Archive for February, 2011

The country in the midst of the storm in a teacup that is the general election and you’re of course so busy with pondering the ideological nuances of it all.  You have probably not had time to turn your mind to the matter of dealing with pesky canvassers.  I thought I would turn my attention to the this difficult and sensitive area by providing some tips, which you can employ to scare them away or cause them to linger in agonising embarrassment at your door.  Either way, very entertaining.

First of all, try loudly and cantankerously asking them where they were last week when you left that bumper bag of old tea towels out for the Ukranian orphans. How are those poor starvelings supposed to survive without anything to dry their dishes with?

Bring a screaming child to the door and ask them to help.

Answer the door in the style of Jack Nicholson from “The Shining.”

Smile sweetly and tell them you are perfectly happy with your bin collection/electricity/broadband provider, thanks very much.

Tell them in any other circumstances you would give them your number one, but unfortunately you cannot vote as this right is quite cruelly denied to convicts and members of the Royal Family.  Then for bonus points, encourage them to guess which one you are.

Tell them that last year’s X Factor was clearly rigged and demand to know what they are going to do about it.

Answer the door looking like this…

… or this …

… or this.

Peep out and whisper “How do I know you weren’t followed?”

Offer to bring your canvassers inside for a cup of tea, a slice of madeira and a detailed discussion on why they should turn away from the path of sin and embrace the way of Jesus, who is our one true Lord and who will save us from our recent economic woes if we would just pray to him for mercy (and a few billion quid).  Bonus points for signing “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”

Ask them to loan you a tenner to feed your ESB meter.

Tell them you’ll give them a tenner if one of them will provide you with a clean sample you need for an unfortunately timed random drugs test.

Respond to everything they say in the style of Mrs Lovejoy from The Simpsons, i.e. by shrieking “WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!”

Tell them you think NAMA is the best thing since sliced bread and you are looking forward to being on the pig’s back as soon as this generous arm of the state takes on your debt, which will allow you to go back to what you’re good at, which is building three-bed semis in suburban Dublin (i.e. Drumshanbo).

Open the door, shout “BOO” and close it again.

Promise them your number one if they will deal with the couple across the road who stink the neighbourhood with their noxious cooking and who you are fairly sure are living in sin.

Stand there and try to guess what characters they have come as.

Finally, and my personal favourite, have your eight-year-old child talk to them.  Warning: this is likely to be too intellectually strenuous for many politicians.


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It is around this time of the year that people confront the gnawing reality that their New Year’s resolution to lose weight has been an abject failure.  Rather than sit in judgement, I thought I would extend my new-found helpfulness, to say nothing of my customary sensitivity, to this important area by imparting a few weight loss tips.

First, sport a short haircut.  In addition to being flattering to the features, it also takes off excess pounds.  If it worked for Audrey Hepburn, it can work for you.  I haven’t had a haircut since September and I’ve put on half a stone in that time.   I’m no scientist but the link, as you can see, is clear.

Stop carrying things in your pockets.   It ruins the line of your clothes and adds needless weight.  Just look at the British Royal Family.  They have staff who carry all their personal items and there isn’t one of them who’s a porky.

Get staff.  See above re: non-porky Royals.

Wear lighter fabrics.  Not lighter colours, actual lighter fabrics.  My Present Husband bought me a lovely cuddly cardigan for Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very flattering colour and keeps me snug and warm.  But it too has contributed to the half-stone weight gain.  I anticipate being much lighter in the summer when the cardigan is consigned to the back of the wardrobe.  Polycotton blends are the aspiring thin woman’s best friend.  And I have been an aspiring thin woman long enough to know a thing or two on this subject.

Ditto shoes.  Jettison those stylish boots and wear sandals.  Two pounds of weight loss on the spot.  In the summer I go around mostly barefoot and you should see how svelte it makes me.

Ditto the glasses.  Just get over your squeamishness and get the damned laser eye surgery.  So what if you are appalled by the idea of people poking in your eye? So what if you’re not medically suitable?  There’s a few ounces of excess weight begging to be shed if you’d just get over yourself.

Don’t cuddle your kids so much, even sitting down with them on your lap.  All those nutritious, home-cooked meals you made them eat will pile on the pounds for you.  Of course, if you had eaten the nutritious, home-cooked meals yourself instead of beating into sneaky crisp sandwiches, you wouldn’t be in this mess.  And I speak with some conviction on the subject of sneaky crisp sandwiches.

Get divorced.  Divesting yourself of those two rings on your left hand will cause a pound of needless weight to fall right off.  Go the whole hog, if you forgive the insensitive metaphor, and get rid of all your bling.  Besides, the bling is hardly in keeping with the spirit of the recession, is it?  Get rid of everything, even your hairclips add ounces.  That short haircut is seeming all the more attractive now, isn’t it?



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