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, June 10, 2006


I saw something new.
At night my sister Marie and Aunty Eileen would take turns to sit by the bed.
During the day my feminist cousin Pauline was there to do whatever needed to be done.
Then there was Aunty Mary holding the group together through the power of calm.
Or my sister in law Jackie the bank manager dishing out refreshments each evening.
Or agnostic Frances singing a hymn and getting the high note no one else could.
Or my mother guffawing at some joke.
Strange that this was the first time I saw it, having been so long a student of the human condition...
The glory of women.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The cops, the mob, the broads... They're all out to get Heelers

Glorious sunshine over Dublin.
Strolling into the Stephen's Green Centre.
Girl in white tee shirt prattling on her mobile makes eye contact.
"You fumm eight fuff," she says.
I am non plussed.
Nobody calls me a fumm eight fuff and gets away with it.
What the hell is she on about?
Did she think I was staring at her breasts?
(Ah yes. My speculations say more about me than about her. Freudian, what!)
Anyhoo. The moment passes. She is gone.
Too late for any of my snappy comebacks.
I enter the cafe.
A young lad with a straggly teenage goatee approaches.
"Sorry," he says, "are you the 98 FM fugitive?"
I shake my head and turn to Marta the astonishingly pretty Polish girl who sells me coffee here.
Before I ask, she answers.
"There is a Radio Station promotion on. If people can identify the 98 FM fugitive they will get €10,000. All they have to do is find the right person. It was announced over the air that the fugitive would be somewhere in the Centre until 5.30."
So that explained it.
Clearly I have a certain dashing renegade look that makes people instantly think of a fugitive.
I take my coffee and head for a table.
Another gangly teenager steps towards me with an apologetic smile.
I shake my head and he departs.
You have to hand it to the listeners of 98 FM. At least they're polite.
I take a sip of coffee.
A pretty slip of a girl with long dark hair and a low cut blouse is standing beside my table eying me shyly.
Although I am an optimist something tells me she doesn't really love me. In my heart of hearts I know she's looking for ten G's.
"Are you the 98 FM fugitive? quoth she.
A sudden impulse seizes me.
What if I said: "I know I'm supposed to just give you the money when you identify me but that's not going to happen."
And then she'd say: "You're not going to run are you?"
And I'd reply grim as death: "Everybody runs."
I'd say it in an actorly dramatic Tom Cruise voice because the line is in fact the only good bit in an abysmal Tom Cruise film called Minority Report.
Then I'd run for the door with half the polite stylish gangly teenagers in Dublin on my heels.
You know bold readers, as soon as I thought of this scenario, I was three quarters of the way there to doing it.
But my caffe latte beckoned.
I told Miss Shylocks I wasn't him.
And there our story ends.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

An Open Letter To The Editor Of The Irish Times

Dear Sir or Madam or whatever.
I came across a copy of your esteemed publication today in a cafe. (By esteemed, of course I mean despised.)
As you are aware, I never buy it. The only way I ever encounter it is when I come across free copies in cafes.
So today I allowed myself a glance. As expected, it was the usual mish mash of anodyne joyless fervourless verbiage.
Except for one thing.
On page 15.
In an article by something called Frank McNally.
Right there in the middle of the text.
A photo of people with umbrellas walking in the rain through a Dublin street.
A misty photo. Blurred as if by the rain itself.
A strangely evocative image.
Vaguely poignant somehow.
And once again we see that there is no idea James Healy can originate which you and your champagne socialist lackies cannot plagiarise.
For lo!
On my own web page.
Just a few days ago.
A photo of people with umbrellas walking in the rain through a London street.
A strangely evocative image.
Vaguely poignant somehow.
Was this a coincidence???
Arrah Maisie, for crying out loud, would you not just tell the plush bottomed anti Catholic scruff in your employ to come up with their own ideas?
No seriously.
I will admit to you that six months ago when my humour column was cancelled by the Leinster Lootheramawn, I was a little worried as to where your minions would now find their creative ideas.
But they've coped, bless their atheistic abortionist anti American little hearts.
After a few months of mourning they've tracked down my internet writings.
And here we are.
On the verge of a new golden age for the Irish Times.
We can surely predict an upsurge in astute commentaries, life affirming humourous asides, and even the occasional poetry laden photographic image.
The skies the limit, eh Maisie?
It's an emotional moment for me too you understand, finding the paper of the comrades ripping me off once again.
Why, it hardly seems like seven years ago that you called aside your journos, and told them: "Healy is the only original writer in Ireland. Unfortunately he thinks we're pond scum. He won't work for us. That leaves us one choice. When you're writing your humour articles just be sure you've read his first..."
Ah memories Maisie.
Like the moon on the water and all that.
But now we are on the horns of a dilemma.
I do not wish to speak harshly to you Maisie.
For we have shared some high times, have we not?
Do you remember when I described your Board of Directors in my column as a bunch of clapped out Bolshevicks who spent the Cold War rooting for the Russians.
Oh what larfs!
But enough of that.
We must stifle our laughter Maisie.
I cannot allow our personal friendship to interfere with my professional duties.
Here is the news.
From this day forth you must instruct your lickspittles to desist from purloining my intellectual property.
There must be no more humour columns based on writings of mine.
There must be no more cartoons based on cartoons of mine.
There must be no more photographs based on... Oh you get the idea.
It is time for the heroes of the revolution to begin to work for a living.
They will find honest toil rewarding, Maisie. I am sure of it.
Should you choose to defy me in this delicate matter, I shall have no other recourse but to satirise you unmercifully on this website.
Tremble Maisie.
Tremble in fear before the wrath of Heelers.
Fond regards always,
James Healy

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

broad sunlit uplands

Sprawled in the long grass of the meadow field.
Profusion of bluebells, dandelions, buttercups.
The sky like a renaissance fresco. Sun going down behind gold tinged clouds.
Something will happen this evening that has never happened before.
I feel it.
I stand on the edge.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

pool of stillness

in the garden of my father
i first heard the gunshots from tiananmen square
i will never drink again this beauty
without hearing first the crying of the dying there

we'll pray sometimes in the evenings
as the shadows lengthen into years
for there are prayers much softer than silence
and silences softer than tears

The Da Vinci Snurds

This film will not be a success because:

(a) Richie Cunningham has never ever directed an even half decent film.

(b) Tom Hanks, far from being the likeable fellow Hollywood producers believe him to be, is actually vaguely odious.

(c) In the dulcet Summer of 1998 when my brother Padre Peter was being ordained a priest, there was an outdoor celebration held in my home town. A ten year old girl, the daughter of a wealthy lawyer, beetled over to me and said these precise words: "James, how do you know Jesus wasn't married to Mary Magdalene?"
Ah yes.
The great and daring and original plot twist.
She should sue Dan Snurdface for plagiarism.