Saturday 20 January 2018

Kirsty at Large: Enda Kenny and the power of 'dad dancing'

Kirsty at large

Bloomin’ marvellous: Enda’s moves at the 2014 Bloom festival in Dublin’s Phoenix Park
Bloomin’ marvellous: Enda’s moves at the 2014 Bloom festival in Dublin’s Phoenix Park
Fantasy: Starbucks’ new Unicorn Frappuccino
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Our Taoiseach's easy-breezy alter ego - Enda-at-Ease - was out in force at Cruinniú na Cásca.

This is Maybelline Enda - carefree, laid-back and off-duty. It's him living his best life.

This version of Kenny mainly consists of a selection of stock poses he has used time and time again during his 2,236 days as Taoiseach.

The first pose is the double thumbs-up - it's reliable and less tiresome than waving, but assertive; it tells us that every- thing is going to be A-okay, even if it is most definitely not.

This pose is not exclusively used by Enda - US President Donald Trump is also a big fan, while David Cameron preferred the knuckle point (and we all know where that got him).

Kenny also loves fist pumps, and to a lesser extent fist bumps.

He likes pretending to looks surprised; he likes holdings babies and kissing brides, chasing geese, pointing at cattle, laughing like a maniac, placing his hand on his mouth in quiet contemplation and, of course, selfies.

Along with being the longest-serving FG Taoiseach in the history of the State, he has also acquired the admirable accolade of 'Irish politician who has appeared in the most selfie frames ever'.

But Enda's trump card is his dad dancing.

He realised its potential in 2014 at Bloom festival when he was filmed slapping his knees and bopping along to Pharrell Williams' 'Happy'.

As Gloria Estafan might have said, the rhythm got him - and everyone went wild on social media.

Enda's dad dancing is textbook and features all the standard dad moves - the out-of-sync claps, the wildly erratic elbows, the random pointing, the robotic shaking of hips, a mangled attempt at what I think is either the 'Macarena' or 'Gangnam Style', all coupled with an inexplicable level of confidence.

The next time Enda showcased his moves was at Bruce Springsteen, when he whipped out his air guitar and strummed away to 'Dancing in the Dark'. He bit his lower lip and gave it socks while Fionnuala cheered him on.

The routine made headlines and Enda even came out and defended his moves: "Okay, maybe I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't play the guitar," he said, "but I am going to go a long way if I keep following Springsteen."

Hold up - go where? What does that even mean?

Anyway. Enda has been going through a rough time of late, with everyone waiting for him to do the good and decent thing and y'know... stand down.

On top of this, a new champion dad dancer has emerged on the scene, outflanking Kenny - Dancing With the Stars underdog Des Cahill.

So, on Easter Monday, Kenny went into Enda-at-Ease overdrive.

He danced, by God did he dance; he twirled kids around; he grabbed people's arms and made them move like marionettes; he lepped about. He also brought 'smart casual' dressing to a whole new level, teaming his suit jacket with the sort of jeans Jerry Seinfeld used to wear back in 1994. And a pair of those gleaming, bulky Nike sneakers that resemble model cruise ships.

He gave it his all, but this performance didn't generate quite the same traction. Hmmm, maybe he needs to get a new routine or gimmick.

So I offer Enda this advice. If he wants to retain his easy-breezy persona and bolster his popularity, he must do one simple thing: get a dog.

I supposed any pet is okay - but in Ireland we are a nation of dog lovers so a pup would be preferable.

People like leaders with pets - Obama had Portuguese water spaniels Bo and Sunny; Bill Clinton had Buddy; Jeremy Corbyn has a cat called El Gato, and Cameron famously recruited Larry, a rescue tabby, to No 10.

Bring a puppy to Leinster House and Enda will no longer have to bust a move.

He might even manage to remain Taoiseach for another 2,236 days or so.

It's time for the unicorn trend to die once and for all

Fantasy: Starbucks’ new Unicorn Frappuccino

Real talk: it's time we stopped  fetishising unicorns. I know it's a  controversial standpoint but I'm  willing to put my head above the  parapet for this one. This week, Starbucks  revealed its new unicorn frappuccino, and last month saw the launch of a new line of unicorn-themed sex toys.

Sorry if that made you splutter your cornflakes and coffee all over the kitchen table.

But you did, in fact, read it correctly.

The sex toy (not the frappuccino) allows "unicorn queens" - ladies and/or gents who strongly identify with mythical horses - to take their "fandom to a whole new level".

Shaped like a unicorn's spiral horn, it comes in all the usual unicorn shades - pink, purple, white - all pearlised and shiny.

It also has a suction-cup base, meaning it can stick to a variety of surfaces, so that's handy. According to the website Geeky Sex Toys: "It will help stimulate the most magical of orgasms."

Small print: there is no money-back guarantee.

I'm not shocked that unicorns have made their way out of a fantastical world into actual fantasies.

It's quite a versatile trend; there's already unicorn freak-shakes, toasted sandwiches and macaroons all covered with glitter and sprinkles (unicorn dust) and mini marshmallows.

There are unicorn onesies, unicorn speakers, unicorn handbags, unicorn weaves, unicorn nail art and unicorn eyeshadow (which must be iridescent).

On top of this, celebrities are nuts for them.

Lady Gaga is a fan and says she has always been "obsessed with the idea of a creature that was born with something magical that made them the misfit in the world of the stallion".

Gurl, I get it. Unicorns are shiny and pretty, but I think we've reached saturation point.

Plus, I'm sure there are lots of other mythical creatures out there who are keen to get a look-in. Like griffins. When is someone going to take a minute and think of the griffins?

I bet they are sitting there wondering where their bespoke fairy cake or customised butt plug is.

Isn't it time we showed them a little love too?


Prince Harry

What a hero. Hands down the best royal — bar George.

Ostentatious sunglasses

The bigger and blingier, the better


Low-sugar Lucozade

The reviews are in and they’re not good. Said to taste like a cross between bleach and bathwater.

Tush masks

A sheet mask but for your derrière. Not pretty.

Indo Review

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