Veering West

COLM TOBIN: I’m walking my way to the leftovers cupboard. So thanks, Roy Keane!

January 16th, 2023 11:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

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I HAVE been easing myself into the New Year, emerging from the depths of Christmas like a sloth slowly climbing the slimy, ice-cold tree trunk. There’s no point in overdoing it, lads. 

Nobody is going to be rushing me, either. I know I could probably lose half a stone. I know I could certainly take up some form of transcendental meditation. 

But Room To Improve is on the telly, it’s very cold and windy outside. 

And why would I choose this month, of all months, to self-flagellate like some medieval monk? As I have painstakingly pointed out in this column in the past – I am not one for grandiose resolutions or promises of dramatic personal transformation. 

And seeing Roy Keane turning up on The Tommy Tiernan Show last Saturday night only helped me in my radical mission. 

The Corkman emerged from the green room with a beard worthy of Robinson Crusoe, walking centre stage to where Tommy was waiting to meet him. 

Tiernan was decked out in a fine beard himself, which descended from his face in long, lyrical waves.

And then they settled into their comfortable Dublin 4 designer chairs like two Taliban elders sitting down to discuss the finer intricacies of The Koran. There they sat for the bones of forty minutes, like two stranded sailors, staring at each other across space and time. 

Tommy was doing his best to coax an answer or two out of Roy but it was like watching the current Irish soccer team trying to score a goal. He’d attack down the flanks with questions about Roy’s grandparents or growing up in Mayfield. No good.

He changed tack and went through the central field channel with a question about how Roy met his wife. 

Nothing giving. Blood from a stone.

After a while, the audience was getting a sense of what it might be like to be on a desert island with Ireland’s greatest sporting legend.

Roy was not for budging. And Tommy had to dig deep as we entered extra time. 

Luckily, it was at that point that Roy landed a few sentences that had the whole country transfixed.

When Tommy mentioned what fine fettle Keane was in, the former Ireland captain explained that he doesn’t really train anymore. Doesn’t really like running. Or going to the gym for that matter. 

None of these things really interest him since he hung up the boots, he said. He just keeps himself in shape by taking the odd walk. 

And when he goes back to Cork to visit the family, he likes to order a Chinese takeaway of a Friday. Well, this was all pure gold on a bitter January evening with the wind clawing at the windows. You could almost hear the nation releasing its breath and unbuckling its collective belt.  

‘If Roy doesn’t go to the gym, maybe we don’t have to either?’ you could hear the entire country thinking to itself.

“And if Roy can order a Chinese in January, maybe we can too?”

Before he had finished his sentence, I, and presumably thousands of others had bounded out to the goodies press where all the Christmas leftovers are kept, to prise open the security bars and enjoy some Saturday night snacks. I mean, if it’s good enough for Roy .…

A bitter Pil? Maybe not

MAY you live in interesting times, the old saying goes. But do they have to be this interesting, says you?

If the world wasn’t strange and confusing enough, media reports revealed last week that punk rock revolutionary John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, has entered a song to compete to be Ireland’s Eurovision entry. 

God Save The Queen, Dana, Johnny Logan, Jedward and our native puppet turkey population!

I thought I was hallucinating when I saw it first, but after some further thought, I remembered that Johnny has already done a TV advert for butter, as well as appearing in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. So he has certainly always marched to the sound of his own drum – for the right price. 

I started to dream up what his Eurovision entry might sound like, a song called Hawaii, entered under the guise of Public Image Ltd (PiL), the band he founded after the demise of the Sex Pistols.

A raucous punk rock takedown of Brexit Britain, perhaps? A death metal ode to the Queen, who quite literally ’ain’t no human being’ anymore?

Nope, turns out the song is a sweet ballad, an ode to his German wife Nora Forster who he married in 1979, and is now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Not exactly typical fodder for the competition, but maybe Johnny Rotten winning the Eurovision for Ireland with a song called Hawaii is exactly what 2023 needs. 

And I’ll be voting for him, even if he doesn’t qualify in the end. 

He probably doesn’t stand a chance given that most of the voters for the competition are under 30, and probably think punk is some sort of IKEA storage system. 

As the punks once said, you should never trust anyone under 30.

A ‘Kraken’ scary strain

SO apparently we now have to be fearful of the Kraken variant of Covid. Kraken? Seriously, like? 

I start to get a bit conspiratorial myself when they’re naming strains after legendary Norwegian sea monsters. What’s next – Covid Minotaur? Covid Nightmare On Elm Street? The Covid Keano ‘Break Your Legs’ variant? 

Is January not terrifying enough as it is?

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