Friday, February 8, 2019

Absent Fathers

Image result for kill your speed, not my dad

So reads the sign on the M7 Upgrade Project...
But when was the last time you saw anybody working on this godforsaken stretch of tarmacadamed misery?  The only chance you have of killing one of these "dads" is if you track him down to his local pub and smack him over the head with a shovel.

Apparently, they're going to reopen the road "ahead of schedule" in April.  Just imagine how soon it would have opened if they had actually done a stroke of work on it.  There's no apparent overtime on Saturdays, Sundays/holy days/bank holidays/rainy days/windy days or indeed days with the word 'day' in them.  Now, with Lent coming up, we might be looking at forty days of labour abstinence.

In Ireland, when they tell you they're working around the clock, they're usually talking about the minute hand.

Saturday, January 12, 2019


SO, What sort of calendar are you looking for?  will it be 'SUFFRAGETTES - celebrating 100 years of votes for women,' or would you prefer 'Derrieres 2019?'

Ready for a moment of reflection, followed by a cheeseburger?  Then you've come to the right place...

Take in the Famine Memorial Garden and then waddle over to Eddie Rocket's where the neon EAT sign flashes in the window. 

Saturday, June 2, 2018


I was doing some work on a short story when it happened.  The trapdoor in the Internet opened up and I fell right in.

The short story is called The Wonder Wheel and it’s about a man, released from the Ward Island Psychiatric Unit, on his way to the funfair on Coney Island.  Now, the story was originally called Coney Island Baby, but along the way, it became The Wonder Wheel, which is an attraction at Coney Island.

Next thing happens, that Lou Reed Song starts playing in your head, especially the lines…
"I'd like to send this one out to Lou and RachelAnd all the kids at P.S. one-ninety-two
Man, I'd swear, I'd give the whole thing up for you." 

And you start wondering about Lou Reed’s one-time trans lover, Rachel.  Whatever happened to her?  She’d be in her seventies if she was still alive. 

Gotta go down through the trapdoor to check it out.  Down into the New York demimonde of the 1970s and 80s.   Rachel Humphreys, birth name Richard Humphreys.  Club 82 in the East Village.  That great anecdote about Lou Reed’s night at Narcotics Anonymous when a very upset gentleman yelled at him, “How dare you be here.  You’re the reason I got into heroin.”

Did Rachel get into hard drugs too?  Some people said yes and some people said no. In 1983 or ’84, her life with Lou was past history and she was living in a dive on First Ave, between 5th and 6th Streets.

The trapdoor leads to a bunch of dead ends featuring David Bowie,  Lester Bangs and the Meat Packing District.  And then a secret passageway opens up and you’re out on Hart Island, where New York’s poor and dispossessed got buried.

There’s a record for a Richard Humphreys who died in 1990, St. Clare’s Hospital in Hell’s Kitchen, possibly from AIDS, aged 37 --the right age--.  Buried unclaimed.  It may not be the end of the story, but it is for me.  I re-emerge in my office.  Coney Island Baby no longer plays in a mental loop.  Now it’s Lou reed's Dirty Boulevard.  But I’ve got work to do and I can’t go chasing after this one.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

What happened to us?

Well, this really isn't 'Us'  -  it's the people who came after us.  Or maybe it's the people who came after them.  

You invite your mates around for a drink on a Friday night and you say, "oh yeah, and don't forget to tell Orla to bring the cello.  

The fucking CELLO!!  And she brings it and of course, if you've dragged that thing across town, you're gonna do more than play the intro to Eleanor Rigby.

You get that big fiddle on the number 7 bus and haul it all the way from Mountjoy Square to Ballsbridge -  You're doing Bach.  Two hours.  Solid.  

Of course, there is a possibility that this gal is not really a cellist (I'm basing this on the fact that the endpin is adjusted too long and her posture is a bit on the slouchy side).  

Maybe one of the fifteen people you don't see in the shot  just handed her the kit and said, "okay, let's see if this works."

Maybe they already tried a clarinet, a trombone and a Lambeg drum with King Billy painted on the side.  

Twenty-five years ago, I owned a penthouse in Dublin 4 and I never had a musical evening that looked like this.  It was all bottles of Cuban rum and the Clash on the stereo.  Straight to hell, boys.  Straight to hell.

"An antique mirror splashback, offset by the Pietra marble worktop and Macassar ebony cabinet doors of this dark palette choice, sets the tone in the luxuriously appointed, custom-built kitchens where it is the small but telling details such as dove-tailed drawers that make all the difference."

Jesus Christ, I remember when a splashback was something you got when you stood too close to the urinal and, if I may put on my carpenter's hat for a moment,  a dovetail (no hyphen required) joint is not that big a deal.