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The piss-take should be funny

Autumn 2009, Cork Ireland —

I worked briefly at an unnamed wholesale bakery in Blackpool, metropolitan Cork City. It was one of those jobs that could not have lasted long.

One evening I asked Paul if I could get a 20-euro "sub," or advance on my pay.

He said "no."

I said "okay."

He was incredulous that I'd taken him seriously. I told him that I don't really understand piss-taking and sarcasm.

But the truth is it just wasn't funny. And what do you do when you're not exactly sure whether or not somebody is being serious, and what they're saying isn't funny?

I take it seriously, that's what I do.