For the purposes of this blog every non-national reading it is now IRISH. Please check with your local embassy for terms and conditions.
Hail fellow heritage-stalkers, it is no secret that mein old fickle mistress Fame has seen me hounded by prominent members of the glitterati in order that I might grace their sybaritic bunfights with my thermoluminescent presence - and it is in my role as self-appointed world ambassador of buried bunkum that Mr. Barm Stroker MBA recently requested I cut the ribbon at the opening of the newly refurbished Notional Museum of Ireland. This sacred ark of our Irish birthright has seen itself redesigned by HRH Donald Trump and several Ryanair executives in a charming blend of heritage and free market economics which has proved so a la mode over the last few years.
They even laid on a chaffeur to take me to the event!
On my arrival I was greeted by adoring crowds, many of whom, (after assurances I had never attended a seminary) begged me kiss their babies. Once this degrading drool-fest had ended I dallied no longer and swiftly ripped the red ribbon using a blunt knife (which a fellow archaeologist had thoughtfully plunged in my back.) Camera flashes flushed, I beamed a smile (marred only by the three teeth I lost fleeing a Magdalene laundry,) and Mr. Stroker cooed 'Do come inside, admission is €25 plus VAT for adults, unless you are a student - we don't admit those scrounging bastards.' Somewhat miffed I paid the spondoolicks (believing it best not to make a scene) and entered the foyer (or what common yobs might describe as a narthex.)
The pilastered foyer (designed in 1775 by Gabriel Abandon,) which was once celebrated as a calm neoclassical well of purest daylight, has now been converted into a kick-ass rapture-a-rama chockablock with an endearing treasure trove of arcade machines - an assemblage of binary beauties which would put Blackpool (and all it's whorish lights) to shame.
SUPER MARIO HERITAGE BUTCHER
'Arcade games Mister Stroker!' I ejaculated.
'Well these are recessionary times . . .' said Stroker. 'Pray sit down and have a go off one.'
I was chagrined, but to show I was a good sport I played a game of 'Super Mario Heritage Butcher,' and upon bulldozing Newgrange I received 100,000 points and full planning permission. A shocking bargain for a fine of only €50!
We then left the foyer and processed into the acclaimed Grand Hall (where Dean Swift himself once cried 'this is the canary's tusks, this is truly the shit!!') Unfortunately things did not appear as they should, emptiness hollowed the hall and a fallacious funk filled the air . . .
'Pray tell Mr. Stroker,' I enquired looking about myself, 'whitherforth art all the artefacts of ye olden days gone? Those sweet museum relics which filled my childhood eyes and drew me into a career in archaeology? - The Waxen Axes of Waterville? The Darndale Meth hoard? The carved offal sculpture of Biffo, the big inside-out god?'
'We binned the shagging lot,' he replied, boulderfaced, 'Too expensive to maintain. Trump described it as a pile of cultural baggage, and when the Ryanair boys heard the word 'baggage' they started charging us twice as much for doing the job. - But do climb aboard our heritage simulator.'
He directed me to the only thing in the room, an inflatable bronze effect statue of Molly Malone and her cart. We ascended the handcart and sat there bobbing away while a pan-pipe version of 'Highway to Hell,' played over the Tannoy.
'It's better than sex,' winked Stroker at me.
'Simulated sex,' I corrected.
*The inexorable final port of call was the shop - where a million bits of cheap plastic (shackled to the counter) mewled MADE IN CHINA at me, many bookstalls were drenched in tomes about Celtic mysticism and several music sheets of ould Irish tunes went for a song. I could afford zip (since the chef had the last of my money) but the bearded lady behind the cash desk kindly agreed to take my shirt in exchange for nothing.
Finally, FINALLY Mr. Barm Stroker MBA did the decent thing and shouldered me from the building, defecating me onto the pavement with a slam of a cast iron door. I stood there, shivering in the reliably crap Irish climate and hollered: 'Can people really be so GULLIBLE?'
The following week, a kind invitation to open the National Gullery answered that question pronto.
This blog posting bears NO RESEMBLANCE to ANY Irish national (or for that matter International) cultural institution, living or dead.
MAY GOD FORGIVE US ALL and see ya next time.