10 September 2007
You can crush us, You can bruise us, But you'll have to answer to...Oh the guns of Brixton!
Was back in Old Blighty for a few days as I had an interview for my National Insurance Number, which is the UK version of the tax file number, but works more like a cross between superannuation and the dole. Every month the Guv take a bit of your pay and sock it away as national insurance. Then, if you're ever out of work, you can draw on the NI to see you through till you find another job. Seems like a pretty sustainable system, but the irony of it is that when you apply to come to the UK you have to declare that you're not gonna go on welfare...but you can't go on welfare unless you have a National Insurance number which you can't get unless you've got a job.
Have to start thinking about somewhere else to live as the chick whose room I'm in is back at the end of September. I looked at a couple of places on the weekend, one in Bermondsey which is an awesome trendy area just aching to be taken down a peg or two by a suave hipster like me. The room was pretty good, nice and spacious, but unfortunately it just didn't rate compared to the second option which is...wait for it...a houseboat! That's right friends, a houseboat on the Thames. How awesome is that? Frickin' awesome, is the answer to that question. Actually, the Thames itself isn't that awesome...it's like the Charnwood of rivers. But the boat is cool, huge open living areas, central heating, a fireplace, plenty of room for roller skating on the flat deck up top. There's a south african chick there at the moment looking to get two new flatmates and I reckon I'm in with a chance. She's pretty easy going and laid back and we got along really well. It's part of a small community of houseboats, and there's a communal dock nearby with areas for bbq and basketball and even a pool so wikkid parties are the cote de jour (that's french for "the shiznitz", I think).
I've put my name down on the waiting list for the studio audience at Top Gear. Currently there's 300,000 people ahead of me so if they start filming an episode every day they should get to me by the time I retire.
I'm back in Dublin now...Ah, Dublin...where the skies are gray, the beer is black and the streets are washed with the vomit of martyrs.
I'm not a big fan of other people, as well you know. But I'm forced to spend a lot of time surrounded by other people (thank you very much, Albert Camus) so I tend to do a lot of observing and judging of complete strangers in order to discover ways in which I might find them even more annoying and therefore deserving of my scorn. I don't understand how people can travel thousands of kms to another country simply to do whatever they would have done if they'd stayed home. Why would you come to a city like Dublin, culturally rich and steeped in history and charm, only to pursue and indulge in bland shallow corporate American culture? On any given weekend the streets are thronging with tourists who spend their whole time looking for a Starbucks or Burger King and are decked head to toe in either Hard Rock or Thunder Road Cafe merchandise. The same tourists who seemingly spend the working week choreographing their slack-jawed meandering dawdles en masse so as to continually get in my feckin' way. Oh, and who decided it was suddenly fashionable to spit in the street? Your body manufactured that saliva for a reason, you dirty feckers, so perhaps you might do the rest of us a favour and keep it to yourself. And the next sweaty American gobshite who asks me what part of England I'm from is gonna get a swift kick up the arse.
You might have noticed that I have taken to the word 'feck' with some gusto. I've added it to my list of words which sound rude but really aren't, like 'frock' and 'banal' and 'shunt'. It's awesome because it sounds like you're swearing but you're totally not because in Ireland it's the equivalent of 'darn' or 'bloody'. It's brilliant in its subtlety and subtle in its brilliance. Plus, they say it on Father Ted all the time which is hilarious.
I found this awesome poem inscribed on a monument at the National Museum called "Requiem for the Croppies". It's about the farmers who rose up to form the Rebellion that kicked the Brit's arses during the revolution. It's a real testament to the bravery and sacrifice of the Irish, and quite moving. It was written by Seamus Heaney one of the four Irish poet laureates which I think is Gaelic for "insane piss head". Anyway it's brilliant so I'm reproducing it in my next post without asking anyone's permission cos that's how hard I am.
Geez, how much do they love Thin Lizzie over here? There's more Thin Lizzy tribute bands over here than there are U2 tribute bands, and just about every shop you go into has a plaque proclaiming that someone from the band urinated in the corner in 1987. There's even a statue of Phil Lynott in the main street with a big old bronze 'tache...like a guano-laden tribute to "P0rno Joe" Ceddia. Love ya, Joey!
Bit of a surreal moment the other day: there was an ad on tele for Harvey Norman. They've got, like, 9 stores over here and they've got an Aussie guy doing the shouty "Crazy prices! Bring your truck, bring your trailer!" voice-over, which just cheapens the whole thing, really. If you thought tele in England was bad, man, tele in Ireland is shite! 13 channels all the same and none of them know what they're doing.
Ok, so, well go on wit' yerselves. Keep the letters comin' and I'll be thinking of you all...well, most of you...actually very few of you. Whatever. Feck off!