Friday Feb 24th – The Camel

After completing a whole day of work on Friday, it was only fitting that me and Lilsister celebrate our new found (and much more lowly paid than the last time we worked, in my case, significantly lower – so keep trying to reduce our wages you IMF BASTARDS – ahem, rant over) employment in a comedy club.  Free tickets were scored from Sisinlaw2 who for confusion’s sakes I should probably call Auntie3.  We met at the appointed hour, me with filthy hair, jazzed up by some girlie mousse and Lilsister, who banged her head twice on the taxi door on the way up to the pub, while she was still sober, so could feel the pain immediately.  We took our seats with Auntie3 and her friends close-ish to the stage to hear and see, and throw empty bottles, but not too close that we wouldn’t be involved in the general slaggings that up and coming comedians feel they have to bestow on a paying audience in order to ”make it” in funnyland.   In fairness, the audience here was well on for an insulting match, with some of them funnier than the poor people on the stage, but that’s Dubliners for you, never let a chance to belittle somebody pass you by.

We were there to witness a comedy competition where two people ranted for several minutes then the audience ungratefully cheered at the end for the person they wanted to see perform again, until, gladiator-like, only the fittest survived and was crowned comedy king (or queen as the case turned out to be, with a FEMALE winning – go girl!!!).

Naturally there were some unfunny moments one of which being an odd bloke who professed to be a student at University College Dublin (where we come from in Dublin this is still considered posh) with a fop of curly blonde hair dangling over the eyes and surprisingly, for the heat generated by the hatred and general lookingdowness of the audience in the room, a large camel coat, which gave an overall impression of a bad comedian trying to look like an intellectual, and vice versa.

The Camel produced a notebook, naturally, and began to read a series of extremely bad poems to us, which, in this pub, situated over a supermarket, in a carpark, where hooded children were dealing drugs, did not go down well at all.  I didn’t really hear them all but one did end with the stark statement that ”I need to get a life”. Another was a homage to a much hated twin sister which he pointed out, was adopted.  This was all fine, but nobody was laughing, apart from Lilsister, who caused great entertainment on the floor with her thigh slapping, tear wiping and silent laughter – you know when you laugh so much instead of making laughing sounds you kind of gasp, and exhale breath, and slap your thigh for a noise instead?  That was the convulsion that Lilsister found herself in.  She was laughing at the Camel so hard that the audience had started to face her, much to my embarrassment.  As I was half sober, I felt the eyes of the Camel boring into us, but in fairness to his standupmanship, he did not fluster, he plodded through his poems, doglike in his steadfastness.  After a series of groans to a new verse, he declared that the audience was ”not to worry, because I have something funny to say now.”  He held his arm outstretched, flipped open the trusted notebook, took a breath, lifted his head to face his tormentors and opened his mouth.  All that could be heard was Lilsister screaming ”Weirdo!!!” at which The Camel sighed, closed the book and said ”exactly”.  It was the highlight of the night.

They became facebook friends during the week.

Signing on and Silent Suppers

Just finishing up from what I thought was a very ravishing dinner with Lilsister, Papabear and Mammy, but which I fear was not appreciated by our deranged parents.

Papabear in full New Year’s resolution mode (well it is February) has decided to quit smoking, and finds himself hungry almost most of the time he is awake, currently running at a good six hours per day.  This meant that as Lilsister’s shepherd’s pie was fizzling away in the oven, next to my own amazing garlic bread rolls, Papabear sat at the table, with a napkin, cutlery, cup of tea, bread roll (as he hates anything garlic-related) and a jam doughnut, naturally, until the food was eventually slopped up on a plate to him, by a strangely silent Mammy.  Dinner was short and quiet with only the gnashing of teeth from Lilsister and desperate protestations from myself about how nobody was thanking anybody for handing them their dinner.  It was painful, yet delicious in a piercingly horrific way.

The point of the shepherd’s pie was to eat something comforting after our awful time down at the social welfare office, where we stood in line and Lilsister got yelled at by the gargoyle at the hatch for not putting her mark in the correct corner of the greasy paper which holds so much power.  Afterwards, being gluttons for punishment, we decided to go and register at the state employment agency, which costs our IMF-indebted government a billion euro a year to run.  I could say function, but I never lie.

Moving away from the porn he was navigating on his computer screen, the extremely skinny bloke behind the counter (who never rose from his seat to address us) told us that to register for a course, you had to register, which we advised him we were here to do.  Oh no he said, you can’t just come in and register.  We only take registrations from 9.30-1.30 Monday to Thursday, and you usually have to queue two and a half hours to do even that.  And every day we close the doors at 1.30 and there are people still waiting, we send them away.  We are public servants after all (okay I included that bit myself but it isn’t a lie).  We turn away on average twenty people a day, he said.  I then asked him about courses and he said there were waiting lists for ”many, many months” for the majority of them.  These courses are just fabulous – if you go on them, then your details are removed from the live register, which is the amount of people out of work in Ireland.  This means that the unemployment figures reported in Ireland at any one time are completely false, as they do not include all those people on the ”Jobs Club” course (where you work at a computer on your CV and discuss interview techniques in a room with other unemployed hopefuls – for 11 weeks); the ”Receptionist Skills” course (eh – switch skills?  For a whopping EIGHTEEN weeks) and other such useless, pointless entities which fudge the figures we present to our European bosses when we put our hands out for more bailout money.  I then asked about internships, as I had spotted a really good one that required journalistic ability and was working (for free mind) with a government agency doing interviews, press releases etc.  NO, I was told quite clearly by Starvingpornman, you must be unemployed for LONGER to even apply for an internship where you work full time hours doing the same work as everybody else, but for free, and while you’re there we take YOUR details off the live register and don’t report on the fact that you are still unemployed, just whoring your skills out for nowt.  I asked was there any way around this and was given a repeated loud NO.

In essence, you must queue to register to queue to do courses with our state employment agency, which costs a billion a year to run, but which cannot see individuals after 1.30pm four days a week, lest lunchbreaks be interrupted.

Just to put the cherry on the cake, we popped along to our post office to collect our dole payment which, for anybody unemployed out there knows, is FUCKED at you through the window by the haggard and horrible post office mistresses, with a snarl and no word of a thanks for keeping post offices open, which only serve to hand people dole payments these days.

So!  To summarise:

There are no jobs in Ireland.

The state employment agency has no jobs, just courses, which have many months waiting lists, and the waiting lists themselves have waiting lists.

These courses may not lead to jobs.

The bitches at the post office can get off their fat arses and thank us for paying their pensions in the first place, and get over the fact that people are not on the dole because they love it, but because they were made redundant by companies who could claim 66% of the redundancy they paid you back from the government.  Why pay wages when you can get away with that?

Our parents are ungrateful, and depressing.

But cynicism and hatefulness, you will not have me!!!  I will NOT let you get the better of me!!!

Having said that, it may be time to pop a few headache tablets.