The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

they live

There's a moment in the John Carpenter film They Live.
Rowdy Roddy Piper is fighting aliens who have taken on human form to infiltrate and conquer the planet earth.
He's been getting knocked around badly.
Now for the first time he's shot one of the aliens.
The alien is lying dead at his feet.
Rowdy Roddy Piper is surprised.
Up to now he hasn't actually been sure if bullets can affect these aliens.
He says:
"So you bast--ds bleed just like us."
I had a They Live moment yesterday.
A comment had been left on this blog.
It looked like something my former employers would write.
I could see no reason why they would bother leaving a comment here.
I wondered what was going on.
It seemed to me that something in my genial comic stylings must have stung them.
Being stung seems a rather human reaction.
Up to now I have never encountered the slightest vestige of humanity in these people.
And as I thought about the comment I murmured aloud:
"So you bast--ds bleed just like us."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard)


Heelers after his farewell party at the Leinster Leader.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

from our sports desk



The graph shows the triumphant progress of the Johnston Press share price over the past year.

The Johnston Press owns the Leinster Leader from which I was fired in November 2007 barely three weeks before Christmas.

The Johnston Press share price closed at 31 and a quarter pennies on Friday evening.

Seriously though, they're doing a brilliant job.

Friday, September 26, 2008

the knight remembers a moment before the battle

two throngs in silence
the green mead between
the vagrant wind made known itself
grasses rustled
birdsong silked the stream
and hush
the trees the blessed trees
a rabbit
a squirrel
such frail things
their weakness a strength untold
my life
the sun has drenched the field in gold
the moment passed
these things ceased to be
we murdered Christ in the vales of arcady.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

soul wars

Desolate of soul.
Feeling completely defeated.
I cannot even begin to see the possibility of victory.
A suppurating spiritual malaise struck me yesterday just hours after the last of my physical sicknesses departed.
Yes folks.
For the first nine months of the year I've been bouncing around between various fascinating illnesses, debilitations and maladies.
Nothing as serious as some of you who visit this Diary have experienced.
But serious enough for me.
My first ever experiences of ill health.
Sometimes I couldn't walk.
Sometimes I couldn't sit up.
Sometimes I couldn't open my mouth without shouting in pain.
During all that time I experienced a closeness to God that was unprecedented.
I had never been weaker in body.
But I have never ever been stronger in spirit.
And get this.
Now all the physical ailments have left me.
Completely.
And hours later.
This overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and defeat.
I knew again that I was facing spiritual warfare.
Somewhat ruefully I recalled the Lord's one liner about the evil spirit that is cast out, going to live in a dry and waterless place, and then deciding to return to the home it had before, only this time bringing more evil spirits back with it for company.
I had thought my spiritual victories might be durable.
That I would never have to fight these battles again.
But here I am.
Beginning again.
Right at the bottom.
As if nothing had been achieved.
In this mood I went to bed.
I dreamt.
In the dream I was without bodily or spiritual strength.
Two angelic beings stood either side of me, caught my arms, and flew upwards with me towards heaven.
My body was without any power of its own but I was flying.
It was a pleasant sensation.
A golden light enfolded us.
Then I was back at home.
Not awake yet.
Still dreaming.
There was a third angel in the kitchen.
This angel was an American actor.
In life he had starred in a Hollywood film version of a famous novel.
I said: "You were in the film based on that book."
He said: "The film was better than the book."
He then asked me what I thought about flying with the angels.
I said: "The real problem is, I don't know if I'm saved or not."
Then I woke.
I awoke for real.
Dream over.
It was morning in the world.
I lay there thinking.
I wasn't sure if the dream was just a dream, or from God.
I prayed aloud: "God if there's something in there that you want me to understand, my heart is open."
No immediate answer.
Just that sensation of serenity which can imply something has come your way from the forces of good.
The doorbell rang.
A jangling discordant disruptive ring.
It was a most unpleasant sound.
Something about it was not right.
I sat up and waited.
The ringing went on for five minutes.
Then it was replaced by heavy knocking.
I felt no inclination to answer the door.
After another five minutes of heavy knocking accompanied by Paddy Pup barking the place down, I heard a car door slamming.
I looked out the window.
It was a police officer who has a bad reputation among many people in this area.
A very bad reputation.
There is a touch of the night about him.
He drove out of the garden at speed.
Strange.
The police would know that my eighty year old parents live in this house.
The ringing and hammering at the door was inappropriate in the extreme.
It was inappropriate anyway, eighty year olds or not.
Of course the two OAP's had slept through everything.
Later in the day I was sitting with a coffee at the Costa Cafe in Newbridge.
The dream was going through my head.
It was making me smile.
The sensation of the angels carrying me towards heaven was still quite immediate.
Even here in broad daylight surrounded by all these afternoon shoppers, I could feel the sense of peace.
Maybe I could understand a little.
Even if we are utterly deprived of physical and spiritual strength, the Lord will not permit us to be lost. He will will see to it that we are uplifted by angels.
Not just as a metaphor.
Not just a dream.
But for real.
A thought struck me.
Last night at my moment of greatest weakness God sent two angels to show me his light.
Another thought.
In the morning Satan sent an angel of his own to try to steal the victory.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

septembering at the chateau


the admiral drops by

Monday, September 22, 2008

morning in hibernia

Morning at the Chateau de Healy.
A sound of great perturbation fills the ancient hallways.
I hear it but dimly from my bed where I am ensconced in a mound of blankets.
The world could end and I wouldn't stir.
They'd have to send a few Archangels to drag me out.
Now I hear footsteps and shouting.
Ah yes.
The sounds of a primordial Doctor Barn on the rampage.
The shouting grows clearer.
Warm and untroubled, I attend amusedly upon the following tirade:
"It's that xxxxing robin again. It's after sh---ing everywhere. James has the place turned into a zoo. Get out. Get out. You stupid bird. Get out. Fly out the window damn you. If you can fly up and down the hall for a cr-p you can just as easily fly out the xxxxing window."
Presently I hear a softer voice.
It is my little nephew Brian.
He is saying: "Daddy, is that Santa's robin."
Doctor Barn's rampage stops as suddenly as it began.
"Er yes Brian," he says, "I suppose it is."
There is silence.
I fancy I can hear a few last wingbeats as Robin lets him know who's boss.
Then.
"He's gone Daddy."
"He is Brian."
"He's gone back to Santa."
"Er, yes, yes he is."
The door of my room opens.
The goodish Doctor hisses something he doesn't want my little nephew to hear.
It sounds distinctly like:
"You and your xxxxing robins. I suppose you have the bloody hedgehog under the bed."
The door closes.
I roll over in the blankets and absently address a few words of comfort to the hedgehog who naturally enough is curled up in a ball in a corner of the room.
"Don't mind him Harvey," I murmur. "He hasn't a clue about the important things in life."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

what moses saw


Thursday, September 18, 2008

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard)

"Now this is what I really call a mid life crisis... I'm going bald. And I've started to look like Hitler!"

eventide

footballers cheer a score
pat carroll shoots rabbits in the gloom
children steal crab apples
and farmer byrne calls the cattle home

perhaps this chaotic place
is not kilcullen in the present time
but a dusty frontier town
at the heart of ancient palestine

the sounds dissolve
into a muted half felt bliss
fluted by fond memory
and a strange provincial holiness

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

what me worry

(rambling about the financial crisis)


Let me be clear.
Ish.
Capitalism is not the free world.
Capitalism is a term devised by Marxists to describe what they thought were the worst aspects of our freedom.
We should never let any corporation or bank or computer company pose as the embodiment of our freedom.
Crises for large corporations are not crises for the free world.
Our freedom will endure and grow as long as we continue to elect our governments, to uphold Christian values, to promote small businesses, to permit citizens to own their own property and their own lives, to raise our children with dignity, to be polite to each other in the streets, to contribute directly to each other with charitable hearts, and to care about each other as a community.
As long as these fundamentals are a part of our culture, the fate of soulless corporatist entities is not going to matter.


The banks are collapsing for the following reasons.
The banks have gouged their customers by imposing charges that never existed twenty years ago. These charges have been imposed gradually for such arcane services as checking the balance in your account, withdrawing your own money from your account, lodging your own money to your account, paying a bill with your own money from your own account, and so on.
The banks have established a business model for profits which depended on facilitating the creation of overcharged credit card accounts for people they knew would go into debt, and then fining those customers punitively for running up the expected debts on those accounts. The deliberate creation of bad debts by the banking industry has fundamentally damaged whatever trust the general public ever entertained for the banks. The deliberate attempt to continually impose fines on customers for bad debts the banks hoped those customers would incur, has in fact shattered the integrity of the banker/customer relationship.
And of course the banks and mortgage companies have thrown people out of their homes.
This practice has shattered the fundamental decency which hitherto distinguished business relationships conducted in the Christian world.
Forever.

The collapse of corporations like Lehman Brothers is a tragedy for those who work for those corporations. God bless those people. I've been unemployed for the past ten months. It's not a lot of fun. But let me say again. The collapse of a bank, or ten banks, need not be a tragedy for our society as a whole. All of us, employed and unemployed are in this together. And Jesus is real.

In future we will have smaller banks. In future we will have banks where managers and staff know their customers. Not just the rich ones. All their customers. And they'll treat us with respect Goddamit. Or they'll go bust. That's the lesson for the day.

I repeat.
The collapse of banks is not a crisis for the free world.

The free world is more than the banks.
The free world is built on the Christian traditions of our countries. The free world is built on our respect for the citizens and our ascription of rights to those citizens. The free world is built on the participatory nature of our societies.
We allow the banks, the corporations and the super rich, to exist.
But they are a by product of our freedoms.
We allow them.
But they are in many ways an improperly advantaged excrescence from our freedoms.
They have not behaved well with the power we have allowed them.
And they are not the free world.
The banks have mistreated their customers for many years. They have operated illegal cartels. (Cartels = the banks getting together to simultaneously adopt non competitive policies, destroying the possibility of real customer choice.)
They have behaved abysmally towards customers and have propagated a grasping value system that is in direct contravention of the decency that underlies the free world, our traditions of innovation, small businesses, community values, and democracy.
Our tradition of not throwing your neighbour out of his house when he's short of money.
The tradition of helping each other.
The tradition of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The super rich banking corporations have trahaised every one of these traditions.
They're going down.
We don't have to go with them.
We have to know that a small business culture based on values is the hallmark of our societies.
We have to know we can manage without Big Daddy Warbucks.

We should not allow our governments to continually bail out companies that mistreat their customers.

What are the other symptoms of this supposed international financial crisis?
A fall in the price of oil.
Here is the news.
The price of oil is falling because many of us are now buying less oil.
This hasn't happened by accident.
Oil companies have been gouging the general public. Now we the general public are reducing the amount of oil we buy.
After the huge price rises of the past year many of us began putting half a tank of petrol in our cars instead of a full tank.
Many of us are cutting back on at least two car journeys per week.
We're finding a way.
And you know it's not just the oil companies who make excessive profits when we put petrol in our vehicles.
Remember. Every time you halve the amount of gas you put in your car, you're halving the amount of revenue that goes to terrorist sponsoring Arab regimes. Just think about it. It's a thought that can really motivate.
Alright.
We must never again allow the oil companies to present their difficulties as a crisis for the free world. Let's use less and less oil. Let's find a way. There is no crisis for us when oil companies collapse. Let em go. The small business person will take up the slack.

Another symptom of this supposed collapse?
The fall in prices on the Stock Exchanges of Ireland, Britain, Australia and America. (ie the free world.)
Every financial newspaper, every financial page, every financial satellite television channel, is in effect a perpetual advertisement for stocks and shares.
You will not hear my style of critical analysis on any of these journalistic entities operated by shills for the Stock Exchange.
Let me be clear.
The Stock Exchange is in a state of massive dysfunction. No one ever found a way to make Stock Exchange companies truly accountable to their share holders. No one has ever found a way of creating real share holder democracy. The Boards of Stock Exchange quoted companies continue to vote themselves ridiculous pay rises and free shares. The process by which the Boards of Stock Exchange quoted companies have given themselves free money and free shares has in my view fundamentally damaged the integrity of share values. No one should buy them. They're worth nothing.
The recently announced pay package of a hundred million dollars for the head honcho at the New York Stock Exchange is worth considering.
I would put it to you: Any company that pays a man this dysfunctional amount of money, is no place for us little guys to be investing our hard earned cash.
I would suggest that the New York Stock Exchange will never recover from the blow to its integrity that a pay package of this sort represents to most of us.
Don't give em your money.
Buy a boat.
Open a lemonade stand.
Start a blog.
Dammit all.
Something.
These bast--ds don't deserve your money.
A hundred million quid and he's such an important fellow.
Look at the state of the New York Stock Exchange.
Ask yourself why!
But the Stock Exchange is not our freedom. The Stock Exchange is not our quality of life.
A crisis for the Stock Exchange need not be a crisis for the free world.
If New Yorkers were polite to people, and stopped overcharging for taxis and hotels, they'd make more money in a week from tourism than they do in a whole year from the fake bubble economy generated by the Stock Exchange.
(Sideswipe Memo to Officer Savanelli at Boston Airport: When you're rude to an Irish visitor to America, you're putting America out of business. You low life scruff.)
We need a little act of faith here people.
We're all going to learn to manage with less.
We're all going to learn to create our own opportunities.
We're all going to learn to uphold our own freedoms.
Together we can.
We can manage without the Stock Exchange, the oil companies, Alitalia, the banks, Independent Newspapers, Rupert Murdoch, and certainly without my old friends at the Johnston Press.
Folks we can do it.
The way to own your own company is to set one up. Forget the Stock Exchange.
It's going down.
The fate of the Stock Exchange is not linked to the fate of the free world.
Their crisis is not our crisis.

Let's look at some cases.

Alitalia is going bust because an air hostess was rude to me five years. No really. You may be sure she was being rude to someone every day since then. But the Italian government has been accustomed to giving free money to its more incompetent corporations. They have delayed the inevitable.
Alitalia's demise should not be seen as a crisis for the free world. It's a rectification. It's about bloody time.
Ditto Aer Lingus, the Irish carrier.
Dreadful people.
Time they started to work for a living.

Rupert Murdoch's media corporation will go bust because the pornographic films carried on its channels offend me. Mr Murdoch currently has an ad running on his Sky satellite system. The ad says: "Worried about what the kids will watch? Switch on Parental Control. It only takes a minute." My reply to this ad runs thusly: "Hey Rupert. Where do I find a satellite service provider who turns his nose up at dealing with porn barons? Where can I get a satellite service provider who will not broadcast images that debase woman and contribute to the derangement of male sexuality? Hey Bollicky. Where do I sign up for that?" Rupert Murdoch's media corporation will cease to exist as soon as the free world has a Christian conversion. It'll happen soon. We shouldn't consider it a crisis.
(Footnote: Rupert owns the anodyne left wing British based Sky News as well as the anodyne right wing American based Fox News. Neither should be considered moral entities.)

When the Johnston Press newspaper group goes bust it will be because I was fired from the Leinster Leader three weeks before Christmas.

If a whole host of banking corporations go bust it will be because I am worried they have attempted to devolve limitless power to themselves. Yes, it's that personal. A bank in Britain launched an advertising campaign several years ago with the slogan: "Let's sort out money." Many of us thought the bank was testing the waters on trying to promote a cashless society. We suspected this particular bank and others wanted to introduce a system that would compel the public to conduct all transactions without money. In such circumstances very single purchase would take place through a bank card. Apparently feedback from this campaign convinced the bank in question to bide its time. This week bank shares are being dumped on markets all over the world. Can you imagine the situation the general public would be in now, if we'd allowed this bank or any other to do away with money, so that all of us needed to use one of their bank cards for even the most basic transaction? Guess who'd be paying for the banks' current financial woes. We all would.

If Allied Irish Banks goes bust it will be because I don't like the manners of some of their staff. And it will be because a few years ago a market trader called Rusnak somehow lost 600 million quid of Allied Irish Banks money. He and the bank claimed the money was lost in financial trading investment transactions. Around the same period Allied Irish Banks board member Lochlainn Quinn was able to buy a vineyard in France for thirty million quid. I am not suggesting Lochlainn Quinn had anything to do with Mr Rusnak's shenanigans. I am suggesting that I think Allied Irish Bank was paying Lochlainn Quinn too much money, if while Lochlainn Quinn was a board member of the bank, Mr Rusnak could steal or gamble or waste 600 million quid. What exactly do board members do for their vineyard money? At what point do they become accountable? The answer to this last question is never. Except when reality kicks in. When there's a reality check, banks that allow their rogue traders to mislay 600 million quid, often go bust. We shouldn't think of it as a tragedy if they do. Certainly if such a collapse becomes imminent, the Irish government should not bail out Allied Irish Banks for the second time in thirty years.

When Tony O'Reilly's hideously sneeringly anti Catholic Independent Newspapers goes bust it will be because his newspapers offend me. And they will go bust once the Irish government has ceased to prop them up with Health Board advertising. They've survived without readers for twenty years. But many of us who boycotted them were financing them anyway as the government handed over our tax dollars for these hugely expensive ads. The free money routine is coming to an end. Goodbye Tony.
Ditto The Irish Times.
Ditto the Irish monopoly State broadcaster RTE.
Fare ye well.
The collapse of aspirant feudal monopoly corporations is not a crisis for the world. It's not even a crisis for Ireland.
Let em go.

The point I'm making is that these grotesque corporate entities have been sneering at all of us for too long. When an anonymous porcine clype at the Johston Press fires one of us three weeks before Christmas, he's firing all of us three weeks before Christmas. When an air hostess or a bank clerk or a journalist is rude to one of us, they're being rude to all of us. And let's face it. Not many of us feel too positively towards the banks. They have regarded us as farm animals and have attempted to arrogate to themselves a near feudal lien over our society. They have devised a work culture of contempt for the general public. This is the sole reason any of them are going bust.

There is no crisis.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

vote mccain or you are a clodpoll

Morning at the Chateau de Healy.
Two brothers breaking bread in the kitchen.
"Your jaw is getting smaller again," said Doctor Barn conversationally.
For the past week I've had two bulbous swellings on either side of my face.
They might have been swollen glands.
Or else I'd become so partisan with regard to the American elections that I was metamorphosing into John McCain.
(Metamorphasising? - Ed note.)
Various family members have up to now been quite persistent in denying they could see any swelling at all.
"So you noticed them did you?" I asked the Doctor.
"Hoo yeah."
"Were they very noticeable?"
"They were."
"Why didn't you tell me at the time?"
"I didn't want you to get self concscious."
The noble Heelers favoured his brother with a Paddington bear stare.
"So why are you telling me now?" quoth me.
"We owe it to ourselves to live a little," grinned the goodish doctor.
And there our story ends.

Monday, September 15, 2008

a light hearted interlude

Coffee with the Perfect Fit at the foodcourt in the Stephens Green Centre in Dublin.
The Perfect Fit is a Spanishy who's been on my books for a while now.
We are sitting at a window table.
The little Muslim waitress Privya is glaring at us prettily from behind the counter.
Okay, okay.
Glaring at me.
Ah she's a babe.
She's a robo babe.
I'd convert to the peaceloving religion of Islam for her in a second.
No.
In half a second.
But I digress.
The Perfect Fit seems utterly unaware that the sexiest and most dangerous looking waitress in the place is favouring me with ye olde looks that kill routine. (Or looks that imply a serious effort may shortly be underway to kill in the near future.)
I take a sip of warm milk.
It is Privya's sole pleasure in life to serve me warm milk when I order a caffe latte.
I do not begrudge her this consolation.
The Perfect Fit for her part shows no sign of being aware of this particularly magnificent bout of synchronised glaring. In truth, she is well accustomed to strangers glaring at me.
It's part of why she finds me so fascinating.
Our conversation today scintles brightly through the cafe.
"So are you still sick?" my companion wonders.
The Perfect Fit's question refers to several ailments which recently struck down Ireland's greatest living poet.
(Heelers means himself - Ed note.)
First came gout, then a paralysing back pain, then a tooth ache.
Oh the humanity.
But I digress.
(Again - Ed note.)
I eye the Perfect Fit keenly and speak with utmost seriousness.
"I'm all clear," sez I. "Not a sign of a symptom in any part of my body. And I'll tell you why. I think they were spiritual afflictions."
"Spiritual afflictions in what way?" enquires La Perfecta.
I groan like a heffalump in pain.
"I think I'd started hating Muslims and Arabs," I tell her. "Not just hating their crimes against humanity and their crimes against each other. But really hating them. And it wasn't their terrorism that did it either. It was a little Muslim crime gang operating in Dublin called the Black Jackets. I couldn't abide the thought that these low life were smuggling themselves into our country and then trying to force Irish people to live in fear. Somewhere along the way I started to despise them for it. To really really hate them."
"So what changed?" asked Perfection.
I shrugged.
"I think God gave me an awareness of the hatred I'd let into myself," I mused. "I think sometimes there's a gift in the afflictions. This was mine. To actually be unable to walk. Then to see myself in some measure as I am. I chose not to hate. The afflictions lifted."
The Perfect Fit grinned and half turned towards Privya.
"So what do you think is going on up there?" she demanded cheekily. "You certainly don't seem too well disposed towards that one."
Her glistening Spanish eyes challenged me for a response.
I answered her ruefully and without hesitation.
"It's perfectly clear what's going on," I murmured. "I've been free of hatred for about three months. But Satan never willingly gives up his kingdom."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

an open letter to tony o'reilly

Dear Tone.
I chanced upon a copy of the Irish Independent, one of the newspapers you own, on Saturday. Someone had left it in the Costa Cafe and I inadvertently picked it up. As you well know, I never buy it.
On a page edited by one of your drones in Sector Seven G, a certain Mr Kim Bielenberg, my eye alighted on a supposedly humorous snippet about American Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The piece was in keeping with a lot of your sneering coverage of Sarah Palin over the past two weeks.
The piece referred to a photo of Sarah Palin showing her with a shotgun. The photo had supposedly appeared on the cover of a magazine.
The piece quoted an unnamed observer as saying that the shotgun in the photo had something to do with Sarah Palin's daughter's forthcoming marriage.
O'Reilly do you, as owner of Independent Newspapers, bear any responsiblity for what your drones are writing?
Do you stand over this material?
Here's what I want you to do.
I want you to take Kim Bielenberg to one side.
I want you to tell him that it is unacceptable to print remarks that may be interpreted as being disrespectful to any single mother, or to the parents of that single mother, or to the family of that single mother, or to the unborn child of that single mother, or to the betrothed of that single mother.
I want you to make it clear to him that you don't care whether his remarks are meant to be witty, snide, ingenious, ingenuous, or simply to produce short term political capital for Barak Obama.
Don't scare him.
Just make it clear to him O'Reilly.
I want you to tell him that you came into the world through the union of a man and woman who were not married and who never married.
Tell him you got to live because the Irish no matter what their circumstances believed in the sanctity of life.
Tell him that thanks to Catholic doctrine on the sanctity of life the Irish never bowed to abortion or infanticide, or even to the unimaginative anti life ideology of contraception.
Tell him O'Reilly.
Tell him that's why you exist.
I want you to make it clear to him that when he insults a teenage mother in your newspaper, whether through innuendo, vindictiveness or sneer, that he is insulting you.
Let him know where you stand O'Reilly.
Thank you for your time.
James Healy
PS: Are your other drones in Sector Seven G, Kevin Myers and Ian O'Doherty, are they lifting ideas from my blog? Look into this.
PPS: I bet they don't lift this one.

dignitatis


the serene erudite dignity of ireland's greatest living poet (photographed by Luisella Avaro)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

french for beginners

Ze fire in ze channel tunnel yesterday was not, ow you say, an Al Qaeda attack. Even zough ze fire was a chemical fire and broke out on a train on ze anniversary of, ow you say, Nine Eleven, even so we in Fransh Intelligence quickly concluded zat ze perpetrateur was a humble brake line malfunction in a lorry parked on the train, and not, ow you say, ze work of psychotic Muslim murdereurs. We are in no doubt zat ze brakes overheated on zis parked lorry. Eet appens all ze time. Parked lorries containing chemical explosives ave ze brake line malfunctions every day ze week. Eet is alway betteur to conclude zat ze life threatening catastrophes are ze coeencidences, n'est ce pas? We theenk you will agree zat zere ees nozzing to be gained by calling a terrorist strike a, ow you say, terrorist strike. After Nine Eleven lots of tzings blew up in France. We called zem all ze, ow you say, industrial acceedents. So much easier than actually confronting zat, ow you say, nutbox Osama Bin Laden. And la France has no regrets. We regrettez rien. Occasionally some of our five millions of ze Muslim citizens vill burn down ze suburbs of ze French cities forcing ze ozzer forty five millions French peoples to live in fear. But we're okay vit zat. Now ven ze fire broke out on ze channel tunnel we were able to say immediately, while the blaze was still burning, that zis was not ze Musleem terrorisme. We are ze experts in what isn't Musleem terrorisme. Musleem terrorisme never appens en France. Or near France. Or on ze French trains. Now industrial acceedents, hoo boy, we have beaucoups of those. So just one more time to reiterate, ze chemical fire in ze channel tunnel on the seventh anniversaire of Nine Eleven, was not, repeat not, ow you say, anything to do with an, ow you say, Islamic conspiracy called Al Qaeda which is, ow you say, sworn to destroy the Free World, and is trying to, ow you say, keel as many Westerners, Christians and Jews as possible in ze process of re-establishing a, ow you say, Muslim caliphate and, ow you say, enslaving humanity to its useless clapped out, ow you say, seventh century cultural dysfunction masquerading as a, ow you say, religion. Why in God's name would zey tzink la France was part of ze Free World anyway? Be, ow you say, serious.

Friday, September 12, 2008

where i was

I was sitting in my car, parked on Kilcullen Main Street.
Earlier I'd collected the Mother from one of her card games. We'd gone for coffee and now we were on the road home. She left me for a minute to get something in the shops.
I switched on the radio to RTE, Ireland's national radio and television broadcaster.
A voice said: "We are all thinking about the tragedy in America. Our hearts go out to the people there. We will have more news at three o'clock. For now we'll continue with Rattle Bag."
Rattle Bag is the Irish National broadcaster's arts programme.
On Nine Eleven, the Irish National broadcaster continued with Rattle Bag.
I have never forgiven them for it.
I moved the radio dial to a local station.
The station was Tipperary North FM.
Tipperary North FM broadcasts without State subsidy.
People there actually work for a living.
Tipperary North FM had already gone live to New York and was giving minute by minute updates of the situation.
The situation was this.
Someone had hijacked aeroplanes and crashed them into sky scrapers in New York.
Thousands of people were dead.
My Mother returned to the car.
"There's been an attack on America," I told her.
"Oh God," she said.
We drove home.
The Dad met us in the hall.
He'd seen the news on Sky television.
We went into the living room and watched the images on the screen.
"Who did it?" said the Mammy.
I considered her question.
"There's a tiny possibility of Russia or China," I replied. "But I'd say it was the Muslims."
"There's no sign of President Bush," said the Dad.
"You won't see President Bush today," I guessed. "The Americans won't let anyone know exactly where he is until they've assessed the full extent of the threat from whoever's attacking them."
(President Bush did address the American people on the day. But from a location that could not be immediately identified by friend or foe.)
We watched for a while longer.
There was some recorded footage of Sky journalists talking nonsense about flight paths close to the towers, after the first plane hit. But the journalists were entitled to a little leeway today. None of us were keeping the score.
On Fox News a stringer journalist working for an affiliate on the spot, interviewed a young man who had just run up the street from the towers.
The Fox stringer said to the man: "Hadn't you better go back and see if there's anyone else who needs help?"
It was the second most vile thing I've ever seen on television.
Keeping the score or not, it was abysmal.
(The first most vile thing I've seen on television happened years before, when an Irish presenter called Gabriel Byrne told the parents of murdered toddler Jamie Bolger: "You have to forgive. You have to forgive if you're Christian." Gabriel Byrne's statement to the parents of murdered toddler Jamie Bolger is the single most unchristian thing I've ever heard. And unrequitedly the vilest.)
I left the Healy house and drove to Dublin.
There was a traffic jam on the quays.
A young man and woman strode past my car.
The young man was saying: "Bill and Rowena are in New York at the moment. They might be in a lot of trouble."
I found a park at the Stephens Green Centre.
It was a sunny day in Dublin.
I fell into step behind a flock of young business people. They were striding along, talking animatedly about the news.
Outside an electrical goods shop on Dawson Street a group of about twenty people had gathered.
They were staring open mouthed at the images playing and replaying over and over on TV screens in the shop window.
I drifted down the street.
Outside another electrical goods shop near the Hodges Figgis bookstore, a similar crowd had gathered.
I glanced around.
I caught the eye of one man.
He was rough hewn.
He was smiling.
I glared at him.
He tried to stare me out.
He dropped his eyes to the pavement and wiped the smirk off his face.
The eternal satan.
Never far away.
I walked onwards towards O'Connell Street.
There was an aura of palpable emotion everywhere.
I like to think some of it was shock.
I like to think some of my countrymen knew already that we'd all been attacked.
I wandered into the Oval Bar which is beside Eason's bookshop on Abbey Street.
There was a television in the bar.
Reports coming in indicated a plane had struck the Pentagon and that more planes were unaccounted for, and apparently still in flight.
I looked into my heart.
These things call for wisdom.
If you drag God into it in an undiscerning way, you can end up hating God.
I didn't for a second think that Muslims were being favoured by God.
I didn't for a second think I myself was a holy enough person to discern the mystical truth behind the mayhem Muslims had inflicted on humanity.
But I knew God was here in some way.
I wondered where and how.
It didn't seem impossible to me, that like the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese before them, the cowards of Islam were being permitted their day, that they were in some part a judgement upon us, that they would have an hour, before the wrath of the free world engulfed them.
But I never for a moment thought God favoured them.
They just don't act like Godly people.
Ever.
"How much Lord?" I murmured. "How much do they get?"
By which I meant, how much victory would be granted to Muslim murderers on this day of hell.
I wandered into Easons bookshop.
For the next hour I moved between the book shop and the bar.
On my final visit to the bar there was a new report coming in.
A fourth aeroplane had been downed over Pensylvania.
This was Flight 93.
There was some speculation on the news that it might have been shot down by the American Airforce.
I felt instantly that this was not what had happened.
I knew.
The passengers had taken it back from the Muslim cowards who had presumed to hijack it.
They had sent the murderers home to Allah.
I felt the intuition of knowledge.
There would be no more Muslim victories today.
The will of God had denied them anything further through the actions of the American heroes on Flight 93.
Now the cowards of Al Qaeda would face an enemy tougher than unarmed air hostesses and unsuspecting airline passengers.
They would face the American army.
I had a feeling the Muslim cowards of Al Qaeda would find the coming encounter with the American army far less enjoyable.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

television detective serials and the end of childhood innocence

in calm contentment we could review
shoot outs bank robberies all the rest
secure in the knowledge that the hero would come through
that ration legalism is the best

then one day in the late 70's
kojak was shooting at some thugs
i was relaxed in all my certainties
until kojak went over like a sack of spuds

and here's the rub he did survive
to keep the streets of new york free of human vermin
my sensibilities died that night
i could never put my faith in pop culture again

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

in denial

In the first nine months of the year the following has happened.

A British Airways jet suffered engine failure coming in to land at Heathrow and crash landed. No one died but everyone might have. British Airways now claims the engine failure was caused by ice blocking fuel lines. This unprecedented claim lacks a basis in science, and seems to be implausible at best. During all the variegated reportage of the sudden engine failure on a British Airways jet, there has been no mention of saboteurs working for the peaceloving religion of Islam.

During the Summer, no less than three Qantas jets were forced to land in circumstances that have still not been fully explained. One plane suffered an on board explosion which Qantas claimed was caused by an oxygen cylinder in the hold. No one died. Everyone might have. The claim that an oxygen cylinder exploded in flight seems implausible at best. The flight recorder from this aircraft went missing after it landed. The two other aforementioned Qantas planes suffered equally unexplained though less dramatic life endangering malfunctions. Six other Qantas planes were grounded following what the company claims were "issues with maintenance." During all the reportage of Qantas' woes, there has been no mention of the possibility of Muslim terrorist infilitration of maintenance crews at Qantas facilities.

Two weeks ago, a Ryanair plane plunged from 26,000 feet after suffering a sudden cabin decompression. No one died. Everyone might have. The decompression has not been explained. Again there was no mention of the possibility of Muslims infiltrating Ryanair maintenance crews in the copious reportage which followed the near catastrophe

This weekend Muslims rioted in a southern Spanish city. Buildings were torched and vehicles were destroyed. The Muslims claim to have rioted because one of their number was killed in a street fight. In the admittedly sparse international reporting of the riots in Spain, the great journalists of the Western world managed the near miracle of not once mentioning Muslims. According to several news reports the rioters were "youths" or "Africans." Euphemisms indeed. The Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero has granted several million Muslims citizenship since Al Qaeda bombed two hundred Spanish people to death in Madrid in the year 2004. Mr Zapatero also withdrew the Spanish army from its heroic role in the War On Terror following those Al Qaeda murders in Madrid. We might recall Rudyard Kipling's poem about Medieval nations who tried to buy off the Vikings. Kipplers wrote:
"This is called paying the Dane Geld.
And I'll tell you again and again.
Once you have paid him the Dane Geld,
You'll never get rid of the Dane."
The present day Spanish policy of withdrawing from the War On Terror and giving citizenship to millions of Muslims has a similar whiff to it.
"This is called paying the Al Qaeda Geld.
And I'll tell you without meaning to chide ya,
Once you have paid him the Al Qaeda Geld,
You'll never get rid of the Al Qaeda."
The Spanish for coward is Zapatero.

On Monday, three Muslims were found guilty in London of plotting to blow up airlines. One of their accomplices beat the rap and walked free. The jury found the three principal terrorists guilty on the less serious charges they faced. Juries, like journalists are in denial. The accused terror plotters were guilty of everything. Some twenty more of their accomplices have yet to stand trial. But here's the real news. British Intelligence is currently attempting to track 2000 Muslim terrorist plotters around Britain. That's 2000 we know about. This of course is a crass misuse of the security forces. Suspected Muslim terror plotters should of course no longer be tracked. They should at the very least be expelled.

When World War Two broke out, the British incarcerated those suspected of associations with Nazism for the duration. After Imperial Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbour the Americans similarly rounded up and detained Japanese nationals. The result of these round ups was that both Hitler and Hirohito had no capacity to mount terror attacks on the mainland USA or mainland Britain. The threat from Islamic terror is greater than anything the Nazis or Imperial Japan ever came up with. Yet in the modern era, a misplaced political correctness has ensured that Muslim terrorist Jihadi's are being left the freedom to plan and execute their mass murders in our midst. Our security forces are being contstrained by a frivolous pseudo legalistic probity. This must end.

If we do not act decisively on the Muslim terror threat, Al Qaeda will succeed in its stated aim of committing catastrophic mass murders in western countries. Here is the news. We can no longer afford the Cheerleading For The Jihadi's style of reportage favoured by CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times, the Washington Compost, the Times of London, the dreadful Irish Times, Skybollah, Channel Four, Time magazine, Newsweek, and the Nazi channel Al Jazeera. We can no longer afford the Lord Haw Haws and Tokyo Roses of the liberal media, putrescent pilchards such as Robert Fisk, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, John Pilger et Al, (particularly Al, I hate him), whose every word gives succour to the Jihadi's. These media groups and the appeasers who sail with them, have given Al Qaeda its second wind. They have convinced the Islamic Republic of Iran that the West is too divided to stand up to it. They have furnished the miserably deluded avatars of Muslim terror with a business model for success.

The media groups and pseudo intellectual elites of the free world are in denial about the evils we face.

We must defeat Islamic fascism or surrender to it.

The War On Terror has just begun.




(Memo to all journalists: Whatever you do, don't mention Muslims. I mentioned them once but I think I got away with it.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard)


"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, arghhhhhhh!"

Monday, September 08, 2008

sublime good humour

Sitting in the canteen at the surgery of the medico known to scholars of classical literature as Doctor Barn.
I am waiting for the goodish doctor to join me for a cup of tea.
He's seeing a patient in an adjoining room
As I stir the tea, I hear the following exchange.
"How are you today Mick?"
"Not so bad Doctor."
"What can I do for you?"
"To be perfectly honest Doctor I need a sick cert to get off work for a week."
"What's wrong with you?"
"Er, to be perfectly honest Doctor, I'm going to Medjugorje."
This conversation caused Ireland's greatest living poet no little amusement from his vantage point in the canteen.
When my brother finally enters the canteen, I am unable to contain my enthusiasm.
"Is that the sort of patient you get paid to see?" I demand.
"It is," sez Daktari.
"And do you ever actually save any lives?" I insist.
"No," sez Daktari.
Having shared a beverage with the Doc, I wander up town to see the obsessive dentist.
I call her the obsessive dentist because she's obsessed with dentistry.
Absolutely impervious to my charms.
There'll be nought going on here this morning, except plucking teeth.
I kid you not.
With brusque efficiency and an absolute paucity of romantic badinage, the obsessive dentist gets me to lie back on a chair in her office while she endeavours to part me from one of my wisdom teeth.
The operation takes longer than expected.
Although she's drugged me, I'm not exactly comfortable.
After half an hour of the obsessive dentist grappling about in my mouth, I am finding it difficult to escape the suspicion that she's actually trying to detach my lower jaw for a joke.
That's just the sort of thing Doctor Barn would put her up to.
I become mildly impatient.
I'm thinking: "For crying out loud, how much longer are you going to be at this? What in tarnation are you doing in there? Are you trying to install a kitchen sink in me?"
Her blonde assistant, a comely lass called Eugenia, moves to the back of the chair so that she can cup my head in her hands.
She needs to cup my head in her hands to prevent it lashing from side to side as the obsessive dentist is at present lashing it from side to side.
Anyhoo.
Eugenia's hands cradle me gently but firmly.
My perspective on the universe changes in a millisecond.
My thoughts are now these: "Why is the dentist in such a rush? What is she playing at. The man who made time made plenty of it. Take it easy there. Slow down. There's nobody here racing away to any appointments. Why does she always have to be in such a god damned hurry? Ah Eugenia. Take me to the drive in and swear that you love me."
All good things come to an end.
Eventually the tooth surrenders.
Emerging from the obsessive dentist's, I betake myself to the Costa Cafe for a brief rendezvous with the Mammy.
We're quaffing lattes.
The Mammy says: "Are you in much pain?"
I shrug disconsolately.
The anesthetic is wearing off.
Mr Pain and I are indeed becoming acquainted.
I'm also becoming painfully aware of my financial situation.
Paying for the lattes has left me entirely devoid of cash.
"Okay," sez the Mammy, "I've got some good news for you."
Curiosity alights on my finely honed preraphaelite features.
"John McCain," sez the Mammy, "has gone ahead in the polls."
Bold readers you should know that the last few thousand quid I'd saved before the Leinster Leader fired me last Christmas, has been invested in a bet on John McCain to win the American Presidency.
The sun comes out.
The Mammy and me toast each other with the lattes.
From somewhere not too far away the ghost of Sylvester Stallone's musical brother Frank comes over to our table and starts to sing the theme tune to the film Staying Alive, which by the way was the sequel to Saturday Night Fever.
Frank Stallone sings:
"I'm back in the race.
The Leinster Leader fired me.
But they are scuzzos.
The thrill of the chase.
You know I'm down.
But I am far from over..."

I find his rendition most inspirational.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

bushy


Saturday, September 06, 2008

medjugorje

The Irish edition of the Daily Mail reported in an unsigned article this week that the Vatican has taken action against a priest associated with the Medjugorje shrine.
Other Irish newspapers seem to have missed this story or to think it unimportant.
I commend the Mail for reporting it.
The Daily Mail article is headlined: "Rebel Priest banned from Medjugorje."
The article begins: "The Pope has begun a crackdown on the world's largest illicit Catholic shrine - by suspending the priest at the centre of claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared there more than 40,000 times."

I believe the Daily Mail is incorrect in its use of the term "illicit shrine" to describe Medjugorje.
The church has not made any formal pronouncement on the authenticity of the purported visions at Medjugorje.
There have been limitations placed on some of the devotions there.
Some clerics, including some Bishops, have a negative view of the purported visions.
Their view has not been endorsed by the church.

I believe the Daily Mail is incorrect in its statement that Father Tomislav Vlasic is "at the centre" of claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared in Medjugorje.
I believe Father Vlasic is incidental to those claims.
In fact, the purported visionary Marija dissociated herself from Father Vlasic in 1988.
Marija issued a written dissociation of herself from Father Vlasic and his activities.
Father Vlasic was indeed associated with the six visionaries as spiritual director in the early years of the claimed visions which are supposed to have commenced in 1981.
I would contend that this is not the same thing as being at the centre of the claims.

I believe the Daily Mail is incorrect in stating that the Pope is cracking down on Medjugorje.
The Pope has simply and solely authorised a decree of "interdict" against Father Vlasic.
The decree relates simply and solely to Father Vlasic.
My assessment is that this decree does not relate to Medjugorje.
The Pope may in the future pronounce approval or disapproval for the Medjugorje apparitions.

I believe the Daily Mail's extensive list of allegations against Father Vlasic is not contained in any church or legal document. The Daily Mail writes: "He has been accused of the diffusion of dubious doctrines, manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism and disobedience towards legitimately issued orders, and is suspected of heresy and schism."
Accused by, and suspected by, whom exactly? I have no acquaintanceship with, and only a little knowledge of, Father Vlasic. I am disquieted by what I do know of him. I am not in a position to defend or condemn him. But this general and unattributed list of accusations and suspicions smacks of innuendo.

My analysis of the church actions against Father Vlasic, is that the Vatican is concerned by his role in a coeducational establishment he has founded in Italy. There are fears it may have cultic attributes.

To sum up.

I have a certain sympathy for the Medjugorje visionaries and their claims.
I want them to be true.
I am deeply touched when I consider certain aspects and testimonies from Medjugorje.
Namely these...

1. An atheistic doctor who came to Medjugorje to study the visionaries had a conversion experience. He told Rolling Stone writer Randal Sullivan that he came to believe in God, not because of any of the more spectacular phenomona associated with the site, but because each evening at the moment of the supposed visions, thousands of birds would be singing in the trees around the church, and as the visions were supposed to be starting, he had witnessed the birds falling silent.

2. The visionaries claim they asked the Virgin Mary to show them a saint in their own town. She indicated the elderly Muslim woman Pasha.

3. Heather Parsons is Ireland's most successful magazine editor ever in terms of sales of the publication she edited. In 1985 she was sent by one of Ireland's national newspapers to report on Medjugorje. She was standing outside the church on the evening of her arrival. She says she saw the sun begin to dance around the sky. She says she saw a figure she instantly knew to be the risen Christ in a fountain of light above the sun.

4. My Uncle Jim runs one of County Kildare's oldest and most successful businesses. He says he saw the host (the bread Catholics believe becomes Christ during the Mass ceremony) rising out of the sun at Medjugorje.

5. I pray to Father Slavko Barbaric as a saint. He is a priest who was associated with the Medjugorje visionaries up until his death in the year 2000. I have obtained what I believe to be a signal grace from the Lord through the intercession of Father Slavko.

Friday, September 05, 2008

soldier x

Coffee with Soldier X in the Whitewater Centre.
"Are we making a mistake sending Irish troops to Chad?" I asked him.
"What do you mean?" replied Soldier X.
"I mean are the troops safe there?" I said.
The discussion related to a recent deployment of about 400 Irish soldiers to Chad as part of a UN peacekeeping mission.
He frowned.
"Well," he said. "You'd probably prefer us to be fighting Jihadi's in Iraq or Afghanistan..."
"Yes," I said. "Yes I would. I'd prefer us to be playing our part in the war to save humanity from Islamic fascism. I would yes. No doubt about it. I would prefer that. To be fighting for a real cause where Ireland's vital interests are at stake."
"Vital interests such as?"
"Freedom, democracy, civilisation, oh and the right of our children to get on a bus without some half wit blowing himself up in their midst while shouting Allah U Akbar, the right of our daughters to walk down the street without some low life who smuggled himself into the country in the back of a lorry from Arabia shouting Infidel Whore at them, those sorts of rights generally, those are the ones we should be fighting for."
"Alright, alright," Soldier X murmured, "Let's get back to the subject. The answer to your question is that the troops in Chad are safe."
"I don't think they are."
"Look," said Soldier X, "it's true that conditions are pretty miserable in our camps. We expected that and we can deal with it."
"My worry," I told him, "is that we're supposed to be protecting Darfurans expelled from Sudan by their own Islamist Sudanese government. I'm not sure these Darfurans want to be protected by us. I wouldn't give one Irish soldier's life for a Darfuran who's liable to shoot us before he'd thank us. And if the UN really wanted to protect Darfurans it should have reconquered the Darfur region of Sudan with overwhelming force, attrited the Islamist Sudanese army and its Arab militias where they hid, detached Darfur from Sudan, enforced the rule of law there indefinitely, established political parties, and ensured that those people got their country back. What we're doing now, protecting Darfurans who have been expelled to Chad, that's just upholding the Islamist Sudanese government's expulsion of those people."
"That's politics," said Soldier X. "Not my field."
Around us the cafe bustled with life.
"Do you think our troops have a sufficient force to threat ratio for the people we're up against?" I asked.
Soldier X considered the question.
"We're up against a few challenges," he mused. "There's more than one Darfuran army wandering around the camps. Then there's the risk of Sudan using its proxies for an attack. But you see James, all of them know we're associated with the French in the UN mission. The French have a big stick when it comes to military hardware. It's like if you've got a large dog in your house. The burglars won't rob you because they know what's waiting for them."
"So you really think the Irish troops are safe in Chad?" I persisted.
"I think we're safe," said Soldier X.
"Do you think we have the tools to do the job we're being asked to do?" I pressed.
"My opinion is that in conjunction with the French, we do," he said.
I had one more question.
"Is the Irish army being deployed in Chad to make a clownish Irish government Minister for Defence look impressive at miserable pretentious Euro socialist parvenu soirees in Brussels?"
Soldier X chose not to answer this question.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

a scientist's prayer

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

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

an auspicious day

The Mammy and me pile into one of the elevators at the Whitewater Centre.
An elderly couple share the space with us.
It's a little cramped.
As we swoop towards the second floor, the lady addresses her husband in rich Dublinese.
"Do you see that man?" she hisses indicating me. "He looks just like George Clooney."
There are no further words as we alight from the lift.
The Dubliners beetle off towards the pharmacy.
When they've gone I turn to the Mammy whose eyes are wide and innocent.
"That women just said I look like George Clooney," I recall with modest disbelief. "What do you make of that?"
"She probably meant because you're going grey," muses the Mammy. "Or else she's just doting."
Yes indeedy.
I'm telling you folks.
I don't get no respect.
Mother and son betake themselves to the Costa Cafe.
Soon we're sitting with caffe lattes watching the world go by.
And lo!
Right across from us!
The crowd parts.
And it's a face...
Not exactly a friendly face, but certainly one I recognise vaguely from somewhere.
I frown trying to recall who it is.
Weather beaten oddly Bohemian features, stubbly chin, quick intelligent slightly ratty eyes.
Who the heck is it?
Realisation dawns.
Why if it isn't Conal Boyce, Ireland's most famous defence lawyer.
Mr Boyce has blazed quite a trail through the narrow confines of conventional jurisprudence in the green Republic.
His irrepressible cheeky chappy persona has not always gone down well with the judges.
But he gets results.
That is to say, he gets Get Out Of Jail Free cards for the criminal classes.
He is, shall we say, an extrovert.
Today his Bohemian side has been restrained. He's wearing a sober suit. His hair is discreetly tied back in a pony tail. Tied back in such a way that you mightn't notice he's the sort of guy whose hair is long enough to tie back in a pony tail. He's sitting in a pool of stillness enjoying his lunch.
I should tell you gentle readers, that my acquaintanceship with Mr Boyce stems not from his courtroom activities, but from the fact that in former years he has occasionally applied his extrovert talents to the calling of theatre actor.
I kid you not.
In fact I shared a stage with him about two decades ago in a play called Boeing Boeing.
Although to be fair, he didn't really share.
Arf, arf.
That old gag.
So here we are.
"Lil," I tell the mother, "that's Conal Boyce."
The aged parent looks up.
"Are you sure?" sez she.
The noble Heelers nods.
"I'm sure alright," sez I. "Watch this."
I stand up and holler across the cafe.
"Hey Boyce."
The great man looks up a tad warily.
"Oh hello James," he says also a tad warily.
"They're all guilty," I call ignoring his greeting.
Ireland's most famous defence lawyer raises a quizzical eyebrow.
"Who?" he mouths.
"Your clients," I reply.
Ah it was hilarious.
You know folks, I think I'm at my best when preventing minor celebrities from enjoying their lunch in peace.
Back at the Chateau de Healy I brought Paddy Pup for a walk along the avenue.
The sharp tang of Autumn filled the air in the garden of my father.
A gospel shiver rifled through the trees.
For the first time in a long time I knew everything was going to be okay.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

the winter wind blows from russia

Coffee with Doctor Barn in the Whitewater Centre in Newbridge.
The Whitewater Centre must be unique in the western world for being the only upmarket shopping development anywhere that has been named after a Bill Clinton scandal.
Ah my countrymen.
Truly you are Paddywhacks.
But I digress.
The Doc and me are at table number one quaffing coffees.
"You seem worried," sez he.
"Maybe I am," sez I.
"What's wrong?"
"Rooskie is coming back to Dublin and she wants to meet."
"So?"
"She's KGB. I haven't seen her since I've begun writing articles about the Russian grab for Georgia. I don't know how she'll take it."
The brother eyed me keenly.
He's known me so long that he's no longer surprised by the more unusual special guest stars in my life.
Nor does he instantly assume when I tell him I'm due to meet up with a KGB agent, that it's a joke.
"Are you joshing?" quoth he cautiously.
"Would I josh about a serious thing like the KGB?" shot back me.
The brother was silent for a moment.
"Is she really KGB?" he insisted finally.
I flashed him my famous fleeting grin.
"Let me put it this way," sez I. "She knows the way to the Polonium 90 cupboard. I've gotta tell you brother, if I'm having a latte with her, I'll be keeping my hand over the top of it."
The brother gave an exasperated professorial wealthy doctor snort.
"James I don't understand you," he cried warmly. "Why would you even meet up with a girl that you didn't trust, never mind one that you have formed the delusional idea is trying to kill you?"
Again with the famous fleeting grin.
"Doc old buddy, old pal," sez I, "have you seen this girl?"