Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Tuesday 30 August 2011


Well who are they? Who are the Mammy and Daddy of our filth bedeckled science of archaeology? Which two progenitors threw themselves carelessly at each other at a drunken party then weeks later the phone rings, Dad picks up: 'You're what?'
And next thing we're born - all of us, all in one go, a flood of humanity - and we're chargin' up and down the hospital corridors, spittin' and bitin' and roarin', scratchin' the radiators with our trowels and the midwife, without taking her eyes off us reaches slowly into her handbag for the shotgun. . .
Well finding Mum wasn't easy (and when you have kids like us it's no wonder she kept her head low,) but here she is - Gertrude Bell, the Mother of Archaeology. Gertrude was one hell of a lady, up to her uxters in middle-eastern politics, close associate of Lawrence of Arabia, Britain never made a decision about it's arab empire without getting the green light from Gertie, she knew the terrain inside out - but her real passion was archaeology and she did extensive survey work on ancient Babylon and related sites.
Just a cotton-pickin' minute though, all was not perfect about Mumsy, she was honorary secretary for the ANTI-Suffragette Society. Despite being a deeply political person, she didn't think women deserved the vote!
The wagon!
Then there was Daddy, King Nabonidus of Babylon they called him. He's known as 'The Father of Archaeology' because he held the earliest known 'archaeological' excavations ever, into temples which were ancient even by ancient Babylonian standards (Jaysus!). And he was the last King of Babylon ever.
But the durty hoor was a slaver!! He kept the jews in bondage until Cyrus the Great marched into the 'hood and set the chosen people free.

Now I'm no Captain Shazam when it comes to the study of logic but if the Father of Archaeology was a tyrant from a land where beer was worshipped as a God and the Mother of Archaeology thought women should be chained to the kitchen sink and she has thousands of children worldwide I think we can only draw one conclusion from this. . .

All archaeologists are Irish Catholics!

So mazel tov to you my brothers and sisters! (As we say in Connemara.)

Thursday 25 August 2011



With the noteworthy exception of that one eyed flute on Time Team with the 'eww-arrh!' accent the wearing of sideburns has been sadly absent from world archaeology since the 19th Century.
It was no less a man than General Pitt Rivers (formerly Lane Fox) who introduced the three age system for sideburns (or chops as he so delightfully termed them.) Indeed, having spent a lifetime shielded beneath a set of these flossy pseudo-pubic accoutrements he was probably the most well equipped man to develop the typology.
As a child the young Lane Fox showed a healthy crop of facial hair. This early form of sideburns he came to term 'lamb chops.'
I remember well frolicking with him on the butcher's spoil heap and him saying 'My Mummy tells me not to play with common children like you.' This verbal emission caused me to slip on a rancid liver and slide to the bottom of the heap. 'She says,' he continued, without missing a beat, 'your sort are only papist scum.'
But I recovered well by catching him across the nose with a bloated cow's stomach - and oh how we chortled!
Ah such innocent days! Where have they gone?
By the time Lane Fox was serving as quartermaster with the British army in Co. Cork. His lamb chops had grown to a fulsome, quite cheeky, indeed one might venture, luxuriant set of hairy winged wonders. This more developed phase he termed 'hogget chops.' I remember him wandering into my family hovel (conveniently located under twenty feet of bog) steaming drunk, waving a pistol and calling my gentle father a 'Fenian Bastard,' before discharging his weapon in the poor old gent's ear.
Heavens above, our laughter was profuse (and very welcome in our impoverished state) as we were all drenched under a fountain of blood.
Ah for the glowing days of my youth!
Incidentally it was of course in Cork that Lane Fox began his illustrious career in archaeology by paying shovel-handed navvies thruppence a month to dig sideways through any suspicious looking carbuncle protruding from the fecund soil.
On inheriting his vast estates, Lane Fox faked his own death and changed his name to Pitt Rivers in the vain hope that his old friends would not send him begging letters. I, of course, was wise to the old mucker's game and bombarded him with shameless amounts of correspondence requesting macaroni.
He never replied - possibly because his facial hair had now grown into full blown Mutton Chops (his term not mine) and he was forced to use two loo rolls to help him see through the fleecy imbroglio of hair.
His mutton chops were really suited to his new role as a member of the aristocracy, displaying as they did the mutations so common among blue-bloods who think nothing of giving their sisters what-ho in hope of siring an heir. These mutton chops would have made a Hapsburg jaw drop to the floor with a clang of envy.
And that was the last I heard of dear sweet Lane Fox, wonderful old Foxy.
But I'm not bitter about him turning his back on me, not one bit.
The toffee nosed bastard.

And to finish, an apology to Phil Harding, for calling him a one eyed flute (rooty toot) - and here's a pair of sideburns you can don and alternate between saying 'eww ahhr,' and 'jollyhockeysticks.' They truly are versatile and delicious!

Thursday 18 August 2011



'Every step I took I crushed a mummy in some part or other,'
G. Belzoni.

You know when I was a mere gassune living in a potato sack swinging aloft from a high voltage line Giovanni Belzoni would often swagger in to visit my family.
'Allo!' He would utter in his strong Paduan accent, 'And ow are zee McHale's?'
'What did that hairy fella say?' My father would grunt.
'I don't know but if he doesn't get out of this sack soon it's going to rip and we'll all be killed.' My Mother would gently point out.
He's was quite the man was dear old Belzo, he single handedly invented curds, put an end to the tidal system in the Mediterranean and even redirected the sun so it faced the earth and in so doing ended millennia of darkness.
And when he wasn't blowing the living shit out of Egyptian monuments and desecrating their contents he was shipping them off to foreign countries to be ground up as fish food.
But above all - he dressed like a complete twat.
Hats off to The Great Belzoni!

Sunday 14 August 2011


My life is so devoid of stimulation these days (unless you think shaving shoulder hair is stimulating) I thought I might while away the hours by sharing an account of my American holiday with you - don't bother running for the exits, I've nailed them shut.
It may surprise you to know America is a whole other country, although most Europeans, (hopeless as we are at geography,) think of it as an island suburb of Limerick populated by gun happy Dutch puritans (- this view is only partially correct.)
So humour me greatly and read on as I shine a light on this nascent Dutch colony and it's exuberant settlers, a God-fearing people who really might make a big impression on the world if only they could put down their knives, forks and guns.
We travelled by tuna boat to Plymoth (Ryanair are really offering some cheap deals nowadays.) Halfway through the journey we all applauded as the captain launched a cannonball at the Azores, he was a jolly old sort that captain. 'More rum for the passengers,' he cried through the tannoy and we all cheered again as the wooden legged hostesses teetered down the aisles with casks of the best Jamaican, sloshing it merrily hither and tither. A memorable trip indeed, and instead of jet-lag I ended up with tuna-lag.
Customs was a relatively brief affair consisting of a brisk water-boarding (no not surfing) while a gentleman in a pilgrims hat bellowed 'ADMIT YOU'RE A WITCH!' Then the holiday proper began.
Very early the next morning my tuna-lag kicked in hard. How many times have have I sat in a foreign land, in a foreign toilet drawing quietly to wend away the hours before dawn? (Just this once actually.) I was perched naked on the bath edge scribbling furiously and all was going splendidly until one of the inhabitants of the house stumbled in for a pee. I made my apologies then climbed out the window I had entered through and wandered naked back to the bush where I was staying.
More about public nudity later - it is VERY de rigueur among the Dutch colonists.
The purpose of our visit was enlightenment. We had travelled across the Atlantic to see the great Swami Mick 'The Greek' at his ashram in the Vermont hills. The Greek Guru preaches a simple message of nudity, semi-automatic weapons and money. 'All else is meaningless,' was his mantra. As we approached the camp he greeted us with guns blazing, a Smith and Wesson in one hand, a Kalashnikov in the other, it brought a tear to my eye and I prostrated myself before his noble body. 'Share your wisdom with us,' I pleaded.
'Okay pal,' he said through a gold toothed grin, 'get your pants off.'
I did as he said and he went through my trouser pockets until he came upon my wallet, then he kindly led us to our cabins at gunpoint.
That night we went to sleep surrounded by the placid sound of woodland interspersed with gunshots and screams.
God Bless America.
The following morning a queue was forming before the Gurus hut. 'No doubt people awaiting a blessing from The Master,' I said to myself as I joined the line. Standing there I realised I was the only one in the queue who was (a) not  female, (b) under 21 and (c) of a pneumatic bodily disposition.
Unfortunately by the time I was due to step inside The Greek staggered out knock-kneed and exhausted. 'No more, no more . . .' he whimpered. So somewhat dejectedly I left for a fortifying breakfast of deep fried hamburgers, marshmallows and Hershey bars (the strict dietary regime at the ashram is all part of The Master's spiritual program.) My shirt was taken at the door of the breakfast room and searched for any cash I may have been concealing. I never saw the shirt again, but what are these things other than mere bagatelles? Although the other diners did complain my man boobs were putting them off their vittles.

Wednesday 10 August 2011



Let's face it boys and girls, when it comes to style some of us have it, some of us do not. I myself can look fabulous dressed in little more than custard and prunes while others spend a bomb on fancy-schmancy-how-do-you-do bespoke dresswear and still end up looking like a platter of boiled chum.
To hammer this point home I'm giving you a gift of a two page Henrich Schliemann cut-out and dress-up figure. Mr. S was the epitome of style, he could carry off any outfit, no matter how outlandish (as you will discover while rotating these bizarre permutations about his body.)
Try matching Mr. S (fig.1) with fig.2, fig.3 and fig.7 'et voila' he's all ready for a spot of heavy bondage.

Here's page two

Do enjoy yourself and if you have any suggestions about other outfits you would like to see Mr. S in please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I'll be happy to oblige.

Tuesday 9 August 2011


Lost all your lecture slides? Throw this one up on the screen and I guarantee those knuckle dragging soppy ha'porth students won't notice the difference.

And 'go neiri an bothar leat,' as we say on the moon.

Wednesday 3 August 2011


It is whispered among halitosis stricken farmers that the ancient monuments of Ireland are all joined by an elaborate series of underground tunnels. Let us uncork Newgrange's neolithic manhole and see exactly what is hidden beneath that suggestive grassy knoll . . .

Monday 1 August 2011


Hello chums. I had an insuperable holiday stateside. Pictured above is the Whitehouse in Washington. The real Whitehouse that is. The one you see in the news reports was carted off to China for scrap value last year. Inside, President Obama warmly welcomed me before rattling a tin cup and asking for some spare change. I stifled a grunt of laughter at this. 'Sorry my old flower,' I said, 'but you failed to detect my Irish accent. We're even more bare-arse busted than you.' Obama nodded and smiled in that charming way of his, then had security toss me out into the nearby excrement midden.
That's Mr. Weng on the left, a pig farmer from Beijing, he owns Texas.


My photo
I am a descended from a long line of conga dancers. I occasionally wear shoes. I gave up going to the toilet twenty years ago - it's a filthy habit. I have a pet bunny called Mucky - he's a filthy rabbit.