Category Archives: Humour

Men: Can’t Get Skinny with Them, Can’t Get Skinny without Them

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In general, all holidays and social situations can be linked to weight changes in both men and women. There’s the commonly recognised periods of weight gain like the Christmas bloat, the Easter sugar level rise, and the summer diet that fails miserably and results in even more chocolate than before. However, there is one particular situation that all women can agree has altered their weight – relationships. And not the obvious types of weight change either like that of pregnancy or leaving yourself go in your eighties because neither care what the other one looks like. This is the type of weight change that, in your loved up state, you don’t notice it creeping up on you. Or it’s the type that you can credit to the bloke who left you not only with a broken heart but drove you into the arms of comfort food. I’m not going to dive into the cliché mind you, no woman really sits there holding a tub of Ben and Jerry’s weeping into his sweatshirt. Women gain weight in real ways for real reasons.

Certain reasons for pilling on pounds during a relationship are purely practical, while others can be attributed to a certain frame of mind. Some women just give up once they’ve bagged a man, considering the fight for a fit body to be over. They’ve won the man and so why struggle to impress anymore? Others don’t even notice it, for gaining weight comes with the couple lifestyle. Club nights, midday yoga and liquid lunches with friends are swapped for movie nights in with a Chinese takeaway. It’s an unnoticed fact that eating with a man-beast who devours cakes whole and asks for a second pizza for himself will make a girl feel less guilty for her third slice. The mentality exists that if he’s having a mountain of food, then I can get away with a bit extra too. For others, exercising is simply pushed as far back in their minds as possible, their couple hibernation comes first and keeping fit is no longer a priority for their time – cuddling is.

Then there’s post relationship weight gain, where after the cheating slime leaves you, your friends finally own up to the fact you’ve put on a few. So he’s left you with a burning hatred for men, two years’ worth of stupid fluffy teddy bears that just take up room and fat ankles as well. At this stage in any chick flick or American sitcom it’s the time for an inspiring montage of the girl standing up, burning the teddy’s, hitting the gym, getting a makeover and taking to the town with her friends. In real life, most Irish girls simply run home to mammy for a whinge and a roast dinner. Your friends sit there offering you cigarettes and endless cups of tea and in your heartbroken state you couldn’t bear the thought of a gym full of self-obsessed men. Wallowing in your own pity party and unable to face the social scene yet, you lie at home eating takeaways in your pyjamas feeding the scraps to your dog. Thus more weight gain.

But eventually your attitude will find balance with your single life. You’ll find the motivation to hit the gym or go for a run in all the obvious places. In the form of pushy friends who want to get fit for the summer. For the look of pure regret on you ex’s face when he sees you and your no longer fat ass in the tightest of tight jeans. And that guy you flirted with once that said hello and actually acknowledged you last week. You’d like to think you’ve thrown out all the takeout menus, except for the one that’s stuffed under the sink, you know just for emergencies. You’ll get approached by luring creeps in the pub again and get stalked by them on Facebook, returning your confidence and balance to the world. The aforementioned certain someone will catch your eye and convince you he’s not like the others, even though he clearly is. Just like the man that has made you gain weight this one will influence you to lose it. You’ll push yourself to look your best to bag him, and when you finally do – let the cycle begin again.

 

A letter from my pre-college self

regina george

Just as I’m about to graduate college in August (fingers crossed of course), I’m still going to be considered fairly young among the average age of graduates. I started first year journalism in UL at 16, so in August that means I’ll be getting my degree at age 20. For most that’s a very young age to be graduating and entering the big bad world. I never laughed so hard when I was openly discussing those terrifyingly foggy post college real world plans of mine among a group of people in our class. When someone asked what age I was, as people often forget, a mature student was never so shocked. He turned to me and said, “You could literally go to bed and sleep for five years, wake up, and then start your life.”

Now this isn’t going to be one of those hair pulling grit your teeth roll your eyes annoying blog posts about the whiney “What will I do with my life?” question. I don’t know yet, and I’ve come to terms with that. This blog post is looking back at my sixteen year old self the day before she started college, who as part of some long forgotten orientation exercise, had to write a letter to her future self. And for all the cringe factor in the world, I swear I don’t care what you say, I secretly kept it. And I couldn’t be happier that I did because that teenage me was such a naïve loveable idiot.

So for the benefit of all my friends who secretly read this blog hoping to find this exact soppy stuff to torment me with the next day as I do them, here you go:

Dear Roisin,

Im sitting in UL right now and Im a ghost from the past writing to you in the future. Is UL fun? Is your teacher nice? Are you keeping up what I expect is the high intake of alcohol? Are the studies hard? Bet you’ve turned 17 by now. You finally able to say your age? No?

This isn’t a very impressive letter if you consider Im (or rather UL are) sending this to a student of journalism who by now has a few weeks of worthwhile experience under her belt whereas I have practically none but my Leaving Cert English. Don’t forget we were once proud of that qualification. See ya later chick keep it real. X

In retrospect, that wasn’t all that mortifying to write. I love reading over this little piece of memorabilia. While not much has changed, I definitely know to use more punctuation marks in a sentence. Aside from that, I love how enthusiastic little 16 year old me was. That wasn’t so bad overall now was it? Well, except for the sign off. Who did I think I was, Limericks version of Regina George?

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It’s Only Ok if We Say it

Comedy

 

Throughout the world we Irish have been revered for our poetry, our ballads, our nostalgia and most importantly of all, our love of laughter. To the untrained eye an Irish sense of humour can be a great thing. We can take a good ribbing and dish it back out tenfold, smile and laugh and tip our hats to a good joke. In a survey done by Empathy Marketing in the year 2009, it was discovered that a sense of humour was considered the number one Irish characteristic. But dig a little deeper and you can find an undertone of sensitivity and pride lurking in our laughter.

Our comedians are bestowed with the highest honour of respect a society can give, right up there with our singers and artists. We hold on to them and cherish them like they were our own, and given that everyone is related in this tiny country, they probably are. And their best comedic material? Why us of course.

We notoriously love to laugh at ourselves. Be it out of sorrow, irony or familiarity, the Irish laugh about the Irish. Haven’t you seen the shows like Mrs Browns Boys, Killinaskully, Father Ted or even the mocking Limerick duo the Rubberbandits? Or the stand-up shows like Dara O’Briain and Tommy Tiernan and the success that comes with them? When were taken the piss out of, we find it hilarious. It’s something very innate, the recognition of whatever humorous condition we have and the nonstop stream of insulting jokes about it thereafter. We just love it.

But here is where the sensitivity comes in to play. It’s only ok if we are the ones that are making the jokes – no one else. It’s an indignant and sensitive condition of the Irish. We’re allowed rip into each other because in some shape or form we’ve suffered in the same way. Be it your dog tore your washing off the line or you both lost your jobs, we find unity in humour. When our problems are made light of and we get to laugh along with millions of other people. But when another nation comes along to do the same thing, it’s out of order. It means they’re reinforcing stereotypes, we find it condescending and insulting to be labelled by traits that they know nothing about.

We’re a pretty easy going country to say the least. But we don’t like being pigeonholed by our shortcomings. We’ve had our times of darkness, our losses, our strife’s and our hardships. Our sense of humour has stemmed from that, made us a stronger and a more appreciative nation. We’ve paid our dues and now it’s time to laugh about it – but only amongst ourselves. No other state could begin to appreciate our jokes. And we won’t apologise for laughing. For if you don’t laugh then you’re going to cry, and the last thing we want is a stream of tears approaching the dole office that’ll get the stuffing kicked out of you. And its only ok if I say that, what with being Irish and familiar with the dole office. Get it now?

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Dog Yoga

A dog might stretch after taking a nap, just a...

First seen on “The Only Way is Essex”, dog yoga is the new money wasting fad for those with more time than brain cells. Forget about walking them or taking them for a run, why not squeeze a headband on them and let them stretch and relax. Just feeding your dog is no longer good enough; neither is walking them, playing with them or even entering them into competitions. Now you must also create a spiritual connection between you and your pooch. A requirement which is possibly at the pinnacle of third world problems – “I just can’t get my dog onto a spiritual level, what about his well-being?”

If you want your dog to unwind and partake in “downwards facing dog”, unfortunately there’s no place in Ireland ridiculous enough to host it, yet. But click on YouTube and you will find a range of instruction videos and what poses are best to help your dog remain calm. So go ahead, get those doggy paws up and remember, breathe, bark and breathe.

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Body Modification

Rick, the Zombie boy

Rick, the Zombie boy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a slippery slope alright, this whole body modification thing. You start off with one piercing, maybe even go as far as a tattoo, but before you know it bam – you’ve turned yourself into a cat clone or a walking zombie. I’m not condemning these people who feel being human just isn’t enough anymore – but I wouldn’t want to hold a conversation with one.

It’s an art form, its self-expression, its visionary – it’s creepy. Who in their right mind would want to look like a giant cat? Well there’s a few out there. One man has a leopard print tattoo all over his body. He is named Tom Leppard and appropriately adopts his persona by living in an isolated cabin off Scotland and travelling ashore by canoe once a week to collect his pension – oh did I mention he’s 73?

Now as far as cat people go, the least I can say is that I find it unnerving. I don’t like body modification, I don’t get it and I don’t ever want to get it. But there is one guy who throws me off a little; because I think what he has done is kinda cool, albeit crazy. You may have seen him in one of Lady’s Gaga music videos, ‘Born This Way’? Does Rick Genest ring a bell?

Now this guy is known as ‘Zombie Boy’, but he is by far the coolest and best looking zombie I’ve ever seen. Props must go to Miss Gaga for unearthing this modern walking sensation. I can’t say that he’s changed my mind on the entire issue, and he’s probably going to look like a wrinkly skeleton when he’s sixty. But right now he’s young, handsome (you know, in that rugged zombie way) and has caught my attention. While it lasts.

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Saturday night’s alright for fighting…..well not anymore lads

English: a typical scene of Street Fight

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a shame how we idolise and fawn over the wrong people in our society – the actors, the models, the singers and the politicians (well they do contribute a little I suppose). We glorify these people all because they can act or sing, and as ignorant consumers we ignore those who do real work for our sake alone. The people who are the corner-stone of civilisation and we couldn’t even begin to understand how vital their role is – people such as bouncers. This one is for them: the underappreciated, unnoticed and often ignored guardians of nightlife. We have a love-hate relationship with them, we have our connections amongst them and we might even flirt with them if our chances of entry are looking bad – but we never considered how unsafe we would be without them.

Let me paint you a picture of Saturday night in Limerick city, when the pubs close their doors and the nightclubs spew out bare footed, drunken messes. A night when the brave boldly go down Cruises Street for fast food and the meek flee into the first taxi that pulls up. The city’s bouncers, our protectors of sort, can always be seen on the outskirts guiding the drunk, blocking the abusive and chatting up the slutty. They’re our shinning knights in padded black coats. Without these intimidating burly men standing guard every night, half of Limerick would be a bloodied mess on their way home.

If your one of the meeker ones, then I’m sure in your past night outs the bouncers have been your best friends. These men are the ones that stand in the cold all night ready to confront any trouble that comes their way. They’re the ones that stop that girl from throwing a kebab in your face because you looked at her sideways. They’re the ones that insert that glorious protective barrier of a hand in between you and the skinhead that’s about to kill you. They’re the ones that tell the tangoed, scantily clad girls to lean off the counter to save us all a nasty sight. And most importantly, they’re the ones that give you a light for your cigarette to calm you down, before you kick the head off your boyfriend.

Bouncers aren’t exclusive to just nightclubs anymore. They’re stationed everywhere and it’s no longer just the entry of our beloved Trinity Rooms (RIP). They’re at the front doors of fast food chains, ready to drag the penniless out by their ankles (which I’ve actually seen happen) and slap them away when they lick the window (I couldn’t make sense of it either). The assurance of protection that comes with a bouncer’s proximity is now extended from the nightclub to the take out and in between. A fact I relish when trying to scoot past the street brawls outside HMV. They don’t only add a sense of protection when you now leave the club and go for something to eat; they also add a higher standard. You are required to have shoes on when entering such high calibre places like McDonald’s and Burger King. Which means the days of looking at cut, bare feet when you’re trying to order food are gone – thank you bouncers.

They’re there to help us when we need them, and there to stop us when we don’t. We’ve all been on the receiving end of the bouncers’ authority. The “not tonight”, the “you’re too drunk” and the “well I just saw you trying to seek in so now you’ve no chance of getting in”. We’ve all tried the pleading and begging routine of “it’s my birthday,” “sure I’ve only had one” and the “I’m from America here on holiday” line. If you’ve never been refused by a bouncer, you don’t get out enough. I’m sure you’ve abused them to no end when you couldn’t get your way. Thinking about it now, don’t you feel guilty for shouting insults at this hard earning family man just trying to do his job and get home to a warm bed? I was.

Give the bouncers of our city a break next time you think of throwing out an insult. Sure, some may seem too keen on the girls that pass, but they’re only men. And some may seem stern, but you know in your deepest of hearts that the third shoulder of whiskey really was too much and you should go home. Listen to them, give them a break and don’t take them for granted. It would be an entirely different city at night without them – for danger is just a kebabs throw away.

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The weird and not so wonderful

English: Handmade soap

Image via Wikipedia

To my knowledge, the only reason people would partake in extremely weird beauty treatments would be a slight lack of excitement in their lives, and a total lack of sanity. People who want to stick snails on their faces, snakes on their backs and lather up in someone else’s breast milk. Ew. Snails should be kept out in the garden under pot plants. Snakes belong only in tombs waiting for their enemies, Indiana Jones and Saint Patrick. And did these people not know of the age limit on breast milk? If there was a taboo on older children breastfeeding, then what social boundary did the people who use a soap made out of strange women’s breasts leap over?

Ok, so the snail bit first. There is a whole line of snail serum products on offer, to get rid of acne, stretch marks and dull complexion. Their slime boasts these fabulous results, and it’s the slime of not just any snail but the fanciest of all: Chilean snail “Helix Aspersa Muller”. Just let this elite snail slide around on your face or use his line of cosmetic products made from his ooze, and you’ll have your €70’s money worth. Il take a bottle of Clearasil instead, thanks.

Or why don’t you travel to Israel, where the lazy massage therapists let seven snakes do their job for them. Don’t worry, their non-venomous and I’m guessing they probably have years’ worth of training and a degree under their belt. Without expertise or a man in a turban playing a flute next to you, I can’t see the appeal or the reasoning for this one.

And the breast milk soap. Women who wake up one day and say, hey, my baby isn’t enough of a reminder of my pregnancy so I’ll make a bar of soap with my leftover milk. And for the people who use it, when it has no proven results better than normal soap, please go get your fetish kicks somewhere else and leave the poor sentimental mothers and their milk alone.

I don’t care what kind of flawless skin or muscle loosening these treatments bring. For a lot less money, disgust and weirdness I’m sure they stock something with the same results in Brown Thomas. This is where you will find me, safely hidden away from the snakes, snails and breast soap, and away from the “risk takers” of our world. I’d much rather talk to some nice sales lady.

 

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Needles are the new Sally Hanson

Hypodermic Needle Stomach Injection 3-1-08 8278

Hypodermic Needle Stomach Injection 3-1-08 8278 (Photo credit: stevendepolo)

Our country is riddled with the disease of paleness, but blessed be the bottles of fake tan at our exposure or I would never wear a dress again. Those of us who like the bronzed lifestyle buy fake tan by the bucket load, stand naked for spray tans, lie in UV light for hours and pop tanning tablets. We’ll go to pretty much any length to stay glowing, but would you go to the lengths of a drug addict?

Tanning injections are the new black market buzz that’s peeking interest in Ireland. Illegal, dangerous and not even approved for human use, these injections are the worst extreme Irish lasses have ever turned to for a tan. And I am truly worried. So much is wrong with them that I don’t even know where to start.

Let me explain what these injections are. They come as sachets of Melanotan powder, which is a chemical hormone that is being developed for skin intolerance to the sun. It then must be mixed with a “solution”, and injected daily with an insulin needle to the stomach area. Sounding a bit dodgy yet? It’s bought and sold over the internet, and contents can include an already used needle and incorrect dosage. Now I think were past dodgy.

Immediate side effects can range from nausea to increased blood pressure. That might not sound too bad, maybe you’d even be ok with the long-term side effects, a small thing known as cancer and that tingly feeling you get called organ failure. Do you really want to stab yourself to the point of sickness to look darker? The only thing I’ve left to say to this train wreck of dodgy needles, sickness, disease and desperation is thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take mine out of a bottle any day.

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Blinding Boy Bits

Disco ball in blue

Image via Wikipedia

Male grooming. We were delighted when they started shaving their chest and tweezing their unibrows. We begrudgingly allowed them to do the odd sunbed and steal some of our fake tan when needed. We even braved the man eyeliner for god sake. But I can honestly admit that I am truly terrified of the next step I hope only a minority of men will take. It’s a big bejewelled glittering penis and it’s coming our way. Introducing the male version of a vajazzle: the pejazzle.

For those of you manly men that are reading this and shaking to the core but can’t look away, I will explain the nitty gritty details as painlessly as I can. A pejazzle followed from the female vajazzle, which is basically a decoration of a woman’s nether regions with nice pretty crystals. The trend became massive after it was seen on TOWIE, and no, I’m not obsessed with the show. Most commonly used are the Swarovski crystals, which Essex lad Mark Wright is supporting and launching his male version of designs.

If any man is outrageous enough to go ahead and attempt this, you my good man are a brave one. Make sure to prep the area first, as in shave it and then clean it with the provided alcohol wipe. We don’t want any sticky bits getting caught in any hairy bits now do we?  Then simply peel off the design (a pair of lips or a cross – whichever makes you feel well hard man) and stick. Congratulations, you now have your very own disco ball for night time when the lights go out.

Granted there are no harmful side effects from this beauty treatment, and it can be done either professionally or at home. So technically there is nothing stopping men from flooding salons nationwide to bling their bits.  As the spokesperson for this development, and self-confessed pejazzeler, Mark Wright said “each to their own”. He’s absolutely right, if any man gets a pejazzle he will most definitely be on his own. Or at least until the diamanté’s fall off.

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