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, November 15, 2015

apologia pro guffaws mea

Sitting in the half light of ye olde Tearman cafe.
I've been sitting here for the past two hours.
Every now and then I pause to chuckle heartily.
The reason for my amusement?
News has reached me that Mugs Baines an old friend from school days, is returning to Ireland after a few years working overseas. Nothing to laugh about there. But wait. It's the circumstances of his journey home that I find somewhat rum. Mugs has been working in Sarajevo, and as the job has finished up, his plan apparently was to drive home across Europe in a new car he'd purchased. The Irish government has an incentive for citizens returning home from overseas that allows them to bring back cars tax fee. Mugs' brother Frederick had flown out to Sarajevo intending to drive home with him. So Frederick arrived and Mugs locked up the office door and the two piled into their new automobile and headed from Bosnia to the gates of Europe, ready for a cross continent trip to remember. Only they arrived at the border at precisely the same time as a hundred thousand Muslim immigrants who were also seeking to enter Europe by that route and at that moment.
This is why I've spent two hours laughing to myself in the cafe.
I can picture it and it makes hilarious picturing.
Oh come on.
Mugs and Frederick in a new car surrounded by milling Iraqis, Aghans and Syrians.
You'd laugh if you knew them.
Mugs and Frederick I mean.
Not the Iraqis, the Afghans and the Syrians.
But no.
There's more.
There's another reason for my levity in this matter.
Some years ago I told this same Mugs about certain trivial vexations I had been experiencing courtesy of certain peaceloving adherents of a certain peaceloving religion, with certain ways different from our own.
My punchline ran: "I gotta tell ya Mugs, it's a sobering moment when four Muslims sit at different tables around a cafe, take out their mobile phones, and start filming you."
Mugs had become all austere and cold and pseudo moral.
"How do you know they were Muslims?" quoth he. "Did they show you their Qurans?"
Fast forward to this week.
I'm imagining Mugs and Frederick stuck in heavy Muslim traffic at the gates of Vienna.
Frederick is a congenial family man. He's acted on stage. He can play the gentle aesthete from central casting any day of the week and it'll be Fergus Bueller good.
I can see Frederick in the car getting a bit nervous and Mugs getting a bit annoyed with him for getting a bit nervous.
Frederick is saying: "Johnsie (the family's name for Mugs, they never warmed to the nicknames I gave him) Johnsie, the Muslims are making me nervous,"
And Mugs becomes all austere and cold and pseudo moral and replies: "How do you know they're Muslims? Did they show you their Qurans?"
Back in the cafe in Ireland I'm writing this speculative part of the scenario in my notebook and guffawing merrily at the good of it.
The car is rocking now.
And the Muslims pull the Irishmen from it.
Frederick goes: "Er Johnsie, I think the Muslims are going to kill us."
And Mugs rasps with strange high disapproval: "That's a completely stereotypical remark. You don't know these people are Muslims. Have you seen their Qurans?"
And now the two are being strapped to ancient pillars in the ruined city of Palmyra and the Muslims are fitting explosives around them.
Frederick is seized with sudden heroic courage.
He roars: "Get your hands off me, you damned dirty Muslim apes."
And Mugs says: "How do you know they're Muslims? Have you seen their..."
And BOOOOOM!!!!!!!
Back in the cafe in Ireland, gentle friends, I have just written the word BOOM in the above scenario in my diary.
And I'm about to guffaw again frankly.
Guffaw with gusto.
Guffaw like I mean it.
But before I can emit the merest squeak of mirth, the cafe falls silent and the radio starts up.
Litterally instantaneously after I wrote BOOM.
On the radio is Mr Jonah Lewie.
He is singing his poetic, magnificent, and very silly hit entitled You Cannot Stop The Cavalry which starts with a clear cavalry bugle sounding the charge and then goes without parody:
"Hey Mr Churchill come on over here
To tell us we're doing splendidly
But it's very cold out here in the snow
Marching to and from the enemy
Oh I say it's tough
I have had enough
Can you stop the cavalry?"
It is the most marvellous piece of synchronicity.
That song coming on the radio right at that moment.
Almost enough to restore my faith in human nature.


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