Halloween is a fun time but it is important to be safe. Remember, fireworks are dangerous and can cause serious injury. Attend only supervised professional firework displays and always stand at a safe and considerable distance. Risk of accidents aside, it is also worth bearing in mind that the unsanctioned possession/use of fireworks is illegal, the penalties for which include a large fine and/or custodial sentence.
Children must also Play Safe on the night. Dressing up and calling to the doors of complete strangers is a big 'No No' and can result in assault by child molesters and/or abduction by other demented individuals - such as crazed spinsters who never had children of their own. In addition, we have all heard the stories about the poisoned 'treats' that are so often provided to youngsters during this holiday. Try not to contribute to the escalating rate of child mortality caused by these odious deeds. Instead, arrange an organised activity programme for your children in a secure environment. This is far safer than permitting minors to stray around the neighbourhood, leaving them vulnerable to 'Stranger Danger'. Also, the Department of Justice has introduced anti-begging legislation so donning masks and looking for 'treats' could well result in penalties such as large fines and/or custodial sentences.
Having arranged your programme of activities in a secure venue of choice, ensure that all attendees are checked for swine flu. Also, have a basin of regularly refreshed clean warm water and a dispenser of disinfectant handwash at the entrance to your Halloween party.
Have party attendees checked for criminal records before issuing invites. This can be done by contacting the gardai, explaining the situation and providing them with a list of the names and addresses of everyone you want screened. This especially applies to any children's entertainers who may be employed for the evening. Ask yourself, what type of life must a person have led for them to arrive at a point where they have been left with no recourse but to become a children's entertainer? There may well be criminality involved. John Wayne Gacy (pictured above) was a children's entertainer. I rest my case.
Ensure the code to your panic room is learnt by heart or within easy access should any drunken intruders/biker gangs arrive on the scene or should the John Wayne Gacy type turn out to be a 'wrong un'.
Ensure that the kettle is unplugged and that there are no pots of boiling water or bubbling chip pans on the stove. How many more children must we bury because their guardians did not have the foresight to do this? Chip pan related deaths run a close third to poisoned 'treats' and errant fireworks as a major killer of Ireland's youth. THERE IS NO MORE ROOM IN THE CEMETERY!
Last, but not least, under NO circumstances should the offspring of neighbours be permitted to enter your party. Neighbours should be kept at a safe distance lest they start to take liberties, pry into your personal affairs or expect you to maintain a consistent friendly demeanour toward them. Also, John Wayne Gacy (still pictured above, . . .just look at him, . . .Jesus) was someone's neighbour once. You are already running the risk of him gaining access under the guise of a children's entertainer, don't increase his odds. Admit only the offspring of people you respect or who can further your career/social standing. Consider the networking opportunities an added bonus to a Happy Halloween.
So, that's it. Fugger's Halloween safety tips going forward. Oh, before I sign off, there is one last tip: Enjoy yourself, it is Halloween after all.
For a list of festive alternatives to risky Halloween activities please visit PlaySafe.com.
I went to the doctor the other day and he told me I was going to die. When I asked him how, he said 'I don't know, I've just got this feeling'. I asked him if he could at least give me a check up to see if anything could be done but he said he didn't think it would be any use.
I started to get a bit worked up about the whole thing, which I think is understandable, and demanded that he at least tell me how long I had left to live. 'I don't know,' he said 'about half an hour, maybe three quarters'. I began to raise my voice, loudly insisting that he could do more but the doctor just asked me to leave. 'You're freaking me out,' he said, 'and I don't want you dying in here and then all the patients outside thinking I killed you by accident because I'm a crap doctor'.
I was charged €60 as I left.
Speaking of matters health, why not check out this great rediscovered episode of the Windell Comics superhero THE HAT?
'Ah, lay off now. I did me best by yiz. I'm just a man. A normal Drumcondra fella. Love the rasher sandwiches and the Bass. Did you go see the Dubs? Man U played a blinder there, absolute blinder. The daughter likes writing the stories. Loves the bukes. Makes a few bob from that. Did an old buke meself there. A normal enough few pages. Nothing special. A modest buke of recollections and things. Do you like a buke yourself? Mine is seventeen euro. Rasher sandwiches.
Good times. Good times were had by all. There were a few blips on the landscape but we always had the few euro for the Bass. Don't mind the loopers and the whingers, the failures, failed people. Don't mind them feckin' eejits. Feckin' failures. I'd rivet them! Do you hear me? DO YA? I'd rivet that shower! I'LL RIVET THE LOT OF YE!!!!
Ah no, I'm only coddin'. Love an old cod. I love a cod but I'd prefer a Bass. That's a fish joke. Did you get that? It has a double meaning, you can read it two ways. Man U. Rasher sandwiches. Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday's great. Big lump of ash on the noggin there. Smudge. Big smudge of it there and then off we go for rasher sandwiches. Great days. We did right by yiz anyway. Brian's fumbled the ball a bit, not too much. Terrible when that lad painted him doin a shite in the nip. That can't have been easy. Lehmans didn't help either and now there's the uncanny darkness overtaking the place. I'd rivet that darkness. I'd rivet it but I'd rivet Higgins first! I'd rivet that bollix! Rivet him! RIVET!
The future? What of the future you ask? Well, we'll wait and see what comes. I'll still be here, still being Bertie, still watching the matches, drinking the Bass, but I might be doin' it in the Aras. Yiz still love me don't yiz? Yiz still love the Bertie. You'd love to have me up the Aras wouldn't yiz? Oh yeah, yous would n' all. Rasher sandwiches.'
In the hopes of implementing some of their policies, the Green Party recently spoke of a possible coalition between themselves and spider Goddess Nyx. 'As it stands Nyx has no mandate, if we make her seem credible then maybe we can get something positive in return,' said John Gormley at the Green Party conference last week. 'Let's face it,' he continued, 'she's hardly any worse for the nation than FF.'
In consultation with the interesting thinkers that comprise their party membership, the Greens have made a list of rock bottom terms which would absolutely have to be included in a programme for government should one be formed with the telekinetic, genocidal, horrifyingly large, arachnid, spectral freak.
The terms are as follows. . .
1: Vending machines that serve organically sourced vegetarian quiche to be installed in all significant locations of social interaction around the country.
2: The state issue an apology to badgers for the part it played in leaving the cruel pastime of baiting go unaddressed.
3: A monument to bikes and the people who cycle them to be erected outside the General Post Office.
4: A proposal be made to European Parliament that harsh economic sanctions be brought against the French for their rampant consumption of escargots.
5: That the constitution be altered so as to recognise creatures and animals as 'forest, field and kennel dwelling individuals of other species'.
6: That loud lorries stop travelling through Dublin South-East.
In response to this proposal, Nyx mummified a Green Party delegation in webbing, sucked them dry of essential fluids and hung their petrified husks from the railings of Government buildings going forward.
Seeking a solution to the aforementioned supernatural/paranormal tomfoolery/high-jinx that is afoot in my town and spreading throughout the country at large, I have found myself consulting the work of Lady Gregory. In her attempt to assemble an archive of Irish folk beliefs, Lady Gregory spent a large part of the early 20th century travelling the hills of Sligo collecting tales of Fortean phenomena said to have been experienced by the various bog men she found there. It was amongst the folk wisdoms of these first hand accounts that I hoped to find some remedy to our current economic/occult predicament.
Gregory records an odd event that took place late one February night on a muddy road that ran raggedly from the foot of Ben Bulben. The tale of The Thing in the Road became one of the most celebrated paranormal incidents of its time and is even said to have once been referred to by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, during a drunken tirade launched at his wife.
Anyway, without further ado, I will reproduce the accounts, as recorded by Lady Gregory, of the people who were actually there on the night. If you catch sight of anything that may be of assistance amongst the insanity of the garbled rustic parlance below please let me know.
The Thing in the Road: testimonies by boggers of a fiend that they happened upon whilst drunkenly travelling a pitch dark path at four o'clock in the morning (possibly after taking mushies).
Husband: 'There was something in the road that night. You could tell it was there because it wasn't somewhere else. It had a shape but it wasn't like a shape and it rolled forward like a duck doesn't or a goose either for that matter. It was as big as it was small and twice that size again. It wasn't comely, you wouldn't go toward it.'
Wife of Husband: 'I saw it also. At first I thought it was a cow but it wasn't. It was nothing like a cow and there was no reason to think it was a cow at all. It wasn't a cow or anything like that. It wasn't a horse either. I thought it was a cow and it could've been I suppose but for the fact that it wasn't.'
Brother of Wife of Husband: 'It was fierce. It looked fierce and it smelled it also. There was a stench of fierceness in the road and that is all I will say on the matter.'
Wife of Brother of Wife of Husband: 'My heart was above me at the sight of it. My heart was above me and to either side of me and behind and below me and there before me at the sight of it on the road.'
Father of Wife of Brother of Wife of Husband: 'I'll neither confirm nor deny that I saw it but see it I did and it wasn't there at all.'
Brother of Father of Wife of Brother of Wife of Husband: 'I thought it was something the faery ride upon. It had no hooves. It let a tremendous belch. It called me a gee-bag.'
Random Bogger: It was faery but not good faery, not comely, you would be reluctant to make its acquaintance. There was badness to it. You should never cross a faery's path. Never close a gate upon a faery or speak badly of one's footwear. It called us gee-bags. I didn't like it at all. It might have been a protestant. You know, the grass is so thick there you could grease your boots with it.'
I'm not sure if reading endless streams of this Lady Gregory stuff is helping. Beyond my window I can hear the pitiful wails of a nation being poisoned, paralysed and slowly eaten alive by the hideous scuttling mega-spider that is Nyx. There must be something that can be done, something, . . .going forward.
Telekinetic spider Goddess Nyx's continuing rampage has spread into the Irish Midlands causing councillor Gutty (Gut-Bag) O'Gorman (Fianna Fine-a Gael Fail) to claim that the paranormal assault is now the single largest contributor to the collapse of property prices in the area. O'Gorman, a long time advocate of the Jackson Pollock school of land rezoning, said on local radio that 'some minor misjudgements by certain parties in the past may have played a part in the decline of property values but really it's the spider that's to blame. Who'd want to be living in a place overrun by supernatural entities and malignant arachnid demons looming down on you from the heavens? Let's get real on this issue'.
Naturally, Nyx's effect on the locality is also of great concern to people living there. Taking their first step on the property ladder, James and Sorcha Healy moved out to the commuter belt. Now they find themselves deep in negative equity and unable to leave the house for fear of an Old Hag that lays in wait in their front garden. 'Property around here is worth next to nothing what with the goblins coming down everyone's chimneys and the human skeletons hanging from creepy grey webbing in the sky' says James. 'It's so true,' agrees Sorcha, 'the amount of money we've invested in this place, . . .I mean, we may as well have burned all our cash and gone to live on the North Pole in a house made of shit'. Neighbour, Shane Curley, concurs, 'as a private sector employee I find myself thinking of the sacrifices I have made already, I doubt Missus Colossal Spider Goddess out there even cares. Why doesn't she go attack the knackers on some corpo estate or eat one of those over-funded libraries no one goes to?'
Tourism has also been badly effected by the recent transformation of the Midlands into a web strewn supernatural jungle of death. Just listen to this disgruntled visitor from Germany: LINK. I doubt he'll be back.
'The spider will be the ruination of the country, don't we have sprays for this sort of thing?' asked an emotional O'Gorman before his radio interview concluded with the arrival of a Hat Man in the studio and the ensuing sounds of petrified screams, cardiac arrest and soul consumption.