I’ve been asking myself whether something utterly outrageous can be so desperately serious that it turns into utter fun. Could I tell the uncut version of hospi-tales in the laughter lounge and become such a run-away success that it would bring in the €1.5m An Saol requires for its 3-year neuro rehabilitation pilot project? Would this be a more efficient use of my time than trying to get politicians to listen and act?

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There are stories I’ve been told, conversations I’ve had, phone calls I’ve received, situations I’ve lived through in the past years that you couldn’t make up if you wanted to. So off-scale and absurd that told out of context they could have people lying on the floor laughing their heads off.

Only that, of course, none of them are really funny. They are dead serious.

They are so dead serious that you wonder how there isn’t a huge outcry, headlines all over the papers, people ringing into their favourite radio stations, politicians calling for resignations and commissions of investigations, and investigative journalists doing what they do best.

They are so dead serious that it is inexplicable that they reflect ‘accepted’ every day practice in a civilised and prosperous society.

We really do need our heads examined.

PS: Pádraig once told me not to tell jokes. Ever. Not alone and, especially, not in his presence. Unless I wanted to really embarrass myself. Germans are just not funny, not in German, less in English. He was, no surprise here, right, of course. On the few occasions I’ve tried to tell jokes people kept looking at me in expectation of that punch line that had long been told. In this case, though, I wouldn’t try to tell jokes, I’d tell it how it is.