Yesterday, I saw an advert for Party Piglets and my mind flash-backed to a long-forgotten, damp evening on Victoria Street, where I once witnessed the disturbing sight of a group of morons waving and wailing from a British Army Saracen as it sped along the wet road. On recalling this moment, I felt as if a repressed abuse memory had surfaced.
On returning home, I checked out the Party Piglets website. Further horrors flickered into life on the computer screen. Here was a company that hired out British Army vehicles for the purpose of partying. These vehicles, which once cruised the streets, disgorging boy-faced soldiers with stern expressions and guns, now offered - according to the website - "the ultimate party experience."
In the 'Galleries' section, additional morons pose alongside Saracens, brandishing rifles and looking stupid. Local drag queen, Titti Von Tramp - not usually noted for her subtlety - is pictured astride an army jeep, legs akimbo. I think she is stimulating masturbation with a beer bottle in one picture, but I'm not entirely sure what might be going on. And if that's not enough, you can have a male stripper, dressed as an RUC man, if you so desire.
"The best craic I've had in years!" announces Kevin Connolly, editor of 'That's West Belfast' magazine on one of the website pages. Now, I'm sure I'd have heard of 'West Belfast Magazine' if it actually existed. I Googled it - and Mr Connolly - and came up blank. Surely the unscrupulous Party Piglets didn't invent it to give credence to their insensitive and crass enterprise?
Revisiting that rainy night in Victoria Street, I wondered how someone who had experienced the death of a loved one at the hands of the British Army might have felt on witnessing the drunk youngsters, shrieking hysterically from the speeding Saracen, feather boas fluttering in the slipstream.
Welcome to Theme-Park Northern Ireland. Here, every day's a party. Don't forget to pack your 'Lonely Planet' and don't mention the war.