Ireland's recession - My late awakening! (Part 1)

Hair today, gone tomorrow

It landed suddenly and violently upon me, like a storm surge brewing silently ceasing it's prime moment for attack.

The 'R' word has been on everybody's lips since I landed back in Ireland early July. Not that the throngs of teens and adults with bizarre and expensive hairstyles in shopping mode along Henry street would give any indication that problems lay on the horizon. In fact, as I was soon to find out, problem's were but a hair's breadth away. Unless you have been living on planet Zog for the past few months, you are bound to have read some articles on the issue, maybe even heard Joe Duffy blabbering on about it, and even the staple topic of chit-chat - miserable weather - is oft knocked off the charts when the 'R' word finally hits home.

Just in case you are confused, let me bring you through the incident that brought it all home to me. I'm on my rusting bronze mountain bike. The location - Ballybough, Dublin. For those of you from down or up the country(or maybe abroad), that is the area you usually park your car, have your flask of tea and eat your ham sandwiches in, prior to watching your team star in Croke Park.

Cars are zooming by, fast as ever, grumbling stomachs eagerly awaiting their take away dinner from Hu Zhang's Chinese or Toni's Italian restaurant. I hear my Damo been carried away in the wind. To turn around or lose concentration in such a situation, where potholes abound and drivers are stark mad, could mean grave injury and potential loss of limb. Once I again I hear the wind lightly carry my name into the distance. It reminds me of how tormented Heathcliff imagined the voice of Catherine on the moors in Wuthering Heights.

Then, SMACK! The realisation of my recession landed with the belt of a sturdy magazine against the back of my head. A red Volkswagen Golf sped past, packed with late teens, one hanging from the side window - a rolled up magazine in one hand, his full head of hair luminated with highlights, and a ghastly smirk on his face. He screamed at me: 'Cover up that baldy patch'.

If you want to read Part II, buy the book!

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