Oh, for a proper silly season. Oh, to lock the place up and put up a 'Gone Fishing' sign for August, leave Willie O'Dea in charge, possibly with a gun cocked, and head away and forget about it all for a while. There is no doubt that we've all had enough of each other now. We've all been cooped up together for long enough on this little island, suspicious that anyone who comes too close could kill us with their poisoned droplets.
The politicos have definitely had enough of each other and that's just the ones who are supposed to be in government together. The tension between the two taoisigh is so palpable now that you feel they need to take it outside and actually trade blows, or else get a room where they can roar at each other until the air is cleared. But then the politicos have been given a room where they can roar at each other. The biggest room we could find, down in the Convention Centre. And they have been roaring. It all frayed on the last day of term as Leo claimed he and his colleagues were being bullied by the small parties. The Greens appeared to be bullying themselves, with the wielder of the whip refusing to be whipped.
We weren't too judgmental. We can all empathise. We've all experienced a version of the old joke recently, where you mean to ask a loved one to pass the salt, but you accidentally say: "I hate you and I'm sick of the sight of you."
In the past, as we reached this stage of the fray, everyone could head off and regroup. Bertie might disappear to Kerry, Enda would grow a beard and cycle up mountains. And, after a really long break, everyone would come back all refreshed and civilised and tolerant again in late October sometime, ready for the fray again. But just in case we might have thought we could do that this year, our much maligned testing-and-tracing scheme came up trumps with 85 cases in one day, just to remind us who's boss.
Richard Bruton, in fairness, made a game attempt to kick off a proper silly season by emerging from the water with a good argument for the fact that people should not be pensioned off by 67. Leo, clearly miffed, given that him and Murphs are the resident shirtless Adonises of this Government, made a withering comment about Richard's beach bod, but the whole thing was dead in the water after 24 hours.
Marc MacSharry tried to get things going as well. Marc has recently taken up a new role as critic-in-chief of his Government, as he sits on various panels stumping presenters by concurring wholeheartedly with everything the Sinn Fein panellist says and agreeing that something should be done and it's a disgrace.
Last week, Marc tried to stir things up by claiming that many civil servants interpreted working from home as an opportunity to finally watch the whole of Breaking Bad without interruption. He even doubled down on it, unapologetic. But again, those 85 cases killed it stone dead, reminding us all that it's going to be a long summer, but not in a good way - and possibly an even longer winter.