There are few things more irritating than guests that overstay their welcome. Of course, there are things you can do to hint that you’ve grown weary of their company: look at you watch wistfully, repeatedly inquire about the precise details of how they’re getting home or, failing all else, produce all forty-two volumes of your family photo collection.
A recent encounter made it perfectly clear to me that, after five years in DCU, the time has come for me to say goodbye to this red-bricked haven for once and for all. I was trying to describe to a first-year student just how nerdy I had been in secondary school and figured that the character of Screech Powers from Saved by the Bell was a good point of reference.
“Saved by the whaa?” was her response. “Saved by The Bell,” I repeated (louder this time, reasoning that the poor girl must be hard of hearing.) She stared at me blankly. “Oh, come on,” I said. “Zach Morris? Kelly Kapowski? Mr. Belding? Only one of the most influential TV programmes of the early 1990’s?” She just shrugged her shoulders and said: “Sure, I wouldn’t remember that. I was only born in 1991.”It’s a sad, sad day when you realise that your cultural references are out of synch with the youth of today and that it’s time for you to move on to somewhere populated by people who remember “the good old days” like you do. Perhaps more unsettling than this, however, is the notion that there are students roaming around this fair campus that are essentially ignorant of the remarkable period of human civilisation that was the 1990’s.
I can’t help but feel a sense of responsibility to ensure that these individuals are educated about Pogs, The Nanny Named Fran, Ace of Base and other such wonders of the nineties. As such, I hereby propose a mandate for the year two-thousand-and-nine to be replaced by two-thousand-and-nineties.
In two-thousand-and-nineties, Brian Cowen and Mary McAleese are given their marching orders as Zig and Zag take over the respective positions of Taoiseach and President. The decision as to whether we should rename the country as ‘Zog’ will possibly have to be put to a referendum.
MP3-players will be shunned in favour of tape cassettes and people sit for hours with two fingers poised above the record and play buttons on their ghetto-blasters in the hope of obtaining a home-made recording of the latest Lighthouse Family, M People or DJ Sash! song from Longwave Radio Atlantic 252.
Considering it currently screens Dawson’s Creek, Party of Five, Charmed and Ally McBeal, Channel 6 will overtake all other channels in terms of ratings and set the benchmark to which all other broadcasters aspire. Quality home-grown 1990’s programming such as Upwardly Mobile, Glenroe, Live at 3 and Kenny Live will be given a platform alongside Birds of a Feather, Home Improvement and Mr. Bean.
Counting down the Top 30 Singles and Top 10 Albums on Top 30 Hits each week will become a national event and Dave Fanning will once again grace our tellies on 2TV. A positively geriatric Linda Martin will win the Eurovision for Ireland/Zog after delivering a rousing performance of her Riverdance-inspired ditty, penned by Johnny Logan.
Children will also be catered to with screenings of Echo Island, Bouli and The Works (with Mary “Are you laughing?” Kingston) as well as international offerings like Are You Afraid of the Dark?, California Dreams, Pugwall and the aforementioned Saved by the Bell.
In terms of fashion, Spice Girl shoes, tearaway tracksuit bottoms, Ben Sherman shirts and Levi 501’s will surge in popularity. Mobile phones will quadruple in size and models with the ‘Snake’ game will be most desirable.
Two-thousand-and-nineties will obvioulsy spell an end to recession as Ireland/Zog finds itself back in the early stages of The Celtic Tiger. Doomsayers and those who enjoy moaning about the economic downturn should not fret however, as issues such as foot-and-mouth disease, BSE and the Y2K bug will supply ample fodder for complainers and scaremongers.
If you’re still unconvinced as to the merits of two-thousand-and-nineties, just take a moment to consider how fun it will be at the end of the year when, as we’re gearing up for our return to the twenty-first century, we all get to party like it’s nineteen-ninety-nine.