As I chatted idly to my neighbour yesterday evening, both of us musing on the unfathomable crankiness of petrol lawnmowers, a notion popped into my head.
Instead of trying to start this infernal machine, I suggested to him, what about a stroll down to the Nest o’ Fascists for a pint or two?
Well damn me, he replied, but ain’t that a purty thought?
And so it was and so it is, and so we found ourselves ambling in the crepuscular warmth of late evening towards a rendezvous with destiny, or a rich serving of Guinness’s stout, whichever came first.
The Nest o’ Fascists is no ordinary drinking establishment, let me tell you. No indeed. Not since Bombay Mick’s closed down have I seen a stranger bunch of mutants, inbreds, footpads and general poltroons assembled at one bar counter and baying for blood.
They still think I’m a dangerous Commie.
Back in the old Hammer Horror days, there was a standard pub scene in which the victim, or Peter Cushing, pushed open the door and everyone went quiet.
Oi wouldn’t be walkin’ the Heath tonight, Sir if Oi were Thee.
Hush Zachary. Don’t ee be talkin’ loike that in front of strangers.
That’s the Nest o’ Fascists, but worse.
Some say it was given its name by an academic with strong socialist leanings and little taste for mixing with the working classes. This might be true, and I have evidence to support it.
Others say it’s called that because it’s full of fascists.
Anyway, they might be fascists, but they’re our fascists and frankly they’re not even very good at it. For a start, Irish fascists were traditionally staunch defenders of the Catholic church, while this crowd are a gang of atheists.
Fail number one.
Besides that, they don’t have a coloured shirt. Most of them wear jeans and fleeces which don’t really match the Fascist dress code too well. Fascists always had a big thing for shirts, blue or brown or black, and this is why ironing has always been the core activity of authoritarian regimes’ security structures.
As Mussolini said, A well-ironed army is a well-run army. Or words to that effect. Or maybe he didn’t say it at all and I just made it up.
No ironing in the Nest o’ Fascists. Fail number two.
Apart from all that, fascists tend to be serious people. Not very bright a lot of the time, but serious and intense. Our fascists, I’m afraid are frivolous, drunken party animals, and what’s more, have no particular problem with people of different nationality, race or culture.
It’s not looking good for fascism in the Nest o’ Fascists.
On the other hand, as I said, they think I’m a dangerous Commie, which I like after all the accusations people throw at me here. Nazi. Oppressor. Right-wing mouthpiece. And yes, even Fascist.
There’s a guy I know who attends all the same music gigs I do. He’s not someone I know well, but I salute him and he salutes me. I call him my Guardian Angel, because every time I see him at a gig I know he’s there for one reason only : to make sure I’m not the oldest person present.
It’s a little like that with the Nest o’ Fascists. Every time I start to think of myself as an oppressing, bigoted, intolerant, power-hungry maniac, I drop in for a pint and suddenly I’m that socialist of my youth once more.
Marvellous. Time travel with added Guinness.