The ultimate bottom feeder

Does anyone remember Mary "Mad Cow" Harney?


She's the lump of lard that single-handedly managed to destroy our health services.  Her brilliant idea of efficiency was to close hospitals left right and centre, concentrating on the few remaining and turning them into her so called "centres of excellence".  The concept was that all the relevant experts were housed in one hospital.  The practical result was that if you suffered from some ailment, you had to travel to the far end of the country to get treatment.  It was an unmitigated fucking disaster.

If she had been working for a private company she would have been sacked in the first week for sheer incompetence.

The best thing she ever did for the health service was to be unceremoniously fucked out of office at the last election.

Apparently she is still around.

Here is a list of her current jobs –

  • European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations [board member]
  • AMBER [chairwoman]
  • Diona [board member?]
  • Euro Insurances [director]
  • Ward Biotech [director]
  • Ward Research & Development [director]
  • 60 Minute Innovation [board member]
  • Hospice Foundation of Ireland [director]
  • Vital Voices [board member]
  • Biocon [board member]

While most of would be contented with one job, this trough feeder has to have at least ten.

I would assume she is being paid handsomely for her services?

So why am I paying taxes to fund her state pension of over €120,000 every year?

Mind over matter

After my little saga with the mower and the lawn on Wednesday, I decided to take things easy for a day or so.

I found myself down in the village on Thursday.  It was a beautiful day [for a change] so I decided to sit in the sunshine for a while outside the coffee shop. 

So there I was, feeling very continental with a grand mug of coffee, a good head of steam built up on the pipe and the sun beaming down determined to split rocks.  I was at peace with the world.

Then along came a cyclist.

I honestly don't know what it is about me and cyclists.  It's much the same as cats and dogs.  Why do dogs tolerate just about any animal they come across but will spit hell fire and fury when they see a cat?  I'm the same with cyclists.  It's completely irrational but when one of them arrives with the bunch of black bananas on his head, the Lycra outfit with bulges in all sorts of disgusting places and shoes that clack and wobble, I see red.  I think it's the aura they try to give off – the smug "look what I'm doing for the environment" bit; the "I'm wonderfully fit and you're not" implication.  Whatever it is, I really fucking hate them.

So this cyclist parks his machine on the pavement where everyone will trip over it [another strange characteristic of cyclists] and he clacks his way into the coffee shop.  A moment later he returns with a bicycle pump and sets to work on his machine.  He crouched there pumping away like mad, again forcing pedestrians out onto the road to pass him.

I sat and mused.  I had used a foot pump on the tractor tyre and it took a fair bit of effort, but Jayzus this cyclist was pumping far harder that I had.  He was pouring sweat as he pumped and pumped.

The thought crossed my mind that it would serve the fucker right if his tyre burst.  I have witnessed tyres bursting in the past and they can be quite spectacular.  I chided myself for having such uncharitable thoughts but then decided to indulge in my fantasy, simply because he was a cyclist, and because the sight of him was annoying me.  So I sat and pondered upon the effects of a bicycle tyre exploding.

There was a loud bang.

It was roughly equivalent to a twelve bore going off beside me,

The cyclist was now sitting in the gutter with a look of utter surprise, and a few bits of rubber on his face.

I almost felt sorry for him.


I was also feeling rather pleased with myself.

I had proved that psychokineses works.

But I wasn't going to tell him that.

A simple mistake

I am not a doctor.

Nor am I probably the best person to call upon if you need open heart surgery.

However I do know the basic rudiments of biology.

In fact I do know enough to be more than a little surprised when I read the following startling headline –

One glass of wine can stop foetus breathing, study claims

You see, I do know for a fact that a foetus doesn't breathe.  And if it doesn't breathe, then how does anyone or anything stop it breathing?

A foetus is completely immersed in amniotic fluid, and if it was relying on breathing for its oxygen it would instantly drown.  It gets its oxygen from the mother's breathing which provides her blood with oxygen which is then transferred to the foetus via the umbilical cord.  If mummy stops breathing then foetus is fucked, but unless the umbilical cord detaches then foetus is fine.

Granted a foetus goes through the motions of breathing, twitching the diaphragm, just as it twitches all the other muscles.  That's just a reflex action and a touch of exercise in practice for the final plunge into the Great Outside.  If a foetus stops twitching for a while then it's probably resting.  Nothing wrong with that.

But the good professor doesn't seem to know all that.  He seems to think that if a foetus stops exercising its diaphragm it will die, or that is what he is implying.

Maybe what he has discovered is that a glass of wine relaxes mummy, and that in turn this relaxes baby? 

That sounds like a good thing?

Maybe he meant to say

One glass of wine can relax foetus, study claims

Yes.  That must be it.

We all make mistakes.

Making the cut

Fine weather finally arrived at the start of the week.

Fine weather means I have to cut the grass as I usually use the excuse that it's too cold or too wet.  As it was neither of these I had to rely on my emergency fallback excuse – too busy.

Now excuses are all very well.  They get me out of cutting the grass but the grass has a nasty habit of not playing ball and the fucking stuff just gets longer.  And longer.  And longer.

I finally ran out of excuses and went to do some mowing on Monday.

The rear nearside tyre was flat.

This happens every year.  I remove the mower from under heaps of Winter rubbish and expose the fact that it's sitting at a drunken angle on a flat tyre.  It's always the same one.  The other tyres behave themselves and will go for years but not that rear nearside bugger.

There is a ritual involved here.  I start off by practicing my entire blue vocabulary, which takes about half an hour.  I then have to jack up the mower and remove the wheel.  I then bring said wheel down to Spanner's gaff where phase two starts.

It's a tubeless wheel which means that the pressure in the tyre forces the tyre out to make an airtight seal.  But if there's no air, then there is no seal and therefore I can't put air in as it escapes out the gap.  Fuck! 

Normally this next phase involves a whole lot of blood, sweat and language as I juggle the fucking thing while squirting air at it.  I try a tourniquet of rope to distort the tyre against the rim and this involves even more cursing and swearing.  It's not a pretty sight.

On Monday, I connected the air hose and miracles of miracles the fucking thing inflated first time.  I couldn't believe it, but there was the guage telling me the tyre was fully inflated.  Joy!

I went home, jacked the wheel back on and decided I had shed enough sweat for one day and made a mug of tea.

Tuesday dawned and I went to mow the lawn. 

The fucking wheel was flat again.

There is this thing they have in films where a bloke goes around smashing everything in sight in a fit of rage.  Normally this seems kind of daft because he'd only have to tidy after and replace all the smashed up stuff, but on Tuesday I understood.  I am a patient bloke but I had passed my limit of patience so far back that it had vanished over the horizon.

I decided on a different tack and phoned around to see if I could buy an inner tube.  I found a place who said they would have one the following day.

Wednesday dawned.  I drove over and collected the tube.  At last – a permanent solution to an annual problem.  I was delighted with myself.

Have you ever tried fitting an inner tube in a tractor wheel?  The last time I fitted a tube was about fifty five years ago and that was on a pushbike.  Tractor wheels, I discovered are a little different.  It is a job that requires strength [of which I still have a little], ingenuity, patience [which I had long run out of] and time.  I fought with the fucking thing for about two hours but eventually I won.  I stood back in wonderment and admired my mower now sitting squarely on four inflated wheels.  I decided to cut the grass.

The battery was flat.

I eventually got it started and attacked the lawn.

I didn't realise the grass was so long.  For the first time in living memory the mower nearly wasn't up to the job.  It kept jamming by stuffing its innards with mulch and I had to keep reversing and raising the blades to clear it out.  I finally finished at around eight last night.

It looks lovely and smells even better.

Anyone know where I can get a donkey?


Fifty shades of drivel

I had a bit of a chuckle yesterday.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Boy (12) acted out scenes with girl in park, psychotherapist tells BBC

I must start by saying I have never even seen the book, let alone read it and I never will.  The same goes for the film.  I have too much respect for my literary standards.

A leading therapist said a 12-year-old client has confessed to acting out scenes from 50 Shades of Grey with a girl in his local park.

Fair enough.  It can't have been too bad if it was in a public park.  Now if it had been in a bondage whorehouse……..

Addiction psychotherapist Steve Pope spoke on BBC Radio Five Live on Tuesday and said in the last 24 hours he had been “amazed” by a discussion with one of his young clients.

He's an Addiction Psychotherapist and is amazed when he diagnoses an addiction?  Something weird going on here.

Talking to presenter Rachel Burden, Dr Pope described the destructive nature of pornography, particularly in regards to children and their exposure to it.

Ah!  So our Dr Pope appears to have a thing about pornography?  I can see where this is heading.

Dr Pope said: “To be blunt, we have had nightmares over the effects of 50 Shades of Grey and what children now think is normal adult sexual behaviour.

Wooaaa there!  We have been having nightmares about Fifty Shades?  The good doctor and his colleagues have been nightmares and not the patient?  I would suggest that Dr Pope have a quiet chat with someone professional.  I can send him the name of a good shrink if he's interested.

“Within the last 24 hours I have worked with a young man, a 12-year-old, who thought that 50 Shades of Grey was a normal part of sexual behaviour with a young girl.”

A young man or a 12 year old?  Make your mind up.  The Nanny State classes anyone under 18 as a child so they won't thank you for that little slip.

Did this kid read the book as an instruction manual?  Or maybe he is just a 12 year old who, like a lot of 12 year olds have a few misconceptions about sex.  Don't worry.  He'll grow out of it.

He later added: “We had a young man and a young girl acting various scenes from 50 Shades of Grey in a local park.

No mention of what the scenes were?  Did they sit side by side on a park bench and talk dirty for a while?  Did he offer to buy her a drink?  Or did they just play Doctors and Nurses as kids have done for generations?

“In my day a bottle of cider in the local park was the great experiment."

You sly little devil, you.  Does your mammy know?

“These days you have things like this happening because porn normalises taboo behaviour.

“What we are moving into is long-term effects of what they think is normal behaviour.

“It is probably one of the fastest growing areas of addiction and threats to our society known to Western culture.”

Stop right there!  You are miles too late in coming to the party.  Anti-smokers, anti-alcohol, anti-fat and a ton of other antis have gotten there before you.  Anti-porn is way down the queue. 

A survey for the counselling service Child Line suggests that one in ten children aged between 10 and 13 are worried they are addicted to porn.

Ah!  A "survey" "suggests" something.  I would put it to the good Dr that kids of that age aren't even aware what addiction is, unless they have been coached?  Childline would never prompt these kids, would they?

Dr Pope said: “The word addiction is a label; it is the compulsion that is the problem. It won’t affect everyone, or every child, but some will come across it who have addictive personalities and through the internet they have access to an instant hit.

Right.  So you do know what addiction is.  A label.  A "compulsion" to seek out porn is as natural as the birds and the bees.  In my day it was Health & Efficiency Magazine, but kids these days are spoiled for choice.  Lucky them.  Little boys are always going to seek out pictures of women's titties or woo-woos.  It's called puberty.

“The taboos get removed more and more and now we have 70 per cent of sex offenders using porn to pump themselves up to commit a crime.

Pump themselves up?  That is either an extremely bad or an extremely good choice of words!  Love it. 

However you have fallen into the old trap beloved of all crusaders.  You are implying that 70% of porn viewers become sex offenders, whereas the truth is that 70% of sex offenders like to look at porn.  Actually I'm surprised.  I would have thought the number would be higher.

“I don’t think we can provide complete protection but parents must be educated.

No.  Children must be educated.  Parents should be advised to put filters on their Interweb connection.

“Jamie Oliver did it with food and now we need to do it with this – take it into schools."

Aside from the fact that Jamie Oliver is just a limelight seeking little cunt, I think that's a great idea.  Issue porn in schools?  That way you can control it.

In response to a question about adults reading 50 Shades of Grey at home, he said: “If you are leaving literature like that around you have to certainly make sure that kids are aware of why you are reading it and what the affect is.

Aw fuck off!  I leave all sorts of interesting stuff lying around for the Grandkids to find.  It's one of the reasons they love calling.

And don't call it literature.  From what I have heard it's not that hectic.

“But 50 Shades of Grey is spoken about everywhere. It is the subject of jokes and conversation. Kids are inquisitive and their work-in-progress brains will go home and research it.”

You really need to change your friends, Doc.  I haven't heard mention of the damn thing in ages.  Nobody talks about it.  Nobody jokes about it.  This is the first time I have even mentioned it as far as I remember.  I really do urge you to go and have a chat with a professional, as you seem to be addicted to the subject of pornography, and you socialise in a very weird circle.

And kids doing research is a great thing.  It should be encouraged.  It is called education.  It broadens the mind.

You should try it sometime.