O'Byrne Files Gallery of Dublin scene players


Dubliners with Tom Mathews

The Dublin Centenarian

The Scorned Dublin Woman

The Dublin Juror

The Dublin Partygoer

The Dublin Barber

Clamped Dubliner

Dublin Commuters

Resolute Dubliner

Dublin Comedy Buffs

Dublin Cupla Foclars 

The Dublin Quiz Team

Bereaved Dubliners

Dublin millenium Men

Dubliners Making Advances

Early House Dubliners

Dublin Men of Letters


The Dublin Centenarian

Born: 100 years old, of course "Pay attention them at the back!".

Hobbies: Twinkling.   Inimitability. Being 100 years young.   Anecdotage.   Attributing great age to (a) Avoiding salt; (b) A feed of rashers every morning; (c) Total abstinence; (d) A ball of malt every half hour (e) Not smoking; (f) Eighty non filter a day an' it never done him bit of harm. He seen down three doctors that told him to give them up; (g) Honest toil; (h) Total indolence. Looking for own name in obituaries.   Losing hair, Steradent, spectacles, pension book, bus pass, hearing aid, slippers, zimmer frame, toupee, mind etc.etc.   Group sex (if he can find another person). Watch winding.   String saving.   Going around switching fights off. Writing snorters to paper rubbish that passes for entertainment wireless nowadays. Sticking in the mud. Old age travelling.   Drinking Sanatogen, alcopops.  Asking strangers how old they think he is.  Belief that things have gone to dogs since his time - "Show me the building that's, lasted as long as an old one - things a lot more like they were then than they are now.  I can remember when tricycles only had three wheels'' Giving the dog a bone.  Coming rolling home.  Wearing the bottoms of trousers rolled.  Raging against the dying of the light.  Gnashing denture's and telling family that they'll be sorry when he's gone. ('cause he's altering his will.)

Heroes: Abe Simpson.  Mr. T. Alf Gar nett.  Clive Dunne.  George Burns.   Dev.  'Victor Meldrew. Kingsley Amis.  The Pope (If only he wasn't such a woolly liberal.) Richard In~ (The young whipper snapper.) The inventor of Viagra ("Just because- there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there's no fire in the living room.")

Catchphrase: "I'll see yez all down yet"

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The Scorned Woman

Cheer up?   I'm perfectly cheerful, thank you.  No, it's not that time of the month. Wrong?   What makes you think there's anything wrong?   What could be wrong?   Forgotten something?   Well, what if you have?   I know how tiring it must be drinking with your influential friends down the pub all night.  And I'd rather you didn't use that sort of language in the house.  TThat's right.  Raise your voice to me, go on, the neighbours may have missed the last bit.

Yes, I know you're just asking me logically and quietly what the matter is.  That's men all over, of course.  When in - doubt, use linear thinking.  God forbid you should show any emotion.  TNot all men are like that?   You're not All men?   Well who said you were?   Does every conversation have to centre around you?   Oh, lost your voice now, have you, as well as your temper?   The strong silent type is it?   Well.  I suppose sulking like a stubborn child is better than sarcasm.

I was being sarcastic?   Well excuse me.  I suppose I have to obtain your permission for every remark I make now.

Don't get up and answer the door whatever you do..  I wouldn't want it on my conscience that I caused you a heart attack from over exertion.  Well, I'm glad you think it's funny because What's this?   Flowers birthday card?   You *******! You remembered all the time.  All right.Let's go down the pub.

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The Juror

Appalled at ghastly find of official envelope among usual junk mail, bills, etc. Have Revenue Commissioners found out about nixer?   But no! Merely summons to jury duty. Excellent! Paid holiday, delicious feeds in luxurious hotel! What a break!

Enthusiasm fades as discovers jurors not paid, lunched only. Case could drag on for weeks. Also discovers could be elected foreman of jury. Imagines Judge summing up "May I take this opportunity of congratulating the most intelligent foreman it has been my privilege to work with?"

Vision fades as realises one of foreman's duties is to put other jurors' queries to judge.

Suppose barrage of ludicrous questions submitted?   Would not foreman appear total gobaloon?   Decides to decline honour modestly if offered.

Turns up at Four Courts twenty minutes early clutching summons. Finds 150 of peers clutching summonses and occupying all seats. Herded into court with others. Still can't find scat. Roll is called from lectern. Own name called. Knees turn to jelly as squeaks out number in barely audiable tones recovers composure. Says brightly to neighbour on left "Like bingo isn't it, two fat ladies, 88?" Realises neighbour is fat lady. As also is neighbour on right who hisses "Why don't you keep your tasteless remarks to yourself?"

Concentrates gaze on shady looking customer making way through crowd. Undoubtedly mass murderer. Beady eyes and beetling brow dead give-away. Shady looking customer sits on bench and announces he is presiding judge.

Swears in three juries to try increasingly stomach churning murders. Sensitive juror's blood turns to water. At last session ends. Judge bids unselected assemble at same time next week. Breathing sigh of relief putative juror composes mental letter to clerk of court explaining immediate emigration to Australia for business reasons.

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The Partygoer

Spends hour attempting to decipher directions written on cigarette packet during riotous night in pub.   As storm is raging calls taxi.   Taxi man says he'll be twenty minutes.   Hour passes.   Rings second taxi.   Second taxi will be ten minutes. Arrives half hour later along with first.   Tells first driver to perform anatomical impossibility.

Second driver 'knows general area' though not road 'as such'.   Three hours later after obtaining increasingly confusing directions from series of mental defectives and paying astronomical fare arrives at house to find note on door explaining all are in local.   Ink on map has run in downpour so spends hour looking for bar.   Gets there just as time is called so sits fuming while merry throng guzzle line of pints ordered earlier.

At party makes straight to kitchen for much needed belt of scotch.   Opens bag.   Discovers man in off licence has given him bottle of cooking sherry.   Breaks cork.   Sulks in kitchen drinking glass after glass.   Perks up.   Moves into dancing room.   Throws self into frenzy of twisting to impress mini-skirted blonde.   Says roguishly "You must be tired.   You've been running round my head all evening."   Blonde swivels on bed and spends evening chatting up younger man.

Wheezing partygoer flops exhausted on couch beside man of own age.   Digs man in ribs and indicates blonde.   Says: "Phwooar! You don't get many of them to the pound.   I'd say she's a bit of a goer, what?"   Middle aged man says he wouldn't know as blonde is his daughter.

Embarrassed partygoer staggers into front garden and is sick in ornamental birdbath. Streels down road. Miraculously manages to hail cab.   Driver is man he berated earlier. Driver guffaws loudly and speeds off leaving luckless partygoer to find own way home in sleet laden gale.

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The Dublin Barber

Gone very cold sir, yes.   Sure we had no summer.   Just a trim is it?     Yes sir.   Have you lookin' grand in a minute.   D'you know what it is, you won't feel it now 'til the Christmas. An' if you do it's a sin (chuckles).   Sure you have to laugh.   A good laugh is a tonic.

Did yeh ever see that thing Father Ted?     That was gas altogether.   One time Ted was for cleanin' the windas.   Only wasn't there a black patch on one of them he couldn't get off an' didn't some Chinese lads passin' look in the winda when he was complainin' an' gesticulatin' an' they seen the spot just under his nose and thought he was got up to look like Adolof Hitler.   An' that Mrs Doyle forever makin' cups o' tea an' sandwiches an' if the visitors refuse them she goes (leans against cracked washbasin to steady self at recollection): "GO ON GO ON, GO ON, GO ON, GO ON' (laugh reaches crescendo, becomes wheeze, subsides).

But this other thing they done, 'The Big Train', I can't make head or tail of that at all.   Lads sayin' in English that they don't speak English an' cartoons about fellas starin' at each other.

A cartoon I do always like is the coyote.   He's forever buidin' some yoke to catch the road runner, only yer man is too cute for him an' at the end of the day he's blown up be dynamite or he gets a crack of an anvil or he falls off a cliff.

I see on the paper where they're puttin' up a big needle where the pillar used be opposite the GPO there it was.   I used say I was goin' from pillar to post.

The strange thing was I passed it every day on me way to work an' I was never up it once.   That was blown up before your time of course.   The Dubliners had a song about it, it was always on the wireless.   I seen a lad drawin' them on the pavement when the song was in the hit parade an' I could do better meself.   He was just writin' 'Ronnie Drew' in chalk an' I passin'. 'Gob' says 1, 'Ronnie never drew anythin' like that.' Etc, etc etc.

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The Clamped Dubliner

Staggers out of festive office lunch in ferociously expensive restaurant at which, since he is driving borne, he has ingested enough sparkling water to refloat the Titanic Eyes double in size as realises car has been clamped.   Curses clampers, curses hearty office pals, curses maker, day he was born, night he was conceived, etc, etc.   Toys momentarily with notion of emulating Homer Simpson and utilising workman's pneumatic drill to remove clamp.   Reluctantly abandons idea.

Reads notice stuck to car window. ---Don't dare to remove this notice- "Doesn't dare.   Reading further discovers he has to pay 65 fine.   Grinds teeth with rage.   Searches coat pockets revealing old Kleenex, crumpled cigarette packet, spent match and 4.43 in change.   Storms off to Banklink.   Banklink not working. Gropes in jacket and feels credit card.   Stalks through crowds or snarling punters bearing stacks of unwanted gifts to shops whose windows are full are animatronic elves and cuts anthropomorphic animals singing seasonal favourites in squeaky voices.   Curses elves, crowds, cute animals, seasonal favourites, etc, etc,.

Arrives at fines office.   Waits fuming in scowling queue.   Finally gets to head of queue.   Spends five minutes shouting about fascism, police states, wastage of public's time etc at impassive functionary behind glass. ' Impassive functionary asks how he wishes to pay.   Exhausted clampee reaches into jacket pocket and produces card of incredibly expensive restaurants.   Recollects that he gave wife credit card that morning for late shopping spree.   Fumbles in other pockets and by amazing stroke of luck locates chequebook.   Remembers he has used last cheque to pay bill in incredibly expensive restaurant.   Sneering functionary asks who is wasting public's time now?     Clampee slinks off to guffaws from easily amused onlookers.   Resolves to buy skateboard.

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The Dubliner Commuter

Enters single decker soaked to skin after 25 minute wait ('Go minic is go tapa.') in bus 'shelter' into which freezing rain is driven by force ten gale. Passes down car through steaming mass of fellow sufferers emitting fumes of coughs groans, wheezes, blasphemies, etc.

Elbow past backpacker woman unfolding pram, singing drunk, mad tramp, couple playing tonsil hockey etc. etc.   Trips over own briefcase.   Stands on foot of ferocious looking man.   Mumbles apologies.   Ferocious looking man glares daggers.

Other passengers chortle.   To hide discomfiture bestows glance of mingled pity and amusement on exhausted fellow traveller who snores red faced, head resting against window, breath forming little patch, now expanding, now contracting.

Poor fellow will probably miss his stop.   Chuckles.   Realises pretty girl sitting nearby thinks he is leering at her.   Hastily begins reading tabloid of man next to him.

Half way through lead story SERIAL SICKOS STRIKES AGAIN" Suddenly catches man's eyes.   Pretends to have something in own.   Swivels eyes about grotesquely winking and grimacing to convey this in mime.   Realises pretty girl looking at him as if he is lunatic.

Beats old woman on crutch to coveted window scat.   As she sits beside him he cannot he faulted for not giving up scat to scowling parcel laden women who throng aisle.   Windows steam up.   Writes name on window with finger.   Draws funny face.

Realises to horror that funny face is unintentional caricature of ferocious looking man.   Hastily erases picture with scarf.   Realises scarf is not own but that of pretty girl who has moved to seat in front.   Mumbles frantic apologies.   Pretty girl, ferocious looking man, laden housewives etc.   glare daggers.

Closes eyes to blot it all out.   Leans burning cheek against cooling window.   Drops off to sleep.   Misses stop.    Dreams of owning own car.    Wakes up determined to own own car.

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The Resolute Dubliner

In moment of madness following near death post flew year's eve party hangover situation bets wife he call stay off booze and fags for month.   Three days later wakes from dream in which he is breakfasting oil bowl of nicotine patches drowned in vodka.

Rises.   Cuts self shaving.   Grabs cup of tea shouting calm reasoned criticisms at cowering wife, underachieving children, imbecilic radio presenter, illiterate editorial ill morning newspaper etc, etc.

Slams door- Kicks dog.   In bus shelter notices very old man take out pack of twenty untipped 'and lights up.   Old man remarks that he's been smoking for- 55 years.   "Never done me a bit of harm" he adds.   Resolute man by supreme power of will manages not to hurl old man under bus.    Arrives at work in foul humour.   Snarls at office boys smoking in corridor.    Begins drafting report.   Grips felt tip pen in teeth as seeks mot juste.    Telephone rings.   Engages in complicated negotiating with client.   Notices curious odour.    Realises he has lit felt tip pen and is attempting to inhale.

At lunch in pub astonishes colleagues by selecting water as post Christmas free drink.   Smiles ghastly smile saying "Adam's ale lads.   What the lions and tigers drink." Eats three times as much as usual.   Realises that rediscovery of sense of taste not necessarily an advantage.

Returns to office.   Bites nails down too quick.   Beats head off keys of typewriter.    Bites piece out of marble mantelpiece.   Looks at self in mirror.   Seeing character resembling corpse in Stephen King movie admits defeat.   Writes wife cheque for 100.   Pausing only to buy eight packs of cigarettes goes out and gets blitzed.

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Dublin Comedy Buffs

It is a fast universally acknowledged that wherever three men in their forties are gathered to drink the following conversation will ensue:

A: "The funniest I ever seen?   I'd have to say Morecambe and Wise.

B: (Spluttering pint enthusiastically Short fat hairy legs! Can't see the join! This boy's a fool! Get out of that!"

A: That trick he done with the paper bag.

B: '*And Schnozzle Durante with the paper cup.'

A: There was no straight men there of course.   They were both funny."

B: "Except Ernie,"

C: (Piously) God rest him." (Pause for reflection on mortality and thoughtful ingestion of sophisticated beverages, counting of change, etc.)

A: tell ye another wan 1 always get a great laugh out of.   Yer man with the fez.-

B: sit Tommy Cooper?   Yer man that was always getting' the tricks wrong?   The wife used get a great laugh out of him.-

C: "He'd always go wrong with the tricks some way,"'

B: "That was the trick of it of course.

C: "He'd only to come an' you'd start laughin." (gesturing absurdly) "Just like that.   Not like that, like that!"

(Pause for recovery of breath, ordering of pints. crisps, cigarettes, small ones, toasted sandwiches etc, etc.)

A: (wiping eyes) "What about yer man Bilko?   He was forever tryin' to get one over Colonel Hall."

B: That never gone out of date.   The kids get a great laugh out of it.   They just love yer man Doberman." "He was gas altogether.   (Laughing involuntarily at some recollected antic).

"D'you know what it is?   He'd only come on and you'd start laughin".

And so on and on and on via Norm, Father Jack, Inspector Clouseau, Basil FawIty, and Dustin until time (eventually) is (mercifully) called.

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Dublin Cupla Foclars

Enters local expressing desire for almighty to save all present with exception of cat which (possessing more acumen than remainder of company) leaves at once.   Attempts to order drink in Irish, Barman (native speaker) has no idea what he's talking about.

Finally makes self intelligible, ingests half of' pint wipes lips with sleeve of' hairy jumper obtained at "Man of Aran" sale (made in Taiwan).    Removes redolent morsel of' previous night's take away from left molar utilising pin of Fainne Nua fixes gaze (11 victims and commences: - Gob, that's a cold one.   Thaw shay fuar ah-noch ah?   Doon all doras there a cara and shove up he the tine for the love of God, I wouldn't he surprised if' we'd the bit of shnochta yet, what?

"I was comin down tile canal on the rothar two weeks back the oul gluaistean being out of action when I seen the traffic fights was a bit briste.    Next thing a young fella with the hata over the suile walks out in front of me no warnin'.    Didn't I end up in tile canal.    Next thing I'm comin' to in the mammy's above in the leaba chokin' with the flu Two weeks stuck there the cable banjaxed and nothin' only TnaG, on the box.   Brishing an dookish, what?   Anyway it revived me interest it the language.   Tir gall teanga, tir gan (realises he doesn't know how saying ends.    Simulates coughing fit,) " Where's lounge girl when she's wanted?   Here give as a hot whiskey agus fiche Silk Cut purple.   Maith it cailin God she'd want to brostaigh uirth a bit.   Still she's a grand swing in her skirt.   I'd Say (nudges neareast victim she's no stranger to a bit of' the uas tile guna what?    Gel her it bit ar meisce and were away.   Oh, Your eldest is she?   Well gaw mo leisceil a cara.    Still, no harm done what?   We'll have another.   Here, d'you know this wan'?   Ciunas all.   (Sings): 'Aon focal gaw focal, three, two focal ella an' I not knowin' anny at focal all"...etc.   etc. until (buiochas le Dia, he isbarred for life,

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Dublin Pub Quiz Team

Having come seventeenth in field of seventeen the glum quadrumvirate consume unconsoled the consolation prize (bottle of scotch) from assortment of containers in pad of TV Fiend, team's only bachelor.

The Professor (knows by rote Presidents of United States, Kings of England, Longest rivers in world.   Tallest mountains in world, seven wonders of world, etc etc, none of which came up): "Nev' mind.   Had bit crack.   Wha?'

Unfragrant movie buff.   (Hero of night for getting tough answer in final round 'Who trained the rats in Taste the Blood of Dracula'?) "At leash I got few right."

TV Fiend (who having memorised every episode of Friends has hardly any of his own) lapses into heavy sleep with Homer Simpson look-alike drool.

Little man with squeaky voice: "Well I nearly got that one- (assumes quizmaster's voice "what is the name of the organ that is found at the back of the throat?")

Professor: (mimics squeaky man): "That would depend on what you were doing at the time.

Movie buff. "When the guards stopped us you couldn't remember your own name.

TV Fiend (waking suddenly): "Doncha wanna go where e'vbody knows ya name?"

Squeaky man: (leafing through.   tattered child's encyclopaedia) "Aha, Just ash I thought.   Badgersh don't lay eggsh."

Professor: (gazing suspiciously at glass): "Is there peppermint in thish?"

TV Fiend: "Nah.   Shtoothpaste."

Professor: "Thash inneristing fact.   Here'sh another inneresting fact.   Drinksh all gone.   Whar we goin' do now?   All.   Go ****in' home.

Steal off to various addresses where wives have prepared some extra hard questions.

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Bereaved Dubliners

DURING TV dinner learns that non-agerian Uncle Julius has finally bought it after heroic lifelong struggle with bottle.    Phones boss to explain will be needing following morning off.   Slave-driving, whip-cracking boss says uncle rates three hours off at top and will expect to see bereaved driving desk by two p.m.   or know reason why.   Bereaved searches high and low and eventually locates black jacket, trousers, tie etc.   Asks wife to darn minuscule hole in right trouser leg.   Wife says she has better things to be doing with time.   Suggests he make mark on leg with black ink.   No one will notice anyway.   Adds that the old goat (deceased) won't have left them a cent, as it all went down red lane years ago.

Outside strikes up conversation with philosophical stranger.   Stranger says he is sorry for bereaved's trouble.   Says deceased's passing has, left world poorer place.   Witty Bereaved says uncle's passing will have left city's barmen poorer at any rate.   Why whatever can Bereaved mean by this statement, demands stranger, as deceased never touched drop in life.

Bereaved, catching sight of state cars, and beginning to figure out why he doesn't recognise anyone comes to ghastly realisation that he is attending wrong funeral.

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Millenium Dubliners

"I see where the whole city is booked out for the millennium.   Can't get a table in a restaurant for love or money.   So the wife's sister was sayin'."

"What I want to know is what's this spire all about?   Three million quid down the Swanee Three, million quid.   I mean what's that about?" "The thins is that the year 2000 isn't really the beginning of the millennium at all.   It's actually not the start of the new millennium till January 1, 2001.   See it?"

"2001?   Yeah.   Great wasn't it?   I see all Kubrick's films."

"No.   I mean d'you see about the millemm - I mean millennium not starting until 2000 is over."

"Hard to say isn't it?"

"What d'you mean 'hard to say'?"

'Millennium'.   It's a hard word to say.   The sister's eldest, young Heathcliff, says minnellium.   You know, like Lisa Minnelli.   Did you ever see 'Cabaret'?   

That was another good one."

"Another thing is going to happen is all the computers will start goin' daft."

That's the exact same as happens in 2001.   The computer goes mad an' starts singin' and shuttin' down the ship's vital functions.   The sister's eldest young Heathcliff has it on video."

"No 1 mean in the real 2001.   All the computers go down on account of where they can't I work noughts or ones or something.   Then they're expectin' world war three to break out."

"Lord save us.   Will ye go again?"

"I win so."

"Barman will ye give us two stouts before we die of thirst"?

"Three million quid, what?" (Etc.   etc until millennium sets in).

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Dubliners Making Advances

Bored, housewife begins cutting newspaper into pieces to line kitchen drawer.    Catches sight of headline about enormous advances dangled before first time Irish novelists.    Reading down paragraph discovers that sums not un-adjacent to six figures have been mooted for two page outline of putative blockbuster from woman of her own age who has never written line of fiction.

Abandons drawer lining and ascends to attic where behind stack of letters and their dusty answers discovers dusty manual Remington typewriter, relic of long gone carefree unmarried days as typist for reputable firm in city.

Lugs typewriter to kitchen, banishes dust, inserts sheet of paper.    Waits for inspiration to hit and fund glamorous new Joan Collins lifestyle (with exception of Playboy appearance).

Waits and waits.    Waits some more.    Decides to get in some practice while waiting.    Has no doubt become somewhat rusty since above mentioned days in typing pool of reputable firm.

Types "The quiz brow box lumps over the hazy bog." Jovial husband entering in search of pipe and reading above, passes remark that the late J Joyce has already cleared up the market for that sort of stuff in Finnegan's Wake.

Ignoring this, stoic artist tries again so that when husband returns moments later he reads "blown box bumping over the lady log" and makes the suggestion that wife should set about acquiring infinite number of monkeys in hope of accidental masterpiece resulting.    Wife reminding self that artist must suffer ignores gibe and perseveres until fox finally jumps over dog.

Now for that advance earning outline! Nothing.    Nothing whatever.    More nothing.    Husband re-entering to enquire about possibility of cup of tea and spotting blank page observes that wife is clearly taking to heart dictum "write about what you know".    Husband retires guffawing.

Suddenly inspired housewife commences hitting keys very hard producing inspired outline of thriller about sensitive artist trapped in failed marriage to brute, who, driven beyond breaking pint picks up old typewriter and takes law into own hands.

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Early House Dubliners

"LORD save us I thought he was gone to James's Gate for that pint.

"Cheers."

"Cheers.   I see you're on the Bloody Marys.   D'you think are they any good ?"

"Well you get a bit of vitamin C in them from the tomatoes.    D'you know what I'm going to tell you the town is getting noisier every minute (shudders).    Between the lads flingin' the iron lungs into the cellar outside hopin' them off the pavement with fierce clangs and your other crowd opposite with the pneumatic drills you can't hear yourself think (clutches brow).   Me head is destroyed with it all."

"Mixin' the drinks were you?"

"Aye.   Bit of a hooley at the wife's sisters.   Her eldest, Heatheliff, won a hundred quid on a scratch-card an' we pushed the boat out a bit.   The idea was she'd put away a few quid for his education, but at the end of the day the drink ran out at ten so we went down the local for the late extension.    Still, it taught the young fella somethin' about the value of money."

"They always say the thing is to mix the grain with the grape and not the other way round.   Then you were right.' "I wonder is there anything gets rid of a hangover?    All the years I'm goin' 1 must've tried the lot.   Bloody Marys, shavin', drinkin' pints of water before you hit the scratcher, long walks and nothin' ever worked only the hair of the madra."

"My uncle Scan used rill a plastic basin with mayonnaise, mustard, and brown sauce and massage It into his scalp and he never had a hangover all the years 1 know him."

"And that used cure him did it?"

'Not at all man.   He thought it'd make his hair' grow."

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Dublin Men of Letters

"Hello.    You don't mind if I sit here.    Only I seen you scribblin' away in the aul notebook an' I says to meself, "I bet your man over there is a writer".    I do a bit of writin' meself.    Poems, plays, short stories an' that.    Nothin' actually published as such.    But of course there's not much money in it unless you were to write a best seller.    No money in poetry an' as the man said no poetry in money either.    Ha ha!"

"No, where the big bucks is these days is in writin' for the screen.    Was a time you couldn't go into (Nesbitt's bar) without fallin' over crowds of them with their pockets stuffed full of poems.    But nowadays anyone that puts pen to paper is writin' what they call treatments.    I done wan meself a few years back.    I was actin' the part of one of the crowd in Michael Collins an' when I seen me chance.    I seized me opportunity an' shown it to Jordan.    Well he said he'd read it when he had time but of course I never heard back.    Same story the time I sent it to Spielberg an' Lucas.    Not a dickey bird."

"It's not what you know in Hollywood.    It's who you know.    An' the theatre.    That's another closed shop.    The time I sent me play down the Gate what d'you think I heard?   Nothin'.    And RTE?    Lord save us don't talk to me about that crowd.    Anyhow now I have you here I suppose you'd know editors and publishers an, so on being as you're in the game.    Well lucky enough I have a bit of a novel I was workin' on in me pocket here.    The writin's a bit hard to read (produces large wedge of greasy manuscript) so I'll read it out to you."    (Business of clearing throat, adjusting spectacles etc.).

"The lonely cry of a seagull rang out above the damp gray water of the Liffey.    (And so on until madness sets in).    Some men would ban Vanessa Feltz (above), while many women would outlaw silicone implants (right) and swim trunks (left)"


Dublin Taxi Driver (courtesy of P45.net)

Ah, the life on the open road! Driving in bus lanes! Blocking any street with impunity! And what other ancient and noble profession lets you give a state of the nation address to a captive audience for half an hour while stuck at Terenure crossroads - and get paid for it?

Famous taxi rides in Irish history include the 1916 Easter Rising ("Listen, the bridge is blocked, but I'll go around Boland's Bakery...").

You might think that being a taxi driver in today's Dublin is a doddle - just get a vehicle and a taxi plate from one of your fellow drivers for 80,000 quid (or buy one of those new licences for far less from the Corpo). But it's not as easy as it looks, with loads of pitfalls and potholes to avoid.

Are you up to it? To find out, simply take the following six-question multiple choice test.

1: CHAT: The main topic of conversation with your passenger should be...
(a) How it's so hard to make a few bob nowadyas, what with your plate costing so much but mind you you'd never sell it either.
(b) "Sorry, me missus is on the mobile she's asking about what I want for me tea."
(c) Bobby Molloy, Charlie Haughey, travellers, gay people, hackney drivers and asylum-seekers, and what you'd do with them once you are in charge of the country.
(d) Nothing - the passenger might actually want a bit of peace and quiet.

2: EXTRA INCOME: A "Cosy" is...
(a) Them hackneys. They have it so easy.
(b) Operating your taxi in two shifts, and charging another driver "a modest sum" for the privilege.
(c) Ditto, but charging a fellow driver "an arm and a leg".
(d) Ditto, but charge two other drivers "an arm and a leg".
(e) Something to keep a teapot warm?

3: MUSIC: Your car's main "in-flight entertainment" is...
(a) A Wolf Tones tape.
(b) That Country 'n' Irish show on CKR FM.
(c) The Chris Barry phone-in.
(d) That other fella on the other station because you hate that Chris Barry.
(e) Nothing. Silence is golden.

4: THE KNOWLEDGE: Always avoid the following...
(a) Maps of Dublin
(b) Wheelchairs
(c) PDs
(d) Places that you don't want to got to (simply tell the person in the rank: "Which way are you going? Nah, that's no good, I'm off home to my tea")
(e) Tax

5: WHEN TO OPERATE:
(a) The "vampire" shift - any time except daylight (because the traffic is only wogeous).
(b) The "quiet life" shift - Mondays to Wednesdays, but only if there's Nothing Big On At The Point Tonight or the Junior Cert brats aren't out on the town and do you see what them young ones wear nowadays it's a disgrace.
(c) The "tourist" shift - do just the airport run, and charge our friends from overseas treble the normal rate.
(d) The "couch potato" shift" - times when "There's rubbish on the telly, apart from RTE which has gone to the dogs anyway and that Clare McKeon used to be great, and the Champions League is rubbish on TV3 and that Big Brother was all a fake you know and I don't know what young people see in that Podge and Rodge they are disgusting and it's supposed to be a kids' programme? A bloody disgrace if you ask me."
(e) Peak times, when significant numbers of people may actually require a taxi.

6: PERFUME: Your vehicle should be delicately scented with...
(a) The lingering essence of Major, Senior Service and Carrolls No. 1.
(b) As (a) above, plus the sweet aroma of your armpits (a vintage classic).
(c) Ditto, plus the whiff of three or four pints you had with the lads before starting.
(d) All of above, with badly botched attempt to mask them with Febreeze.
(e) The uncanny feeling that you're actually in the Body Shop.

If your answers were mainly a's, b's, c's or d's, you've passed the test, and are well on the way to becoming a Dublin taxi driver. But if you have two or more e's, you need to gen up on your knowledge and take the test again.


Dublin Scangers

Name must end with an o at the end. (Example Anto, Rayo,Pado, Micko and with and ie sound for the girls - Nahalie, Tracey.  Name written on at least ten lamposts around your house. i.e. Anto=a queer or Natalie=is a man.  Be mates with a Doyler, Rayo, Whacker, Git or Mousey.  Girls are all called Natalie, Jasinteh, Janet, Imeldeh, Maggie, Sharon or Tracey.  Not that some of these aren't nice names but when said with an accent from the 'Mun you could cut bread with, then they take on another significance.  Left school before 16.

Chain hanging out over jumper.  Faded blue levi's rammed up the arse must be worn sometimes accompanied by the raggedy yellow or orange Asics tracksuit top..  Always carry a packet of Rizla.  Diamond jumpers and Scanda Jacket essential part of wardrobe. These compliments the tracksuits down to a tee.  Enormous sovereign rings worn on every finger. For the girls large and studded hoopy earrings are your only man.   Constantly have scowl on your face.  Copy of the Sun in back pocket at all times.  Rotweiller essential to keep up the hardman image and tell people who even look crossways at it that you'll "bate de fuchkin bollix off them, you English pox" even if they're from Cabinteely.  Shrill whistle at everyone and walk with arms swinging and exaggerated limp. Common greetings called out to friends include "Stary?" or "Ahh rihe Shaymo?"  Spit on pavement at least every three seconds. Celtic jersey with own name on the back.  "Buuurdd" must be at least "preggers" or have a "little fucker".  Pram and small child essential for the young up and coming knackerette.

Lots of experience in sitting down back of bus and terrorising people as well as graffitti on seats. Standing at the door of the Dart and wishing your wares upon 'every bitta skert' that comes near you has also been known to be popular.  Know the Macari's Takeaway menu off by heart.

Posters of Tupac to be placed on bedroom wall. For girls David Beckham or Ronan Keating will suffice.  House called something imaginative like "Celticsville".  Portrait of Arse embedded into at least one corner wall.   All your relatives live on the same street.   Pretend to follow League of Ireland football but only go for the fights.  Time spent from June to October is collecting for bon-fire.  Moped essential as is driving around with the helmet on top of the head.

Nearest thing to nature you have been is swimming and fishing in Canal or swearing at culchies when they come up "from the fuckhin country".   Summer holidays are always in Courtown and you think its the best ting since sliced bread.

City center consists of Henry and O Connell streets - the odd venture to Donnybrook kiddies disco for the "oul soft roide" is necessary at least once a month. Get extra points for shagging your mates motts and your cousins at these events.

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