– Satan, come in here, I want to talk to you.
– What is it, Boss?
– Look at the state of this office. How can you expect me to do business from this hovel? It’s embarrassing.
– It did me fine, Boss, before you took over.
– Well, it doesn’t do me. Why are the walls not lined with Old Masters as befits a man of my culture and erudition?
– I don’t know, Boss. Sorry.
– Anyway, Satan, that’s not why I sent for you. What’s this I hear about Albert Reynolds?
– Oh, he died, Boss.
– I know he fucking died! Do I look like a fucking idiot?
– Eh, no Boss.
– What did John Major call him?
– Oh, eh, ah, well, I don’t rightly know that now, Boss. Don’t rightly know that, sure enough …
– You don’t know. I see. Well, I heard that Major called him a Statesman. A fucking Statesman!! After all the shit I went through with Thatcher and her silver fucking teapot. By the way, where is the old bitch?
– She’s in the Falklands lounge, Boss. Sinking large Belgranos with Pinochet.
– Good. Keep her there.
– Will do, Boss. No bother.
– They’re saying Albert brought peace to Ireland. Albert, the country ‘n’ western king of the rural fucking dancehall brought peace to Ireland. They’re calling him a statesman, Mr Cat-And-Dog-Food. A statesman. What do they say about me, Satan?
– Oh, they say you were a great lad entirely, Boss. A grand fella. Yeah, that’s what they all say.
– Do you want to leave through the window? Tell me the truth!
– You won’t like it, Boss.
– Tell me.
– They say you were a fraud, Boss. A chancer. A crook and a con-man.
– Et tu, Brute?
– Come again Boss?
– What branch of the Satan family are you from?
– I don’t know, Boss. I was adopted.
– Jesus Christ preserve me from fools. Get out to reception and bring Reynolds in. I want to deal with his case personally. At least I’ll have that satisfaction.
– Boss, I’m sorry but I can’t do that either.
– Who’s in charge here, Satan — you or me? Do what I tell you.
– I’d love to, Boss, but it seems Mr Reynolds won’t be coming here.
– What the fuck do you mean he won’t be coming here? Wasn’t he a leader of Fianna Fáil? They’re all fucking here, the bastards.
– Not Mr Reynolds, apparently, Boss. It seems they’ll be sending him somewhere else. All the details are printed here on this sheet.
– One page. How appropriate. Do you think they’d be able to fit all my achievements on a single page? My culture, my sense of history, my grasp of fine detail, my overarching strategic vision, my deep insight, my sensitivity, my courage, my modesty, my prodigious member, the Plough and the Stars, the King of the Fairies …
– I’ll just be on my way Boss.
– … my glorious career, my fearless championing of the underdog, my podium finish in Paris, my windmills, my boat, my horses, A Fistful of Dollars …
– …my unswerving devotion to a United Ireland, a nation once again, Top of the Pops, Lord of the Rings, the Seven Samurai, my Irish solutions to Irish problems, my drainpipe-climbing feats. Nuclear fission. World peace. Oh, I’ve done the State some service. They know’t, but they call Reynolds a fucking statesman. What do you think of that, Satan?