Hound grog day.
napping at the heels of drinkers, cutting down on the sale and consumption of alcohol.
Out by midnight. And no “big” corporate Christmas events.
Another terse TV announcement by the near-teetotal Taoiseach.
He doesn’t do it for the fun of it, walking down those stairs at Government Buildings with the folder he doesn’t use.
It’s the walk of shame – for us, because some of us may have partied. Or clubbed. Or been in someone’s house.
So once more it’s serious – and more cert-show-us than ever.
You’ll need to display your personal black box more widely – in case of disaster to yourself and others.
Covid passes and no-go nightclubs (instead of go-go dancing).
It means you won’t be able to get in to see a play without a bit of drama.
And accessing the cinema will mean showing your very own censor’s notice before you even glimpse the big screen.
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You could go for alternative entertainment, but gazing in the window of a beauty salon or gym will get you arrested.
The no-fun notice was nationally narrated on telly by An Grinch, Micheál Martin, the Taoiseach who is still thinking about stealing Christmas parties.
“This gives us no pleasure at all,” he said at a later press conference. It’s all about protecting the health service.
He represents the party that slashed hospital bed numbers in 1987, from which the country has never recovered. But forgive and forget, eh?
And now he just may borrow an old FF phrase and “burst up the party” – but that’s for another day’s descent of the posh stairs.
He noted, however, that he had learned of “large corporate entities” that had cancelled events in recent days, and that was “sensible”.
So it’s not looking good for the party your employer will wisely not yet have even begun to plan to mark the festive season.
Another blow to hospitality and hounding of the grog-fond among us. .
Micheál may not have completely run up the white mistletoe, but you can expect to wake up in your own bed again this year.
All bars, pubs, clubs and hubs will have to close at midnight.
The Cinderella rule will likely result in a resumption of raucous house parties, to the annoyance of neighbours.
We’ll be back to gardaí knocking on the door and being invited in for a beer by drunken revellers.
Later, at the press conference, Heather Humphreys stood in for Leo Varadkar, who wisely kept away from the congregation of bad news.
He was overseas, on an Enterprise Ireland gig, and not, you know, attending any actual gig.
Heather announced confidently: “93pc of the adult population is fully vaccinated.”
This is, of course, apart from the booster you’ll need to be, um, actually fully vaccinated.
The Taoiseach opined: “It remains to be seen if these measures will be sufficient to hold back the tide of infection.
“We’re not ruling out any further measures. Nphet may come back at any particular time.”
And does anyone else feel that there’s something vaguely totalitarian about the very word “socialisation”?
We call it socialising, in this country where we do like to socialise.
Micheál spits it out like a Fox News host warning about creeping communism.
The Taoiseach was asked, predictably, if he had confidence in the Minister for Health. And the HSE. And NIAC. And Stephen Kenny.
Actually probably not the last guy.
Work from home. Home from work. And don’t mind the frankly disgusted face on the cat.