And the top o’ the mornin’ to you …
I’m on again about the Irish, as fine an example of spin doctoring, or blarney, as I’ve come across in a decade.
It’s also the 17th of March I pen this, and a far better day it is to remember than the Ides of March, which are also upon us. Not the Shakespearean Ides. The Tax-Ides!
I refer to the infamous Mandarin-Leftover-Tax-Spending-Ides. They’re clearly illustrated in the English classic of political buffoonery, the Yes PM book, and the TV show it spawned.
“The government is accused,” Yes PM chronicles said, “of lack of foresight. How can this be so when one department has stocked up with a thousand years’ supply of filing tabs and another has stockpiled a millions boxes of paper clips.”
Such events are said to occur ritually nationwide in the final days of any government’s fiscal year. Frugal fiscal managers, the good-for-taxpayers people, are fiscally downtrodden.
Leftover tax dollars, surely a good thing, will be cut from the managers’ next years budget if not spent, ergo a tax spending spree as illustrated.
I live in hope that one day the rites of spring will include banishment of such Tax-Ides practices to the realm of Irish blarney, though they aren’t there yet according to the ‘net.
Although ‘tis risky it is, for it is told they who have kissed the stone are henceforth endowed with the ability to tell a man to go to hell in such a way, he’ll look forward to the trip. Ah, well, if mandarins kiss the stone, our journeys will be more enjoyable.
Ah sure, haven’t they, the Irish, with a smooth bit of blarney, turned a crumbling relic of a castle into a money-font? Bypassing Blarney Castle, for travellers on the Isle, is like giving up a winning ticket on Lotto 649, and who is about to do that?
So here it is, from Steve, an irresistible example of language, reminding me of a sugar-coated pretzel. It cried out to be shared. It suggests, and herein I begin an urban legend, that somewhere on this giant continent we have our own blarney, or spin-doctor, stone.
Since we’re not into kissing stones in the care of leprechauns or other delightful little people, perhaps it’s those elusive sasquatches who hold the spin-doctor power stone?
Steve’s e-mail is titled Remus Rodham, Point of View.
“Judy Wallman, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Hillary Clinton’s great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.
“The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows,” Wallman wrote. “On the back of the picture is this inscription: ‘Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.’
“Judy apparently e-mailed Hillary Clinton for comments. Hillary’s staff of professional image adjusters sent back the following biographical sketch:
“‘Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad.
“‘Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency.
“’In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.’”
So history books, especially, will have large yellow “read with caution” upon them, perhaps?
Beware of one who flatters unduly; he will also censure unjustly. (Arabian Proverb)
A tip of the hat to Judy Wallman, the storyteller, and my friend Steve. Thanks for such a classic example of North American blarney.
May you be spared the disappointment we had upon receipt of an Easter card which reminded us: “After long, and significant, government studies, nine leading scientists have published a revelation. They have proven rabbits cannot lay eggs, chocolate or otherwise, but have a Happy Easter anyway!”