Tuesday 27 September 2016

Let's have some pin-ups of local sourpusses

Fiona O'Connell

Published 16/08/2015 | 02:30

'They squint, though the day is overcast. As if they are Clint Eastwood - and some punk didn't feel lucky enough to make their day'
'They squint, though the day is overcast. As if they are Clint Eastwood - and some punk didn't feel lucky enough to make their day'

Seamus has done a fantastic job raising funds for the renovation of the local community centre. However, he needs more money to make the rest of its dreams come true.

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Maybe he should consider producing a calendar. Because - dare I say it - the festive season is only months away. And pop-up shops selling these popular time-marking items sprout up everywhere during the sparkly season.

Certainly, I have a few calendars scattered around the house, all from Paws Animal Rescue in the next county. August features a lurcher called Minnie wearing a straw hat, while next month stars the equally delightful Derek the donkey.

But titillation has more pulling power, as the 2003 comedy Calendar Girls proved. It was based on the true story of a group of Yorkshire women, who produced a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. Since then, calendars have become a popular way to raise funds for various causes.

But there could be alternatives that poke fun at outdated notions. Such as a real "real Ireland" calendar that ditches 'Ireland in rush-hour' shots of boreens blocked by a few sheep, and replaces them with images of families at airports, hugging loved ones as they are about to emigrate.

A local may be on to something, when he suggested putting together a calendar featuring the crankiest-faced curmudgeons in this country town. Of which there is no shortage.

Thankfully, there are plenty of friendly faces too, who tend to laugh at misfortunes instead of making love to malaise. Like Katie, the petite and sweetly sensible shop assistant in O'Keeffe's. She always wears a smile, along with a brightly coloured bow in her hair.

But sulky-faced scowlers are everywhere; including a fair share of frowning females. However, it has to be said that men are the real maestros when it comes to moping, with far too many misery faces wandering about. Unlike the glamour pusses of glossy calendars, their sulky puss pouts are pure 'bah humbug!'

Like those celebrities whose fondness for cosmetic surgery leaves their faces frozen into one expression, these fellas likewise look permanently fed up. Even when they're not. They squint, though the day is overcast. As if they are Clint Eastwood - and some punk didn't feel lucky enough to make their day.

Still, don't we kind of enjoy these cranky characters? After all, they make the rest of us seem sweetness and light in comparison. And maybe they're on to something. For a hangdog demeanour never hurt Walter Matthau, one of my favourite actors when I was growing up.

So if a frown is just a smile turned upside down, maybe we should stand on our heads and see the funny side.

Plus, it will empty those pockets.

Sunday Independent

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