Limerick Dog discusses plans to change the state pension scheme.

“Dad!”

“What Odin?”

“Dad, what’s a pension?”

“Well Odes, it’s a scheme where into which you put money when you’re working and sort of get it back when you retire. Like the Government take a percentage of your wages and give it back when you get old and decrepit.”

“Decrepit and old? Jaysus Dad you must be worth a fortune so”

“Feckoff Odes that’s nasty. Anyway why do you ask?”

“Well I was just reading in the Indo that some lads in the Pensions Authority are proposing that the State Pension be phased out and replaced with a scheme run by private companies; what do you think of that?”

“Well I suppose it would work Odes, if the money was invested wisely by the banks and pension companies. And of course with proper state regulators watching over the whole gig.”

“You mean the same banks, insurance companies that we’ve all come to love and trust over the past few years and the same regulators that did such a good job the last time…Jaysus Dad for fecksake who are you kidding?”

“Yeah Odes you might have a point there fair-enough.”

“Jaysus Dad, some people just never learn do they, anyway what plans do you have for my retirement?”

“ ‘Tis all stored under the mattress Odes.”

“Fecking safest place for it Dad, fear cliste duit féin!”

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Limerick Dog; Doesn’t time just fly?

drunk“Dad, aren’t all Spanish men dick-heads?”

“ODIN!! You can’t say something like that and you definitely can’t write it in your blog.”

“Why not if it’s true? I mean look at those lads all day yesterday and last night setting off fire crackers in the street every few minutes, just to hear them bang. Scared the shite out of me it did.”

“Well for one reason it’s not true, and for another reason that’s just a tradition out here in Spain to celebrate the New Year. It’s the same with the way they eat twelve grapes as the bells chime in the New Year.

Anyway Odes, I thought I taught you that any form of racial discrimination is wrong. To defame a singular person or group on the grounds of religion, sexual orientation, colour or race is abhorrent, you should know that. Different cultures have very different traditions and ways of celebrating. It’s evil to discriminate against others just because they fall into a particular classification or designation that men use to label other men.

It’s like saying that all Irishmen are lazy good for nothing drunks, isn’t it?

“Ah fair enough Dad, so did you go out last night and eat your twelve grapes in the village square as the bells chimed midnight?”

Nah Odes, I couldn’t be arsed. I got a few bottles of the local red and downed twelve glasses, one glass downed per chime. Getting up off the couch seemed too much of a bother; anyway I was a bit pissed after being in the pub all day celebrating. Jaysus, me fecking head — never again. Now pass over the bottle opener, like a good dog and may I wish you all the best for 2017.”

“2017 Dad? Sur ’tis 2018 now.”

“2018! Are you sure Odes, well boll**ks that; Jaysus doesn’t time just fecking fly when you’re having fun?”

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Limerick Dog, Three Wise Men and Young Munster RFC. plus a bit of Spanish tradition.

young-munster-rfc-rugby-jersey-replica-bus-eireann-nwt-18e90209e7c08ded0e6b66161e7d4fcbYoung Munster Jersey“Yo Dad! Mere I want ya.”

“Yeah Odes, wads up?”

“C’mere ’til I askes you a question.”

“What question Odin and why are you typing this in a Limerick accent?”

” Cos I wanta retain my cultural heritage Dad; like as you knows I was raised at the back of the monument, fed on packet and tripe, drank me first pint in South’s, walked to school barefoot with Dickey Harris, Terry Wogan and Paddy Sarsfield and played on the winning Munster team when we beat the shite out of the All Blacks. So as you can see me Limerick roots is important to me.”

“Well ah-boy the kid, Odes, but tell me a question; why the sudden interest in heritage and culture. I means can’t you get on with playing with the toy’s that Santa brung you yesterday?”

“Yeah Dad I’m very grateful for the toys that Santa brung me, except for the Young Munster jersey — Jaysus I wouldn’t be seen dead in that.”

“Santa didn’t brung you dat Odes, da wuz from Frank Corr; he knitted it himself like.”

“Yeah I shouda known — every sham knows Santa is a Garryowen man. Anyways I figures that now that we’re living in Spain we should integrate more Limerick traditions into Andalusia, and adopt some of theirs.”

“Like what ya mean Odes, the old bush-drinking in Poorman’s, followed by a punch up outside KFC, and then throwing-up in the fountain at the Crescent, then spending the night locked up in Henry Street?”

“Well yeah Dad, but I wuz more thinking along the lines of the Dia De Los Reyes, you knows the auld Three Kings Celebration of the Feast of the Epipthingy, on the night before the sixth of January when all the Spanish young-fellas and young-wans leave their shoes outside the door and get gifts again. And considering I’ve got four feet plus your three, we’d be on to a good thing fairanuf.”

“Jaysus Odes, dat’s a grand idea; go for it Head.”

“I will Dad, but I’m telling you now if I gets another bloody Young Munster jersey I’ll stick the head on them and fecking bust the three of them, wise fecking shams or not  …. I’m telling you Dad, no word of a lie….”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not exactly Christmas reading. But….

pain 2I met a girl once, she was nineteen. A beautiful girl, she was smart and articulate. From an affluent and united family; to the observer she had everything going for her. She rolled up her sleeve to show me the scars on her arms. The scars were not of a teenage accident, but scars that she carried since the age of twelve, the age when she first began to cut herself.
She told me that the pain she endured and suffered as she ripped her flesh with a blade, she told me that, for her, this self-inflicted pain was easier to endure than the pain that visited her mind all too frequently; a pain that she couldn’t control or regulate.
She told me of the times when she became immune to the relief that this self-inflicted pain brought her and of the times when the mental pain won out. She told me of the attempts she made to end the pain, the times when she simply couldn’t bear anymore.
This girl never sought attention, she hid her scars, and she told no one; her life ending attempts thankfully were unsuccessful. Her third attempt, more violent than the previous two was interrupted; she was fourteen when she first received medical intervention and counselling. Years of medication and therapy followed the scars on her wrist serve as a reminder of the dark-times she endured alone.
When I meet her she seemed recovered, she seemed happy; she still wore tight elastic bands on her wrists. Bands she could snap to cause discomfort when she wished, perhaps not fully recovered but on the way. That was some years ago, I meet her only once; this Christmas I hope she’s ok.
The Samaritans in Ireland can be reached on 116123.
Childline can be reached on 1800 666666.

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Limerick Dog is Santa’s little helper.

Santa's helper“Dad! Dad. There are only nine more sleeps to Christmas morning, I can’t wait; I hope Santa got my letter telling him we’d move to Spain and giving him our new address. What’d you think?”
“I’m fairly sure he did Odin, especially since you photocopied it and sent it three times, plus the e-mails and Facebook messages, plus the howling up at the moon to let him know where you were. I’d say he has a fair idea at this stage where to find you.
Anyway, today’s the twenty-second, that means only three more sleeps.”
“Well, not if you count siestas Dad or you passing out on the couch after coming home from the pub before you finally make your way upstairs.”
“Ok, Odes point taken, here pass us over the corkscrew; I have a nice little red I want to let breath.”
“Dad, how will Santa get in the house, I mean we’ve no chimney here, have we?”
“Don’t worry Odes, Santa has that all figured out; he uses transumafication to gain entry into houses that don’t have chimneys. As a matter of fact, he prefers them to having to park the auld sleight thingy on the roof and climbing down the chimney, It’s easier on his back.”
“Ah, that’s grand so I just wondered. By the way, what’s transuma… what ever you called it?”
“Well, Odes simply put it means that Santa can walk through walls, he just walks up to them and flash-bang he’s on the other side.”
“Jaysus Dad that’s handy, is that what you were trying the other night when you were staggering home from the pub – remember, when you kept bouncing off the walls?”
“No Odes that’s part of my daily work-out, that and falling down then getting back up again, I’m trying to keep the auld body in shape. It takes discipline and an iron-will, so it does.”
“Yeah and a skull as thick as a concrete block…”

 

 

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Limerick Dog takes 1st Ryanair flight to USA and gets busted.

bandana 2“Odin! Where the fek have you been? I mean you come waltzing in here after three weeks without a word. You can’t treat this place like a hotel you know.”

“I know Dad, sorry I was going to phone but I ran out of credit. Anyway, stick on the kettle and make an auld pot of tea and I’ll tell you all about me travels.”

“Fair enough so, pull up to the fire and off you go. Oh yeah, will you eat a scone — I’ve just baked?”

“Jaysus I’d love a scone, I haven’t had one in ages; they don’t do them in the States.”

“The States, Jaysus don’t tell me you went all the way to America and back, all on your own.”

“I did to be sure Dad, but I wasn’t all on my own; Bobbie, me new German Shepherd girl-friend was with me, we flew Ryanair.”

“But Ryanair don’t fly to America Odes, and anyway if they did they’d probably land in fecking Canada or Mexico just to save a few bob, and let you get a fecking bus the rest of the shagging way.”

“Well actually, we booked a flight to Manchester, but just after we took off we visited the cockpit and asked the pilot to divert to Louisiana, ’tis funny how the sight of two German Shepherds with teeth barred in a tiny cockpit will influence a flight plan.”

“‘Tis true for you Odes; I bet O’Leary never envisaged that scenario, serves him right, the gobshite. Anyway get on with your story.”

“Jaysus Dad hold on to your whist there, pour us another cup of tea like a good man, I’m getting to the good part.”

“I will to be sure Odes, will you eat another scone?”

“That’d be grand Dad but easy on the strawberry jam, I think it’s a bit off. Anyway, there we was, meself and Bobbie, stuck just outside Batton Rouge, with not a fecking tosser between us.”

“Jaysus Odes, not a bob between you, did you not have your credit card?”

“No Dad, you see I had a hole in the pocket of me faded blue jeans and the fecking thing must have fallen out.”

“So what did you do then Odes?”

I did fecking nothing, Dad, to be honest I was felling fairly faded at this stage, so I left the rest of the travel arrangements up to Bobbie; she’s a great-wan for sorting things out.”

“Good decision Odes. What’d she do so?”

“Well she thumbed down an auld diesel truck that was passing and the driver took us all the way to New Orleans.”

“That was handy Odes, but where is Bobbie now?”

“I haven’t a clue Dad and to be honest I couldn’t care less.”

“Why Odes, what happened?”

“Well, to be honest Dad, by the time we got near to Salinas, I was getting fairly pissed-off with the two them singing every fecking song that the bloody driver knew, and that fecking harmonica playing constantly was doing my shagging head in, that and those fecking windshield wipers slapping off the fecking window, so I decided to do my Ryanair trick again and feck off back here. So now the driver is stuck with her and her constant search for a home she’ll never find. Good enough for him and Bobbie McGee, the two-timing bitch.”

“Ah fair-enough so Odes, you done right. Will you drink another cup of tea?”

“Sur you know I will Dad. Don’t you know I’d trade all my tomorrows for another cup of tea?”

“Ok so Odes, I’ll heat up the kettle again. Oh by the way that dirty grey bandana suits you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grieving at Christmas.

grievingChristmas is a time of celebration, of joy, of giving and receiving. A time to celebrate the birth of Christ, or even if you don’t wish to celebrate His birth, or partake in what has truly become a far too commercial extravagance loaded with excess; it is a time to reflect on a year gone by.

By reflection, we celebrate those with whom we have shared the past year and poignantly we celebrate those who have left us. It can be difficult and heart-rending for us to allow memories of loved ones and family now gone, to return to our thoughts during this festive season. These memories can bring us pain; a pain which is more focused and harder to bear at a time when our senses are surrounded by images and sounds of laughter and merriment. But bear these feelings we must, for we are not always given the strength to control the thoughts and emotions which permeate our consciousness. We need to accept these memories and accept this pain. It is all we can do. Yes, we can dilute and lessen the pain by overindulgence, and most of us will do this. But there is an alternative method, the method of acceptance.  We need to accept the pain, the hurt and the sadness. We need to accept that a sense of loss is magnified at Christmas and we need to accept that this magnification of emotions may not necessarily be a bad thing. Accept the facts that if you need to cry, cry, if you feel the need to grieve, grieve, if you need to talk, talk. Most importantly, look after yourself, that after all is what lost loved ones would wish for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Limerick Dog and the Fairytale of Benamargosa

fairytale-of-new-york-jumper-sweatshirt-3290-p[ekm]1000x1000[ekm]

“Dad, why are you crying?”

“It’s nothing Odes, don’t worry.”

“Ah, c’mon Dad, you can tell me. Here I’ve made you a cup of tea, just the way you like it.”

“Just the way I like it?”

“Yes, Dad, half a mug of Brandy, two tea bags, four spoons of sugar, boiled water and the tiniest drop of low-fat milk cos I know you’re conscious of your health. Now c’mon tell me what’s making you sad.”

“Ah sur, aren’t you the best dog a father could wish for Odes. Come up here a sit on my lap and I’ll tell you what has me heartbroken. But mind, don’t spill me tea.

I suppose it’s the auld Christmas thing Odes. It’s been two long winters now since we left the Emerald Isle to seek fame and fortune on the Iberian Peninsula and as you know all we found was infamy and a fair dose of poverty. That in its self is grand Odes, but the other day when I was in the supermercado place, they started playing Fairytale of New York, and to be honest, when I heard Shane beating out the words it made me think of the auld-sod and Christmas in Ireland.”

“Ah sur be God and begora Dad, is it the singing of the Christmas carols, the Wren boys and the goodwill to all men things that you miss?”

Jaysus no Odes, ’tis the drunken fights, getting arrested and being locked up overnight in a cell with fine looking blonds while the boys of the NYPD choir are singing Galway Bay…that’s what I miss the most. That and Sharon Ní Bheoláin and the way that she might look at you.”

“Ah, Jaysus Dad ’tis a tough life to be sure, to be sure.”

 

 

 

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Limerick Dog seeks advice on girlfriend.

puppy love 2

“Hey Dad, I’ve a bit of a problem.”
“Ah Odes, that’s terrible, but basically I couldn’t care less.”
“Ah Dad, c’mon I need some fatherly advice.”
“Jaysus, alright, what’s your problem this time?”
“Well you know I’ve got a girlfriend, well there are a few things that worry me about her.”
“Yes Odes, I know you’ve got a girlfriend, you’ve told me about a dozen times since last week. And in fairness I’ve noticed the increased levels of hygiene. By the way German Shepherds shouldn’t really wear aftershave and deodorant. Especially my aftershave and deodorant. Anyway tell your old Dad all about it.”
Well Dad she’s a German Shepherd as well. Which is grand, but she’s real classy.”
“What ya mean classy Odes?”
“Well she talks in a sultry voice, like a German film star, a fecking brilliant  dancer and she lives in a real classy apartment in Paris. And she’s really into the Rolling Stones, she has all their records. Like all her friends are real rich dudes with cool names like Sasha.”
“Yeah so what’s the problem with all that Odes, as long as you like her, no big deal.”
“Well it’s just that I don’t know if I can trust her, I mean she’s a bit of a thief; she stole a painting from a Spanish artist fella, but in fairness her loveliness goes on and on, yes it does. And another thing she has this great big fecking racehorse that she got of an Arab lad for Christmas and she keeps that in the fecking apartment as well. I mean Jaysus, the whole fecking place is covered in horse shite.
And talk about drinking, Jaysus she knocks back Napoleon brandy like it was going out of fashion.”
“Well all that seems fairly normal Odes, I can’t really see the problem.”
“Well it’s just with all her jetting off skiing to St. Moritz, I’m not really getting to know her, I can’t see the thoughts that surround her and I can’t really see inside her head. I think I’ll just tell her to feck off and forget me for ever, for I know she’ll still bears the scar. Then she can stay alone in her bed all bloody day if she wants.”
“Odes have you been smoking the auld Ganja again?”
“You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there`s diamonds and pearls in your hair
You live in a fancy apartment
Of the Boulevard of St. Michel.”

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Limerick Dog a bit worried and confused about Santa.

santa dogs“Dad, wake-up I’m worried.”

“Odin! for fecksake it’s four in the fecking morning. Go back to sleep.”

“I can’t. I’m worried and confooosed.”

“What has you ‘confooosed’ Odes?”

“Well I was hanging out with the other dogs — you know the Spanish dogs — here in Benamargosa this afternoon and some of them said that Santa doesn’t existicate; and that ’twas the mammies and daddies who really bought the pressies.”

“Are you sure you understood correctly Odes? I mean let’s face it your Spanish isn’t perfecto. Is it?”

“No seriously Dad, that’s what he said. Be honest does Santa really exist? C’mon give me a straight answer.”

“Ok Odes, I suppose you’re old enough now to hear the truth.

You see Odin your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Odin, whether they be men’s or children’s or dogs are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Odin, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Odins. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get me to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men or even doggies can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Odin, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Odin, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of children and doggies.”

“Ah, fair-enough so Dad.”

 

Shamelessly plagiarised from the work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church. Printed in its original in the New York Sun Sept 21st 1897.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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