This Christmas, as you enjoy the cheer and revelry to be found amongst family and friends, please spare a thought for John.
John can usually be found trampling about the coast of south county Dublin in his familiar long black coat. Sometimes he'll stop and chat with other local characters like Eoghan. You might have seen them, lost in discussion in the People's Park. Happily reminiscing over the good governance and moral authority of days gone by. Later in a given afternoon, you might see John in the window of the local Kylemore Cafe, scribbling his thoughts in a notebook whilst enjoying a slice of cake and a pot of tea. Tea for one.
But, what of Christmas day? On Christmas day the Kylemore will be closed and John will have nowhere to go. Eoghan will be ensconced at home with his new bird and the park gates will be chained shut. What will John do then?
Well, John will awake. He will arise. He will wash and he will attend mass, as will many of us. However, instead of spending the rest of the day in the company of loved ones, John will instead pass his time glaring at the few baubles he pinned above the mantle in a desperate nod to the season. No one told him it would be like this. This wasn't the Christmas McQuaid's Ireland envisioned for a man such as he. John will begin to feel a bit cheated. His mood will grow sour and soon he will be in high dudgeon, tapping wildly into the laptop ( ...as I am now ironically) on subjects ranging from the denigration of Dev to the ascendancy of bloody women.
So please spare a thought for John this Christmas as you settle back with family members to play boardgames, watch Doctor Who or enjoy whatever DVD RTE have rented for the evening. Please, spare a thought for John because . . .John is alone this Christmas.