewhat snobbish.

Personally, I think the photos are hilarious.  None of us, not one, are above slating any large group of people who wish to define themselves by looking almost exactly like each other – whether they be skangers, Yummy Drummies, Emo kids or Roman Catholic clergymen.  Continue reading

The effluent society

Posted in Advice, Food & Drink, Shopping on May 10, 2010 by Johnnie

I was making my way home on Saturday night (quickly, to the strains of ‘Funky Town’ by Pseudo Echo), and, despite fully expecting the streets to be swaying with drunken idiots, and peppered with discarded snack boxes and copious pools of chunky semi-digestion that operate as sole-mines all over Temple Barf, I still found myself being absolutely repulsed by the sight of grown men urinating up against walls.  Not even the slightest pretence of hiding behind something (normally something really clever, like a lamppost), but right there in full, streetlit view of everyone.  Apart from vomit-dodging, there’s little in life more exhilarating than skipping over a flowing stream of alcoholic piss.  I was delighted to see that a party of well-dressed European tourists got to witness for themselves this entertaining display of Jedi-like liquid-sabre wielding.  I’d love to know what they’ll write on their postcards home: “Loving Olde Dublin – interesting and quaint pre-Roman sewer network, which criss-crosses the footpath-cum-litter-bins, which is both fun to negotiate and aromatic to inhale, like German wine.”  Possibly.

Anyway, the sight of these ambassadors for Dublin tourism reminded me of the product you see above: the ‘Pocketoilet’, which is a ‘glove box necessity’, apparently.  It’s only for drivers?  They’re taking the piss, aren’t they?  Why not for drunks?  Continue reading

The King is dead – let’s keep killing him

Posted in Music, Star "Style" on May 5, 2010 by Johnnie

As we motor towards the summer silly season, our thoughts turn inexorably towards amateur entertainment.  We still can’t get enough of it, it seems.  It’s been no time at all since our media’s ironists had their hearts broken by Jedward’s inability to win Z-Factor – but, thanks to Vanilla Ice, Abrakebabra and Shake ‘n’ Vac, the terrible twins’ fans have ultimately got all they could have expected.   As someone who’s been an ironist all my life (and I do have a Jedward poster by my desk, proudly, because my 6-year-old rejected it), I really hate to be a cynic.  But desperate times call for renewed exasperation, as our irony comes back and bites every one of us on the arse.  We are utterly stuck with amateurism as the default form of entertainment, now that the borders of our discernment have become blurred, uncertain and disputed.  We now suffer from a chronic inability to separate actual talent from plucky “local” entertainment. 

The gentleman you see above is a case in point.  His name is Greg Traynor, he’s from Bray.  Do you know him?  You should.  He is, believe it or not, “Ireland’s Number One Entertainer”.  He earned this title at the recent Irish Entertainment Awards in Athlone.  You weren’t there?  You didn’t join in the glamour and the glitz?  You didn’t appear in your finery on the pages of Social & Personal?  Continue reading

Yikes, it’s Eric Sykes

Posted in Pointless Nostalgia, TV on May 5, 2010 by Johnnie

I was overjoyed yesterday to read that Eric Sykes was celebrating his 87th birthday.  This is marvellous news because it means, of course, that he’s not dead.  Like Norman Wisdom and Leslie “I say, ding dong!” Phillips, I can never remember if Sykes is alive or dead half the time.  It’s a shame that such great comic talents fade away, their humour no longer required by modern audiences – especially when those audiences are laughing themselves into incontinence at mirth-free acts such as Michael McIntyre, Flight of the Conchords and The (allegedly) Mighty Boosh.

I haven’t heard anything about Sykes since his great friend Spike Milligan died in 2002.  Continue reading

Fork of the Devil….

Posted in Food & Drink on May 3, 2010 by Johnnie

I can’t eat with this fork. It’s way too scary.  I can barely look at it, in fact, and it was an act of the most astonishing bravery for me to even photograph it and post it on here.  You may think this is silly but, like all of you, I really can’t help what scares me.  Some people hate heights; some are terrified of spiders; others lose the use of their sphincters at the sight of a clown.  Me, I get diabolical shivers at the mere existence of this hideous trident, this satanic pitchfork, this instrument of hellish indulgence.  Continue reading