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, January 27, 2007

this little life

Lunch with Doctor Barn in the Chat and Chew.
As always I am mildly discommoded by the steady stream of diners to our table. They are there to pay homage to my brother and not to me.
It's like something from The Godfather.
"Don Barn thank you for saving my wife's life."
"Don Barn thank you for curing my fever."
"Don Barn thank you for sending the rain and making the crops grow."
I'm nearly certain I heard someone say that last one.
And other such yulch.
Ireland's greatest living poet, once the writer of the mighty While I'm At It column, sits unattended and unremarked.
The cup has passed to another.
Presently Francis Ford Coppola says "take five," and the two brothers are left with time alone.
Doctor Barn tells me a story.
It is about a recent family gathering at a restaurant. The formidable Aunty Teresa had become ill at the centre table but didn't want to go home. Uncle Reg was trying to persuade her to leave. She wouldn't. Uncle Reg approached Doctor Barn and asked him to intercede.
Doctor Barn took Aunty Teresa aside and advised her firmly to go home.
She went.
Now folks this story touched most nearly upon my heart. Because the aunt and uncle have always been the big people to me. And here they were deferring to my little brother.
At this moment, and not before, I realised he was no longer my little brother.
"You know what's happened Barn," I cried warmly. "You've become John Shaft."
I then began to sing a parody of the theme tune to the classic 1970s blaxploitation film Shaft.
"Who's the one you gonna call,
When your Aunty's on the floor?
Shaft! John Shaft! Can you dig it...
Who's the one you want to show up,
When your baby's throwing up?
Shaft! John Shaft! That's right..."

I can assure you gentle readers, the brother got tired of this song long before I did.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

quotes of the day

Senator John Kerry:
"How many of you don't think Iraq was a mistake?"

James Healy:
"How many of you would prefer Saddam Hussein to still be in power?
How many of you would prefer prisoners in Saddam's jails to be still having their fingernails removed to entertain him?
How many of you would prefer Saddam to be free to build new conspiracies at his whim?
How many of you would prefer Uday Hussein to still have the option of murdering people in acid baths when he fancies their wives?
How many of you would prefer Qusay Hussein to still have the option of playing Keep Up With Uday.
How many of you would prefer the Hussein family business to still be free to launch eight year wars with Iran in which a million or more will die for nothing?
How many of you would prefer the Hussein family business to still be in a position to invade Kuwait?
How many of you are happy that Kofi Annan's son Kojo was receiving cash from elements within Saddam Hussein's government?
How many of you would prefer Saddam Hussein to be in a position to offer medical treatment to Abu Musab Al Zarqawi after he fled Afghanistan because it was less fun fighting the American army than it was terrorising unarmed Afghan men, women and children?
How many of you would prefer Abu Musab Al Dead Zarqawi to be still alive and facing possible UN sanctions?
How many of you would prefer Saddam Hussein to be in a position to continue offering sponsorship programmes for suicide bombers in Palestine?
How many of you would prefer Saddam Hussein to still be in a position to help those lovable air hostess murdering goons in Al Quaeda whenever the mood took him?
How many of you think Al Quaeda enjoys fighting the American army as much as it enjoyed murdering air hostesses and crashing planes into buildings?
How many of you think the late Osama Bin Laden enjoyed life skulking in the hills of Pakistan as much as he enjoyed being the big murderer about town in Afghanistan?
How many of you think the brave Mullah Omar is enjoying his putative retirement as a goatherd on the side of a mountain in Pakistan?
How many of you think the other brave hero of the Taliban, whatever his name is, Mullah Titface or something, how many of you think he's enjoying the goatherding as much as etc etc?
How many of you think the Taliban should have been left to murder, violate and enslave yet another generation of the people of Afghanistan while the UN provided social services for their abysmal toe rag regime effectively propping up a murderocracy?
How many of you think the pseudo journalists of Independent Newspapers and the Irish Times will lift the word murderocracy from this blog?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

swings and roundabouts

Shadows lengthening through the venerable vault of Kilcullen church.
The mighty Heelers is communing with the eternal.
Third on the left. Fourth pew from the front.
There he is.
How holy he looks!
A collection plate is being passed through the congregation.
Heelers has his head buried in his hands.
Sometimes if I'm deep in prayer the collection box will just sail by.
Now it's very close.
Right beside me.
I hear a vague commingled discordancy as of much coinage being dropped within the plate.
Then it is gone.
I smile into my hands.
Presently there's a whisper in my ear.
It is my sainted mother.
"Did you hear that sound?" sez she. "That was me. Ever since the priest said he didn't want coins in the collection, I make it my business to put in a big pile ever week."
Saint Heelers of Hindustan raises his head.
"Where do you get them from?" he enquires mildly.
"From your room," replies the aged parent.
Heelers nods grimly and returns to his prayers.
He is thinking to himself that a blissful paradise must surely await him in the next life to make up for the vale of tears he presently inhabits...

every dog has his day

heelers and paddy pup celebrate a birthday

Monday, January 22, 2007

the scientist's prayer

bright the sky
the god
of miracles
and molecules
sits on his throne tonight
that the humble and the mighty
may rejoice

Sunday, January 21, 2007

snow falling on heelers

Strolling on the avenue with Paddy Pup after midnight.
Blurry snowflakes falling around us.
Earlier today I had a language lesson with Rooskie.
She is luminous.
Luminous as the snow.
She arrived breathless and glowing at the cafe. Her first words were: "Sorry I'm late. I had to collect my daughter from her playgroup."
She had daughtered me straight away.
The process of making an innocuous mention of a daughter in conversation is known as daughtering.
She daughtered me again a few minutes after.
And yet again half an hour later.
And yet once more as I was buying a second round of coffees.
My febrile mind raced.
It occurred to me she might indeed be trying to let me know she has a daughter.
This thought was followed immediately by: Not a problem for me.
I sat back down with the coffees.
Seconds later she husbanded me.
That is to say she made an innocuous reference to her husband etc etc.
"My husband parked the wan in the street last night. We got into trouble with the neighbours."
Heelers' face was a study.
"What?" sez I.
"The wan," sez she.
I nodded grimly.
The wan indeed.