This is the poster for my new show. It’s a collection of jokes, stories, illustrations, tips and songs* about being silly in the face of adversity. Like the poster says it’ll be in Edinburgh from August 1st to the 25th but I’ll be previewing it all over the place before then. Here are just some of the dates. Please come along.
June 21st – The Source Arts Centre, Thurles – 8PM
July 6th & 7th – The New Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin – 6PM
July 13th & 14th – The Pleasance Islington, London – 7.30PM
July 17th – Secret Preview (Email for details) – 7.00PM
July 23rd, 24th, 25th – The International Bar, Wicklow Street, Dublin – 7.00PM
July 27th – The Ruby Room, Galway – 1.00PM
Here is the thing I did in London town last week.
Totally Dublin, an excellent publication, produced the article “200 Reasons Not To Leave Dublin”. As a country boy who has left Dublin after 11 years in favor of country life, I felt like a similar piece needed to be written. The fact that there are only 17 reasons says more about the demands of being a Daddy than the attractiveness of the country. I think.
(Feel free to add more or disagree accordingly.)
1. Lack of self-importance.
People from the country would never attempt to claim ownership of things that obviously belong to the entire nation like Live Line, Jambons, the age of the country or our ability to curse better than anyone in the world. Dublin people do this in front of country people all the time and it angers them greatly.
2. Better understanding of the weather:
Dublin people think that it rains when they are feeling sad and that the sun is shining because scumbags are jumping into the canal. Country people understand meteorology so much that we have our own theories and preferred sources of weather news.
3. Things are cheaper.
Not much more to be said on this one. It just costs a lot less to live outside Dublin and there is less chance of someone robbing and kicking your head in for the craic.
4. Tea brack.
Fruit loaf to Dubliners, brack or barm brack is an exquisite piece of country cuisine that facilitates the drinking of three cups of tea in one sitting.
5. Getting changed.
Ever meet a Dublin person four hours after they have finished work. Sweaty armpits, makeup around the colour, a spillage from lunch. That would never happen in the country. Contrary to popular belief country people are a lot cleaner than city folk as they can go home and change a lot more easily than a city slicker. As a result there is nothing a country person loves doing more than getting changed before doing anything after work.
6. Letting each other out
Unheard of in the city. Driving a car in the country requires a different level of patience and understanding given the number of tractors you tend to encounter. Letting someone out or pulling in to let someone go by is standard practice unless they look like a big Dublin prick who’s in a mad rush to go “surfing” in Lahinch.
7. Poor Network Coverage
Not having coverage is no bad thing when you’re attempting to avoid calls, emails or just taking a nap. Poor signal is not an excuse available to people living in the big schmoke.
8. Taking Naps
You know all that time you spend on buses, queuing for stuff and sitting in your car cribbin about the traffic? Country people use that time to grab forty winks. It’s part of the reason that country people don’t act like arseholes a lot of the time.
9. Talking in shops
Go into any shop in Dublin and try to have a chat with the person behind the counter about what’s happening in the world. They will think you are insane if you pursue the conversation past two sentences. Owing to having more time on their hands, country people expect / demand a bit of chat in the shops they use.
10. Leaving Dublin
When you pass through the lights at Newlands Cross and put the foot down to head home there is a sense of relief that no Dublin person will ever fully understand.
11. Businesses are usually open to persuasion
It doesn’t matter if it’s a pub in or funeral parlour, a menswear shop or a butchers if you’re in business in the country you are usually open to negotiation on price, the possibility of getting something extra free or your opening hours. If you’ve never left Dublin you would think that the price marked is written in stone and that you can’t get past a closed sign by simply knocking on the window.
12. Hurling Is Not A New Thing
Hang around with a Dublin GAA fan long enough and you’d think that hurling was a new business venture they had cleverly invested in that had taken off in recent years. All country people know that hurling predates Dublin itself. Try to explain this to a Dublin GAA supporter and they will tell you to “Go And Shite!”
13. Clothes That Fit
Dublin people seem to have great trouble finding clothes that fit them. Whether it’s the young lad with the jeans hanging off his arse or the flabby inner city girl wearing a belly top, city folk for some unknown reason can’t bring themselves to wear clothes that are the right size. Not a problem down the country. If anything the problem you have in towns like Kilkenny is the clothes fit too well and some shops won’t sell you anything that they feel might be a bit loose or a tiny bit tight.
14. People don’t try to intimidate each other with the use of the word “buddy”.
15. Less shouting.
It’s rare enough to see a mother curse at her child down the country. Cross O’Connell Bridge three times, I can promise you that on one of those trips you will see a parent shout at their child regardless of whether that child is capable of talking themselves.
16. Bragging is frowned upon.
Dublin people, particularly those on the Northside will think nothing of making a statement like, “I went bowling in Blanchardstown last night. Broke the highest score they’ve ever had in the centre. I wouldn’t mind only my thumb has been giving me trouble all week.” Country people who for the most part have never praised themselves at any point during their lives have no idea how to respond to statements like this.
17. Cheeky Kids
Dublin kids are little fuckers. They make smart remarks about your appearance and snigger at you when you walk by them. While some Dubliners think that sarcasm in youngsters is charming, if you’re from the country, where no child would ever ridicule a stranger in the street, you don’t know how to respond and have no choice but to spend the rest of the day mulling it over and telling your co-workers about what happened to you. If you’re co-workers are from Dublin, they will think the story of being called “a tool” by a bike-riding 7 year old is hilarious.
This month’s show takes place in The Workmans Club (Friday, 27th of April) and will feature all new rounds, a dozen acts, some very good prizes and some really terrible ones too. It’s still only €9 on the door or €11 if you’d like to pre-order.
Do you like a table quiz but hate their lack of taking the piss?
Yes! Well then you’ll love “Stand-Up and Answers”, the new monthly comedy quiz show I am hosting at the Sugar Club starting Friday March 30th. Featuring some of the finest comedians available and a range of ludicrous rounds of questions, it’s going to be a new kind of comedy thing that will make you laugh and potentially win prizes. Admission is just €9 and rounds will include:
“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dublin”
“What the fuck movie was that?”
And everyone’s favourite…
“Are you smarter than a 10 year old phone?”
Acts appearing on the night and soon to appear include Barry Murphy, David O’Doherty, Fred Cook, Chris Kent, Foil Arms and Hog and John Colleary.
Here’s a link to the facebook event.
Sadly nearly all the Christmas cards are all gone. I say sadly, but my head is wrecked from packing them up and sending them. So I’m a little relieved to be honest. The most popular cards are all still available but only in packs of 12 and 6. The packs are presented kinda nice with black tissue and fancy wrapping paper. So even if you don’t get a chance to send them, they make a pretty decent gift.
A lot of people who don’t have credit cards or Paypal have been asking if there is another way to buy the cards. The answer is yes. Come to any of these gigs I am doing and I’ll have them in my bag and I’ll sell them to you there and then.
Dec 12th – The Wool Shed, Parnell Square Dublin – 9pm
Dec 15th – The International Bar, Wicklow Street
Dec 16th – The International Bar, Wicklow Street
Dec 17th – The International Bar, Wicklow Street
Dec 19th – The Workman’s Club, Dublin
THE NEW CARDS HAVE ARRIVED!
That pretty much says it all. Click on THIS link to see the all new cards including the Star Wars card that George Lucas is threatening legal action over. Still an absurd €1, they are, to my mind, the best way to say to someone you love/like this Christmas, “I’m glad we share the same sense of humour.” Enjoy.
When did ranting become cool? Maybe it was when it became part of the dance music scene around the time “ranting and raving” took off. Whenever it was I don’t approve of people “going on a rant” or the encouraging of others to “have a good auld rant”. Some people find it entertaining to hear people venting their frustration through a rant but I’d much rather see them put that energy into making a piece of art that would symbolize how they feel. That might sound arsey but how brilliant would it be if instead of having to listen to someone burn your ear off complaining about some new tax, you had to wait a week to see what piece of papier-maché sculpture they had come up with to articulate their frustration. Taxis would be full of crudely crafted odds and ends about why the country is the way it is. Trips to your parents house would take an Aladdin’s cave feel. If your boss wanted to have a go at you about how you’re always late he’d have to put in the hard hours at the canvas. And pubs would be the new galleries. Instead of trying to shout over the din of other ranting drunks, everyone would arrive down with their paintings entitled “Why I hate Noel Edmonds!” or “Why no girl should ever wear UGG boots!” You could wander around appreciating everyone’s point of view while an old man in the corner did a piece of interpretive dance called “I blame the foreigners”.
My biggest problem with rants is nobody else is allowed to talk while someone is on one. They are the conversational equivalent of a lone playground swing. The person on it is the only one enjoying it. Everyone else has to just stand around waiting for them to be finished. It creates a pretty shitty community atmosphere in both settings. If you find yourself on a swing or rant in that situation all you can do is stay on as long as possible because you know the next person is going to do the same thing. After a while it’s a waste of time going to the park because you know all you’re going to do is stand around watching other people enjoy the swing.
If there is anything worse than a rant it’s probably long-winded analogies but that’s for another day in the park.
It took a while but the new Jigser Christmas cards, featuring the Michael D. Higgins and Star Wras cards, will be available to buy this week from the shop. Still only €1 each they are such good value that it’s getting harder and harder to justify the effort that goes into selling, packing and sending them! And of course the book, “How To Break Bad News”, which is now completely out of print, is still available exclusively from the shop. If you’re thinking I will get in in a book shop for less, you really can’t . Jigser.com is now the only place to get it so pick one up and I’ll pop it in the post to you.
Finally, tickets are still available for the big final night of the tour in Whelans on December 3rd. If you’d like a VIP ticket for you and friend, mail me and I’ll enter you in the draw.