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, March 30, 2010

and so it goes

Evening over the heartland.
Ireland's greatest living poet entered Kilcullen church and stood at the back.
The church was empty save for a group of actors on the altar portraying apostles in full period costume.
The scene was colorful, otherworldly, redolent with mystery.
It was like a little Palestine.
Instantly evocative of the eastern kingdom.
The air spiced with the incense of yore.
A rehearsal for our Easter pageant no less.
The one where I'm playing Saint Peter.
I always knew I'd get to be Pope one day.
I just never realised it would be the first Pope.
Arf arf.
As I watched the proceedings, the apostles began to argue over whether or not to flee Jerusalem.
I was enjoying the spectacle and the performances.
Suddenly my eye alighted on a local journalist called Brian Byrne, ensconced in a front pew with a camera.
I had hoped he wouldn't be called in to take photographs.
Recently he'd written some semi senescent dribblings about my ancient, beautiful and true Catholic Church on his decrepit, illegible and nauseating little blog.

Now I had no wish to find myself shouting perorations at him in the house of God.

And I didn't quite trust myself to be his presence.
This was the Lord's temple not the temple of my rage.
I turned and walked out.
On the altar some of the apostles spotted me leaving.
Vivian Clarke of Clarkes Menswear Newbridge, aka Saint Thomas, approached Saint John the Divine, aka my Uncle Scutch.
"He mustn't like the costumes," said Saint Thomas.
"Do you think that's it?" wondered Saint John drily.
"Is he gone for good?" asked Saint Matthew aka Fergal Sloane.
"I don't know," said Saint John looking divinely annoyed.
"Maybe he just thought the acting was terrible," mused Saint Matthew.
"That's neither impossible nor improbable," murmured Saint John thoughtfully.

The apostle Bartholemew joined the group along with Joseph Dooley of Arimethea and Tommy Lawler of Cyrene.
In certain lighting conditions Bartholemew is a dead ringer for Ger Kelly of Gilltown.
"He's probably just gone out to his car," said Saint Bartholemew reasonably.
"I doubt it," said Doubting Clarke doubtfully.
"What are we going to do?" put in Joseph Dooley of Arimethea.
"Leave it to me," said Doubting Clarke. "It's got to be the costumes. I'll talk to him."
Ah yes gentle readers.
In the event of a Heelers walkout, my friends and neighbours immediately leap to the conclusion that I didn't like the costumes.
Or that I think their own acting is dragging me down.
Not an entirely flattering assessment of my refined high brow principles.
Oh that the Lord the grace would gi'e us,
To see ourselves as others see us.
Well you know what I mean.
Meanwhile the apostle Nathanial, who does a very good impression of local man Dick Dunphy, was deep in conversation with Mary Magdalene who bears an uncanny resemblance to soprano singing sensation Philomena Breslin.
"Did you see James Healy standing at the back of the church a few minutes ago?" whispered Nathaniel.
"I did," said Mary Magdalene.
"Thank God," said Nathaniel with a sigh of relief. "One minute he was there and the next minute he wasn't. I thought I was having an hallucination."
While they talked thusly, the noble Heelers was standing in a field above the town communing with the Almighty.
"I can go back Lord," I said. "Once I take a breath and can trust myself not to start shouting, there's no problem. I know you don't give me the authority to scream By what right do you stand in this house Byrne, or Get thee hence to endless night Byrne. I know you don't give me the authority and I've no interest in shouting it if it's only going to be my own mental instability. So I'll go back and I'll be calm."
Back I went.
An effective enough rehearsal ensued.
There were a few moments when the apostles got a bit cheeky with Saint Peter, and began ad libbing remarks about his recent temperamental journey up the fields.
But mostly it was quite good.
The only ropy moment for me was when Byrne got a bit obstreporous, barking at me to sit in a chair for a photograph.
Meek as a lamb I did so.
It was an Easter miracle.


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