News Ian O'Doherty

Saturday 20 September 2014

Bloody Yanks, spending their money

Published 22/07/2014 | 02:30

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Lionel Hutz – wasn’t he a joke?
Lionel Hutz – wasn’t he a joke?

Honestly, those Americans are just loud and coarse and vulgar, aren't they?

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They come over here, vast hordes of them, tumbling out of coaches as they stop off in tourist spots and ruin it for the rest of us by being so... well, by being so bloody American.

Let’s face it, we might like Americans, but that’s only when we happen to be over  in their country, looking for either work or a good time. Then, we find them to be a remarkably welcoming and decent people. But when they come to visit us?

Why, all they do is complain about how things are better back in their homeland of the Great Satan, and then, to further rub salt into our already suppurating wounds, they insist on spending money like it’s going out of fashion – which, if the Bitcoin zealots are correct, is probably true.

Yes, they arrive en masse to some lovely, little outta-the-way spot and they bloody ruin it. Maybe it’s because the Spanish economy has collapsed so spectacularly, but in the absence of as many Spanish as usual to provide something to complain about, we’ve decided that it’s time we gave the Americans a piece of our mind.

That’s certainly the approach that appears to have been taken by a café in Kerry called Peter’s Place, which has finally stood up for us long-suffering natives. In a blow against the dreaded blight of free-walleted Yanks coming into this precious coffee shop and ruining the place by, y’know, talking too loudly and generally lowering the tone, the owners have erected a sign outside their door which warns simply: “No bus/coach or loud Americans.”

Maybe this is the slap in the face of the myth of Irish hospitality that will be heard around the world, or at least in America, where, hopefully, these obnoxious examples of entitled, imperial smugness will finally realise that neither they, nor their money, are welcome in the Ring of Kerry.

After all, the Ring of Kerry doesn’t need tourists — tourists need it.

In fact, it’s not as if we don’t have enough money of our own and we are reduced to accepting the largesse of large-bottomed Americans with deep voices and even deeper pockets, is it?

Frankly, I’ve never understood why so manyAmericans of Irish descent are so eager to come to this country at all. And when any of them see signs like this, they must be questioning their choice of destination.

Inevitably, there have been squawks that this prohibition is somehow racist and deserves to be reported to either the Equality Authority or Liveline, depending on how outraged the critics are.But, there is no need for such an approach.

No, every American tourist landing in the Ring of Kerry should simply be informed that there is a café which is far, far too good for them and their filthy lucre.

And when Peter’s Place becomes the latest small business to fold due to a decline in tourists, they probably shouldn’t expect any sympathy.

But then, with this heroic stand against the monstrous scourge of loud Americans, who have the temerity to spend money in their place, I doubt they would want any.

 

What, only 23 billion?

It should come as no surprise that the anti-smoking lobby in Ireland has come out and expressed their joy at the jaw-dropping $23bn that a court in Florida has awarded against a tobacco company.

Proving that their courts seem to be as heroically daft as many of the inhabitants of that famously odd state, a jury has decided that $23bn is a worthy compensation package for the widow of a man who died from cancer.

Inevitably, people have poured scorn on the size of the figure, and plenty of American wags have argued that, given Florida’s reputation for unfettered weirdness, this is actually one of the least-mad jury decisions to have come out of there in recent years.

But, as James Reilly and Dr Luke Clancy of ASH continue in their efforts to alert us stupid people to the fact that smoking ain’t great for your health, both have expressed their delight.

Interestingly, Dr Feel Bad has warned that the $23bn may not actually be paid out because “they have a history of fighting large settlements”.

Damn you, Big Tobacco — first you insist on existing and then you baulk at a paltry little fine of $23bn?

But this begs the big question that nobody is asking – why only $23bn? Why not $24bn?

In fact, while we’re being insane, why not just round it up to $100bn? After all, that has a nice ring to it.

But will they now get sued by some other ‘victim’ of smoking, who is incensed that he only got £22bn from the jury and is livid that this other guy’s suffering is considered to be an entire billion dollars more severe?

It’s all a bit Lionel Hutz and his victory over Chester J Lampwick in The Simpsons, when the crooked lawyer won $88bn for his client.

But that was meant to be a joke. Wasn’t it?

 

Ah, a great little country, eh?

So, a guy from America jumps into the Liffey to save a man, who decided it was a nice place for a swim.

Twenty-year-old Joe Sheehan was enjoying his first night in Dublin when he jumped into the water and, in the kind of news that makes you proud to be Irish, his belongings and money were stolen while he was in the river.

He has been hailed a hero, and at least some of those who saw his predicament treated him to a night out before he left the city the next day.

Let’s hope he wasn’t heading down to the Ring of Kerry to soak up some of the ambience...

Ian O'Doherty

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