I received an email a couple of days ago.
To be very honest it put me in a really nasty position.
It was from a researcher in RTE [Ireland’s national broadcaster] who wanted to talk to me about appearing on a programme, and could I please give him a call.
The programme was/is to be a live debate on the subject of "Dry January", the nation's alcohol habits and the gubmint's place in all of this and I had a shrewd guess that they wanted me on to provide a drop of counter-argument. I decided to sit on that assumption and ponder it overnight.
It was a difficult decision.
On the plus side, I would love to "stick to the man" as they say. I had visions of myself demolishing all their arguments and being the hero of the day.
But I had quite a few problems on the negative side. First and foremost, I have done pre-recorded television in the past where they could edit out any salty language [an afternoon’s filming reduced to about ten minutes!]. I had also done pre-recorded radio and live radio but had never done live television. Of those, the live radio was by far the hardest as I tend to think slower than I speak, which is why my preferred medium is the printed word. Also I can't go into free-flow mode as I have to be so conscious of not calling someone a fucking cunt and trying to think up a watered down alternative name.
Then there is the problem of returning to RTE where I worked for nearly forty years and the nightmares are only just diminishing. Would I be opening up a whole new can of nightmares?
I mentioned the email to Herself and the first thing she said [naturally] was that I would have to have a shower and a haircut. Now I am not due either for at least another six months but you can't argue with a woman. So having a haircut and shower is just going a bit too far.
Also there is the inconvenience of having to haul myself out of a cosy home in the mountains and haul myself all the way up to Dublin on a cold winter's night, and presumably haul myself back home afterwards.
I phoned him yesterday.
He was wildly excited and said he had been reading this site and he was very keen to have me on the programme. I declined. He begged. Was there anything he could do to make me change my mind? I said not. He's a very nice chap and we gad a good natter about working in the place and how it had changed, but I remained resolute. I suppose he is used to people getting very excited about being actually inside a live television studio, but I have done that, seen that and literally worn the T shirt.
Now that should have been that, but the bastard has left the subject open. He hopefully said I might change my mind and that the invitation is still wide open.
Now I'm going to be fighting my conscience for the next two days.