Hyperzenchef called from Japan, but this didn’t surprise me, as he lives there. He ran away to Japan a few years back to join the Yakuza, intending eventually to come home and start a Limerick branch: the Knackuza. I don’t know how he’s getting on with the plan, as he’s not allowed to discuss such matters. In fact, if he even thinks about it, he has to cut off a bit of his finger, which you have to admit is a fucking nuisance. As a cover to his real activities, he works as a chef, just like Casey Ryback.
A typical day for HZC, as we associates call him (he can’t afford friends: they tend to die awful fast, just for knowin’ him) involves leaping out of the pressure-cooker where he sleeps – if you could call what he does, “sleep” – pushing a spice rack through the eyeballs of a sneering ex-marine and then there’s just time for a quick run along the roof of a speeding train before he sucks back a poisoned fugo fish on toast from Keane’s bakery. Delivered twice daily by a mysterious autogyro pilot code-named Cierva.
He meant to settle in Tokyo, but he’s dyslexic and now lives in Kyoto. He doesn’t realise that, and we haven’t told him. He runs an Irish pub/restaurant called Murty MacFinnegan’s Bacon-and-Cabbage Begorrah Is That What You Want You Little Fucker I’ll Give You Bacon and Fucking Cabbage Bistro. It’s frequented by all the Irish ex-pats who long for the true Irish experience once more. The bouncers are all dressed like Christian Brothers, and they pick on customers at random, delivering mindless beatings for no obvious reason: “Cad atá á dhéanamh agat, a phlaidhce mór? “ Bang! Thump! Crunch! Music is provided by Sharon Shannon, who drives around the pub in a tiny car, completely drunk and playing a concertina with her feet. He’s appointed a committee to run the place. They’re called the Government, and they comprise the biggest and most incompetent wankers HZC could find in the Kyoto region. Basically, it’s a little Ireland away from home and it’s going to be a huge success, because he’ll hire Polish bar staff to run it properly.
He has different themed rooms dedicated to different Irish people who’ve achieved greatness. For example, there’s the Mother Teresa Room, dedicated to the biggest scam artist who ever lived. It includes an original DVD of an Mathair Treasa, as she was known in her native Corca Dhuibhne, accepting a cheque from a group of lepers. Included is actual footage of Cardinal Marcinkus personally throwing the lepers out of the Vatican Bank after their cheque has cleared. The DVD is now officially declared by the Vatican to be a Class I relic.
Then there’s the Ratzinger Room, celebrating the achievements of Seosamh MacRatzinger of Gaoth Dobhair, who started out in life as a humble Hitler Youth, but went on to direct the Inquisition, or as it modestly renamed itself, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ultimately, as you know, he became Pope Ratzo the First, but that hasn’t got in the way of his natural Irish humility. As he puts it himself, “Ah, sure, ’twas only a wee bit of luck, right enough and sure, it could as easily have been the Donegal Guards as meself became the Pope, only they were a crowd of bastards surely and I was just a wee Nazi anti-aircraft gunner. Aye surely. Would you like a wee cup of tea?”
The walls of the Brian Kennedy Room are entirely covered by pictures of Van Morrison eating the World’s Largest Curry. Friends explained that this artistic experiment occurred at a period in his life when Morrison was trying to cut back on food. He had recently split up with the French Prime Minister, after many years together as a couple, and was suffering from low self-esteem. He had stopped eating motorbikes and was beginning to worry that people didn’t hate him any more. A framed quote from Morrison himself explains the thinking behing the montage: “Fuck off, you wee prick”
The walls of the Van Morrison room are entirely covered by pictures of Brian Kennedy wishing he was eating Van Morrison.
The Artukovic Room. Perhaps the greatest Irishman of the 20th century has to be Andrija Artukovic. Oh, you don’t know him? What a pity. Andrija was the interior minister of Catholic Croatia who, during WWII, gave the order to “Kill all the Serbs and Jews without exception.” It was Artukovic who warned the mayor of Cerin: “If you can’t kill Serbs or Jews you are an enemy of the state.” What a guy! What an Irishman! After the war, Artukovic came to Dublin, where he lived for two years and where his son was born. He subsequently went to the USA under false papers issued by the Irish government, and why not? Dammit, if you can’t look after your own, what the hell good are you? The Artukovic Room is one of the most visited exhibits in MacFinnegans, and rightly so too.
OK. Let’s see now. Of course I forgot the Cascarino Room. A great Irish footballer, who pulled off one of the greatest achievements ever in Irish sport. What patriotism it takes to play for Ireland 88 times when you haven’t one single Irish relative ever in your family tree. Respect!! Tony scored 19 goals for Ireland and Hyperzenchef travelled the world buying them from collectors. He now owns all of Cascarino’s international goals and has them on display in MacFinnegans. If you make arrangements in advance, HZC will let you touch one of the goals.
There are many other rooms in Murty MacFinnegan’s Bacon-and-Cabbage Begorrah Is That What You Want You Little Fucker I’ll Give You Bacon and Fucking Cabbage Bistro, but really, you should go there yourself to savour the true Irish ambience. Don’t take my word for it.
When you’re there, ask for Hyperzenchef and tell him Bock sent you. Tell him Bock Lives! Ah, fuck it, just tell him I said where’s my Atomic Rooster album?