Ode to Speakeasy!
A January Night 2019, at Mallow’s Speakeasy Toastmasters.
A Thursday, my usual visit, The Green line to the Green,A stroll through the lanes and markets of Dublin’s Southside,Cross the Liffey by the new pedestrian bridge, not the Halfpenny,Transported by the Redline at Jervis, four stops to Heuston,Waited for Platform 2 to be announced for Cork.Sat in a single seat of the kind facing back to Dublin,So that I was dragged dozing to drowsy Mallow.Down from the hilltop station through the town’s long streetAnd then after tea up the same long street to the HI BAnd I climb its long, long corridor to the darkened RoomWhere in, Plato’s daughter eagerly spoke of allThe Forms of Life, physical, spiritual, in a cave’s light,A blockbuster formula for ever - lasting strength.No worries, it was all to be panned by Mallow’s Aristotelian sonWho spoke of the moderation in an elephant’s trunk!Once in a golden grove Plato discoursed with upstart Aristotle.Now the still same talk in a murky Mallow hotel hallAnd I sit at your feet, earnest daughter, contentious son, enthralled.
So enamoured was Bobby Buckley about a recent Speakeasy meeting, that he waxed poetic about it. Though resident in Dublin, Mallow native Bobby makes the train journey South to each meeting where he casually assumes the role of Socrates, alwaysentertaining and never dull. That poem was the highlight of last week's Topics Session. Though, obviously not an impromptu contribution, it hit the sweet spot as he skillfully worked it in to his topic reply.
Excelling in the role,first time Topicsmaster, Ann Nyhan could have been a rugby referee calling out "Bind, set, engage!" as the audience scrummaged on her list of topics. First to be devoured were the authors of the recent report in "The Lancet" who warned about a doomsday scenario of eating meat.Several speakers ( mostly non-farmer) questioned the motivations and the impartiality of those who commissioned and authored the report. Commercial links with vegan food processors and biased vegan advocates like Dr. Walter Willett were cited. The Dr. Wakefield scandal where spurious research and findings damaged parents' confidence in vaccination programmes was cited as a cautionary tale about heeding such reports. The products of choice of vegans, almond milk and avocados leave a huge carbon footprint and moreover, are used by the large Californian drug cartels as money laundering crops. What remained unmentioned was the uncomfortable truth that the most infamous advocate of vegan living was a certain Herr Hitler!
The upsurge in online shopping was addressed by Mary Moynihan. Bette Midler declared "I want it all and I want it delivered".The results can be reflected in the decline of retail outlets and boarded up stores. It seems bizarre to order the same dress in different sizes and return the unsuitable ones.Some shops are fighting back by offering an online service but will it stem the shop closures? Perhaps, in the future,High streets will become residential areas.
Brexit reared it's ugly head with Gerry O'Callaghan advocating that we refrain from following Britain's lead and remain within the European Union.It seems that many members of Speakeasy prefer a forum where subjects like hard borders and Boris Johnson can be avoided for even a little while.
But pride of place went to Bobby Buckley who responded to the question - "What inspires you most?" by pulling the aforementioned poem out of his pocket. It shows that you can prepare an impromptu talk and in Bobby's case, win the Best TopicAward.
|Speech evaluators Helsa Giles, Kieran Butler, Marie Lynes, Theresa O'Reilly & Marie Fitzpatrick.|
Speakeasy will host it's Annual Speech and Evaluation Contests at our next meeting. This will provide members with the opportunity of applying their skills in a a competitive context. As always, it promises to be a fascinating night of verbal jousting. As always, guests are welcome to come along and see what happens. Visitors are never obliged to speak unless they wish to do so. We look forward to seeing you in the Hibernian Hotel Mallow on Thursday,21th February at 8.00PM.
For more information about this club, please check out our website speakeasyt oastmasters.com or on Facebook.