Every so often society realigns itself – the Magna Carta, the French Revolution, Westmeath breaking away from Meath…And now there are rumblings of a similar shift right here in our own town. A leaked memo smuggled out of Cadbury’s and seen by The Faa Side reveals that the Staa Baa is being outsold 3:1 by the Dairy Milk within the town boundary.The shocking discovery comes as another blow to the town, especially as sales of Staa Baas are up in Dundalk – cultural misappropriation at its ugliest. Rumours are rife and there have been reports of groups of power walking women coming across the border from Meath and stocking up on big Dairy Milks, distorting both Cadbury’s figures and their own.
The last time Drawda’s cultural link with the Staa Baa came under attack was during the boom when so many jobs were created that there wasn’t enough work for everyone so a lot of rebranding took place to justify all the jobs. The result was that the Staa Baa was rebranded as the Moro Peanut. It took two years of random tiger kidnappings of Cadbury workers by the good people of Drawda before sense was seen and the Staa Baa reintroduced in 2008.
But what can be done to redress the issue today? Buy more Staa Baas is the obvious answer, but it’s not as simple as that.
The changing nature of the town’s population is causing the great Drawda tradition of akskin for Staa Baas to be forgotten. Cultural historian Stony Burke explained.
“There was a time so there was when yid go in a shop and allyid be after was a Staa Baa. Yih mightn’t e ih but – half the pleasure was in the akskin. Staa Baa please, yid say so yih would. And if yih was flush yih might go for a Maas Baa as well, for the laugh.”
But those days are gone. Austerity med people think about getting fit as they could do that for free by not eating as much and doing 5k runs for the Facebuke pictures. Kids are now being taught that chocolate is bad for you. And the Staa Baa has suffered. Now tomorrow’s grown ups save the money traditionally spent on the Staa Baa and use it to buy sleeve tattoos and protein shakes. Stony continued.
“Yih usen to be ebble to hear people say ‘Sure we’ll head down the Staa Baa for the late pint.’ Staa Baa was paat of the cultural lexicon so it was.
“But nowadays sure people don’t be saying that cos the Staa Baa close-ed a few years back. Consequentedly the phrase has fallen out of use. The downside to that is that people don’t be thinking about Staa Baas as much as they usen ta.”
Perhaps the need to preserve the Staa Baa should be left to the poet tramp Skitser Cullinan, who has been buying a Staa Baa a day since the 1980s.
When the battur buurgur disappeared I remained silent: I didn’t like battur buurgurs.
When they stopped makin Maas Baas, I remained silent; I didn’t like Maas Baas.
When they kem for the Staa Baa, there was no one left to speak out.