Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Great Escape



Do you know the scene in the Great Escape where Steve McQueen (Hilts) is on the motorbike and he is trying to get into Switzerland but the nasty Germans have huge fences of barbed wire in poor old Steve's way..you know the one..he jumps one bloody fence only to be confronted by another! Well each week I and thousands more like me engage in our own personal version of the Great Escape as we attempt to leave the Pale and head towards the our native county's.

But the comparisons between myself and Hilts 'The Cooler King' doesn't end there. Each Friday morning I sit down with my fellow escapees and discuss tactics for the weekly escape. Plans are discussed, strategies debated and routes planned as sausage rolls and tea are hastily consumed. The ruthless Dubs look on nonplussed, confident that their intricate system of roundabouts, one-way streets and traffic lights will deter any attempted flight for freedom.

Generally, each gang has one 'Big X', the Roger Bartlett of the group who has been in a civil service job since the maidens were dancing at De Valera's crossroads. His word is gospel and generally he advices caution…'stay away from the main routes..avoid confrontation…try the backroads…less chance of getting caught!'. Any young escapee would be wise to listen to the Big X, he has been doing this successfully for years…but the folly of youth ensures that many of the Pale's young captives fall headfirst into the dreaded traps.

You know the scene…the young soldier sits nervously in the train carriage as the SS man makes his way slowly checking all the passengers documents..the young soldier suddenly panics and tries to make a run for it…and with a simple nod of his head…a German cuts down the young escapee with a volley from his machine gun. How often I have witnessed this travesty as the young men and women of rural Ireland foolishly attempt to navigate the treachous canals and quays…..sometimes the foolhardy make it past these initial hazards only to enter the minefield of the M50 roundabout..sadly many have never passed that cement circle of death.

That’s not to say escape is foolish..oh no…some do make it…head down…speeding away from the Dublin motorway…just like Hilts as he speeds through the German meadows next to the Swiss border. Some fall into the hands of the ruthless SS and their deadly but infrequent speed checks…and others…make it..brushing past, riding their luck as they happily see Mulingar on the horizon. As they approach they notice something or someone familiar..a 96 Rover speeding along…the Big X ensconced inside laughing as he has yet again outfoxed those dastardly foes and escaped to victory!

4 comments:

Toss The Boss said...

It is quicker to fly to New York than drive home on a Friday evening.

Emmet said...

The important thing is that the Escape is Great, and worth while!

Any amount of bother is worth that first step out of the car, the rustle of hasty jacket application, the taste of sea spray and strong smell of seaweed as you walk towards the beach.

Or even the pleasent familliarness of the walk to the front door of home.

In saying that I wouldnt mind looking into the price of a helicopter between a couple of lads if I get back to Ireland..

What am I talking about actually, the trick, my friends, is to live in the Escape, death to the Dublin years. Young men and women of the Provinces-rebel against the Car Choked Capital, Letrim and Limerick are waiting!!

An Smuigin said...

All hail the wandering Limerick man...he speaks the truth..no mortal knows more about the virtues of the Escape then the Don of Newcastle West. Even Cromwell would have had second thoughts on Limerick if he had to lead his army from Dublin on a Friday evening!!...

The Special One said...

Firstly can i just say my heart bleeds for all those poor unfortunate souls who have to brave the two and a half hour journey from dublin to leitrim tucked up in their warm cars happily listening to matt cooper or the true favorite amongthe twenty somethings age group "Friday night eighties"
Picture the scene yours truely an intellectual young student stuck on a bus for the same lenght of time. Now i know what your thinking "what's he moaning about?". This bus is no ordinary bus it was spawned in the depths of hell or more commonly known as granard. For this bus is THE LONGFORD/ROSCOMMON BUS. Servicing two of the most backward bloddy towns on earth.Whether its the group of girls who despite all living together feel the need to disect their weeks drunken, sordid and often quite disturbing antics to each other (and the rest of us), or perhaps the girl with a laugh that would make you actually want the bus to crash if only to drown out the cakkle, or mayby the lads at the back who heckle and roar the quite willing bus driver. It's like a scene from fear and loathing in las vegas. Abu garib and camp x-ray are a cake walk compared to this weekly torture.So give me the hustlte and bussle of city traffic and matt cooper's miscivious meanderings anyday, allow me listen to how "we built this city on rock and roll" or "cama cama cama cama cama camillion". All i get is that flat mind numbing longford accent, now i know what brando meant in acopalyspe now "The Horror"