Categories
Politics Stories

Nosferatu’s Easter Rising

nosferatu easter risingNosferatu wakes from a terrible dream. A different, unimaginable Rising where neither one blood sacrifice nor a thousand will placate his tortured appetite.

He leaps from the coffin in which even the beloved soil of the Carpathians cannot soothe his anguish.

What is this thing he has seen when the veil slipped? What monstrous worlds exist that he has not imagined?

Cherishing all the children …

What is this talk of Nation?

Nosferatu flings aside the library door and tears books from their shelves till he sets his claws upon a scroll, his Infernal Proclamatio, written in the blood of peasants.

He groans. He groans in horror as his finger traces the words until at last he finds what he seeks.

cherishing all the children …, says the manuscript and Nosferatu recoils as his dream bears in upon him. The slaughter. The deaths. The horror.

It is nearly dawn. Already the curtains begin to smoke in the crepuscular awakening but Nosferatu cares nothing for it. If this dream is real he will end it now. He will throw back the drapes and drink deep the life-ending rays of daylight.

Show me, he groans, and draws a thumbnail across the manuscript.

Cherishing all the children, it says, and Nosferatu leans for the drapes, but then his yellowed eye reads on and he halts his reach as the meaning reveals itself.  …the children of the night … it says in his ancient and perfect script.

Somewhere, a wolf begins to howl as Nosferatu falls back, clutching his breast.  A dream after all, he mutters. What sweet music. No children tonight will die by my words.

He will sleep peaceful in his coffin one more day and the blood sacrifice for his Rising will be small.

 

Categories
Stories

Meeting Father Wingnut

I bumped into my friend Cursin’ Jack the other day. He was lean and weatherbeaten, like a man who’d survived six months in the Andes following a plane crash.

Where have you been? I asked him.

In the Andes, he said. Plane crashed.  

Jack isn’t the most talkative.

So?  I prompted him.

I found a monastery. Met a priest you might know. He nursed me back to health.

Really?

Yeah. A guy name of Wingnut.

Wingnut? Surely not.

Was it Tommy Wingnut?

Could be. Called himself Thomas. 

I was astonished. Tommy Wingnut left years ago to join a monastery abroad after an unfortunate incident with a badger.

Did Father Wingnut, by any chance, tell you how he’s been getting on?

Sure did.  Matter of fact, he was glad to talk since he doesn’t see too many people up there on the top of the Andes.

He’s isolated?

Yeah. Seems the Mexican priests kicked him out so he started an order of his own. One of those things where a fella, you know, thinks about stuff.

A contemplative order?

That’s the one.  A con tem plative order. That’s it. He con-tem-plates, mostly what it must be like to get laid, but other stuff too. Like how to turn a slice of Gorgonzola into Jesus.

So how many other monks are with him?

None. Seems nobody would join up, what with him fondling himself all the time, and everything. And of course, that thing he does with the animals.

Yeah.   I can imagine. The badger incident was not pretty.

You know, said Cursin’ Jack, he kinda opened up with me after a while. Seems he arrived in Mexico to be a priest and then he was applying to NASA to bring the Eucharist to the Moon.

NASA?

Yeah. He wanted to be the first priestronaut.

To the Moon. He wanted to bring the Eucharist to the Moon?

Well, not exactly. He wanted to be the chaplain on the rocket in case anything went wrong and they ended up stranded on the Moon. He could save everyone’s soul. When NASA turned him down, he applied to all the airlines to be a sky pilot.  He reckoned he could rustle up the body and blood of Jesus out of just about anything.  An old bag of nachos.  A pack of rice-cakes. A slice of salami. Even a cigarette if he had to and it was an emergency.

The airlines didn’t hire him?

No.  So he ended up back in the Mexican monastery until one day he made the body and blood of Jesus out of peyote and that caused the ugly incident with the armadillo.

They didn’t like that?

They kicked him out.  Don’t come back, they said. You fucking nutcase, they said, or whatever Mexican priests shout when they get mad at you. Hombre loco or something.  I think he said they called him by that Russian president’s name.

That’s when he set up his one-man contemplative order?

Yep. At the top of the Andes, waiting for a plane crash.  Grooming alpacasAnd that’s where he met me.

alpaca

So how is he now?

Oh, he’s back home. When I explained to him about the internet,  he came straight back with me on the rescue flight,  set up the First Church of Troll and now he spends his days watching porn and picking fights. He’s very happy.

I’m delighted for him, I said. It’s a big improvement over that other thing he used to do.

Oh, said Jack. He’s still doing that, but who am I to judge?

 

 

 

Categories
Our lives Stories

Craft Fair

Billy’s on his high horse, the only kind he’s able to ride these days.  His jodhpurs are grubby and his comb-over stands high in the wind.  He’s been struggling to set up his display for more than an hour and now he’s standing over me, enraged.  I feel as if I’m guilty of something.

Some fucker took my knife and my string.

He waits for an answer but I’m not paying attention.

Billy, you’ve lost me.

Give me a cigarette, he says.

Why don’t you buy some?

Oh God, no! he says.  Filthy disgusting things.

All I want to do is finish the crossword.

I left them beside my stand, Billy says, and when I came back, they were gone.

I fill in another clue and when I look up again, he’s gone.  What’s he talking about?

I go around to his stand.

Listen, Billy, I saw something a bit odd about half an hour ago.  A car drove past with a ball of string on the roof.

Billy’s comb-over is back in place.  There’s half a cigarette behind his ear.

What? he says.

I repeat myself.

Why didn’t you tell me?

Sorry.  It just didn’t register with me.

Billy studies me hard.

So, he says. What was the driver’s name?

 

Categories
Media Stories Whimsy

The U2 Virus Mutates

Captain Brad Conquest was tired.  Tired and impatient to see his home planet after a voyage of 300 teraspocks.  He hadn’t felt a woman’s warm embrace in nearly half a kirk and he longed to see his children again.  Meeting them in the holodeck was no substitute for seeing them face to face, but every time he looked at young Jean-Luc he felt a surge of pride.  Just like his dad, he thought.

The mighty trans-galactic battlecruiser Valley Forge throbbed beneath his feet, its powerful Nostromo-series twin drives powering it through the void at eleven times Warp.   All systems nominal.  Home in less than a sulu, all going well.

Coffee, Captain?  offered young Ripley, the assistant cook.   No thanks.   It was time for the gym.  Time to harden up those abs, time to re-set that razor-sharp jaw-line with a vigorous Bantos session.  Time for revenge.  Last time he fought Deckard, his engineering officer, Conquest came out missing two teeth and a year’s supply of Klaargian whiskey but this day would be different.   Bring it on!

Conquest turned to his XO.   Mr Pike, you have the bridge.  Kindly ask Mr Deckard to join me on deck 3.

Before Pike had time to answer, the mighty warp-drives fell silent and the giant battlecruiser shuddered out of hyperspace with a grinding metallic roar as plates buckled and bulkheads collapsed.

Status report, barked Conquest.

– Hull breach, decks 82 to 97.  Containment measures in place.

– Leak in warp drive core number two.   Crews are on it.

– Shields are down.  Repairs under way.

Excellent!  murmured Conquest, quietly giving thanks for this crew of men and women, the most professional well-drilled outfit in the entire quadrant, when over the Tannoy came a strange sound.  An awful sound.  The most appalling sound since the entire crew were locked in a Cardassian prison with a captured Borg dissonance-choir.

It throbbed and resonated, so familiar as if one had listened to it a million times before, yet so dull, as if heard through a room full of Tribbles.  All around him, Conquest’s bridge crew were throwing themselves back and forth with their hands over their ears.   Even the normally unflappable Commander Klaatu had several eyebrows raised.

Status report!  the captain demanded.  What’s going on, Deckard?

Not sure yet, Brad, crackled the reply.  I think it’s some sort of virus but I’ve never seen one as vicious as this.  And as pointless.   It seems to do nothing but make terrible sounds that force the bridge crew to throw themselves from side to side with their hands over their ears.

I need answers, demanded Brad Conquest, and I want them now.

He felt a strong grip on his shoulder.  What is it, Klaatu?

Captain, initial studies indicate that the virus is a version of U2 that has successfully mutated from one that normally only attacks Klingon ships.

Brad Conquest was stunned.   But their technology is completely different to ours.

It is indeed, agreed Klaatu.   Different, grossly over-priced and no better, but that is the way of the universe.  It seems the virus has mutated.  Captain, we need to search the bridge for a hologram of a diminutive figure.   It will be wearing some form of eye-protection and it will have an enormous ego.  Let us look hard, Captain.   It will be very small, but the huge ego will give it away.

Suddenly, something tiny scuttled under the captain’s chair, clapping its hands.

Who’d have thought, it shouted, all those years ago … that we’d be … saving  … the … Universe!!!

That’s disgusting, retched Conquest as he staggered backwards and collapsed.

The less you know, the more you believe, said the tiny creature as the crew of the Valley Forge begged for mercy.

As a rock star, I have two instincts, I want to have fun, and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both, said the virus.

Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh! screamed Ripley, leaping over the unconscious crew and squashing the little bug with a regulation-issue boot.

Instantly, the warp-drives came back on line, the ship began to realign and life-support systems kicked in.

Hmmm, said Klaatu, arching a fifth eyebrow.  Unorthodox, but effective.

Captain Conquest sat up with an admiring grin.  Never knew you had that in you, Ripley.  Now let’s waste no time getting that virus out of the system.  Mr Pike, take us home.   I have a date with Mr Deckard.   He owes me two teeth and a year’s supply of whiskey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Stories

Crown Topper Shenanigans

Not too long ago, I found myself in a rural pub, chatting with a retired  county council draughtsman.  There was a time when such men were people of consequence in their home-place, being the only ones capable of drawing up a plan, maybe for a bungalow or a slatted shed and in all rural areas, people turned to them for advice.  I can understand that.   It’s the Ireland that used to be, and in some ways, I feel a little sad that it’s gone.

After the usual preliminaries where we danced around each other verbally, finding out where you come from and who I’m related to, we settled into a comfortable double-brace of glorious pints and he began to reminisce.

There was an old cottage one time, he said.  An old council cottage, and you see, thing is, the gable end was right on the boundary with the farm next door.

I understood the problem immediately.

You see, he said, if a slate came loose, or if there was a problem with the bargeboard – 

I know, I said.  He’d need permission to go onto their land.

He would.   And sometimes, as you’re well aware, you’ll get a cranky customer.

That’s true, I agreed.

Would you like another one of them? he inquired.

I studied the last of my creamy pint and nodded.  Certainly.

Two pints there please, John.  Anyway, there was an old cottage, as I mentioned, and to be fair to him, the man living in it was a decent sort of a man, now.  He was.  A decent sort.  He was all right and I knew him well.   A decent man.

He was, I agreed.

He was.   But you see, his house was right on the boundary, and the fella next door, the fella who owned the land …

He wasn’t so decent?

He was not indeed.  He wasn’t even from this parish.

Jesus, I said.  He married in?

He did.  He was a cuckoo, as we say around here.

As they say everywhere, I confirmed.  He married in,

He did.  A nice girl.  Only daughter.  No son to inherit.  The cuckoo got the lot.

And he wasn’t so decent?

Jesus, he was a scut.  Big red nose.  Staring eyes.  Crown topper.  Pin-striped suit tied at the knees.  He used to wear it beating the cattle down the road.  I’d say he slept in it.   That man had no acquaintance with a bar of soap, God rest his poor wife.

That doesn’t sound good.

No, it does not, he agreed.  Here’s our pints.

Thank you very much, I saluted him.  But what’s a Crown topper?

My new friend stared at me.   A wig, he said.  It’s a wig,

Your man had a pin-striped suit covered in cow-shit.  He never washed, but he wore a wig out of vanity?

That’s about it, said my companion.  Clink.

We paused a while to contemplate our two new friends with their white collars and black surplices.

So what exactly happened?

Well, he said, I got a call one day at work and it was from the man in the cottage.  I needs you to make up a plan, he told me.  Draw up some kind of a plan for the court case, like.

He had my interest.  And did you?

I did in my arse.  Jesus Christ, I wasn’t going in front of a judge for no-one.

You were right.

I was.

What did you do?

I asked him what the problem was.

And?

We threw a few slaps this morning, he told me.

They had a fight?

They did.  

So what happened?  How did they start fighting?

Oh Jesus Christ, he said.  In the name of God, will you stop asking questions and let me tell you what happened?

Ah, come on.  Tell me.

My drinking pal gave me a long stare.  It’s your shout.

Tis.  Two pints there, John, please.

What happened was this, plain and simple.  My man had a few slates loose, so he got this ladder and he dragged it around to the gable end.

On the other fella’s land?

Well, the land he married into.

Right.  Gotcha.  

So when he’s half-way up the ladder, this lad appears over the hill, in his pinstripe suit tied at the knees, waving a stick with his Crown topper blowing in the breeze.  His eyes are popping out of his head and he has a big red nose.

Get off my land!, he’s roaring.

That’s an ugly situation, I observe.

It is indeed.  But it would have been fine if my client didn’t open his mouth.

What?

He said, Your land?  Your land?  Sure, you owns nothing.  Sure, you doesn’t own the hair on your head!  And that’s when we threw a few slaps.

We nod at each other silently for a minute.

Pint? I suggest.

Good idea, my friend agrees.

After a brief silence, I venture a suggestion. That fella from Portugal. The Europe head.  His wig isn’t all that great, is it?

We both make sour faces and nod gravely.

Pint!

 

 

 

 

Categories
Favourites Stories

Sergeant Mullins Goes to Bed

It’s no minor matter to be the sergeant in a small town in 1970.  No trifle.  This is something your mother might remind her friends about as they chat after Mass.   Twelfth in Ireland in the sergeant’s exams.

People call you Sergeant, even when you’re outside your house on a day off, digging the weeds in your sleeveless jumper, or when you head out to the bog with your sleán to cut the turf for the winter, or when you slip into the graveyard to tend the plot you bought for yourself two or three years back.  Hello, Sergeant.  Grand day now.

garda siochanaYou’re a man of some consequence, and it wouldn’t do to let yourself down by impropriety, undue levity or a dim light on your bicycle, though you also have a patrol car, for these are days when wild men roam the countryside by night, training for the cause.  It’s a Ford Cortina.

The soundtrack for many in your small town is Philomena Begley and Big Tom, but for others, it’s Woodstock, and you worry about these youths with their hair down below the collar.  You fear that reefer madness might overtake them and your little town might become a haven for delinquents, but in truth, you know every one of the lads, seed, breed and generation.

One or two of them will drift away to London, a couple will get the grant and go to college if they’re lucky, and the rest will end up working in the bakery or on their father’s small farm.

Work in the day and pints at night until you knock your torch on the window, though not too early, and send them all off to their beds like good Catholic lads.  You wonder what happened to that red-haired lad who did medicine for five years but ended up working as a scaffolder in Hammersmith.  Maybe your brother’s girl will get medicine in UCG if she wouldn’t be out dancing every night of the week.

You are Sergeant Mullins.

……………………………

It’s no small matter to be a widow in a rural town.  Not a minor thing, if you’re twenty-eight years old and have five children to raise in a big house with no money.  To the women, you’re a threat and to the men you’re a mystery, but mouths must be fed.

You’re not even sure if you knew your late husband, despite your gaggle of small ones, for you seem to have inhabited different intersecting orbits.

What was Daddy like?  

Maybe you should ask one of his friends.

You’re a woman of some consequence in the town, and it wouldn’t do to let yourself down by undue levity, impropriety  or an unguarded smile offered to a stranger.

And yet it isn’t easy.  It’s no easy thing for a young woman raising five small offspring in a big house with no man to help, taking in guests and fixing the leaks yourself, the sticking doors and the sliding sash window that has inexplicably slammed down on the middle child’s hand.  He’s stuck, the little fellow, and he’s screaming at the top of his lungs and you don’t, finally, know what to do, because you have had enough.

Enough.

You are the Widow Gallagher.

……………………………

Sergeant Mullins is outside the window, with a spade.  He levers the sash open and releases the child’s fingers.  He pushes the window up to its full reach, jams a stick under it and takes the little hand in his.  You’ll be better before you’re married, he says, and slips sixpence into the child’s uninjured grasp.  There’s a smudge of earth on his face and his eyes are kind.

Sergeant Mullins and his wife have not been blessed with children.

Thank you, Sergeant, you say.

I’ll bring some more tools, he says.  I know you’re well able to use them, but take care the little ones don’t lose them on you.

I will, you tell him.

You stand looking at each other for a moment and then he nods.

Good, he says, and hefts the spade. Good.

He’s gone.

……………………………

You’re older now and retired, but they still call you Sergeant and you’d still face down any ruffian causing trouble outside a pub. You’re tall and strong in your late seventies. You still go to the bog with your sleán to cut the turf, but Mrs Mullins is worried.

What if you die out there?

Sure, at least they’ll know where to find me, you reassure her.

One day last week, you met Mrs Gallagher and you confided that you were thinking of buying your coffin.  All her children did very well.  The little fellow with the sore fingers  is teaching in some university down the country, and even the fellow you thought would end up in trouble has a good job.  One of the girls married a doctor who graduated from UCG the same year as your niece.

Why don’t you do that Sergeant? said Mrs Gallagher.  You could bring the coffin home and maybe Mrs Mullins would line it the way you’d prefer.

That’s a very good idea, you thought.

You could even climb into it, said Mrs Gallagher, and see if you like it.

You aren’t sure if Mrs Gallagher is having a little laugh at your expense, but that’s all right.  She raised five children and raised them well.  You did what you could to help.

……………………………

They’re gathered in your home but you’re not there.

Mrs Mullins is making tea.

He just said, “I think I’ll go to bed now.”

 

 

___________________

Previously: The pissing file of Schull.

 

 

Categories
Stories

The Mayor Turns Up

Get back to the drug-addicts, says the Mayor of Bohane to the clerk-typist he calls his secretary. Tell them I can’t open their meeting.  Something else came up.

Mister Mayor is pleased because the call he craved for just came through.  The Addiction Support AGM  is all very well and he’d love to give the opening speech on behalf of the City, but as First Citizen, he’s invited to speak at the Insurance Association annual dinner in the Fancy Grand Hotel and this is going to be great.  This place will be full of proper, important men, the sort who are able to say very educated words and who have proper letters after their names, the best that money can buy.

Back where the First Citizen comes from, people also have letters after their name but they’re daubed on a wall and the letters are either RIP or RAT.

Citizen Number One leaves his office and strolls down the riverfront walk towards the Fancy Grand Hotel.  His new suit fits a bit better than the last one and his mayoral chains jingle as he walks, a gentle, comforting cling-cling.

He thinks again of the people in the pub who laughed at his chains and called them a necklace.  It must surely be against the law to mock the Mayor, he reflects, and makes a mental note to instruct the Law Agent accordingly.  Sue them.   Get them arrested.  Complain to Google about them.

The Top Citizen is in top form as he reaches the steps of the Fancy Grand Hotel.  They’ll be sorry, by Jesus.  Very sorry.

Mayoral Robes

A little puffed and red in the face, the Mayor makes it to the bar.  He’s a few minutes early and it might be no harm to have a drink before going in.  Why not?  Give us a pint Love, there’s a good girl.

He catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror.  A fine-looking man in a new suit and gold chains.  Very mayoral.

He’s half way through his pint when he remembers the Insurance Association Annual Gala Mega-Bash.  Come here, Love, where’s this insurance thing?

Top floor, Sir.  Take the lift.

Here’s Mister Mayor in the lift, wearing his new TK-Maxx suit, his gold chains of office and clutching a half-swallowed pint.  Going up.

Here he is on the top floor, but where’s the Annual Insurance Mega-Meeting Superbash with letters after its name?  All the doors look the same.

Wait.  Here’s a door with a sign that says Meeting.  The First Citizen eases the lock open, slips inside and there he stands at the top of the room, beside the projector.  The people attending the Addiction Support AGM stare at  a little fat man in a cheap suit and a gold chain clutching a half-swallowed pint of beer who has just backed through the door and turned around to face them with a look of horror.

He stands there staring at the crowd, opening and closing his mouth, while the delegates look back at him.

As they shake their heads, he feels for the door-handle behind him and slips back out into the corridor.  This would be a good time to call in the insurance.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Stories

How Transpainting Got Mikey Off The Heroin

Mikey’s a rough-looking dude with a twice-around-the-block face.  We get talking, share a couple of whiskeys and he opens up.

I’m curious about the strange tattoo on his forearm so after a while, when I think we’re getting on reasonably well, I ask him about it.  Mikey swirls his whiskey around the glass, and starts to talk about his time in rehab.  He zooms in on the day he first heard of transpainting.  He slips away from me …

There are fifteen in the group – eight drunks, four gamblers and three junkies.   The drunks look down on the smack-heads, the gamblers look down on the drunks and the smack-heads look down at their shoes, all except Mikey who has a kind of triple citizenship.  He’s a junkie, but he drinks like a fish and he once lost a Harley on a two-horse race.  On top of which, he’ll bust your face if you try to look down on him.

Mikey’s hardcore and he’s in here for reasons he understands full well.  He might be a fool but he’s not stupid.

Sister Jennifer (call me Jenny) clasps her hands and smiles.  That means be quiet and everyone shuts up.

Today, she announces, I’d like to introduce Tim.  He’s going to confront issues around art.

All eyes swivel to the man standing beside an easel.  His waistcoat says I feel your pain.  He’s thin as a pipe-cleaner and his pony-tail is beginning to match the grey of his beard.

As you know, Sister Jenny continues, Tim is a recovering alcoholic who found a way forward through the technique he calls transpainting. Tim is going to share some of his learnings around this.

Jenny steps back and Tim flashes a cheery smile.  Well, he says, I can’t say it’s good to be back here but …

He waits for a laugh that doesn’t come.

Anyway, my name is Tim and I’m an alcoholic.

Hi Tim, everyone says.

Jesus, mutters Mikey and Sister Jennifer glares.

So today, I’ll be sharing with you the technique I like to call transpainting.  I’ve got some examples here.

He props a couple of pictures against the easel.

See, he goes on, this is a technique I developed to take myself out of the bad spaces I used to inhabit.  What I do is go right back to a very bad place in my own head, and then I translate myself out of that place by painting where I want to be.  Transpainting.  Everyone with me so far?

Mikey puts up his hand.  They look like Yes album covers.   

Tim sobers.  I won’t deny that as an artist I have been influenced by the work of  Roger Dean.

The old lady with the ear trumpet.

Yes indeed, says Tim.  One of my favourites.  I call it Active Listening.

That’s the front cover of an Atomic Rooster album.

Tim pales.  Sister Jen steps in.  We can discuss the details over a cup of tea later.  Let’s just hear how Tim made his journey around this method.

Thank you Sister, says Tim.  I want you to know that where you are now, I have been too.  In the past I was a violent man.  I beat the crap out of my wife.  I kicked the hell out of my kids, and I never see them any more, but that’s all right.

Mikey stands up again.  What do you mean that’s all right, man?  

It means I’m in a good place now.

What kind of a place are your kids in?

Tim’s smile is serene but his fists are balled tight as a pit-bull’s jaw.  Busy Sister Jennifer is stepping in.  Michael, sit down.

Fuck that, says Mikey.  You know what, Tim?  Thanks.  You got me off the smack right there and then.

I did?  says Tim.

Fucking right.  From now on it’s liquor all the way, and I’m getting a new tattoo that says I’m A Drunk, Not A Cunt.  It’ll remind me of  you.

 

Mikey’s back in front of the bar.

 

… And that’s how I kicked the habit.

We clink glasses and I nod.  Who am I to doubt him?

Categories
Favourites Stories

How Santa Claus got his job

Jesus and his half-brother Santa Claus didn’t get on.  Santa resented the fact that Jesus had super powers, while Jesus simply didn’t like his older sibling.  It didn’t seem right to Jesus that a child would be constantly saying Ho Ho Ho, or talking in a strange, fake accent.  He didn’t like his brother’s habit of watching other children to see if they were asleep.   Most of all, he hated Santa’s habit of drawing up lists: Naughty and Nice.

One day, after Santa Claus deliberately stood on a toy train that Jesus got from his godfather, Lucifer, Jesus jumped up, waved his arms and turned him into a fish and a pack of Hobnobs.

Take that, you prick, he said, as Santa the haddock flopped around the floor, his beard sticking to his scales.

The door burst open.  It was God, both wrathful and vengeful.

What the fuck is going on here?

He stood on my train, said Jesus.

So you turned him into a haddock and a pack of biscuits?  Jesus Christ, Jesus, how many times do I have to tell you?  You can’t be turning people into fish and small high-carb snacks .  This has to stop.

He clicked his fingers and in a flurry of breadcrumbs, Santa reappeared.  

I’ll get you for that, Jesus.  Mark my words.  I’ll get you.

Sure you will, Monkey-boy, sneered Jesus.

Enough! barked God.  I’m sick of this shit.  You’re both going to be punished, but because I’m an infinitely just deity, there will be symmetry to my wrath.  Each of you may choose the other’s punishment.  Santa, because you were turned into a haddock, you may go first.

Santa’s little red eyes opened wide with delight.  I want him crucified.

And why might that be, pray tell? inquired God.

So that he can’t wave his arms and turn people into fish.

That seems fair, agreed God.  Now Jesus.  It’s your turn.

Jesus thought for a moment.  I want him to fly around the world on my birthday delivering toys to children and bringing happiness wherever he goes.  I want him to be loved by everybody.

God raised his mighty eyebrows.  That doesn’t seem like much of a punishment, if I may say so.  Why do you choose this thing?

Well, Father, Jesus explained, in time to come, I will found a religion based on forgiveness and love.  Therefore this punishment is appropriate.

My son, said God, You make me very proud of you.

Yes, Father, added Jesus, and also because I’ll only be crucified once but that fat bastard will have to squeeze down millions of chimneys for the rest of eternity.

 

 

 

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Munster vs Leinster Magners League

Right.  Today is Munster versus Leinster in Thomond Park, and I’m about to collect the tickets from Limehouse Dick, the scoundrel.

It’s a strange disconnected day.  Due to our ludicrous, religious-influenced licensing law, Limerick is the only place in the country where the pubs will be open.  This means that every maniac in Ireland will be travelling here for one night, and the majority of them won’t give a rat’s arse about the rugby.

I don’t think I’ll bother going for a pint after the game, because the chances are all the pubs will be full wall-to-wall with demented bastards who arrived half-drunk on buses from every corner of the country.

It should be an interesting game.  We’re missing POC and Earls, but Jerry Flannery is back, while Micko and Warwick step in as able replacements.  Leinster are missing BOD and have opted for bulk up front, but with Munster fielding a highly-mobile and fast back row, Cheika could be taking a big gamble.

Of course, everyone wants to see how the No. 10s shape up to each other.  Will the Thomond Park silence unnerve Sexton as it does Charlie Hodgson?  Will ROG impose his shape on the game and book his seat on the plane to New Zealand, or will the young pretender finally silence his harshest critics in their home town?

Romain Poite, the world’s worst referee,  is the man with the whistle, to the dismay of everyone, both in Munster and Leinster.  Given the uncertainty regarding policing of the breakdown, the shape of this game is is impossible to predict, and even the most experienced players will be unsure of themselves in the tackle.  It depends on how the mercurial M. Poite interprets his brief, but we can probably say with confidence that whatever he does, it will make tonight’s game worse.

We’ve learned not to take Leinster for granted.  They’re formidable opposition, but neither side will want to sustain heavy injuries a week ahead of the crucial European Cup quarter finals.  That doesn’t mean either side will take it easy, but I suspect POC’s groin strain, and the identical injury to Earls, are being treated more conservatively than usual.  I don’t know if BOD also has groin strain, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  Maybe the three boys can discuss their treatments as they watch the game from the sideline.  If Flannery didn’t need match time before the Northampton game, he might well have been struck down with groin strain too.

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Update

We didn’t win.  Leinster were better.  They won by a point.

Romain Poite was, as predicted, a complete idiot, but his decisions towards Leinster were as stupid as his decisions concerning Munster, and therefore all he succeeded in doing was distorting what could have been a very good game.  This man is by far the worst referee in the entire world.

Here’s his WIkipedia entry:

Romain Poite (born September 14, 1975) is a French rugby union international referee. He made his World Cup debut in 2007 during the match between Ireland and Namibia. He also officiated (as touch judge or television match official) during three games in the 2009 Six Nations Championship. He will referee his first Six Nations match in 2010. He is well known for being consistent in decision making by mistakingly awarding penalties and yellow cards to each team equally.

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Here’s 26,000 people staying silent for the penalty kicker.

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Happy Good Friday!!