While meandering from my house to the shops yesterday I came across the election poster shown on the left. It gave me a fairly nasty turn, I can tell ye without a word of a lie. If only because thinking about poor Ted nearly had me incurring injuries of me own in a clash with a particularly poorly hung Enda Kenny street poster dangling from the next lamp-post along.
Apart from the fact the good lady doctor looks like she's recently lost a pair of ruby slippers and lives in a gingerbread cottage with its own fully fitted, child-sized spit-roast, Teddy Bears in the hands of politicians always induce a profound feeling of nausea in me. It makes me think that some kind of vaguely paedophilic grooming process is about to commence, if it hasn't already.
Be-bandaged Teddy Bears make me feel, if anything, sicker still. I spent a lot of time in hospital as a young child (I know, it shows) and, in a bizarrely Proustian way, the sight of a bandaged bear still conjures up the sounds and smells of a children's surgical ward for me: The tears, the moans and cries and the strange smells of ether, disinfectant and hospital soap (the brown kind that if it got in your eyes would give you a foretaste of purgatory), and that was just the nurses.
But I digress. Back to the politics. Despite the fact that she's standing in the Dublin South Central, the interesting thing about Nanny Og's campaign is that if she's elected, she has no plans whatsoever to save the current children's hospital. What she seems to want, if you can get past the peculiarly clipped and stilted style of her webspeak, is a wholly new edifice somewhere out beside the M50. Great. A new hospital has to be better than a re-jigged Victorian one, but out beyond the M50? Impossible to get to unless you have a car and even then you'd be faster on foot during the day. Is she going to pay for the helicopters to ferry emergencies in? I think not. And anyway, who in their right mind would put a children's hospital in a part of the county where they still eat their young, for God's sake. Think it though, Rosie, think it through!
Given her campaign, the kind witch of the South might at least be excused for throwing in the odd ursine Edward, but what's that man Callely up to in North Dublin?
Having already crossed swords with Standards Authority over sticking his ugly mug over the Operation Noflow traffic posters back in the day, the lad who put the wheels under the Department of Transport has now employed marauding gangs of men disguised as teddies to loiter around the gates of schools on deh Nortside accosting the young ones as they emerge from another stressful day in the murder machine.
One mother Damaris O'Brien, from Killester, expressing her distress at the canvassing of her four year old daughter fresh from junior infants said :
Who the hell are these people in bear suits? I mean you just don't know who people are anymore and you hear all these horror stories about kids.Indeed you don't, Damaris, indeed you don't. Especially when they've got a big false Teddy head hiding their ugly gobs. But rest assured. Old Ivor didn't get where he is today by just letting anyone pull on a Teddy outfit and go off about the streets scaring the little ones on his behalf. He'll have thought it through like almost every other decision in his political life. Those boys'd be screened and trained to within an inch of their lives, so they would. And other canvassers better watch out too. Try to stop them sticking a Callely No1 sticker on a rising 5 and they'll have you maimed and gutted faster than a grizzly can empty a camp full of Canadian backpackers.
Anyway, I have to get back to my latest job writing election promises for the highest bidder. My latest is to offer a free SSIA with every new hospital bed. Any takers?