I met a fella in Cavan once, well I say met but I stopped to ask directions and half an hour later, I was on my way, none the wiser after chatting with a man with an indecipherable accent, say something about a brother in Gortnahoe, and he may have actually given me directions as well. We parted with smiles on our mutual faces, one side of mine red with sunburn from being caught in the one spot for so long on that rarest of Irish things, a very hot summer’s day.
Now I tell you this for illustrative purposes only. If you are not Irish or have never been to Ireland, you have yet to experience the countless opportunities that come your way, to talk utter scutter to some stranger you’ll meet at a bus stop, walking down the street or in a pub. I can’t even go for a stand up wee without some fecker engaging me in conversation.
It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We have an expression here, ‘that fella could talk for Ireland.’ I reckon we’d win the world cup of talking if there was such a thing. Who hasn’t heard of the term Blarney. Imagine we actually have a filthy auld rock, that you have to lean out of the top of a castle backwards to kiss, in order to be granted the gift of the gab. It’s only for tourists though. You wouldn’t want to let an Irish person kiss that thing, Jaybus we’re bad enough.
All of which brings me to the current crises with the cov-whatchamacallit. It’s tough on everyone around the globe, but we Irish seem to be having a particular problem understanding social distancing. It’s anathema to us. All we do is socialise in pubs and clubs and restaurants. We love an auld party and we are obsessed with knowing everyone else’s business, so we’re in and out of each other’s ears constantly.
Well now it has to stop. I’m sick saying it and so is the government and every health spokesperson they’ve wheeled out in the last 2 weeks. It seems that we can’t get it into our heads, that if we meet 5 people this week, we have effectively met 4,000 through the 5 people that each of them have met, and the 5 people that each of them have met and … you get the idea.
Worse still, people seem to think that if you’re related you are somehow safe? It is the opposite, as the closer you are to someone, the less precautions you take. Think about it. If your auldwan and auldfella come to see the grandkids, they will touch everything from cups to doors, door handles, spoons, toilet seats, taps and even if they are careful enough to wash their hands thoroughly, they then dry their hands on the towel you will have used. The virus can go either way and every person they have met and you have met, times every person those people have met times every person they have met.. Oh I won’t go on.
But Fear not, I have a cunning plan to get everyone on board. Apart from talking the hind legs off a donkey, there is one other thing that Irish people are… and that’s stupidly competitive. So lads, here’s the plan. We make it a competition. It’s easy. We look at the Brits, the Germans and the French for example and see how fast their numbers are rising. Then we do everything in our power, to be better than they are. Sure that’ll get everyone social distancing, washing their hands and self-isolating like there’s no tomorrow (pardon the pun). We never want England to beat us at anything, we’ve still not forgiven Thierry henry for that infamous handball, and the Euros and the rugby are suspended, so we need something to be competitive about. Sure there isn’t even any GAA on the telly! While everyone is battling the beast with traditional methods, we’ll do it like pirates, swashbuckling our way to victory through hand hygiene and engaging in effective social distancing with a swagger and an ahoy there matey.
No doubt once the Germans realise what we’re up to, they’ll want to be the best, sure don’t they want to win everything. Then the competition will begin in earnest. It won’t take long until they set up a proper league, that’s the Germans for you, organised to bejaybus, but with any luck, we’ll have had a head start and that’ll be that, we will beat the virus first.
Or…. We could just continue to act the eejit and wait until it’s too late to stop the deluge. In all seriousness, this is before that deluge and we simply don’t have enough umbrellas. It’s time to stand up and be counted. Make our voices heard and stay apart. Tell everyone. Don’t be embarrassed to say ‘feck off’ to the ones you love, it’s for their, and your own good. Stay safe my friends where ever you are and if you fancy a flutter, I have Ireland as 5 to 4 odds on favourites. You can get 3 to 1 on anything Donald Trump touches and due to the last minute about turn by Boris, the British odds have improved to even money. Let’s get through and out the other side of this with as little damage as possible folks. Spread the word. Let the competition to beat this thing begin.
Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
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