It certainly wasn't a word the poor aul pub landlords wanted to hear. Hit with smoking bans, grocery acts and drink driving clampdowns, statistics show that a rural pub closes in Ireland every SECOND.
Or something. And yet, I find it hard to feel sorry for the barmen, even the one's who pour a nice pint of Guinness (which are hen's teeth these days, to be fair). For the business savvy amongst them have brought in an element that guarantees business. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Saviour of Irish rural public houses, the pub DJ.
In come the spend-happy demographic of men in striped and boxed shirts they got on a 2-for-1 in Dunnes, sucking in their middle age spread as they dance with the middle aged girls in their sleeveless tops and "invisible" plastic bra straps that creep out from underneath to witness the debauchery (girls, you know we can see them yes?).
The pub DJ is one of them, slightly older, with a slightly larger middle aged spread hidden under a slightly larger boxshirt from Dunnes Stores. Yet in reality he is more than just "one of them" - he is their Pied Piper, leading them to drunken oblivion behind the console of his mothership of sound, his trusty chrome case open by his side, chocablock with "Greatest Hits."
The landlords know this is big business, and yet to quote Morrissey (the only time this blog will do so, promise) it is time to hang the DJ.
A radical thought that I'll allow to sink in for a moment, but it makes perfect sense.
We can rebuild him, we have the technology. And it'll be cheaper to boot.
Pubs could save thousands of euros a year if they follow this simple guide to pulling the punters without paying over the odds for an MC.
1. Argos do those multicoloured twirling light fixtures, ususally for less than what a pub DJ is paid in one night. Get one and kill all other lights so people can't see where the door out is.
2. Turn up the sound system normally reserved to broadcast George Hamilton's voice around the pub.
3. Burn a CD with the following tunes
- Dolly Parton 9 to 5
- Bryan Adams Summer of '69
- Bon Jovi Livin' On A Prayer
- Mundy The Galway Girl
- Journey Don't Stop Believin'
- Dexy's Midnight Runners Come On Eileen
- Anything from Grease.
- Tina Turner Simply The Best
- Rick Astley Never Gonna Give You Up
- A-Ha Take On Me
- Stealer's Wheel Stuck In The Middle With You
- The latest dance tune heard ad nauseum on 2fm's Lunchtime Request
- Any rehash of a trad song heard on Irish Clubland's latest compilation.
4. Hook a mic into the system, do "shout outs" and repeat the name of the song you've just played.
5. Make sure there is no atmosphere or refuge for anyone who chanced there local for a drink with friends. They'll spend too long talking and less time drinking or quenching their thirst.
Successful pubs aren't the one's with "character" you hear so much about - they're the ones where the desperate go in search of a wife/husband/grope/line.
If you're male customers don't have substantial sweat stains under their armpits, and your female patrons are in the toilets crying or telling a friend how "He's a dickhead anyway, yer better off"- then you're doing it wrong.
6. Come back and thank Doss Spot for saving your business. Or add your own suggestion. Eitherway I'm off to Carry Out for a 6 pack.