25 Things

I found this hidden on my facebook page, and decided to dust off the cobwebs and repost it here.  This was written in January 2009, back in the days when you didn’t have to pay The Facebook Corporation when you wanted to share thoughts online with your friends.  It was the result of the only illuminating chain post ever – 25 things.
Enjoy!
T

“I want everyone to know that I’m not in the least bit fooled by all of this superstition business. I’m only doing this out of courtesy… I feel guilty knowing all of this crazy shit about people and keeping quiet about my 25 random things. I’m not tagging anyone but the people who were nice (or bored) enough to send me theirs! 
I just hope this isn’t mind-numbingly boring for you all…”

  1. Of my grandparents, I’ve only known my maternal grandmother.  My maternal grandfather met me briefly though.  He sang and acted in the theatre, so it would’ve been nice to have known him better.
  2. I was once in the middle of a weird stand-off moment between Reg Presley from The Troggs and Paul Jones from Manfred Mann. Paul’s an evangelical Christian and Reg believes in crop circles and aliens. They’re not entirely compatible.
  3. I once watched a World Cup match with Daniel O’Donnell. Yes, there WAS a sweater around his shoulders. There were other people there too.
  4. Every time I play football (or “soccer” for the Americans!), the big toe on my right foot bleeds. It doesn’t hurt, but it stains my sock.  [2012 update : This stopped happening eventually.  New boots stopped removing my toenail mid-game.]
  5. One of the weirdest drives I’ve ever made was from Dublin to Kenmare on a beautiful clear night while I was in college. I had to stop on the road between Killarney to Kenmare, which winds on for miles and miles through amazing scenery, in order to wake-up and physically push the sheep off the road. They wouldn’t budge. Big woolly boulders in the middle of a tiny boreen. Thugs!
  6. I have never broken a bone in my body, which is miraculous considering the stupid things I’ve done.
  7. I learned how to walk at about 3 years of age. Until then, I realised that rolling was by far the quickest way to get around, and used it to devastating effect. I could also climb out the window before I was 1. I don’t know how that works either.
  8. My parents, in an effort to get more than 1 hour of sleep, eventually nailed the sides closed, and nailed a lid down onto my cot. Not to be outdone, and inspired by the WWII prisoners at Colditz, I decided to tunnel out, by pulling back the mattress and mesh wire bottom, wedging myself into the gap and wriggling until I hit the ground head-first.
  9. The prison theme continued into the garden, where in an effort to avoid the early death of their first-born, my parents surrounded my play-area with very tall chicken wire fencing.
  10. At three years old, incensed at being sent to bed at 10pm, while the sun was still shining outside and there was clearly valuable playtime left, I jumped out my bedroom window to avoid the sentry near my door. I missed the corner of the steel oil tank by centimetres, and didn’t quite expect the force of the fall. My heels dug into my backside, leaving me quite sore, but grand. The “tuck and roll” technique has its flaws. I was aided by my superman t-shirt, which had a nice blue cape. If it weren’t for that cape…
  11. I haven’t chosen an epitaph yet, but I think it’ll be hard to beat Spike Milligan’s, “Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite!”, which is Irish for, “I told you I was ill.”
  12. Hairiest moment while driving – when the gearstick came off in my hand, mid-corner, leaving me in fourth gear – which is not the nicest gear to be stuck in. It’s very disconcerting when it happens, by the by.
  13. Most accomplished moment while driving…  Coasting from the Swiss Alps towards Turin with the fuel reserve light on, in the middle of the night, because the Swiss petrol stations in the ski resorts were not open 24hrs and didn’t take our French debit cards. The Mont Blanc tunnel was still closed due to the fire a year earlier, so we tried to cross the mountains… but the mountain roads had snowed over, so we had no option but to turn back to Italy.
  14. I’m a mine of entirely useless information, like Michael Caine, but with a more realistic Cockney accent.
  15. I have an addictive personality… tinged with a bit of OCD. Hence my fear of computer games and gambling.
  16. I’ve played shows in French and broken, nay, shattered German. Not the songs themselves, just the banter… (It’s really hard to sing “Elphinbine Herz”).
  17. Strangely, I’ve had more problems with my name in Ireland than anywhere else. Bloody Paddys!
  18. I’m a Virgo. I don’t believe in horoscopes, but I’m apparently typical of Virgos. I’m obsessive about details, and I over-think everything… including this sentence.
  19. My first concert was The Big Day Out in Galway (the Wescht of Ireland) in 1996. The line-up included The Divine Comedy, The Cardigans, Nenah Cherry (I can’t remember if Youssou N’dour was there with her), The Bluetones, Ron Sexsmith and Radiohead. Donal Dineen DJ’ed in between acts (I distinctly remember a euphoric “I want to hold your hand”.) If there was ever a doubt before, I was totally lost to music from this point on. I took the three hour bus journey alone too, which I’m proud of. I later discovered that one of my future best friends was at the same gig. I’ve a sneaking suspicion Ash played too, but I’ve no evidence of that whatsoever.
  20. Anyone who tries to tell me that my University years were the best of my life, automatically gets filed into the “blithering idiot” sector of my brain. I spent hours every week learning how to prove conclusively that 1 is equal to 1, without the aid of narcotics. It was not fun.
  21. I feel really guilty going to areas where I don’t know how to say at least a few poorly pronounced words in the local language.
  22. I’m an idiot, but I think the fact that I know I’m an idiot makes it less of an issue. Although maybe that’s just me being really idiotic.
  23. Mick and Kev from The Guggenheim Grotto dubbed me “The Singing Duvet”, and I think it’s the best description I’ve heard thus far. Thanks lads! (Most common names include : Tiger, Tigger, Der Teig, Todger, Taj, The Long Fella, and Ya Lanky Streak of Piss… no, that last one’s not one I use myself.)
  24. Good music sessions, after gigs or at friend’s houses, is one of the most amazing experiences you can have. It’s a shame that more people don’t get to witness them.
  25. I believe that there’s more than one true love out there. I know I’ve missed one already, so if I ceased to believe in that, I’d be forced to combust right here in front of your eyes.

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