Crankypants IV

June 15, 2009

By the time many of you have got your filthy mitts on this pristine issue of [crude], the likelihood is that this year’s election merry-go-round has come to an end, but you, dear reader, probably didn’t notice as you were on a Buckfast blitz for the last three weeks which culminated with you falling asleep on the bus and waking up with a copy of this mag stuck to your face….or something like that.

Now, my friends, I’d hate you to think that I’m some patronising knob because of my acclaimed ace roving reporter skills and obvious intellectual superiority to all that reside within a fifty-four mile radius of my country hideaway. However, I do realise that most of you know squat about politics.

With that in mind, and considering the current political turmoil that grips the nation like Stallone grabbing a rope in Cliffhanger, I felt it was my national duty to establish my own Cranky Party – a political gang with two fingers firmly on the pulse. So, three months ago I started to assemble a team; I felt it was time to take the Cranky-man out of the bog, and not just go National with the Cranky Party, but take this mother-trucker to goddamn Europe.

I decided I needed a campaign manager with considerable panache who could convince several Z-Lister celebs to endorse my bid for European election – think of a mix of the shrewdness and toughness of CJ’s old right-hand man PJ Mara or one of the dudes from The West Wing, with the smoothness and sweet-talking of a Clooney-alike. Unfortunately, all my team of noble crusaders could muster up was Brendan O’Connor.

Nonetheless, I persevered and felt I could give the tubby Cork hack a shot, and as he has frequented the telly, I presumed he’d undoubtedly have a filofax chock-a-block with numbers of cool celebs. Wrong. O’Connor came back with a motley crew that seemed to entirely encompass the top ten most annoying people in Ireland; included was the irritating Lucy Kennedy, the self-righteous and smug little man that is Ray Darcy, big bosomed twit Amanda Brunker, Biddy from Glenroe, and Jack O’Connor (not the Kerry Football Manager, but the loud-mouthed bigwig from SIPTU). I’m still surprised that Chris De Burgh’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend or John Waters weren’t added for extra provocation from the voters.

In fairness, regular readers of this very column may be surprised to hear that despite the fact that I can’t step out on the town without a couple of local stunners on each arm, I’m very much a parochial man: in essence, I love nothing more than pints of porter, dancing a few sets, and getting in a hurling match after Sunday Mass.

While the constant flashing of cameras charts my every move as I turn up at numerous social galas, I tend not to pay a huge amount of attention to the other “celebs” on show; afterall, I’m usually bamboozling my digestive system with whatever free nosh and sauce is on offer. With the exception of a couple of local wannabes I’ve wrote about in previous issues, and the time I drank poitín and ate a full tin of USA biscuits with one of D’Unbelievables, my knowledge of the country’s infamous is somewhat limited, and I stupidly trusted O’Connor’s guidance.

Within weeks, it was clear that the honeymoon was over, despite the fact catchy slogans were bandied about like “The Party Ain’t Over Bitchz”, “Cranking Up For Europe”, and “There Ain’t No Party Like A Cranky Party”. With two months to election D-Day, I went my separate ways, leaving a “Dear John” note for O’Connor, and a book of Abrakebabra vouchers to soften the blow.

It was also an apt opportunity to give the two fingers to Europe, and focus on more local affairs. Thus, the Cranky Party re-launched itself in League Of Gentlemen-style as a “local party for local people”, running candidates just in the local elections, and solely in Munster; absolutely no jackeens from the Pale were gonna infiltrate the Cranky Party, and anybody who listed “former Student’s Union representative” in their credentials was immediately disqualified on account of being a tosser. Likewise, saying you admired Joan Burton’s media presence was an immediate sackable offence.

A heady bunch was assembled to run as candidates, including former farmer leaders, sportsmen, a batch of local models and radio “shock jocks”, as well as a fella who claimed to be the third cousin of Willie O’Dea – our simplistic plan was get some known faces in, and then worry about the policies later. Afterall, isn’t that what all political parties seem to do these days?

With Brendan O’Connor out of the picture, and the fridge feeling a wee bit fuller, it was time to haul in a new campaign manager – I didn’t have to look far to find the right man for the job. [Crude] columnist The Zeitghost, a man equipped with a silver tongue and renowned for his witty prose, was chosen. As a man who revels in going buck-ape at a barndance in the wilds of Clare, but who could still wear his trousers low enough to be labelled a hipster, The Zeitghost was a catch-all kind of bloke, who could appeal to the mammies who wanted to fill him up with bacon n’cabbage, as well as the ability for writing up mega speeches that would help me charm culchies, nurses and raconteurs alike. Pity we didn’t just run him as a candidate.

May saw me go on a campaign whirlwind, where babies were kissed, hands were shook, and dodgy promises were made. High profile appearances were made, such as judging the “Lovely Mary Of Ballygonowhere” “beauty” pageant, calling out the bingo numbers at several community centres, and pulling the starting trigger for the sack-race at a local sports day.

In fact, it was all going remarkably swimmingly. Flashy graphic designers were brought on, and our PR department was in full flow. Meanwhile, I was trading body-blows with several leading politicians, with mudslinging literally taking place when I took a chunk of dirt into my hands and fired in the direction of an unnamed Fianna Fail candidate at a ploughing championship.

When it came to policies, we just bullshitted, and told everyone we’d look after them, which in all fairness, is the same as every other political party. I did offend the women’s lib movement however, with remarks about homemaking and baby-making bizarrely souring a few potential votes. Nonetheless, all was on track for the Cranky Party to sweep the polls.

However, there was one fatal flaw in our entire plan. Somewhat similar to the time Bart ran for class president in The Simpsons, and was too busy out partying to bother vote, our gang of vagabonds went down a similar reckless path. Just a few days before this issue went to print, and with the election just about to happen, somebody informed Cranky HQ that our erstwhile secretary had completely forgotten to file our registration papers because she was too busy getting souped up on the ever expanding campaign liquor cabinet.

Alas, the Cranky Party was over, almost as quick as it began. However, my friends, now that I’ve dipped my toes in the political waters, you can sure as hell expect a return. Lock your babies up and start getting used to pretending you can’t hear the door bell ringing again, ‘cos we’re coming to your doorstep for the next General Election.

Yours in crankyness,

Captain C.


Dear Readers,

Issue #4 of [crude] is en route, and I’ll be detailing how I established the Cranky Party to give the two fingers to all the other geriatric parties in existence. Afterall, I’m a man for a party so why not just set up a party?

All the others are gonna be crying like a little boy who just have his favourite football slashed to pieces by a hedgeclippers-wielding Celtic fan that has been on the lash since Sunday.


Fatso funny-man and all-round affable bloke Rodney Dangerfield unleashed a cracking novelty rap tune in the early eighties called “Rappin’ Rodney”, whereby the voracious RD noted that “it ain’t easy being me”.

It’s a predicament I find myself in on more than one occasion on a weekly basis now that I’m a veritable hotshot around town. The instant fame and all its trappings that the previous two issues of [crude] have brought me now means that I can’t stroll down William Street without getting recognised; heck, I’m even more infamous than yer man with the button accordion just off Cruises Street.

Herein lies the problem – I could be just trying to keep it real at the launch of some knobbish art show or queuing up for a bag of chips when from out of nowhere, local paps pop out understandably wanting me to adorn their social pages. Now, I can strike a side pose something fierce my friends, but when it happens everytime I leave chez Crankypants, it can become somewhat troubling. Yes, I’m a media slut and revel in the exposure, but my wardrobe can no longer handle this. I need a new look.

After finding out that [crude] sent a crack team of banjournalists (lady writers – yup they exist and after the sexual harassment seminar at [crude] HQ, the Captain can’t say anything untoward about them) to cover a local fashion show, I started to think could there be inspiration from Limerick through the ages that would make me more fashionable? Afterall, this is the city that approximately 65 million years ago spawned Celia Holman Lee and her sidekick Hillary Thompson, two ladies doomed to less and less column inches now that I’m the toast of the town.

Like the aforementioned late Rodney Dangerfield, I can clear a buffet quite easily, am a fairly handy man with the drinks, and most importantly, I can be quite the loud dresser when required. Nonetheless, I’ve decided against rocking the wacky dress code that Rodney sported in the classic comedy Caddyshack. As it is, George Hook seems to have cornered the Irish market for outlandish blazers and putrid ties, and perhaps I can look more locally for fashionistas.

I wonder that if Limerick really is a lady, does she have a woman’s touch when it comes to kitting me on in stylish threads, or would she dress me up like a dirty-faced young pup spruced up for First Communion day? And if the next decade will see a proper nineties revival, should I just get ahead of the pack? Starting to reminisce on the early to mid nineties, I wonder was Limerick any different when it came to any other city fashion-wise or was it a case that we followed the flock of sheep donned out in X-Worx jeans and other such crimes against fashion?

While perhaps not unique to Limerick, the blissful days of the nineties saw the city awash with NAFF Jackets and Johnny Brubaker hoodies. The NAFF jackets suffered with the unfortunate and incorrectly spelt acronym of Nackers Asking For Food and the lesser-known but nonetheless equally as politically incorrect one of Nazism-and-Fun-Frolics. Johnny Brubaker on the other side was essentially the poor man’s Tommy Hilfiger; it simultaneously looked similar to Tommy H’s gear and still managed to look horrendously tacky and cheap. Unsurprisingly, it was an enormous hit with back-of-a-lorry type merchants and locals alike.

However, times have changed. Not just rich kids can lash on the Tommy H and Ralph Lauren anymore, and the boundaries have been somewhat blurred when it comes to class and choice of style in Limerick. Again, this is something not distinct to our chic locale.

Afterall a Ben Sherman shirt would have been a sure-fire sign that you were a skinhead back in the day. Nowadays, the likelihood is that it is the Saturday night selection of a hulk of a man from the Eastern part of the county that herds cattle during the day, drinks pint bottles of cider and dances to The Saw Doctors at night, and is a rollicking full-back for his club’s Junior B hurling team at weekends. Likewise, anybody can jump on the rugby bandwagon, and clobber from the folks at Canterbury can be seen wrapped around all sorts.

Of course, Limerick’s more rough around the edges (but still pretty sound dudes if they happen to read this article) characters have had other fabulous forays into individualistic style. The tearaway tracksuit pants, with buttons the whole way up the side may be fading out, but the practicalities of them should not be disregarded. For one, if you harboured ambitions to be a super-hero, they’d allow you to change into your costume in a jiffy (perhaps, the Superman underpants-wearing football Stephen Ireland is a fan of the tearaways?). More importantly for some of our more industrious citizens, it may be quite useful if you managed to get caught on a fence or the likes while trying to escape the fuzz.

However, the option of reviving a tearaway trackie/Johnny B combo for me is a non-runner; as someone who could probably attend the most exclusive of local parties sporting just a wife-beater, Italia ’90 shorts, flip-flops and marigold gloves and still look cool, I should really respect the dress codes endorsed by the respectable venue proprietors of our city. Afterall, I need to set an example.

Likewise, I can’t succumb to perhaps the most cutting-edge of Limerick fashion that sees folks (usually young males, many in desperate need of a dose of Clearasil or perhaps something more industrial) tuck their tracksuit pants into their socks, usually white ones also. Not only is it ingenious on a purely aesthetic level, particularly when some element of a tilted baseball cap is added to the mix, it conjures up imagery of proper gangsters from LA, whereby the Crips and the Bloods almost dress in uniform. On top of this, our savvy mid-Western boyos are practical too – they obviously don’t want to dirty the bottom of their tracksuits, and probably regularly stock up on 12 pairs of socks for €2 in Guiney’s so they don’t ever really need the use of a washing machine.

It is not just the Limerick man that is at the forefront of innovative fashion. The talk of the town these days is over Lady Gaga regularly trotting around in her underpants. Ms Gaga, the fair maidens of this city have been ahead of you for years. While some seem to have issues with keeping their pants up to their waists (although, in fairness, this is not unique to lady-folk), others seem quite content to wander into the local Spar and pick up a pint of a milk, 20 Superkings and a Choc-Ice while wearing little more than their pyjamas, and we ain’t talking some kind of silk or sophisticated ones here. Nope, Primark cotton pyjamas bottoms are such a regular occurrence in supermarkets here that nobody bats an eyelid anymore. With that in mind, Lady Gaga wouldn’t have a chance if she tried to offend the good burgers of Limerick.

My meagre attempts to critique local fashion have left me none-the-wiser in my quest to reinvent myself, particularly for my regular flushes with paparazzi. A pair of nice slacks and a sweater-vest may seem conservative to some but for the Captain, it is almost a trademark look when I flash a smile and notch up another appearance in the Limerick Post’s out-and-about column.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know a guy who still does a mean trade in flogging imported NAFF jackets. Who’s with me in bringing back Limerick’s giddy clothing elegance?

* First published April 2009

Limerick Celeb Circuit #1

February 27, 2009

Alright crankyreaders. Over the coming weeks, I’m gonna be giving the lowdown on some of those figures in Limerick that really are at the forefront of  the glittering social scene; those that can regularly be seen at various charity balls, launches of fake tan solariums, celebrity tv stars dj sets, biscuit tin openings, and the back pages of the Limerick Post.

First up, it is this beast:


Yep, Leo The Lion. The all-dancing, all-shaking, all-posing for photos after matches, and regular taunter of referees, Limerick FC mascot even has his own fanpage on social networking’s achilles heel bebo

Many a time Captain Crankypants has sat down at a bar stool as Leo drank a double saucer of milk, and listened to him reminisce on his nights out with various local models and vagabonds, which invariably ended at Supermacs with Leo ordering up his beloved taco fries.

Leo is quite the man, loved by fans of the Super Blues, and more than willing to dish out the half-time entertainment or just entertainment during the game when the footy gets dour.

With Limerick FC’s first game of the 2009 season coming up next week away at UCD, the lion suit will be donned once again.

Leo the Lion, we salute you.

Limerick Fashion Blitz

February 18, 2009

Hey now!

In the next issue of [crude], I may be delving into the glamorous world of Limerick fashion. I’m thinking white socks tucked into tracksuit pants, paddy caps, NAFF jackets (remember them), and more sophisticated wear like Munster rugby jerseys. Of course, if you really are a man around town, you’d go all Saville Row like this fine local gent:

Any suggestions you have are more than welcome. Just lash them into the comment box below. Sound!

Volume II

February 9, 2009

‘Ello internet perves. Here’s me second collection of scribblings that the good lads and lassies at the crude mag seeped out to the public this weekend. ENJOY


Greetings cranky-readers to yet another (well, just the second) instalment in my urban survival guide, already acclaimed by an eternally unemployed lass with a PhD, a full tug-o-war team (i.e. real men), a bucktoothed accordion-slinging young lad from “out the county”, and several members of the glittering circle that predominate the society pages of other fine publications in this fair city.

Yes folks, the Captain has been of late enjoying the company of a bevy of Celia Holman Lee models, a couple of reserve prop forwards from Old Crescent and Young Munster, one of the three-in-a-row Limerick Under 21 team, two society columnists, my old buzzer The Zeitghost who features on these very pages, and a second cousin of that bloke with the earring who used to present Head 2 Toe.

I have truly arrived; my new mates love nothing better than tucking into bottles of yellow pack Cava and keenly-priced flagons at Poor Man’s Kilkee, followed by a night of witty banter, giddy disco-dancing, and expertly executed side poses for the local paps. This is a cutting edge cerebral lifestyle I have carved out; Kierkegaard and global warming are as likely to be conversation topics as the offside rule, “who does the best batter sausage in town”, and what is this season’s new black.

However, despite living the high life since my first outing in [crude], I’m not going to be forgetting my loyal readers, who flocked towards the back pages of Issue#1, undoubtedly hoping to find ads for sex-chat lines and local massage parlours, but instead having to make do with this column.

My hedonistic lifestyle may seem like a difficult one to fund in these dark financial times. Now, I’m well aware that the sight and sound of economics guru George Lee has you spitting out your cornflakes on a daily basis. Nevertheless, these are times when to quote my late buddy C.J. “we are living way beyond our means”.

Yet, the Crankypants rollercoaster can still survive a good 24 hours in the Treaty city, by generally skiving off others, doing free shit, and swindling my way into various events and launches by dropping that old line “I’m press”. Pay attention my friends; free newspapers, wine, and a dash of culture are all contained in the haphazard paragraphs that follow, which were written on the back of various press releases as I hopped from party to party.

Kicking off your day in Limerick, one could immerse themselves in the novel food scavenge that is dumpster diving. This is all the rage with hobos and students in North America. Irish students on the other hand have it easier, with cushy educational grants that would afford them the luxury of buying vats of Campbell Catering-endorsed gravy and an industrial sized tin of beans that could feed an entire chain gang for a week should they wish.

Not something that would be regularly endorsed at Crankypants Towers, this ancient art sees the perpetrators stick their noses in bins behind various grocery establishments. Bread that is gone off by a day may not bother some enterprising young bucks, and when coated in butter and marmalade sachets “borrowed” from an eatery of choice, can make for a nutritious start to the day. For free.

After a breakfast of champions like that, an esteemed gent like myself likes nothing better than to catch up with affairs of the world. Eschewing my highbrow favoured reads such as Daily Sport, Viz, and Tractor Weekly, I wander towards my old haunt the library (some of you may remember this establishment from a class trip in 1994, or more recently, my review of their jacks in the last issue).

A nice, musty smell of old men, accompanies my morning read of the daily papers. Everything from the stock exchange to the death notices to what Dilbert is up to are analysed in my thorough flickerings. If it takes my fancy, I might even have a go at the word-wheel. Indeed, I could just arse around the library all day along, were it not for the fact that I somehow managed to piss off a herd of librarians some years ago by playing with my ringtones on my old Eircell 088 phone.

From there, a brisk walk is on the cards up to Limerick’s consumerist Mecca – the Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre. Here, you can put down a number of hours, without even having to put your hand in your pocket. Find yourself a spot on one of the benches, and you’ve got yourself a free ticket to the theatre of life. Watching the security guards battle it out with local ruffians is as high-octane as an omnibus edition of The Bill, while gentle eavesdropping will allow you to revel in the misery of others a la the continually suffering soap Home And Away. On top of that, one may also grab a glimpse of some scantily clad locals. Yes dear readers, this is Girls Gone Wild, Limerick-style, where gold medallions can actually cover more of your body than clothing. A sight for sore eyes indeed.

After that, another dollop of dumpster diving could find you a bit of lunch, and it’s time to cross over to the fine surroundings of Arthur’s Quay Park. Local customs such as “pass the Scrumpy” and “box the ear” may be going down. This really is a place where if you take a deep breath, you can smell and taste Limerick. Don’t breathe in for too long though; you may end up soaking up some nasty fumes from discarded diapers and narcotics paraphernalia.

After that, I’d advise that you can show off to your mates, by spouting a load of arty claptrap, after a visit to the Limerick City Gallery of Art. Wander in, stroke your chin, and look at a few paintings. Pros: It’s free, the likelihood is nobody else will be there, it’s open until 6pm, and there is a pretty good chance they’ll have the heaters on; very handy on a winter’s day. Cons: some bored-to-bits gallery guide could be a tad over-zealous at the prospect of human contact and decide to burn the ear off you. N.B. – the above applies to all galleries.

As the night starts to kick in and my busy social circle start flipping out their Blackberrys, an opportunity for a free gargle should not be wasted. Check local press and you’ll be able to pinpoint a number of different exhibition and press launches that are on the cards, and just turn up. If anybody asks who you are, just say you are a writer with hip new mag [crude] – the likelihood is they’ll believe you, as this publication’s staff consist of scruffy-looking types from the local intelligentsia. Tell them that you are too cool to carry credentials about, and they’ll bugger off thinking they’ve become an old fogey, allowing you to swoop the smoked salmon canapés and filter numerous glasses of the Bordeaux red into your hip flask for later consumption.

As you can guess, the past two months have been frantic chez Crankypants, what with sifting through floods of fan-mail and various letters from solicitors up and down the country. Yet, I have not let it get in the way of having a good time, and dispersing with some of my cheapskate antics all in the aid of you, the good folks that bought this mag or found in the jacks at a party. You can thank me by buying me a Singapore Sling and a packet of bacon fries.

Yours in crankyness,

Captain C.

Captain Crankypants

*(this originally appeared in Crude Magazine, Issue 1 Dec 08/Jan 09)

We’ve all been in the situation: you are wandering around town shooting the breeze, trying to be a man or lady of leisure, when without a huge amount of prior warning, you just need one…the jacks, the crapper, the loo, the john, the bog; toilets have all kinds of names but really only serve a couple of main purposes (and a couple of subsidiary ones if you happen to be George Michael). 

But just what happens when there is a kerfuffle in your nether regions, and you need to make friends with an Armitage Shanks so badly? Well, consider this first instalment of Captain Crankypants’ adventures in cosmopolitan Limerick as a guide to where to go when you need to go.  

Think of me, as you will, as a Mr Muscle-type character – not a speccy, weedy looking sort, but someone who loves the jobs you hate. And like the string-vested wimp, I too have spent quite a lot of time in bathrooms over my years.  

For the purposes of my extensive research, I have eliminated pubs and restaurants from the equation. There are so many of them that not even the worst dose of the scuts after a week-long kebab and Guinness binge session would necessitate using them all. Also, there is that kind of expectancy that you got to buy something, so it really is plain bad etiquette.  

The best place to commence in search of an awesome loo is where a lot of people start off in Limerick – the bus/train station. Picture the scene: you guzzled back a “big one” Lucozade, and devoured a dodgy ham n’cheese sanger in Borris-In-Ossory; on top of that, you’ve landed the one bus driver that drives as slow as a granny on a Sunday drive in a Fiat Cinquencento, and you now need to go on both fronts. Some oaf beside you is slurping a mega-side soda pop beside you to compound your predicament, and suddenly the option of wetting yourself is getting more likely; so much so that you’d almost welcome it.  

When you arrive at the bus station, that old adage that “beggars can’t be choosers” springs to mind. Now, these jacks used to rank with some of the worst; wading through a foot of water to get to a trap with the lock gone, the toilet blocked, and somebody thinking they were all Jackson Pollock went it came to aim.  

Admittedly, times have changed, and an overhaul of sorts has happened ‘round Colbert Station. For instance, fancy new “cock blocks” (those individual urinal dividers) mean that good ‘ol juvenile games such as “who can hit the ceiling?”, and “knob-measuring”, are sadly things of the past.  

Yet, and if you pardon the pun, you can’t really polish a turd; a brutal smell still emanates from the facilities. However, the necessities such as hand-soap and bogroll were all in tact when the Captain visited, so it wasn’t all bad. Not surprisingly, graffiti offering various sexual favours was scrawled inside the doors, while a couple of empty mini vodka bottles were down the side of the toilet I inspected. More bizarrely, a Mars-bar wrapper was also there…perhaps there’s a link between that and the aforementioned sexual favours? 

All in all, not the worst of starts. From there, I strolled down via the People’s Park to investigate one of those supposedly upgraded public toilets. Looking like a disregarded prop from a dodgy sci-fi series, the flash exterior could kid somebody into thinking you are heading to the land of luxury where Andrex puppies are on hand, prancing about with baskets of quadruple-quilted toilet tissue, and soaps of all varieties are present for the after-experience.  

How wrong you would be. After handing over a hard-earned fifty cent coin, the robotic door opened up. Upon first glance you could fit a Harley inside the roomy surroundings, but upon second glance, you’d probably be better off taking a leak against a Harley and angering some hairy bikers, than squatting over the drenched seat. Weirdly, some young lad was waiting to use it straight after me, trying to take advantage of the fifty cent I had spent. Can’t say I blame the dirty swine; I wouldn’t exactly be rushing to spend money there again.


As I got closer to town, I expected things would take a turn for the better. Stopping off at Dunnes Stores on Henry Street and Debenhams, I was shocked that I couldn’t even find one pot to piss in, not even for the ladies. At this juncture, I should point out dear readers that my work has been solely limited to men’s rooms only, following some complaints that the Crankypants law team are currently dealing with.  

Anyway, while I previously denounced using pubs and restaurants for toilet-use, if you are stuck, hotels are fair game. And boy, do they have choice – kick ass handsoaps, toilet roll that couldn’t double up as sandpaper, and if you are cheeky enough, the opportunity to swipe a newspaper from the reception to read while you go about your merry business. Recommendations include the Marriott, the George, and the Clarion here.  

Back to Limerick’s emporiums. That home of all kinds of swanky shit, Brown Thomas (or Todds if you are a culchie/ stuck in the nineties) would surely serve my needs? Now as a sophisticated, upstanding member of society, I’d be regularly known for dropping a few hundred notes for a pair of chinos and a polo shirt in BTs. However, most of you rabscallions have probably only ever gone in there to see if you can get some kind of high from the well-stacked perfume stands.  

I made my way up to the first floor, and after carefully avoiding the lingerie department (again, something the Crankypants law crew are dealing with), I tried to track down the toilet. Denied: the jacks are inside the café, meaning one has to buy a scone and some type of posh coffee I can’t even pronounce.  

However, my experience there got me thinking – the rich housewife’s shop of choice for wasting their husband’s cash, Instore, also has a crapper. Up on the top floor, pretending that I had a genuine interest in bed linen, I spotted my next port of call. The potted plant that was inside the door added an air of class alright, but Instore was docked marks for having the toilet situated so close to the shop floor – let’s just say any squeaks or trumpeting would be pretty audible to the rest of the place.  

Having already splashed out on a fifty-cent slash by the People’s Park, I decided to give the pay-to-wee scheme another tryout. This time, I went upstairs in Limerick’s most depressing place – Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre. The jacks here are ok; no major complaints really, but you expect a little bit more value for money.  

Here’s a tip if you don’t want to hand over the twenty cent though: storm past the desk with the look of somebody off their tits on a fizz explosion that could only come with the consumption of a three litre Country Spring red lemonade in one sitting, shouting “I need to goooooo…”, and the likelihood is the nice ladies at the desk wouldn’t be pulling out Jackie Chan-esque moves to stop you. However, after relieving yourself, there is a strong possibility that some burly security types will “want a word” with you.  

With my exploration at the eleventh hour, a last minute challenger entered the fray – the library. Nobody ever asks why you are at the library, and no over-zealous shop assistants will be asking you if you need help. In fact, if the facilities match up, it really is perfect.  

And they didn’t totally disappoint. With a sort of rustic charm that befits the place, there isn’t exactly anything fancy about them, but for the first time on my epic adventure, the smell of air-freshner covered up any home-brewed odours, and a toilet brush was even there. Three cubicles with locks and jacksroll in tact, coupled with three urinals made this a real winner. Even a last minute discovery of an empty Linden Village can in the rubbish bin didn’t dent my joy. 

So there you have it; the options aren’t limitless, but if you need to go, there is always a place in Limerick. If you aren’t happy with this survey, there are always the traps upstairs in Supermacs…