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Wrinkly Paddy Hears the World News After a Long Absence

The phone rang brrp-brrp-brrp-brrp-brrp-brrp-brrp-brrp-brrp!!

It was Wrinkly Paddy.

Jesus, Wrinkly Paddy, I said, where the fuck have you been? Last I heard, you were in Norway supporting some post-psychobilly experimental trance-rockers with a strong Kraftwerk / Incredible-String-Band influence.

That’s right, said Paddy. You want to make something of it?

I learned years ago that you don’t fuck with Paddy when he’s been at the poitín.

You’ve been at the strawberry poitín, I accused.

Fuckin right I have, he snarled. Would you fuckin blame me? I’m lying here in Oslo at St Olav’s fuckin Gate, just me, my iPhone and my bottle of poitín, singing sad songs. One man and his mandocaster.

You seem a bit pissed off, I ventured.

Pissed off! What the fuck do you think I’d be? Paddy was clearly not a happy rocker. I’ve been touring the Arctic Circle for six months now, playing diddle-ee-aye music with the Scandinavian Leprechauns and a van-load of knacktors from the Irish Travellers’ Drama Project. Is it any wonder I’d be pissed off?

Shit, I said. It sounds bad.

Bad? You have no fucking idea. I’ve been to Minsk, Gdansk, Okhotsk, Kursk, Norilsk, Tobolsk, Komsomolsk, Arkhangelskh, Zelenodolsk, Volsk, Severouralsk and fucking Starobelsk.

You have?

Don’t start me. And then I arrive back here in Oslo, drinking whiskey in the Scotsman’s Saloon and start reading the news again.

Oh. I was beginning to see his point.

For fuck’s sake! Paddy was on a roll, and I could hear his mandocaster gently weeping in the background. Them fuckin knacktors have my head wrecked.

There was a lull as he glugged back a good slug of strawberry poitín. Moohahaha, I heard him shudder.

Yeah, Paddy continued. I see that fuckin crook Ahern is still in power back home.

True, I agreed.

And the Tribunal found out about false invoices?


So Ahern could get money?


Money laundering, we used to call it?


And he’s not in jail?


And the health service is a fuckin disaster and they’re forcing hundreds of women into remote centres for processing in the middle of the night? Like fuckin cattle?

Um, yes.

And somebody made fuckin Blair a fuckin peace envoy, for fucksake??


In the Middle East, where he launched an illegal and disastrous invasion of Iraq?


And they made that fucker Brady a fuckin Cardinal?


And Cheney is still pulling Bush’s fucking strings?


But what the fuck is this latest? Paddy paused. This shit in Sudan?

Oh, I began, there’s appalling stuff going on in Darfur. Bordering on genocide. A very complex situation —

No!! Wrinkly Paddy shouted. Not that. What’s this I hear about Muhammad fucking Teddy-Boys?

Wrong, I corrected. He never fucked a Teddy-Boy.

Oh, Paddy calmed down. So he didn’t do anything immoral?

No, I assured him. That was all a filthy lie.

Ah. Paddy seemed happier.  He stuck to screwing nine-year-old girls, then?

Just one, I said. His wife.

Oh! said Paddy. So the Prophet did nothing wrong, and yet these evil European people were laughing at him? I can see why the Sudanese got so annoyed.


I’ll have to sit down with Paddy when he gets home.

4 replies on “Wrinkly Paddy Hears the World News After a Long Absence”

I could say Gdansk all day.
Gdansk, Gdansk, Gdansk.

Also fucking Starobelsk.
Fucking Starobelsk, fucking Starobelsk.

Say what you like about the Eastern Europeans, they do a kick ass line in place-names. If I ever had to wear a black polo neck and deliver a microfilm to a nefarious international operation, you can bet I’d be doing it in Gdansk.

I remember working in Stockholm and availing of the nightlife there. One evening I was treated to punkirishtrad played by a Swedish band. With classics like the Vaxy Dargle, Sewen Drunken Nights and the Black Welwet Band, sure it was great craic.

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