Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

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Competition time!

Its-Garden-Time-Launch5
Oscar-nominated British actress KEIRA KNIGHTLY and Irish gardening legend GERRY DALY have teamed up to launch their own chain of 24-hour convenience stores across Britain and Ireland. But first they want YOU to come up with a snappy name for their new venture. “Keira and I have been racking our brains,” admitted a frustrated Gerry. “Ideally, we’re looking for something that (a) cashes in on our celebrity names and (b) also reminds customers about our late, late opening hours.” Send your suggestions to Daly/Knightly 24-hour convenience store competition, P.O. 271, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

(From Mongrel magazine, February 2007)

P.S. Last year I was interviewed by a guy doing his masters thesis on Mongrel magazine. He described the social diary I wrote in 2006-07 as a voice of dissent against the prevailing Celtic Tiger orthodoxy… or something like that. That’s really not how I remember it. What I remember most fondly was the unadulterated stupidity of the thing. (The above extract being a prime example.)

Recently I reread some of the social diary for the first time in years. A lot of it was amusing. But, truthfully, not all of it was as funny as some people (at least the ones who accost me in bars) seem to recall. Most fascinating to me was recalling the heroes and villains, whose names usually weren’t mentioned in the text, but to whom I contrived to pay oblique homage. I’ve lost a fair few of the back issues now, but these (in no particular order) were as many as I could still identify:

People:

Michael Flatley (multiple)
Paul Verlaine & Arthur Rimbaud
Jack Kerouac
Allen Ginsberg
John Waters (Eurovision entry)
Barry Egan (multiple)
Pete Doherty (ludicrous attempts at drug rehab)
Sherlock Holmes (multiple)
Che Guevara
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Republican congressman Mark Foley
Don Quixote (multiple)
Truman Capote (Black and White Ball)
Cuchulainn Seoige (imaginary Seoige sibling who captained Galway’s minor hurlers to All-Ireland glory, also translated Dante’s Inferno into Irish)
Agatha Christie
Mel Gibson (anti-Semitic rant)
Tony Soprano
The Famous Five
Martin Sheen*
St. Patrick
St. Thomas Aquinas
Nicholas Sarkozy
Snoop Dogg

Things:

Stupid Super Valu ads
Oliver Stone’s The Doors
Brokeback Mountain
T.S. Elliot’s The Waste Land
Mark Eitzel’s Johnny Mathis Feet
Black Hawk Down
Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait
Grand Unified Theory
The Merchant of Venice
Hamlet
The Usual Suspects
The Importance of Being Earnest
All About Eve
Citizen Kane
Goodfellas
Le Bateau ivre

* Sheen was studying Arts in Galway at the time, just as I had done myself a few years previously. So basically, I’d recount anecdotes about idiotic things I’d done as a fresher and report them as if they’d happened to him. Once, I recall, President Bartlett gave ten euros to a dodgy guy he met down the Spanish Arch who promised to score him some hash. Eight hours later the dodgy guy hadn’t yet returned, but Sheen remained ever confident he’d be back any minute. Happy days.

August 10th, 2010.

17 Responses to “Competition time!”

  1. Albincus Says:

    @Eoin-I too am an NUIG Arts alumni-Did Hubert lecture you? (I’m assuming you studied English)-Rumour has it he repeats his jokes every year..

  2. Jonathan Says:

    I remember the old social diary well Eoin and always thought it was hilarious. One of the funniest things I ever read. For some reason I always think of it and Ross O’Carroll Kelly in the same breath. Both funny in different ways.

  3. Eoin Says:

    @ Albinicus – Only studied English in first year but, yes, I did have the bauld Hubert. I’m sure there are fresh-faced first English student even today who think giving ‘civil engineer’ as an example of an oxymoron is the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. I know I did.

    @ Jonathan – Jaysus, that’s a new one on me.

  4. June Says:

    Loved this so much!! The best ever was….

    “Meanwhile in Dail Eireann, government ministers were locked in crisis talks and had to be rescued by the fire brigade. ”

    Also the Homestead man and Auntie Geraldine were so funny. Why did’nt they ever get together??

  5. Eoin Says:

    @ June – Haha… she’d have eaten him alive!

  6. Albincus Says:

    @Eoin -of topic but thought you’d be interested http://www.con-telegraph.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1039:peter-canavan-interested-in-vacant-mayo-gaa-post&catid=35:gaelic&Itemid=83

    also Willie Joe’s on twitter!

    http://twitter.com/WillieJoe

  7. Eoin Says:

    It’s not the real Willie Joe I’m afraid, Albinicus. Just a Mayo fan who blogs under that name.

    Re: Canavan. Great player but no managerial experience. Could be Jack O’Shea all over again?

  8. Albincus Says:

    @Eoin-I had a sneaking suspicion it wasn’t Willie but hoped beyond hope it was. Maybe it’s Bille Joe (who also did Arts in NUIG)

    Re: Canavan. Serious player but at only 39 probably not experinced enough. He’d probably be run out of the County at the first opportunity anyways, based on the previous form our County Board has in dealing with Nordy managers

  9. gueuleton Says:

    Can I suggest Daly and Knightly’s 24-Hour Convenience Store?

    Now where’s my prize?

  10. Eoin Says:

    @ Gueuleton – you know, that might just work.

  11. paul Says:

    I used to love the great and the good Barry Egan ones, that man was great at spewing bullshit.

  12. gueuleton Says:

    If theres no prize then please print the one where you and your mates score with the Corrs there are all sorts of rules about going to the toilet.

  13. Eoin Says:

    @ Paul – probably my all time idol.

    @ Gueuleton – I was going to say that I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. But now that I think of it, I do. Will definitely post it at some stage.

  14. massey Says:

    @albinicus: I’m a bit surprised Willie Joe didn’t pop up on Eoin’s list actually. Long haired bandaged head Gaelic player could have featured somewhere couldn’t he>

  15. darragh Says:

    Where’s the bould Mondo from Fair City? Last I heard you and him had disappeared into the west in a drug crazed homage to On The Road.

  16. Eoin Says:

    @ Massey – It would have been nice, but kinda hard to work in at the same time.

    @ Darragh – We grew up apart. I must look him up one of these days.

  17. They don’t stand on ceremony in this house? For shame. | Tripping Along The Ledge Says:

    [...] Reposting this today mainly because (a) it was requested by regular reader Gueuleton and (b) I’m about to go on holidays tomorrow and haven’t time to write anything new. I [...]

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