Celtic Tiger Pines for Asia

The Celtic Tiger, a loveable creature that has been warming Irish hearts since its arrival on our shores in the mid-1990s, is now pining for its Asian homelands.

Sheila Burke, a spokesperson for Dublin Zoo, said, “All of Ireland knows that the Celtic Tiger is a fun-loving creature synonymous with good times. Indeed, many saw its luxurious fur and powerful haunches as a symbol of the country’s fortunes. However, in recent months its zest for Irish life has begun to decline rapidly.”

The Celtic Tiger shows its feelings about life in Ireland.

The Celtic Tiger shows its feelings about life in Ireland.

“That luxurious fur is even starting to show signs of mange,” she added glumly.

The Tiger’s arrival in the mid-1990s sparked waves of excitement throughout the country. Traditionally associated with good luck in fast-rising Asian economies such as Singapore and S. Korea, the Tiger’s arrival heralded a wave of credit card maximization and irresponsible mortgage lending in the belief that the Tiger’s presence on our shores would hold at bay the forces of fiscal gravity.

“What goes up must come down, unless the Tiger is below you,” as the ancient Chinese sage Tzun-li famously put it.

And indeed it seemed that it had brought some of that famous Asian luck with it as the Irish economy roared, taking the price of a simple pint of Guinness to over €5 in many parts of Dublin. And of course there was nothing more popular with families than to go out to the Zoo and see the fabled Tiger that had brought such wonders.

In response to this wave of enthusiasm, Dublin Zoo arranged for the Tiger to move to luxurious new accommodation in an extravagant safari park planned on a 500-acre expanse of farmland in Westmeath.

“Well, it seemed like Ireland was about to become the land of saints, scholars, and millionaires,” said Miss Burke lamely. “And as we’re post-Catholic and don’t have saints, and we’ve constricted Uni funding so our scholars have gone, really we were just going to be a land of nouveau-riche millionaires. And there’s nothing the jet-set like more than going on safari, watching wild animals savagely rip each other’s flesh from their bones, and Westmeath can offer them that.”

The Irish people responded enthusiastically to the Tiger, but that hasn't prevented it wanting to go home to Asia.

The Irish people responded enthusiastically to the Tiger, but that hasn't prevented it wanting to go home to Asia.

The new safari park in Westmeath included such opulent facilities as visitors’ jeeps made entirely of reinforced glass and even a sauna for African animals struggling with the cold northeastern winds. Having taken an enormous loan out to pay for the land and the housing for the animals, Dublin Zoo had just moved the Celtic Tiger into its new home when it was badly hit by the recession.

“He was so happy at first,” said Miss Burke, with a tear in her eye. “It was quite a sight watching him charge around those open fields, looking for prey to hunt. But then we couldn’t afford to bring in any more animals, so he was there on his own, in the middle of Westmeath, the only living creature in a ghost estate.”

“It wasn’t long before he turned into a ghost of himself.”

As funding dried up, the Tiger’s rich diet of raw meat was exchanged first for Denny sausages, and then Tesco-brand sausages, before finally being forced to eat tofu.

“Yeah, well, we all have to make sacrifices,” said Miss Burke dismissively.

The Celtic Tiger's depression is so intense it no longer desires fresh pork.

The Celtic Tiger's depression is so intense it no longer desires fresh pork.

The Tiger’s fur lost its glossy sheen and began to fall out. It lost its proud, arrogant walk and quickly became apathetic, lying listlessly in front of the safari park’s TV set, listening to political parties endlessly bicker about which one was at fault.

“Back in its heyday it would have just ignored those fuckers,” said Miss Burke plaintively. “It’s a sign of his decline that he actually finds himself listening to their tripe.”

The Tiger is now hoping that an international rescue fund will restore it to its Asian homelands, perhaps in China or India, where conditions seem more conducive to it.

“We’ll just have to face it,” said Miss Burke with a sigh of resignation. “Ireland was no place for the Celtic Tiger.”

One Response to Celtic Tiger Pines for Asia

  1. Gombeen Man says:

    Yeah… poor Tigger was always just that bit incongruous here, I thought…

    Nice post.

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