Written February 2007
I met one of my big brothers on the side of the road yesterday. The side of the road is a great place to meet male Irish members of your family; generally, three on a Sunday morning's a good time, where they might be singing at the streetlights or arguing with shrubs. Not so with the Nearest Brother, who was on his way back from the shop instead. With a very stereotypical breakfast roll, though. Zing!
‘So, you got nominated for something, did you?’ he smirks.
‘Ooh, yes. Irish Blog Awards!’
‘When's that on?’
‘And where's it on. Abrakebabra?’ At which he nearly melted in his own comedic genius.
A barely adequate representation of how that made me feel
I've been considering recently, in a very half-arsed fashion, the notion of providing a brother for my daughter, just so she too can experience the joy in having something smelly following her around and showing her up in front of her friends. It's not going to happen, though, unless I find a brand new brother on the side of the road - I'm not about to go swelling myself up in the name of creating another life when the last one spent nine months with her toes jammed into my ribs. Besides, what is the point in brothers? It would be only me fulfilling my secret Irishus Mammius ambitions, where I would reject my daughter as being some sort of scheming harlot while her brother would be seen as a heady mix between Jesus Christ, Adonis, and Neven McGuire. I'm too young to go down that route yet. Besides, I have lots of nephews.
And having male cousins is so much better for my kid. I have male cousins and they've never caused me an ounce of trouble in their grubby little lives. Brothers, on the other hand . . . well, off the top of my head, my big brothers are responsible for . . .
Throwing one fella (who kindly saw fit to walk me home) over a wall
Telling me in graphic detail about their last injections
Slapping me behind the ears with fresh-out-of-boiling-water teaspoons
Stringing me along with heart-rending stories about miserable heroes, only to end them with a teeth-grindingly terrible pun
Demanding that I come down from the garden/my bedroom/school to reach their fags on the coffee table
Calling my bemused college friends ‘hippies’
Demanding that I come down from the garden/my bedroom/school to tidy away their Megadrive after a long gaming session
Making me walk to Supermacs for their curry chips when I had tonsilitis
Being great big smelly bastards who listen to Iron Maiden
So yeah, I'll be up at the Blog Awards on the 3rd of March next, and I look forward to meeting you all there, where we can do silvery laughs and make Wildean witticisms. But if I seem a little distant, do forgive. I'm thinking about how I might as well be in Abrakebabra, for all my brother cares, and I'm dying a little inside.