In a word . . . Irritants

 

I’m just “an ordinary man,/Who desires nothing more than an ordinary chance,/ to live exactly as he likes, and do precisely what he wants . . ./An average man am I, of no eccentric whim,/Who likes to live his life, free of strife,/ doing whatever he thinks is best, for him . . .

But there are certain things that drive me mad, daft, scatty, up the wall, and off the wall. Such as people who say “you have two choices” when you don’t.

You go into a pub and someone says you have two choices “a pint or a transfer?”, as allegedly once said by a government minister to a Garda who raided a pub he was in after hours.

That Garda had one choice, not two. It would’ve been two choices had the minister offered him the option of “a pint, the door, or a transfer?”

“I’m a very gentle man,/even tempered and good natured/who you never hear complain,/Who has the milk of human kindness/by the quart in every vein,/A patient man am I, down to my fingertips,/the sort who never could, ever would,/let an insulting remark escape his lips . . .”

And people who wear reflective sun glasses. If I wanted to have a conversation looking into my own seductive blue eyes I would do so before the bathroom mirror.

Despite temptation, when seeking interesting company, I am not prone to talking to myself. That is what it feels like when confronted with reflective sunglasses-bearing some person.

“I’m a quiet living man,/who prefers to spend the evening in the silence of his room,/who likes an atmosphere as restful as an undiscovered tomb,/A pensive man am I, of philosophical joys,/who likes to meditate, contemplate,/ free from humanity’s mad inhuman noise . . .”

Oh. And there are times when I wished I lived in a country where the weather was not so counterintuitive. It is a truth universally acknowledged that an Irish person in possession of umbrella will never be in want of it as, most assuredly, it will not rain that day.

However, forget said umbrella, leave it behind on train, bus, plane or car, lose it to some nimble-fingered ne’er-do-anything, and the rains will fall with a vengeance not experienced since Lear was on the heath.

(With thanks to Ordinary Man lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner)

Irritants from Latin irritare, to arouse, to anger, excite, aggravate.

inaword@irisht imes.com

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