mirage All I ask is a mere €119.5m to turn my wildest fantasies into reality
'One rule: anybody ordering blackcurrant in their porter is hauled to the roof and immediately tossed to their doom'
IN the fantasy, one that might make Walter Mitty blush, the astronomical sum of cash at my disposal is unchanging.
A stubbornly inflation-resistant €119.5m.
Or to spell it out, to savour the full glorious vista of its vast, moneyed, rich-list dimensions: One-hundred-and-nineteen million, five hundred thousand beautiful spondulix.
This skyscraping tower of cash is my imagination's means of snapping the binds that moor us to dull reality.
It is the scaffolding around which a wild, uplifting dreamworld has been constructed.
A financial mirage, yet one from which I can endlessly sup on those frequent occasions when I thirst for escapism.
A stress-exiling life of endless travel, awaking to glorious seascapes, days without limits, enjoying banquet after banquet of intellectual sustenance to feed a mind ravenous with curiosity.
The landslide of good fortune arrived courtesy of a make-believe EuroMillions jackpot and spending it has brought a soothing solace to endless restless nights.
I settled on the amount years ago and, even though the current upward trending of prices means a few pints and a pizza will soon knock a serious hole in ten grand, my ascetic nature won't permit me to grant myself a prize hike.
That €119.5m might be a drop in Elon Musk's ocean of wealth, it might only buy you one of Mo Salah's legs, but I feel it important to practise restraint.
Greed, after all, is one of the seven deadly sins. So I'm happy to settle for a sum so modest it would hardly cover the annual fuel costs of Roman Abramovich's yacht.
Disposing of this money has proven a glorious means of immunizing against the everyday.
First I became a publican, the initial eye-catching landmark on the map of my good fortune being McDaid's of Harry St in Dublin.
Though it probably went unnoticed by the actual owner, my friend Oliver Cosgrave, I purchased the lovely old pile - a former Moravian church and city morgue, the one where Behan and Kavanagh would drunkenly quarrel - off Grafton Street for €5.8m euro several years ago.
Yes, it's a daydream fantasy, but curating such a social and cultural museum, acting in my mind as a guardian of its heritage, is as intoxicating as its famously flawless stout.
One rule: anybody ordering blackcurrant in their porter is hauled to the roof and immediately tossed to their doom.
I even invited Ryan Tubridy down for a pint and offered him a monumental lump sum to hand the keys to The Late Late Show kingdom to Tommy Tiernan.
The half-way line skybox in Croke Park is the perfect summer vantage point - though restricting the guest list to its 24-person capacity frequently keeps me awake at night arguing furiously with myself.
I've bid millions for the secret recipes that make toasties in Grogan's and pints in The Palace Bar things of perfection.
Naming the dozen horses - after Dublin landmarks - I am placing in training with racing's gentleman doyen, Willie Mullins, is a time-consuming labour of love.
The Airbus hired is crammed with friends heading on a sporting trip of a lifetime.
Golf at Augusta, racing at Cheltenham, ringside seats at World Cup and NBA finals, a helicopter to the summit to watch the Tour De France peloton crown Alpe d'Huez.
There is a pad in New York, overlooking Central Park: Gotham's great museums, libraries and bookshops close-by, its skyscraping avenues an endless feast for the senses.
July on Italy's Adriatic coast, fuelling up in red-and-white table-clothed trattorias and family-run tavernas, walking pristine beaches, allowing the sun to dapple us in life-enriching, mood-enhancing Vitamin D.
Sailing around the azure waters of Sydney Harbour, strolling along Inch Strand before retreating to any of Dingle's glorious saloons, notably Dick Mack's and Curran's, talking a romantic, moonlit Parisian ramble by the Seine, people-watching in the great European piazzas.
We won't bore you with charitable altruism. Suffice to say a fund has been established to lease derelict shopfronts in cities and towns and hand them, rent-free, to young people with vision: artists, weavers, entrepreneurs, anybody with the capacity to brighten the streetscapes.
On that same note, I am contributing to a fund to replace The Spire - that truly hideous needle piercing Dublin's heart - with a worthy capital city centrepiece.
I am hiring GAA coaches and ambassadors, to further evangelize about Gaelic games, ensuring a precious, life-affirming Irish resource is safeguarded against the creep of cultural homogenisation spreading across the planet.
It is a thrill to subsidise bookshops, keeping alive for future generations the tactile thrill of browsing.
The campaign for a directly elected Dublin Lord Mayor (Kellie Harrington is our choice) has my full support.
A manifesto banishing clampers, introducing free citywide public transport and ending the absurdist trend of replacing historic buildings with hotels is encouraged.
If I have a few quid left over after all that, there is only one way to finish this imaginary spending binge: by buying a Lotto ticket and doing it all over again.
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