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, November 11, 2006

mary said

on the harristown road
i saw the leaves dance like people
the wind flung them high
in a waltzing of chance
i wished you were there
you'd have had the words
for the romance
of their dancing and colour
it took my eye
all along the mile
and then
i wish i'd joined them
they seemed so happy

loose ends

Colonel Howard Berney arrived at the chateau tonight with a compass. He took a bearing in the garden. He informed us that the Lights Of June had appeared from the direction of the army shooting range at the Glen of Imaal on the Wicklow mountains.
Comandant John Martin has informed me that an army night shooting exercise was taking place at the Glen of Imaal on June 23rd when we first saw the lights.
My father TN Healy now accepts the lights were indeed army parachute flares.
My own conclusion is as follows.
I believe there is a 90 percent probability the lights we saw were army parachute flares.
I allow for a ten percent possibility they were something else.
I am still keeping my mind open to the possibility of another explanation because:
1. Colonel Berney was certain the lights were flares but he recognised that army shooters would normally aim to fire the flares high in the sky and have them burn out close to the ground. None of these lights behave in that way.
2. Commandant Martin said he was certain the lights were flares but that he would not bet his house on it.
3. There were other minor inconsistencies in the analysis of the army experts.
4. A framed photograph fell off the piano as I passed it shortly after the first sighting. (A coincidence. But still part of the reason I am not willing to state conclusively that the lights were flares.)
5. Some books and kitchen utenils fell off a shelf in Giovanna Rampazzo's apartment as we watched the DVD of the June sighting. (Another coincidence.)
6. The night after we saw the Lights Of July we saw another quite different phenomena. A luminous block of light apparently stretching for miles in the same patch of sky. My father believes this was a weather phenomenon. It might also have been some sort of laser light, the sort used for advertising promotions or to create visual effects outside nightclubs. Perhaps a nightclub over towards the mountains was shining a laser upwards and produced the effect.
7. There was an early morning sighting of something unexplained in June. My father filmed it. It may be a cloud.
8. There was an early morning sighting of a light in the sky above Colonel Berney's house. This is printed above. It is probably an aeroplane.
9. The Lights Of June were seen in the towns of Naas, Kilcullen, Athy and Carlow. We might expect army parachute flares to be causing similar sightings all the time if they had indeed caused this one.

The sightings of June and July were most probably army parachute flares. I will not be surprised if they prove to be something else.

Friday, November 10, 2006

what lies beyond

Barnies Cafe, Westmoreland Street, Dublin.
Car lights swirling by the window towards O'Connell Street bridge.
The litterati, the glitterati and the teenage-scenti chattering at the surrounding tables.
I reached for a newspaper.
Suddenly my world dissolved into a sea of pain.
I was still sitting. Nothing had happened. I hadn't fallen. No one had hit me. But all I was conscious of was pain.
I didn't feel fear.
At once I knew what it was.
Last week some one from my former employers in the west of Ireland, rang to say one of the bosses was dying.
I had reacted with indifference.
In fact I had turned to God and said: "I can't pray for him. I don't care at all what happens to him."
And now in the cafe by an ordinance of heaven, I'd been given a moment to know just what he was going through.
The pain radiated from my chest and engulfed the rest of me.
Still I was unafraid. Still calm. God wasn't terrorising me. He hadn't threatened me. I do not even believe my earlier prayer had displeased him. But he had answered me by showing me something of what was at stake.
It wasn't nice though. I've never felt anything like it.
I sat amid the evening crowd unnoticed by them and in agony. Once more I addressed the creator of the universe.
"Alright I understand," I said. "I couldn't wish this on anyone."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

sic transit gloria humour columns

Lunch with the Mammy and my brother Doctor Barn in Puccino's at the Whitewater Centre. Food awful, coffee good, twirly chairs sublime, staff mmmm.
Honey from Monaghan. Ay yi yi.
Seriously though.
But I digress.
The seating area serves about six different cafes so there's a great swirl of humanity drifting past our table.
Not all of it swirls past. Some of it stops to pay homage.
Homage to...
... to the doctor.
Great suffering saurkraut what is the world coming to?
Little old ladies keep coming up to my brother and telling him how wonderful he is.
The noble Heelers looks sick as a parrot.
He has known the two days.
Now the cup has passed to another.
After about the fifth thank-you-doctor-you-saved-my-life, I can take no more.
"Look at these ould ones," I proclaim bitterly. "They wouldn't know a humour column if it came up and bit them on the arse."
"What's wrong with you?" sez the brother mildly.
"He's upset because now you're the public figure," explained the Mammy.
She was right too.
"Well what did you expect when you stopped writing the column?" wondered the brother.
I stared into the middle distance.
"I sort of expected the world to end," I murmured. "I didn't seriously think life could go on without me."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Light mist of midnight rain in the garden of my father. Paddy Pup snuffling among the fallen leaves of Autumn. A great stillness in my spirit.
Earlier today in the Stephens Green Centre cafe I opened a newspaper and beheld another bunch of terrorists up in court for planning mass murder.
The man who planned the murders in Madrid got ten years.
For a moment I felt the old useless anger. Briefly it threatened to consume me.
Then la belle Arabe appeared like an angel of light, sat at an adjoining table and favoured me with a mischievous smile. I was very grateful to see her. Because my afternoon immediately became about her and nothing else.
She had rescued me from something unworthy of myself.
But an hour later she was gone and I was alone again.
The newspaper on the table was once more calling for my attention.
Futile lunatic rage was not too far away.
I hesitated to pick up the paper.
My mind was a sea of questions.
Why do I still get angry about these things?
Why do I care about soft sentencing for murderers?
Why do I worry about the media trying to discredit the American President and the British Prime Minister?
What on earth has any of it got to do with me?
There is a reason bold readers.
A reason why I dare to dissent from the quisling consensus of the BBC, ITV, RTE, NBC, Time magazine, Newsweek, the Daily Mirror, the Washington Post and all their fellow travellers in appeasement.
Unlike them... I know we can still lose this war.

Monday, November 06, 2006

greatest hits

(To fully appreciate the following please imagine it is being spoken by Mr Casey Casem esquire who has a coolo American voice. He presented a pop music chart show for years on one of the US channels. Much earlier in his career he provided the voice for Scott in the British science fiction puppets television series Thunderbirds. Science fiction puppets. I kid you not.)

Hellooo there chart fans. You're welcome to the show. I'm your host Casey Casem and tonight we're counting down the Hoddlebun Top Five. Yes it's Hoddlebun's greatest hits. The moments that make her one of the most popular characters to ever grace God's sublimely surprising creation.
5. Our chart begins with the first ever appearance of that big haired girl in Heelers' life back in the dulcet Autumn of 2001. Yes in at number five, is the chance meeting in Bewleys Cafe (since then boycotted by Heelers) when our hero found himself at an adjoining table with more Hod than you could shake a stick at. A newspaper had been left at another table by a departing diner. Heelers leaned over to Hod and asked did she mind if he took the newspaper. She replied "Welllll," and that is the moment he always remembers. At that moment he could have simply run away. He'd never met her before. She wasn't reading the newspaper. It wasn't hers. But when he asked her did she mind him reading it, she suddenly decided she wanted it.
4. And at number four it's the flight of the bumble Bambis. Heelers and Hod were driving through the Phoenix Park on the north side of Dublin. Hod cautioned the mighty one to be careful in case any deer might run onto the road. "There are road signs with pictures of deer on them," she warned. She was told in no uncertain terms that the "Beware Of Deer Crossing" signs were put up by the Irish simply to impress the tourists. Next moment a veritable herd of Bambis galloped onto the road. Magic moments indeed.
3. In at number three it's the famous luggage shuffle that has been ongoing for years and shows no sign of running out of steam. Fully four years ago the unquiet American first asked Heelers if she could store some stuff at his house. Since then every time she changes apartments or goes back to the US on holiday, or simply gets a wandering urge, the stuff gets moved around once more. Sometimes to the new apartment. Sometimes back to the chateau de Healy. Sometimes to the airport. It's like a game of Musical Stuff, the Hoddlebun version of Musical Chairs. The Mammy has summed up the situation best. "You realise," she told her favourite son during a frank moment, "you're going to be driving around with her stuff for the rest of your life."
2. At number two it's the most flattering thing Hoddlebun has ever said to Ireland's greatest living poet. He asked her: "What do you like about me best?" She replied: "Your nose."
1. And at number one. Yes it's that perennial favourite. Christmas with Hoddlebun. Mild mannered genius James Healy is sitting at home on Christmas Eve. He gets a phonecall. It is of course the one and only Hodnuts. She tells him she is in the casualty department of a Dublin hospital waiting for tests. She has swallowed a chicken bone and there are fears it may be doing some damage internally. Heelers hot foots it (hot cars it really) to the hospital. He finds Hoddlebun in casualty. She is surrounded by about a dozen of her friends. They all seem fairly content with life in general. Except Heelers who has just driven 30 miles to be there. For some reason he just assumed she was alone in the hospital. Maybe because when he had asked her on the phone was she okay she replied: "I'm lonely and scared," and omitted to mention the fact that she was surrounded by friends and loved ones. History records that on arrival in casualty, Heelers' handsome features briefly contorted to the consistency and contours of a werewolf...


Sunday, November 05, 2006

out takes from the colers wedding

My old pal Colers, a pharmacist at Berney's Chemists in Kilcullen, got married last week.
He is the pharmacist who asks for details when customers murmur discretely: "Something for the weekend."
Interestingly enough, the same Colers started his professional career, not as a pharmacist, but on stage as an actor in my play Vampires Of Dublin.
Now he has found a more profitable calling.
Truly he is the meek who has inherited.
Sundry residents of the town of Kilcullen decamped on Thursday to the west of Ireland to partake in the wedding ceremony.
The night before the wedding Colers, my cousin John and a priest from Mayo called Father Fortescue Smythe were sitting in the members bar at the Flying Phoenix hotel.
An inebriate approached their table, anxious to challenge the priest on the existence of the Deity.
"I'm an agnostic," proclaimed the inebriate proudly before staggering away.
My cousin John turned to Father Fortescue Smythe.
"What's an agnostic?" enquired the cousin.
The Padre's eyes narrowed.
"It's a bollox," he said, "who sits on the fence."