Hoping to wet myself

I had a lovely little booklet shoved through my letterbox the other day.

Irish Water Booklet

Now I'm not quite sure as to the purpose of this booklet.  By the cheery title it looks like I am supposed to organise a massive party to celebrate the impending arrival.  That "coming soon" has a breathless air of anticipation about it and strongly implies that I should cancel any further plans in case I miss the wonderful event.  And the use of "Your" is no doubt meant to make me feel all inclusive and cuddly.  My meter?  Wow!

I haven't read the booklet, but did give it a cursory skim-through.  It's the usual guff about how this is going to save gazillions of gallons of water which is a little strange as 99% of the wastage is in the distribution system and I can't see how a little meter outside my gaff is going to solve that [unless of course it is sneakily going to be measuring the primary supply main to Dublin?]. 

I presume they will knock on my door when the Great Day arrives?  They warn me that my water will have to be switched off during the installation and that I might like to switch off my central heating too.

I shall not be waiting with baited breath.  If they come, they come but it's no skin off my nose.  I'll tell them they can do whatever the fuck they like out on the lane as it has nothing to do with me, but will inform them clearly and succinctly that they are not allowed inside my gate.  Any trespass will be dealt with in the appropriate manner which may or may not but most likely will entail the involvement of ambulances or even undertakers.

They can fuck around all they like out on the lane, because the little pot they installed to house the meter is nowhere near my water supply.  I'm fairly sure I know where the supply pipe is but I am damn sure they haven't a clue as they have missed it by a mile.

It will actually be quite interesting when they install their little meter and switch on their water to test it.  All they will do is irrigate a clump of brambles beside my gate, because that's where I stuck the end of their little pipe [exactly two years ago, as it happens].

On second thoughts, I think I will cancel appointments and wait for them to come.

It would be worth it for the laugh.

Counting my misdemeanours

I had an early start today.

Herself had a hospital appointment and it meant a drive up to Dublin in the tail end of the rush hour.

Seeing as I was a mere driver, I had a lot of waiting around to do while Herself flitted from test to test.  With only a blank floor, a blank wall and a blank ceiling to look at [and a fucking hard chair to sit on] my mind started to wander and it strayed into an area that cropped up in yesterday's comments, namely doing my own thing and ignoring rules.  I decided to do a tally by mentally replaying my morning's journey.

We started by driving down to the village.  I'm still not quite sure what the speed limit is on my road [I think it’s 30 mph] but I ignored it as I always do.  Strike 1!

On the way there is a painted chicane in the road – one of those imaginary islands marked out in white paint – which involves veering off the straight line towards a stone wall and back again.  As always I ignored it and drove across the paint.  Strike 2!

Next comes a bendy road with a tight speed limit and white lines down the middle.  Ignored the limit and the white lines as I can see the road is perfectly clear.  Strike 3!

On the motorway I am a fairly law abiding driver.  Not that I am worried about the law but the law and common sense happen to coincide which is a rarity.

Arrived at the hospital, dropped Herself off and went looking for parking.  Found a spot and parked.  Notices all over the place shouting that it's a Pay and Display area which I ignored [I’ll happily pay for parking if they provide security and liability, but this lot don’t].  Strike 4!

Lit up the pipe while strolling back to the buildings.  No smoking area.  Strike 5!

Now here is a challenge for anyone who reads this.

Answer the following.

Why should I restrict my car to an arbitrary speed laid down by someone who has probably never driven on that road when the road is clear and I am driving well within my limits of safe driving?

Why should I have my behavious dictated to by some fucking paint on the road?

Why should I pay to park my car at the side of a road when I get nothing in return [they actually have the fucking nerve to say they take no liability]?

Why shouldn't I light up my pipe while walking in the fresh [actually it was stormy] air?

Any mention of the words "law" or "regulation" disqualifies an answer.  I want reasons, not excuses.

If anyone can tell me why I should "obey" any of the above, I'll consider mending my ways.

Only consider, mind you.


Please delay your emergency for an hour

Just imagine the scenario –

You are sitting quietly enjoying a mug of tea and a cigarette.  You spouse / other half / whatever is pottering around upstairs when there is a yell and a scream.  You investigate and discover they have fallen downstairs, there is a broken leg and blood gushing everywhere from where the broken bone has pierced the skin. 

This is serious.

You phone for an ambulance.

"Sorry but we cannot attend as you have been smoking.  Open all windows and doors, stay off the cigarettes and call us back in an hour."

I am not joking.

Under the new HSE policy rules, the client is also instructed not to smoke for at least an hour before the visit. The same restriction applies to others in the house, who also cannot smoke while the health worker is present.

I had to read that a couple of times as I didn't believe it the first time around.

There are a few points I would like to make here.

First of all, they keep talking about "risk" to their workers.  Lets' do a quick calculation.  I have been "exposed" to smoke in various forms for my entire life.  When I wasn't smoking, others were.  I have been around for about 569,790 hours, so for the sake of argument, I have been "exposed" to smoke for one hundredth of that time [let’s be conservative], which makes about 5,700 hours where I have been breathing either pipe or cigarette smoke. Fair enough?  And the last time I visited my doctor he gave me my usual clean bill of health.  Yet these HSE workers are going so suffer ghastly repercussions from breathing a bit of smoke for a matter of half an hour or so?  Where precisely is the risk?  It is just a piece of smouldering leaf, for God's sake!

I have been paying taxes all my working life.  I am therefore entitle to full and unconditional attention from the health service.  When I paid those taxes, they never mentioned any conditions whereby I might not be covered.  But now they are changing the rules to exclude me because of a perfectly legitimate pastime?  That is not on.

My home is my castle.  I set the rules here, and no one on the face of this planet is going to change that.  If I decide that smoking is perfectly acceptable here then that is the law in this household.  The Nannies would have it otherwise but they know a smoking ban in the home is unenforceable and unacceptable, but they are trying to sneak their foot in the door by threatening to withhold healthcare that I am fully entitled to.

The smoking ban was originally introduced on the pretext that it would "protect" bar workers who would be exposed to cigarette smoke for several hours, seven days a week.  Now suddenly they are worried about a few minutes exposure?  When exactly did smoke become so incredibly lethal?

The Nannies invented this myth of secondhand smoke and the gullible public let them away with it.  Now they are penalising the sick and elderly with their bullying tactics on the back of this myth.

This is a step way too far.

How to lose your shirt

I see Stephanie Roche didn't win a prize last night.

So who the hell is Stephanie Roche and what prize didn't she win you may well ask?

Ms Roche is a footballer, which is fine and dandy if you're into that sort of thing, and apparently she kicked the ball into the net.  Now this is a relatively common occurrence in football games, or so I am led to believe but what made this event so significant?

Well, there is an award called the Puskas Award which apparently is given to the player , male or female, judged to have scored the most aesthetically significant, or "most beautiful", goal of the year.   Aesthetically significant?  Most beautiful?  I'm really confused.  But it seems Ms Roche managed to qualify under either "aesthetically significant", or "most beautiful", or perhaps both.  She is a bit of a looker so maybe that had something to do with it?

The whole thing strikes me as being a bit unfair.  When Ms Roche managed to kick the ball into the goal net there happened to be television cameras there so quite a lot of people saw it.  But what about young Timmy Drennan who was kicking a ball around the field with his mates?  He kicked the ball towards the goal thing and hopelessly missed.  However the ball hit a donkey which had strayed onto the field, ricocheted off the donkey whereupon it hit a dried up cow-pat and bounced back into the net.  No one saw it apart from his mates, but I think it qualifies as "most beautiful"?  And he never got a mention in the awards?

The award is judged by the number of votes that a player gets, which doesn't sound very fair.  Maybe if Ms Roche had followed the time honoured tradition of whipping her shirt off and running around the field she would have stood a better chance?

Anyhows, as I said, Ms Roche didn't win but apparently it's my fault.

Ireland has a population of 4.6 million but she only got 1.1 million votes, so three and a half million of us didn't do our civic duty.

Even worse, and just to make me feel really guilty I am told that our forefathers and foremothers shed blood so that we would have the right to vote.

Bugger me!

I always thought it was about self determination.

Marching against the Politically Correct

That was quite an impressive turnout in France and elsewhere?

I am a little confused though.  Why?

Fifty heads of state and millions take to the streets, but why?  They say it is to show solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and their support of free speech but neither reason makes much sense.

Generally when there is a march to show solidarity, it means that the marchers are siding with a particular cause in the face of some opposition or other.  Marches take place here in Ireland in solidarity with the water protesters, but that is a show of force against those who support the water charges.  Marches take place in other countries against austerity measures or because they disagree with some political situation.  So a march is a show of strength by the downtrodden against some aspect of the establishment, but in France, it was the establishment that was doing the marching, so who precisely were they trying to influence?

They were hardly trying to influence those brainwashed brain-dead jihadists who are soaked in a bloodlust and are impervious to reason.  Are the mullahs supposed to raise their hands in horror and declare that they didn't realise that so many people objected to being shot?

As for the free speech aspect – that is frankly a laugh.  After the shootings in Paris I heard Idiot Cameron on the news expressing his horror.  I can't remember the exact words but it was along the lines that "free speech is at the very core of our society".  Is this the same Cameron whose police are happily going around arresting people for their inane comments on Twitter? 

The problem with free speech is that it is in direct conflict with the Politically Correct.  Free speech means freedom to use words and images that others may find offensive.  A society should be judged by how it treats the offended and not by how it allows the use of those words.  In general, the offended should be ignored as they are the ones who choose to be offended, but if on the other hand the offended resort to murder then of course the full weight of the law must be brought to bear.

Politically Correct is defined as "agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people" [my emphasis].  How precise is "could"?  Define "offend"?

It's OK to draw cartoons mocking an [albeit evil] extremist religion but it's apparently not OK to display a Golliwog in a shop window?

They need to think that one out?