Paul Healy’s Week

Thursday/Friday

A secret recording of a top level Meteorological HQ meeting has been leaked to the media. The special meeting is believed to have taken place about four years ago, following some mutterings of discontent about the ‘outlook’ for all involved in weather forecasting…

Person A: I’m telling you, we’re not getting any media profile! Weather forecasting? We’re seen as dull, er, predictable! We’re losing market share!

Person B: It’s not about market share, we just need to talk about the weather!

Person A: Wrong! We need to COMPETE! There’s a 24-7 news cycle out there! We need drama, we need to be relevant, we need people to be interested!

Person B: Well we can’t change the weather! And we did introduce clever graphics! And we’ve begun to employ all those beautiful, charismatic people as weather presenters!

Person A: We have to do something even more radical!

Person B: You’re just obsessed with ratings! You keep going on about the need for change…at our last meeting, you had a face like thunder! (Muffled laughter from colleagues). At the best of times, you blow hot and cold! One moment you’re calm, then, like a bolt of lightning, you…

Person A: Look, everyone’s selling these days. Everyone’s image conscious, and the reality is that the meteorological industry is no different!

Person B: Well what do you suggest we do?

Person A: I have a plan! We talk up these storms that come from time to time…and we start issuing warnings to the public! We’ll do it by colours….different colours indicating different storm levels. We could go with yellow, amber and red…

Person B: Oh don’t be ridiculous!

Person A: Bear with me, I’m not finished! So, we’ll issue storm warnings – county by county, colour by colour – and, mark my words, we’ll be relevant then! We’ll lead every news bulletin!

Person B: Seriously? A colour scheme to warn the public about storms?

Person A: Yes! And more than that, we’ll name them. The storms! They’ll love it on Twitter! We’ll give each upcoming storm its own name. Like Storm Emma and Storm Ophelia and Storm Barra…

Person B: Yeah, right! Names for storms! OPHELIA!

Person A: Trust me, it will make us relevant again. We’ll be the talk of the country! The media will love it! I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s panic buying! I can almost visualise shops running out of bread! Please guys, buy into my four-year plan, and by 2022 I’ll have the meteorological industry sexier than anything! Honestly, if you go with me on this, there’ll be weather-related hashtags on social media, and footage of trampolines somersaulting over garden walls!

(Voice in background): The man’s losing the plot,

we should never have let Gerald Fleming go…

Saturday

Apology on behalf

of all GAA writers…

Over the last…let’s say seven years…we may have given readers/listeners/viewers/dogs in the street the impression that the Dublin senior football team of the current era was not only the greatest of all time but also utterly invincible and indeed a threat to the very future of the competitive credibility of the game. Specifically, we may from time to time have run headlines such as ‘Dublin to win TEN All-Irelands in a row’ ‘Super Dubs will never be beaten’ and ‘Please, let’s split Dublin in two immediately, preferably before midnight’.

  We now wish to acknowledge that this was erroneous and irresponsible reporting on our part and we are deeply sorry for any confusion or upset that may have been caused. Further, we wish to categorically state that not only are Dublin not invincible, they are actually well capable of losing three games in a row (just like everyone else). We further wish to clarify that under no circumstances should Dublin be split into two parts for Gaelic football purposes. We also wish to apologise for any inference in the past to the effect that Dublin GAA was in receipt of disproportionate financial support.    

  In summary, we want to sincerely apologise for all the misleading headlines in the past. We wish to clarify that Dublin GAA is in crisis, that it’s a disaster, and they might never win again. Sincere apologies if we ever gave any other impression. As a token of our remorse, and on humanitarian grounds, we have made a donation to Dublin GAA.

Saturday/Sunday

Ever since his underwhelming appearance on Claire Byrne Live’s recent Sinn Féin Special, controversial celebrity financial advisor Eddie Hobbs has been on the receiving end of considerable (almost entirely uncomplimentary) attention in the newspapers, and particularly on social media. Now I’d be vehemently opposed to group pile-ons against any individual or group, but Hobbs, suddenly playing the media game again, is fair game for balanced, reasoned and non-abusive criticism/commentary.

  An interview with Hobbs in today’s Sunday Independent – promoting his debut novel – suggests the ego is in fine working order. (Here’s one quote from Modesty Central: “I think I’ve put in a very good shift in getting a lot of things right on behalf of the Irish people”). Anyways, we have all been blessed with the ould ego, I suppose.

  This unexpected Hobbs Awareness Week brings me back to Saturday’s Irish Independent, where Fionnan Sheahan profiled Mr. Hobbs.

  “At the height of his powers” Fionnan writes…a phrase which stopped me in my tracks. (Height of his powers? Briefly I wondered if I was reading about Hobbs, or Hobbits). Fionnan went on to state that Hobbs is “known to be tetchy” – quite possibly a golden ‘pot calling the kettle black’ moment, given Sheahan’s never-to-be-forgotten (by me) rant some years ago against Vincent Browne (see YouTube)!

Monday

“I hate to see someone riding a bike with ‘no hands’” someone said – or maybe tweeted – recently. Well, the chap I saw today (in Roscommon town) was indeed cycling without using his hands on the handlebars of the bike. Just to be clear now, he wasn’t one of those showy lads who sits back very straight on the saddle, arms folded (a frightening look), or alternatively, hands arrogantly outstretched, like the wings of a bird. No, to be absolutely accurate, I must report that this ‘No hands’ cycling whizzkid was using his hands…to send a text on his mobile as he cycled.