JUST as the armies of the world play war games in which dread scenarios and appalling vistas are enacted in an attempt to provide valuable experience and information, so Squinter and his pals down the Roddy’s play imaginary games in which potential conflicts are imagined and possible solutions devised.

We came up with a corker the other night. “Imagine,” said one of our group, “if they started letting loyalists have band parades on St Patrick’s Day.”

“Jeez, what a thought,” said another, “that’d be completely bonkers.

“Yeah, and just say they let a loyalist band parade with stacks of bands and stacks of supporters walk through a 70 per cent Catholic town on St Patrick’s Day.”

We were just getting warmed up.

“And what if it was a town where the St Patrick’s Day parade was one of the biggest tourism events of the year with thousands and thousands of people knocking around in green clothes and ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ hats and leprechaun gear.”

But the kicker was about to come.

“And what do you think would happen if the loyalist band parade was to take place late in the evening when everybody’s completely and utterly tanked up to the gills.”

A deathly hush descended on the table. Chair legs scraped the ground as punters shifted uncomfortably in their seats.

“Did any of yiz see the match yesterday?”

In some totally unrelated news, the Cormeen Rising Sons of William band will walk through Armagh after the St Patrick’s Day parade with 40 other bands and an estimated one thousand spectators. The event begins at 7.30pm and continues until 10.30pm.