10 things we now take for granted
How a decade has made a difference to the things that were once a sweet novelty.
Pat Fitzpatrick looks back on 10 things that emerged over the past decade that we now take for granted, from Facebook and TV-show box-sets, to German supermarkets and the ubiquity of Simon Cowell.
If we said, 10 years ago, we were going to launch a website that would allow you to poke fun at other people's ugly kids, you’d have laughed in our faces. Unless you were Mark Zuckerberg, in which case, you might have gone away and built it first. Sneaky.
In fairness, Generation Facebook now has an indelible photographic record of their formative years in Ireland. And who wouldn't want their kids saying, “Hey, look Daddy, there’s you mooning at another hen party on Grafton Street”?
Back in 2004, we'd spend all our time at dinner parties swapping stories about property prices. We'll never be caught doing that again. Not now that we have smartphones and can look them up for ourselves.
The whole property-boom thing ran on a simple slogan: rent is dead money.
Rent was a real baddy. We thought it was the worst property-related case of money down the drain you could imagine. And then along came negative equity. Oh, lads.
It's far from chorizo you were reared. (Unless you are one of our Spanish readers. In which case, hola and apologies for all the jokes we've made about your mamas getting small and wrinkly when they get old.)
Here is the definitive three-step guide to using chorizo at a dinner party: 1. Set out to serve a seafood pie. 2. Drink two bottles of wine and then make a complete balls of it. 3. Add chorizo to cover up your mistake. Ole.
A typical conversation in modern Ireland: "We're watching the box set of Breaking Bad."
"You mean your cousin downloaded it illegally and put it on a couple of memory keys for you?"
"How dare you suggest that I am engaged in criminal activity!"
"So, if I went to your house right now, you could show me legitimate DVDs of Breaking Bad?"
"I certainly could."
"See you there. Are you going to try to race me home via HMV?"
Go back to 2004. What did we used to call a couple who drank two bottles of wine at home before heading out? Alcoholics.
What do we call the same couple in 2014? Financial wizards. You'd be a fool not to drink your head off at home when you consider what they charge in the pubs. It's a joke.
The only thing funnier is the way they advertise cheap drink on the radio and then say, "please drink responsibly." That's a cracker.
There was a time when rugby was just played by thick guys from our private schools. Now it's just played by thick guys in every school. Only messing. Sure, it's played by girls now, too.
Ah, stop – or we'll all end up in court. Tag rugby is huge now. There isn't any contact until everyone has had eight Jagerbombs at the after-match disco.
That's when a lot of rugby guys like to show off their tackle. (Please drink responsibly.)
Grand. Keep using your old Nokia, if that's what makes you happy. Sure, there are always a couple of crazies who don't want Facebook and Google knowing what they're up to every minute of the day.
And there is always room in our society for weirdos who don't want to post high-definition photos of the sunset over Blackrock as snapped from the Dart.
Just remember – you will never know what people are saying about you on Twitter.
Aldi caused a storm recently with its cut-price communion dresses. The savings allowed parents to focus on the other challenges of Holy Communion – like trying to drink prosecco on a bouncy castle.
Here's the thing about German supermarkets in Ireland.
The money that we saved on Der Backenslapper Lager, fishing rods, trampolines, action slacks and weird cheese was handed over to Enda Kenny in extra taxes. He then handed it back to the Germans. Very inefficient.
It's clear that loads of people want to be validated by Simon Cowell. So we are delighted to announce the Simon Cowell Talking Doll Experience (we're still working on the name).
It will sit next to your bed all night, whispering things like "I like you" and "You're what this show is all about." We expect Simon to sell well in territories where people labour under the yoke of self-loathing. We reckon that Irish sales could go through the roof.
The curse of the Irish. As in those who get left behind in this damp shithole while others escape to Australia. Sure, who wouldn't want a life of year-round sunshine and full employment? (Put down your hand, you eejit.)
Emigration was history back in 2004. The only reason that Irish people flew to New York back then was if they needed a new pair of designer jeans. The next time that people do that, here is our advice: sell your house.
Sunday Indo Life Magazine