I am a celebrity TD - do not get me out of here
Dail Sketch: Bored? Why not make your own TV series. Set it in the jungle, colour in the characters (tough, yes), add a dash of animation (very tough) and you have - ta da, ta da - "I'm a celebrity TD, don't get me out of here", writes Kathy Sheridan.
Have endless fun casting the folks. Think some crazy monkeys, Kaa the hypnotic snake, the menacing Shere Khan, Baloo the loveable bear, Bagheera, the wise old panther.
Now here's Bertie, Martin Cullen and John O'Donoghue making like a version of the three wise monkeys, only much grimmer and redder about the chops. The Labour frontbench aping some jubilant lords of the jungle, thumping their chests after a swinging weekend in Killarney. A tense Enda "Bambi" Kenny paws nervously at his thigh.
As the wise monkey in chief (MiC) is chatting about a letter he wrote oh, three years ago, to the Attorney General about constitutional control of rezoned land and the response he got from him, Pat "Shere Khan" Rabbitte leans back and growls impudently: "I doubt if he said that to you. . . It's a complete spoof".
And like rows of little Mowglis scenting bananas, the kids in the gallery spring to life.
Bernard "Baloo" Allen, paws on his tummy, murmurs benignly that he can't understand a word the MiC is saying, upon which the Ceann Comhairle, Rory "Kaa" O'Hanlon turns on him and threatens to exile him from the jungle. But Baloo persists and Kaa tells him he's out. "You're very touchy today", says Baloo a tad defiantly. "Are you suggesting that a man can't heckle in this house anymore?" demands Shere Khan of Kaa indignantly. And somewhere in the hullabaloo, Bambi remarks gravely that "It's grossly unfair to a senior member of the Fine Gael frontbench to do that". Baloo - a bit startled at this threatened exile - sits on his haunches, refusing to budge.
While the ushers pad to and fro to negotiate Baloo's removal (no handcuffs, alas), some heavies from the northern jungle - Dinny McGinley and Fergus O'Dowd - cluster protectively around Baloo.
Finally, a deal is done by Bernard "Bagheera" Durkan, under which Baloo leaves the jungle quietly but gets to come back tomorrow.
The kids return to sleep mode. "It's just a year ago today. . ." intones Bambi, quoting from a song he remembers from the old days in Mayo, to launch an assault on the MiC for his record one year into the new jungle administration. The MiC's eyes glaze over. . .