Wrinkly Joe Saves the Economy

I had a visit from Wrinkly Joe at the weekend.  Hadn’t seen him in a while, old Wrinkly Joe, all menacing stare and shiny skull.

You might remember Wrinkly Joe from such productions as Blind Gun-Dog — Monsters of Rock, Dinner with the Hound of Satan or The Festival Reports.

Well, yesterday all Joe had on his mind was watching sport on the telly, drinking pints  and talking shite, so we spent the day watching football on the telly, drinking pints and talking shite.  You don’t mess with Wrinkly Joe when he’s in his Beelzebub persona.

We watched the soccer and the rugby in Bourkes’ fine drinking emporium where the landlord made sure we were well looked after because he knows as well as anyone what damage an enraged demi-demon can cause if thwarted in the slightest.

Somewhere between the FA cup final, the embarrassing defeat of Munster in the Magners League semi-final and the absurd two-round Andy Lee non-fight, Wrinkly Joe came up with a suggestion.

You know Bock, he said.  I was thinking about these ghost housing developments..

That’d be your satanic side, I muttered.

It would indeed, he nodded.  It would indeed, my friend, hahahahahahaha.

It took some time to get him down from the ceiling and scrape off the  ectoplasm, but when he finally stopped laughing and the ambulances had removed the surviving customers, he turned to me with fire in his black, black eyes.  Real fire, deep, burning and purposeful, in a hollow demonic sort of way.  With Guinness.

The ghost estates, he said.  The ghost estates, don’t you see?

No, I agreed.

He took me by the collar, his bony hands white and glistening in the crepuscular half-light.

We’ll use them for graveyards, he cackled.  Graveyards, I tell you.  Graveyards!!

I began to grasp his point. You know, Joe, that’s not a bad idea.  We can fill the houses with the undead.

Exactly, he howled.  Precisely.  The undead in the ghost estates.

But, Joe, I wondered.  Since none of us has a shilling, and we’re all still alive, how will the undead get mortgages?

Simple, he cawed as he sprang onto the mantelpiece, the flickering candlelight throwing stark skull-shadows on the blood-spattered wall.

Simple? I repeated.

Indeed, my friend, screamed Wrinkly Joe.  They can get the money from the zombie banks.


Wrinkly Joe


Who’ll Run the Country?

Wrinkly Joe was visiting recently, and as we hunched in the kitchen sharing half a tin of dog food and contemplating the approaching collapse of the economy, he uttered a low grunting sound.

You know, he said, I was thinking.

You were?  There’s a change.

Ignoring me, he went on.  I was thinking that organisations with three letters in their name are usually very efficient.

How do you mean? I said.

Well, like that crowd that are going to take over the country.  The EMF.

Electro-motive force is going to take over the country?

No.  I meant  the IMF.  The International Mother-Fuckers.

Right, I said.  And?

And, he replied, I was thinking there are some great bands with three letters in their name.

I’m not having the ELO running the country.  I’ll lead an uprising first.

Not them, he said.  I was thinking maybe REM might be all right as a government.

How come?

Well, he said, they’d sack all the civil servants.

But then there would be thousands more on the dole.

No, he said.  There wouldn’t.


No, he said.  Remember, this is REM you’re talking about.  They’d pay them a stipend.


I looked at him calmly for a moment or two.

And then I shot him.

Soccer Sport

Millwall 1 – Scunthorpe 2

The Scunts did very well today, travelling to the East End of London and collecting three points from Millwall.

Millwall, by Jesus!

Anyone who has ever been to Millwall’s ground will tell you what a terrifying place it is, with aggressive, grunting troglodytes on all sides threatening to kill you.  Not funny.

Anyway, the lads from north of the line went south and beat the trogs on their home patch, so well done, lads.  After all, it’s not as if Scunthorpe has a lot to cheer about these days, much like us, really.  We’re all screwed.

British Steel, now known as Corus, announced huge job losses during the week, and Scunthorpe is at the heart of British steel production, which means that a lot of Scunthorpe people will lose their jobs, and for that I feel sorry.  Any time we ever travelled there to support them, we received a warm and open welcome.  I found the people honest and direct, and not a lot different to the kind of Irish people I count as friends.

If you’ve been coming here for a while, you’ll know that I, along with my friends Wrinkly Joe and Wrinkly Paddy, are confirmed Scunthorpe United supporters, and you’ll also know that we’ve gone over there several times to support them, much to their bafflement.

They’re doing well.  Today’s victory puts them third in the league table, which is not too bad at all.  Now, admittedly, Leicester are eleven points clear of them, and don’t look like being caught, but you’d never know.  Scun could just sneak into second place in the table and qualify for automatic promotion.  Failing that, they’re well positioned for the play-offs to make third place.  Twenty-eight games played, eighteen left.  Who knows?

Good luck Scunthorpe!


Scunthorpe United

Iron Bru

Bock's People Pets

Dinner With The Hound of Satan

I was fighting the dog for the last piece of Chicken Rogan Josh when the phone rang.  The dog had a firm grip on my right leg, just below the knee and I was trying to kick him in the face with my left heel, but that isn’t easy when you’re hopping on one leg.

Hello? said Wrinkly Joe.

Hello, I grunted, as I swung the butt of the phone, clubbing the dog between the eyes.  He tightened his grip on my leg and his powerful neck muscles swung him from side to side as he tried to tear out a jaw-sized portion of my flesh.

What the fuck is that noise? said Wrinkly Joe’s tinny, distant voice.

That’s me fighting with the Hound of Satan, I shouted.  What do you want?

Well, said Joe.  I was wondering if there’s any chance of a bed for the night.

Bang! The cast-iron frying pan made a solid, metallic, resonating sound as it connected with the dog’s skull.

Gghhhhrrrraaaaagghhhhh!!!!!, snarled the Hound, but he still didn’t let go.

What night? I shouted.

This night, said Joe.  I’ll be visiting Limerick tonight and I thought we might go out for a few pints.

Oh for fucksake!!! I screamed gently.  Take that you fucker!!

But the dog was too quick for the meat cleaver, smartly let go of my calf and clamped onto my right ankle.  Gnnnarrroowwwwllnnnkkkk!!!, he spat.

It’s even harder to kick your own ankle than your knee.

Are you all right? Joe’s concerned, distant little voice enquired.

No, I’m fucking not, I snarled as I finally managed to knock the dog temporarily senseless with a copper kettle.

How about a pint?

OK, I said.  The lacerations on my leg were no worse than usual.

About nine?  asked Joe.

Sure, I said, picking up the piece of chicken Rogan Josh the dog had dropped.  I’ll just finish my dinner and I’ll be with you.

Soccer Sport

Munster, Scunthorpe, Gaelic Football and Ryder Cup

A busy sporting weekend.

Munster had a good win, didn’t they?  We beat Cardiff Blues 28-20 to take top place in the league table, with the delicious prospect of meeting Leinster next weekend.

I’m glad to see that these days we’re putting out full-strength squads for the Magners League and showing it the respect it should have, and I’m particularly delighted to see the talent of young Keith Earls getting a chance to shine through, although he didn’t secure a place this week.  I know some of his family, and it’s great that local Limerick lads are still managing to excel at the top level in rugby.

This is a good platform to build on for the forthcoming Heineken Cup.  Clearly Tony McGahan’s new management team are connecting well with the players and motivating them to perform to their considerable best.  You’d have to feel good about our chances in the European competition.

Scunthorpe continue their traditional pre-Christmas winning streak with a 2-1 defeat of Hereford, but it won’t last.  It never does.  I was talking to Wrinkly Joe the other day and I put this very point to him.

When do you think they’ll start to slide? I asked.

Probably the weekend we go to see them, he replied.

Hmm.  Indeed.  What else is new?

Now.  There was also the All-Ireland Gaelic Football final, which I have to admit I don’t have much interest in.  I don’t like Gaelic football.  It just seems to be a whole lot of pulling and dragging.  Not quite rugby, yet not soccer either.  Tyrone beat Kerry.  The end.

I was going to include the Ryder Cup in the sporting list but hold on.  Golf isn’t a sport, is it?  Golf is a behavioural disorder.  Golf is something that should require treatment.

What did you think of that redneck, Boo Weekly?  No, I didn’t make it up.  His name is Boo Weekly, and he played for America in the Ryder Cup.  There we go again with Americans and names.  Their vice-presidential candidate has children called Trig, Track, Piper, Bristol and Willow.  Then of course, we had the great Scooter Libby.  And now we have Boo Weekly.

Boo’s main claim to fame is that he once wrestled an alligator and got in a fistfight with an orang-utan, which, I’d have to admit is pretty impressive in any language.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think golf is so full of stuffed-shirt gobshites that someone like Boo gives it a bit of welcome colour, and it’s about time we had a new crowd of followers.

That’s exactly what golf needs: a lot more mullets.


Bruff RFC have a terrific series of Thomond Park redevelopment pictures HERE

Soccer Sport

Scunthorpe United

I got a text from Wrinkly Joe this morning: Have you been following our ferric footballing friends’ latest results?

Now, you might not have been following the Iron’s exploits lately so let me just explain that they’re hovering near the top of the table.  Admittedly that’s after they were dumped ignominiously out of the Championship last year, but still.

Hmm, I thought.  What does this remind me of?

And then I remembered. It reminds me of every other fucking Scunthorpe season.  They win the first few games and then settle into a miserable pattern of home draws and away losses, eventually winding up a couple of places clear of the relegation zone, having achieved absolutely nothing.  Apart from the year before last, of course, when they managed to get promotion to the Championship (or the Second Division to old people like me).

And so I replied accordingly to Joe: Just wait. They’ll start the losing streak soon.

Joe is an incorrigible optimist.  Oh ye of little faith, he answered.

Tis true.  I have little faith in this rabble, but we’ll probably still go to at least one game in Glanford Park this year.  I’d like another pint in the Honest Lawyer.

Crime Humour

Manson Family Murders

I must be one of the few people who actually have the Charlie Manson album, Lie: The Love and Terror Cult.

It isn’t bad, you know.  He has a reasonable voice and he can play the guitar fairly well, or at least, he could when he was hanging out with Denis Wilson.  He sounds a bit like a psychotic, murderous James Taylor, or maybe a deranged José Feliciano.  That kind of thing.  I particularly like the ninth track, Don’t Do Anything Illegal.

I was talking to Wrinkly Joe at the weekend, and he mentioned that he was re-reading Helter Skelter, about the murders all those years ago.  What a coincidence.  I was thinking about them too, because the anniversary has just passed, and I thought maybe it would be a good idea to commemorate them in some way.

I had in mind producing a range of cheesy snack-foods.  What do you think?

Only two spring to mind at the moment but who knows?  Maybe you might come up with others.

I think people might like to buy a bag of Manson Munch, made in the shape of fingers and toes.  Classy or what?

But that would only be the start.  I think the real success will come when we launch the cheese-and-onion-flavoured Sharon Tayto.

Isn’t it a great idea?  I knew you’d agree.

Our lives

Things are looking up

Well, I collected the Nut’s old BMW, which means I have wheels again.  I also decided not to bother replacing the turbo myself.  Why the hell would I when I have a maniac mechanic who’ll happily do it for me?  Really, you know, those days are gone, though there was a time when I spent much of my life with skinned, bleeding  knuckles and a blackened face, lying in the pissing rain under some ratbag of a car trying to keep it on the road against all odds.


I’ll have no more of that nonsense.  I’ve swapped engines, drive-shafts, torsion bars, McPhersons, wishbones, ball-joints and clutch-plates.  I’ve stripped down carburettors and replaced head gaskets.  I once fixed a shattered constant velocity joint with a needle file on the kitchen table.  I’ve even changed the engine mountings on a Mini, more than once, the little bastards.

Enough of all that.  I’m old, I’m weary, but most of all, I’m no longer that poor, and I can afford to pay the maniac mechanic.  Life is too short to stuff a turbocharger.

I was going to enthrall and delight you with a long post full of my wisdom and wit, but I’ve had a call from my old friend, Wrinkly Joe, who just happens to be in town.  This is God’s way of telling me to go carousing and therefore carousing I will go.  Who am I to deny God’s will?

No enthralling and delighting for you this fine evening.

Wish me luck, my friends.  I’m just going out.  I might be some time.


What Hollywood Star Do You Want?

Now that we’re both media giants … , said Wrinkly Paddy.

Yeah? I grunted, looking up from the gigantic spliff I was trying to assemble.

Well, he said, they’ll want to know where it all began.

What? Where? What?

Our media domination.

Eh, what?

Well, he said. You know the way myself and Wrinkly Joe are massively successful as a speed-death-country band?

I thought you were shite.

And, he continued, oblivious to my opinions, the way you’ve become the Greatest Living Irish Blogger.

Oh God, no, I ejaculated, you can’t say that. There’s only one Greatest Living Irish Blogger. Moderate your language, man, before somebody overhears you.

Wrinkly Paddy looked suitably chastised. Sorry Bock.

We’ll let it pass this time, I barked, but don’t ever let me hear you taking the piss out of the Greatest Living Irish Blogger again. Is that clear?

Of course, grovelled Wrinkly Paddy.

So, I said. What was it you had in mind?

Paddy brightened. Well, you remember that science fiction novel we wrote?

Of course.

And those fairytales?


And all those Bloomsday performances involving loads of drink.


Well, I reckon Hollywood will want to film our life stories, now that we’re both hugely successful.

We’re not.

So, Paddy went on, ignoring me, who do you think they should hire to play the part of you?

I was stunned. What Hollywood actor should play me in my biopic?

What a hard question. Most of the suitable ones are too old.

Robert Redford.

George Clooney.

I don’t know, Paddy. This is a tough question. Let me think. Hmmm. Kevin Costner, perhaps, though he’s not that, you know, chiselled. Brad Pitt might do. I don’t know. Colin Farrell seems to be the only alternative. Or maybe Denzel Washington.

Wrinkly Paddy regarded me in silence.

All right, then. Pierce Brosnan.

Paddy continued to stare.

What? I screamed.

Paddy seemed slightly frightened.

Yeah, he shrugged. That sounds fine.


Ireland vs Scotland

We’re going (as I told you) to the game in Dublin.  Ireland versus Scotland in Croke Park.

Myself and the Bullet.  Off to see the rugby, and to stay the night with Wrinkly Paddy.   And to meet Wrinkly Joe.

And to get shitfaced in Dublin pubs.

Well, me to get shitfaced, and Bullet to stand around looking embarrassed and making sure I don’t lose anything too valuable or make untoward suggestions to foreign women.  The little bastard.


I’ll do my best to check in with you but I can’t promise anything.  Please be understanding.