Gombeenus Ruralis

What It's Called :
D.J., J.J., P.J., or T.J. Hopes to become a T.D.

Where It's Found:
There is at least one in every village and small town in Ireland.

Where It Lives
In a new, hacienda-style house on the farm. The gates are made of wrought iron and have two cartwheels in the middle. There are two pairs of plastic swans beside a small pool on the lawn and the porch of the house is tastefully finished in anodised aluminium with orange frosted glass in the windows.

What It Wears:
It always wears shirt and trousers. The shirt has blue stripes and a frayed white collar, and a vest is visible where the front of the shirt doesn't quite meet the trousers. This gap is present because the trousers are turned down at the waistline from constant pressure of the beer-belly. The trousers are off his third-best suit, with a seat so large that it starts just above the knees (but then, so does his arse).

How Its Hair Is Styled:
Gombeenus Ruralis shows off the wraparound-Brylcreem look - not to be confused with the unique Jackie Healy-Rae style - in which twelve inches of hair are taken from above the right ear and coiled up like a hungry adder and then squashed down onto the scalp with the aid of hair oil.

What It Does
It owns things. The Spar or Mace 'supermarket' with petrol pumps outside, a pub, the post office, an auctioneering business, an insurance brokerage and a farm a mile outside the town.

What The Shop Sells
Rashers, sausages, Calvita, packaged soup, stale buns, Hello!, Ireland s Own, pictures of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and John F. Kennedy, multicoloured rubber balls and pinkeen nets with bamboo handles that break.

What The Children Do:
Bridie and Noreen are nurses up at the Mater. D.J. works in the 'supermarket' and the Post Office, P.J. is in the pub, J.J. is on the farm and T.J. has gone up to Dublin to open a 24-hour shop in Ranelagh. The other six children are still at school.

What It Watches:
The Sunday Game, for entertainment; The Late Late, to be informed; and Glenroe, for the latest trends in "agri-tourism".

What It Drives:
This used to be an unswerving (in the buying sense) Ford man but has gone instead for the Opels, which don't rust so badly after tangles with muck spreaders.

What It Drinks:
Pints and pints and pints. Drinks deeply in the knowledge that two drunken driving charges were quashed by a friend who is a Member and who gets his chops for free at the meat counter in the 'supermarket'.

What It Eats:
This is a strictly meat and two veg species. It won't go near any of that black man's food, like spaghetti, or curry, or chow mein. Cheese comes out of a blue box with a little girl's photograph on it, none of that French muck that smells like an old Blackthorn boot.

Leisure Activities:
Attends meetings of the local Fianna Fail cumann, the GAA selection commitTEE, the local development commitTEE and the town festival commitTEE. Sings the songs about the local beauty (i.e. Rose of Tralee, Mary from Dungloe, Delaney's Donkey) at the fund-raising events of all these organisations.