The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Battlestar Gesnurdika

The first fateful confrontation last November with my employers, the head idiot and the flying haggis, was perhaps the most dramatic.
There was no way of knowing what to expect. The omens were not good.
I entered the office after ten in the morning and haggis, aka Montie Stalwart the Managing Director, invited me to sit down.
Stalwart had just negotiated a hundred million dollar sell out of our company to a British media group.
He doesn't have a reputation for weakness.
Moments later the head idiot, aka Sneeran the editor, entered also.
On instinct I stood up as he entered. It was a small gesture of respect.
Sneeran wore a face that looked, in the best sense of an old fashioned phrase, like a boiled shite.
Even though he wanted to fire me, he was not the most dangerous man in the room.
Stalwart was the most dangerous one, because he could fire me.
I faced Stalwart across a large mahogany desk. Sneeran sat to my right at a corner of the desk.
The room was dim enough. Morning light strained from behind lace curtains. I could hear traffic in the street.
The haggis spoke first.
"James you didn't attend the meeting we called for last week," quoth he.
I nodded grimly.
Last week was clear in my mind.
I'd rolled over in my bed and not bothered my arse getting up for their meeting.
"I won't try to justify not attending the meeting," I said quietly but firmly.
The haggis went to speak again.
I continued before he could.
"I do want to point out though that there hasn't been a lot of mutual respect in the present situation."
I opened a folder on my lap. It contained all the letters and emails this pair of buffoons had sent me.
I began to read. I read drily with an occasional comment or refutation to a particularly egregious lie. For the most part I just read.
When I was half way through the first of their letters, the hundred million dollar man leapt out of his chair.
He is a large fellow and the motion was somewhat surprising.
I kept reading in the same dry monotonous voice.
The haggis strode to the window and stood there clenching and unclenching his fists.
Big bad Stalwart was being made to play be my rules and he didn't like it it one bit. Being made to listen to all the garbage he and his lacky had written to me over the past six months.
And I'm telling you bold travellers of the internet, there's nobody can read garbage with quite the inflection of contempt I can.
No really.
And there stood Stallie at the window.
Fists clenching and unclenching.
Like a great Scottish ape.
You know, a man that rules by fear can't afford to be bested in front of his lackies by a mere mortal. Word would get round the company awful quick. Word might even get round the internet.
He stood at the window.
Sneeran sat frozen in his chair, his face a mask.
I kept reading, voice as dry as ever.
Stalwart strode back to his desk, sat down, and began tapping on his computer keyboard.
It was his best shot.
A calculated act of disrespect while I was talking.
That was the all the great man could come up with.
I read on from the collected works of Idiot and Haggis.
Then I paused.
Stalwart was still tapping away on his computer.
I realised the whole meeting would turn on the next moment.
"Montie," I said, using his first name, and without looking up from the papers in front of me, "is this of any interest to you?"
Stalwart said: "What?"
That's all he said. He said it sharpish, with only a hint of threat, nothing more. I was silent. Eyes on the letter I'd been reading.
Stalwart was the first to break the silence.
"Oh," he said. "No. Ah. You just mentioned when you were reading there, that you had sent me an email in reply to one of our letters. I was checking to see had I got it on file here."
I still didn't look up.
"That's alright," I said in the same dry voice as if it was a matter of sublime indifference to me whether he listened or not.
I resumed my reading.
Big Bad Stalwart and poor daft thuggish Sneeran listened as meek as lambs for the next half hour as I read their every petulant pissant mendacious pejorative right back at them, every last sneering lie that they'd written to me in the past six months, right back in their faces.
From now on they paid impeccable attention. Nobody leapt out of their chairs. Nobody did any more Grape Ape impressions at the window. Nobody tried to catch up on a little typing.
Afterwards there was some general chit chat about the state of play. They promised to pay me for my photographs. They promised to restore my company computer.
I placed no importance on any assurance they gave me.
But I'd kicked their asses.
And they knew it.
The meeting had indeed turned on a single moment.
Outside warm sunshine welcomed me into the streets like a son.
God's arm was in this.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Happiest Half Hours Of Life

Lunch with the Mammy in the Whitewater Centre cafe.
Whitewater is a new shopping development in the town of Newbridge. It's the largest in Ireland outside of Dublin. And, yes the Paddies have named it after Bill Clinton's most innocent scandal.
Whitewater indeed.
Whatever next?
Lewinski Condos?
But I digress...
"Would you like a bun?" sez I to the Mammy as we queue at the counter.
The aged parent shakes her head.
"No," sez she. "I'm trying to lose weight. I'll take some of yours."
Ah yes. Truly the mind doth boggle. Apparently the bun will have less calories if it comes off my plate.
We take our food and sit in the plush armchairs of the arboretum. The Mammy munches my bun happily.
The myriad shoppers swirl around us.
A rare stillness touches my spirit.
All is right with the world.