Pucker up those lips lads and lassies and get out the lip balm. Yes, make those lips as big as our leader’s. Now, get down on one knee, and then the others. And get practising at something we haven’t done for a while. Ass-kissing is back. In a big way.
Less than a year after we gave two fingers to the European Union, and less than a year after we sent a turkey to the Eurovision because we were so cocky, and a decade or so after we as a race gave up ass-kissing, tipping the forelock, and saying “top of the morning’ sir” to whatever relic of auld decency was left among the gentry, the act of planting our lips on the posterior of those above us is back in fashion.
And we’d better get used to it. ‘Cos tis all we have left.
This week, we had the cringe-making sight of Mr Cowen Goes To Washington, big bowl of shamrock in tow, looking up at President Obama with pleading eyes like Oliver Twist, asking for some more sir. You could almost imagine his whispering “ya know, ya can smoke this stuff. We tried it, before the last budget.”
And the speech was “we all love Americans, some of our best friends were Americans, sure, Americans are great, aren’t they lads. Now, we hope ye won’t forget us in our hour of need, with the praties about to go bad, and the boords fallin’ off the trees with the hunger, ye won’t forget that we let yer bowsies bate seven shades outa prisoners on the planes in Shannon when the soldiers were in buying dooty free leprechauns, and that we turned a blind eye to all that. Now, I know you’re not into that stuff, Mister Obama, but still, ye’re all Yanks, and we scratch ure back, ya know, like. Offaly man to Offaly man.”
The two of them together reminded me of the parable about the rabbit and the bear. The rabbit was thrilled to be in the presence of the bear, so he decided to talk about common problems they may have. “Tell me, Mr Bear, do you have problems with dirt sticking to your fur.” No, said the bear, as he wiped his hands with the rabbit.
Now that Pope Benny The Hun is getting “ze vonder-loost” and embarking on world tours, I have no doubt that our super agents will trying to book him for an Irish gig. “We could get ya two nights at the racecourse. Twould be better than the bloody Eagles anyway with their economic-recession songs about Leaving on A Jet Plane, from a country run by Desperados and Lyin’ Eyes.
And even our mayor got in on the act, getting himself on the guest list at the Teach Bán this week.
“If you’re ever over our way, Obie, d’ya mind if I call ya Obie. Or would ya prefer Barry? You can call me Padraig. No, not Pod-rig, Padraig. You might pop in to Galway. Now, I know ya might think this cheeky, but do ya think you’ll be over before June 5. I can imagine you and me up on a lorry outside a church. That’d better Fianna Fail and their Packie Bonner, huh. Obie, I’ll leave it with you, right. Have ya my mobile? Give me a bell, right.”
Now Obama may not be best pleased to come to Galway as world leaders who come here always manage to get themselves shot at a short while later. Poor auld JFK didn’t last long after talking about seeing Boston on a clear day from Galway; the Pope got shot less than two years after doing the Ballybrit gig, and even Charles de Gaulle, the former French president took a bullet a year after he spent a holiday in Connemara.
Now, I’m not saying that there are any connections between the three, but ya can’t rule these things out. Anywhere, where were we. Wait ‘til they turn the other cheek and now, close your eyes and kiss. For Mother Ireland.
Declan Varley [email protected]