The luck of the Irish
Last night I endured 30 minutes of P.S I Love You, which if you didn’t know, is a desperately poor film about a dead Irishman who leaves his grieving wife a series of notes prior to his death so, after his departure, she gets the pleasure of reading about his feelings as his corpse rots.
It sounds nasty and hugely unpleasant, but for some reason women like this. I cannot think of anything worse as a modern-day idea: anchoring your bereaved wife to a life of memories with a hollow claim that this series of communications will help the grieving process. One wonders why not one Hollywood producer didn’t pipe up during the development stages and say: ‘Guys, this is shit.’
I tried to give this film the benefit of the doubt but it wasn’t long before I started feeling nauseous. Apart from Gerard Butler’s totally implausible accent it got me thinking: This is an Irishman. He’s supposed to be lucky, jaunty and cool. A tinker with a gift of the gab.
No, he was just a dead bloke.
But really, how many Irish people in history have been particularly lucky? Let’s examine the facts.
How many times have Ireland won the World Cup?
The 100 metres?
And what of Ireland’s history? Well, it’s best known for terrorism and the potato famine, which are hardly demonstrations of good fortune.
I sit next to an Irish person at work and his life’s a cautionary tale for us all. Most days there’s some story of woe that usually starts with an early morning, pasta-based road spillage or some kind of lame lateness excuse featuring a hoopoo. For me, this so-called Luck of the Irish has absolutely no truck with fact whatsoever.
No, the only lucky person that ever came from Ireland is Bono and he still hasn’t learned to dress properly.
Northerners are friendlier than Southerners
This is a big, fat myth invented by northerners and people suffering from autism.
Here’s a couple of anecdotes.
The other day, while I was sitting in a wine bar deep in England’s south a waitress walked by with a plate of nibbles for a couple at a table nearby. My partner and I stared longingly at the plate of cold meats and cheeses and the couple noticed. Then they asked us if we wanted to try one or two. We agreed, engaged in a bit of idle chit-chat and got on with our evening. On leaving the wine bar the couple said goodbye and implored us to have a nice evening.
This is pleasant, friendly behaviour and over the past five or so years has been a regular occurrence, for me, in many urban areas in the south of England, including London.
About a week ago, I was unfortunate enough to end up in a bar in Newcastle pub. An ugly, bald chap approached me, attempted basic grammar and after I probed him a little further to establish what he was trying to communicate, offered me outside so we could settle the issue with force. I didn’t really fancy that and told him so. Then, unable to focus on the answer, he just fell down and hit his head on the pub’s wooden floor. I pulled him up, asked if he was ok. He mumbled something like: ‘thaaaanx i’lbealright. Sorreemade’ and staggered off.
I think it was Alan Shearer.