This is not a drill. It is not some enfeebled attempt at parody. This is neither a fever induced hallucination nor some weird delusion caused by the hazy tendrils of alcoholic fug whose fingers still wrap your sleep-deprived brain after a bank-holiday weekend of debauchery. This is simply the reality we're living in. A reality in which Gerry Adams is planning on releasing a cook book. Gerry Adams, the ex-leader of the third largest political party in the Republic of Ireland, former abstentionist MP and current TD, that Gerry Adams, is planning on releasing a cook book.
Gerry Adams, who is no stranger to the publishing of books seemingly entirely incongruous with his public image, has already to his name some fifteen books. Among the usual fodder of memoirs and column collections that constitute the typical output of any politico who turns their hand to writing, he has also been responsible for a book which compiles many of his Tweets. My Little Book of Tweets places a distinct emphasis on the adventures of a certain rubber duck and teddy bear that number among his entourage - ya know, like how all people who still have a firm grasp on reality have.
This cook book however, which he announced at a Féile an Phobail event in west Belfast on Monday night, is to be called The Negotiators' Cook Book. It will apparently detail recipes for many of the meals that sustained the republican negotiators throughout their talks with the British during the peace process. At the event he said of it, "The British never fed us. They never had any food. But as intrepid republicans and being blessed by one or two great cooks these are the recipes that sustained the Irish negotiating team. It contains some of the best-kept secrets of the Irish peace process." The most surprising thing about this whole thing is that they seem to have looked a gift-horse in the mouth by not calling it When Hunger Strikes.
If this were perhaps a Guardian/ New York Times-esque piece, this would be the point wherein this article would wrap up with some overly-wrought attempt at a pithy bon mot mentioning perhaps 'humble pie' or 'just desserts' or 'revenge being a dish best served cold' or on how to 'get your pasta as strained as relations were between - ' etc. For a myriad of reasons however, this article is not appearing in either of these publications and, as such, we will shirk such glibness. Instead please allow a brief interlude in which I posit some politician crossover publications that I sincerely hope grace the shelves of bookstores before too long:
- Getting Loughed, Enda Kenny - The former Taoiseach ranks the lakes of Ireland, grading them on a special scale that he himself said has taken over 20 years to perfect.
- Kissing with Kissinger, Henry Kissinger - the former Secretary of State, universally regarded as one of the most prominent statesmen of the 20th century, gives us an insight into the other great passion of his life - French Kissing. It is a comprehensive guide into kissing like how the French do. Also features surprising, yet very informative, asides about his role in the Vietnam War and the US intervention in Pinochet's Chile.
- Not So Stern Aft-er All, Angela Merkel - This one has a grain of truth. A long-time canoeist, Ms. Merkel has for years been sharing her tips on canoe maintenance on various specialist .de websites. This would be a compilation of some of her longer essays and think-pieces that she has posted on the craft of canoe maintenance. However, this may not be overly well-received. A quick look at some of the responses to her posts show some intriguing comments. One read, "I followed her tips. My canoe instantly began taking on water and is now at the bottom of a lake. Cllr. Merkel has no idea what she's talking about."
- Stars Waiting for the Night, Kofi Anan - a self-published novella of Twilight fan-fiction by the former UN Secretary General, so powerfully and distastefully erotic in tone that it is only available on the dark web.
Gerry Adams' The Negotiator's Cook Book is set to be published by Sinn Féin and will be available before Christmas.