Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Only Gay In The Village

Some things you should know :

1. Ireland is, in many ways, a cultural backwater.

2. The Boss is from a town which it's fair to say much of Ireland would consider to be a cultural backwater, which for the sake of establishing a placeholder name I shall refer to as 'Ballybackofbeyond'.

3. What passes for 'politics' in Northern Ireland has recently experienced a (totally fucking delicious, brilliant, life-affirming) sex-scandal which, (possibly) apart from the possibility of collapse of what passes for 'Government' in the North as a result, is absolute unadulterated pure and refined epic fucking WIN.

So anyway we were talking about this last item, me specifically in light of my 'Ha hah fucking ha, slap it up the hypocritical cunt' stance on this, and off the back of it came this conversation :

The Boss, seriously : "There's a gay fella in Ballybackofbeyond."

Here's me, sarky : "What, just the one?"

The Boss : "Yeah, he comes into the bar on a Saturday night. I feel a bit sorry for him."

Here's me : "Uh, why?"

The Boss : "Well he had a... partner, years ago. But he died. So now there's no-one for him to really... pair off with."

Here's me, mocking, slightly, I'm only human : "So, eh, is he like, the only gay in the village?"

The Boss, seriously : "Yeah."

Here's me : "I seriously doubt that, y'know."

The Boss : "No, he is."

Here's me : "Are you being serious?"

The Boss : "Yeah."

Here's me : "I guarantee you there's a fair few gay men in Ballybackofbeyond, Jesus like, come on!"

The Boss : "No, really. I'd know."

Here's me : "You'd know?"

The Boss : "I'd've heard. He's the only one."

Here's me : "Get a grip. I wouldn't put money on the exact figures but if you took a figure of 2% of the locals being gay as a very fucking conservative estimate, then there's about twenty gay men in the village. Come on."

The Boss, looking a bit nonplussed : "Really?"

Here's me : "Yes, Jesus. Jesus, like, Boss, seriously."

The Boss : "Ha ha. You seem to know a lot about this. Are you one?"

Here's me : "No. What, wait - what? Am I one? What? You know it's the twenty first century, yeah?"

The Boss, indignant : "I have nothing against them."

Here's me : "OK. The 'them' bit - you need to work on that. But ok. Look, the law of averages suggests there are probably a few thousand gay men living in a ten mile radius of where you live, ok?"

The Boss is silent for a second. I cannot fathom what she might be thinking.


I look on, and wait.


And further, I hope that she is not about to say something, y'know, really bad.


I nod solemnly.

And then she smiles. Beams, actually, seemingly genuinely pleased.

"I have to tell him! Where would he go to meet them?!"


  1. Class act. Imagining the look of happiness is going to keep me warm all week.

  2. Yeah, I know. She might be fucking nuts but it's an endearing sort of nuts sometimes.

  3. as someone said on Twitter earlier this morning, "Northern Ireland's wikipedia page should read, 'Tribal, closed on Sundays"

    That says it all really...

  4. That's so adorable it reduced my cholesterol.

  5. Ahh, that is very sweet.

    Regarding Sunday closure, my only experience of the northern parts of Ireland involved getting trapped there because heavy rain meant my Friday night flight from Knock was cancelled.

    Sadly Knock International Airport was really truly honestly closed for the weekend which would've been fine under normal circumstance - find a pub and stay in it til Monday morning - but I had to fly Heathrow to Athens the next day for work.

    Cue long witching hour cab drive to Belfast, spent consuming the miniature bottles of red wine with which I'd had the foresight to stuff my handbag.

  6. Bloody hell, I knew when I was there Northern Ireland reminded of New Zealand for a reason.
    Basically it's a big dirty village with pretensions of being a city... And I mean the whole of both places there.

  7. 'Well I nevvir seen a miracle like the oul airport, up in Knock!'

  8. And then she trots out something like that, and I stop thinking she's fucking with you and has her own blog somewhere, and is just trying to make her utterly hare-brained but utterly sincere way through existence.

  9. I can just imagine her as Ballybackofbeyond's answer to Cilla Black. You can be Our Graham.

  10. @ radioguitar : Not telling, but if you lived in Ballybackofbeyond, you'd probably refer to a Saturday shopping trip to Ballyclare as "going into town". ;)

    @ Elle - ah, Knock! From Wikipedia :
    "In June 2003 hundreds of people gathered at Knock International Airport to view a Boeing 747 land with 500 returning pilgrims from Lourdes. The aircraft stood as high as the airport's air traffic control tower."


    @ Curious Character : That comparison works for me, it's pretty accurate. I thought the two countries had a lot of similarities myself. Mind you NZ has better weather, and a better economy, and is cleaner, and quieter, and more peaceful, with friendlier people, and less chance of getting headbutted at any given random moment on the city streets.

    For the sake of balance I'll mention that Northern Ireland, however, has proper bars. :)

  11. Bless her! She may be nuts, but she's just made my day. I expect normal bonkers service to resume shortly...

  12. Ballynure! I was gonna say Ballyclare too, but now it's Ballynure.
    I win.

  13. In the words of Roy Walker - "Yer good, but yer nat right". ;)

  14. Given her weird way of speech, I can't wait until she introduces some men she's randomly classed as gay to your man!

    But yeah, that IS quite sweet of her, do you know is she single herself, or is she in receipt of the long sausage of love on a regular basis?

  15. Awh. I grew up in Doagh and we did actually call a trip to Ballyclare "going into town". Simpler times!

  16. I think I might put my money on Ballyrobert. Except that an estimate of 2% of the population would probably mean that one gay man is about right.

  17. Chimphead - uh, I don't think so, but seriously, my mind doesn't want to go there.

    Kate, hey - oh aye, Doagh, hey? I'm from just down the road hey!

  18. Yeah but the middle class end of Doagh, so we don't say commoner culchie things like "hey". You didn't happened to be schooled at Ballyclare High did you?

  19. Ah never mind. I share your boss Excel woes though. We've had a new (exceedingly simple) Excel file introduced at work to keep track of student demonstrators (I work for a University). In the Word document we received explaining the new process there was a handy screenshot to show us what the file will look like. The Boss: "There's not very much room is there? How are we going to fit all the names in there?" Sigh.

    Now that we're actually using it she's complaining that the information goes too far across (I've shown her how to freeze panes/split window etc) and has asked the Superboss if we can go downwards instead. Apparently scrolling down is fine, but not scrolling across. She also doesn't get how to resize cells so you can't actually read anything she puts in. This is despite the fact that we all went on a compulsory 2-day Excel course. Possibly the most horrifying 2 days of my life so far.

  20. It may not necessarily begin with Bally. Could it be Cullybackey? Carnalbanagh? Aghadowey? Trillick?

  21. Curious Character : That comparison works for me, it's pretty accurate. I thought the two countries had a lot of similarities myself. Mind you NZ has better weather, and a better economy, and is cleaner, and quieter, and more peaceful, with friendlier people, and less chance of getting headbutted at any given random moment on the city streets.

    For the sake of balance I'll mention that Northern Ireland, however, has proper bars. :)

    All of those things you said about New Zealand aren't true. Including the bars.

    The weather's shit, the economy's in the bin, every fucker drives a car and the government are trying to dig up the national parks for coal, the amount of whinging cuntbags down here is fucking unbelievable, wanking on about petty and stupid grievances like how to spell a town's name and then calling it a 'travesty of democracy' when someone decides they want to insert a letter somewhere (I can tell where the letter should be inserted) and if you've ever been to Auckland or Christchurch, they're so rammed full with drunk bogans smoking P that you'd be pining for Belfast's heroin saturated streets within 2 minutes of arrival.

    The only thing good about the place is the bars.

  22. All this time and I didn't know you were an NZ-er JC!

    Man, Auckland is great! You know Mercer rates Auckland as 4th in the world in their "Quality of Living" survey?. Can't tell you how Belfast did on this one as they only publish the top 100 ;-)

  23. I cannot describe the joy and warmth this blog brings to my day, so I won't try.

    But please, please don't stop :)

  24. "Belfast's heroin saturated streets "?

    Usage of heroin in Belfast is reckoned at a level of 0.4% of the adult population, as opposed to the national UK average of 1.1%, and 4.4% in London.


  25. Any level of heroin is considered saturation when people feel like they have to cook up Nurofen Plus. True story. It's totally relative.

    I'm an Englishman in NZ, SK... I happened to marry one. Wellington, where I live, was 12th in the Mercer survey. But no-one here believes it, and the only reason we like it and stay is because the wild blue yonder is half an hour's drive away. Also the missus has a great job. Also, we think the JAFAs fixed it. Also, the only professional footy team in the country is in Welly.

    London scored pretty highly though. And I've lived there, so that's pretty laughable.

  26. The bars are sweet though. Including the Irish bars. You can get a decent Guinness in Welly. ;)

  27. I realise this is terribly late to the party but I just had to say ahhhh - bless her! I've read half your blog in the last few days and half the time I'm thinking she's had a stroke or she has some kind of learning disability, but at least her heart's in the right place.