20 January 2010

Alans article in the Leinster Leader

Schnitzels European Adventures.
The Big Freeze 2010.

So I’m in Spain, and all I keep hearing about is the weather in Ireland. The Homeland I call it. They are calling it the big freeze 2010, the coldest, snowiest and most paralyzed Ireland has ever been, or funnest if you ask anyone under the age of thirty. My mam told me on the phone that it was -12 degrees. I laughed. Silly mammy. Its not her fault, she’s from a simpler time. -12 bff ha ha. It can’t be minus 12 silly mammy. It can’t be -12, 0 is freezing. 0 is a block of ice. What happens if you freeze a block of ice? Nothing. It stays the same, its frozen, its already as cold as it can get. -12 doesn’t exist, 0 is cold enough, it’s the coldest. You hang on there lovely mammy, I’ll check the internet, silly billy. MINUS TWELVE!? What the, how the…what?
I was genuinely flabbergasted, I was sitting on a beach in a pair of floral shorts in Malaga, not even able to summon the imagination to pretend to understand such levels of extreme cold. How did this happen? And then it came to me; the feckin’ recession. Everyone has tightened their belts to the extent that they wont turn on the heating and this has led to freezing streets thus eventually the temperature drops to a moronic -12. It’s strange the world we live in, everyone is trying to be good, trying to save money, trying to cut back on power for the environment, and what do we get in return? The whole country freezes over. Thanks mother nature, real sound.
Here in Spain they use a system that we really should look into as a nation. They have a giant suspicious yellow ball that hovers in the sky and radiates heat. This is good as it provides the country with heat and light and therefore amalgamating those two treacherous bills. It must be a massive bill though, if it heats and lights the whole country? I hear you say. Well yes, it is quite a huge bill, but when they divide it between 45 million people, it really works out cheaper than our Irish bills.
On my travels I met a Swedish couple who were backpacking around Europe. And, as is usual with people you just met, conversation runs dry and you automatically switch to old faithful, the weather. Sure enough they said in a very sexy sleek swedish accent ‘In Sweden it is very cold’ to which I responded, ‘oh yeah? Ha ha well I feel sorry for you, I really do, but in Ireland its -12’. Then I leaned back with a smug look on my face. To which they replied with absolutely no comic timing ‘In Sweden it is -50.’ Obviously seeing my shocked and speechless expression they continued ‘basically, if you go outside, you die.’ For lack of anything better to do after my whole world was shaken up one more time I told them to shut up and kicked their backpacks. Then I left the room.
Since all that I am glad to have received the news that someone has turned the heat back on and Ireland is back up to a trusty, comfortable 3 or 4 degrees.

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