Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



Sara has a rather low opinion of Irish men in general. But there’s one Irishman for whom she reserves particular scorn: One prototypical idiot she regards as even more clueless than the herd. “Tell me Eooo-wen”, she purrs in that lugubrious Teutonic drone of hers. “What are you getting your girlfriend for Christmas? Binliners, perhaps? Tampons?”

She shrieks with laughter.

“Actually, I’m not sure we’ll even be together by Christmas.”

“You’re breaking up with her?”

Sara looks appalled.

“No, I think she might be breaking up with me.”

Sara nods emphatically. “Aaah, makes more sense, no? Hahahahaha!”

Aidan rallies to my defence.

“The way you keep a woman these days” he advises, “is personal branding.”

What is this idiot talking about?

“See Butler, you’re no different from McDonalds. Or Nike. Or Coca Cola. They’re looking for customer loyalty. You’re looking for someone to…”

He looks me up and down.

“…dress and feed you, let’s say. But the same principle applies.”

This is undoubtedly some quackish self-help theory Aidan has gleaned through being unemployed and watching daytime television. Even if it has any merit (which I doubt), he is too stupid, lazy and useless to have picked up any more than a few trite catchphrases.

“What I’m trying to say,” he continues. “Is that you don’t sell the steak. You sell the sizzle.”

The prosecution rests.

But Aidan isn’t finished.

“The thing is, Eoin, you’re gettin’ on a bit…”

Sara nods in agreement.

“Women your age are interested in more than just having a good time. They’re thinking long term. So you’re going to need to work on repositioning the old brand.”

“He needs to shower more too” cackles Sara.

Aidan outlines the package

“How would you like women to see you?”

I don’t get a chance to reply.

“Intelligent, sporty and good with children, right? That’s what they’re after. Well as it stands, you’re not doing too well on any of those fronts. You look like a bum, to be perfectly honest.”

Physician, heal thyself!

“You need them to associate you with certain, ahm, accessories that reinforce the desired brand image. Let’s see… A book, a tennis racquet and… I dunno, a pram or something.”

“For fuck’s sake”, I tell him. “I’m not looking for a woman. I’ve got a girlfriend. I’m just kind of in her bad books at the moment.”

“Oh right. What’s the problem?”

“Ah, everything. She says I’m not supportive. Or understanding. Oh, and I’ve got bad judgement too.”

Sara reaches across the table. She’s enjoying this, the bitch.

“A bra”, she suggests. “You know? Never leave your house without a bra… Supportive, you see.”

I get it.

“And a mortarboard,” Aidan chips in.


“…And a powdered wig.” Sara cracks up. “Your girlfriend will go crazy for you again, I promise you!”

April 5th, 2009.

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