Miami Vice. Very Nice.

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South Beach

Boogie Shoes – KC & The Sunshine Band


Winning Streak. Back in the day this was the main TV game show in Ireland. Might still be. Contestants would go on and spin a wheel or guess something and win money. The easy part was winning. The hard part was getting on. I think you had to buy a scratch card and get three star icons. This then meant you could send the scratch card in where it was put in a drum and each week on the show the name of three lucky contestants would be drawn. Lot of hoops. But. If you ever made it on, you were going to win something. A brand new Opel car! Ohhh. Two thousand euro! Wow. A luxurious holiday away for two! Dear Jesus. I think one extra lucky person at the end got a chance to ‘Spin the Wheel’ where the top prize was 500,000 euro. Something like that.

The wheel was basically a vertical roulette table with different sections indicating different prize amounts. A ping pong ball would be dropped in at the bottom and the extra lucky person would spin the wheel. The nation would then watch the ball dart around the wheel, bouncing along until it slowly came to a stop. Wherever the ball landed, that was your prize. Usually it would hop between 250,000 and 2,000 on the wheel, so you’d get the old “Is she going to win the big prize, is she, she is, she just won-” Ball hops one more time – “2,000 euro”. Ohhh, so close. The softly spoken presenter, who might have previously been a priest, would then say “Unlucky Mary but at least you got something. Aren’t you happy?” “I am” Mary would reply as she waves goodbye at the camera, her family in the audience hold up their banners and flags saying ‘GOOD GIRL MARY!’ ‘UP TYRONE!’ ‘COME ON THE PARISH!’

Classic show. Easy to see why Continue Reading »

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This Is What Mass In WeHo Is Like…

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Chapter 15

 Wigs, Wine & Weirdos

“Oh God. Why am I holding this man’s hand?” ’Twas the night before Christmas Eve and all was… Dead. First Christmas away from home. Away from the family. Away from my Mum’s mighty Christmas dinner. Aww. Poor little Merrick. Woe is me. All week I’ve been constantly asked, “Will you not miss going home to Ireland for it?” “Well, it would be preferred, but I’ll just have to make do.” Making sure to add, “And besides… In this economy? Hm.” That part usually confuses them enough to ask no more. Besides, I’m sure Cork will miss me just as much. Only the other day did a buddy Diane tell me, “Oh, eh, yeah. Christmas just won’t be the same if you’re not here. Like Disneyland without Mickey Mouse, so it will.”

So that was nice. Being compared to a mouse. Mighty. Anyway, last night I did the 12 Pubs of Christmas. Woke up this morning. Still full to the brim with Christmas cheer. Plan was to go to Charlotte’s for Christmas dinner. First, mass. Must go to Catholic Mass on Christmas Day, my Mum would kill me if she found out I didn’t! As it happens, two churches right around the corner from me. Go on the Google Maps. Hop out of bed. Bounce off a wall. Christmas clothes on. Scuttle around the corner. Blessed myself going into church. Found a seat. Sat down. Kneeled down. Stood up. Realised everyone else was still kneeling. Back down. Spaced out. Joined in. Humming prayers. Head spinning slightly. Saw a sign on the wall: Continue Reading »

It Was All A Dream… (Part II)

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Dreadlock Holiday – 10cc


‘Hey mon… Hey womon… Hey wom-on, come sit on my lap wom-on. I take good care of you my wom-on, OK. You no need to worry about any of that no more my wom-on. You be my white prin-cess…’

Within an hour of landing, I had become a fully fledged Pirate of the Caribbean. (Illegally downloaded a copy of RanDumb from a torrent site. Say nothing.) Within a week of landing, this pirate had been transformed. Adventure. On! 

So we land. Get off the jet. And then what? Drive through a pitch black rainforest, past pineapple fields, up to the top of a mountain, to a secluded hidden restaurant that turns out to also be an art gallery, overlooking the island – Check!

My mouth started Continue Reading »

Wigs, Wine & Weirdos

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Horrendous is the best word I could use to describe the response for the 12 pubs of Christmas. Calling a spade a shovel, there was close to zero interest. Maybe I should’ve explained the concept more when I was sending out the rallying cry. One person thought it was just a spam email. Even after reading it. Didn’t get it. Well done. A lot of people were out of town for Christmas. And a few girls replied saying they’d love to meet for a drink. Sounds lovely. A nice quiet drink. Just the two of us. I don’t even think they read the email. Quiet drink… 12 pubs? Just the two of us… what part of ‘the more the merrier’ was lost in translation? In the end, numbers were down and out. There was my buddy Sharlotta. And there was I. Instead of me having a Royal Rumble type affair with 12 different dates, we went with just picking up stragglers along the way. Continue Reading »