I have an admission to make. It's not pleasant, so prepare yourself. I once… God, this isn't easy… I once owned a pair of… white shoes. And an electric-blue Miami Vice jacket, white baggies and a canary yellow polo shirt with matching tie. I also had a mullet. I never wore white socks though – I swear it. Sorry if the image is putting you off your brunch.
I used to wear the jacket's sleeves rolled up. I had to: I bought it for £19.99 in Unique Boutique and in my hurry to leave before anyone I knew saw me being such a cheapskate, I grabbed a size three times too big for me. Still, I thought the huge shoulder pads made me look manly. My dad said they made me look like Joan Collins dressed as a rent boy. The jacket ended up in the cat basket after that.
I was reminded of my fashion unconsciousness last week when I saw pictures of Bertie Ahern at the Galway Races. Bertie, one expert wrote, broke the cardinal rule of not wearing navy with black.
He was a right mess: navy jacket, striped shirt and tie – clashing so badly they nearly gave me an epileptic fit – and black trousers. Bertie looked like the kind of man who tucks his shirt into his underpants and wears his socks in bed. Not that I ever want to find out.
When Garret FitzGerald wore odd socks it suggested he was too busy juggling matters of state to notice. Bertie can't claim the same excuse. He hasn't much to worry about as he's on holidays until September. Not that he's been too busy at work. In his first year as ex-taoiseach, Bertie missed 85% of Dáil votes. He didn't even attend for a vote on the bank bailout.
The main thing on Bertie's mind last week was the demise of the Fianna Fáil tent at Galway Races. "Some of the flak it got over the years was a bit unfair," he said, "but it never worried me."
Nothing ever worries Bertie. Nothing: like the intake of breath when he told the planning tribunal he had won sums of mysterious money on the gee-gees.
Nothing: like the economy he helped wreck through his profligacy. The economy that last week pinned its hopes on Nama, set up to bail out his developer friends and rescue deals struck over pints in that same Fianna Fáil tent.
He's not worried about the Commission on Taxation either, as it prepares to recommend introducing a property tax. He can afford it – unlike the 78 families whose homes were listed for repossession in court last Monday.
The government is going to tax the house Bertie encouraged you to buy, as you struggle to hold on to it. As he checked the form last week, Bertie was probably glad he no longer has a garda minder. He wouldn't have been able to concentrate, with him moaning about his pension.
The gardaí last week legally challenged the levy on their sweet-deal pension. If they succeed, more public-sector challenges will follow. If only Bertie hadn't over-inflated the public sector. Never mind, spotted any 'bankers' on the card, Bertie?
Bankers? Last Monday, Permanent TSB raised its rates. Bertie's colleague, Brian Lenihan, said he wouldn't intervene. He gave PTSB a state guarantee and now it's giving him the finger. Didn't you promote him to cabinet, Bertie? Good judge of form, there.
It's enough to make you sick – if you can afford to be sick. The HSE last week published a list of chemists who won't 'strike' over the Drugs Payment Scheme row. Typically, the list was wrong and included one pharmacy which closed three months ago. Wasn't the HSE put under starter's orders by your government, Bertie?
While Ahern was at the races, the fall-out continued from his 2002 deal capping the church's liability over child-abuse payments. Last week, the state was still waiting for a statement of assets from one of the 18 orders named in the Ryan report. Presumably, it will pass the post some day soon, Bertie.
Some people like to blindly stick a pin into the racing pages when choosing a runner. You could have stuck one anywhere in the paper last week and skewered a piece of Bertie's 'legacy'. Or a picture of him: smug, laughing. Funny Bertie. As funny as a hernia. Bertie Ahernia.
Ahernia used to spend thousands on make-up, but his dress sense on Tuesday suggests he couldn't be bothered keeping up appearances any more. The real Bertie is resurfacing, as shabby as his 'legacy'.
Not that he sees it as shabby. The Washington Speakers Bureau describes him as having "brought economic prosperity, peace and political prominence… creating a progressive strategy and blueprint for other countries of the world to follow". Who wrote that CV?
I suspect I wasn't the only person watching Bertie acting the retired champion last week and wishing he was finally put out to grass.
When he said he never worried about flak taken over the Fianna Fáil tent, I happily imagined him being boiled down for glue.
The FF tent is gone but, like the odour of stale horse manure, Bertie lingers on.
Roll up your tent and take a hike, Ahern. You're not at the races any more.