Wednesday 28 September 2016

Let's face it, we're no Portugal

Published 27/09/2015 | 02:30

Paddy Cosgrave speaking at the Web Summit in The RDS
Paddy Cosgrave speaking at the Web Summit in The RDS

We have displeased the Nerd Gods. They are unhappy with us. And so they have forsaken us. And they are taking their great gathering of rich nerds to Portugal.

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Yes. You read that right. This place isn't sophisticated enough for the Nerd Gods, but Portugal is.

It mightn't hurt so much if the nerds said this place was too backward so they were off to New York. But no, in search of greater sophistication they are going to Portugal. That hurts slightly.

The Nerd Gods in their T-shirts, with their smiling faces were too polite to say directly why they were leaving. That is often how it is with gods in general. They never say things directly. They speak in parables and psalms and that. They work in mysterious ways. And man has to figure out for himself what he has done to displease them. So the Nerd Gods talked about developing their event further or some such, smiling blankly at us. They were careful not to say they blamed us.

But, of course, being Irish, we were in fast to blame ourselves. We had charged the rich nerds too much for B&B. And the quality and speed of the broadband wasn't good. And everyone knows nerds love a bit of broadband. For rich nerds, broadband is up there with takeaway coffee and loose Gap jeans pulled up too high around the crotch. So, for a day or two midweek, we indulged in one of those orgies of self-hatred we do so well. No wonder the Nerd Gods have forsaken us, we wailed. We are truly terrible people.

No wonder they went to a proper 21st-century place like Portugal where everything works perfectly all the time and no one in the tourist industry would dream of trying to make an extra buck.

And then we had to take it to another level. We decided that the Nerd Gods leaving us was going to ruin us completely. No nerd would ever set foot in the country again.

We were a laughing stock among nerds all over the world. And nerds know a thing or two about being a laughing stock. Those guys are still hurting from high school. So when they get to laugh at someone else they do it with gusto. And sarcasm. Nerds like sarcasm almost as much as they like broadband. Sarcasm is their equivalent of having sex.

But, it has to be said, we got over it quickly. We moved on. And to everyone who said that we couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery, we pointed them to The Ploughing. Could two women in Portugal organise anything like The Ploughing? Not likely.

Of course The Ploughing is moving, too. To Tullamore, often called the Lisbon of the Midlands. Anna May, the Ploughing Goddess, is being sphinx-like about the move. She will miss Ratheniska in Laois, her home county, where The Ploughing has been held for the past three years. But she looks forward to "lifting the bar" in Offaly next year. The people of Laois have apparently gone into a frenzy of recriminations about the quality and speed of the brown bread.

Sunday Independent

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