Irish Novelists, Poets Go On Strike

Sources described as 'tense' a meeting between SNUB
representatives and the government yesterday

SNUB (Struggling Novelists Unite Because...), the union representing the nation's blocked writers is threatening all-out industrial action if the government does not up their dole immediately.

"I get my weekly book advance from my publishers on Sherriff Street every Thursday," Sean O'hUanrachaiin-MacOgach-Byrne told the Gerald today, "and it barely sees me through the weekend." He complained that the government had singularly failed to do anything about the "shockin'" price of second-hand tweed jackets and Sampson rolling tobacco, with only those with rich parents able to afford the more upmarket Cutter's Choice.

"And another thing," he added, "How the fuck am I supposed to write a seminal novel of unparallelled breadth of vision if I can't even afford to get drunk or take dangerous amounts of cocaine?"

Further worries were raised this afternoon when Dublin's -and, more surprisingly, Carlow's - poets issued the following coded warning:

"O! Lonergan's ghost would think it meet
When faced with stingy stately foe
To block the roads and bleat all day
To Charlie on the Six-One show

So heed our pregnant wheedle-verse
enemies of adequate recompense
Give us what we want or we'll bust
The head off ye, yiz bollixes yiz."

A caller to the Evil Gerald offices using a painfully pretentious code word, Spycatcher or something, we can't remember, also made the following threats:

"If it wasn't for us youse wouldn't be able to rhyme at all. Whaddya think about tha'? An wha' abou' tha' Shambo Heeeny fella? If it wasn't for him no-one would even know who the Wolverine IS. D'ya know wha' I'm sayin? It was us poets what started all this Celtic Toiger ting in the first place annyway. Toiger Toiger/Up all night/What a load a bleedin --." at which point the call was ended.

The Winding Stair bookshop is likely to be badly hit as there will be no backup service of badly-read, incoherent free-verse. Radio Anna Livia has plans to axe half its schedule if the poets take action. "We'll be absolutely fucked if they won't waffle for us," said a fevered station manager

SNUB is to picket at least twelve pretentious cafes in the city centre from noon to six tomorrow. The areas worst hit will be around Parliament Street and Temple Bar. Gardai have warned the public to steer clear of the Irish Film centre as there is a high risk of dirty looks.

Charlie McCreevy just told everyone to go and feck off.

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