Last chance to ‘phone home’
PICTURE THIS. 2.00am on a rain-whipped Sunday morning and for some reason you’re driving home alone on a deserted back road where the only sense of existence is the tiny little hamlet sleeping nine miles up the way.
Suddenly the motor starts to splutter and the battery dies. You’ve long run out of phone credit and the last house you passed was four miles back.
Then, in the distance, where there once stood a telephone box you see a deranged head with one eye, four teeth and a chainsaw ready to tear into your loins. Who are you going to call? No-one it seems, because the powers-that-be won’t give you the chance.
Operations are underway to uproot 2,151 of the 4,580 phone boxes around the country and once the cookie starts to crumble, you can be sure it won’t stop there.
The eircom bosses argue that most people have mobile phones these days and that vandalism is just contributing to a loss-making business.
But think of the emergencies that people find themselves in. Mobile phones are unreliable and with battery failure and credit exhaustion a common occurrence, people cannot rely on them when the clock strikes midnight and they find themselves alone in the dark.
Phone boxes and vandalism have gone hand-in-hand ever since ET was in short trousers and this low usage excuse cannot be really taken with much credibility. Not when it comes to public safety.
Every area should have a public phone box within touching distance because every now and then, someone’s life depends on it.
THERE ARE certain things that people from outside the country think of when you ask them about Ireland. Guinness is one, leprechauns are another and hot on their heels, you have ageing rockers U2.
Since Larry Mullen gave the band its heartbeat back in the mid-’70s, our very own ‘ Fab Four’ have refused to grow old gracefully and in many ways walk-the-walk just as sylishly as they did when the hair was long and trousers were tight.
However, as they release their new album ‘No Line on the Horizon’, their first single might be considered average when you compare it to the extraordinarily high standards they had set themselves previously.
Personally, their brief flirtation with the blues on ‘Rattle and Hum’ was the highlight of an astonishing career and if they could venture down that avenue one more time, then they might just uncover a comfortable environment where they could put the boots up on the table and recreate such gems as ‘When Love Comes to Town’ as they enter their musical twilight. And leave the political messages back in the van.
POOR OLE BECKS
THE heart-strings would tug ever-so-slightly for poor old David Beckham.
Temporarily plying his trade in the plush surroundings of Milan, he moaned that sometimes he gets ‘frustrated’ while playing certain games for LA Galaxy over in the United States, though he added that on occasion as he jets from state-to-state, he has a little fun.
As a shadow of the footballer he was when he was at his peak, and earning a reported $500,000 a week for some pretty humdrum performances, you might think his American employers are entitled to feel a little bit frustrated too.