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




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