Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



mylovely-horse21. Dating Boot Camp: Back in February, myself and Corway (who posts on here occasionally) were having a pint in Sinnotts bar in Dublin city centre. It was a Champions League night and girls were coming by with strip club fliers. Invariably they would hand me one and ignore Peter. So I started developing a bit of a complex about this.

The final straw was when a guy came over, walked past Peter and handed me a flier for Kama Lifestyles – Dating Boot Camp (“Master the art of seduction, soon you’ll be fighting women off with a baseball bat blah blah…”) Clearly, there was some kind of desperate, sleazy, lecherous aura just radiating off me at this point. It was only later I realised that the Dating Boot Camp might make an interesting story. Unfortunately, by then, I’d lost the flier and couldn’t remember the name of the company.

Fast forward four months and I’m sitting in the canteen in RTE, sharing a table with what I take to be an up-and-coming boyband. We get chatting and one of them introduced himself as Stephen Nolan, Wexford hurler and – yes – CEO of Kama Lifestyles. As luck would have it, they were running a two day Dating Boot Camp, starting the very next day. So I went along.

Now, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t planning on having some fun at Kama Lifestyles’ expense. But I gotta tell you, I really enjoyed myself. Going out with the lads and doing all that wingman stuff was actually a lot of fun – even if the places we visited read like a list of my most hated Dublin pubs (The Morgan, The Church, Ron Blacks, Fitzsimons etc.) The piece will be in the Irish Times Saturday week, I think. I’ll post it up here the next day.

UPDATED: The full article is now online here.

2. Disney starlet: Just agreed to attend a screening of some girly teen film (called Bandslam) next week and interview the blonde girl (called Aly Michalka). No sure what I’ve let myself in for. Anyone heard of her?

3. Neil Hannon interview: He’s got a new cricket-themed album called The Duckworth Lewis Method (with Thomas Walsh of Pugwash). I told him what my father used to say about cricket – “the only sport in the world where you can hear the result and still not know who won” – while he talked – unprompted, I might add! – about My Lovely Horse.

Here’s the relevant transcript. Most of this didn’t make it into the finished interview (which will also be published in the Irish Times on Saturday week):

Aside from writing a musical do you have any other outlandish unfulfilled ambitions?
I’m running out of them, I have to say. My main ambition is to really knuckle down and write some proper masterpiece songs, the kind that fly into the public consciousness without people even knowing who wrote them. You know, like Happy Birthday. Or White Christmas. Or My Lovely Horse.

Okay, I really, really wanted to ask you about My Lovely Horse, so that’s definitely my opening. How much of it did you write and how much of it was Graham [Linehan] and Arthur [Matthews]?
All the music was me and all the lyrics were Graham and Arthur.

You played all the instruments and sang it too?
Yes, that’s right.

So when they came to you with this idea for a song called My Lovely Horse, did you get it straight away or how did they explain it to you?
It made perfect sense to me, I’m afraid. My sense of humour is very similar to theirs. I do write a lot of very silly songs, so it came very naturally to me. I really treasure it, it’s fantastic. It is something that will be written on my CV forevermore and that’s not a bad thing at all.

4. Ardal O’Hanlon: I’m supposed to be interviewing Fr. Dougal for a Saturday magazine cover story next week. Wonder what I’ll be asking him about…

June 18th, 2009.


  1. Paul Says:

    One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen involved Ardal O’Hanlon’s participation in a charity event in London, a fundraiser for a Sligo hospice. Having kindly agreed to participate, Ardal came on and recited, rather well I thought, the WB Yeats poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death – an apt choice, and a moving one, given the charity concerned.

    The audience pissed themselves laughing from beginning to end of his performance.

    I caught his eye as he came offstage and said, ‘Jesus…’ He just shrugged and replied, ‘Happens all the time.’

  2. Colin Says:

    So dating camp and a blonde disney starlet, no connection whatsoever…

    Bandslam looks like an edgier version of High School Musical, no doubt that’s how it was pitched to Disney. David Bowie is in it, which worries me.

    Wiki says she’s 20 (no jail time), plays a few instruments and while she stars in this, her sister is going to be in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, how’s that for sibling rivalry. Oh, and her mother was a cheerleader for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

    Damn… I’m bored…

  3. Corway Says:

    I’d rather be the one receiving these fliers than the person being shunned and I would love to say that fateful evening in Sinnotts was a once off but unfortunately it happens all the time.
    The whole point of handing out fliers is to get rid of them immediately so you can piss about for the rest of the day in a pub. So why the fuck do they not feel the need to hand me a piece of paper.
    Sorry, touchy subject.

    That very cute picture of that girl has dubiously morphed into Ted & Dougal.
    Arguably you made this change to give the post more credibility and not to make yourself look less like a pervert Butler.

    The Lovely Girls competition is what this post reminds me of now.

  4. Darragh Says:

    So, eh, at this bootcamp Eoin – Did you learn how to shred those chicks self-esteem to pieces with a few well placed neg bombs before taking the damaged goods home for breakfast?

    Cos if you did…I’d like to join this secret society of suave Wexford men you mention.

  5. Eoin Says:

    @ Paul – that’s really interesting, would you mind if i asked him about that? would be easier than just saying “look i find it hard to think of you as anyone other than dougal”?

    @ Colin – you’ve just researched the interview for me!

    @Pete – you used to be the same giving me CDs i didn’t want just to get rid of them, remember?

    yes, i changed the pic, was just worried about running another hot girl pic, this blog was slowly turning into the sunday independent

    @ Darragh – no it’s all about loving women, respecting women, honouring women… and then never, ever calling them again

  6. Jenny Says:

    @ Paul – that hilarious 🙂

  7. Paul Says:

    Go ahead and ask him, it was a great evening in the end – Pat McCabe recited the old country death lament “The Drunken Driver”, Shane McGowan sang Sam Cooke, and it all ended up being a fine evening. It was in the Boogaloo in Highgate if he doesn’t immediately recall it, and they raised a good deal for a very good cause. So all’s well that ends well! Eh?

  8. Eoin Says:

    I know Bugaloo well, Paul. I once slept on the bar floor for a week with Republic of Loose many moons ago.

  9. Eoin Says:

    Just to clarify, I didn’t actually sleep for a week. Only during the night.

  10. Eddie Says:

    Ardal O’Hanlon could tell me my dog had died and i think i’d still laugh


    […] dating boot camp piece I referred to last week is in the Irish Times magazine tomorrow. I’ll post it up here tomorrow but, in the meantime, […]

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