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Paddy Courtney: "Oh! You’ve changed."

THE WORDS "you’ve changed" are ones we’ve probably all heard and/or said to others at some point in our lives.

They can be positive or negative, depending on who’s saying them and what tone they use. For example, you might be waiting on your significant other to get ready to go out for a couple of scoops down the local, and they ask for your opinion on the clothes they are wearing. You might say: “Yeah, it’s ehh, nice” (not really paying attention as you’re checking the Lotto numbers or football scores) and they return 20 minutes later in a new rig-out and you say: “Oh! You’ve changed.” Nothing wrong there, at least you’ve noticed, which is a positive thing.

Then there’s the other time when you meet an ex-girlfriend and she asks you to come down the laneway for a go on her crack pipe and maybe an auld knee trembler for old times’ sake. You say, “Ahh no thanks, I’m on my way to work,” when she spits at you and shouts, “You’ve changed”. That’ll be a negative, in their (blurred) eyes at least.

For years I’ve been full of hatred for birds. Not the fancy lady variety, but the ones with feathers, wings and the ability to poo on you and fly away before you realise it. I’ve even heard some people say, “That’s a sign of good luck”, to which I reply, “No it isn’t you idiot”, simply because I’ve been a victim of their devil-may-care attitude to their “number twos”.

It was in the schoolyard at break-time for all to see. I won’t tell you where it hit me, but let’s just say I used to be called speccy four eyes and after the incident I was forever known as speccy poo eyes.

However, in recent times, thanks to the cold weather and my warming heart, I don’t throw sticks and stones at them nor call them names any more (that never seemed to hurt them), I find myself throwing bird seed and bits of bread at them. I’ve changed.


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