Driven de­mented by the sea­son of hard sell

Irish Examiner - Farming - - FEATURE - Cor­ma­c­sea­[email protected]

The ter­ri­ble truth about this col­umn is it is be­ing dragged out of my in­nards on a chilly De­cem­ber evening when the last thing I want to do is write even a sin­gle word.

I know in my heart and soul it’s the sea­son of peace and good­will to all, ir­re­spec­tive of age, race, pig­men­ta­tion, or any of the as­ton­ish­ing range of gen­ders that are per­fectly re­spected and re­spectable in this mod­ernised repub­lic now. But, my stocks of gen­uine peace and good­will are long ex­hausted, due to re­tail­ing and com­mer­cial forces on every side launch­ing the Christ­mas sell­ing sea­son ear­lier than ever be­fore.

Do any of you gen­tle read­ers find your­selves in the same plight ? I would be very sur­prised if a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age amongst you are not nod­ding your heads in silent agree­ment this minute. Of course, if I am not in the hu­mour for writ­ing even a sin­gle word, it is quite pos­si­ble that ye don’t feel like read­ing my ver­bal tripe ei­ther.maybe there is only a small hand­ful of us here to­day?

The oth­ers who nor­mally join us are prob­a­bly broke af­ter the hottest spend­ing spree since the pit of the eco­nomic re­ces­sion.

Or they are out with bulging shop­ping bags chas­ing al­leged Black Fri­day bar­gains which ad­ver­tis­ing voices on the air­waves tell them are still up for grabs, if they move fast enough. And those voices in­vari­ably state smoothly the hack­neyed sen­tence, “...and when they’re gone, they are def­i­nitely gone!”.

How many thou­sand times have we heard that pitc hin this spend­ing spree?

It must work on us con­sumers like a magic wand, oth­er­wise the mar­ke­teers would not all be de­ploy­ing it every sell­ing minute and sec­ond across their cam­paigns. Amaz­ing stuff al­to­gether. As I con­fessed above, my peace and good­will to­wards all mankind are ex­hausted. My jaws are sore from smil­ing at every­body I meet on the shop­ping cir­cuits of my hin­ter­land by the Shan­non.

It is quite dif­fi­cult to keep a bright smile pasted on your vis­age for every out­ing since the sales pitches be­gan last Oc­to­ber. I am a se­nior ci­ti­zen now, and one’s jaws are not as mo­bile as they once might have been. But it is a very pure truth, prov­ing my point that my three-year-old lit­tle dog, Pep­per, my con­stant com­pan­ion on the streets, is whim­per­ing every night, be­cause her tail is aching from hours of friendly wag­ging at every passer-by wish­ing us peace and good­will on the streets. I must also con­fess openly here and now, hold­ing noth­ing back at all, that I might be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the early stages of age-re­lated de­men­tia. You see, I imag­ine I can hear ex­tremely com­pelling voices, speak­ing for mo­tor deal­ers across the na­tion, say­ing that if I move fast and buy their span-new car at once, they will not alone give me three times the tradein value of my aged banger, but they will also give me a new car in a cou­ple of months time, free of charge al­to­gether, years of free ser­vices for both ve­hi­cles, and every guar­an­tee un­der the moon and stars. But I have to move very fast in­deed, say these sales­men on the air­waves of my clearly af­flicted imag­i­na­tion be­cause, yes, once these free new cars are gone, they are def­i­nitely gone.

A stranger wish­ing me the warm­est of peace and good­will this week sug­gested the mo­tor car mak­ers are push­ing harder than ever be­fore this Christ­mas, be­cause the global warm­ing scare could see all con­ven­tional petrol and diesel ve­hi­cles banned com­pletely. Then, he said, we will all ei­ther have to get back up on bi­cy­cles again, or buy some class of hy­brid or elec­tric car which, he claimed, costs next to noth­ing to run by com­par­i­son with those cars we once got our “L” plates for.

He was a nice man, that I had the con­ver­sa­tion with, but I fear he might also be af­flicted a bit by the early de­men­tia mal­ady I fear my­self.

This fear was re­in­forced in my ad­dled head when I asked him where was the near­est charg­ing point for my elec­tric car, if I pur­chased one soon, and he said it was about 30 miles of bad road away. But, soon there would be one or two of them in every town and vil­lage sur­viv­ing the drift to­wards the old Pale. In­ci­den­tally, whilst we were dis­cussing global warm­ing, there was such a bit­ing win­ter wind, and it was ab­so­lutely freez­ing, that poor lit­tle Pep­per was whim­per­ing around our an­kles, ex­hausted tail again be­tween her legs. I think I’ll pay a rare visit to a doc­tor be­fore the week is out, to check if in­deed I am los­ing the last of my men­tal mar­bles. I’ll al­most cer­tainly get con­fir­ma­tion of my fears on that front.

Fi­nally, I have just enough of my peace and good­will to­wards all mankind left some­where to wish peace to the half-dozen or so of you who are still here­abouts.

If ye are still here, in­ci­den­tally, maybe you should con­sider go­ing to see your GP too, ASAP, be­cause I imag­ine I heard voices on the air­waves ear­lier this week say­ing, ef­fec­tively, that GPS might be go­ing on some class of a strike over some­thing or other, be­fore the year is out.

Can’t re­mem­ber what the is­sue in­volved was. That’s hap­pen­ing to me too of­ten lately...

Not too many ‘sea­son of peace and good­will’ smiles here. Maybe, like Cor­mac, they are ad­dled by the on­slaught of com­mer­cial mes­sages.

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