Home page


St Dympna's hospital

The Minister for Health

Working in the EU

The "Rock of Limerick"

Spring 2003, Ireland —

We met the Waterford boys en route from Kilkenny to some unspecified cleaning job in Limerick.

Ratboy was a supervisor, down in Waterford, and on these jobs together he supervised us. This tended to give us more freedom, since there was always Ratboy's supervision upon which to lay our sins. We really only took the piss out of Ratboy once, with a two-hour lunch hour in Cashel. We went to see the Rock of Cashel. That's not normal. Normally the smoke breaks came often enough and the days finished soon enough that it was not necessary or desirable to mess with it. And besides, Ratboy is cool. He's a good soul, under that vicious little heavy-metal xenophobe sense of humor.

We stopped in some little town at Ratboy's insistence — he'd called several times to make sure we'd meet there. So we stopped. We smoked a joint and talked for a while. Everybody got whatever crap they needed from the little convenience store and we were ready to get to work.

We went to the revenue office, aside the river Shannon in downtown Limerick. Ratboy gave us each a small vacuum-cleaner. A hoover, as it's called.

Up a couple of flights, and Ratboy sent myself and Gary into a big, open office space. We were to clean the shades with the vacuum-cleaners. There were people sitting at the desks. They were working. I was puzzled, then irritated. That was it, though; we were to hoover the shades, people or no people. If you have to stand on the desk, go ahead.

I had to stand on two desks and one printer table, and to excuse myself frequently, squeezing into many tight spaces and moving people's material around. Nobody said anything about it. I would have wondered why it had to be done during office hours. I would have said something. But nobody said anything. They just >went about working on people's taxes. Not a bother.

During lunch, Gary and I made our traditional escape from Ratboy and E_. I think we just sat in the car, and ate, smoked, talked, and listened to the radio. Gary suggested we tell Ratboy that we went to see the Rock of Limerick. We forgot, though.

There's no Rock of Limerick. There is a nice castle, though.