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Das Papahundchen

Ratzinger didn’t fall to his doom when he jumped out the bedroom window. As I was rooting around in the cellar, searching for a spare canister of polonium-210, I heard a feeble scratching sound and a little voice croaking from the shadows.

Ach, mein Gott, it has come to this, nicht war? I have in the falling from the schlafenzimmerfenster mein arsehole gebrochen und now what to do I know not.

Dear God, I thought to myself. Am I a cruel man? Can I let this little Popehound lie here in pain where he has crawled after a hole-breaking fall – or more accurately, a hole-breaking sudden stop?

I paused a moment. Yes, I cried. I fucking can! But you know me: I fucking couldn’t, much though I wanted to smash his little Pope-dog-face into a hundred bloody shards.

Come on, you little bollix, I muttered, scooping the little dog-Pope up in one hand and grabbing the can of polonium-210 from his jaws with the other. What are we going to do with you at all at all at all?

Well, for one thing, you can the shattered pelvis fixen machen, he replied, which, I had to admit, didn’t seem unreasonable.

So I called up the only ecclesiastical veterinary practice I know.

Hello? Is that Church and Doggerel? Mmmnnn, yes, Bock here. Look, you see, the thing is, I have a little, nnmmnnm, nnyeh, well, a sort of hybrid terrier and, umm, well, Pontiff. And you see, the thing is – Oh!! Really?? You do? Oh! I see! Well, I’ll be right there.

And quick as a flash, I had little Ratzinger at the surgery of Church and Doggerel, where a smiling and efficient professional slapped a full body-cast on the little tyke, while murmuring to him reassuringly in broken German.

Unfortunately, Ratzinger didn’t appreciate the poor standard of German.

Da geht die Sprache vor die Hunde! Schande und ewige Verdamnis ueber dich!, he snarled, and bit a lump out of the vet’s arm before I could calm him with a spray of domestic bleach in the eyes.

Ratzinger, you little cunt, I shouted at him as I flung him painfully into the Bockmobile. I should have left you to chew on that polonium bone, you ungrateful little dog-Pope-person.

Und now, continued Ratzinger, as undeterred as he was ungrateful, you must the immediate flug-booking make on ze nachste Lufthansa flug to Türkei .

I will, like fuck, I said. I’m going to Wrinkly Joe’s party at the weekend and I’m taking Dermot and Satan with me. You can mind the house.  Here’s a bone, I said, tossing him the tube of polonium-210. Chew on that.



Das papahund

Ratzo’s Leap


Ratzo – First Blood


Favourites Religion

Das Papahund

Last night, as usual, I riveted a sheet of stainless steel to my bedroom door and, as usual, by dawn the dog had gnawed through it. As usual, I fired a few shots in the general direction of the hole without much hope of hitting anything and as usual I missed.

So what was different about this morning, you might be wondering?

Well, you see, my dog can normally back out of a hole pretty damn fast when there’s a hail of bullets flying at him, but today, when I eventually got up, I found a little head stuck in the door. Now, this would normally be fine. I’d kick him a few times in the face, maybe spray Cillit Bang in his eyes to calm him – a common thing any dog-owner might do. But this was different. This was strange, and I didn’t quite accept what my eyes were telling me until I opened the door. You see, on the other side I found there was a regular Jack Russell body, but on my side there was the tiny head of Cardinal Ratzinger, glaring up at me und spidding ze curses in Cherman.

Gott in Himmel! I cried. Was is los mit diesen Hund?

I was soon to find out.

Achtung! the little pope-dog barked at me. I have your little Hund all the soul possessed and taken over mit mein great Popelisches powers, und I will not it release until you about the Katholische Kirche Romanische all the silly joke-making stoppen machen. Und also the Cherman accent you not the lampoon-gemaking will, immer again!! Versteh????

I was astonished. I really was.

Jesus, Ratzo, I said, Why didn’t you say so? Look: here’s a bone.

With that, I scooped up the leg of wildebeest I’d been chewing in bed over the last few weeks, and flung it out the window.

Unable to control his basic instincts, the little Popehound sprang through the window after it, and as he flew past me I heard him shout

Damn you, Bock. You vill not be so lucky the nachste zeit. In the future time, I will possess your left leg and kick you in den Hodensack until you cease the amuse-making already . . .

As his voice trailed away, I was figuring out where to get another Jack Russell, and a wildebeest-leg.



Das papahundchen


Ratzo – First Blood

Ratzo’s Leap

Politics Religion Scandal

The Feast of the Blessed Condescension

This article was first published in November 2006



Isn’t there some big Catholic thing coming up soon, in early December? The Immaculate Assumption, or the Holy Dispersal. Something of that sort, anyway. The Blessed Emulsification, maybe.

In the past, it was the day when all the farmers used to head for their nearest urban centre to get completely blunted in the pub while the missus noodled around the shops buying cocaine and vibrators, but those days are long gone. Now, in the new Celtic Aardvark Ireland, rural people no longer need to visit their local town in huge hordes on the feast of the Unmissable Contraction. Certainly not. These days, rural people are all over in Dubai with their accountants in early December, trying to figure out how much their patch of mud is worth now. Bastards.

It wasn’t always like this. It wasn’t always money money money. Oh no.

Actually, that’s not true. It was always about money. Let me give you a case in point.

Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General issued a report about the payments by the Residential Institutions Redress Board to victims of clerical abuse. The latest figure is 1.2 billion euros. Let me repeat that. One thousand two hundred million euros.

Now, what do you think this money is for? Is it because the government think these people deserve a holiday and could do with a few bob to help them go to Malaga?


Is it because the people who claimed are so damn nice you couldn’t refuse them?

No, it isn’t.

Well, maybe it’s because the Catholic Church has decided to share some of its vast wealth with poor people, in line with the teaching of Jesus?

Ah come on now! You have to be joking surely? The Catholic Church follow Jesus’s teaching?

No. It’s none of the above. The people have been awarded the money to partially make up for the fact that they were physically, sexually and psychologically abused by priests, nuns and monks. Read that again carefully. Abused by priests by priests, nuns and monks. Not, you will notice, by postmen, police, nurses, dog wardens or any other employee of the State. Children were raped, beaten and psychologically abused by nuns, priests and monks.

You’d imagine therefore that they would be compensated by the organisation their abusers belonged to, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. So how much did the Catholic church pay towards the one thousand two hundred million euros so far paid out to victims?

Most of it, I hear you saying.


Half of it, you suggest.


A quarter, you shout, in despair.

I stand up and wave my arms at you in dismissal. No, no and no again.

The Catholic church paid a tenth of the cost. The Catholic church paid 127 million euros and no matter how high the awards go, that is all the Catholic church will ever pay.


You heard me right. Even though the children were raped, beaten and psychologically abused by nuns, priests and monks, the Catholic church will never pay more than 127 million euros.

So what uncritical benefactor has ridden to the assistance of the Catholic church? What kind and decent person has decided to rescue the church from the penury it brought upon itself by its abuse of children? Who could possibly be so generous? Well, look no further. Look in the mirror, for this wonderful benefactor is you. Your taxes are paying one thousand two hundred million euros to make up the shortfall, and this is the result of an agreement signed by a government minister.

Michael Woods, PhD, agreed this deal with the Catholic church, including Sister Helena O’Donoghue of the Sisters of Mercy, of whom more anon. Dr Woods, you might remember, was once Minister for Health, and did nothing at the time to dispel the belief that he was a medical practitioner when in fact he had a doctorate arising out of some research on tomatoes. Dr Woods is also a well-known member of Opus Dei. Dr Michael Woods concluded a deal whereby your money and mine was used to underwrite the Catholic church without limit. Can you imagine that? These guys paid in 127 million and that was an end of their obligations, even though they were the ones who had committed the abuse. Even though the claims are currently at one thousand two hundred million and rising, the church will never have to pay an extra penny. Our money will be used to pay the rest, no matter how much the bill comes to.

Now, who is Sr Helena O’Donoghue? Sr O’Donoghue is a member of the community that controls the Mater Hospital in Dublin. The Mater Hospital has recently been designated the location for the National Children’s Hospital, even though it is completely inaccessible for children coming from outside Dublin, and for their parents. The location was chosen even though a suitable site was offered at no cost to the government on the periphery of Dublin. (A site which was easily accessible from the N7).

The Mater is also the hospital whose ethics committee attempted to prevent cancer patients from using contraception. A truly Christian institution.


The Sisters of Mercy . . .

Public Apology

Criminal Responsibilty


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


Jehovah’s Bystanders

I thought we fought for years to get rid of religious maniacs in Ireland, but it looks like I was wrong. After struggling against SPUC and SPIC and SPOCK and all the rest of the Catholic religious right, I failed to notice a whole new crowd of lunatics trying to re-write our laws.

On September 21st, Ms K, from the Congo, was given a blood transfusion against her will because the Coombe hospital refused to let a patient die in their care. This seems reasonable to me. If you don’t want medical care, don’t come to the hospital. The end.

However, it now seems that the Jehovah’s Witness congregation is seeking to be joined as a party to the action. Why? They aren’t having a baby. They aren’t the father. They have no involvement.

For decades, the Catholic clergy demanded a special place in Irish public and legal life. John Charles McQuaid meddled disastrously in our Constitution and in our law. Bishops for years sought to interfere in Irish legislation, and people of my generation fought to get rid of these fuckers, though we’re not done yet. They still control too much of education and health care, and the last thing we need is another crowd of religious maniacs taking their place.

Anyway, what kind of religion demands the right to let a woman die? No religion demands that.

I never thought I’d find a religion crazier than Scientology but here it is.

I wonder if they have Jehovah’s Witness hospitals in the Congo, and if perhaps Ms K would have been happier dying in one of those?



There’s the unelected Pope Ratzo the First over there in Rome, issuing edicts to all and sundry to the following effect:

1. If you’re a priest who finds out that another priest has been buggering little boys, say fuck-all about it or I’ll excommunicate you.

2. If you’ve been buggered by a priest, shut the fuck up about it or I’ll excommunicate you too.

Great. Now, meanwhile, half the country – me included – have been clamouring for Bertie to come clean about the money, and quite properly too. So can’t you just imagine the public wrath if it was about more than money. Supposing Bertie had sent out a letter, let’s say, to all the teachers in the country, threatening to fire them if they exposed cases of child sex-abuse. And then, for good measure, suppose he informed all the pupils that he’d have them expelled if they told their parents what was going on.

Never mind the few pounds from the dodgy Manchester businessmen. That would be as nothing. The mobs would be roaming the streets, demanding Bertie’s eyeballs on a stick. They’d burn down Government Buildings.

And yet, there isn’t a peep out of the same mob when His Holiness does it.

Isn’t that amazing?


Das papahund

Das papahundchen


Ratzo – First Blood

Ratzo’s Leap


Jehovah’s By-standers

It’s very simple. Hospitals should have a form for you to fill out, and it should read as follows:

Do you want to be treated – yes or no?


Then fuck off!

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


Mother Teresa – Footballing Legend

Well do I remember the first time I saw Mother Teresa. It was Dalymount Park in 1980 and Ireland were trailing Holland 1-0 at the break. I thought we were finished. These guys don’t give away goals. I thought we’d never see the World Cup, but then, in a moment of inspiration, Eoin Hand brought on his latest signing: an old Albanian nun. What a player! Mother Teresa had everything: the pace to outrun an international defender, the skill to take the ball past them on the ground, phenomenal power in the air and a deadly left foot in set-piece situations. Who could forget her equaliser in the seventy-first minute, powering through the Dutch defence to head the ball home from Langan’s viciously-swerving corner? That was great, but nothing could equal the match-winner in the ninety-second minute when she ghosted the ball around two defenders and nutmegged a third before whipping in a low, fast daisy-cutter rocket of a shot straight into the bottom left-hand corner, leaving the keeper stranded.

The evening ended on a sour note, though. Some people might remember Cruyff’s uncharacteristically brutal tackle on Mother Teresa that led to her cruciate ligament injury, almost spelling the end of her international football career. Thankfully, she made a full recovery and scored Ireland’s winner against Brazil two years later in the World Cup final.

What a fucking nun! What a player.

I was sorry to discover later that Mother Teresa had become one of the greatest scam-artists the world has ever seen, but that’s football for you. Some players make it, and some go wrong.

Politics Religion

Pope Offends Muslims

I never thought I’d be saying this, but really, the Catholics aren’t too bad, are they? At least they don’t lose their minds every time somebody someplace thinks something bad about them. They don’t run around burning effigies and smacking themselves on the head with a fucking machete.

What’s the deal with these Muslims? OK, I know Pope Ratzo made some very offensive remarks, though you couldn’t call them ill-considered, coming as they did from the former chief of the Holy Inquisition. But still, come on! Grow up, lads. Get a life. Also, admittedly, Ratzo made comments about the use of violence to propagate religion, and admittedly he confined his remarks to Islam, seeming for some reason to overlook, for example, the genocides perpetrated by the Crusaders in the name of Christianity. That is true. He did. But after all, he’s an old man, and his brain is tired from years of running the Holy Inquisition (These days, of course, no longer torturing people with the Rack, and the Boot or the Iron Maiden, but perhaps silencing them in more subtle ways). Admittedly, he also overlooked the more recent attempted genocides by the Catholic ruling faction in Croatia during WWII, but again, he’s an old man, and anyway he was too busy in WWII shooting down Allied bombers. Wasn’t he? We must do a piece on the Waffen SS some time, out of interest. Whatever the truth of it, the Holy Father somehow seems to notice only Islamic violence, which is a bit unfortunate, you have to admit, but still, why the long face?

Suddenly they’re burning effigies in Pakistan. What the fuck is that? Does the word go out across the Muslim world – burn a fucking effigy!!

If you were offended by something, would you just happen to have a spare effigy somewhere about the house, ready for burning? Get me down the effigy there, Martha. It’s time for a burnin’!

What the fuck is that? Do Islamic homes have a sign in the hallway, like the instructions on a bus? In case of offence, burn effigy?

Some guy published a few cartoons, none of which was particularly insulting, and the next thing we knew they were out on the streets killing people, and trampling each other to death. What?? Do you think Christians would be trampling each other to death because of something Gary Larsen said? Are you mad? Or the Life of Brian? No? That’s right: no. Here in Ireland, they did actually ban the Life of Brian for a while, but that was because in those days the country was still run by the Catholic Taliban. They’re all gone now of course. These days they’re too busy running their private clinics, and have no time to worry about religion.

Imagine what would happen to Bock if Jesus was a Muslim. That would be the end of my Action Redeemer range of toys. There would be no Crucifixion Kit for Boys in the Christmas stocking this year. No Slaughter of the Innocents X-Box game. What would become of my blockbuster movie, Resurrection Payback, coming soon to a cinema near you, starring Vin Diesel as Jesus. All gone. It would be just myself and Salman Rushdie holed up in a cave near Kilfenora, with no hope of mercy.

Howya, Salman.

Howya, Bock.

Not so bad, Salman. I read that book of yours, Midnight’s Children.

Did ya, Bock?

I did, Salman. I thought you were a bit hard on Mrs Gandhi, now. A bit hard, Salman, if ya don’t mind me sayin’ it.

Not at all Bock. I read your blog too.

Did ya, Salman?

I did, Bock. ‘Twas shite.

There’s a lot I admire about true Islam. For instance, its tolerance towards other faiths. Its absolute prohibition on violence against innocent people.

Hmmm. Not a lot of real Muslims around then – just like Christians.

Imagine being a dead Muslim

Suicide bombers

Muhammad MacGyver

Idiots, religious lunatics and the war on terror