Favourites Politics Religion war World

Imagine being a dead Muslim martyr

I was out tonight in my pub of choice, having a few scoops of my drink of choice with my friends of choice, when the subject of Islamic martyrdom came up.

This is how sad I am, and how pathetically sad my friends of choice are too.

As we were all men, somebody was bound to bring up the matter of the 77 virgins. You just would, y’know? Somebody said, Well, it isn’t that bad. You have the 77 virgins waiting for you when you die heroically, after the martyrdom, which is probably painful all right, probably very fukken painful getting a spear through your chest but still, 77 virgins, y’know. How bad?

And on the face of it, that’s probably true. On the face of it, you would certainly think, how bad could it be?

Well, here comes the news. It could be pretty fucking bad. There you are, newly-arrived in heaven, and here’s your 77 virgins. How’s it goin’, Boss? Satisfy us, ya bollix!

All well and good. You get down to business, and as it’s heaven, involving the afterlife where you don’t get tired or any of that kind of thing, you finally manage to satisfy the 77 virgins.

Jesus Christ, I need a pint.

You’re about to slither off for a pint.

Where the fuck do you think you’re going? says the 77 ex-virgins.

To the pub!!

Without us? Not a chance!!

And there you are, eventually, having called 19 taxis. Right darlings, what are we having?

A stupid question. You stand at the bar, discussing your order with the barman who can’t believe what a stupid twat you are:

Let’s see if I have that, now. 32 Heineken with ice. 14 Heineken with lime. 4 spritzers. 2 gin and tonic. 5 Jagermeisters. 2 Fat Frogs. 11 tequila slammers. 3 pints of Bulmers. 3 Jamesons. 1Black Bush. And a Guinness.

No bother.

Jesus, there’s Mikey. How’s it goin’, Mikey – what will you have?

Oh, I’ll have a pint of Guinness, 44 tequila slammers, 15 red wines, 3 Wild Turkeys, 12 Coronas and 3 Slivovitz.

Grand, says the barman. That’s 32 Heineken with ice, 14 Heineken with lime, 4 spritzers, 5 Jagermeisters, 3 Jamesons, 55 tequila slammers, 2 gin and tonics, 2 Fat Frogs, 3 pints of Bulmers, 15 red wines, 3 Wild Turkeys, 12 Coronas and 3 Slivovitz. 1 Black Bush. And 2 pints of Guinness.

That’s right. Oh, Jaysus, here’s Tommy with his Mexican virgins. Tommy will ya have a pint? Grand. Will ya make that 3 pints of Guinness. And 121 tequila slammers. Grand. Fine.

Finally, after eight of the lads turn up, we get a cosy little sing-song going, involving a medley of old numbers by Captain Beefheart and the Velvet Underground. The 693 virgins seem a little pissed off at our lack of attention.

What’s wrong? we say.

As one, the 693 virgins reply, Nothing!



Pope offends Muslims

Suicide bombers

Muhammad MacGyver

Idiots, religious lunatics and the war on terror

Favourites Politics Scandal Technology

e-voting machines

Dick Roche came out a few days ago and stated that he was going to start a campaign to promote public confidence in the electronic voting machines that Cullen bought a couple of years ago.

Think about that now. This is a good measure of our Government’s complete failure to comprehend what went wrong. Roche didn’t say that he was going to address the fundamental flaw in the system, a flaw that could completely undermine democracy in this country. No. Roche isn’t worried about that. He’s not going to concentrate on fixing the problem.

Instead, he’s going to put ads on the television telling us everything is ok. Lots of them. And loads of publicity to bolster public confidence. And when he’s happy that everyone believes the machines work, in they come.

Imagine if any other organisation worked that way. Microsoft, for example.

Gee, Bill, I don’t know if we should bother getting Windows 3-Million to actually work. Why don’t we just ask people to believe in it? We”ll run an ad campaign.

Uh. Right.

Crime Favourites Religion Scandal World

Mother Teresa, the crook

Charles Keating was sentenced to ten years in prison for perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in American history. The Savings and Loans scandal has gone down in history as one of the filthiest scams ever conducted, involving the defrauding of 17,000 people of their life savings. Many of these people were elderly, and many lost everything they owned.

Charles Keating donated 1.25 million of these stolen dollars to Mother Teresa, and also gave her the use of his private jet. At his trial the good nun sent a letter to the trial judge, Lance Ito (a man you might remember from the OJ Simpson case).

This is what Mother Teresa said on behalf of Charles Keating:

Dear Honorable Lance Ito,

We do not mix up in Business or Politicts or courts. Our work, as Missionaries of Charity is to give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.

I do not know anything about Mr. Charles Keating’s work or his business or the matters you are dealing with.

I only know that he has alway been kind and generous to God’s poor, and always ready to help whenever there was a need. It is for this reason that I do not want to forget him now while he and his family are suffering. Jesus has told us “Whatever you do to the least of my brethern … YOU DID IT TO ME. Mr. Keating has done each to help the poor, which is why I am writing to you on his behalf.

Whenever someone asks me to speak to a judge, I always tell them the same thing. I ask them to pray, to look into thier heart, and to do what Jesus would do in that circumstance. And this is what I am asking of you, your Honor.

My gratitude to you is my prayer for you, and your work, your family and the people with whom you are working.

God bless you

M. Teresa

Thinking that Mother Teresa didn’t understand how Keating had robbed countless old and vulnerable people to obtain this money, the deputy District Attorney in the case, Paul Turley wrote a personal letter, as follows:

Dear Mother Teresa

I am a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County and one of the persons who worked on the prosecution of your benefactor, Charles H. Keating, Jr. I read your letter to Judge Ito, written on behalf of Mr. Keating, which includes your admission that you know nothing about Mr. Keating’s business or the criminal charges presented to Judge Ito. I am writing to you to provide a brief explanation of the crimes of which Mr. Keating has been convicted, to give you an understanding of the source of the money that Mr. Keating gave to you, and to suggest that you perform the moral and ethical act of returning the money to its rightful owners.

Mr. Keating was convicted of defrauding 17 individuals of more than $900,000. These 17 persons were representative of 17,000 individuals from whom Mr. Keating stole $252,000,000. Mr. Keating’s specific acts of fraud were that he was the source of a series of fraudulent representations made to persons who bought bonds from his company and he also was the repository of crucial information which he chose to withhold from bond purchasers, thereby luring his victims into believing they were making a safe, low-risk investment. In truth and in fact, their money was being used to fund Mr. Keating’s exorbitant and extravagant lifestyle.

The victims of Mr. Keating’s fraud come from a wide spectrum of society. Some were wealthy and well-educated. Most were people of modest means and unfamiliar with high finance. One was, indeed, a poor carpenter who did not speak English and had his life savings stolen by Mr. Keating’s fraud.

The biblical slogan of your organization is ‘As long as you did it to one of these My least brethren. You did it to Me’. The ‘least’ of the brethren are among those whom Mr. Keating fleeced without flinching. As you well know, divine forgiveness is available to all, but forgiveness must be preceded by admission of sin. Not only has Mr. Keating failed to admit his sins and his crimes, he persists in self-righteously blaming others for his own misdeeds. Your experience is, admirably, with the poor. My experience has been with the ‘con’ man and the perpetrator of the fraud. It is not uncommon for ‘con’ men to be generous with family, friends and charities.

Perhaps they believe that their generosity will purchase love, respect or forgiveness. However, the time when the purchase of ‘indulgences’ was an acceptable method of seeking forgiveness died with the Reformation. No church, no charity, no organization should allow itself to be used as a salve for the conscience of the criminal. We all are grateful that forgiveness is available but we all, also, must perform our duty. That includes the Judge and the Jury. I remind myself of the biblical admonition of the Prophet Micah: ‘O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you. To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.’

We are urged to love mercy but we must do justice.

You urge Judge Ito to look into his heart — as he sentences Charles Keating — and do what Jesus would do. I submit the same challenge to you. Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he were given the fruits of a crime; what Jesus would do if he were in possession of money that had been stolen; what Jesus would do if he were being exploited by a thief to ease his conscience?

I submit that Jesus would promptly and unhesitatingly return the stolen property to its rightful owners. You should do the same. You have been given money by Mr. Keating that he has been convicted of stealing by fraud. Do not permit him the ‘indulgence’ he desires Do not keep the money. Return it to those who worked for it and earned it!

If you contact me I will put you in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession.


Paul W. Turley

There was no reply and the money wasn’t returned.

So much for living saints.

Favourites Stories

The Presley Story

I had to attend a clinic in Lucerne recently for one of my periodic face-changes – an unfortunate but necessary result of my life as an international assassin. As I strolled in the grounds with my surgeon and old friend, Adrian d’Arcy-Einbahnstrasse, I noticed an odd figure flitting among the trees.

I say, d’Arcy-Einbahnstrasse, I ejaculated, do you see that curious old chap, yes, over there, that elderly chap with the long hair, playing air-guitar? He seems strangely familiar.

Why, that’s Presley, he chuckled. Of course he’s familiar.

Presley? But surely he’s dead from eating too many hamburgers on the toilet?

My dear fellow, smiled d’Arcy-Einbahnstrasse kindly, I don’t mean The King. I refer of course to Reg Presley, of the Troggs.

I must confess, I was astonished. Presley? I gasped. Presley of The Troggs? As in

Wild Thing, You make my heart sing, You make everything … groovy , Wild thing Wild thing, I think I love you But I wanna know for sure , Come on and hold me tight I love you You make my heart sing You make everything … groovy

d’Arcy-Einbahnstrasse nodded. Quite.

Removing the large bong he had been smoking, he gazed wistfully at the old air-guitar-playing man. He came two years ago for a simple penis transplant, and he’s been here ever since.

I was astounded. A penis transplant? The devil you say!

Oh, yes, my dear fellow. You’d be astonished at the operations people have these days. The thing is, poor old Presley’s operation didn’t quite lead to the results he’d expected, so to speak. He took a deep pull on the bong and gazed down at his feet, rocking slowly back and forth.

Gradually, comprehension began to dawn on me. You mean . . . ?

d’Arcy-Einbahnstrasse smiled. Indeed. These things take time, and Nature must take its course. It’s all up to Presley now. I’m afraid you can’t teach an old Trogg’s new dick.

Favourites Humour Religion

Ratzo – First Blood

I knew instantly it was the purple phone ringing. The one I keep in a specially-constructed safe under my bed. Not the red one I use to speak to Bush, nor the blue one I call Chirac on. Not even the magnolia one I use for Blair. No. It had to be the purple one. Apart from anything else, it’s the only one of my phones that plays Tannhäuser. The rest just go beep beep.

That you, Ratzo?

Do not the familiar-making with me be. You from now on Benediktus to me you will the addressing make. Or else, Obersturmführer Ratzenhammer. Verstehen Sie??

Ratzo, gimme a break, ok? It’s four in the fuckin morning. Why are you calling me at four in the morning? I’m only in bed twenty minutes, for fucksake!

It is the matter of die schwierigkeit muslimische. So to speak.


I have the little speech gemachen, at the Universität, but Glück und Glas , I may have them off-pissed, by them the shower of Hodensäcker into their faces calling, you know.

Ratzo, how many times have I told you to keep schtum? When you were in charge of the Inquisition, that was one thing. You were the guy with the red hot poker. But now you’re the fuckin Pope and you can’t be going around pissing people off, except in the usual ways by opposing contraception in AIDS-torn Africa and buggering altar-boys in Ireland. OK?

OK, Bock. What great times we had in den Hofbräuhaus when we younger were, no, mein freund? Oh ho. Oh ho. Yuk. Yuk. Hmmm. Well. Hmmm. Bock, I have the favour from you to asking.

Ask away, Ratzo, ould stock.

Bock, let us not batter around the tree. I know, through my sources, let’s call them, that you the mighty religious weapon invented have and, something more, that you a military version produced have. For civilian use, you have the world the mobile consecrator given. No?

Well, I want the military version, the religious fanatics to fighting. I want your Mobile Desecrator!

You want to fight the Legion of Mary?

Do not the funny make. It is, as you know well, the muslimische issue.

Certainly not, Ratzo. It’s completely against my principles to use my mobile consecrator for military purposes. I developed that machine for purely peaceful uses, and I intend to keep it that way. If somebody untrustworthy ever got his hands on this technology, it could totally shift the balance of –

Fifty million.

OK. ‘Night.



Der papahund

Der papahundchen


Ratzo’s Leap

Favourites Stories

Murphy of Firehouse 9

The old apartment building was already in flames when Ladder 7 rolled up outside. Blazing embers leapt into the dark Manhattan night sky as a burly figure jumped from the still-moving truck.

Get that water on! Fast! I want it now! And where the hell are those smoke-divers? Get ’em in there now! And one more thing – get those people back from here. Set up a cordon. Where the hell are the cops, for chrissake?

The rest of the crew glanced at each other with quiet grins. It was only Murphy, Captain of Firehouse 9. That was just his way. He was rough, but Murphy got the job done.

A woman on the sidewalk sobbed, her grief-stricken cries piercing the throbbing rumble of the big Detroit Diesel as the crew gunned it, pumping up the high-pressure jets. Murphy paused, hesitated towards her, barked a dozen more orders at the crew and drew the woman aside. They could see him listening as the woman pointed towards the top floor apartment, and they could see his hardbitten features softening as he heard the woman’s story.

Guys, he said, we got a situation here. I’m goin’ in.

And with that he was gone, into the flames, a blurred and vanishing shadow among the smoke and the swirling embers. There was nothing anyone could do but try to keep the fire back, try desperately to give Murphy that tiny chance of survival. They kept three big lines at full power against the walls, through the windows, and every time a jet hit the flame, it recoiled and snarled. They saw him pass the second floor, and the third. Then the fourth – or was it just a trick of the dancing flames? No. There he was on the fifth, the sixth, and after an eternity, Murphy appeared at the top floor window.

I’m comin’ back, he shouted as a huge cheer rose from the crowd. He had a little bundle in his arms and he was waving an axe.

Cover me, guys!

They watched him down one floor, then two, then another three. The crowd fell silent, and as Murphy’s dim shape appeared at the second floor, an old man spoke up.

I’m the building caretaker, he said, and there’s a tank of gas in the lobby. It’ll blow any second now.

Come on, said one of the crew, we can’t leave him in there to die like a dog.

But the lieutenant held him back. Stay there, Son. Only God can help him now.

It started as a rumble, then a roar and the ground shook as the crowd surged back in terror.

The lieutenant crossed himself. Oh my dear Lord.

The windows blew out, almost as if in slow motion, and the roof erupted. But then a murky shape appeared at the gaping mouth of hell that used to be the door. Murphy, waving an axe, and with a baby under his arm, leapt into space while the building collapsed behind him. He wore that cheeky grin the boys in the firehouse had come to know and love.

Well I’ll be … muttered the lieutenant.

Another cheer rose from the crowd as Murphy slowly approached the woman, pushed his helmet back on his head, and wiped the sweat from his blackened face.

There you go ma’am. Here’s your axe, safe and sound.

Bock's People Favourites Humour Media Our lives Rugby Sport Stories World

Hyperzenchef demands murder

The demands from Hyperzenchef are becoming more urgent by the day. Here’s some samples:

1. Can you do something about Ryan Fuckhead Tubridy, he’s an annoying cunt?

2. I accidentally heard the start of smelly cunthead’s so called fucking radio show . It rrrrrrruined the rest of my almost perfect fucking day, send me the cunt’s severed head on a stick, I will pay for the fucking postage, I have now to go and fucking meditate in my local temple for 4 fucking hours so I can become one with the cuntin universe. Dont let this happen again!

3. You had to do it didn’t you. Just when I decided to put my sniper rifle away and climb down from the dome of the Kyoto Tower, without killing a single fuckin chink. Between the heat, the fuckin insufferable humidity, the unbearable Ryan cunthead Tubridy, you had to remind me of that shit-licking, arsecrawling, snivelling, obsequious pile-sucking Myles Dunghead. Now you got me started. Back to the Kyoto Tower no fuckin prisoners.

So there you have it. In Kyoto, they hate the same wankers I do.

I’ve decided to have Tubridy killed, but I won’t do it myself because it would be a messy business, without question. I’d imagine any murder would be messy, involving shit and blood and possibly injury to oneself, and so therefore I think the best man for the job is Limehouse Dick. I’ll tie a message to my fastest pigeon and before you can say ” ‘Ang abaht, guv!”, Limehouse Dick will be at my bedroom window, clinging to the ivy, awaiting instruction.

Take out that Tubridy cocksucker, I’ll say. And while you’re at it, dispose of that Dungan arsehole.

Limehouse Dick is as solid as . . . as . . . well, as a rock, I suppose, if you think a rock is solid. I mean, when you take a more global view of rock, from a geological viewpoint, it actually seems to behave very much like a liquid. Solidity, it seems, is more a matter of timescale than actuality, so maybe I should say that Limehouse Dick is as solid as something very solid indeed. As solid as Garda Joan Gallagher’s arse.

Anyhow, these philosophical considerations are not the sort of thing to trouble Limehouse Dick unduly. He’ll go out and murder the motherfuckers. Did you see the money these wasters are getting paid? Did you? Isn’t it incredible? Pat Kenny, the Plank, is getting nearly a million a year. A million euros??? Can you believe that? For being a total fucking arsehole. And meanwhile, they have the neck to put these threatening ads on the radio, intimidating me into paying a TV licence. Why the fuck should anyone pay a TV licence when the only beneficiary of it – RTE – is simultaneously abandoning its public-service remit, and paying its cronies nearly a million a year? How much is a licence fee? I think it’s about 200 euros. Imagine that – 200 euros. How long would the average Joe have to work to earn that, after tax? Say, for argument’s sake before-tax income might be about 250. It’s probably more, but let’s go with that. 250. As the average industrial wage is 29,000 euros, it means that your ordinary worker has to slog three full days to earn this money.

OK. Now, how many licence fees does it take to pay Pat Kenny? I make it 3,600. So here you have 3,600 grunts, each working three full days to pay the wages of one puffed-up, self-important gobshite. Or thirty people working full time to pay for him. Is Pat Kenny worth the labour of thirty people? You decide.

Tubridy, I think, has about ten people working full time to sustain his flow of vapid nonsense. Fuck it, I could do that: talking shite for huge money, except I don’t live in D4 and therefore will never be invited to do so, at the licence-payer’s expense.

I see in the paper where New Orleans is suffering from a wave of transvestite-related crime. It seems this gang of six-foot-plus black cross-dressers is terrorising local businesses, and they even raided Las Vegas, shoplifting. They’re fearless, as you would be if you’re six-five, dress or no dress, and once they put their eye on some item, they must have it, just like regular gals.

I wonder would they be interested in taking out Tubridy?

Favourites Sport

The Stringer try

Munster 15 Biarritz 10

Check out the simultaneous celebrations on the streets of Limerick in this one.

Bock's People Favourites Humour Media Our lives Rugby Sport Stories World

Limehouse Dick

The dying rays of a perfect May sunset streamed through the bow window, silhouetting the pensive figure who gazed out across the lawns of the great castle. As Bock, deep in thought, scanned the horizon of his vast estate, the light caressed his face, illuminating his fine features and revealing the faintest flicker of secret anxiety on his manly brow. His magnificent physique suggested an almost feral strength and yet his deep clear gaze spoke of a fine intellect and deep sensitivity. As he followed the sun’s declining disc, he gently tapped out a tune on the marimba- a primitive African xylophone. Then suddenly and with great force, he flung the marimba to the floor, smashing it in a thousand shards.

Where is he? Bock murmured. Where the devil can he be?

With a discreet knock, a wizened butler entered. It was Scrotum, a wrinkled old retainer.

Pardon me for interrupting, Sir. Despite his 183 years, Scrotum’s voice was strong and confident. That- he paused and began again, That person is at the door.

Bock spun around to face him. The devil you say! So he came after all, did he?

Scrotum, with barely-hidden distaste, raised an eyebrow. I take it you do not wish me to eject this person, Sir?

Bock laughed a great hearty bellow. Oh my dearest Scrotum. What ever should I do without you? No indeed: show the rascal up, will you? There’s a good chap.

Very good Sir.

As Scrotum silently withdrew, Bock took a leather-bound volume from his escritoire. It was a first edition of his celebrated research into the Titius-Bode Law of Planetary distances in which he proved that both Newton and Einstein were totally wrong. On some matters, Bock cared not a jot, but on others his enthusiasm knew no containment, and as always, when he pondered the unbounded universe, Bock became lost. But still, even as he read, he became aware of a presence behind him, and by the stench of cheap scent mingled with the tang of armpit sweat, he knew at once who it was.

So, he said without turning, have you brought them, Limehouse Dick?

The man he addressed was a great hairy shuffling brute, with a shifty sideways glance and an evil-looking scar from the corner of his eye to the base of his ape-like chin. His cauliflower ears told of many an angry struggle and his ham-like fists hinted at a life spent fighting in the mud.

Brought them, Guv? echoed Limehouse Dick. I brought one for yourself, Guv, and it cost me deep in purse.

Bock wheeled to confront him. One? he demanded. One is no use, you fool. I said two and I meant two, dammit. D’you understand me, Sir?

Limehouse Dick recoiled as if struck.

Steady on Bock, me old mate. No need to get all shirty on me. With a sly grin, he tapped his breast pocket. Maybe a little persuasion might be –

But he got no further, as Bock sprang forward and caught him by the throat. By God, Sir, Bock hissed, do not trifle with me, or I’ll thrash you within a metric inch of your life. You mistake me for another if you fancy I will stand for it.

Limehouse Dick did not know it, but Bock held him in a secret grip, learned long ago from a dying Porroh man on the lagoon river behind the Turner Peninsula. The slightest pressure could kill a buffalo. Though he was unable to move a single muscle, the fear in Limehouse Dick’s eyes told Bock he was a defeated man, and he pushed the unfortunate fellow away, with a soft sigh of regret. He took down a didgeridoo and began to play a soft, haunting monotone melody in time with Limehouse Dick’s sobbing. Only two men have ever mastered the art of playing the didgeridoo and talking at the same time. One is long dead and the other is Bock.

Don’t take it to heart, my dear fellow, he chuckled, expertly kicking a bottle of fine brandy to Dick. Have a drink and compose yourself. Now, come show me what you’ve brought.

A trembling Limehouse Dick fumbled inside his grubby jerkin and pulled out two tattered pieces of light cardboard. One for yourself, Guv, he muttered resentfully.

And the other? prompted Bock.

Dick shifted uneasily. The other ticket for young Master Bullet.

Bock snatched the two tickets from Dick’s hand and quickly secreted them between the covers of the leather-bound book.

Get on with you, Limehouse Dick, he laughed, and have Scrotum give you fifty guineas on your way out. You old rascal! Oh, and tell him to ready the Bentley. We’re going to Cardiff for the week-end.

Bock's People Favourites Humour Media Our lives Rugby Sport Stories World

Carer wanted

Kind, reliable person required to look after small city for weekend.

Light duties only: closing curtains etc.

Apply to Bock for details.

There’s a medium-sized chance that there will be tickets to the match for both the Bullet and myself, but no certainty yet: we probably won’t find out until Monday or Tuesday. Bullet knows that I booked our flights three weeks ago, but I haven’t said anything yet about going to the game. All I said was that we have the flights because they were cheap and I’m prepared to write off the cost if we don’t get tickets. Just assume we’re watching it in Limerick. He’s a laid-back little fucker anyway and he’ll go with the flow no matter what happens so he doesn’t mind too much if we watch it in Limerick.

Anyway, Limerick might well be the coolest place on earth to watch the game. I hear they’re setting up the biggest screen in Europe on O’Connell Street. Imagine! The biggest screen in Europe. It reminds me of that great line by John Prine: the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel. Fuck it, as we’re on a digression (when are we not on a digression?), here’s a nice link I found about Muhlenberg County. Those who know what I’m talking about will understand, and I can only ask the rest to forgive.

As I said, I haven’t told the Bullet yet that we might well be Cardiff-bound, along with about fifty thousand other pilgrims just like us. It would be wrong to raise his hopes yet, and that reminds me of yet another story, which isn’t quite as bad a non sequitur as my previous digression.

Three years ago, we headed into town for a game at Thomond Park against Gloucester. I didn’t want the Bullet to be disappointed, so I said something like this: Now look here, Bullet. This crowd are the best team in England. They’re top of the English league. We have to beat them by 27 points, and we need to score at least four tries doing it, so don’t get your hopes up. Ok, fella?

Right. So, the game progressed and, as the Bullet was shifted back and forth between my shoulders and the rather heftier ones of Dickler, he was the only one of the three of us who could actually see the game, and therefore it fell to an eleven-year-old to tell us what was happening. Penalty to O’Gara. 3-0. Oh dear God. Penalty to them. Shit. 3-3. Try for Kelly. Oh Jesus Christ!!! Madness. 8-3. Penalty for them. 8-6. Oh noooooo! Penalty for O’Gara. 11-6. Could we be pulling away? Surely not. Try for Mossie Lawlor!!! What?? Oh Jesus Jumping Christ. 16-6. Lunacy!! Penalty for O’Gara. 19-6. Total drooling frothing insanity in the ground. And then, unbelievably, a try for O’Driscoll. What? What?? Oh leaping Jesus on a bicycle!! That’s 24-6 Crowd need an ambulance for mass heart attack. Conversion: 26-6. Complete gibbering idiocy! Strangers hugging each other. But the time is up. We’re in injury time. The clock is running down but this is Thomond Park and there goes the great John Kelly, over the line for the fourth try in the last second of the game, but its not enough. It’s too late. It’s only 31-6, and we need 33. If O’Gara misses this conversion it’s all over. The ref will blow and we’re gone. We’re out and it’s not an easy kick from this angle, but still . . , but still . . . and as O’Gara lines himself up for a difficult conversion from the sideline, I feel a gentle tug on my shoulder from the Bullet: Is it ok if I get my hopes up?

I nod, squeeze his hand, Ronan slots the conversion and the whistle blows. All of Limerick, Cork and Fethard, it seems, are in Thomond Park, and every one of them has lost his mind. Sane people are running around like fucking lunatics, screaming and hugging each other. We’re through and the best team in England are out. (You couldn’t write the script, could you, but see also, Munster v Gloucester II, Munster v Sale, Munster v Leinster.)

I made a little extra act of belief today by hiring a car. It seems like a better option than pissing around on trains, wouldn’t you agree, and we can pick it up at the airport. I haven’t worked out the itinerary yet, but I’m hoping everything will be ok, and I’ll tell the kid on Tuesday if we get the tickets. “Bullet“, I’ll say, “Bullet, have your red shirt washed and packed for Thursday. We’re goin’ a-huntin’!”



Limehouse Dick