Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Parenting - TRIC KEAR­NEY

WHEN peo­ple dis­cover I write this col­umn, their first re­ac­tion is usu­ally, “You’re a dark horse” and their sec­ond is “Don’t write about me next week, haha”.

I’m al­ways very care­ful about who I fea­ture, ex­cept of course when it’s yer man who is very re­laxed about fame.

How­ever, with­out nam­ing names, I’d like to ded­i­cate my col­umn this week to a very spe­cial some­one… the per­son who cre­ated the exit to Cork on the M50.

You may know the one, it’s be­neath nu­mer­ous gi­ant sign­posts which clearly in­di­cate its ex­is­tence. How­ever, like that in­fa­mous on­line dress of dif­fer­ent colours last year, some clearly see these signs while oth­ers don’t.

I was in­spired to pay ho­mage to the clever road de­sign­ers be­cause of a lovely day out to Dublin I had with yer man last week, which was al­most an hour more lovely than nec­es­sary. We’d headed down the M50 driv­ing mer­rily along, when I be­came en­grossed in the news on my phone, or maybe it was Face­book, I’m not sure. As I looked up, I spot­ted an exit whizzing by on my left. At that very same mo­ment yer man said, “Oh no, is that our exit?”

There fol­lowed a long but deadly si-

As the dark­ness of the evening matched the mood in the car, we trav­elled much of the next few hours in si­lence, ev­ery un­fa­mil­iar sign­post re­mind­ing us we were on the wrong road

lence as we both sat there with our own thoughts. Mine were mur­der­ous. They reached a new level of vi­o­lence when a sign­post con­firmed our fears and yer man said, “Well I’m not turn­ing back. It’s quicker to keep go­ing.”

As the dark­ness of the evening matched the mood in the car, we trav­elled much of the next few hours in si­lence, ev­ery un­fa­mil­iar sign­post re­mind­ing us we were on the wrong road, un­til fi­nally we spot­ted the lights of Lim­er­ick and the first sign­post to Cork.

Thank­fully time, and we had lots of it, is a great healer and my mur­der­ous thoughts moved to the so and so who sanc­tioned the exit.

Ini­tially, I imag­ined the de­signer must be a wo­man, as a wo­man would never for a mo­ment imag­ine that some­one wouldn’t read the large signs lead­ing up to the exit clearly di­rect­ing mo­torists to Cork. How­ever, I’ve since heard from many of my fe­male friends that they too have made the same mis­take. So, the jury is out on that one.

How­ever, one thing I am sure of, is that it is some­one who hails from Lim­er­ick. Per­haps there is a part of them which chuck­les daily as they imag­ine the brakes be­ing ap­plied, just a lit­tle too late by so many from the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Cork as they miss the exit?

Is ev­ery day just a lit­tle brighter as they think of the many ex­tra vis­i­tors driv­ing to their beloved Lim­er­ick or the ex­ten­sive vo­cab­u­lary of colour­ful lan­guage used, as Cork driv­ers watch the exit in their rear-view mir­ror, dis­ap­pear­ing into the dis­tance as they drive at speed in the wrong di­rec­tion?

I won­dered if per­haps this per­son was ex­act­ing re­venge on a pre­vi­ous lover from Cork. Did they know that they would reg­u­larly travel this route and were use­less at spot­ting sign­posts? Is that why as a fi­nal act of fun they de­cided that if you did fail to take the cor­rect exit you would have to drive for a life­time be­fore be­ing able to turn back and when you did turn back travel an­other life­time be­fore you would find your way onto the Cork road?

As for the state of my­self and yer man af­ter our scenic drive? Well, we did con­sider coun­selling, but that would in­volve us talk­ing to each other and af­ter 30 years that would be risky, who knows what we’d say.

In­stead we’ve agreed, from now on to turn off our phones be­fore leav­ing Dublin.

I did toy with sug­gest­ing I drive in fu­ture, but thought bet­ter of it.

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