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Recessional reverberations

Now that the recession is in full swing, the response has been like a domino effect. From Fair City to Ben Dunne we chart our top ten favourite recessional reactions.

1 Tesco slashes prices. Not on everything of course. But what does it matter if the cost of chicken is rising by the day when you can now buy a tin of flavoured tuna for around 72 cent? Although we prefer Superquinn’s more imaginative take on these poverty-striken times – it’s very hard to resist the draw of a 1970s sale, where you can get good quality toilet rolls for a mere €1.

2 Ben Dunne sells his helicopter. It’s not quite what the rest of us would be doing in a bid to cut costs, but we appreciate the former supermarket boss’s show of solidarity.

3 Society gets an extra class – the ‘new poor’. Unlike the nouveau rich, who are all a pack of chavs, the new poor are actually PRAVs – Proud Realisers of Added Value. Respectable citizens like you and me, they are tightening their belts in anticipation of the murkier months ahead – they bring a packed lunch to work and instead of going out for dinner at the weekend it’s cheap wine and pizza parties at home.

4 Fair City downsizes. Now this isn’t immediately obvious but if you think about it, some of the cast is on the missing list. Rita has become a faceless entity behind a closed door, an invisible presence that merely rings a bell. Then she fell over and all we got to see was her ankle, which was probably the cameraman’s. It makes for strange viewing of course, but it saves RTE at least one pay packet. Something similar seems to be going on at The Clinic, where the lead character has just been killed off.

5 Irish Rail holds a sale! Yes, we could not believe it either, but our national train provider decided to lure customers by selling tickets via its website at a reduced price. There are terms and conditions naturally – for example you can only get the cheap seats from Monday to Thursday – but still, it’s a welcome move from an organisation that’s been ripping folk off for years. Meanwhile, nothing lasts forever and no sooner had the ‘sale’ begun when the new lower priced tickets went up a couple of euro again.

6 The weather sympathises. Just as the last few months have been doom and gloom central, so too has the climate. ‘Twas a stormy summer in all senses of the word, and as we head towards the winter the clouds are only set to get darker.

7 Home-waking makes a comeback. OK, we don’t know this for a fact but anecdotal evidence suggests that when a death occurs, waking the deceased in the family home is back in fashion. Is this ’cause it’s cheaper?

8 Job snobbery disappears. The boom years saw Irish folk live in an employees’ paradise. Everyone followed their chosen career path, moving and shaking to the tune of rising salaries. Not anymore. With redundancies no longer a myth, the notion of temping or waiting tables is becoming more and more of a viable option for those Celtic cubs who need to pay the rent or mortgage.

9 Social networking sites’ popularity soars. If we can’t go out as much anymore we can still afford the broadband connection for the laptops we bought when we did have money. Socialising online via Facebook from the comfort of one’s couch isn’t the worst thing in the world you know – it beats being totally cut off from civilisation. And ’tis cheap too.

10 A new dictionary is invented. Well, it hasn’t been published yet – but the idea of a recessional wordbook has got potential. From ‘belt tightening’ to ‘credit crunching’ to ‘economic slowdown’, we’re witnessing the birth of a whole new type of language. And just as ‘rip-off Ireland’ was a part of the ‘Celtic Tiger’, someone (probably George Lee) is bound to come up with a label soon for the current era of desperation – the ‘newcession’ maybe?


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