Country Flushed Down Lowry’s Shiny New Toilet

Tipperary – It has lately been revealed that the most crucial Budget in the history of the State, the 2010 Lenihan Budget featuring €6 billion in spending cuts and an acceptance of the EU/IMF bailout, was passed by Dáil Éireann in exchange for a toilet.

In order for the Budget to be passed by the Dáil, the government required the support of two independent TDs, Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-rae. Since the Dec. 7 Budget, Mr. Lowry has been bragging that he used his influence over the government’s Budget plans to secure a €43,000 toilet for Our Lady’s Secondary School in Templemore, Co. Tipperary.

Lowry said he would fight tirelessly in the Dáil for toilets in Tipperary North.

Lowry said he would fight tirelessly in the Dáil for toilets in Tipperary North.

Said Lowry, “This new toilet is a victory for the people of Tipperary and for Team Lowry. Whether it’s a No.1 or a No.2, the boys and girls of Our Lady’s Secondary School will enjoy the convenience of a comfortable, modern toilet.”

Added Lowry, “This is real politics, working in the service of local people.”

The Lenihan Budget is expected to cost the average family €3,500 a year in increased taxes and reduced social welfare. The deeply unpopular Fianna Fáil-led government has refused to call an election on these drastic measures, despite having lost all popular support. Less than 10% of Irish people want Brian Cowen to remain as Taoiseach, although he contains to make critical decisions regarding the nation’s future.

“There’s a lot of criticism of the Irish political system right now,” said Lowry. “But I think when people sit down on this toilet and think about it, they’ll realise that any system which allows its schoolchildren to have a little tinkle – or even a massive dump – in convenience and style is a society in which everything is functioning properly.”

“As long, of course, as you have someone like Michael Lowry representing you!” he chortled.

Mr. Lowry has had a chequered career as a politician. Once one of the leading lights of the Fine Gael party, he was made Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications in 1994. However, accusations of corruption swiftly emerged regarding the granting of a mobile phone license to Esat Telecom. At the 1997 McCracken Tribunal, it emerged that supermarket tycoon Ben Dunne had paid for a €400,000 extension to Lowry’s home.

Templemore locals said it was "like a toilet out of Ireland's future."

Templemore locals said it was "like a toilet out of Ireland's future."

“That extension was just resting in my account,” spluttered Lowry in 1997. “I swear there was nothing shady going on.”

However, such persuasive defences proved of no avail and Lowry was forced to resign both from the Cabinet and the Fine Gael party. Since then, his reputation for corruption and knowing ‘the right people’ has helped him top the poll in Tipperary North in 1997, 2002, and 2007.

“He’s a great man for getting things done,” said Mrs. Eleanor Gilfoyle (50), a resident of Thurles. “Lowry’s a man who’ll fight our corner up their in the Dáil. God knows, we need that now more than ever, given how our politicians have ruined the economy.”

“I’ve asked Michael Lowry if he can get my three sons visas for Australia,” she confided. “There’s no work or future in Ireland any more. And do you know what? He said he might know a man who could help, all on the QT, of course,” she said, tapping the side of her nose and giving a crafty wink.

Some other politicians were angry with Lowry and his covert deal making, however.

"That extension on the left is just resting their temporarily," said Lowry hastily.

"That extension on the left is just resting their temporarily," said Lowry hastily.

“Why should he get a toilet while our children are still pissin’ in buckets?” thundered Jackie Healy-rae. “Lowry only ever thinks of his own constituents and never about mine. I demand that the government immediately refurbish the toilet of CBS An Daingean, and give the children of South Kerry the same right to a good toilet as the rest of Ireland!”

Lowry, however, refused to apologise for his approach to Irish politics.

“Gombeenism is what Ireland is based on and there’s no better gombeen in Tipperary North than Michael Lowry,” he declared. “People say I have flushed the country down the toilet; if so, it was shiny new toilet paid for by other people, and that’s something I’m proud of.”

“Although we can’t actually flush the toilets at the moment because we don’t have any running water,” he added quickly as he saw someone going in to use it.

Irish American Wonders Why He Can’t Blend In

Killarney – For big Ciaran McDonnell (37), coming back to his ancestral roots in Ireland was to be a joyous homecoming to the land of his forefathers, but for some reason he can’t fathom every single Irish person he meets can peg him right away as a foreigner.

McDonnell can't understand why he doesn't blend in with the local Irish.

McDonnell can't understand why he doesn't blend in with the local Irish.

Said McDonnell, the owner of a truck repair depot in the Bronx, New York, “I felt for sure that I could escape all the joshing about my red hair and freckles, the presents of Lucky Charms for my birthday, all the ragging that goes with being an Irish American in a multicultural city.”

“Not that I don’t enjoy playing it up with my homeboys,” he added, eager to clear up any potential questions about his manly ability to withstand barbed comments. “But I thought it would be nice to be somewhere where I could just blend in, where everyone is just like me.”

“For some reason, it’s not really working out like that,” he said disappointedly.

McDonnell’s great-grandfather originally came to the USA in the 1920s, after realising that the stubborn desire to beat the English was the only thing that had been keeping him in Ireland, one of Europe’s most backward and poverty-stricken nations.

Since then, the McDonnell clan has exploded across the USA, breeding like Viagra-dosed rabbits to the disgust of their reserved Protestant peers, for whom sex is a sin that everyone – especially the President – must always abstain from. McDonnell is the first member of the family to return to Ireland.

“Yeah, my great-grandfather had a village somewhere down near Killarney,” said McDonnell, standing on the street with a large map of Ireland, wearing an Aran sweater and a fanny-pack, looking around for signposts that had mysteriously disappeared.

“Hey, buddy, can you tell me where ‘Anne-Day-Engine’ is?” he asked a puzzled local man.

“Where?” said the man, looking at the map. “Oh, you mean An Daingean? Just head towards the west and if you get lost ask people for Dingle. Welcome to Ireland!” he said cheerfully, before hurrying on to the one job interview in Kerry.

An Daingean is actually the least difficult road sign in Kerry for Irish Americans to pronounce.

An Daingean is actually the least difficult road sign in Kerry for Irish Americans to pronounce.

“I just don’t get it,” said McDonnell in confusion. “I’ve got just as much Irish blood as anyone here. How the hell does everyone know I’m an American?”

“Just the other day I was in a bar here, or a pub, or whatever you call it, and Kerry were playing Gay-Lick Football,” said McDonnell, before stopping to wonder about that name for a bit.

“Anyway, I asked, and everyone said Kerry were probably the favourites. I said, ‘Hey, that’s great! It’s good to be favourites, right? Gives you a big confidence boost to know that everyone thinks you’re the best.’ They just looked at me like I was from a different planet,” he said in confusion.

“I mean, what’s wrong with everyone thinking you’re the best?” he went on, his perplexity growing. “Don’t they want to be champions?”

McDonnell said he found Irish attitudes difficult to fathom sometimes. “The other day, I was standing at a traffic light when a local senator or DT or whatever you call them here came by in a big fancy Mercedes. I said to a local kid, ‘See that, kid? One day, if you work hard, you could be that guy.’”

"Gay-Lick Football? That's another Irish tradition I don't want no part of," avowed McDonnell.

"Gay-Lick Football? That's another Irish tradition I don't want no part of," avowed McDonnell.

“He just looked at me blankly and said, ‘But he’s a cunt.’ I mean, what kind of attitude is that for a young kid?”

“The funniest thing is that everyone around agreed with him, and told him not to listen to the Yank.”

McDonnell said the only thing more disturbing was how people resented him for not spending enough money. “They kept trying to sell me tacky souvenirs, like their houses, and got all pissy with me when I said no,” said a frustrated McDonnell. “They’d say, ‘You’re a Yank, you can afford it!’ All the estate agents following me and begging me to buy a small cottage for €200,000 on the Anne-Day-Engine peninsula got really irritating.”

As he waited in Shannon for the flight back to America, McDonnell said his trip hadn’t worked out like he thought, but it had awakened a new sense of belonging.

“I can’t wait to get back to New York,” he said with relief.

Roman Abramovich Shocks Chelsea with New Sacking of Himself

London – In a shock announcement today, Chelsea FC’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich yet again threw the club’s fortunes into turmoil with another capricious sacking, this time of himself.

An official club statement said, “We’d like to thank Roman for his efforts, but Mr. Abramovich feels this is the right time for the club to move forward without himself. We need a new man to realise his dream of winning the Champions League with Chelsea and if Roman isn’t the man to do it then Mr. Abramovich feels it’s better if Roman leaves.”

Roman Abramovich announced today that he was sacking himself with immediate effect.

Roman Abramovich announced today that he was sacking himself with immediate effect.

The shock news comes after a turbulent time for Chelsea, who started the season in dominant fashion, surging into an early lead with some free-scoring football before Abramovich mysteriously sacked assistant manager Ray Wilkins on Nov. 11.

Since then, Chelsea have stumbled badly, losing three and drawing three in a poor run that has seen them slide from first to fifth in the table, putting Roman Abramovich under increasing pressure for his poor man-management and backroom team selections.

“It’s all about results,” said manager Carlo Ancelotti with the air of an experienced man in a hard business. “Mr. Abramovich pays us to win, and results just haven’t gone Roman’s way. He made a big call in sacking Ray Wilkins, thinking such a capricious act would terrify us all into doing better. As it turns out, it terrified us into playing badly.”

He gestured helplessly and heaved a heavy sigh. “C’est la vie,” he said. “Mr. Abramovich is a hard taskmaster.”

This isn’t the first time Roman Abramovich has made curious strategic decisions that cost Chelsea FC. In September 2007, he sacked Jose Mourinho, the successful Portuguese manager who had just led Chelsea to two Premiership titles. Mourinho then went on to achieve the treble at Inter Milan last season, knocking Chelsea out en route to the Champions League final, and currently manages Real Madrid, the world’s richest club.

“Yeah, sacking Jose Mourinho was another big mistake,” said John Terry, captain of Chelsea FC. “He is clearly the world’s best manager, and he showed that when he was here. I can’t understand why Roman sacked him, and it certainly had a big impact on our lack of success here afterwards.”

"Roman just shouted, 'Wilkins, you're sacked!' while we were 3-0 up," recalled an upset Ray Wilkins.

"Roman just shouted, 'Wilkins, you're sacked!' while we were 3-0 up," recalled an upset Ray Wilkins.

“To be honest, I thought Mr. Abramovich should have sacked Roman for that one,” confessed Terry.

Fellow billionaire club owners, however, were quick to criticise the decision. “There’s a culture of just getting rid of people after a few bad results,” said Tom Hicks, formerly of Liverpool.

“I mean, all I had was a few bad years back-to-back, but it takes time and borrowed money to build a winning club. What’s a chairman supposed to do if he can’t get free money from financial institutions? How can he possibly pretend to live up to the false promises he made when he bought the club?”

“But for the fans, a chairman is only as good as the results the manager he can’t support can get from the cheap players left after we’ve sold everything to pay off our colossal debts.”

Concluded Hicks, “Roman’s just a victim of the short-term culture of English football.”

Long time foe Jose Mourinho responds to the news that Abramovich has sacked himself from Chelsea.

Long time foe Jose Mourinho responds to the news that Abramovich has sacked himself from Chelsea.

Fans said that while they appreciated all Roman had done for the club, it was probably a good time for him to move on.

“He did wonders for us when he first came here,” said Roger Houghton (36), a merchant banker and long-time Chelsea supporter. “I mean, the money he spent bringing in quality players turned us from also-rans into champions. Those were great days, when we could win the Premiership the London way – we bought it.”

“Roman’s just not bringing that kind of spirit to Chelsea any more. We were very worried when he started talking about ‘cost-cutting’ and refused to splurge on new players. In the City, we know that you have to borrow huge sums of money and spend it in order to be successful. Once you start worrying about paying it back, you’re no longer cut out for London.”

“I think Abramovich made the right decision in letting Roman go.”

Markets Snort Coke, Confuse Iceland and Ireland

Manhattan – For at least two years now Irish government policy has been dictated by the demands of international bond markets, with the government justifying each new cut in government expenditure as “necessary to appease the markets.”

But who exactly are these international bond markets? Our reporter spent a day following one of them to understand the world of international bond trading.

DeQuincey said Patrick Bateman was a great role model.

DeQuincey said Patrick Bateman was a great role model.

“We’re the people who make the world turn,” said Kelvin DeQuincey (28), a senior trader on Wall Street as he marched briskly over a dying homeless man. “You want to know who runs the world? You come to our door. Governments, big business, global financiers – they would all suck my dick if I promised to read their requests while they did it,” he said, striding to his 57th floor office opposite the New York Stock Exchange.

Mr. DeQuincey is a graduate from Harvard Business School who began working on the international bond markets four years ago and rapidly became a senior trader, due to the consistently high turnover of burned-out assholes.

“A lot of these guys just burn out in a couple of years and have to retire with a few measly million,” said DeQuincey, curling his lip in cold disdain. “I’m still at the top because I know how to pace myself, how to ration my energies. I think I could still be here at 30, if I stay in the same great physical shape.”

Mr DeQuincey disappeared into the executive washroom for a minute and came out looking unusually pumped for action. “Whoo!” he shouted upon emerging, shaking his head. “Let’s make some fucking green!” He then enthusiastically punched his secretary and briefly fondled the buttocks of a deliveryman standing by her desk.

Mr. De Quincey then showed us his trading desk, the place where decisions affecting hundreds of millions of people are made on an hourly basis.

"Iceland, Ireland, man, they're just like two identical money breasts," said DeQuincey.

"Iceland, Ireland, man, they're just like two identical money breasts," said DeQuincey.

“Anyone see that Iceland, Ireland, report anywhere?” he bellowed, enraged by the untidiness of a desk covered in open Playboy magazines. “Whoo! Look at the bazookas on her!” he shouted suddenly, holding up a centrefold to the rest of his team, who howled like famished wolves in response.

“OK, there’s some kind of deal going down with some Mickey-Mouse bunch of European pansies,” he explained, sweeping all of the porn and other documents off his desk in one violent movement. “It’s a small island somewhere off the coast of the cheese-eating surrender continent.”

“Elizabeth, don’t just look at that porn, bend over and pick it up,” he snapped at his secretary. The long-suffering Elizabeth, a former model with an architectural hairstyle bent over hesitantly, expecting the usual fondling, only to receive a boot in her ass instead.

“Why don’t you look like any of those centrefolds?” he sneered. “Don’t we pay you enough to get your fucking tits done? Here, take this,” he said, writing her a cheque for $10,000. “Now go to a plastic surgeon and get yourself some DDs. Don’t come back in here without them.”

“Yeah, what was I saying?” he said, turning back to his computer screens as Elizabeth slunk out of the room crying. “Oh yeah, the Ireland/Iceland thing. One of them has totally insolvent banks and now the country’s up to its ears in debt. Jesus, which one was it?” he said, before pausing to look for something in a small drawer and coming back up sniffing frenetically and rubbing his nose.

“Fuck it, time is money, baby!” he said. “It’s time to make a decision! Raise Ireland’s interest rates, then call Moody’s and have their bonds downgraded to junk status.”

Brian Cowen prepares to do what is necessary for Ireland.

Brian Cowen prepares to do what is necessary for Ireland.

“Whoo!” he yelled as the markets reacted, getting him $50 million closer to his $1 billion retirement goal. “That’s how the world works, bitch!”

“God, that makes me horny!” he said, fidgeting compulsively and looking around for his porn collection. “Goddamnit, where did that stupid bitch Elizabeth take my porn? Never mind, somebody call the Village Big Man of this Ireland place and have him or her get the fuck over here to suck my dick for bankrupting their country.”

In Ireland, Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced higher taxes and yet more cuts to social welfare and government services, before putting some scarlet lipstick on and catching the flight to New York.

Canada Doing Just Fine

Edmonton – As the rest of the world surveys the carnage of 2010, from the continuing hardship of the global economic recession, the proliferation of wars, and the ongoing decline of good music, a bemused Canada announced today that it was doing just fine.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in a speech reviewing the year that everything was all right. “My fellow Canadians,” he said in a relaxed, homely manner. “This has been a pretty good year for Canada, just like last year and the most of the years before that. We have a sound economy, a secure nation, and a quality of living that much of the world envies.”

"Yep, that's our national parliament," said Mr. Harper proudly. "Mighty fine."

"Yep, that's our national parliament," said Mr. Harper proudly. "Mighty fine."

“Although, really,” said Mr. Harper, suddenly thinking about the rest of the world. “How hard can it be?”

Leading analysts said Canada had benefited from a political tradition that discourages complete dumbasses from running for office.

“Canadian voters have traditionally been hostile to the idea of having mentally deranged ideological zealots with Ph.Ds from the Community College of Moronville running the government,” said James Green, Professor of Political Science at the University of Ottawa. “As we’ve seen in, say, the USA or Ireland, having such people in charge can cause serious problems for the average citizen. That’s why we would never vote in someone like George W. Bush or Brian Cowen – they were obviously going to make a balls of it, so why would you give them the job?”

“Well, technically the Irish didn’t vote Brian Cowen in,” admitted Professor Green. “But I actually find that more disturbing, don’t you?”

The tradition of voting for sane, intelligent individuals for public office has had knock-on benefits for the economy.

"No sir, you don't see signs like this at Canada's well regulated banks," said Mr. Lagrange.

"No sir, you don't see signs like this at Canada's well regulated banks," said Mr. Lagrange.

“I think that’s obvious if we take a look at the different trends following the recession,” said Kenneth Lagrange, a market analyst for Goldman Sachs. “Canada survived a global financial meltdown pretty much intact because its government actually regulated the banks. Now, our banks and our money are doing just fine.”

“Compare that with the US, where Republicans have been and still are actively campaigning for deregulation,” he said, shaking his head in puzzlement. “Yeah, like when someone goes nuts and trashes your home, the last thing you’d want to do is call the police, right? Unless you’d like the Tea Party to come round and practice some good old-fashioned neighbourhood justice, with no need to get the government involved.”

“And don’t even ask about Ireland!” he added with a laugh. “From encouraging the housing bubble to agreeing to the bank bailout to the humiliating deal with the IMF, those guys are paying the price for having dumbasses at the wheel.”

General Howard Farlington said that responsible governance was also at the heart of Canada’s security policy.

"Now, really, who's that helping?" said General Farlington disapprovingly.

"Now, really, who's that helping?" said General Farlington disapprovingly.

“We have one golden rule for keeping Canadians safe,” said General Farlington briskly. “Don’t invade other countries and kill people.”

“You see, killing thousands of unarmed civilians in Third World countries generally leaves a lot of people angry with you; then those people try to kill you back,” he explained. “That’s why here in Canada we don’t declare war on anyone, and it’s a policy that’s working just fine.”

“Compare that with the American policy, and you’ll see what I mean.”

Ordinary citizens declared themselves “satisfied” with Canada’s progress. “Sure, it’s not a bad place to live, not a bad place at all,” said Ottawa resident Jane Dearborn (37). “Although really, as our Prime Minister said, how hard can it be? I mean, vote in smart pragmatic leaders, don’t start any wars, and sensibly regulate the market – it doesn’t take a genius to work that out. I don’t see why life everywhere in the world can’t be just fine, like here.”

At the UN, representatives of the world’s other nations announced they would love it, just love it, if Canada fell flat on its smug complacent face in 2011.

Disappointed Nation Gets Socks, Gift Voucher, AIB for Xmas

Dublin – We get out of bed every Christmas Day with such high hopes for what will be under the tree, only to find another hand-knitted jumper and a Lindsay Lohan DVD.

This year was no exception for the people of Ireland, who received the depressing trinity of a new pair of socks, a gift voucher for Amazon, and a part share in Ireland’s largest bank, the newly nationalised Allied Irish Bank.

Darragh O'Shea can't conceal his excitement at getting the nationalisation of AIB for Xmas.

Darragh O'Shea can't conceal his excitement at getting the nationalisation of AIB for Xmas.

“Yeah, thanks,” said Darragh O’Shea (19) unenthusiastically, on behalf of the nation. O’Shea, a student at UCD, muttered that he was delighted with the gifts as he flicked through the TV channels.

“Oh, now, it’s not all that bad,” scolded his mother Mrs. Kathy O’Shea (46). “You can show a little bit more gratitude than that. Those thick socks will come in very useful in this snowy weather, and you can use that gift voucher to buy that computer game you were looking for.”

She sighed and looked at the third one. “And, well… they mean well, don’t they?” she said without any conviction, trying to put a positive spin on the government’s third gift of Christmas.

The government came round to deliver the gifts in a painfully awkward Xmas meeting that everyone dreads but annually has to grin and bear. “There ye are now,” said Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, proudly handing everyone in the nation the news that we now own one of the world’s most insolvent, debt-ridden banks. “That’ll be very useful next year, when we need somewhere to keep all the money we don’t have anymore. Hope ye enjoy it, lads!” he said merrily, while the nation forced some fake smiles of gratitude.

“Happy Christmas from Fianna Fáil!”

AIB is so broke it no longer has a building to go with this sign.

AIB is so broke it no longer has a building to go with this sign.

AIB had been one of Ireland’s largest and most successful banks, snorting lines of credit until it was totally high on the stock market during the boom, before coming down with a monumental crash that has left it begging its own customers for a handout to keep it going.

“The government’s full of ould lads who are at least two years out of date,” said Darragh dismissively. “I mean, this might have been a good present two years ago. Instead they gave us that stupid NAMA thing, which ended up costing us a fortune to keep running.”

“Now they’ve gone and nationalised the banks anyway, which they could have just done in 2008 and dispensed with that NAMA crap. Now we have both of them – we’ll never be able to afford to have the pair of them round the house.”

Kathy O’Shea groped around through her old lists of excuses for elderly relatives’ Xmas presents. “Well, NAMA seemed to be all the rage at the time,” she said hopefully.

“It was arse then, and it’s an even bigger arse now.”

“Watch your language, young man!” snapped his mother. “It’s Christmas, after all. Try to have a bit of Christian decency.”

NAMA showed its age from the first and was rapidly past its sell-by-date.

NAMA showed its age from the first and was rapidly past its sell-by-date.

Darragh sulked down in his chair and rustled through the Roses box to see if there was anything left other than coffee crèmes or a share in Anglo Irish Bank.

“I wouldn’t mind so much if they hadn’t paid twenty times what the thing is worth for it,” he said, rolling his eyes as he texted with his friends about the crap gift they’d all gotten from the government this year. “I mean, AIB’s only worth €432 million. They put €3.5 billion into it last year, another €3.7 billion just before Xmas, and they still have to pay off another €6.1 billion by February.”

“I wish they wouldn’t go around blowing so much cash on these stupid things.”

“Well, it’s only money…” said his mother, rummaging at the bottom of the excuse locker.

“It was our money. They borrowed it from us, remember? You had to mortgage the house to get it for them.”

Kathy O’Shea gave up, opened a bottle of Baileys, and flopped down on the sofa next to Darragh. “They really are a pack of retarded fucking cunts,” she said, taking a drink directly out of the bottle before passing it to her son.

“Lord save me for saying it, but the sooner they pass on the better for the whole family.”

Santa Stuck at Dublin Airport, Rapidly Losing Christmas Spirit

Dublin Airport – With a merry “Ho-ho-ho!” Santa Claus swung down through Irish airspace this morning to begin the mighty task of delivering presents to the nation’s children.

However, after being stuck at Dublin Airport for the past ten hours, Santa is rapidly beginning to lose his joyous sense of Christmas and is starting to become rather pissed off.

An increasingly gaunt Santa waits miserably with thousands of stranded travellers.

An increasingly gaunt Santa waits miserably with thousands of stranded travellers.

Said Santa grouchily, “I don’t want to talk about it – get out of my fucking face,” as he took a slug from a near-empty bottle of Black Bush he’d bought at the airport shop in order to help keep warm.

Santa began in his odyssey to bring joy to the world’s children early today as he left his secret base at the North Pole with enormous sacks stuffed with toys on his reindeer-pulled sled.

The elves had even made an extra big sack for the suffering Irish children forced to make do with wooden “Made-in-Ireland” toys from their cash-strapped parents.

However, problems arose the moment Santa pulled his sleigh into Irish airspace. “Em, Santa, you’re going to have to back up to 10,000 feet and circle for a while,” said a bureaucratic voice from the Dublin air traffic control. “We’ve got snow all over the runways that we need to clear off before you can land.”

“Ho-ho,” said Father Christmas with unflappable jollity. “The reindeer won’t fancy that! Hyah, Rudolph! Up we go!”

Two hours later Santa asked traffic control when they expected the fucking runways to be clear.

“Em, well, it’s snowing even as we speak, Santa,” said traffic control. “And we had to lay off some groundstaff, and some of them are out sick or have taken holidays because it’s Christmas, you know? So at the moment it’s just old Micko out there with a sweeping brush and he’s doin’ his best, like, but he’s not a fuckin’ miracle worker.”

Reclining airport groundstaff say the unprecedented snowfall will paralyse air travel for weeks.

Reclining airport groundstaff say the unprecedented snowfall will paralyse air travel for weeks.

“I think one of my reindeer just died!” bellowed a clearly frustrated Santa. “We’re coming in now, ready or not.”

“And I live at the North Pole, for fuck’s sake! How much snow could Ireland actually have?”

Santa dived his sled beneath the clouds to find Dublin’s runways lightly dusted in three inches of snow while groundstaff with cups of tea stood looking at it with expressions of helpless defeat, as if no civilisation in human history could be expected to cope with such inclement weather conditions.

“Ho-ho-ho not,” grumbled Santa as he lumbered out of the sled. “Right, let’s get this immigration and customs stuff over with and get back in the air.”

“Passport,” said the robot-faced Garda behind the immigration desk.

“But, my good man, I’m Santa Claus!” said Santa, posing with merry grin before the booth so the Garda would recognise his mistake.

“I don’t care if you’re Bob fuckin’ Geldof,” replied the Garda. “Passport.”

A traumatised Santa remains stranded at Dublin Airport, drowning his sorrows.

A traumatised Santa remains stranded at Dublin Airport, drowning his sorrows.

“But, but,” stammered Santa, who was born in the first millennium after Christ and thus at a time when necessary bureaucratic documentation could be considered spotty at best.

“And what’s in the bag?” added the customs Garda, as they began ganging up on the sweaty red-faced fat man. Santa was promptly hauled off into an interview room for a 2-hour interrogation of his credentials, which were eventually resolved after a rubber-gloved examination of his ample bottom to see if were smuggling illegal narcotics into the country.

Santa emerged from the ordeal to find that his reindeer had been impounded and, due to the snow, he had been denied clearance for take-off. “We might be able to let you go some time in January,” said an uncaring bureaucrat with a shrug, as Santa settled down with a bottle of Black Bush among the thousands of other passengers stranded at the airport.

“I fucking hate this country,” he said morbidly, as he began rummaging through the present sack for some chocolates to stave off the hunger.

Local Man Actually Starting to Enjoy Cricket

Waterford – Although other English sports like soccer and rugby have found a natural home in Ireland, until recently the game of cricket has been one of those mysterious English hobbies like queuing and soggy biscuit which the Irish have never really embraced.

However, Donncha O’Mahony (28), an unemployed travel agent from Waterford, has recently become something of a fan of the sport and has started a facebook page for Irish cricket fans, which is drawing surprising numbers.

"Those pages in the FAS window aren't jobs - they're bus timetables to Liverpool," explained Mr. O'Mahony.

"Those pages in the FAS window aren't jobs - they're bus timetables to Liverpool," explained Mr. O'Mahony.

“I suppose like a lot of people I thought I’d never watch a whole cricket match,” said Mr. O’Mahony, lying on his couch wrapped in a blanket because he can’t afford to heat his apartment. “Jesus, I thought it was boring as a blonde girl’s conversation – five fuckin’ days of lads standin’ around in a field, slowly hittin’ each other’s balls.”

“That’s the fuckin’ English for ya,” he said, raising a mug of homemade cider brewed in his bathtub as the price of a six-pack of Scrumpy just got too much. “There’s no level of sadomasochistic perversion they can’t turn into a game with strict rules and honour codes.”

However, during the recent Ashes series Mr. O’Mahony has gradually been won over by the gentle smack of leather on willow, so much so that he is quite looking forward to the rest of the series.

“I suppose like a lot of people I have a lot more time on my hands now than I used to,” said Mr. O’Mahony reflectively. “I mean, in the past, we all had things like jobs and such which kept us busy. And we’re used to faster sports like hurling; 70 minutes of non-stop action. How would we ever find the time or inclination to watch a sport that went for five straight days, and still ended in a draw?”

“But, sure, as I haven’t had a job now since 2008, and there hasn’t been one advertised in the paper since March, I need to find some way of passing the time.”

Mr. O’Mahony said that he’d lost track of regular working time over the past two years and is now in the habit of sleeping whenever he feels like it, which meant that he was fully awake the night the first Ashes test was played in Australia this year.

"The English - is no rule-based sadomasochistic perversion beyond them?" wondered Mr. O'Mahony.

"The English - is no rule-based sadomasochistic perversion beyond them?" wondered Mr. O'Mahony.

“Yeah, well, I’d flicked around on Channel 4 looking for some arty French porn, but they were only showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show – again!” said Mr. O’Mahony with a roll of his eyes. “And as I didn’t think I’d go back to sleep until the morning, I needed something to watch.”

“And you know what?” he asked, with the rhetorically flourished question so beloved of Irish orators holding forth. “After about five or six hours, I started to get into a bit.”

Mr. O’Mahony paused for a moment to dig around the back of the couch to see if there were any wine gums left for dinner.

“There’s nothing quite as glorious as watching Jonathon Trott drive a short ball through the cover and all the way to the boundary for a four,” said Mr. O’Mahony enthusiastically, his voice curiously adopting the public school boy mannerisms of English cricket commentators.

“And nothing can compete with the drama of how Mitchell Johnson turned the series on its head at The WACA when he bowled 6-38 to give Australia the momentum and level the series going into the fourth Test at the MCG.”

“That knocked the English for six!” he chortled. “Aggers and Boycott certainly weren’t happy about that! God, I can’t wait for Boxing Day. I’ve even organised my sleeping schedule to make sure that I sleep during the day and stay awake all night so I can watch it live on the BBC.”

A cricket fan responds to the excitement of Mitchell Johnson's sensational bowling at the WACA.

A cricket fan responds to the excitement of Mitchell Johnson's sensational bowling at the WACA.

When asked if such a schedule would interfere with his job-hunting, Mr. O’Mahony just looked blank. “What?” he asked in confusion.

“Anyway,” he said, with a shake of his head. “You wouldn’t believe how much dole money I’ve been able to save now that I’ve started following cricket. I’m now able to put away ten bob a week.”

“A few more international series like this one and I might have enough money for a new bicycle – that will make the 2 kilometre trudge to the supermarket a lot easier.”

According to Mr. O’Mahony, his facebook page for Irish cricket fans now has over 250,000 likes as other Irish people come to see the benefit of watching a sport that cheaply kills five days at a time.

“Yeah, well, it’ll come in useful if any of us ever raise enough money to emigrate to England or Australia,” said Mr. O’Mahony with a shrug as he hung some teabags on the washing line.

Local Heroes Vow to Fight On in “Shell to Shed” Enterprise

Tullamore – The government, the EU, the IMF, and the international markets may have us by the throat, but out there in the cold and barren heartlands of Offaly a few patriots are determined to fight on for the right of all Irish farmers to run small, family-owned illegal businesses from the cowshed.

“It’s our land, and it’s our right to use that land as we see fit,” declared Jim Byrne (53) as he and his son John were led away by the police after an illegal oil laundering business was discovered in their barn on Dec. 16.

Gardai said the cowshed oil laundering operation was sophisticated and possibly international in scope.

Gardai said the cowshed oil laundering operation was sophisticated and possibly international in scope.

“The big oil companies and their government lackies don’t have the right to take over our land and tell us we’re not allowed to launder oil on it. Who gave them the right to endanger our livelihoods? I didn’t sign any forms saying they could come onto my property and take my oil pipelines out,” said Mr. Byrne indignantly, to spontaneous applause from the neighbours who had gathered to witness the scene.

“If I want to have unsafe pipelines full of crude oil running under my farm then that’s my right,” continued Mr. Byrne as the police tried to drag him away into a waiting van. “Everyone in Ireland has the right not to buy expensive petrol from a petrol station but to launder it themselves in their own barn.”

“The ‘Shell to Shed’ campaign will fight on!” he said, to cheers from his family and friends.

In the wake of Ireland’s economic collapse and the steady increase in oil prices over the last ten years, laundering oil in the family cowshed has become a staple of Irish small and medium enterprises. Last week’s find was the largest this year as the Tullamore shed could launder up 100,000 litres per week.

“Fuckin’ right it could,” said Mrs. Eileen Byrne (54), the wife of the arrested farmer. “Why should that money go to Shell or BP or any of those other fuckers, huh? Tell me that!” she said challengingly, to much shrugging of shoulders from the assembled journalists, who had to admit she had a point.

“If we want to produce a bit of oil for ourselves and our neighbours, then I don’t see what right the government has to shut us down.”

Mrs. Eileen Byrne refuses to hand the oil over without her consent.

Mrs. Eileen Byrne refuses to hand the oil over without her consent.

When asked if 100,000 litres a week might reasonably be described as something more than a ‘bit of oil for the neighbours’ Mrs. Byrne said exasperatedly, “I meant neighbour in the Biblical sense, not the local sense. Who is my neighbour? Jesus tells us that everyone is our neighbour, for 50p a litre.”

When asked about the loss of revenues to the Exchequer totalling €2.6 million, Mrs. Byrne snorted in contempt. “What would the Exchequer have done with that €2.6 million? Do you really think they would have spent it on schools and hospitals? Sure it would either have gone to the bank bondholders or into Biffo’s expense account. Is that where you want your money to end up?”

Again, there was much shrugging of shoulders as both journalists and Gardai acknowledged that Mrs. Byrne had a fair point there.

The ‘Shell to Shed’ campaign has grown rapidly in the past week with increasing numbers of people asserting their democratic right to steal Shell oil and launder it in their own shed. The Byrne family have quickly become folk heroes to a nation increasingly frustrated with being reamed by financial markets, international institutions, and Biffo.

In an effort to combat open rebellion in his own constituency, Taoiseach Brian Cowen drove down to Offaly to remonstrate directly with the ‘Shell to Shed’ campaign.

“Stop this shit!” roared Biffo as he pulled his wobbling bulk out of the back of his ministerial Mercedes. “Who the fuck do you people think you are, ha? Do as I fuckin’ tell ya!” he bellowed, his three chins flobbering in uncontrollable fury.

The cowshit that hit Cowen has become a celebrity in its own right.

The cowshit that hit Cowen has become a celebrity in its own right.

Mrs. Byrne casually picked up some cowshit with a shovel and hit Biffo in the face with it, thus guaranteeing her status as one of Ireland’s greatest folk heroes, about whom songs and stories are already being composed.

“I don’t know what the Gardai are up to,” said Mrs. Byrne, resting nonchalantly on her legendary shovel as Biffo tried to wipe his face on the crisp white shirt front of a nearby policewoman. “Puttin’ my Jim in jail for helping people get cheap fuel, and letting that fucker run around free after he bankrupted the country.”

“It’s no wonder this country’s in the state it is, when small businesses are being shut down to keep the big bastardin’ corporations and their Fianna Fáil lackies afloat.”

England Still Determined to Follow Irish ‘Economic Miracle’, to Irish Joy

London – Misery loves company, and in the spirit of good neighbours Ireland has found some cheer during its time of hardship by watching its ancient foe England deliberately choose to follow the Irish path off the cliff.

"Imagine it, live on the BBC," said Mr. Galway. "You'd be a Republican fucking hero."

"Imagine it, live on the BBC," said Mr. Galway. "You'd be a Republican fucking hero."

“Oh, that’s enough to warm the heart,” said Patrick Galway (41), an economics lecturer from Limerick. “If there’s anything that can make the Irish people feel better now, other than the mass suicide of Fianna Fáil, it’s watching the English shoot themselves in the foot.”

“And to lead them to the water’s edge so the shark can bite their noses off is like pounding the Queen doggystyle live on the BBC while waving the tricolour and singing the national anthem.”

Ireland had been one of the world’s economic darlings, with reckless borrowing fuelling a heady standard of living increase – until 2008, when the financial crisis revealed we had mortgaged everything for a seat at casino capitalism and were now skint and down to our socks and underwear.

Fortunately, our foolhardy strategy of Advanced Recession Survival Economics, or ARSE, has dazzled the English sitting next to us, who are stripping the shirt off their back and throwing it into the pot as we speak.

In 2006, then Shadow Chancellor George Osborne (now Chancellor of the Exchequer) said: “A generation ago, the very idea that a British politician would go to Ireland to see how to run an economy would have been laughable. The Irish Republic was seen as Britain’s poor and troubled country cousin, a rural backwater on the edge of Europe. Today things are different. Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking, and that is why I am in Dublin: to listen and to learn.”

Mr. Galway reread the article’s opening paragraph and sniggered. “Actually, by 2006 the OECD was already warning that we were experiencing a massive property bubble and our public sector pay was ballooning out of control. But once you get some of that fine Black Bush whisky into an English gent, you can tell them any tall tale about the little people and they’ll believe it.”

Osborne is known to be an ardent lover of Irish ARSE.

Osborne is known to be an ardent lover of Irish ARSE.

Osborne was particularly struck by the quality of Irish fiddling. “In Ireland they have doubled spending on public services in the past decade while reducing taxes and shrinking the State’s share of national income. So not only does Ireland now have lower business and income taxes than the UK, there are also twice as many hospital beds per head of population.”

“Oh, I can’t believe he thought that was sustainable!” chuckled Mr. Galway. “He just loves Ireland’s ARSE, Mr Osborne. What he wouldn’t give for England to have an ARSE like Ireland’s.”

Since getting into power, Mr. Osborne has enacted an English version of ARSE, much to the amusement of Ireland’s citizens. In the 2010 Budget, Mr. Osborne announced the only way to fight recession was to slash government spending, before pausing to take a piss on the grave of John Maynard Keynes.

Mr. Osborne then announced a radical new programme to help drive English growth – massive cuts to social welfare, new tax increases, and a 300% increase in student fees.

“Because, you see, as the Irish economic miracle clearly demonstrates, if we slash child benefit and the like, poor people will have less money to buy things with, which means they’ll have to get jobs,” said Mr. Osborne.

“And there will be plenty of jobs, what with reduced consumer spending in the face of higher taxes, public sector pay freezes, and reduced welfare,” said Mr. Osborne enthusiastically.

An Irish man decides to give England a taste of the coming economic miracle.

An Irish man decides to give England a taste of the coming economic miracle.

“And to get better jobs, people will then have to go to university, which will be a much improved experience now that it’s so expensive,” concluded Mr. Osborne.

“With this bold new ARSE, we will be able to catch up with Ireland in no time.”

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” bellowed Mr. Galway, collapsing over his desk as he shook uncontrollably with cynical laughter. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

According to a survey in the Irish Independent, most Irish people are happy to see England join them in the Dark Ages, with the only drawback being that we will now need somewhere else to emigrate.

Perhaps the last word should go to Mr. Osborne, however: “Ireland has much to teach us, if only we are willing to learn,” said the Chancellor of the Exchequer, looking approvingly to the West across the Irish Sea as if into the future for England and its people.

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