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Diary of a demented mum: Jobless and broke, the Wolverine turns to local loan-shark

The Wolverine is displeased. She had gone to immense trouble; filling out an application form and handing it in at the hotel reception was no cakewalk, you know.

That was two weeks ago and incredibly, they still hadn't rung to inquire whether she'd take a part-time job with them!

Perhaps she should try elsewhere, you suggest tentatively, much relieved -- transporting her to the hotel would have meant a 35-mile round trip, plus she might need to be collected after midnight.

Why not try for a few hours' work a week in the village superstore? It was much closer to home than the hotel.

Pshaw! She wouldn't work there if they trebled the pay!

The girls there were clannish and unsophisticated. Working in a hotel was much, like, better -- Muireann and Sophie work there.

They waitress, and stuff, at weddings and things. Once, Muireann got a €2 tip!

Sophie says they teach you how to set a table properly -- something she'd never learn at home. Some hope! Here she gives you the evil eye.

Girls her age need to learn this kind of thing from the experts, so they can entertain properly when they grow up and have rich husbands and posh dinner parties.

She could do with the training because when she becomes a famous cardiac surgeon she'll have all sorts of high-profile politicians and television celebrities and supermodels and things to dinner!

Not just granny and a few friends. Huh, you're such a loner Mum.

You grit your teeth and tell her to bring in some coal and then get on with the washing-up.

But they're her brother's chores, she starts to complain. Then she remembers.

Ah yes. Jobless and broke, she was recently forced to beg for €25 from her wealthy loan-shark brother.

Little brother, who knows his sister well, informed her that he wouldn't either chase her for repayment or charge any monetary interest on the loan.

Instead Dad or Mum would pay her pocket money directly to him until the debt was repaid in full. The only interest charged was work.

Wolverine would do all his chores for the period of one week.

This involved making the school lunches, bringing in fuel from the coal shed on request, and doing the wash-up on her own every evening after tea.

Plus the multiple extra weekend jobs.

On her uppers and starved for credit, the Wolverine could but humbly comply.

Now, as she stamps off to the coal shed with the bucket, you stick your tongue out at her departing back.

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.

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