Paul Healy on a dodgy plumber with attitude; Mario and Willie’s duet; the wilting X Factor; the Minister for People Being More Important Than Fish…and Seamus Sweeney and Sam…
It could have happened…
Looking back, we should never have got that plumber in. He was down from Dublin, looking for a bit of work, and – regrettably – we asked him to do a few odd jobs around our house.
Fair enough, he was full of enthusiasm, hyper in fact, but from the very beginning I thought he had a bit of attitude. On day one, he tackled our bathroom, and I was rightly put out when, instead of fixing the shower, he seemed to spend the whole day preening his rather over-the-top ginger beard.
Weird, I remember thinking. We should never have hired that plumber.
By day two I had no option but to tell him to get a move on, get his act together. He responded by glaring at me and then suddenly adopting a bizarre pose, whereby he crouched down like some maniac, making himself no taller than the kitchen sink that he was meant to be unblocking. You’re an idiot, I muttered, you’ll be on the scrapheap in a year or two.
By day three, my patience was really wearing thin. None of our plumbing problems had been sorted, and by now the hairy poser was almost out of control. We came home from work for a bite to eat at lunchtime and he was somersaulting around the kitchen and karate-kicking the cat. There was absolutely no need for that.
I had to challenge this useless plumber, once I got him to stand still. “You’re no good” I said, “you’ll never get anywhere in life.” Undeterred, he jumped onto our couch and began punching cushions furiously. “You’re not worth whatever few bob you plan to charge” I said. “About five million” he said with a strange smile, “and by the way, I will fix that bath – failure is not an option.” I was on the point of giving him an early bath.
By day four it was just getting ridiculous. We came home to find the self-styled ‘Dublin’s finest plumber’ prancing around on the trampoline in the garden, rebounding off the netting and waving his fists manically. “I belong in this ring” he bellowed at me, doing that now familiar annoying glare of his. I’d had enough. If I wasn’t such a pacifist I’d have clattered him, and I can’t imagine he’d have mustered much resistance.
I decided to pay him off. I reached for the chequebook. “Make it out to Conor,” he said, as he held our cat down in some ludicrous wrestling grip. “Conor McGregor…and remember the name.” Yeah, right. I’ve heard of dodgy tradesmen, but that guy was just notorious.
The old Sky Plus thing is great all the same. Recording stuff is handy when you’re too busy to see it in ‘real time’ – as we are at this time of year.
So we record bits and pieces and then when the Roscommon People is out in the shops, we might catch up later in the week. I worked Saturday, so I had to record the draw for EURO 2016.
I still haven’t checked to see how the Republic of Ireland got on, but as long as we avoided Italy (I’m nervous about them) I’m happy. Oh, and as long as we avoided the number one team in the world as well, then great.
And as long as we avoided that team that Ibrahimovic plays for as well, we should be alright. I also recorded the Conor McGregor fight. I don’t bother with the long introductions, so I set it to record after about 20, or maybe 14 or 15, seconds into the bout. Can’t wait to watch it…
Some night, then repeated…
I have been avoiding Mario Rosenstock’s new TV series – because I generally don’t find it funny. To be fair to Mr. Rosenstock and Oliver Callan, their emergence into our lives in recent years has been very welcome. Post the ‘breakfast roll boom’ and the collapse that followed it, the people of Ireland were given one choice. Laugh or cry.
Mario and Oliver at least gave us the option of laughing sometimes. They were very funny, they held ‘important people’ up to ridicule, and it was sharp comedy that worked.
On radio. Unfortunately, I don’t think their exploits transfer that well to television. I did come across Mario’s show the other night and, once again, most of it fell flat.
Taking Rosenstock’s ‘impressions’ to television has led to, at best, hit and miss comedy, I feel. His ‘Vincent Browne’ is woefully unfunny. On the other hand, or other wig, his ‘Miriam O’Callaghan’ is very good. His ‘Marty Morrissey’ makes for rather compelling viewing.
I credit Mario and his team on some very inventive ideas for sketches, but taking his comedy from radio to television isn’t the smoothest transition. As with any impressionist, the effect suffers when they don’t particularly physically resemble the subject of their impression. Still, the series has its moments.
The other night I thought the cringe factor would be unbearable when I saw Mario, as Joan Burton, preparing to sing a duet with the real Willie O’Dea. As it turned out, for some weird reason, their version of ‘I Got You Babe’ turned out to be quite funny. Of course some people would say that Willie O’Dea has been doing a comedy routine for years.
We haven’t bothered with the wilting X Factor this year (I find it lacks the suspense of Telly Bingo). But, with a bug ‘going around’ and checking in on most of us, we saw a fair bit of telly in recent days – and just happened to come across the final moments of the final of the X Factor.
If you missed it, here are the highlights: Lots of screaming/you just nailed it/ad breaks/are you nervous?/I just want to thank everyone who voted for me/do you know, I can’t call this…it’s that close… Followed by… I’ve dreamt about this day all my life/I cannot speak/It feels like I’m living a dream/Oh my God!/This is surreal, etc.
What that translates into is that some new wannabee emerged from the pack. Mind you, she’s a nice singer, and I wish her well. As for the judges, Simon Cowell looked as smug as ever and I must say that Louis Walsh must have had ‘something done’ as he looks younger than ever.
Oh, don’t say they replaced poor Louis?
According to a headline on a two-page spread in today’s Irish Independent, Minister Simon Harris has declared that “people are more important than fish.”
Just to clarify: “People are more important than fish.” I’m impressed. It’s leadership. In the war against flooding, I suppose it’s a start…
Fair play to new County Board Chairperson Seamus Sweeney, who has declared, as he takes up the reins, that winning the Sam Maguire Cup remains the ultimate goal for Roscommon. I could understand why there was a bit of an outcry when former manager John Evans spoke of winning ‘Sam’ within five years.
While I liked Evans’ blunt style, that was kind of putting pressure on his young players. It was almost imposing a deadline, certainly creating a hostage to fortune. It’s quite a different thing for our premier GAA office-holder to clearly state where our ambition lies.
Sure, there’s no short-term prospect of winning Sam, but Seamus Sweeney is absolutely right to remind the Roscommon GAA family of the ‘ultimate goal.’ After all, we consider ourselves to be a serious GAA county. We are a serious GAA county.
And hasn’t winning Sam been our ‘goal’ since the first ball was thrown in at the start of the 1945 Championship?