IT’S THE BACKSTOP – THE NEW DANCE ROUTINE THAT IS NOT TAKING EUROPE BY STORM!
By our dance correspondents: Strick Lee and Twink L Towes
What it is! The backstop is a crazy new dance routine that involves dancers representing Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe dancing at Brexit speed (Surely “breakneck” – Ed) along a mazy line known as “the hard border”.
How it works!
Ireland, represented by a professional dancer known as The Sequined-clad Vlad, is held aloft and supported by 27 members of the Euro dance troupe, all the while looking down with utter contempt on the UK (represented by total amateur dancer Theresa Maypole).
How it ends!
May performs a somersault, then a few flip flops, then changes her mind and jumps through lots of hoops before Europe pulls support from under Ireland. Vlad then pirouettes and dances a pas de buck (Surely a “pas de deux?” – Ed) with Theresa before she dances all over him.
Next week: it’s back to the Brexstop!
SANTA’S TOP SELLERS
The North Pole has revealed the most requested gifts from Santa this year:
Subbuteo (Ireland edition)
Tactical game of risk in which the team’s chief executive tries to deflect attention away from himself and on to the underperforming management team and players. Expected to sell out again and again.
Urban version of FarmVille in which players attempt to build houses, rack rent, ignore repairs and enrich themselves. Bonus points awarded if Eoghan Murphy is forced to live in his ministerial car.
Perennial favourite in which a clueless medical administrator (Simon Harris) tries to cope with record numbers of patients while simultaneously clapping himself on the back over the repeal vote.
PEADAR TÓIBÍN’S NEW PARTY IN FULL
Peadar Tóibín: Party leader, with special responsibility for promoting freedom of conscience within the party in relation to the abortion issue.
P. Tóibín: Deputy leader in charge of protecting the freedom of conscience of elected representatives, so that they can all fully support the pro-life campaign.
Peter Tobin: Spokesperson on political, economic and social affairs, with particular emphasis on opposing a European army and general all-round EU treachery in advocating abortion.
(That’s enough Tóibín. Ed.)
PEADAR TÓIBÍN’S FAVOURITES
Favourite film: No Way Back
Favourite song: Time to Say Goodbye, Andrea Bocelli
Favourite TV show: Party of Five
Favourite band: Babyshambles
Favourite shop: Principles
Favourite cream: Whipped
Favourite exercise: Skipping it
Favourite clothing: Belt and braces
Favourite animal: Swan off
Favourite food: Eggs
MARY LOU LASHES CRITICS
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has hit out at critics who have accused her of “hobnobbing with the super-rich” at a fundraising Christmas dinner in the United States.
Speaking outside Leinster House last night, the Dublin Central TD complained that she was a victim of discrimination and was being grossly mistreated – particularly by Fine Gael.
“It’s a disgrace that they are saying I’m totally useless just because the party keeps making embarrassing mistakes under my leadership,” she told reporters.
That Christmas menu
Egg on Face
Steamed up Cahill
Fishy Mess with Peadar
* * * * *
Series of Turkeys
Beef (with Leo)
Super-rich $400 Steak Ta Ta
* * * * *
Sticky (Post-Presidential) Xmas Pudding
Stewed Pearshapes with Cookies ár lá
Humble Pie (off)
Champagne (in the butt) backside
(More recipes for disaster available in the Grizzly Adams Cookbook)
LIVES OF THE SAINTS – NO 2018: ST GEORGE OF NEWSTALK
And there lived in those times a loud man, florid of countenance, who was known as “Hooky” throughout the land. Famous for his pompous expertise in rugby punditry and for his fiery utterances on any subject that came into his head, not a day went by when his sermons and moral exhortations were not heard across the airwaves. “Why oh why,” he would preface all his devotional warnings, “must we tolerate this socialist waste and depravity that we see all around us?”
And this saintly figure in his familiar blue shirt attracted a great many followers and filled his private coffers with riches until they were overflowing. But after making some rash pronouncements about the sensitive matters of rape and immigration, George was cast down by feminist mobs of accusers and was forced to devote himself to sitting on a column in the middle of the desert, known as his Newstalk studio.
And lo it came to pass that Hooky grew weary of living in a land of political correctness gone mad, a land where he was not welcomed, much like a prophet in his own town. George huffed and puffed, saying: “Verily, I have run my course and must retreat in a blaze of obscurity to join my long-suffering wife, the lovely Ingrid.”
And there was widespread rejoicing in the land that Hooky had finally taken a long overdue vow of silence.
But the multitudes were sore vexed when they heard rumours that George’s shoes were to be filled a hundredfold by Blessed Ivan of Yates. And so they fell to their knees in agony and cried: “Will no one rescue us in our distress?”
THAT DUP CONFERENCE
THOSE NEW DICTIONARY WORDS
“Single use”, a term that describes a minority or coalition government (Surely “items whose unchecked proliferation are blamed for damaging the environment and affecting the food chain” – Ed), has been named
Collins’s Word of 2018.
New dictionery words include…
posh (adjective – informal)
1. very smart luxurious.
2. upper class. Believed to be an acronym of Prevent Outsiders Securing Houses. See also ‘posh-boy Murphy’.
harris (verb), to keep criticising somebody until they turn into a frightened schoolboy.
dinny (noun), a drink purchased for a government minister without any favour being asked for in return.
lowry (noun), a drink accepted by a government from a relative stranger without any favour being given in return.
forsey (noun), a large sum of money that looks like a loan, but is suitable only for spending on luxury holidays and new cars.
A great night of back slapping and freebies had by all.
Award for Causing Collapse of Criminal Trial and Costing Your Paper Tens of Thousands of Euro – Irish Indo
Award for Biggest News Room Rows – Daily Mail
Best Use of Filling Space in a Paper – The Irish Times Arts and Ideas Section
Prize for Best New Blank Space Lay Out – Irish Independent
Award for Knowing Who the New Editor of The Irish Times is – No Entrants
Most Likely Overall Winner – Someone from the IT or Indo (as we pay for the damn awards)
Scoop of the Year – Leslie Buckley INM “Checking Email”
New Categories 2020
- Most Rehashed Stories in an Hour by Under-payed Intern
- Best Story by a Robot
- Last Man in an Editorial Position in the 21st Century
RONAN IN BID TO BUILD DUBLIN’S TALLEST EGO
Fresh from concluding a mega-bucks deal with Face-off, businessman Johnny Ronan (who is planning to build the biggest ego in Ireland) has vehemently denied that it is a “vanity project”.
“The erection, in the Phallusian style, will be the largest in Dublin,” he pantingly explained.
Already dubbed The Johnny by an anonymous Dublin wag, the exterior will be clad in bright pink tiles and the building will thrust high into Dublin’s skyline.
“With a massive fountain on its tip, the head of the building will contain destination brand names such as the Pirate Den rum-tasting bar, Rosanna’s Nutrition and JR’s of Marrakesh,”
according to the bearded one.
BORDERS – THIS WEEK’S BEST SELLING BOOKS
1. Blame it on Boris
2. Red Tape
3. Queuing for a living
4. Stop! Who goes there?
5. Turning back the clock
1. Night crossing
2. Smugglers of South Armagh
3. All Clear on the Northern Front
4. The way we were
5. All along the watchtowers
THOSE WOMEN-ONLY PROFESSORSHIPS ANNOUNCED…
- Professorship of driving a car over the Dáil plinth
- Professor of how to get Mitchell O’Connor re-elected in Dún Laoghaire
- Professor of how to put up with being an advisor to Mitchell O’ Connor for more than one day
- Professorship of making sure MMOC is never demoted again
- Professor of stupid ideas that get publicity
GOVT ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR NEW SCAFF-SCHOOLS
Following the success of its recent rushed schools repair programme, the government has announced that all future schools will be built to this new standard.
Basically, schools will be built of scaffolding covered with a soft mesh, without any annoying inner dividing walls or precast concrete outer walls that could be dangerous.
Teachers – or scaff-staff as they will become known – will be able to see into other classrooms on the same floor, so one teacher will, in theory, be able to watch over two or more classes.
If successful, the scheme will be expanded to cover hospitals, prisons and even housing.
Ireland’s Fittest Family – RTÉ One: Sunday, 6.30PM
Join Kathryn Thomas and some very lazy RTÉ programmers as they run out of ideas, flog dead horses and try to exorcise the memory of Finding Joy.
Taken Down – RTÉ One Sunday, 9.30PM
A vulnerable prime minister is continually harassed and bullied by a group of boorish Little Englanders. Can she escape from their clutches before it’s too late?
CASEY: ‘I BLAME MYSELF FOR BLOWING PRESIDENCY!’
By our election staff Pól Corr
Presidential runner-up Peter Casey says he now blames himself for mistakes made in the presidential election and believes the strategy he adopted cost him the contest.
Reflecting on the campaign during a long-deferred trip to a barber shop, the Derry-born millionaire concedes he “spent too much time and energy” focusing on Traveller and social welfare issues.
“I completely overlooked single mothers, people in expensive jails, refugees, drug addicts, even TV3 viewers,” regrets the dragon, who was sporting a new haircut last night.
“I would have been in the bloody door if I had gone for even two of them!”
The disappointed candidate says he is nonetheless “proud” to have projected a vision for a new Ireland. “Roll on 2025,” he says, cheering up.
FIANNA FÁIL FINDS TRUE NORTH
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has confirmed his party is in talks with Fianna Fáil about a merger ahead of next year’s local elections.
This follows on from a series of deeply disappointing election results and the failure of its weak and uncharismatic figurehead to make any meaningful impact with voters.
While the negotiations are at an early stage, it is expected that Micheál Martin’s troubled party will begin rebranding itself as the SDLP sometime in the new year.
Eastwood claimed that things were so bad for the soldiers of destiny that they simply couldn’t be allowed to continue.
“Obviously it had come to a stage where something had to be done. Micheál tried his best but he just wasn’t connecting and it looked like Fianna Fáil were heading for political oblivion. Thankfully the right course of action is being taken,” he said.
OAP CLAIMS €1.7M FROM THE STATE
A septuagenarian living in Dublin 8 has won his claim for €1.7m. A Mr Michael Twee claimed he suffered serious reputational and injurious damage as he attempted to cling on to his job.
Witnesses spoke of Twee holding on to a moving state-owned Lear jet as he attempted to piggy-back his way to Belfast.
Twee resolutely refused to stop speaking during his self-imposed ordeal, but many onlookers became tired of an old man reciting his own verse and moved on.
However, the judges found in Twee’s favour and ordered the state to pay him just short of €250,000 per annum for the next seven years. In a five-hour monologue on the steps of the RDS count centre, Twee promised…
(Continued ad nauseam on pages 18-25)
- 0 People who still have confidence in Eoghan Murphy’s housing plan
- 75 Number of new crannogs to be built by the end of December
- 44 Fianna Fáil TDs wringing their hands
- 100 Airbnb vouchers to be distributed to homeless families
- 49 Fine Gael TDs whistling past the graveyard
- 60 Years it takes to turnaround vacant local authority house
- 8000 Photo shoots with Leo Varadkar wearing a hard hat
THOSE CONFIDENCE AND SUPPLY TALKS
|You can’t trust those Fianna Fáil bastards
||Those Blueshirt bastards are not to be trusted
|But they’re still preferable to the Shinners
||You can say that again
|So the best approach is to buy time
|By cobbling together the usual guff in the national interest
||Always works a treat
|It’s Leo’s best hope of clinging on as taoiseach
||It’s Micheál’s best hope of ever becoming taoiseach
|That’s it, then – anything but a general election
||Phew! Now we’re really talking!
BINGE DRINKING SET TO DOUBLE NEXT YEAR
One in three Irish drinkers has binged on alcohol in the past year, says a new Healthy Ireland survey. Binge drinking is defined as having six or more standard drinks in a single session – the equivalent of three pints of beer.
But the really shocking news ish that thish figure could be, hic, shet to double next year. Why? Becaush the definition of binge drinking will probably change to two standard drinks per session! Yesh. One single pint!
Bartenders say they expect that, in future, when one of their regulars is ordering a pint for himself and a couple of his mates, he is likely to ask for “three binges of Guinness”.
THOSE NEWSBRANDS AWARDS NOMINATIONS
Name: Fintan O’Toole
Publication: Irish Times
Category: Broadsheet cat litter tray
Entry: You simpletons need not fear my superior intellect
Name: Brendan O’Connor
Publication: Sunday Independent
Category: Sunday bog roll
Entry: Any fool can lose weight. But writing about it every week requires commitment.
Name: Paul Williams
Publication: Irish Independent
Category: Fairy tales for adults
Entry: Superintendent ‘Snowy’ White and the seven scumbags.
CREATURES FROM IRISH FOLKLORE
Long, long, long ago last week, when Ireland was a land tormented by great uncertainty, there was said to exist in the northern reaches of the island, a magical creature known as the Backstop.
The only one of its kind in the entire world, everyone spoke about the wondrous animal, which many claimed would cure all the worries of anyone who embraced it.
But despite the Backstop’s great popularity and the eagerness of people from across Ireland and Europe to clutch it to their bosoms, nobody had ever, ever seen or touched it.
Well-known British wildlife expert Professor Boorish Johnstone, claimed to have seen the Backstop in a dream whilst sleeping with someone’s wife and described it as “hare-brained, toothless and, despite having grown legs, definitely a non-runner”. Sceptics however say he was actually describing his pet cat Jacob Rees-Moggy.
Irish people are happy to leave the Backstop, whatever it may look like, in its place forever but British ministers, who think they own it, insist it must only remain temporarily.
THAT NATIONAL BROADBAND ROLL-OUT MAP
“GO VEGAN – OR ELSE”
Former president Mary Robinson is standing firm on her call for people to go vegan to tackle climate change. The long-standing campaigner, who runs a climate justice foundation in her name, said she was determined to spread her message about the carbon footprint danger. Speaking in to The Hague yesterday, the former UN High Commissioner warned delegates: “You really have to become more energy-efficient – which is why I am determined to continue flying around the globe telling everyone to stop eating meat.”
Half-baked Recycled Green Policies
Fresh PR Leaks (with huge pinch of salt)
From the Gravy Train
Vegetarian Cold Cuts (in a Stew with Irish Farmers)
Rich (pension) pickings (on pig’s back)
Off the Trolley
Steamed-up Sticky (Archive) Pudding
Traditional Eco-Waffle with Fudge Sauce
Making a Mint Tea
A Selection of Whine
DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE
It’s another busy morning in Eoin O’Duffy Memorial Infirmary, aka Blueshirt General, as hospital master Leo Varadkar and his colleagues deal with the combined effects of flu season, Halloween, and the fall-out from a vicious brawl near Áras an Uachtaráin.
Varadkar (seeing yet another patient wheeled in on a trolley): What’s the story with this guy?
Paramedic 1: Severe concussion, we think. He got into a fight with Travellers.
Peter Casey (from trolley): There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m going to be the next president of Ireland.
Paramedic 2: Or it may be an underlying psychiatric disorder. Apparently he’s been behaving erratically for weeks.
Casey: I’m perfectly sane. If not president, I’ll be the next Fianna Fáil taoiseach.
Micheál Martin: He’s clearly off his rocker.
Varadkar: I remind you, Dr Martin, we don’t tolerate language like that in my hospital. Not even from temporary support staff. (He holds his hand in front of Casey’s face). How many fingers can you count?
Casey: Two. And you’re pointing them at the hard-working tax-payer, just like Travellers have done for years.
Paramedic 1 (to Paramedic 2): He’s not wrong there.
Casey: And social welfare scroungers. They’re taking us for a ride too. There’ll be no more of that when I’m leading the country.
Paramedic 2 (to Paramedic 1): This man’s talking sense.
Varadkar (holding stethoscope to Casey’s head and listening): Hmm. It could be just the effects of an enlarged ego.
Martin: Takes one to know one.
Varadkar (to the paramedics): Bring him to the isolation unit for now. Keep him there until we find out if he’s infectious.
Paramedic 1: (muttering as they wheel Casey away): It’s PC gone mad. Oops – I didn’t mean you, Mr Casey.
Varadkar (quietly, to a nurse): You better lock that pair in with him. Whatever it is, they seem to have caught it already.
A bustling corridor, later. Dr Varadkar meets the deputy master, Dr Coveney, who looks worried.
Coveney (handing over file): You need to have a look at this. It’s the pathology report on Mr Khashoggi.
Varadkar (reading): Salmonella?
Coveney: Crown Prince Salmonella. They’re not saying it killed him, but it looks like it was a major contributor.
Varadkar: Well, er, speaking of major contributors, the Saudis have always been great supporters of the hospital. We wouldn’t want to embarrass them, would we?
Coveney: Of course not.
Varadkar: A few stern words will do. Then file that away somewhere safe. Ah, here’s Dr Donohoe, with another file.
Paschal Donohoe (grinning broadly): Have you seen these? Latest findings from Red C and MRBI about this season’s flu viruses. Looks like the big thing could be election fever.
Varadkar: Let’s walk and talk. (As they stroll down the corridor, Varadkar scans the figures). This suggests that, if there was a major outbreak now, certain groups would be more at risk.
Donohoe: Yes. Fianna Fáilers, Shinners and Trots mainly.
Varadkar: Whereas other groups appear to have stronger immunity at this time?
Donohoe: Fine Gaelers and people who get up early, yes. (He whispers) Our sort, basically.
Varadkar: But getting back to these poor, vulnerable groups for a minute, presumably the last thing they need any time soon would be having to go out and knock on doors and shake hands and all that high-risk stuff? So in the interest of public health, we should urge the, er, powers that be to avoid calling an election at this time?
Donohoe: On the other hand, there’ll have to be an election sooner or later. And whenever it happens, there’ll be viruses going round. Only the next ones might be even worse for society as a whole.
Varadkar: Gosh, it’s a difficult moral dilemma, isn’t it?
Donohoe: Not really. The Hypocritic – I mean Hippocratic – Oath clearly argues for an election now. You have to think of the general wellbeing. Or in this case, Blueshirt General’s wellbeing. Let’s face it, that’s what really matters.
Varadkar: All right, let me sleep on it. We need to find out a bit more about the “Casey Effect” before doing anything rash.
The operating theatre, later. Chief surgeon Simon Harris recognises a celebrity patient.
Harris: You’re the man from Dragon’s Den, aren’t you? What has you in here?
Gavin Duffy (face down on trolley): Well, I myself didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that I got slightly ahead of where public concerns were around the challenges we as a people face (he waffles on for five minutes).
Nurse: And while he was slightly ahead of them, the electorate inserted this. (She holds up an X-ray).
Harris: Ouch. A wooden spoon!
Duffy: Do you think you can remove it safely, doctor? I’m worried it will affect my image as a successful businessman and master communicator (he continues waffling).
Harris: Well, I like your presentation and I wish you well.
Harris: But wooden spoon removal is not something I have much interest in. And I’m not sure the voters want their spoon back in these circumstances – that’s very much a niche market. So for those reasons, I’m afraid, I’m out.
MODERN IRISH SPORTS
Rush hour contact sport that can be played by up to 1,000 players who risk life and limb grappling with addicts, drunks and school tours on the tram. Points and pay outs are awarded for serious injuries for victims who are prepared to go to the courts.
Traditional British folk dance involving a lot of clumsy footwork and awkward hand gestures. Recently revived by members of the DUP, whose erratic manoeuvres along the blood red line of the Northern Irish border are an increasingly common sight.
Temple Bar Paralytics
Weekend youth activity involving multiple groups of stags and hens rampaging through Dublin’s picturesque tourist quarter. The object of the game is to drink more over-priced pints than everyone else. Other activities include synchronized vomiting and fun run-ins (with local garda).
Tyrone Rules Footy
The object of the game is to leave your mark on the faces of the opposition. Even before kick-off, both teams use their physical skills to prevent any actual gaelic football from interfering with the on-field violence. The losing side will be the one with the greater number of players ending up in intensive care.
National Broadband Football
Daily game of chance in which over a million people in rural Ireland compete to get in touch with their current Broadband providing cartel to complain about delays in accessing their favourite porn sites.
(That’s enough Modern Irish Sports – Ed.)
THE JAMAL KHASHOGGI I KNEW
By our Paris Correspondent Mara Larlowe
When my editor asked me for a few thousand words about the Jamal Khashoggi I knew, it placed me in a very difficult position.
Should I write that I first met Jamal Khashoggi in January 1992, when we were both covering the military coup that prevented the Islamic Salvation Front winning parliamentary elections in Algeria?
Or about when he told me there was a young preacher called Osama Bin Laden who had helped to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan?
Of course he might equally have said “Who are you?” or “I have never heard of the Irish Times.
But now, alas, he cannot.
U2’s BREXIT BLUES
O’NEILL PREPARED FOR DENMARK SHOWDOWN
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill says preparations are “already well under way” for his side’s crucial encounter with Denmark in November.
“We are using video technology a lot,” the manager reassured. “And Roy now has actual footage of where every player lives and how to get there.
“So if we need to boost anyone’s commitment by calling him a ‘useless prick’, a ‘waste of space’ or maybe just a bog-standard ‘arsehole’, for example, he can go to their house in the coming weeks rather than just ringing them up.”