The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

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.

3 Comments:

Blogger Adrienne said...

When is Rooskie expected to arrive? Are you taking any precautions or just leaving the whole thing up to fate?

I'm excited!

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Two decades ago at the Moat, I believe. The boul' Frances and I put in an appearance at that one.
:)P

3:06 PM  
Blogger heelers said...

Adrienne, she's arriving today. I have addressed one or two quite direct prayers to the Almighty. Otherwise no precautions.
Phil, theatrical greatness was born on that evening. I mean the audience showed a certain greatness in putting up with our rubbish.
James

2:20 AM  

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