Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Public Grub

I have long known about Mario Rosenstock's Gift Grub but it is only in the past couple of years, since I've left Ireland again, ironically, that I've begun listening to it regularly. The quality sometimes lags, as it must on a show that is produced daily and its recent regular spot of Ben Dunne and Ronan Keating telling jokes that are, given their unedited American terminology, whiskery old specimens, smacks of a certain desperation. Then there its gentle mocking of Bertie Ahern, which is possibly the greatest boon to the old crook ever granted. Ahern is a consummate politician and is only too happy to be lampooned regularly on the airwaves, which makes his managing of his job appear all the more remarkable. To be sure, to be sure. Dermot Morgan would have been a lot more unforgiving and it is noteworthy that the last of Scrap Saturday should have coincided with the maiden broadcast of TodayFM's forerunner Radio Ireland on St. Patrick's Day 1997. And Bertie was Morgan's emerging butt of jokes at the time. Not as funny as Gift Grub but probably more damaging.

But anyway Rosenstock's impersonation and writing is fantastic and his satire of football is unequalled anywhere in the English-speaking world. Latest is his piss-take of the Irish football team getting lost on the way to San Marino, and having to be rescued by Roy Keane, who negotiates business class seats - in Cork-accented German - for the players, while leaving the sozzled FAI executive in 'der sheisse seats' where they belong. Along the way there is Robbie Keane asking Stan if he can use the Internet ('I promise not to go on Bebo'), Damien Duff aghast at the FAI blazers' herculean boozing and Bobby Robson fearing that the events depicted in the movie Alive might reproduce themselves among the boys in green. Brilliant in all five of its episodes. Those that have not heard it yet can download it for free from iTunes Ireland (under Podcasts). And it's best subscribing for the gems that come from time to time.

Meanwhile back at Merrion Square, the muppets at number 80, in a press release regarding ticketing for the first games at Croke Park, refer to visiting fans being accommodated on the 'North Terrace'. Come on lads, get those pokers from out of yer arses, repeat after me: 'Hill...six...teen...Rail...way...end'. Some day you might even have your own stadium whose north terrace you can christen the 'north terrace'.