Sunday 26 January 2020

Billy Keane: We lap up that window cleaner which the French serve as beer

Billy Keane

Billy Keane

Most of the columnists with bottle are writing about the abortion debate but I'm going to wait a while. Figure it all out. Build up my courage for the onslaught from the extremists. Some people can say very nasty things about columnists. Every season is open season. I suppose it's only right they take it out on us, rather than their poor wives, husbands and partners.

It's usually the men though, who are the worst. For complaining. Especially on the 'net. Generally if a woman has something to say to you, it's straight up to your face. Especially mothers, but we will come to that bit later in the context of a startling new medical breakthrough.

There they are, the lads, tapping away, in the upward glow of their tablet, which makes them look all spooky, like kids who stick flash lamps under their jaws at Halloween. Godwin's Law states that fraught internet discussions end up with one side or other comparing their adversaries to the Nazis.

But this week, I want to be loved. By everyone. I'm a bit delicate, you see.

I was going to write about an upcoming colonoscopy (tomorrow), but the readers don't really want to know about darkroom photo shoots while they're eating. I'm a bit embarrassed anyway. And there's no way we can discuss the horrible penance of the induced emptying of the bowels by drinking pint after pint of a liquid preparation that tastes even worse than French beer.

Some French-owned pubs don't really respect beer. I was at the Munster game last week in Montpellier and the tough bartenders just feck the sudsy lager into the plastic glasses.

One fleeting tip off another person, your reflex automatically squeezes the pint and like an overflowing dam the lager goes all over clothes and friends. I hate plastic glasses and the beer tastes like the water used for squirting windscreens clean. A good few of the French don't really give a shit about beer and in their heart of hearts, they think we are barbaric morons for drinking so much, in huge gulps, like a whale swallowing krill.

Food is different, though, to drink, and the French take ages to eat the dinner. They have more courses than UCD. We are becoming more gastronomique by the day, due to the huge army of celebrity chefs appearing on every TV channel, every hour of every day. The old way of eating is still very popular.

I overheard a couple of lads from Kerry chatting outside a classy restaurant in Montpellier. One lad said to the other "Come on, we'll go in here for a bit of soakage". It's all about getting down ballast for the buckets of drink. The average Irish man masticates his food once. To make sure it's dead.

I have a theory as to why we Irish eat so quickly. It starts off at a very early age. You avoid the mother steadfastly because you know there's a little talk coming up. Most of us hate little talks because we know little talks are for something very serious you did, want to do, or didn't do. Then the wife takes over when you leave home.

So at dinner time you impale a 19-ounce sirloin on the end of a steak knife and keep eating until the serrated edge slices off part of your tongue. Up you get, after three minutes of mad flesh stripping, like them little vicious fish that live in the Amazon, and out the door, as fast as you can, before the mother rightly gets going with her little talk.

You can sort of understand the mothers wanting to cage in their offspring. The capturers of caged birds operate a similar technique. They put some sort of food the birds love, like seeds, in a bowl inside an upturned box. Then when the poor little bird waddles into the box the bird-knappers pull on a piece of string, the box collapses and the bird faces a life sentence, listening to mayhem and murder on 'EastEnders' and real families arguing and fighting.

Gastroenterologists seldom take the holistic approach. They take a peep up your arse, or down your throat, and say pop two of these, never eat on an empty stomach, hummus is good and stay away from spice burgers. The gastroenterologists should write out a prescription for the mothers, wives and partners of Ireland. "No giving out, or asking awkward questions at mealtime." It's a well-known fact the more you chew, the better you do. The savings to the Exchequer will be enormous. Millions of lives will be saved. But does anyone take any notice of me? No. Am I right? Yes. Little talks mean big swallows.

Time for another pint of prepping juice. That's what they call the stuff they make you take to keep the bowel clear for the photographs that will never appear on Facebook. But enough of that kind of talk.

A point of information before we take our leave. The little flesh-eating fish from The Amazon are piranha. Just thought of the name this very second.

A second point of information is my own gastro doctor is a wonderful man. As they say in Brazil, never insult the piranhas' mother before you cross the river.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss