Thursday, March 14, 2013

Those St Patrick's Day Government Drinking Arrangements in Full

A source close to the Government has reacted with shock, horror, outrage and disgust at the suggestion that it was good times all around for St Patrick’s Day as the cabinet jetted all around the world to drink Irish porter on foreign soil. The junkets seem especially excessive in the light of the program of austerity currently being implemented by the Government. Is there not a certain irony in the cabinet fiddling while Ireland burns?

The very suggestion was hotly denied by the source close to Government, who responded to a series of questions from the assembled media. Asked if the nation should buy shares in the Molson Brewing Company on the basis that the Minister for Keeping the Best Foot Forward was going to lorry back a small sea of Bass during his St Patrick’s Day trip to London, the source hotly retorted that the very suggestion was a sentiment held only by corner-boys and anti-national interests.

The Minister for Keeping the Best Foot Forward was going to London by ferry to Holyhead and then by bus to the great city. Once arriving in London he was going to sign on straight-away, as every penny counts when you’re working for Ireland.

If, from time to time during the execution of his offices, the Minister’s hosts thought to offer him a libation, it would be just as rude for him to refuse as it would have been for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to ask President McAleese why she didn’t put down more spuds for that dinner in Dublin Castle. This was something the Minister himself wondered at the time, and often meant to bring it up with the former President before her own recent run for the Papacy, the source pointedly added.

The source condemned as a “dirty lie” propagated by “bowsies and communists” a rumour, persistent in Dublin media circles for a number of days, that the Minister for Belt-Tightening has arranged to have his tab temporary transferred from Kehoe’s of South Anne Street to O’Donoghue’s of 156 W 44th Street, New York City, for the duration of his visit to New York.

The source told the assembled media that the Minister for Belt-Tightening is a gentleman and a patriot, a man who has done more for his country than a lot of people the source could mention, and is now sacrificing himself once more on the mean streets of Gotham that Ireland might take her place among the nations of the Earth.

The source didn’t expect the “gentlemen of the press” to know it, as if any of them were to even think about going onto American soil they’d be wearing the orange jammies beyond in Guantanemo before you could say Jack Robinson, being a notorious pack of ne’er-do-wells and good-for-nothings, but the New York St Patrick’s Day Parade starts at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 44th Street, a five minute stroll from O’Donoghue’s.

If the Minister were to entertain prominent businessmen and members of the Irish-American community, each more eager than the last to invest in the dear little island of green, wasn’t a house near the start of the parade only ideal? No, he didn’t know how Kehoe’s got dragged into it. No, he did not know who ran a tab in there. The source expected that, if anyone had a tab in Kehoe’s, it would be the gentlemen of the press but then, what sensible landlord would ever trust the likes of them to pay it?

The media quizzed the source close to the Government on plans for a trip to Doha. The source smiled widely and spread his hands, like the pope at the balcony of St Peter’s. “Lads,” he said, “what can I tell you about Doha? We’ll be staying the hell away. The flesh is thrilling but the spirits are weak.”

The thaw quickly melted at the bon mot. He was always a gas ticket, the journalists nodded knowingly at each other. The source glanced at his watch, and looked up at the media. “Palace?” he asked. “Palace!” they all chorused happily, and made their way to Fleet Street, arm-in-arm, contented and happy.