Emblems and acres
Did you get the email I forwarded on from the deals website?
I know you don’t think we should be getting each other gifts before we’ve even been on our fourth date, but Valentine’s Day has its rules: a guy has to get his special lady something.
Jewellery? Too much too early, I reckoned... am I wrong?
Would flowers delivered to work have coloured your cheeks in a blooming blush?
I settled on this deal because I felt it was a signal I was ready for the next step in our relationship.
I bought one for myself as well so we could go together”
I don’t have any of the conditions mentioned as I get myself regularly checked, but it’s only fair that you get some piece of mind on the issue too.
I know what you’re thinking! We both get negative test results and I’m going to think that’s a signal for us to hop into the sack together.
That couldn’t be further from my mind!
If I was looking for some sort of casual fling I would almost certainly use one of the modern apps that young people are going on about these days.
Or I’d sent you this as a gift: https://www.groupon.ie/deals/gg-groupon-goods-global-gmb-h-746-235?p=6&nlp=&CID=IE_CRM_1_0_0_259&a=1676&utm_source=channel_goods&utm_medium=email&sid=19200ef8-5964-4d51-8ae7-20a2966208cc&division=national-deals&uh=51890bb3-92c7-4105-afbf-d77e8616ec02&date=20151609&sender=rm&s=body&c=link&d=deal-page&utm_campaign=gg-groupon-goods-global-gmb-h-746-235-73358291
I assure you that our visit to the clinic in no way means I am expecting sex on our next, or even subsequnt two dates.
But if we are both happy to reveal we are clean as a whistle in the swimsuit area at least we can consider moving on to the next agenda in our burgeoning friendship.
A parcel of land
“Own land in the beautiful, timeless Irish countryside and receive stunning land ownership documents and photographs. This is the perfect gift for those who have dreamed of visiting or owning land in Ireland, perhaps from historical family connections, or simply a love of the rich natural and cultural diversity of the Emerald Isle. Each plot is one square foot in size.”
When I opened the envelope I didn’t even know what it was at first.
“What the fuck is this?” I asked Jo.
“You now own a bit of Ireland!” she said in her 'Ta-da!' voice.
Now I won’t say I wasn’t immediately impressed by the high quality parchment paper the Personalised Certificate of Ownership was printed on. But what the fuck had she just said?
Yes, the gold foil detailing would, I imagined, look good if I decided to frame the certificate and display it as an interesting conversation piece, but what had entered Jo’s mind to let her think this was a suitable birthday gift.
I’d had stars, the most powerful source of energy in a solar system, named after me and here she was fobbing me off on what, a parcel of dirt, possibly dust?
Two photographs slipped to the floor and as Jo bent over to pick them up I couldn’t help thinking I should kick her in the head.
Then I noticed the photos were good quality prints and suitable for framing too.
Then this thought entered my head: would Landowners be encouraged to visit their land, in the heart of Ireland?
They would, said the small slip of paper with a faint shamrock background.
But would it be accessible and, at that, easily accessible?
I had to read down through my Personalised Deed of Assurance before I found out they would be. The deed fully outlined my responsibilities as an owner and rules that must be adhered to if I chose to visit my plot. I noticed as I read, that it was also printed on high quality parchment paper that was definitely suitable for framing alongside the certificate of ownership, if I wished.
I slumped into an armchair, a little overcome by the sudden shift in my circumstances.
In one fist I held the two photos of my land (it was grassy, and seemed to be located in a field) and in the other was my deed.
There it was in black and white, my individual plot number and an individual certificate number.
I started crying and Jo began to apologise for her crappy gift but what she didn’t know was I had begun to appreciate it, but couldn't tell her through my blubbering.
I was thinking about granddad, who had always wanted to return to the old country, but never had, because he said he hated everybody there.
If only he hadn’t been cremated we could dig up his coffin, ship him home and bury him feet first, as I doubted there would be enough room in a square foot to plant him horizontally.
In bed that night, I dreamed I was already in Roscommon, tramping my way over somewhat too-rocky for my liking soil, attempting to traverse the allocated rights-of-way as I scanned the grid maps attached to the deed (which I had yet to frame).
I suddenly veered offgrid and took three goosesteps in front of me, swivelled right and made two baby steps and stopped.
Granddad might as well have reached his arms out of the earth and gripped my wellingtons because I immediately knew this was the spot.
Underfoot, the grass was nondescript, but as I gazed ahead I noticed the most beautiful vale I’d ever seen, barring pictures in magazines and on various websites.
Then I noticed the bull, about 15 feet away. If bulls can look any other way than angry, this one didn’t know how, but my wellies were rooted to the ground just as if someone much stronger than my dead grandpa was tugging them down.
Before I had time to even wonder why I wasn’t running, this bird flew down and landed right between the bull’s horns.
He opened his beak and squawked: “Go home Yank! Go home Yank!”
The bird was talking to me and somehow he knew I was American! Perhaps it was my clothing (North Face and Nike).
I did the only thing I could think of and looked at the sheet of paper I held in front of me and began reading the terms and conditions associated with the entitlement to my plot.
They slowly backed away and I think, but I’m not sure, this was what was happening just before I woke up.
I wouldn’t have thought a single thing more about that dream if hadn’t discovered as I swung my legs out of bed that the wellingtons I had gone to bed in were covered in muck. It hadn’t been a dream at all.