Checking the post in the morning is always an exciting moment of my day. If a package I’ve ordered has arrived I can fool myself into believing it’s my birthday – even if I paid for it myself. Of course these days the mail is polluted with referendum literature. Try as I might I find my interest wavering after the second sentence and the booklets invariably find their way quickly to the recycling bin. Of course I never mention this when I complain later that we don’t know enough about this damn austerity/stability treaty.
Anyway a couple of days ago I was overjoyed to find a letter addressed to little old me and tore it open with unbridled excitement only to discover it was an invitation to a ‘Group Engagement Session’. It was from the Social Welfare Department and they cunningly followed up the word ‘invitation’ with a string of straight forward threats. If I didn’t attend I’d be forced to declare bankruptcy and locked in a room for a week with 2Unlimited played at speaker-busting volume.
Instantly I had images of ending up betroth to a random Kerry job seeker and wondered why we were being required to get engaged en masse. Shouldn’t my Very Own Newfoundlander be invited too? Before I let myself getting carried away with the idea of an engagement party, instead, I worried about what to wear and then became distracted by something shiny and promptly forgot about it until yesterday morning when I set off to find the venue.
As I walked through the doors I began worrying that it was going to be like Pauline’s sessions in The League of Gentlemen and we’d be divided into the occupational groups of Bramble Pickers and Babysitters. I’d have to ensure no matter what that I’d be chosen to join the pickers side as I have very little patience for screaming kids.
Instead of Pauline and her pens we had a stereotypical Kerryman with an impenetrable accent going through information that I had already received many times before. He informed us of our options to start our own business. But it has to be realistic he warned. You won’t be allowed set up a company offering helicopter rides of North Kerry. You’d be bust in a week – nobody can afford these sort of luxuries these days.
And just like that, without ever knowing before, it became blatantly clear that this is exactly what I wanted to do all my life. What’s not to love about helicopters? They’ve got to be easier to park than cars and there’s hardly ever a traffic jam up there! Mine would be a sturdy but sleek shiny green specimen with an alternating black and grey border. I ran through some possible names – Conor’s Copters – Air Borne Identity – Sky Sports. Legal issues surrounding names aside there would be no way this could fail. How on earth could this man dash my brand new life dream – literally before it even began?
In a full on excitable daydream I looked up from my doodles of helicopters to notice that people were leaving and the session was over. Not one wedding had been planned, although we were ‘invited’ to a one-on-one meeting next week, presumably to hone the marriage arrangements.
I’ll bring up my helicopter business idea then I decided. I have a week to perfect it. All I need to do is devise a business plan, obtain a helicopter pilot licence, overcome a mild fear of heights and change this egregious economy so people can again afford ‘these sorts of luxuries’.
Now, does that mean I should vote yes or no I wonder. Will the third sentence in that booklet make things clear? The recycling bin it is!