A trick here, a trick there

Everyone gets a gig during race week. For those who want it, and even for those who don't' - there's always an opportunity to turn a few tricks. A trick here, a trick there. It's as if the world will end come Sunday and a great opportunity to make money will have been lost. And long may it continue. Whether it's lucky Biros outside the races, or bands —any band worth its salt never sees a pillow all Race Week. A trick here, a trick there. B and B. Clear the back room, Bridie, get out the auld duvet. Crank up the toaster...Roll them in, kerrching. Ten thousand gallons of carrot juice. Sprayers attached to the hoses...line up ladies, close those eyes, it's tanning time...kerrching...beer garden, beer streets more like — plastic beakers...no washing up, thanks guard for that one —kerrching. A trick here, a trick there.

And everyone of us loves to hear a good sceal about entreprenurial artistry at its finest. Thirty years on from the Pope's visit to Ballybrit, the town still talks with admiration of yer man buying thousands of little chairs and flogging them to eager pilgrims. Young people I love you, but ye must be wrecked sit down...There were about 250,000 in Ballybrit that day, but as the years go by, the number of stools that he sold is said to be nearer the million mark. Great stuff. A trick here, a trick there. And then there was the admiration for the lad who just managed to have a consignment of portable rain macs on the wettest day in the history of post-Cromwellian Connacht — the Westlife day. The heavens opened in Pearse Stadium, and the local man who bought thousands of macs for a few cent and sold them for a lot more made a killing. Genius. Pure genius A trick here, a trick there...However, this year there is another side of the coin. Not content with boring the backside of each other with sceals about how we made a killing from selling one house for half a mill having bought it for damn all, now the real fun is to be had by telling each other who is fecked. It seems that the ferry that brought away the Celtic Tiger with his tail between his legs brought back the begrudger. Perfectly balanced with a chip on both shoulders. There is no doubt that because so many have flown Icarus-like to the suburbs of the sun, there will be casualties. Entrepreneurs take risks. The Pope’s audience might have wanted to stand up; the sun could have shone on Westlife. But it didn’t.

And because businesspeople take risks, there are casualties and identifying these seems to be the new drug for the gossipmongers. The town is awash with rumours this week. "Do ya know so and so? Well, he's fecked. Fecked, so he is. I heard from a fella who knows that he hasn't a red cent left in his pocket. Saw him at the races. Never saw him there before, probably tryin to drum up a bit of business. And he’s lost three stone. With the worry. I heard from a good source, a good source, now mind ya that he hasn’t the proverbial pot to pish in, so he hasn't. The bank told him, ya can’t pish in our pot no more”...

And for the past few months we have seen the unusual spectacle of businesspeople having to explain that Twain-like, reports of their commercial deaths have been exaggerated. It’s terrible to have to listen to people having to flog their souls and their integrity to defend themselves against rumours. And set themselves up for the no smoke without fire brigade. Who knows with any certainty what lies around the corner or what more lies are around the corner. Who knows what is true? A trick here, a trick there. Anyone for the last few rumours now...

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