CSotD: The Rocky Road to Dublin

Harry Venning’s latest “Clare in the Community” forces us all to admit that we’d never heard the term either.

And I’d suggest, based on the fairly common stuff my spellcheck misses, that her friend must have a damn good app on his phone.

But there it is in my Shorter Oxford, with which you cannot argue: Boris did not just make it up, though the cartoon reminds me of a scene early on in Jules et Jim in which a graffiti artist gets upset with his partner because she ran out of paint before he could put the “S” on “Mort Aux Autres,” and he’s furious because now people will think anarchists can’t spell.

I’m pretty sure his using a word like “prorogue” doesn’t change how people feel about Boris Johnson one way or the other.


And while we’re on that side of the Atlantic, here’s Graeme Keyes on the topic of Mike Pence, who either took a business trip to Ireland and squeezed in a personal vacation or possibly the opposite.

As to the fact that he hasn’t been fired yet, that may be due to his being a good little doggy, which brings us to his stay at His Master’s golf resort in the West of Ireland.

If his trip were a personal vacation to visit his ancestral home in Doonbeg, I’d be inclined to brush off his staying at the boss’s place.

The West of Ireland is lovely but fairly desolate, and the hotel is not only perhaps the only likely place for an entourage that size in County Clare, but a hop, skip and not even half a jump from town.

This isn’t one of those American “cousin” trips where the fellow’s Irish ancestry is of Warrenesque proportions, either: He once spent a summer there with cousins, tending bar and cutting turf.

On the other hand, it’s not like he settled in for a week to sit around recalling old times, and he seems to have divided his visit in half: One day for personal chats with family, and another day for diplomatic formalities in which he apparently pissed off nearly everyone else on the island.


At which point one should look at the map and ask why he stayed on that side of the island, and, if it was a personal vacation, shouldn’t he be compensating taxpayers for the expenses?

Not, mind you, to suggest that he actually drove, or was driven, the three hours from his hotel to the place for which he allegedly went to Ireland. He apparently fired up Air Force Two and flew 120 miles from Shannon to Dublin Airport.

Well, why not? Here’s the word that appears just before all those prorogations in my Oxford:


Ann Telnaes explains it all, and it’s indeed a good thing that Mother came along with him.

Them Irish can be awful hospitable, when Mother’s not watching.

See the lassies smile
Laughin’ all the while
At me curious style,
T’would set your heart a-bubblin’
Asked if I was hired?
Wages I required?
T’il I was nearly tired of
The rocky road to Dublin


Home Thoughts, From A Dude

Meanwhile, back here in the US of A, Moderately Confused cites the often-cited rotary phone, but ties in something I was recently thinking about: The old days of local radio.

When I had my short-lived but well-remembered talk show, our AM station shared a building with an FM such that the two studios were separated by a large glass plate.

But while the AM was hyperlocal, the FM was in the process of converting to satellite, not just as a subscriber but as the main hub.

We got to watch the jocks learn to never say “It’s a lovely day” much less give the time with the hour attached to it.

It not only might not be lovely where your listeners were but it might not even be day, and “20 past the hour” was as close as you needed to be, or should be, on the time.

They also spent a fair amount of time recording various cut-ins for the subscribing stations so that they could pretend to run those local contests and promotions.

But it was no longer a call-in contest because the station was automated and the mailed entries for the contest were read and sorted by whoever stopped by to load those taped promos and local commercials into the automated slots in an otherwise deserted building.

Which doesn’t much matter when all you’re doing is spinning whatever songs some national source says are the hits. The days of disc jockeys on commercial stations playing undiscovered masterpieces pretty much went out with the payola scandals.


However, during the Ice Storm of 1998, I was able to get up-to-the-minute status reports around the clock from a small, local station in Plattsburgh, but, by the time Hurricane Floyd came through a year later, I had moved to Glens Falls where it was all done by satellite.

Which is to say, it wasn’t done at all.

They not only didn’t tell us what roads were closed or where to get dry ice for our refrigerators, they wouldn’t even tell us what hour it was 20 minutes past.


Today’s Pajama Diaries brings forth a much lighter memory because only the brand names change over time.

When I was of an age to shave weekly, I wore English Leather. Then someone gave me a gift set for Christmas that included a bottle of talc which I put by the pool table in the basement.

Until my buddy Bill and I found ourselves playing eight-ball down there with two very cute girls, one of whom looked at the talc and said, “I hate English Leather” and the other one giggled her agreement.

A few years later, I was in college and a girl stumbled in laughing and gagging and said she’d just passed three guys in the hall, wearing Jade East, English Leather and Canoe.

I felt so superior to be wearing Old Spice!

8 thoughts on “CSotD: The Rocky Road to Dublin

  1. My dad wore Old Spice, my first boyfriend wore Jade East and my husband wears Brut. Whenever I catch scent of any of them it evokes pleasant memories.

  2. My first boyfriend also wore Jade East (the bargain alternative to Hai Karate, IIRC), and my ex wore Amaris. For a year or so in high school I wore (without her permission) my mom’s Tigress, for which I heartily apologize to anyone who had the misfortune to sit next to me in class.

    Thanks for the memories.

  3. To be brutally honest, the way Boris is getting his rear end handed to him gives me some measure of faith in the world. Perhaps your Mr Trump will be looking at this as well and reconsidā€”


    Oh, I”m sorry, was that my outside voice talking again?

  4. Like editorial cartoons these days, good radio exists in the internet, making up for the lesser state of music on actual radio. There are a number of places where the playlists on whatever format are far more inclusive than on the radio. Of course, the more authentically local broadcasting element won’t be present on such sites, so it doesn’t solve everything, but it helps a lot.

  5. I love English Leather! A favorite uncle, born in Scotland, always wore it. He would stay in my room when he came to visit, and I loved that the scent lingered after he was gone.

    I wore it during college, but sadly my wife is very sensitive to scents, so that ended that.

  6. Are you saying that St. Michael dePence was a BARTENDER at some point ? Was his wife with him at the time ?

  7. Mary:

    A young woman, like many before her, moved to London to find work and, like many others, sent money home to her widowed mother in Dublin. But the amount of money she was able to send home suddenly tripled and it made her mother curious and troubled.

    So when the girl came home for Christmas, her mother asked her, “Darling, you’ve been very good to me, but I have to ask how you’re able to send home so much money?”

    The girl stammered and bit, then said, “Mother, I’ve become a prostitute.”

    The old woman fainted away, and, when she was revived said, “Daughter, daughter, I’m so ashamed. Please tell me you didn’t just say that.”

    The girl said, “I’m afraid it’s true, Mother. I’ve become a prostitute.”

    “Ah, saints be praised!” the mother said. “I thought you said ‘Protestant.'”

    (Mike Pence converted during his college years, after his time in Doonbeg.)

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