Tag Archives: Ireland

The Zombie Apocalypse

A lot of people spend a lot of time planning for the Zombie Apocalypse. What they’ll do, who they’ll save, where they’ll go. I’d be one of them, I think it’s quite important.

So what do you do? You plan for the occasion. You’ve got a world of nastiness trying to get in to feast on your ever so tasty flesh. Best to not let that happen really.

What do you plan for?

  • Make sure you know what’s going on first. Be an awful shame if you just went around the house swinging a bat and knocked your Mother clean out. Imagine discussing that over Christmas dinner for the rest of time. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
  • Do a roll check. Yeah, sounds a little bit like school, but it sure would be handy to know who’s still in the world of the living. Get people to sound off and if possible secure them in the one location. If it’s not possible then tell them to go to a predesignated safe spot, batten down the hatches and wait for help.
  • If the situation is truly dire and you have Zombie hands coming through the door then you need to bug out immediately. Have your escape route planned and make sure everyone knows the drill. If you live in your standard house then a jump out the window will probably not kill you. Don’t go head first. Feet first and try and roll when you hit the ground. Broken legs are far easier to recover from than a broken neck or the damage some house invading zombies will inflict on you.
  • Be prepared to defend yourself if you need to. If you absolutely have to fight the good fight then you do that. This should be used as simply a last resort. You’ve tried everything else. You can’t escape, you can’t account for your loved one’s, you’ll have to fight it out. Remember, you’re not there for the 15 rounds. Move quick and stay low. If you watch rugby then you’ll notice that the best and most effective tackles occur below the waist. This is the best way of taking someone to ground. Fighting is exhausting and you need your energy to live.
  • Know your escape routes. Know where the keys to the doors are. Know who’s in the house. Know where you agreed to meet when you get out. Remember to bring a phone, you’ll need to call for help.

So there ya have it. A quick guide to what to do if Zombies come knocking. It’s always a bit of craic to talk about that, especially with The Walking Dead coming back on our screens.

Now, I would like you to substitute “Zombies” for “Fire” and “Burglary”. When was the last time you planned for that?

Know your way out. Know your plan. Know who’s in the house. Know what to do. Know that your family’s safety is paramount above all else. Things can be replaced people can’t be.

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

So tell me your faults

The question in an interview that you always know you’re going to be asked, but you never quite know how to answer.

Realistically, what are you supposed to say to “tell me your faults”? They may as well say “tell me what’s wrong with you, c’mon, I dare ya!”.

It’s the impossible question to answer correctly. It is the Kobayashi Maru of the interview world.  So what do you say to it? Well, you think up your most endearing quirks:

  1. Oh, me? Oh yeah, I definitely work longer than the hours expected of me (this is unfortunately true, as my wife to be and previous 60 something hour a week job will attest to).
  2. I’m far too nice sometimes (Nope, not really! You eat my lunch, I will go all Ross Geller on you!).
  3. I sometimes find it hard to leave my work in the office (Sometimes true, but then again, only because some employers make it impossible for you to leave it at the door).
  4. I always try and please everybody (I don’t. You can’t. It’s impossible. All you can do is your best. You can please some of the people some of the time et cetera et cetera).
  5. I’m too much of a perfectionist (What! Really?! Every time I say this I feel like I’m screaming HIRE ME YOU F***ER, SURE I’M TELLING YOU I’M BRILLIANT).

Tell me your faults. To the interviewee it reads like an invitation to openly lie about how bleeding deadly you are.

Think about it, what if you were honest? Would they openly welcome you in as the pint swilling rugby fan with a penchant for Facebook stalking until 4 in the morning (Oops, I accidentally clicked like on a photo from 2009 on my cousins friends sisters friends bikini picture from Ibiza).

So what is the question all about? I think it may be a trick question. A question put there to try and identify just who the insane people are. When you think about it you end up spending more waking hours with the people you work with then your own family. You kind of want to be sure that the dude(tte) sitting on the opposite side of the table isn’t going to come in in a long trench coat someday muttering about the reckoning.

Is there a right answer? No, I don’t think so. However, I do think there are varying degrees of wrong answers. As long as you don’t leave the person on the other side of the desk screaming for the cops, then you probably did ok.

So what will I say the next time that question is put to me? My faults, you say? Well, I stay up too late, I watch far too many Zombie films, I have a slight obsession with Scarlett Johansson (especially in 3D), I don’t really exercise enough, I tend to undress across the bedroom floor leaving a minefield of clothes for the missus to contend with and yeah, that cup of tea without a coaster underneath? Yep, my work!

Actually, I might just tell them that I work outside of my designated hours, that I’m far too nice, I bring my work home with me, I try to please everyone and I’m absolutely a perfcetionist!

Irish Water

Ya know what? Screw it, I’m gonna say it…we need to pay for our water and that’s a fact. Unfortunately we can’t continue to “piss it away”!

However, that doesn’t mean I agree with the way Irish Water, the Government or the protesters are handling the current situation. Irish water are being ridiculous in their handling of the situation,  the government should probably reconsider their “just do it” stance and the protesters really need to look into who they’re following. Also, look up the legality of this “No contract no consent” bull. No, really, do! It’s bull!

Our population is growing by the day (I’m adding to that at the end of November) and we need to ensure there is a water supply for our children and that the infrastructure to support it is put in place. That’s a good idea.

Unfortunately up to this point the whole thing has been handled terribly by everyone.

Irish water should really reconsider their communication strategy and get the hell off social media! Also, not going on €6,000 yoga retreats would really help people to not hate them.

The government should put their hands up, admit it’s a mess, and try and take control instead of shirking their responsibility. Should they decide not to then they are delivering the future of this country into the hands of Sinn Fein (and their crazy inept policies).

The protesters. Unfortunately I would be of the opinion that the protests at the moment are the result of misdirected anger. All too often the protests feature signs, placards, rants and songs about bankers, property tax and the celtic tiger! Having to pay for water just seems to be the straw that broke the camels back. Also, take a look at the personal agendas of the people starting this. The people running the whole abolish the charge thing as an election promise will jump on any bandwagon they believe will get them a handy number on Kildare Street. Be wary!

Having to pay for our water and for upgrades to the system it is carried in is unfortunately one of the more sensible things the austerity masters have brought in. It’s just been handled about as well as a 2 year old with a can of petrol and some matches, somewhere along the line it was always going to be a disaster!

My Ultimate Film

Basically it would be a combination of “Taken”, “The Guard” and “Intermission”. And it would be called “Hard as nails C***s” (the name can be negotiated.

So what do these films have in common? Liam Neeson, Colm Meaney and Brendan Gleeson all play rogues. Liam Neeson is the lethal weapon, Brendan Gleeson is the happy go lucky craic having cop and Colm Meaney is the dedicated agent of the law.

How hard could it be to get these 3 into a film together? Gleeson and Meaney already played Guards (we all know Gleeson survived at the end of The Guard). All we need is for Neeson to have a stopover at Shannon that goes on a bit too long and then BOOM…something happens. Anything happens. It doesn’t really matter what happens. All that matters is that these 3 are combined in hitting back.

OK, now I’ve put that idea out there, could someone please do that? PLEASE?!

You carry the Baby and I’ll carry the bags

Myself and herself went to the Pregnancy and Baby Fair in the RDS recently to see if we could scope out some good deals for our upcoming Sir/Madam. I found myself looking around and I uttered to the ever patient lady at my side “You carry the Baby and I’ll carry the bags”! Yes, it’s fine in the grand context of the whole thing, after-all pregnant ladies shouldn’t really be engaging in manual labour.

However, it made me stop and think about things. OK, so the Mammy will be carrying the Baby, feeding the baby and overall (on average) spending more time with the baby, so everything around us at the moment is geared towards the welfare and education of the mother. But I started to think that I wanted to be more involved in the whole thing so I could get a handle on what my wife-to-be is going through and what she is likely to go through, ya know, try and put myself in her shoes a little bit. That may help me to lower the amount of times I ask; “Are you OK?”, “What can I do to help?”, “How do I fix this?” and that old panicky one “Should we go to the hospital? I think so, I’ll get the car ready”. By the way, the answer to these questions has started to become “Shut-up, I’m fine!”. So, I’m thinking that my knowing more will help lower both of our stress levels.

In the old days it was apparently fine to just stay in the background, do the heavy lifting, build stuff and change nappies when the Mammy took a nap for a little while. I’m very conscious of the fact that the task of being a Mother is not an easy one and how it may weigh heavily on both the physical and mental well being of a person (I now appreciate my Mother even more for raising 3 boys, each bigger and bolder than the last). Honestly, everything is aimed towards the Mother. When we go Baby shopping all the questions are directed to the fairer sex. I often get the feeling that I’m only along for the ride, so I have to be quiet and sit back. Of course my partner knows my thoughts on this so won’t place me on the back burner like so many sales assistants and reps have. We make decisions, not me, not her, we.

I intend on being very active in my child’s life and on sharing the weight of parenthood. However, I feel that we Irish men are very Ill equipped to do the task and to a certain degree we have been fine with our secondary care giving role. It’s not easy to try and get more involved sometimes though. It would appear that there is a lot of support available for the Mammies, all sorts of classes and groups. But for the Daddies, we’re kind of in the dark on the whole affair. Yes, I know, I can read the books, and I have. But not every pregnancy is the same and not every Mammy to be is the same, so basically there is no universally correct method to follow. What I want to know is how do I help? What can I do to help with the back pain, the cramps, the tiredness, the funny little muscle pains. A q&a session for the Daddies which runs alongside the Mammies classes would be greatly appreciated.

What would I like to see? More Father friendly support groups, more interaction and more inclusion. Lady M attends a Pilates class in Celbridge which helps with preparing her for the physical side of childbirth, but also has a section supporting the mental toll it will take. She has nothing but high praise for the Physio led classes. In addition to that she likes the comfort of being around other pregnant women, all heading towards the same goal.

I’m also very aware of the fact that I’m not the one who’ll have to give birth. So yeah, a lot of the support is designed around getting the upcoming Mother through that stage. OK, fair enough, but afterwards we’re both going to have to raise a real life human being and that will dramatically change our lives. When that day comes I want to be able to hit the ground running, not like I’m fumbling through a thick forest of gorse. Do I feel ready? Hell no! A new Mother should not have to be teaching both a child and father how to act, jaysus, they have enough to do.

That got me thinking. If I were to be bluntly honest I have a range of emotions going through my head. I’m nervous, anxious, worried, scared, excited, panicky (see above), scared some more and happy. Most importantly, above all else, I am happy and that at least gets me off in the right direction. What’s the issue then? The issue is that I have not talked to any other soon to be fathers about what they’re going through. It’s nerve-racking. It’s lonely. It’s frightening.

So what would help? Talking.

We still don’t like to do that here, we still see it as a sign of weakness. It’s not. It takes strength to talk. Talking can be very exhausting, relieving and difficult. I recall once running a 10km and going for a pint. Apart from a sore ankle I was mostly fine. I recall once talking, then crying and then feeling like I had just fought ten rounds, it was utterly exhausting. So that’s the issue, we don’t talk, we’re strong and silent, and that’s that. We also have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Strong and silent; that’s not a trait I want my child to copy from me.

So what do I really want? I want to know I’m not alone, I want to know that other first time fathers are feeling the same way, I want to know that I can contribute equally and that I am a part of the whole thing. Above all I want my child to know I wasn’t afraid to look for help and advice. I want to be more than just the carrier of the heavy things, the builder of the impossible Ikea wardrobe and the slayer of all things creepy and crawly. I want to know how to actually help, what to (sorta) expect and I want my child to take that on board.