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Death of 'reds' all part of mix and match

THE women's clothes shops used to keep a section called 'mix and match' which was set up primarily to get rid of odds and ends and bits and bobs. It's called the bargain rail now. Our new colleague and fashion correspondent Paul Galvin would probably have insisted on the erection of a 'Smoking Damages Your Health' type warning 'Mauve doesn't go with tangerine.'

Journalism lecturers will be horrified at the lack of connection in this week's column, but there's a certain amount of material I just need to offload to free the brain for the Spring Collection.

We will start our peripatetic stroll with a joke.

"Do you want the winner of the 2.30 at Cheltenham?" asked the tipster. "No thanks," replied his friend, "my garden's too small."

The nag gag triggered the memory of 'the horse inside' case of a few years back when the grooms kept a steed in their dwelling over a particularly harsh winter. The owners fed the horse too well and consequently the nag put on weight. The horse got stuck in the front door and Dublin Corporation had to knock down the walls. Will this winter's fat horses cause a housing crisis?

Levity is all well and good if you're an escalator attendant. Now we must get down to the serious business that affects our very being, and our children's future.


The phoney war is over at last. The postponements and the appointments and the intrigue and the insurgencies are no more. The day of reckoning has finally arrived. Yes folks, the 2010 North Kerry football Championship will recommence tomorrow in Ballybunion.

The Heineken Cup is with us, as ever. For the first time since Diarmuid snogged Grainne in the back of Finn's Morris Minor, Munster are playing a 'friendly' in the last round of Heineken Cup against our very good friends from London Irish. Thousands of Irish booked flights from London for the weekend.

There were some in the bar on Thursday night. One man sang 'My Way' with real feeling. In other words, he hadn't a note in his head.

One of his pals offered a review. "I closed my eyes there just now when you were singing and in my reverie, I saw Frank Sinatra himself standing before me -- with a machine gun."

And if the music died it could well be that last Sunday was the day the rugby died. The Red Army were well beaten. We all know that. I haven't the slightest intention of heaping any more pain on a group of proud Munster men who have given us such joy for a big chunk of our adult lives. Yes, it's been that long since the famous day when Munster ran through Toulouse in Bordeaux.

I hope I am wrong, but it could be that the defeat has heralded the death of rugby. The game I have loved since I was a small boy is in serious danger of going the same way as soccer and while I greatly enjoy the game, it doesn't compare to rugby for raw courage, physicality, high scoring, indigenous players, and the execution of a variety of skill sets under extremes of pressure.

Here's a 'what if' scenario that is bound to happen. An Abramovich and several more like him will someday discover rugby. Big money will drive that fat horse, the one I was telling you about earlier, through rules on national quotas and wage constraints.

The existing GAA transfer rules can be used to bring about an open market. What if a multimillionaire from a county that has never won an All-Ireland gets a notion that he would like to see his home place win Sam? All he has to do is to give big euro jobs in his county to top players from other counties. Step two is to transfer to a club in that county and live there.

Unlikely in these days of NAMA, but it will happen someday unless the laws are changed.

The owner of Toulon was continually shooting his mouth off in the lead up to the hostilities against Munster. M Mourad Boudjellal wasn't playing, just paying. Maybe he should change his name by deed poll to M Toulon, because that's what he is. Anyway back to happenstance and the random insertion of thought without any apparent connection to the previous mix and match threads.

"Did ye know the great Tim Kennelly's middle name was Marian? And nearly all of the women I went out with were Marians," continued the man who sent Sinatra turning over in what was hopefully an industrial coffin.

"What was it with all the Marians, Robin?" asked one of the London Irish/Munster fans.


"I was born in the holy Marian year of 1954 and all the girls born back then were named Marian, in the same way that there are thousands of John Pauls who were born in 1979 ...when the Pope came to Ireland," the man answered.

There's a proposal to make a saint out of John Paul. I'm against it. Back in '79 he stirred up a bout of excessive religious fervour and it turned thousands of women off sex before marriage which was very unfair as the polygamy laws were still being strictly enforced back then.

Three decades later the Gooch had another starring year. There was an appeal on Radio Kerry this week by Sean Carr of the Store Bar in Beale.

'The Gooch was gone missing' screamed the headline. Indeed he was, but this Gooch was a dog. Gooch is now the most popular canine name in Kerry particularly for those with a bit of ginger in their coats, like setters, retrievers, red merle Catahoula Leopard Dogs and of course, the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

So, there you have it. A whole column, without any connection to the election. I only mentioned the election to tell you, I didn't mention the election. Does that mean we lose our bet to the man who made out with all the Marians?

Irish Independent