I am not long in from the pub. Just after enjoying a few pints of the black stuff with me ould man. Whimsies were spun, slashes were enjoyed, and a general malaise suffocated each customer. As only it can it the true 'local' of the aged. This being Clare and these being locals, hurling inevitably dominated conversational proceedings towards the night's end... Considine should leave... Limerick shouldn't be underestimated... Cork are a class act all the same...
I am, at best, a fair weather Clare GAA supporter. Yet I decided I would fully engage these jovial souses on the topic. After all, I played much Gaelic football and hurling as a wee lad...
I lasted a mere five minutes before the boredom crippled me. In such conversation, cliché is to be expected. It is even to be enjoyed. Even more so in this case, seeing as the GAA has spawned its own intricate crop of benevolent lies. But something snapped inside of me tonight. The clichés had to be challenged.
Of course, it was a fool's errand. Immediately doomed to failure. But here are some valiant soundbites (as best as I can remember them):
"Ah, a seven point lead is nothing in hurling young lad."
"No. It's a seven point lead."
"What do you mean?"
"When I see those lads out on the pitch, giving their absolute all for our entertainment, and not a lad among them getting paid for a single minute of it..."
"Well, it's an amateur sport. They know they're not getting paid. It's a conscious decision like."
"... And you see those assholes over in England, messing around in the Premiership. Boring us to tears, and they're getting €200,000 a week for the privilege. Makes me sick."
"Well, they're professionals. And you don't have to watch soccer if it bores you. Also a conscious decision."
"Croke Park is by far the most impressive stadium in Europe. Nothing comes close."
"Really? Have you been in the Nou Camp?"
"Did you see The Sunday Game last week?"
"No, I was reading actually."
"Reading eh? And what were you reading?"
"Well, George Orwell's 1984. For some reason the mindless chatter of the proles comes to mind..."
Ok. I made that last one up.
Now, some amongst you may feel compelled to defend the grace and honour of the GAA cliché and of Hurling - The Greatest Field Game On Earth (According To The Irish, Who Inhabit The Only Country In Which The Game Is Played) TM... And please do so... But I ask of you only this: Be articulate.
Leave your clichés and porter bellies at the door.