Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rubbery with Violence

"Fuck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside", bawled Govstooge in a perfect Mid-West accent at the office Christmas party Karaoke. There was no backing track. I didn't need it - after seven pints I could make my own kind of music. I also belted out "People are strange" by the Doors at an earlier point in the night - the joke was lost on the motley crew of oddballs, none of whom dared approach the mike.

There was a disco also. Jesus Christ, the sight of middle-aged civil servants bopping away to Katy Perry is a sad one indeed. Nosher, the fat EO, sated from his repast (which included mopping up the remnants of his neighbours' dishes) wobbled over to the bar which I was valiantly propping up during a slow set to find a dance partner. His hand extended towards mine. Eugh. People have camera phones. The moment could be recorded for posterity, posted up on the Departmental Intranet for people to chuckle at when bored. "No thanks, Nosher", I said firmly. "Ah, come on, it's that song by Elton Jim!", he protested. I rounded on him. "Look Nosher, the last man I danced with lost his left bollock due to an ill-timed move on my part." Nosher thought for a second, - possibly contemplating the armour of his pendulous abdomen viz-a-viz his testicles regardless of any crap dancing on my part - and turned away sadly.

I've nothing against fat blokes, I've even gone out with one, it's just that it was a Friday night, and Nosher was wearing the same shirt that night that he had been wearing since Monday, and I could still see remains of strawberry jam from Tuesday morning's scone on it.

All in all, it was a memorable night, not least with the snow gently falling around us as we went from place to place, and not a drop of vomit in sight!

Christmas chez Govstooge was a different matter. Following a hearty dinner, Brussels sprouts included, there was a pitched battle between Govstooge père and Govstooge mère over which DVD boxset to watch. Would it be Only Fools and Horses Complete Box Set (Govstooge père, from Govstooge) or A Night with Daniel O'Donnell, a gift from Govstooge frère to Govstooge mère. Govstooge women being made of stern stuff, Daniel O'Donnell won the toss and it was imperative that I leave the house immediately before my slightly deaf mum got her hands on the volume control button, but not before shooting evil glances at my brother.

Kilshite main street was deserted, and white. Even the dogshit was white. Not a sound other than the gurgling of the river under the bridge. Placid, until a boy racer tore up the street, "Fuck your Honda Civic..." blaring from his windows.

Ironic. He was driving one, the dimwit.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where everybody knows your name... almost

I’m not going to write about the Budget 2011 and its raping of my already gang-raped pay cheque. I have more pressing things on my mind right now.

It’s that time of year again, the annual office Christmas “do”. As I’m in a whole new Department, I’m filled with trepidation at the thought of what kind of festivities my new colleagues indulge in.
I’ve already established a list of people beside whom it is safe to sit at the dinner. Basically, it’s anyone who is not:

- The Trappist EO. I am a convivial sort, and sitting next to a silent colleague would be awkward, but he is the best of the lot of them, if I want him to make noise I could stick him with my fork.

- The Bionic Woman. The colleague who has so much cosmetic dentistry and Botox and IUD devices inside her that she is surrounded by a strange magnetic field, has paper clips stuck to her back and can change ringtones on people’s phones merely by coughing.

- Morticia. Just...go away. I don’t care about the turkey and ham you ate at a table a Bishop sat at once.

- Nosher, the corpulent EO. I can see him now. “Govstooge, look at the lovely outfit Mary is wearing!” I look. “Oh yeah, nice top,” I agree. I look back at my plate. WHERE HAVE MY FUCKING CHIPS GONE?!!!? Nosher is grinning and rubbing his ample belly.

- My arch-nemesis. Yes, I have one. Even here. Nothing’s ever happened between us. It’s a hatred akin to that of Maggie Simpson and Gerald, the monobrowed baby who seem to simply glare at each other, just as this colleague does to me. (And I reciprocate, because underneath all this erudition and consummate professionalism, I am profoundly childish.)

That leaves me with: The HEO, his boss, their boss and some other uber senior manager.

Does that mean I’ll be kissing serious arse at the table?

The pub, karaoke and other crap will be another matter entirely. It’ll probably involve dancing.

I hate dancing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Silence of the EOs

So, thanks to the inclement weather today (The high winds mean that a person of short stature such as myself runs a risk of being blown into the Atlantic if they put a foot wrong), I found myself remaining on in the Department during lunchtime and, rather than break my teeth on a concrete-like Departmental Scone in the canteen, I remained at my desk with a large coffee.

It was quiet. Bloody quiet.

Morticia hasn’t been seen for days. One of the last times I spoke to her, she was wittering on about it being her birthday and “oooh, I don’t want to tell you how old I am, but it’s between 58 and 60,” she prattled. She seemed to have been angling for the rest of us to get her a present seeing as she plans to retire/ take a career break/ die soon and it’s likely to be her last one in the Department. When I looked around there was no-one else within earshot who I could – ahem – “volunteer” for the project, I felt it fell to me to do something for the good lady.

Actually, I tell a lie. There was someone else within earshot. The Trappist EO. Not exactly a good person to fob the whole project onto. Apart from the protracted silences, the said EO is widely known to be the only civil servant who can claim an input into the production of metamorphic rock – i.e. if you shoved a lump of coal up this EO’s arse, it would come out as a miniature, sparkly Hope(less) Diamond.

Anyway, I hadn’t got a lot of cash to spare myself. What little I had at the time was earmarked for essential stuff, like beer and books. And I was fucked if I was going to spend it on someone I didn’t particularly like. A small unit like ours would yield fuck all cash anyway if I had a collection. I felt, however, that it would be a small outlay considering that we’ll be shot of Morticia for good in the next year or so, and, with this in mind, I set about contemplating what would be nice to get for her, that wouldn’t make any sort of a dent in the personal finances.

Having sifted through all the options open to me, and thinking that the giftwrapped dog poo was taking things a little too far, I opted instead for a nice flower from my garden in a pot. Morticia was ecstatic when I brought it in the next day. She placed it on her desk, right beside the picture of the Taj Mahal and Princess Diana with a cutout of Morticia glued crudely to one side. She watered the plant, stroked it and sang songs to it for the whole day. That evening, she picked it up carefully and took it home.

She has not been seen since. And it’s a pity, because I'm interested to know how my cutting of Deadly Nightshade (atropa belladonna) is getting on.

I still think it was a better gift than the poo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Well, here I am again, returning from yet another one of my protracted absences - my excuse this time is that I became engulfed in an explosion of something called WORK at work, and have scarcely had enough energy to even stay awake for the entirety of a film. (That was OK though. The film was Seven Pounds, and it was seven pounds of shit despite having Will Smith in it, so I wasn't missing much.)

I've also been wrestling with fifteen boxes of engineered three-strip oak flooring, the attendant underlay and trimmings and I have won. However, that was just getting the bastards out of the car. Now to get somebody to lay them for me (oo-er missus!) as I'm right fucking pissed off stubbing my toe on them every time I go downstairs. The neighbours do not need to hear "Ooooow you fucking *****!" at 7am every morning through the wall. They have small kids who may suffer irreparable psychological damage from hearing such outbursts.

Anyway, just as I thought I could relax, my arch nemesis decided to pay a visit. No, not Untidy Guy from my previous Department. (If he turned up on my doorstep, I'd have a horrible job getting enough acid to dissolve the body of the fat bastard.) Nope, it was time for my annual chest infection.

My lungs filled up with goo. And over a weekend too, so I end up being too fucked to go to the pub. But bless my turbo-charged garlic-fuelled immune system and its fighting phagocytes of fury! When Monday comes, my phlegmy rattle goes, and I can work!

My body is such a bastard. Out goes phlegm, in comes vitriol. Watch this space. Especially YOU, Untidy Guy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The price of nosiness...

Ok, I've been in my new Department a good five or six months now. I know how most things work so far and I suppose I'm generally content. Some things make me wonder, though.

I'm not usually a nosy person, I don't give a fuck about the tedious minutiae of the lives of others (I am not, or have ever been, a Stasi agent). However, all this went out the window one evening last week when I was returning to my desk after having been to the toilet. I was working back a little bit later than usual and think I may have taken my colleague, the previously mentioned Trappist EO by surprise.

The Trappist EO was on the phone! He glanced up as I returned to the room, with an expression akin to that of someone caught by the Bishop having a wank on a Richard Dawkins book at the back of a church. The conversation was terminated very quickly at that point, and the consternation of the other party was audible from my side of the room before the receiver was replaced.

"Hmmm..." I thought. "What the feck was all that about?"

The next day, the Trappist EO had returned to form. Nothing was said. Lunchtime rolled around, and I expected the Trappist EO to vacate the room and make his way to the canteen before the one o'clock rush, as is his daily, unchanging routine.

One o'clock, and he was still there, meditating on a pile of forms. "He's up to something," I thought, and decided to delay my own midday outing purely for the reason that he might be waiting for me to get out in order to make another one of his furtive calls. "I'm not moving until he does," I resolved.

Unfortunately, the two cups of coffee I had earlier were making their presence felt, and nature was calling, loudly, but not quite shouting. Yet.

1.30, and both of us were still manning the office in silence. He was shuffling bits of paper around his desk with an inscrutable expression. I was trying to hide the fact that I was pressing my legs together while wiggling in order not to reveal the fact that the flood gates could open at any moment. Fuck. What was I doing to myself? A ruptured bladder just to hear the Trappist EO making a call?

1.45. He was finally off. Maybe he gave up. Phew. Now came the hard part. I had to negotiate an open-plan area full of COs and a corridor with some APs' offices off it in order to get to the toilet. I rose, steadily, keeping my legs crossed. I grabbed a bundle of forms that I could pretend to study if I had to make an emergency stop along the way. Waddle waddle waddle, through the open plan area. I stopped right on the threshold of a double door, a group of COs parting as they passed me on either side on their way back to work. I felt my face going red. More waddling, until I reached the door to the toilets. I ran a gauntlet of gossiping civil servants before finding an empty trap.

Aaaah, major wazz. Crisis averted! And not a drop spilt!

As I sat there, I thought, nosiness is never worth it. Just think of the embarrassment I could have suffered had I had a major accident in the Department! I'd have to look for a transfer back to Squeaky Doors, a fate worse than death!

No, next time, I'm just going to drop a "listening device" in the office and save myself the hassle.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I checked my email earlier. "You have 10 new messages", it said. "Yahoo" (or should that be Gmail?) , I thought, "lots of new stuff to read, maybe a couple of lolcats, who knows."


One email worth reading, from a friend.

Two emails from Blogspot saying that a Chinese spammer with links to adult sites had left a comment on my blog, do I want to publish or reject?

Seven from bloody Facebook:

Joe Blogs took the movie quiz. Can you beat his score?
Bloke you met on holidays sends you a million kisses.
Fanny O'Toole invites you to join the group "Women against Vicars who hop around on one leg"
Richard Cranium tagged you in a photo in the album "Seven drunken nights"

And so on...


Does nobody want to communicate by proper email anymore?

Bloody Fuckbook.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Morticia approached me yet again today. She toddled right up alongside me and said:

"I have an Orts degree, you know."

Now, in my present Department, there are a great many people with Arts degrees. And Business degrees, computer science, even electronic engineering graduates. It's not unusual to have a degree in the civil service. I myself am the holder of an Arts degree, along with a Master's in a humanities discipline. This I reveal to my colleague.

"Ooh", she replies,"but you're not using it." This, said with a smug little smirk and a victory wiggle, which make me furrow my brow and retort curtly:

"Yes I am. A large proportion of what I studied is relevant for what I'm doing right now." (This is actually true, even on EO pay!)

"I'm not using mine at the moment", Morticia confides in me. I'm half expecting her to offer to sell it to me for an aloe vera plant and the chain of paper clips I had in my old Department for whipping clerical officers with.

"I wouldn't have thought so," I reply "as a lot of your generation (ha! Age dig!) doing Arts would have become teachers, or would be higher up in the civil service."

Morticia looks dejected, as her attempt to make herself feel superior to me has backfired in her face.

I smirk and turn back to my work. Morticia returns to hers without saying another word. I did a little victory dance in my swivel chair. I'm a really crap dancer, so I nearly fell off and had to make it look like I was picking up a biro I'd dropped.

The virtual Vuvuzela of victory in my head was going "Blaaaaaart!" for the best part of the next hour.

I go away for two weeks and this is what happens...

Ah, the iridescent glow of sunburn on pasty Irish skin. And not just me, either. Most of my colleagues are back from their summer holidays now and red is the new trendy colour in the Department. Red with a nice peely texture. Yummy. Not for me the beach or the swimming pool, however, I spent my leisure time bouncing merrily on beer-fuelled hikes through non-touristy areas and gaining a nice bright farmer's tan to boot. Oo-arr!

So the silence I'd been suffering in before I left has ended. And there's been another EO thrown into the melange! Oh what fun, another person for me to glower at! So here I am, sandwiched between Mr Trappist EO, the untroublesome CO and this newbie EO who bounded over to me to introduce herself.

EO: "Hello, I'm Morticia! And how are you this fine morning?"
Govstooge: Uhurrrgg. It's my first day back. What do you think?
Morticia: And where were you?
Govstooge: I was hiking in the little-known principality of Fukofaganski.
Morticia: Well, what a co-incidence! My grandmother was born on Fukofaganski, and we still have a house there, don't you know.
Govstooge: Err, no. I've just met you.

(Much blather follows from Morticia about the wonderful baroque architecture of the Cathedral of Saint Stinkyfoot of Bollixybillski, the capital of Fukofaganski, and the glorious Roman Wazzatorium which is preserved nearby.)

All of this, of course, while Morticia is leaning over my desk, breathing this morning's rancid camomile tea breath all over me.

Suddenly, my phone rings! I heave a sigh of relief. But Morticia doesn't go away! She clings onto my desk attendant on the end of my phone conversation, ready to compare Fukofaganski with a myriad of other places around the world, just to illustrate how awfully well-travelled she is.


I don't fucking care if you think the temple of Wan Ker in Malaysia looks like a stone on the road outside the Pontifical University of Bollixybillski.

Go away.

I hate you already.

Who will rid me of this turbulent EO?

There is a silver lining though. Morticia likes to talk an awful lot about herself and has already provided me with a happy ending. She may have just transferred into my area, but plans on taking a career break soon or maybe even retiring, as she is of that vintage (even in spite of the inane chatter akin to that of a very insecure teenager).

I could barely conceal my glee, and smiled across at the Trappist EO.

He was grinning too.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Loneliness of the Short Arsed EO

People. Can't live with 'em (bastards!), can't live without 'em (boo-fucking-hoo).

Rave on John Donne, ya good thing, for no man is an island and so forth.

This week, and for one week only (thank fuck!), I find myself in a rather unenviable position in my new Department. Thanks to holidays, the shorter working year scheme and other factors, I find myself all alone in the office. All alone, that is, apart from a person who seems to be the civil service's one and only Trappist EO. Or else he is a Father Stone impersonator. I don't know. But the silence is slowly killing me.

Anyhow, as the tumbleweeds blow gently among the forms, I find myself craving clerical officers, stupid ringtones, even fucking Vuvuzelas. I even rang the speaking clock to hear the sound of a human-ish voice. I had to stop myself when I realised I was dialling the number for Ryanair's call centre.

I was in a shop at lunchtime today and saw a packet of needles, and nearly bought them, thinking that if I stuck them in my colleague he might make some noise. Our HR department might have something to say about that, though.

I passed the undertaker's on my way back. "Fuck", I thought, "maybe he's dead! " Ah, no, he'd have gone off by now with the recent heat.

Then I passed the taxidermist... ah, too far fetched, even for the civil service.

Ok, I'm off out of the place for a couple of weeks soon myself, in the meantime I've had to transfer some of my Billy Connolly CDs onto the iPod thingy.

Next thing we know, there'll be a Trappist EO blogging about the loony EO he has to share an office with who keeps laughing loudly like the blind priest listening to Mr Bean on the "Flight into Terror" episode of Father Ted.

Now that I would like to see. It would prove that he isn't stuffed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More terrifying than Daleks?

What is it about the civil service that attracts the sort of people you expect only to see as extras on Doctor Who, Torchwood or Psychoville?

Only today have I seen a colleague meander into the middle of the busy road outside the Department, willing the traffic to stop by sheer force of drool and thousand yard stare. I expected civil servant pizza (the dandruff in his hair lending a touch of Parmesan), given public sentiment about our chosen profession. Instead, a car screeched to a halt inches from the dribbling functionary, possibly out of fear, as who knows what was hidden inside the rolled-up copy of the Irish Times under his arm, a gun, perhaps ,or a steel-tipped prototype of the most horrible form ever to come out of a Government Department. The terror!

We also have the chap that seems to be entirely made out of jelly. Yes, his corpulence has no equal in any colleague, public or private sector who I have worked with before. Mr W. Onder (or Wibbly-Wobbly for short) has an arse to rival J. Lo’s, and boobs that would make the sort of girl who stuffs her bra with toilet paper/ chicken fillets/ old forms seethe with envy. Onder’s chair makes dreadful noises when he sits down - the sort of noises that prompt you to run if you are in a building that’s structurally unsound. The chair makes an equally dreadful noise when he stands up. I never thought I would hear an inanimate object emit a sigh of relief.

Many of my new colleagues are single men, possibly living on their own, or still with their mothers, in a sort of Norman Bates style arrangement. I’ve worked this out, despite their intense secretiveness, thanks to several visual cues, other than the non-presence of wedding rings.

For instance:

Mr K. D. Nostrildamus, a keen gardener, likes to commune with nature on a regular basis. This he does by inserting the index finger of his right hand inside his left nostril, leaving it there until the “weeds” have been removed. The time of day or place doesn’t matter. This has been observed in meetings, at the photocopier, and, most disturbingly, in the self-service area of the canteen. If he knew any, a woman would have beaten this out of him long ago.

Mr Tony Grossburger, another rather corpulent colleague, loves his shirt so much, he will wear it for an entire week. By Friday, it has developed an ecosystem all of its own, particularly in the underarm regions and down the front where various traces of Tuesday’s eggy breakfast, Wednesday’s liver and onions and Thursday night’s beans on toast are in evidence. The following Monday, the stains are gone, thanks to the liberal application of what smells like carbolic soap. Grossburger generally sits alone in the canteen.

And the staring. Dear Christ, the fucking staring. The HEO has only to ask me a question, and their heads are up... and the eyes remain on me for considerably longer than is necessary. ("Oh look....WO-MAN ... and not Mammy either!"). I'm fucking dreading the office Christmas party already, in case one of them comes in with a sprig of misteltoe. I will just have to carry a chainsaw with me at all times.

I really should get to work on my idea for a new TV series. Spluttering Shites, the working title, is all I've come up with so far.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Since when....

...has it been OK for staff in different, adjacent sections to ask me to pick up their phone because they want to nip out to their car for their fags?

I only glanced up as she was passing by and just happened to catch her eye.

Now, I might have to get up from my desk and wander across the corridor when I hear her fucking annoying ringtone, answer the fucking thing, and then take a message relating to some obscure conversation she had with her other half at the breakfast table this morning, find some paper, scribble a note on it.

I saw her ID badge. She's a CO. I'm an EO. She can fuck off.

Mind you, she hasn't seen my handwriting yet. My scrawl, which resembles the marks made by spiders with inky legs crawling across a sheet of paper left on a trampoline being bounced on by Mary Harney, will be punishment enough. Ha.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Location, Location, Location

You may be forgiven for thinking that I'd disappeared up my own hole for the past several weeks or so. And you'd be right. What an exciting place the lower functionary's ileosacral region can be.

Almost as exciting as the adrenalin rush I get from blowing things up, shooting things, kicking the shit out of random strangers and driving at breakneck speeds. Yes, I've discovered (rather late in the day) the delights of Grand Theft Auto 4, the best fucking outlet for pent up rage yet. It's bloody addictive. I knew I had a problem when I drove (a real car) to a friends' house and rammed their wheelie bin, not to mention the urges I got when I saw a Garda checkpoint. Urges I had to suppress, lest I became some tattooed lesbian bank robber's bitch in wimmin's prison.

Meanwhile, back at the Department of Pedantry, I have more or less settled into my fab new role. I've had plenty causes for rage though, as only I could.

My initial accomodation in my new Department consisted of a tiny desk squirrelled away in a dark corner of the Department. Great, eh? Nice little corner, away from the madding crowd? Just what Govstooge needed after being a slave to the leave forms and whims of several clerical officers? Was it bollocks. It backed onto an entrance door into an open plan area. Which meant every fucker who came in could see what was on my screen. Not only that, but I had an unofficial (i.e. not on my Role Profile Form) duty as a concierge for the area, being the first person people would see as they came through the door. My typically pleasant disposition meant speedy results.

"Excuse me, do you know where Hortensia Bucketflaps' desk is?"
"No, I'm new here."

"Can you tell Roger MeSideways that I was looking for him?"
"If I knew who he is, or indeed, who YOU are, I could tell him, but I'm new here."

"Hello, I'm making a collection for Rusty McMinge who is retiring next week, I'm looking for a fiver from everyone."
"FUUUU.... err, I'm all out, and besides, I'm new here."

After several complaints (possibly not ALL of them from me), I now find myself in a far more suitable location, in one of those omniscient positions where I can see everyone coming and still have sufficient time to hide if I don't want to talk to them. A big plant placed strategically helps me with this, and is also useful for hiding in when I fancy sniping at people with elastic bands because things are quiet and I'm bored. Which isn't often, if I'm honest, there's always plenty of stuff to do, but it's nice to have the option.

All I need now is a big enough wall to pin up a poster of my new inspiration, Nico Bellic, and life will be complete. Must remember to bring the plasterboard slabs in tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sleepers Awake

Monday night was a pain in the arse. The squealing winds and pissing rain prevented me from getting my usual eight hours. I can normally sleep through wind but getting up for a wee at 4 am and hearing the deitritus from local knacker- drinking activities being blown up and down Ballyfuck Main Street made the prospect of a return to my dream about Johnny Wilkinson impossible. Looking out my bedroom window, I witnessed an empty Stella can noisily overtaking a Heineken one. A battered Miller box came bumping along a short time later and could be seen adorning the unfinished boundary wall of the local ghost estate the following morning.

The lack of sleep due to the aluminium marathon outside didn’t help the clarity of thought at work yesterday.

A random conversation regarding a smelly weird colleague went thusly:
HEO: I saw him in Nobber last week.
Govstooge: Eugh! He had his knob out? Dirty bastard! Did you report him to the Gards?
Govstooge: Oh, right.
EO #2: What, was he pissing on the side of the road in Nobber?
HEO: Jesus.
Govstooge: Maybe I should go home now.

And no, catching up on sleep at work is a non-runner. The HEO's the one with the pointy stick now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Govstooge's New Job

Well, gentle readers, it's been a while, so I'd better offer an excuse as to my extended absence.

I've finally gone and landed on my feet. I've managed to get the coveted transfer I've been hankering after for months and am now a noob EO in the Department of Pedantry where the arses are just as fat, the coffee is equally foul, and the toilets are pongy to an identical extent. So, why did I want the job? The answer is simple.

Fewer PMDS forms. I now have approximately 0.66 of a CO to supervise rather than the double digits I had recently. And it's nice that it's the bottom 0.66 of the CO, as they have no head and are therefore very quiet and leave me alone most of the time. Couple that with a few other eccentric EOs and a sweary HEO, things are very nice indeed right now.

Oh, and the actual WORK was a draw too. Nothing to do with passports or dole forms or any of that stuff where angry queues are involved. Or squeaky doors, which, frankly, were driving me fucking insane.

Lack of malaise is, however, a cause of writer's block for me, so I'll have to find something to get pissed off about fast. Emm...

... Mary Cockup still in Government? this space...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No, Minister (subtitled the Strife of Brian)

What a to-do eh? First Willie O'DamhasO'Dea quits and now Trevor Sargent.

I'm giving up watching Desperate Housewives for Lent. The news at 6pm is more entertainment than my brain can handle. Fianna Fail and the Greens at each others' throats is more than an adequate substitute for the trials of Gaby, Susan, Bree, Lynette, et al.

Mind you, if the "Govern"ment should collapse in the not-too-distant future, I'd be at a loose end at the ballot box. I'm sorry, Enda, but no.

If enough people wrote "Michael O'Leary" across the ballot papers, would that mean he could be elected? OK, he's a tough one, and would make cuts left right and centre. He could also make his remaining civil servants wear rotten blue polyester uniforms, sit at yellow plastic desks, pipe awful music at us all day, abolish the canteen in favour of a lady with a trolley selling overpriced paninis and replica forms, sell advertising space in the Dail, make us pay for the loo and so on ad infinitum, but he'd make a fucking brilliant Taoiseach or Finance minister. He'd have the country's finances sorted while Brian Clowen would still be trying to make sculptures out of his bellybutton fluff and earwax.

A scheduled Ryanair 737 could replace the Government jet, making instant savings. Junkets to Brussels would become less popular as going via Charleroi would be too painful for our cossetted ministers. Mary Harney would have to do the work of two TDs as she would take up two seats in the Dail. Mary Cockup (sorry, Coughlan) could be garrotted and those 300 aircraft maintenance jobs could be reinstated in Dublin.

I would be more than happy to serve as Michael O'Leary's speechwriter, as I share with him a love of the vernacular. Fuck it, get him in!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Saint Pancreas

I’m so glad Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend this year. Just so I haven’t had to endure the gushing, faux-surprise exclamations of those colleagues whose partners deliver fucking ginormous bouquets of flowers to the office.

Not even a mention of it! Huzzah! (There has been a whiff of it, however – I would think, one colleague spent much of the morning ostentatiously spraying something with a Tommy Hilfiger logo on the bottle on herself, in the hope that someone would compliment her on the scent and where she got it from! Nobody did!)

As for me, I had dinner cooked for me, a nice walk and a couple of pints in the local. Not a Hallmark logo, overpriced restaurant or pink heart in sight. Not even in the local, which is one of those spit-and-sawdust and greyhounds-in-the-corner type of places where the average age of the clientele is 70.

Anyhow, all that sickly-sweet stuff probably wouldn’t do me any good at this juncture, now that I’m gulping 1,000 milligrams of Glucophage a day to help with insulin resistance which is a complication of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a rotten condition with irregular periods being the main symptom but also hirsutism, obesity, and acne among others. Being lucky where cosmetic symptoms are concerned, I’m neither spotty nor hairy, but keeping my weight down can be difficult, even if I can still get into a size 12-14!

I had been taking Aldactone for years but the results of a recent liver function test prompted the doc to change the script. Bloody triglycerides!

I still haven’t managed to shift the half stone I put on over Christmas thanks to Bailey’s, Quality Street and all the other goodies that accumulate in my parents’ house in Kilshite over the festive season. And now, it seems, a more concentrated effort is required on my part to shift the extra weight and also lower cholesterol without resorting to statins.

I’ve been lucky with Glucophage so far, the side effects of squits and nausea haven’t affected me. I fucked up last weekend and forgot I was not supposed to drink bucketloads of beer while taking it and ended up having to jump out of the car the following afternoon and violently throw up on the side of the road, after a mere four pints the night before! Not to mention the honking and cheering from passing cars. Bastards!

So, I now have to reduce my alcohol intake as well as moderate my thought-it-was-already-pretty-healthy diet (i.e. lots of veggies, no fry ups, no processed stuff). Bollocks. Most of my socialising involves lots of beer so I’m still at a loss for something to replace it with once the two pints I’m allowed have gone down the hatch. And I hate being the only sober one in a group of drunks! FUUUUUCK! Anyway, I’ll just have to grin and bear it, because it’s for the best. It’ll pay off in the end. Volunteering as designated driver will save us loads in taxis.

And I’ve got ten months to go before Christmas and the torrent of chocolate, so I hope to have made progress by then!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In the Thick of It

Last week wasn't an easy one for me.

I discovered 1920s style personal hygiene due to the total absence of water in my house, decided it was crap and went round to an unaffected friend's house to borrow their shower in exchange for some beer. I may have a filthy tongue, but smelly I am not. Anyway, the H2O's back now, pouring from my taps as well as drenching me from on high when I go outside, so all that's over.

A HEO descended on me with a printout of an email from Personnel. "Please conduct PMDS annual reviews asap," it said. "Bugger." I replied. And then, "You could just have forwarded that to me... save the trees and all that." The HEO responded that I smelt too nice to be a tree hugger and told me to just do it. Arse.

The second working week of the new year flung me into the shit with a new project that demanded intense concentration and participation of me. Neither of which I really wanted to supply at the time but I think I muddled through OK only to burn out just as the weekend was upon me.

In spite of this, I was happy to have the Bearded One (aka "Himself") turn up on my doorstep with some beers and a bottle of Buckfast. The resultant hangover rendered me useless for most of Saturday, which was an utter pain in the arse as there was stuff to be done that had to be put on hold as I lay upstairs trying to shut out the waves of alcohol-induced pain surging through my cranium.

This week feels far more calm. So far. Mind you, I haven't gotten round to those PMDS forms yet so who knows what delights they have in store for me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fed up with Brick!

Ok, I've had it. Now that the snow's finally melting, I'm officially bored of this weather.

I'm sick of walking around like one of those clockwork dolls to avoid falling on my arse. No I don't have a key in my back. But I can put my foot up the backside of the next person who pisses me off.

I'm sick of slush being sprayed at me by passing cars whose drivers are irritated that I haven't fallen on my arse and given them a cheap laugh just because I didn't fall over like that bloke on the news the other night.

I'm sick of driving at 15 miles per hour and arriving into work late.

I'm sick of the fucking teenage c***s who decide that 1.30 in the morning is a perfect time for a drunken snowball fight in Ballyfuck Main Street.

I'm sick of not having any running water (but at least I got plenty of bottled stuff without a fight).

When it was white it was lovely. How fickle am I?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When icicles hang by the wall, and Dick the shepherd blows his nail

Or, more colloquially, this weather would freeze the balls off a brass monkey. (Mind you, I have never seen a brass monkey, with or without balls.)

Anyway, I love this weather. There is nothing quite like a gentle stroll in a wooded area on days like these, with the white ground crunching underfoot, returning home to a warm house and a steaming mug of coffee.

It's not all fun and games though. It's taking about twenty minutes to de-ice the car every morning to render it safe for purpose. My commute this morning was almost twice its normal duration due to the state of the roads. At certain points, a speed greater than 5mph would result in movements that could be considered the automotive equivalent of Torvill and Dean. And still the knobjockeys in the Transit vans continued to overtake.

Given the road conditions, I've decided to take the rest of the week off with some annual leave I'd reserved specially for this purpose.

Add my traditional New Year grouchiness into the mix and there you have it, a happy ending for both EO and the poor misfortunate COs who must put up with the irascibility and general sweariness of the said EO.

I'm also between projects at the moment and therefore things are quiet. I do not ask the HEOs for more work lest they jump at the opportunity to dump everything on me and go back to playing Spider Solitaire or updating Facebook while the EO on 20-grand-a-year-less does all the hard work. Seriously. It has happened. It is happening. Just to prove a point, I wrote a report recently that had a HEO's name on it. I sent the report as a read-only file to the HEO for approval, without granting the HEO editorial privileges. I doubt the HEO even read the report, they merely nodded and said "that's grand". Really? Even though I "accidentally" misspelt your name on it? Isn't it great, being a HEO and having a report written for you with your name at the bottom, a report whose sole authorship and editorial privileges are assigned to a lowly EO? That, gentle reader, is the life.

So, to just return to having to deal with the quiet period, I've been dreaming up things for myself to do, like give the desk a clean to remove the Olympic symbols I've been making with coffee cups. Or draft a "how-to" for my successor should I run away screaming. I have internet access, but there's a restriction on most of the good stuff, like some blogs and

Time off is a very good idea right now.

Winter walks a-plenty for Govstooge. Happy days.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, Same Old Bollocks

Argh, facing into a new year is generally fraught with optimism and hope for change for the better. But once the Prosecco hangover wore off on New Year's Day, those alien emotions wore off pretty damned quickly.

I'm back at work tomorrow, and to get myself in the mood, I dug out my DVD of Falling Down. I felt better straight away.

Sometimes, when faced with pay cuts, PMDS Annual Reviews, training courses and being sucked onto new project teams, one needs to find some way of detaching from it all. I choose a Michael Douglas film about a bloke who goes mental one day. Hmm.

Anyway, much of tomorrow's going to be catching up with everyone else at work. I expect to hear all of the following (I should really devise a bingo card for this stuff):

"I got soooo twisted on New Year's Eve."

"Timmy didn't like the choo-choo Santy brought him. I was gutted."

"My mother-in-law's turkey was so dry it was like eating wood shavings."

"Whose turn is it to take down the office Christmas decorations?"

"Are there any sweets left?"

"Govstooge, my PC won't start. There's melted chocolate all over my keyboard."

"Govstooge, can I have the afternoon off?"

Argh, fuck off.

For the record, my contributions to the whole affair will be along the lines of:

"Who wants to do their Annual Review? And where's my knuckle duster?"

"If there's any Galaxy truffles left, they're MINE!"

"Christmas? Oh yes, it was fine. You know I'm a Hassidic Jew, though, right?"

"Ah, just piss off."

Here's to 2010, folks. Have a good one. Because I know I won't.