Ghost Train Willy Sharon's Blog

Dirty Little Secret

The worst is meeting new people. Oh sure, everything’s fine at first, then someone utters those terrifying words ‘Let’s go get a smoothie’ and my world crumbles. I try my best to hide my panic but I know what’s coming next. In a haze of excitement everyone takes a few quick gulps, then the head holding and writhing in agony begins. I try to join in, I try to groan and move about like the rest of them but I swear I can see the contempt behind their eyes. They don’t believe me, and why should they, I’m a fraud. I don’t deserve to be in their company, me and my ‘special’ brain.

I remember the first time it happened, I was with my then boyfriend and he suggested we go get some ice cream. Everything was going wonderfully until he bowed down his head in what looked like pain. I wasn’t sure what was happening, should I call someone? Was he having some kind of seizure? Then he started laughing and I thought it was over, but it wasn’t. He gazed into my eyes, ’Haven’t you got it?’ My silence and the look on my face said it all. I’ve never seen anyone look so crushed ‘You don’t get it?’ he whimpered, and looked away in disgust.

Oh sure, he didn’t dump me straight away, we kept up the charade for a good couple of weeks after that, but things were never the same. I knew he saw me as someone who could never understand his suffering, someone he could never relate to.

And so it has been since then, a life of solitude and isolation, marked by futile attempts to come to terms with my condition.

My name is Sharon, and I’ve never got brain freeze.

Looking Back 

I’ve spent the last few years feeling mildly pleased with myself that I’ve managed to fulfil some of my life ambitions. I wanted to be an actress, so I moved to Dublin and made a living (-ish) at it. I wanted to find a good man, and apart from the times he gives out to me for ‘cutting the cheese crooked’ I more or less found one. I wanted to have good friends, a car and a roof over my head and within reason, everything seems to have worked out the way it should.

So imagine my smugness when recently I came across all my old copybooks from school.  If anything was going to copper fasten how well I had turned out, it was the reminder of what my dreams had been and how far I’d come.

I settled myself on the sofa, made myself a cup of tea and prepared to immerse myself fully in the joyous nostalgia that was sure to follow.

What I actually found myself immersed in was a pit of despair, as my 8 year old self pulled no punches in highlighting quite clearly how I had failed miserably. At everything.

Yes I wanted to be an actress but, and this is a direct quote “not just here in Ireland, that would be boring. I want to be a female Tom Hanks”. A female Tom Hanks? And there I was feeling smug because I once starred in Ros na Run.. (Series 2, Episode 3, Banaltra……. Anyone?)

There were also big dreams to be a ‘football manager and live in Manchester with my husband’. I can’t even explain the offside rule?

“I will work from 9 o’clock in the morning to half past nine in the night”.  I sometimes start my day at 10 and finish at 1?

“I will buy a little house for my husband and myself”. I not only don’t have a pot to piss in, I regularly allow my partner to buy me dinner?

She even had a retirement plan “When I am stiff and old I hope to be a shopkeeper. I will be kind to people and make sure they get the right change”. Evidently even as an 8 year old I had been scammed one too many times.

I’ve clearly let this indecisive feminist down. She and her road map for life are long gone. In her place is a 30- ish failure with new levels of self-doubt. And I can’t even blame someone else.

Thanks a bunch Sharon.


Dear Mr. Owner

Dear dog/cat/guinea pig owner,

I think you have every right to have a pet. I think you have every right to walk it, pat it, stroke it, cuddle it and F*** it for all I c… I mean love it for all I care.
I’m sure that your pet brings you lots of happiness and is loyal and protective and sensitive and possesses other such qualities far beyond the realms of my pitiful understanding.

But it is just that, your pet.
You may think it is the cutest thing in the world, but I don’t. You may think it playful when your pet jumps up and down on my clothes. You may indeed see it as a sign that ‘he likes me’ but I don’t. When I like someone I tend not to dribble on their face and paw and scratch them furiously leaving several strands of my body hair as I go (Well, not until a few dates in at least)

When I have children I want you to come to my house. If you are greeted by these kids frantically running around chasing their own backsides, smelling like a mixture of pig-shit and gone off Guinness and possibly trying to pee on you, you have my word that I will step in and save you and that I will then punish them accordingly (and get counselling for them as necessary) Even though it is sure to be a sign of them liking you.

I expect the same intervention next time I am accosted by ‘Fluffy’.

Yours faithfully,

A pet un – lover


The Prince and the……nobody?

Poor Prince Harry.

We’ve all been there, you’re in the prime of your pulling years, when your wingman goes off and hooks up with someone who everybody just looooooves. It’s the equivalent of being in Abrakebabra watching your best mate pull a muscly tanned Australian who’s in there by accident.
He must want to kill Kate. (Harry that is, not the Australian)

Not only has she stolen his best friend, she’s taken his brother off the market, leaving the family spotlight firmly shining on his head.  Which, let’s face it, shines brightly enough of its own accord.

Watching the Jubilee celebrations was heart-breaking. The poor ginge cut a lonely figure travelling around in ‘Will & Kate’s horse and carriage.  A carriage that is clearly meant to carry even number amounts of people.  What must they have talked about? ‘Don’t worry, you’ll find someone’, ‘Plenty of fish in the sea’, ‘Chelsea was a bit of a slapper anyway’.

It must be hard to keep up the charade. Yes he’s attractive in his own way, but they’ll never find another girl who’s willing to marry into that family. The wicked witch of the East as your mother-in law, children who will be able to pick up Sky digital with their ears, and a grandfather who would most definitely grope you at your wedding? Not exactly information you put on your profile.

One wonders what the Queen makes of all this. Surely there’s a German cousin somewhere that would take him? Hell, I’d nearly even take him myself. Let’s face it, he does have a bit of a Roscommon head on him, he’d fit right in.

Though my Mam trying out her ‘Diana was murdered’ theories on him mightn’t go down too well.
Never mind Harry, there’s always Coppers.


The Break-Up

Vaio and I have had a somewhat troubled relationship. Oh sure, it was magical in the beginning, we were doing things I’d never done before, he made me feel special and important, I was on cloud nine. I enjoyed showing him off to my friends, he was way cooler than any of their laptops and I could see the jealousy in their eyes. But somewhere along the way, Vaio became old and our relationship grew stale.

I didn’t want to acknowledge them, but the warning signs were there. First he became infected. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, I know he was as well. I spent a fortune sending him to the best clinics and doctors I could find, and for a while he was as good as new, but before long the cracks began to show and to be honest, it’s been downhill from there.

It takes ages to get him going. Turning him on used to be fun, now it’s a chore. We argue all the time, and I hate to say it but yes, I have hit him. I’m not proud of it, it’s only happened a handful of times and I feel terrible about it.

It’s painful to admit it but I’ve realised he’s not the laptop I want to spend the rest of my life with.

I felt guilty at first when Samsung came into my life. She’s petite, sharp, sexy, all the things Vaio isn’t. We clicked immediately. I know it was awful for Vaio, sitting there in the corner gathering dust while Samsung and I laughed hysterically at something we’d found,(really quickly I might add) on YouTube.
Sometimes I even considered trying again. Vaio and I had some good times, maybe it was worth giving him another shot? Then I’d remember how heavy and awkward he was when I tried to bring him on the bus and I realised it would never work.

So it is with a slightly heavy heart I move the cursor over ‘shut down’ one last time. He clings on to the bitter end, telling me he’s ‘configuring updates’ but I know he just doesn’t want to let go. I plead with him to not make this more painful for both of us until I realise I don’t have to put up with this shit anymore and I pull the battery out.

So long sucker.


Feeling Hot Hot Hot

So it seems we’re having a heat wave at the moment. I know it’s terribly un-PC of me to say so, but what’s the big deal? So it’s warm outside, so what? It’s also warm inside. And inside I can sit on my comfy cushioned sofa, not on a bird-shit stained spiky park bench. I know I know, think of all the Vitamin D I’m missing out on, but isn’t that what Avon more Super Milk is for?

It’s not joy, but envy I feel when I see pictures of bikini-clad teenagers on Dollymount Strand adorning the newspapers. Granted, a lot of that could be down to their ability to actually pull off a bikini, but mostly I envy their excitement at something that for me is about as exciting as a trip into town on the bus.

Plus there’s the uncertainty of it all.
Leaving the house for an entire day in an Irish heat wave involves many levels of stress. Should I bring a cardigan? An umbrella?  Wellies??  We’ve all been on one of those well-intentioned picnics in Stephens Green that turns into a tsunami-like wash out before you can say ‘pass me a strawberry’.

Of course you can’t admit any of this out loud, God no, they’d have you committed. Worse, they’d blame you personally the next time it started raining. ‘See, that’s your fault, you jinxed it’. Frankly I can’t handle the pressure. ‘Go on, get outside and enjoy yourself’ – Don’t these people know that Dr. Phil is on?

It’s something I could never share with most people, but the truth is, I actually like the rain. It’s spontaneous, it doesn’t expect anything of you and seeing other people dart around in it as if they’re being attacked by missiles gives me a sense of sadistic pleasure.

There I said it.

And nothing awful happened.

Feels good to get it off my chest.

Wait now, is that a bit of drizzle splodging on the window?



Party Line

I’m always a little curious about those late night chat lines. You know the ones, ‘Call the party line now’, ‘Genuine girls are standing by to take your call’ – as opposed to the fake ones who are just messing I suppose. More than anything I wonder do these lines really work in Ireland? I simply can’t imagine any sort of Irish conversation without a little preamble first..

‘How are ya gettin on?’
‘The weather’s very mild today’
‘It is surely’
‘Now what are you wearing…’
And so on.

Also, if the ads are to be believed, these girls are not only genuine, they’re ‘genuinely Irish’. Oh yeah? I’m not convinced. These leggy sex-bombs look positively un-Irish to me. There are no freckles. There is no extra duvet to shield from the cold. And giveaway of giveaways, the lingerie is not from Penny’s.

Incidentally, have you heard the urban legend about the Chinese girl who came over here to learn English and for months thought that ‘Penny’s’ meant ‘Thank you’? She observed that every time someone would complement an Irish girl on her outfit, the girl would go ‘Oh, penny’s’.

I digress.

If we are to give artistic license here and accept that these girls are in fact Irish, having that fact as the USP (that’s unique selling point to those of you who don’t watch The Apprentice) quite frankly baffles me. Not because Irish girls aren’t attractive, far from it, but if we’re talking in terms of fantasy here, wouldn’t you rather push the boat out and converse with Maria from Madrid rather than Mary from Mullingar? One would imagine a sex line with only Irish girls would work best in Dubai or Saudi Arabia or somewhere else where we might be considered exotic?

In short, I don’t get it. But then who am I to question what rocks one person’s boat over another, and who am I to accuse anyone of having inadequate fantasies? Surely the very nature of a fantasy is that it’s a little odd and strange.

There is one final issue I can’t let go of so easily though. The blatant overuse of the number ’69’. Aren’t any other numbers deemed sexy enough? How about ’23?’ a number I’ve always found pretty hot, or ’18’…Mmmmm, or ’42’…Hubba hubba….Ahem….excuse me…I think I need to be alone with my numbers now.

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