The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Friday, June 09, 2017

the last knight of europe

Wandered into the Dubray bookshop on Grafton Street, Dublin.
The girl behind the counter had a gentle enough face compared to the usual hatchets.
Good heavens, thinks I with a shock of recognition, why if it it isn't old Punky Brewster.
Alas poor Punky, I knew her Horatio.
I mean I ogled her once from behind the Mind Body Spirit shelf.
She had disappeared from the premises soon after to take up new employment or for therapy or whatever.
Now she's here again.
Ye gods.
It's kismet.
A few years older.
A wiser weaker Punky as Johnny Cash might have sung.
But her face still had ye aforementioned gentleness.
I decided to chance testing my new stand up routine on her.
"Good morning Book Keep," I announce breezily rapping the counter. "I'm looking for Mark Steyn books."
"Ummm okay," she says and begins tapping the keyboard of a computer.
After a moment...
"No we don't seem to have any."
"You never do."
"Well we had America Alone."
I was quite impressed by this reference. She actually knew the title of a Mark Steyn book. Most Dublin booksellers pretend they've never heard of Mark Steyn, and that his name doesn't show up on their computers and that his books don't in fact exist. This one is made of sterner stuff. I doubted America Alone had ever been on the premises though. I've been ogling women here for years and I've never so much as got a whiff of a Mark Steyn book.
"Will you order A Disgrace To The Profession for me?" I enquire all businesslike, hoping she'd say no which is what they all say.
"I can do that for you," she answers brightly.
"It's one he edited to debunk climate change," I add with salacious relish. "It's more or less asserting that the notion of climate change is a monstrous pseudo scientific con job."
"Yes I can get it."
Drat and double drat.
The Force is strong with this young(ish) Punky.
My whole schtick had depended on her saying no.
She would say no and then...
...then I was going to start complaining along the lines of: "My dear Lady if I asked you to bake a wedding cake celebrating a marriage between people of the same gender and you said no, I could sue you for crimes against humanity. But clearly in this town prejudice against Steynalectuals still flourishes."
She saved herself all that.
Trust me to pick the only halfway helpful girl in the history of the Dubray bookshop company.
Time for a different tack.
"I hear you're stocking that book for five year olds about the teddy bear who thinks he's a girl in a man's body," I ventured hopefully.
"Well... we had one copy... I think."
"Did it sell?"
"Actually I'm not sure we really had it."
"The five year old Teddy Bear copes with his ennui by putting his dickie bow in his hair as a ribbon."
"I know the one. But I think we were really only saying we could get it if people wanted it."
"The bankrupt Irish Times newspaper said you were stocking it."
"That was a mistake. I think we were going to get one copy."
"Has anyone complained about it?" wondered I.
"No," quoth she.
"Do any of you on the staff feel any qualms of conscience about telling five year olds that if they feel a bit out of sorts they may just be girls in boys' bodies and they can begin to transition like Teddy for a sex change at fifteen?" ventured me.
"No we're okay with it." quoth she.
"Do you know any five year olds?" I asked. "I mean ones you actually care about."
"I don't have a problem with the book," said she.
"Thank you," I said without rancour, and left the Dubray bookshop for the last time.
Not young and not renewable but man.


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