Getting the priorities in order.

Getting the priorities in order.

It’s like deja vu. I have too many irons in the fire…again. So I intend to take a break for a while. Gotta get my priorities in order.

If, in the meantime, I think of something that will change the world, you guys will be first to hear about it.

My blog has made it, by some mistake, to the short list of the ‘best humour blogs’ in Ireland. I haven’t worn my funny cap in months. Strange. Best of luck to the remaining participants.

On the car journey home from work today, my workmate and myself were listening to the news on the radio. He had lived across the pond, in Boston, for a few years. He has fond memories of the States, some of which he retells to me on our journeys home.

But today on the radio the newsreader told the heartbreaking tale of a young girl who accidentally shot her gun instructor…with an Uzi !! That’s a submachine gun. It ‘sprays’ bullets.

I will pray that the girl will fully recover from the eyewitness shock of what a gun actually does. The poor girl. May God watch over her.

“…the girl was nine years old,” finished the newsreader.

With that, my workmate starts nodding and goes “And they can’t order a beer until they’re 21.”

Then silence in the car…except for the weather on the radio.

Thank you for reading





Big brother, small brother.


I spoke on our local radio station today. I was great! You should’ve been there.

People all over County Donegal stopped what they were doing just to hear my words of wisdom. You could’ve heard a pin drop.

There was a lady speaking via phone to the host. She was waiting at her home to be collected by the local police and whisked off to prison. The sentence had been handed down a few days previous. Her crime? She wanted to teach her children at home.

She and her husband have six children. They have home schooled them all so far. The eldest is now 27 and having a successful career, as are the following two. The remaining three children are still at various stages of learning. From what I gathered, the children are taught at home until in around the early teens. After that, they are encouraged to take the next step, which is usually a more specialised form of education.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and well…so far so good. But…

There is always a but. The department of education (the state) couldn’t just leave it be. Oh no, that would be too much like common sense. They dragged the woman through the courts in an attempt to force her to submit to the state’s system. She refused. And now she is headed for the slammer.

Driving along, listening to the radio, I was so impressed by her version of things that I pulled over and sent a little text message of support into the radio station.

Well, lo and behold, the station phoned me back asking, no begging, me to join in the conversation live on air. I obliged.

The truth is I am not really that hot at public speaking. What I wanted to say came out okay but my heart was going a mile a minute, and my hands were sweating like crazy. Of course the host, being neutral in opinion, didn’t give me an easy ride either. But all in all it went alright .

After the call, I slunk back in my driver’s seat and ran the conversation back in my mind’s ear. Smiling to myself at how knowledgeable I sounded.

Just then, my phone bleeped. It was a text message from my boss, who also happens to be my younger brother. It read as follows : “If you don’t get back to your feckin work soon, you will have plenty of time to home-school your own kids!!!”

Oops, I had forgotten other folks have radios also. Big brother, eh?


His bark is worse than his bite, and very witty too…I hope.

Thank you for reading


I am somebody now!


I don’t know about you but I enjoy reunions. I had a reunion with a few old schoolmates last week. It was good fun, recalling all the antics.

We got away with murder. There is one story in particular that sums up what we were like, back in the day. But before I share it there is something else that happened during the week. It gave me cause for much excitement. This blog is officially in the running for Ireland’s most coveted prize in blogging. I will have to pull the socks up and get serious for the next few months. You can view the long-list here

To see the words “Trucker Turning Write” in the list gave me such a smile. I knew it was nominated thanks to Liz at  and my wife who both encouraged me to give it a go. Even if nothing comes of it the following clip sums up the feeling of simply being on the nominee list.



It’s Saturday night and I am treating myself to a few beers at home. I enjoy a beer at weekends. I never really developed a taste for anything stronger. But…

There was a friend of mine whose parents were teetotallers. They didn’t drink alcohol but they always kept a bottle or two about the house, for visitors, you know. My friend was a normal teenager, curious about all things taboo. Sometimes when he got the chance he would try a drop behind his parents’ back. Vodka was his preference. He would consume as much as the circumstances would allow and simply top the bottle up with water.

This practice continued from midsummer all the way to Christmas until the bottle was so watered down that it was basically…just water.

All was fine until his parents invited the neighbours around for “a wee drop of Christmas cheer”. Being typically Irish the neighbours accepted generous top-ups without complaining about the vodka. But being typically Irish they went around the neighbourhood the following day telling everybody about the Christmas Scrooges who tried to pass off a bottle of water as vodka.

It didn’t take long for word to filter back to the parents. They were in shock. They promptly did what every Irish parent would do…totally overlooked anything domestic; their sons were good boys, beyond suspicion.

No, they took the nearly empty bottle and drove straight into town, to the off-licence (liquor store) where the bottle was initially purchased and demanded a refund and an apology. After much arguing, believe it or not, they got their apology, having somehow managed to convince the storekeeper that somebody working in his establishment had been helping themselves behind his back.

The perfect crime.

Those were the days. They don’t make parents like they used to.

Teens? I reckon teens will be teens in every generation.

Thank you for reading


ps…Good luck to all nominees.



He who procrastinates…

He who procrastinates…


Procrastination. I’ll come clean…I had to look it up.

I have heard the term a few times before and I had an idea that it was a swanky word for time wasting. A quick look in the dictionary and, yes, that seems to be what it means.

There is another term I must check out sometime; Ad-hock. The spelling is probably wrong but that is how it sounds. I have heard it used once or twice in the past. I heard it again today on the radio. I think it means “a quick fix”. There is a certain radio host who must have learned all his English from a Jane Austin novel. He speaks like she writes (she wrote), if you know what I mean – Why use a small word when a big word will do? You know the sort. Still, without people like him we would probably be back to babbling if left to our own devices.

Incidentally, I believe the term babbling comes from a Bible story about a tower of babel.  The people of Babylon were building a tower to the heavens and, long story short, God didn’t like it and cursed them all with different languages so they couldn’t understand each other.

I guess something simple like “Pass me the cement, please.” would then come out like “Tobhair dom an straighil, le do thoil.” Before long the builders were like “huh?” Nobody understood each other.

The chances are that is just pure myth but there again, who knows?

Getting back to procrastination, it could also come under the same banner as hesitation. Years ago, at a disco, I was procrastinating about asking a certain girl to dance with me. The tunes played on and the time rolled by and yes, you guessed it, another lad got in before me. I can still hear my friend’s words when I confided my heartbreak to him. “Frankie,” he said as he patted my shoulder “he who hesitates, masturbates!”

So my advice to any procrastinators is – Go easy, too much can make you blind.


Thsnk yiu fir..

Forgive me, I find this font size quite hard to read.

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picture from google images



Truck Talk

Truck Talk


“I don’t know your, your…friend… here but to be honest, Frankie, I am shocked at you.” She said. Then turned on her heels and stormed out.

I didn’t see that coming.

There is a roadside diner I frequent for lunch. Lots of people from all professions stop to eat there. It’s one of those places where the staff make you feel as if you’re the most important customer they ever had.

There’s a waitress who works there. I understand it is rude to describe somebody by their physical appearance.  So I will just give her name, as it is spelled on her badge. Manddy! Notice the double ‘d’. Her name suits her. That’s all I’m saying.

So this one day I arrived in to find a friend of mine sat alone at a booth by the window.  He’s a truck mechanic. I used to work alongside him for years until I hung up the spanners and opted for a life inside a truck rather than underneath.

It was great to talk technical again, with somebody who knew what he was talking about. I was telling him about a few problems I had been having with my old girl, my baby, my truck.

She doesn’t have the modern self greasing system. It is an older model. All greasing has to be carried out by hand, using a tool called a grease gun. Each joint has a small little connection to which the gun  would be attached. These connection points are called grease nipples. The word nipple conjures up a different image in the mind of a mechanic. Not a sexy image at all. It is a messy job.

We were in deep conversation when an elderly neighbour of mine arrived in and sat at the table next to us. A real lady, it has to be said. I gave her a little wave. She replied with her trademark nod and smile. Rather like the queen of England would do.

Manddy took her order then came over with more tea for us. We thanked her and returned to our conversation.

“Do you wanna know what I would do with her?” asked my friend.

“Go on, give me your expert opinion.” I answered with a knowing smile. He loved talking trucks.

“Well she’s a big girl, isn’t she?”

“She is indeed.” I nodded.

“And you say she’s been around the block a fair bit?”

“Well, no shame in it.”

“Aye, but she’s seen a fair bit of grease if you know what I mean?”

“I suppose.” He had a point. “Put it like this, she was never neglected anyway.”

“Well I would pull her inside and get underneath her. There has to be something you haven’t tried yet. Move the pins from side to side and listen to her. If she’s making a squeeky noise then you’re on the money!”

“You reckon she needs more grease?”

“Aye, there has to be an air pocket in there somewhere that hasn’t seen grease in a while. I know it’s hard to believe. But trust me, I know her type. Maybe she has a blocked nipple.”

“How would you unblock that?” I asked.

“Don’t waste your time unblocking it. Sure nipples are dirt cheap nowadays. In fact I would replace the set. But try to give her the grease first. Maybe that’s all she wants… ”

Our conversation was interrupted by the sound of breaking glass. My neighbour was in a hurry to leave. But not before she stopped at our table to create a scene.

On her way out she passed Manddy who was pouring tea at another table.

“As for you,” she said as she looked her up and down. “Hmph!” Then left the diner.

My friend and I looked at each other.

Then he goes “Women! I’ll never understand them.”


Thank you for reading,


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Three cops and a fountain.

Three cops and a fountain.

There was a very good reason that I physically restrained my wife from throwing a coin into the Trevi fountain. Even though every euro was precious to us personally, it had nothing to do with the recession back in Ireland. But the police, or polizia to be exact, were having a hard time understanding.

It was my wife’s first ever time on an airplane. It was my second. I was the expert! Even though I was too young to remember my first time, I was such a know-it-all.

“Don’t worry. Sit back and relax. You won’t even know you’re in the air.” I reassured her.

My wife was making her peace with God, just in case. She was feeding the rosary beads through her fingers at a rate that would have made Mother Teresa green with envy. The plane taxied down the runway. I was all business. Until it hit full throttle.

I don’t know what came over me but, when the pilot gave her the welly, I cracked. I snapped the beads from my wife’s hands and prayed like this was the cresendo of my life on earth.

I had spent more than fifteen years of my life as a motor mechanic (before this trucking lark) and the laws of physics had led me to believe that there wasn’t a rivet on the earth which could stand the sheer acceleration dished out by these jet engines.

We must have been in the air about thirty minutes when my wife, who had just discovered her life’s purpose (flying) was asking me to look out the window at all the little tiny houses down below. I couldn’t look. My fear of heights had been heightened by the shaky rivets and the volcano ash cloud which had blown all the way from Iceland to northern Europe.

Bing bong! The captain informed us that we would be taking the scenic route (long route) to Rome. Lovely! Just flipping lovely!

Bing bong! “Ladies and gentlemen, we are now over the Alps. Enjoy the view. Oh and by the way, I will take this opportunity to introduce a new pilot. This is his first time in charge and I am sure you all agree he is doing a fine job…”

That’s was it. Our fate was sealed. I know it is a cliché but I whispered to myself “We’re all going to die.”

I could picture this little apprentice, barely through puberty, grinning from ear to ear on his spotty wee face. Saying to himself, ‘Let’s see what this baby can do’, as he gazed around the dashboard like a kid in a candy store.

Have you ever spent four hours putting on and taking off your seatbelt? No? Well I have. There was a red light up near the front which was going from red to green then red again, at roughly ten minute intervals. What I thought was the ‘Seatbelts on‘ light turned out to be the ‘somebody’s in the toilet‘ light.

Of course nobody corrected me. Why would they? A full grown man hammering out Hail Marys to beat the band had enough on his plate.

We made it to Rome. When I stood up my wife commented that my shirt was stuck to my back with sweat and my face “looked a bit grey.” I didn’t care how it looked. All I could do was smile. I would have kissed the ground but we had to walk through a tunnel straight into the airport buliding.

We were in town for my older brother’s wedding. He was always the awkward one. He couldn’t just get married in Ireland like the rest of us. Oh no, that would make too much sense.

Anyway, he got married. It was a lovely wedding, I’ll admit. And the weather!! I always thought weather like that only happened in the movies.

The following day my wife and myself, wandering around, found ourselves looking at the famous Trevi fountain. When I say looking I mean standing on our tip toes trying to catch a glimpse of the thing over the shoulders of every other person on the planet who all had the same idea, on the same day. Damned Tourists! With their cameras that appear large enough to snap somebody pretending to place a flag on the moon.

We wiggled our way through the crowd until we reached it.

“Give me a euro,” my wife said, in a panic.

When I asked why, she informed me that if a person throws a coin into the Trevi fountain fate will ensure that person will return to Rome again sometime in the future.

Upon hearing this I quickly removed my empty hand from my pocket. I lied that I didn’t have any change. As beautiful as Rome is, I wasn’t prepared to put myself through the hell, better known as flying, it took to get there. I have been on mainland Europe a few times but my choice of transport is always the car ferry. Probably because I can swim. I haven’t quite been able to master flying yet. Perhaps it’s the lack of feathers.

Of course as fate would have it, she had found a coin in her own pocket. I grabbed her wrist just as she was about to throw it. A struggle ensued. I could hear bystanders discussing if they should interfere or not. Just then a little street urchin made a grab for my wife’s camera (a lego camera by today’s standards). So I grabbed him with my free hand. This was turning into the ridiculous.

Within seconds three big straight faced Polizia-men arrived. One of them took the boy away by the scruff of the neck, whilst the other two handled our little “domestic”.

That is as much as you’re getting. Did she or didn’t she? That is the question.

There is a famous saying; When in Rome.

There is another famous saying; Not on my shift.

There is also a third; She wears the trousers!

Thank you for flying


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Thank you Lita

Thank you Lita



First of all Thanks to Lita( )

She has given me The Versatile Blogger badge, and well deserved I might add. I am worth it.

She is the sort who genuinely wants the best for every new blogger. It’s not forced though, it comes natural to her. Cheers Lita.

Now I have to mention seven random things about myself.

1 : I believe Jesus was on a world tour during the missing eighteen years. Not to learn from, but to teach those who would listen. I have reason to believe he was in Ireland.

2 : I am facinated by the spiritual beliefs and understandings of ancient Ireland. I mean thousands of years ago.

3 : I am happiest when I am conversing with people. Or else alone on a mountain or in a forest.

4 : I care for neither fame nor fortune. If you’re happy, I’m happy.

5 : Actions impress me way more than words. Leading by example impresses me.

6 : I can’t watch a mouth to mouth revival scene on telly or in movies.

7 : I am a hypocrite. I am not that good at being Christian. But I kick myself for it each time.

So now I have to pass this on to a few people. I think I am allowed fifteen.

I know there are bloggers who have so many awards that they don’t need another right now, so I have crossed a few off. Also there are those who need encouragement. Then there are those who are simply gifted. And lastly there are those who are too beautiful in their prose for a trucker to appreciate. Blame me if you’re not on the list. Not yourself.

In no particular order (apart from Cheryl who is practically my manager ) This Lady is the wordpress answer to Leonardo Da Vinci. Feel like I knew this lady for years. She was there man! The best short story teller. End of. This young lady is a welcome breath of fresh air. One to watch for the tourist. Up the Irish! Just love this blog. Everything about it. A man’s man. The earth moves for this lady. I like this site. Quirky. And Irish. Thanks for the encouragement. Nice posts here. Half Irish, all talent. Cheers Ana

That’s fifteen. You guys and gals can do the fifteen or less or whatever.

Thank you Lita

Thank you for reading


Get the finger out.

Get the finger out.

Everything stopped. They all looked at me like I was the cruelest, sickest, most dispicable creature that had ever crawled upon the earth.

To be honest, I can understand why they felt like that. I cursed God for giving me a tongue, in the first place. I should have been muzzled from the moment I uttered my first “Mama.” I am the original loose cannon. I cannot even trust myself anymore.

It was a Sunday afternoon like any other. Where I come from, Sundays are for visiting. Sometimes they come to us, sometimes we go to them.

On this occasion we were visiting my wife’s parents. A humble more welcoming couple you could never find. Their house on a Sunday is like those Christmas Family Gatherings you see in the movies. So many people, so many voices, young and old. Such a warm and happy home.

We were all squeezed into the Sitting room as usual. One of my nieces was reading a big hardback  Annual, Ripley’s Believe it or not. As you might imagine, she was reading aloud about the amazing facts from around the world. All the inlaws would then give their take on things. Impressing each other with the little nuggets of facination they had aquired down through the years.

Somewhere in the foggy half light, that is my mind, I found a little nugget of my own. I think I learned of it (as with most things I’ve learned) from the radio in the truck.

“Did you know,” I spoke with authority. “..that if your ring finger is longer than your index finger, on your right hand, that you are most likely the sort of person who takes big risks?”

Silence! Instant silence!  Of course I mistook it for confusion. So I elaborated.

“Look,” I said, holding up my right hand. “If this finger is longer than this one, it means you are more inclined to take risks.”


My wife broke the silence. “Would anybody like tea?”

They all agreed that tea would be a good idea. Except me and my father-in-law, we were beer men. He went to the kitchen and returned with a chilled bottle for each of us.

“Don’t worry about it.” He whispered, as he handed me the bottle with his right hand – minus a thumb and two fingers! He had lost them a year previous whilst taking a risk with a lawnmower, of all things!

I couldn’t even muster the strength to say Sorry. Why me? Why is it always me who doesn’t know when to zip it?

I have to hand it (there I go again) to my father-in-law, he is the kindest hearted man. Always generous. Especially with his forgiveness. A sound man, as they say around here.

Now where did I put that muzzle?


Thank you for reading


When Parades go wrong.

When Parades go wrong.

Saint Patrick’s day Hell!

That was the headline on the front page. There was a photo too.  It showed a man, wearing a Leprechaun’s hat and a fake ginger beard, giving a breath sample to the Police.

The man was me.

Saint Patrick’s day in our house was always a big occasion. We would start the day with Mass and then on to the local parade. It still is a big day but it has a bitter taste, for me at least, since “the wee hiccup”. That’s how the polite people of my town refer to it. At least that’s what they call it when I am within earshot.

Being the pillar of society that I am, I was asked if I would donate my services and truck for the parade. The truth is I didn’t want to do it. Not that I don’t like to help out, but rather I don’t like being in the public eye. It’s just the way I am. But anyway I said “Yes.” Because that’s what Yes Men do.

So, on the day prior to the parade I pulled the side curtains (tarpaulins) right back and the local Arts and Crafts club went to work.  I have to hand it to them. When they were finished it really looked the part. The idea was that it would be a showcase for their work; Knitted jumpers, Paintings, Paper mache sculptures and the like.

The day came and there were about a dozen kids and two adults on our float. All beavering away on their sewing machines and spinning wheels and what have you. The crowds were clapping and cheering like they were in New York. I was even getting in on the act as we went along, giving the odd wave or tooting the air horn.

This ‘Float Driver’ lark was a first for me, so I can be forgiven for making the fatal mistake. With all the excitement I had forgotten to fill up with Diesel. The first I knew about it was when it was too late.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the engine had just stopped. We could have gotten a tow from the float in front. But it didn’t just stop. It started to air-lock, on and off, offering me false hope that I might make it to the end of the parade at least.

To put it into layman’s terms, when a machine is running out of fuel she starts to Chug. And boy did this baby chug! She chugged so much that one of the children fell off, but landed on his feet thank God. The other kids were clinging on for dear life. In fact, one of the adults almost lost an eye with a knitting needle.

Of course I was oblivious to any of this until I had nursed the truck off down the nearest side street. I thought the two adults would have had the sense to get the children to sit down when the chugging started. They don’t make adults like they used to. When I did park up I could hear the crying which I hadn’t been able to hear over the Marching Band.

Next thing I knew there was a crowd gathered around snapping photos of the crying children. To be honest it looked as if a Tsunami had struck the float. And of course low and behold the Gardai (Police) show up and inform me that under Section something or other of the road traffic act they are obliged to ask me for a sample of my breath. I wouldn’t have minded but I knew the two cops personally. I suppose they were only doing their job.

And then the local newspaper the following day made it look like I was the Grinch who stole Saint Patrick’s day. Journalism is a dirty word in my house since then.

But time is a healer and maybe in a few more decades they will allow me to forget the wee hiccup.


Thank you for reading


Bless me Father.

Bless me Father.

“Three full Rosaries? You’re asking me to say three full Rosaries and yet yer man before me only gets a Glory Be, an Our Father, and a Hail Mary! After what he did!! You cannot be serious!”

But he was serious.

Today is known as Ash Wednesday in the Catholic religion. I’m sure you have heard something of it. I won’t go into the whole meaning, for two reasons: Firstly I don’t know the whole meaning, and Secondly I didn’t get my ashes today. I was “too busy.” So it would be a bit rich if I were to start a full scale lecture on it.

Of course my wife and kids recieved their ashes. In fact, I could right this moment ask any one of them about the meaning, and they would be able to give me the complete story. But I won’t because dads know it all, everything! It would be a sign of less than perfection. No need to rock the boat. “Steady as she goes, Captain.”

It is the norm in our faith to attend confessions at regular intervals throughout the year. It’s particularly common to have your confession heard in the lead up to an important Holy day, for instance, Ash Wednesday, or Easter Sunday, or Christmas day. You get the gist. The idea is that it wipes the slate clean before you recieve an important Sacrament. It have to admit, in most cases my conscience felt a lot lighter after a visit. It’s a strange one.

But the truth, and I’ll have to whisper in case the kids hear, is that I haven’t been to confession in about three years. Just plain old laziness. I’ll burn in Hell yet.

Speaking of whispers, there is one occasion which stands out in my memory. I was visiting the relations on my father’s side.  He is originally from County Mayo. The county famous for the Apparition at Knock, a small village, in 1879. Our Lady, Saint Joseph, Saint John appeared along with an Altar on top of which stood the Lamb, and there was a large Crucifix behind the Altar. None of them made a sound but the apparition lasted an hour or two. Fifteen people of all ages witnessed it. You can find out more on the WWW-dot if you’re interested.

Whether or not their surroundings had any influence, my father’s family were, and still are, devout Catholics. Everything was done by the book. So on the visit in question I tagged along to the local Church for confessions. When in Rome..

“..and maybe we’ll do the stations of the cross while we’re there,” announced my wife. Oh she is good!

When we arrived there wasn’t much of a queue, thanks be to God. And it seemed like no time at all until I had shuffled along the seat to be in the next up position.

I felt nervous. Not because I had murdered anyone. But because I knew that my devout relations would hear every sin I told, thanks to Father Echo, behind the curtain. Each faux pas that the sinner was mumbling, was being repeated at full volume by the priest, who sounded old and deaf. But his vocal chords were in mint condition.


“mumble mumble mumble.”


“mumble mumble mumble”

“I TRUST YOU WILL FIND HER AND APOLOGISE! FOR YOUR PENANCE SAY ONE OUR FATHER, ONE HAIL….” he went on to absolve the poor lad of his sins.

I was next. I hadn’t counted on this scenario. So I played it cool.

“Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been a while since my last confession…”

“HOW LONG IS A WHILE?” he interrupted.

“Oh about five years,  I can’t remember.”


Damn! By now the whole of County Mayo has heard my business thanks to Father Megaphone! All my wife’s good work, down the drain. I had to think quick. I couldn’t list all the real sins I had committed. I would be excommunicated, and worse, embarrassed.

“Oh I wished bad luck to a few people here and there, Father. You know, the usual thing when someone gets on your nerves.”


And he left it at that. So now the folks outside think I am the Devil incarnate. Oh my God, tell me this isn’t happening. But it was, it was happening. He started shouting absolution prayers at the top of his lungs. I had lost the will to kneel. I slunk back into a corner of the cubicle. “Yeah, yeah, whatever,” I mumbled.


There it was, the final nail! My reputation was in tatters. That’s pretty much all I remember. The rest of the day was a blur.

Thank you for reading