Flann O’Brien Labs Assess the €9 Lunch | Cassandra Voices

Flann O’Brien Labs Assess the €9 Lunch


Breaking news from The Kimmage Chronicle: everything you need to know about live music and €9 lunches in the shifting Covid-19 landscape.

Following rigorous retrials in the Flann O’Brien Laboratory, the €9 lunch – hitherto thought to be just a step too far in terms of potentially spreading Covid-19 – has been found to be safe.

Food, ranging from the modest ‘soup and sambo’ combo to more complex multi-calorie three course meals were systematically cross-referenced in terms of price, calorie count and potential infectiousness.

Volunteers, who are now all on intensive slimming and exercise programmes, were fed multiple meals that ranged in price from €6 to €54 (six times the potency of the €9 threshold).

The temperature monitoring of participants followed swiftly after each meal consumed, and the volunteers were suitably napkined by lab researchers, and wearing suits designed by NASA, while conducting tasks.

The results are startling. Volunteers reported feeling a definite ‘sense of the absence of hunger’ after consuming those meals that fell into the lower price range, whereas the mid-range meals produced both ‘an absence of the sense of hunger and also a deep feeling of gastronomic satisfaction.’

Lunches above €30 uniformly produced unsettling emotions among all volunteers such as ‘being ripped off’; ‘being made feel inadequate by words I didn’t understand on the menu’; and ‘a sense of peer pressure to eat beyond my means in places recommended by the Irish Times.’ Physical symptoms included participants feeling ‘bloating and drowsiness..’ Remarkably, all participants tested negative for COVID-19 in each of the price categories.

Now, at the government’s bequest, the Flann O Brien Laboratory is carrying out extensive musical research on volunteers as they work off the calories.

Three distinct live music experiences have been set up, along with cutting edge gym equipment for the volunteers, allowing them to exercise while being exposed to potentially infectious music.

  1. Live Classical Music

This is without doubt the most expensive experiment ever undertaken by the Flann O’Brien Laboratory. It involves the RTE Symphony Orchestra with featured soloist Finghin Collins playing Beethoven’s ‘Emperor Concerto.’ Each member of the orchestra was flown to Cape Canaveral, where Astral Tailors designed suits for them that entirely sealing their bodies, save for fingers or lips where necessary for playing their designated instruments. Circled around the orchestra is the gym equipment where the volunteers vigorously work out. Their body temperatures are taken at the end of the concerto’s three movements. The test is being run nine times.

Collins said: ‘This is definitely a Beethoven Marathon like no other. The adagio, famously used in ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ may induce feelings of almost unbearable melancholy, but hopefully without transmission of Covid-19. Who knows how we will feel after playing it nine times or indeed how the volunteers will feel having to listen to it nine times over the course of a single day, while simultaneously lifting weights and doing press ups! It’s an audience like no other. This is History!’

  1. The Jazz Improvisation Group

To protect the Jazz musicians, NASA’s Astral Tailors joined forces with suit makers ‘Brooks Brothers,’ purveyors of the most dapper jazz attire ever conceived, to design sealed suits that wouldn’t look out of place in The Village Vanguard. Style meets the absence of gravity like never before!

An assemblage of work out equipment has been placed around the Jazz stage. The quartet is led by tenor saxophonist Michael Buckley, who will play through John Coltrane’s entire ‘Giant Steps’ album, nine times, just as the Symphony Orchestra are doing with Beethoven.

‘Forget touring the world with Glen Hansard and playing ‘Falling Slowly’ a million times over, no, this is my greatest challenge ever,’ said Buckley. He concluded: ‘Playing through Coltrane’s changes on the seven album tracks, nine times in one day, is the toughest task I’ve ever been set, I love my new suit though!’

Researchers are especially keen to ascertain if there are any signs of infection or changes in temperature between the tempo shift in a ballad like ‘Naima’ and the complex up tempo chordal changes of the opening title ‘Giant Steps.’

  1. Techno/Dance

Here, NASA have collaborated with Daft Punk’s design team to come up with an innovative sealed costume for turntable maestro Johnny Moy. There will be no gym equipment here as volunteers will be administered with a dose of lab-tested MDMA, which will keep them dancing without pause for nine hours. Researchers are especially keen to discover if, during the Techno Test, volunteers will refrain from hugging each other and declaring their undying love. Moy said ‘Am well up for it! A nine hour set is a fuckin’ dream come true, I’ve got ten bags of bangers packed here, bring it on!’

Preliminary data from these tests, subject to peer review, indicate we can expect the NCH to open before The Electric Picnic (which NEPHT want to see rebranded as ‘The Acoustic Brunch’) is allowed to relaunch. Jazz as always is being overlooked. Buckley and his combo are running through ‘Giant Steps’ for the eighth time now and researchers are monitoring each segue very closely.


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