independent

Thursday 2 October 2014

What's the 'D' about in Michael Higgins?

SHEA TOMKINS

Published 18/10/2011 | 10:27

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THURSDAY: I tuned into a local radio station today and listened with interest as they discussed Michael D. Higgins, and what the D that separates his christian and surname, represents. I had no idea. Neither did the presenters, nor listeners.

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The woman anchoring the show decided to ring Michael D's Presidential campaign office to find out, and then broadcasted the telephone conversation. The man that answered the phone hadn't the foggiest, and asked the guy sitting next to him, who did have the answer. It stands for Daniel. Apparently, when the Labour Party man first burst onto the political scene, there was another Michael Higgins doing the rounds, and so he acted to dispel any confusion.

I also learned today that the B.M.T. in Subway represents Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest, and that Michael J. Fox's middle name is actually Andrew: the adoption of the J coming as homage to one of his favourite character actors, Michael J. Pollard. And the L in Samuel L. Jackson? Leroy. I never thought about having a middle initial in my day-to-day name, but suddenly I feel inspired.

Friday: A few presents that were delayed in arriving for the younger lad's first birthday were delivered today. To his delight, I allowed him to open them before the crèche drop this morning. Next to him sat the young lad, who also received a present, just so he wouldn't feel left out. People can be very thoughtful.

The good woman, who had already left for work by the time the chaps rolled out of the beds, asked me to record the unravelling of the gifts on camera. I obliged. As I stood there, Steven Spielberg-like, the young lad was thrilled to find himself a new Bambi jigsaw.

However, the sight of his affable four-legged friend led to further revelations. 'Ah Bambi, he says, 'did you know Daddy, that we forgot to bring the Bambi movie back to the store for days and days?' 'I didn't,' I told him, ' but tell me more.' And the camera continued to roll.

I recorded his full confession, with the young lad spilling the beans on the good woman, and left the camera, as instructed, for her to enjoy when she got home.

Later, as I was driving to the shop, the phone rang, and a shocked good woman admitted everything. Apparently a nice postcard had even arrived from Xtravision asking if I had enjoyed Bambi, and if I had any intention of ever returning it: she had slipped it into her pocket.

I haven't been to Xtravision for a while, but I am interested in finding out what the bill may be. And who's going to settle it. This video camera will come in very handy for the next few years I think. As long as the young lad continues to sing like a canary: once those cameras roll, he doesn't know where to stop. I might even bring it with me to the pub.

Saturday: Sport can be a cruel business. More than most, or so it seems if we are to believe all that we read, we have been at the receiving end of hard luck stories in this country. What happened to our Welsh neighbours in the Rugby World Cup, however, is a seriously bitter pill to swallow. The three chances that they had to kick for victory late in the game will haunt the players involved forever, unless they get a similar chance in the future.

It did strike me, as Leigh Halfpenny steadied himself for that penalty kick, that the moment he had dreamed about all his young life had crept up on him all too quickly. How often do young boys lie in bed dreaming about scoring the winner in a high-profile game, with millions of people around the world looking on? The distance between hit and miss was agonisingly close. The pressure on the young man must have been unbearable. France got lucky, again. When you strip away the luck, it boils down to the fact that Wales left this World Cup final place behind. It will be interesting to see if the French good fortune runs out this weekend. The smart money says it will, but as England proved eight years ago, you just never know. We must not forget the Estonians probably greeted the news with equal celebrations, as they avoided Bosnia, Croatia and Portugal. There is nothing easy at international level. Game on, for both sides.

The Presidential election has taken more dirty twists and turns that a rat's way home, as the Irish media takes a leaf from the British media's book. Dragging up whatever filth it can find to discredit the runners is now common practice. Expect ethics to be eroded beyond recognition, come seven years' time.

Reviewers say Colm Meaney delivers one of his best performances in latest film, Parked. Could we have another The Guard-style hit on our hands? If so, it would make it a great year for Irish cinema.

Gazza has released his autobiography and it is sure to be an entertaining read. In one disclosure, he admits downing nine brandies and snorting cocaine, before playing a game: he was man of the match. It brings a whole new perspective to an injured Robbie Keane singing a few tunes in a bar, doesn't it?

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