It's just like Pearl Harbor all over again. Or something
ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
It's not just the economy, stupid.
That was the message of the Finance Minister as he announced plans for a new happiness index.
This "quality-of-life'' table, announced in the speech, will measure things other than how absolutely broke we are.
We wish the minister all the best in developing a perkiness barometer, but he might have picked a better day for the announcement.
With the cold rain lashing down, even some of the pot-and-pan-bashing protesters were complaining about the weather.
Some of Bank of Ireland's ATMs stopped working for a time, and to add to the stygian gloom all water supplies in Dublin were cut off.
I am assured by one wag that there is no need to worry about these water cuts, however.
Mr Lenihan says: "It's just a temporary liquidity problem.''
THE BUDGET -- IT'S LIKE PEARL HARBOR
Hats off to the young whippersnappers at the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) for their extravagant hyper- bole.
In a plaintive dispatch that flew into our inbox, USI described the increase in college fees it as 'the Pearl Harbor of Irish Education'.
Next year, when the fees go up again, they will have to come up with something even more disastrous -- the "September 11 of education'', perhaps, or maybe something along the lines of the Potato Famine.
While we're on the topic of education, it is somewhat unfortunate that the Budget was released on the same day a major OECD report showed our woeful performance in school maths.
Ineptitude at maths and a decade of failed Budgets, where the figures are all wrong -- are they by any chance related?
NOONANISM OF THE DAY (1)
"Minister, what have you got against third children? The fourth child won't be cut, the fifth child won't be cut, the 16th child won't be cut. . . did some third child beat you up coming home from school as a young fella?"
-- Michael Noonan on the cut in benefit for third children
NOONANISM OF THE DAY (2)
"Go back to your computer game.''
-- Noonan to a heckling Paul Gogarty
THE TIES HAVE IT
Spare a thought for the Finance Minister as he slashes his own pay by €10,000.
There was a small sign that he himself is already cutting back on life's little luxuries.
Eagle-eyed style watchers noticed that he was wearing the same blue-striped tie as last year.
Crafty punters must have predicted this and piled on money with Paddy Power bookmakers that he would wear a blue tie on his big day yesterday.
Blue was the most fancied colour at odds of 2/1.
PLAYING POKER FACE WITH THE IMF
One has to congratulate the man who placed himself on a cherry picker outside the Dail for his varied choice of music.
The protester and wannabe disc jockey played the theme from the Clint Eastwood movie 'Good, the Bad and the Ugly', and a ditty by Lady Gaga.
We are assured that the choice of Lady Gaga (pictured left) was not a reference to Mary Coughlan.
The lyrics of her ladyship's song 'Poker Face', which was played at full blast, were fitting after the recent negotiations with the IMF and Michael Lowry's statesmanlike campaign for a casino.
"Just like a chick in the casino
Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand, cause I'm marvellous."
Batt O'Keeffe likened the recent bailout deal to a high-calibre poker game, but Joan Burton did not find our card-playing skills marvellous.
"Our negotiators on the deal with the IMF couldn't win at snap let alone poker,'' she quipped.