Monday 23 April 2018

Hashtag, a name they won't forget



The younger lad called me into his room tonight and asked if I could fetch him a book. 'I want to hear about Mr. Pussy,' he said. Mr. Pussy! I was stuck to the floor. That's a name I hadn't heard since I was a lad myself, and the infamous drag queen featured regularly in the Sunday newspapers. I asked the good woman if Mr. Pussy had released an autobiography, and if he had was it really suitable bed-time reading to a two-year-old? She explained that I had misunderstood what he was saying, and it was actually the story of Mr. Fussy, from the Mr. Men series, that he wanted me to read. Thank heavens for that.


The young lad arrived home from school with a note in his hand today. It was a slip of paper wanting to know if we would like to purchase a copy of this year's Sugradh annual, from Folens.

You might remember these publications yourselves. Sugradh was for the toddlers and Spraoi, Siamsa and Sonas for those that progressed through the primary-school ranks. On the reverse side of the slip of paper were the details of a draw that the kids could be entered into, with first prize being a family pass to The X Factor tour (though there is no ' X' in official Gaelic script).

Even Simon Cowell is in on the act these days, as it looks like our cultural ambassadors aren't afraid to sex things up when it comes to getting the kids interested in waxing lyrical ' as Gaeilge'. Whatever works, I say. Though recruiting Tulisa to explain the intricacies of the Modh Coinniolach might make things needlessly controversial.


Once he decided to disembark from Concorde and see out the remainder of The Late Late Toy Show journey at a less frantic pace, Ryan Tubridy did a good enough job in filling the more avuncular boots of his predecessors, Gaybo and Pat.

He was ably supported, as usual, by a cast of spirited children who for the most part kept to the script, though the young James Bond enthusiast who admitted Barbara Bach 'was hot' might have had a few questions to answer from his mammy when he got home.

Highlight of this year's show? On any other night it would have been the young fellow from Louth and his hilarious 'Níl' when asked if he had any craic, but my lasting memory will be the rendition of O Holy Night by two astonishingly accomplished and confident young performers. Check out Real Player, if you missed it.


Most people have a name that they would never put on a child's head. Today, when I heard that a mother had called her newborn daughter 'Hashtag', reportedly in homage to Twitter, my instinct was to call the name police. And it gets more unusual.

Last year, an Israeli couple addicted to Facebook called their baby 'Like'. The late tennis player Arthur Ashe had a daughter 'Camera'; Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow called the fruit of their passions 'Apple' and Frank Zappa and the wife called one of their young 'Moon Unit'. Here's hoping the couple obsessed with all things Wexford doesn't decide to reproduce, or there could be a little 'Quare' running around some time soon.