The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Sunday, March 09, 2008

the ineluctable modality of goutman

Sixth birthday party for my nephew John.
The house rings with the laughter of the young.
My feminist cousin Pauline catches my arm.
"I love family parties," she whispers. "You see all the babies and toddlers and little kids over one side of the room looking absolutely radiantly beautiful. And over the other side of the room you see all their parents looking completely wrecked."
It was a most insightful comment.
A little later I was surrounded by these same babies, toddlers etc etc.
They are very fond of me.
It was magical enough.
I took a breather to address God.
"This doesn't count," I told him seriously. "Making me into Mr Chips is not answering my prayer."
Doctor Barn pressed his way through the noisy and demonstrative crowd and we headed out to the kitchen for coffee.
"So," sez he, "have you come to terms with the gout?"
"Oh yeah," sez I, "best thing that ever happened to me."
"You're joking."
"No, really. It's opened my eyes. I'd become a bit sedentary. The gout shook me up. Now when I'm out walking the dog, I'm so happy to be able to walk at all, that I'm striding along with a big grin on my face, singing zippedeedoodah out my... Well you know. For the first time in my life I've had to get shoes that fit me. I've had to make sure I'm sleeping in a comfortable bed. I've had to do something about all that coffee I was drinking. I've had to think about what I'm doing in life and what I want to do. Even the rabbit food Pauline has me eating has brought a blessing. After a few days of her stuff I find I can really taste, really savour proper food. I'm telling you Barn, the gout is genuinely the best thing that ever happened to me. It's made me appreciate what I've got. There's a spiritual lesson in it. You know. Every catastrophe becomes a triumph if you take it in the right spirit. That sort of thing. Doesn't matter whether it's gout or losing your job or depression or schizophrenia or something really bad. God intends us to endure, overcome and triumph. I'm sure of it."
"Healthy attitude," said the doc in a doubtful voice. "Long may it last."
"Not only that," quoth I, "now I truly appreciate the sort of medical expertise that's been so freely available to me. I don't just take it for granted anymore."
"Arrah thanks Heelers."
"I was referring to the chermopodist."


Blogger Frances said...

Jim, were you reading in todays Guardian that Julie Burchill suffers from the same form of ingrowing toenail as yourself......and Uncle Skidmore!!!!!!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Genevieve said...

Glad you're doing well, James, and as for your brother, I suppose he deserves a little dig now and then, for what he has done and what he has left undone (his brotherly sins.)

3:39 AM  

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