Com­mu­nion mag­a­zine leads to lunchtime rant

Bray People - - OPINION - SHEA TOMKINS

WED­NES­DAY: TO­DAY we ex­plained the con­cept of Lent to the young lad. He sat at the kitchen ta­ble, lis­ten­ing at­ten­tively, while we in­formed him that he is ex­pected to sac­ri­fice some­thing he loves dearly for a full forty days and forty nights.

Even­tu­ally, when the enor­mity of the task be­came lu­cid in his three-and-a-half-year-old mind, he sug­gested not watch­ing Thomas the Tank En­gine for that spec­i­fied pe­riod of time. We told him that it was a pretty lame choice, as he over­came his ob­ses­sion with Rev­erend Awdry’s con­cocted rail­way ad­ven­tures a lit­tle over a year ago. I added that giv­ing up watch­ing Krypto Dog might set him a sterner test. He climbed down from the ta­ble and shuf­fled off into the sitting room, where he tends to do most of his deep think­ing, and mulling, these days.

A few min­utes later he ar­rived into the toy room. I was busily clean­ing up the scat­tered play­things (what goes around does come around in this life, even if it takes thirty years to ma­te­ri­alise). ‘I have de­cided to give up But­tons,’ he an­nounced, and re­ceived rap­tur­ous ap­plause from the good woman and my­self. The younger lad, who was sway­ing to the sound of the Mamma Mia sound­track in his rocker spat out his dummy, taken aback by his brav­ery. With the prom­ise of a But­tons Easter Egg wait­ing for him on Easter Sun­day, we now look for­ward to find­ing out if he has the willpower to suc­ceed.

Thurs­day: Brows­ing through the shelves of the newsagent’s store, as I like to do at lunchtimes, I am in­ter­rupted by a woman bear­ing a scowl that could cool a bull in mat­ing sea­son. ‘It’s an out­rage,’ she booms, and I’m not re­ally sure if she’s talk­ing to me or the en­tire col­lec­tion of cus­tomers cur­rently on the premises. But for now she ap­pears to be look­ing at me, so I daren’t look away. Even though I would like to.

‘A fash­ion mag­a­zine for the Holy Com­mu­nion kids, I never saw the likes,’ she grunts. With that she storms off to­wards the back of the store, pre­sum­ably for a sit down and to pull her­self to­gether.

There on the shelf sits a mag­a­zine with four lit­tle girls beam­ing out at me in their stylish Com­mu­nion dresses. Chan­nel Four’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wed­ding springs to mind – where, in a re­cent episode, a dress­maker was com­mis­sioned to make a young Trav­eller girl the Com­mu­nion dress of her dreams. Com­plete with fairy lights. I de­cide against telling the flus­tered lady about the show. It might just push her over the edge, and I haven’t got the time to be re­spon­si­ble for that.

Fri­day: I find the new gov­ern­ment very en­ter­tain­ing so far. The eclec­tic mix of minds that will now gov­ern us - some amus­ingly adorned in un­ortho­dox at­tire - has in­jected the ‘ whoomph fac­tor’ back into pol­i­tics. Just like beat­ing Eng­land has sexed up peo­ple’s in­ter­est in cricket, and al­legedly dat­ing Rhianna may di­rect Colin Far­rell back on the road to the box of­fice.

There is also some­thing about our new group of politi­cians that re­minds me of the movie Po­lice Academy 3; Cit­i­zens on Pa­trol, where the green re­cruits bum­ble their ways into town - es­pe­cially hav­ing seen Mar­garet Mitchell drive her car down the steps of gov­ern­ment build­ings.

I en­joyed Enda Kenny’s speech on be­com­ing Taoiseach. It was ro­man­tic, po­etic, in­spi­ra­tional and more im­por­tantly just what we needed to hear, af­ter be­ing grunted at from the heights for far too long. Time will tell if he and his gov­ern­ment have the ac­tions to back up his words.

Satur­day: The young lad and I are wait­ing in the queue to pay for our goods in the su­per­mar­ket. Ahead of us a fel­low shopper is re­lay­ing a tale about a feral cat that has been in­fil­trat­ing its way into her home, to the cashier. ‘If it comes back again,’ she blus­ters, ‘I’m go­ing to wring its neck.’ The young lad turns to me and says, ‘She could just ring the cat’s mother.’ True son, I tell him, and find it dif­fi­cult to ar­gue with his logic.

Sun­day: The Great Out­doors lured us out to en­gage with na­ture to­day. The weed-capped veg­etable patch was given a thor­ough shake up fol­low­ing its win­ter rest, and the young lad got busy plant­ing more parsnips, which won last year’s ‘ best turned out crop’ ti­tle. Be­ing huge ad­mir­ers of any food that comes sea­soned with fresh herbs, I put down some chives, co­rian­der, pars­ley and basil.

The gar­den­ing ex­perts, well those that write the in­struc­tions on the packet, tell us to be­gin har­vest­ing in Septem­ber. If self-suf­fi­ciency is the path for­ward, then we have taken our baby steps. As for the five crops, the race to the din­ing ta­ble has be­gun. My money is on the chives.

Dis­claimer: But­tons have been con­sumed since this ar­ti­cle was sub­mit­ted for pub­li­ca­tion.

I en­joyed Enda Kenny’s speech on be­com­ing Taoiseach. It was ro­man­tic, po­etic, in­spi­ra­tional and just what we needed to hear

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