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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

GUBU and Mr. Crown's Affair....

The recent events in Northern Ireland linking the IRA and Sinn Fein to the 26 million GBP robbery of Northern Bank (noted by one acquaintance as the greatest heist of wastepaper in history since the bank converted its currency) has finally provided me with an example for a phrase I learned from friend Ciarán and other colleagues: GUBU. While initiated under different circumstances, the acronym seems to fit: "Grotesque, Unprecedented, Bizarre, Unbelievable!"

Actually, for those who are trying to figure out where the theives got the idea, that part seems simple. Note the recent remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair," and the original film's premise that the proceeds of the fictional heist would be distributed from an international bank to participants on the 19th of each month over several decades. This, of course, was designed to provide a nice retirement for those whose life in crime had left them without investments in retirement accounts (which, as my wife points out, are called IRAs in the US).

But it is the idea that Sinn Fein leaders knew of the planned robbery (per Bertie Ahern) that truly makes this as a classic example of GUBU. Where else but in (Northern) Ireland!
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