I had a visit from Wrinkly Joe at the weekend. Hadn’t seen him in a while, old Wrinkly Joe, all menacing stare and shiny skull.
Well, yesterday all Joe had on his mind was watching sport on the telly, drinking pints and talking shite, so we spent the day watching football on the telly, drinking pints and talking shite. You don’t mess with Wrinkly Joe when he’s in his Beelzebub persona.
We watched the soccer and the rugby in Bourkes’ fine drinking emporium where the landlord made sure we were well looked after because he knows as well as anyone what damage an enraged demi-demon can cause if thwarted in the slightest.
Somewhere between the FA cup final, the embarrassing defeat of Munster in the Magners League semi-final and the absurd two-round Andy Lee non-fight, Wrinkly Joe came up with a suggestion.
You know Bock, he said. I was thinking about these ghost housing developments..
That’d be your satanic side, I muttered.
It would indeed, he nodded. It would indeed, my friend, hahahahahahaha.
It took some time to get him down from the ceiling and scrape off the ectoplasm, but when he finally stopped laughing and the ambulances had removed the surviving customers, he turned to me with fire in his black, black eyes. Real fire, deep, burning and purposeful, in a hollow demonic sort of way. With Guinness.
The ghost estates, he said. The ghost estates, don’t you see?
No, I agreed.
He took me by the collar, his bony hands white and glistening in the crepuscular half-light.
We’ll use them for graveyards, he cackled. Graveyards, I tell you. Graveyards!!
I began to grasp his point. You know, Joe, that’s not a bad idea. We can fill the houses with the undead.
Exactly, he howled. Precisely. The undead in the ghost estates.
But, Joe, I wondered. Since none of us has a shilling, and we’re all still alive, how will the undead get mortgages?
Simple, he cawed as he sprang onto the mantelpiece, the flickering candlelight throwing stark skull-shadows on the blood-spattered wall.
Simple? I repeated.
Indeed, my friend, screamed Wrinkly Joe. They can get the money from the zombie banks.