That’s me done now. Packin away the stapler and the folders in the Man U bag and takin me leave. It’s like I was sayin BEFORE, I did me best by yiz. But sure me best wasn’t good enough. Oh no, yiz had to go and turn on the Bertie. Yiz had to go and start pickin on the poor Bertie and there was I, a simple Drumcondra fella, enjoyin me rasher sandwiches with Rocco and Jay on the lap and along yiz come with your cribbin and moanin and tribunalin. Well I’m off. Off out of it I am. I’ve plenty to be getting along with anyway. I’m a busy man what with the talks I’ll be doing around the place and the soccer to be writing about and then there’s the forests to sell to the Chinese. They’re mad for the forests the Chinese. The forests are like Bass to them. I love the forests meself. I was always a great man for the forests. Not the Nottingham Forest though, ah no. I’m a Man U man. A Man U man like yourselfs. Just like yous I am but sure that’s not good enough for yiz is it? Oh no. I win a few quid on the gee-gees and yiz all go mad. Go mad because yiz are crowd of failures. Look at yiz! Failed people! FAILURES! FECKIN FAILURES! THE LOT OF YIZ!
Ah, look. Look what yiz have done now. Yiz have gone and made me lose the cool and all I wanted to do was say a dignified goodbye. Well that’s me done. Packin up the bag. Packin away the accoutrements. I’m proud of meself anyway whatever yous lot think. I’m proud to have done me bit for the nation and thanks all the same. Thanks for votin me in fifteen billion trillion gazillion times in a row. That was great. That was gas and I did me best. I did me best by yiz and yiz can take that to the bleedin bank . . .and put it in my bleedin account . . .if I have a bleedin account (LOLZ-winky smiley face). Now, get out of me feckin’ way. I’ve somewhere to be. Unlike yous lot, I’m actually goin’ places.
(depicted above: the overriding existential experience of being perpetually thwarted)
‘The only desire one should entertain is the desire to overcome desire. Desire is the sole originator of discontent. Most desire is unachievable and clashing desires (between two people or competing groups) are commonplace, ergo desire inevitably leads to animosity, conflict and misery.’
At least, that’s what I said to The Mother as we rode the donkey home from mass. She, needless to say, disagreed and said that it was more common for people to desire things that are readily obtainable without any fear of ill feeling. Although I could see the truth in The Mother’s argument, I refused to admit as much.
‘Well’, I said ‘you might say that but to fulfil one’s desire is to be satisfied and I think it is quite obvious that the majority of people are unsatisfied, just look at the state of the world. For example, we all desire harmony yet we can’t agree on how to obtain it and often go to war over this.’
‘Whatever’, said The Mother before requesting that I stop the donkey so she could get a choc-ice. A choc-ice in the dead of winter! I ask you, how illogical a desire is that? It’d only make her cold. Another example of desire’s detrimental effects upon the individuals that harbour it. I ignored The Mother’s request and instead began to form a manifesto of sorts. ‘What if we could somehow regulate desire on a legal basis?’ I asked The Mother. ‘What if all desires were banned except for harmless desires, like the desire to go to the jax or something. We could list all permissible desires in a government publication. This would prevent potential clashes and alter our overriding existential experience so that it is not one of being perpetually thwarted.’
‘Sure, go get yourself elected and do that then but stop the donkey first because I want a choc-ice’, said The Mother loudly.
‘Of course’, I said ‘the powers that be would probably exploit such regulation to their own corrupt ends. They’d probably just sanction unrealisable desires to keep us striving for the impossible and feeling bad about our lives. To keep us lost and discontented and dependent upon them, like with advertising. Advertising is equivalent to the way we dangle the carrot in front of the unfortunate donkey here. It’s all about making us feel we are missing out so we keep buying and keep working to earn the money to buy.’ ‘I’d like to buy a choc-ice now if that’s OK’, interrupted The Mother rudely. I told her we should keep going as I wanted to get home in time for the Fair City omnibus (Harry Molloy returned from the dead that Tuesday and I missed it) but The Mother completely lost her cool. ‘Choc-ice!’ she roared, ‘Choc-ice! Choc-ice! Choc-ice! I desire a feckin’ CHOC-ICE!’
The Mother’s protestations startled the donkey and he suddenly let out a deafening bray. He then reared up and bucked the pair of us off his back and onto the road. As the beast darted off into the horizon, I looked at The Mother and delivered my coup de grace. ‘Well now The Mother’ I said, ‘look at where your desire for a choc-ice has got us’. The Mother scowled and said nothing. Then, she got to her feet and walked off into a nearby Londis.
I went into the RTE canteen the other day. All the celebs were there: Katherine Lynch, Tubbs, Daithi O’Shea, Derek Mooney and the gang from The Republic of Telly (the ones who eat up all the Rubberbandits time making their own jokes, which, y’know, is fine).
Anyway, there they all were, sat at their tables like you’d expect but the odd thing was that none of them moved. Not a muscle. They were completely still. Catatonic I suppose you’d call it. Their mouths were open and so were their eyes. Wide open. Their faces frozen in expressions of astonishment. Perpetual astonishment. Perpetual horrified astonishment. It was creepy. Creepy in a different way than you’d expect out in Montrose.
There was total silence as I walked around the celebs in their seats. I was the only thing making any noise, or so I thought until strange sounds became faintly audible. It was like the crying of little children but very quite and distant. It took me a while to realise where the noises were coming from. They were coming from the open gobs of the celebs.
No lips were moving. The sounds of the despairing youngsters seemed to be issuing from somewhere deep inside the celebs, as if they were the echoing cries of infants trapped down wells. Cautiously, I put an ear to Katherine Lynch’s mouth. I listened and heard a little voice issuing from below. ‘Please kill me’ it was saying, over and over. I had no time to be scared by this as I heard someone coming and so hid behind a counter.
Men donned in what looked like anti-radiation suits entered the canteen and made their way toward Tubbs. ‘Oh no, not Tubbs, leave him alone’ I almost said aloud as they picked him up out of his seat and flung him into a sound booth that had a microphone in it. One of the men clouted Tubbs hard across the head. Very hard. Harder than even Tubbs might deserve. This clout seemed to awaken Tubbs. Actually, ‘awaken’ might be the wrong word. ‘Activate’ might be more precise. Anyway, Tubbs sprang to life and started yakking into the mic like he does every morning on the radio. You know the type of thing, entertaining insights, witty observations, all that fucking shit.
The men watched Tubbs for a short time before one nodded to the others and they departed. I crept after them, to see where they were headed. I followed them across the car park and down a hatch. The hatch led to a tunnel that went underneath RTE’s massive transmitter. What I saw down there was so utterly awful I will never forget it.
There was a huge industrial control room with dials, steel pipes and plumes of smoke. In the centre of this room stood a massive glass tank and in that tank there was a monster. It was like a cross between a hideously deformed baby and a squid and it was about eighty feet or so in size. It was revolving in the tank, quickly and frantically whizzing around, and emitting blood curdling high pitched screams. It was hard to tell if it was screaming in anger or agony. Its revolutions were generating some kind of energy that manifested itself as beams of electrical light. The beams shot out from the creature’s enclosure and were channelled up into the transmitter. I could have sworn I heard someone mention antimatter and someone else salute and cry out the words ‘All Hail the Void!’.
‘So, this is where telly comes from’, I thought to myself before deciding to retrace my steps and get out of there in case I was detected. I put my pen and little book back into my satchel and snuck off up the tunnel and out the hatch. ‘I won’t be getting any autographs today’ I sadly muttered to myself as I made my escape.
I’ve invented a new language. It sounds very nice. It slips off the tongue in a seductive and convincing way. Each word exudes gravitas and reassurance. It's lovely. The best thing about my new language is that it is grammatically structured so as to make it impossible to speak the truth. You can only lie in my language but it’s OK because when you lie it sounds like the truth. What is ‘truth’ anyway? Is my truth your truth? No, probably not, at least not entirely. It’s all a matter of perception so my language is all about the management of perception and the construction of consensus via elaborate and elegant verbal/literate untruths. With my new language, we will all know we are talking bullshit and therefore eschew the archaic concept of truth, opting instead for the bullshit we find most agreeable. It’s a bit like picking your favourite fairy story. Put short: through lies we will find a new truth. The new truth being the consensus we will reach once we realise we’re all full of it.
Does that make sense? I doubt it but that doesn’t matter because I made the whole thing up anyway. I have not invented a new language. The language I speak of already exists. It is called English. And if you believe that you’d believe anything. Although it may be true but, like I said, what is ‘truth’ anyway and where did it ever get us? Going forward. . . .Slowly. . . .In reverse.
It’s a strange train that rattles out to Salvo’s neck of the woods. A strange old locomotive in which you travel alone. It doesn’t even seem to be staffed. The stops on the way are stranger again. Towns with names like Nearly Nowhere, Stifled Terror, Jaundice, Town of the Angry Dead and Yellow Matter Custard Dripping from a Dead Dog’s Eye. Empty stations are lit in a piss hue by flickering lampposts. The only living thing I saw during the whole journey was a three quarters dead pigeon twitching upon platform gravel. Had it not been for the sedatives, I would have undoubtedly succumbed to the sense of dread that permeated the whole carriage. I considered standing up and repeatedly screaming ‘Take me back to Dublin!’ ‘Take me back to Dublin!’ . . .but it wouldn’t have made any difference. No one would have heard my pleas. I doubt the train even had a driver and I had the distinct feeling that its sole propellant was sinister intent.
Things shuddered to a halt and I knew, just somehow knew, that I had arrived at my destination. Trembling, I stepped out of the door (which, incidentally, seemed to be a devised coffin lid) and stood waiting in the gloom. I waited and waited. I waited some more. Then I heard a noise. A throat being cleared. I looked left and there, in an adjacent recess, I barely made out a figure. It was Salvo. He was holding a portfolio close to his chest and looking wary. ‘Here,’ he said, ‘I done your fuckin pictures now let that be an end to it’. He held out the portfolio and I took it from him. It was deceptively heavy. Salvo turned to go but before he vanished from view he turned back and spoke once more. ‘Something happened with the art in there’, he said. ‘What?’ I asked. ‘Ah, it’s weird,’ he replied, ‘some of the stuff, I didn’t draw it and the stories, well, you didn’t write them’. I asked why he included these pages in the portfolio and he told me he had been instructed to. ‘By who?’ I asked. ‘I don’t know, but we better do as they say’ he answered.
Salvo then left me alone to await the train back to Dublin. As I stood there, I decided to open the portfolio and take a look inside. I saw the pages, the other half of the comic, and at once knew that Salvo was correct. It was just a feeling. Instinct really. The same instinct that tells you not to walk into a dark forest after you hear a growl. That kind of instinct only more so. Much more. I’m sorry. We have no choice. We must bring this thing into the world and you, poor reader, must look upon it.
I put the pages away and zipped them up. Shivering in the murky light, I caught sight of the station’s name upon a rusty plaque. It read: ‘Yonder’.
Supernatural Showcase/Yonder launches this Saturday, December 11, 2010 from 7pm until late, at Anseo (public house of the damned), 18 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2.
Assets held by the Former Republic of Ireland must be sold off in order to payback debts incurred by the one time state. However, the vendition of hospitals, schools, fossil fuels, and other services/resources will not provide the revenue required to cover obligations and so a further asset must be placed on the market. The reader is no doubt wondering what salable asset remains. The answer to that question is right under the reader’s nose. The remaining asset, dear reader, is YOU! To help your ex-nation at this time of need, all you have to do is submit your unique genetic code to Monsanto’s new DNA Data Base, BarRoom, and Grill (Dundrum Town Centre) and sit back over a reasonably priced beverage as you are processed and patented.
Consider the scenario: Joe Bloggs’ genetic identity is patented by Monsanto. Joe Bloggs becomes legally known as Joe Bloggs(TM). Joe Bloggs’ self-esteem rises upon realisation that a groundbreaking synergy of the personal and the fiscal has rendered him a commodity of some worth, rather than just another ‘human being’. Also, should Joe reproduce, his children (also being the property of Monsanto) will carry on the proud franchise started by their father. It’s a bit like running a Spar only you are the Spar.
So, come on peoples, get down to the DNA Data Base, BarRoom, and Grill and start paying your debts in a responsible manner going forward.
Warning: Any public display of Joe Bloggs (TM) and/or his offspring in locations such as airlines, clubs, coaches, hospitals, hotels, bus stops, oil rigs, prisons, schools, and ships is prohibited unless expressly authorized by the copyright proprietor. Any such action establishes liability for a civil action and may give rise to criminal prosecution. Joe Bloggs (TM) and family are for domestic use or broad spectrum herbicidal application only.
This message has been brought to you by: The Global Initiatives Think Tank.
BE ALL YOU CAN BE!
We Are Everywhere!
We come in two types you see. Most of you never knew that about us but it’s true. The first type, Type One, has no feelings. Type Ones don’t relate to other people. For most people, people like you, when they see another person in trouble or suffering or weeping, they tend to feel something and help in some way. Even when they do nothing, they have to make a very real effort not to think about what they have seen. The suffering they have witnessed preys on the conscience. It causes an ache and that ache takes a little time to subside. That ache is called compassion and it is innate. It is hardwired into the species to make them help each other out. It prevents extinction. Compassion is natural but it’s not in the Type One’s nature to be compassionate. Type Ones feel nothing. Nothing. Understand that? Good. Now, seeing as you lot are the ones with all the empathy, with all the feelings, maybe you could show some generosity and spare a little pity for Type Ones. Imagine going through your life with no real feelings. Type Ones can’t really love. Type Ones can’t really appreciate things to the same extent that you do. Type Ones are forced to compensate for this lack by amassing power and wealth and influence. Type Ones are left with no option but to fill the gap by gratifying the ego. Type Ones may have no feelings but they still have egos and, like you, Type Ones feel pain. Having your ego bruised is painful. It hurts. Not as much as you lot are going to hurt should we get our way, but it does hurt. So, come on all you bleeding heart emotionalists, show some of that compassion you’re so proud of.
Now, the other type that makes up our numbers is the Type Two. Type Twos do feel something. It’s not compassion though. It’s a different feeling. It’s a feeling called contempt. Type Twos resent having their heartstrings pulled upon so they redirect those feelings of compassion. They turn those feelings into hatred. Hatred is easier to deal with. Type Twos hate those that suffer because they cause Type Twos to feel that ache I mentioned earlier. Why should we ache because others suffer? Type Twos uniformly come to the conclusion that people suffer because they are weak. They are too weak to thrive and they are a hindrance. A handicap, not just to themselves but to the rest of us. . . .Weakness, consider it a moment. It is the most contemptible of traits. It is the retardant of progress. It is the ultimate obstruction. Weakness is the enemy and we are fighting a war against it. Yes, put simply, we are at war with the weak.
Now there’s a little snag. Something that is holding our efforts back. It is you. We have you to contend with. You have us outnumbered and you impose regulations and laws and so on to stop us getting at your weak but make no mistake, we will get them in the end. You may outnumber us Type Ones and Twos but we are still many and we are at the top of the pile. How do you think we got there? It wasn’t by being compassionate, I’ll tell you that. We are at the top of the pile and we make the decisions. We will make this world in our image and we will wear you down. We will get the better of you and we will come for your weak and we will eliminate them. Now, don’t start having visions of extermination camps, it’s not like that. We will kill no one. That would be barbarous. We’d get our hands dirty. No, we will kill no one. Instead, we will just let them die. And we will make you watch them die. And your heart will break. And you will suffer. And you will feel that ache and it will hurt so much that you will come to resent the pain of it and then, finally, you will break and you will come around to our way of thinking. Going forward.
. . .OK, that was a bit weird, apologies. Now, where were we? Oh yeah, CRAP MAN!
(Pictured above: myself in happier times. ‘We all partied’.)
Ah sure I’m as much to blame as anyone. All flaithiúlacht like P.Diddy I was. You were too. You were though. Do you remember the time we sent that round robin to the lads telling them to guarantee Anglo? ‘It’ll be a right laugh’ is what you said if I remember correctly. We were in the limo. Living it large. Lil’ Kim was sitting on your lap, holding her compact mirror up to your greedy line snorting snout. Your eyeballs were all glassy and you said ‘hey, why not text them assholes and get them to cover Anglo’. Jean Claude was there too. He thought it was a gas idea. We used his mobile to send the text. Remember? Don’t deny it. Don’t go all butter wouldn’t melt. You can’t deny it. I remember it coz it was the same night we flew your jet to Italy and joined Silvio and his RAI girls for a Bunga-Bunga session. Jaysus, I was sick as a dog when I remembered what we’d done the next day. I’m sick as a dog now coz we’ll have to cough up the cash. It’s only fair though. It’s not like theft. It’s not as if some confidence trickster bankrupted us is it? It’s not like some stitch up that should be passionately resisted lest future generations look back at us and think ‘what a bunch of treasonable shitebags?’ It’s not like we can really do anymore than sit around on our holes indoors going ‘turn off the news Maura, it’s giving me an awful case of nerves’. I mean what do you want to do about it? Stomp up and down the street protesting against ourselves? We’re as much to blame as anyone. Aren’t we though? AREN’T WE?
THE BROTHER’S FAVOURITE BAND:
‘Stop apologising for the things you never done Time is short and life is cruel but it's up to us to change this town called Malice.’
COMING SOON: CRAP MAN VERSES THE IVF IN BANANANA LAND!
Hello young people. Take a seat. Are you comfortable? Good. Now listen, we’ve been talking to your mammy and daddy and we’ve decided it’s for the best that you broaden your horizons. We think you should go travelling. Travelling is great. I did a bit of travelling myself when I was a lad and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Myself and a few boys from the Cumman went to Medjugorje. It was fantastic. We saw the baby Jesus dancing on the sun and the foreign birds were filthy. My mate Cormac got a bit of a gobble. Would you like a gobble yourself? I bet you would. Gobbles are lovely. If you’re a bird there are loads of nice lads around too. Antonio Banderas types. They write romantic poems and all that. The girls love that sort of thing. You wouldn’t get it at home though. Sure, all our poets are drunks.
But I’m digressing. Where were we? Oh yes. We were thinking, your mammy and daddy and us, that when you’re gone you should stay gone. I mean, you won’t be gone gone. Only a little bit gone. You’ll still have the Facebook and Skype so you’ll kind of still be around. A bit like a smell. A bit like a recurring odour. Or maybe like a sort of ghost. Yeah, a ghost. Think of the Skype as a kind of séance where you can catch up with loved ones after you’ve moved on. Sure, there’s no reason to hang around here. What’d be the point? You’re surplus to requirements. . . .I’m sorry. Did that sound rude? I didn’t mean it that way. I just mean, emm, how should I put this? Well, it’s like a sum really. A bit of long division and you’re the remainder. Did you ever see them remainders, over there to the side, looking unhappy? Wishing they were part of the equation. No one wants to be the remainder. Ah no, sure remainders are shite. What you want is to be a whole number. A whole number being read a romantic poem by Antonio Banderas or getting a gobble off some filthy bird called Monique.
Ah, I can see you’re excited by the prospect. I can see your eyes widening. That’s excitement right? Great. Now listen, we’ve packed your bags and made some sandwiches. We’ve put in a couple of Clubmilks and Galtee rashers too so you needn’t miss the taste of home whilst abroad. Oh, you’re going to have a marvellous time. You’ll thrive overseas. There’s no need to thank us for this opportunity. No need at all. Sure, it’s no trouble and we’ll see you when you’re a bit older and over the odd Christmas or maybe at the funeral of one of your parents. We’ll catch up properly then. You’ll have a lovely tan. You’ll be looking good and feeling great. You’ll be happy you left. Really, you will be. You’ll be delighted altogether. I’ll tape you the All Irelands and send them over too. You’ll be fine. No need for tears. No need for them tears. Ah stop. Stop crying. Will you stop crying? You’re too big to be crying like a baby. What age are you now? Six. Sure six is too old to be crying. Dry those tears. You’re causing a scene. This kind of emotionalism will get you nowhere. Christ. Right. That’s enough with the pep talk. Guards, take them away.
(above: a loyal public servant tightens his belt.)
YOU have ruined everything for everyone you Irish FOOL. It was no one else it was just you. Just you! You! You Irish fool! As usual, THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION than to do the following RIGHT NOW otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! It’s a bit like the bank guarantee you had to pass RIGHT NOW otherwise you would have been DONE FOR in some way FOREVER like in the Famine! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE?
STEP 1: Sell any patio furniture or old 2000AD annuals or whatever you have and send the money to Olli Rehn. If you have no patio furniture or old 2000AD annuals or don’t even have a patio or have any old comics or anything you must leave the country and your family and your friends. Otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE? Do it RIGHT NOW!
STEP 2: Leave rich people alone. You are making them nervous. They have done enough for you. They can do no more. If you expect of them they might leave the country like you should. Leave the rich alone. Otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE? Do it RIGHT NOW!
STEP 3: Do not expect a choice. You made your choice. There are no more choices. Choosing takes time and you’ve had your time. You have no more time. Choice and time are your enemies. Choice and time will destroy you. Forget about choice and time. Otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE? Do it RIGHT NOW!
STEP 4: Lighten the nation’s load. Kill a poor person or a sick person. Take any loose change from their pockets and post it to Olli Rehn. Otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE? Do it RIGHT NOW!
STEP 5: Put your children on the game. Put them out on the road now. Dress them up like the MINI POPS and put them ON THE ROAD for Olli Rehn! Otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE? Do it RIGHT NOW!
STEP 6: Take down your hands. Stop defending yourself. Stop shrieking and writhing! Shut up. We said shut up. Who do you think you are? Without us you are NOTHING! You are owed NO EXPLANATIONS! Shut up. Shut your fucking face and give Mr. Olli Rehn your patio furniture, 2000ADs and tarted up Mini Pop kids. Otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE? Do it RIGHT NOW!
That is all! None of the above is reversible. There is No Other Way! The alternative is worse. It does not bear thinking about. You are NOT being rushed, bullied or terrorised. I repeat, YOU ARE NOT BEING RUSHED, BULLIED OR TERRORISED! If you say you are being bullied, rushed or terrorised you WILL be BULLIED, RUSHED and TERRORISED!
We are your friends. We stand alongside you. Now, do the above. Do it RIGHT NOW! Otherwise you will be DONE FOR in some way FOREVER! DO YOU REMEMBER THE FAMINE?
Brian (C-Dogg) Cowen is Da Man! Ireland’s O.G.! The playah of playahs is starin’ down the world! It’s C-Dogg’s game now Fritz and you don’t stand a chance.
Fritz waits in the lobby of the Central Bank. Nervous. Clutching a briefcase of cash in both hands.
D4 is standing outside. Patriots one n’ all. Wrap the green flag ‘round ‘em boys. The wailing and keening can be heard all over the globe.
‘I’m loik sooo glad Pearse didn’t live to see this’.
‘We’re going to have to sell one of the cars.’ ‘I’m probably never going to vote for them again’ says a furious Sandymount resident, Molotov cocktail in hand (or maybe it’s just a cocktail).
A sudden hush falls. The new sheriff shuffles into town. Straight from the IMF’s secret laboratory. It’s Henry Kissinger/Uncle Fester genetic mash-up: Ajai Chopra. It’s a lonely old job. Like being an executioner. He inspects the gallows. He pulls on the rope. He’s not sure if it can take the weight. He heads upstairs to look at the books. C-Dogg chuckles.
‘Heh, them books is as cooked as McDaid’s meth? Fool ain’t gonna find sheeeeeet.’
C-Dogg has emptied the national till. Your till is next Fritz. You’re the one told us to rescue them Anglo biaaaatches. We coulda just put a cap in their asses but you said, ‘hey, let ‘em be’. Well, we got this here grenade now Fritz and we’ve taken out the pin. We go, you go. So put the briefcase on the table, f**k the repayments, and get yo sorry crackah ass on the next flight back to lederhosen land.
Our plan is working! We’ve turned the corner! I COMMEND THIS BULLSHIT TO THE HOUSE!
I’ve a fair length on me it must be said. I’m not boasting, but it’s a fair old length as anyone who has seen it will tell you. ‘There’s a fair length on that man’, is what they say about me. No one can deny it and I don’t think anyone does. They’d be fools to. I mean, it’s a fair length and that’s plain to see even with the trousers. The doctor who delivered me was the first to comment upon it. ‘He’ll be scaring the girls with that fair length on him’, were his exact words. My mother told me that’s what he said. She was very proud. ‘My little fella’s length is a miracle of modern science,’ she’d say to anyone who’d listen and, even if they didn’t acknowledge it, they all knew it was true. I even got first prize at The National Fair Length Feish and featured on the cover of the popular publication Fair Lengths of Ireland. It was a lovely image: me standing there beaming, the monsignor beside me, extending the measuring tape. I was the pride of the town after that but then came puberty. Ah, that was difficult. My mother was worn out with the spoilage. I was going through slacks like no body’s business. There was rarely a vacant spot on the clothes line. There was nothing the doctor could do. There was nothing anyone could do. I was sent to specialists abroad and they were at a loss. There was even an exorcism but that didn’t do any good. I was at the mercy of my fair length. Everyone was. The merest glimpse of Pan’s People on the telly and the fair length would transform the homestead into a gelatinous mess. I was no longer permitted to enter the shops, cafes and restaurants in the town. I couldn’t blame them. I began to resent my fair length. ‘Curse you fair length’, I would roar out in fury. ‘Fair length? Well I don’t see what’s so fair about it,’ I was given to saying. A once cheerful fellow, I became sullen. Those close to me were worried that I’d do away with myself. Each morning they’d half expect to find me dangling from the rafters on the end of a noose devised of my own fair length. Well that business continued for a time until a new family moved to the town. A lovely bunch called MacMaunus. But it was the daughter that saved me really. A gentle caring creature with soft brown eyes and the maddest gap on a girl you ever did see. ‘There’s a mad gap on the MacManus girl,’ they’d say of her. ‘She’ll be providing harborage for himself and his fair length before long’, they’d hope aloud. ‘Sure, there’s no one else for the job’, they’d conclude. And indeed they were right. I suppose we were forced together in a way, like two bits of plumbing, but we didn’t mind. In fact we were delighted. We were on the Late Late and everything. Gaybo gave us a holiday to The Isle of Man. We’re still together now. We’d never part. It’d break our hearts to do so and besides, we’d never get the consequences out of the carpet. THE END! (Chortle) In other news: RDC update : OLD SCHOOL 80’s! and NEW CRAP MAN!
. . .now away with you all, whoever the four of you are.
Eoghan is very willing to accommodate clients and is well-versed in a veritable Kama Sutra of perception management techniques. Favourite position: the Doggymatic Position. Speciality: transposing the qualities of mythic heroes onto floundering and somewhat flawed public figures. Once likened Brian Cowen to an ancient shogun warrior or something.
Eoghan enjoys casting aspersions and spreading slander. He also enjoys star chambers, select get togethers, influence and intimidating ‘UCD types’. Eoghan dislikes the masses, the genuine application of democracy, facts and freedom. Eoghan laughs loudly at his own jokes. Being a swinger, Eoghan will gladly swing from FF to FG and back again.
Contact Pimps: Independent News and Media or MI5.
Testimonial: ‘Made me look like a trustworthy human being or tried to at least. Thanks Eoghan, you’re a total ledge!' Ahmed Chalabi.
It’s Halloween so I think I’ll tell you a story. The scariest story I ever heard. I remember it exactly as it was told to me. Carved into my memory as it was that dark stormy night, word by word. Prepare to be scared and don’t say I didn’t warn you. This tale is called They Are Outside the Door and it goes something like this. . .
This man was in a lorry and it broke so he got out and there was a monster and it bit him and he went home because the lorry got fixed and he met his wife and turned into a monster and killed her and ripped her head off and the police came and he ripped their heads off and then he ate all the heads like they were massive lovely oranges. Then the man that was a monster got really big because he got strength from the oranges, I mean heads, and he attacked the whole world so they sent all the armies out but he bit all them and they turned into monsters and so did everyone else and did you hear that? That noise? I think the monsters are here. I think the monsters are outside the door. They are. They are. THEY ARE OUTSIDE THE DOOR!!! The End.
Chilling isn’t it? A tale to freeze the blood. It kind of creeps up on you and then pounces on you at the end. If you ever tell this story to anyone, it’s best if you act terrified, grab them, and scream the last sentence. They’ll be scared out of their wits. I was when my friend John told me the story a while back. That Halloween was the scariest ever because of that story. I’ll never forget it. I was seven. Some say the story has dated but to me it has aged like a fine wine. A blood red vintage.
I was a bit cheesed off to hear the government announce that nothing good is going to happen again, ever. The Taoiseach just came right out with it. ‘We’ve used up our entire stock of good fortune at the International Karmic Reserve’ he grunted to the nation, ‘the good times are over’. I certainly didn’t use up all my good fortune. The nation’s supply of the stuff must have been drained by others. People like Rosanna Davison probably. The sort that are always beaming out from the pages of Sunday supplements. Big scary smiles on them. Obviously O.D.ing on something.
Dobson took it bad. He was interviewing the Taoiseach on the 6-1. ‘Are you sure Taoiseach, no more good things ever?’ asked Dobbo. ‘No. Nothing good. Not even stuff that is normally wonderful will be good. All babies born from now on will be mistakes, all romances will be half-hearted flings and all victories will be pyrrhic’ answered the Taoiseach before going on to remind Dobaroo (who, by this time, was inconsolably sobbing) that despite it all, the future will not be entirely bleak. ‘We may no longer have good,’ said the Taoiseach, ‘but we still have OK. Things will often be bad but they will also, sometimes, be OK. So we have OK to look forward to.’
You know, when you think about it, not all that much will change. Let’s face it, most stuff was just OK anyway. There’ll still be OK films and pints of Guinness. Most human experience will remain about the same, especially the experiences we pay money for. Those kinds of experiences were never all that great despite being the most treasured and talked about. I’m not sure we even liked the good stuff. So, it’s not like we are going to lose anything that really matters to us at the end of the day. It’s not like all the shops will close down. We’ll still be able to get stuff. Rosanna Davison will probably still beam from the Sunday supplements. Who needs good things when we can pretend things are good? Sure, isn’t that what most of us were at anyway? Yeah, it won’t be too bad. Chin up. Best foot forward. Here’s to the OK times.
I loved writing about the telly in the last post. You can’t beat a bit of telly. I’m always sitting down for a dose telly myself. I’d go mad without it. Are you the same? I bet you are. Some people prefer the radio or books to the telly but you know what they call those people don’t you? They call them perverts. Other people say they spend their time online but sure what’s the internet for only discussing the telly?
There’s great stuff to be had on the telly. Did you see that thing the other night where the lads went mad and started shooting guns at each other? It was great. They were having some kind of disagreement about money or something and one of them pulls out a gun and off they went. They crashed a car in it too and an actress took off her blouse. It wasn’t the actress whose blouse I was hoping would come off, that was a different actress, but you can’t have everything.
There’s some rubbish on the telly of course. You can’t deny that. All those documentaries about countries that can’t get their act together or historical things about old kings who died of gout or something. I hate all that but at least it’s in the minority. Most telly is great. I love the shows where the people get their hopes and dreams crushed. Reality shows they call them because they actually took place in reality (whatever that is LOL!). I love the reality shows. I love seeing the hurt in the eyes of the contestants.
I like the soaps too. The soaps are great aren‘t they? I love the one where they stand around talking to each other angrily. That’s brilliant. They all live on this road and there have been so many murders, explosions and rapes on the road you’d think the police would have just permanently cordoned it off by now. I can’t remember what that particular soap is called. It might be called Balamory or maybe it’s The News. Either way it’s bloody good stuff. It’s mayhem on that road. Seriously bad vibes. But, y’know, that’s what life is like now isn’t it? It’s all a load of shite. Unless, you’re watching telly of course. The telly is great. The telly is absolutely fantastic. I prefer telly to my friends. My friends are a nice enough crowd but they’re a bit dull. They never fire guns or anything. Though, in fairness, one did take her blouse off once but I didn’t even notice. I was too busy watching the telly.
Click the link to read the comic I did with Ms. PureDaft de Barra. It’s about the tellies you can get now that make you feel like you’re actually in the shows and not sat at home on a crap old sofa eating stale digestives and wishing you were dead. Here’s the link: DIMENSION 5!
Oh, and here’s a lovely song about how great the telly is: TV PARTY
I was watching Tubbs on the Late Late. His mouth was opening and closing. There were noises coming out. They were words. I can’t remember which words. I’m sure they were grand words. It seemed alright. The audience seemed happy enough. That‘s the main thing. Then a guest came on. The guest sat next to Tubbs. I’m not sure who it was. It was probably a singer. Or an actor. Maybe a juggler. They opened and closed their mouths. They made words come out. It was a fine chat. I can’t recall the exact details. I think someone made a joke. It was funny. It wasn’t too funny. Maybe it wasn’t funny. Everyone laughed. It was a good laugh. No one mentioned death. No one mentioned love. Or anything that really matters. It wasn’t the time for any of that. It so rarely is these days. Where does it get you anyway? Then the band made a noise. It was music. A bit of an auld tune. Someone sang. Everyone clapped along. It wasn’t too avant-garde. Or angry. Or happy. Or excessive in anyway. Just appropriate. Comforting. Nice enough. What more would you want at this time of evening? Or any time really? And the show went on like this. For the rest of the night. Like shows do every night. And day. And afternoon. And then I felt a sensation. The ground gave away. My ceiling floated off. The walls fell down. I saw the same happening to other houses. No one seemed to mind. They just kept watching telly. Without smiling. Or frowning. Or laughing. Or crying. Just watching. As the Earth sank. And fell. And plummeted. Away from the sun. Away from the moon. Down past the stars. Through the bottom of the galaxy. Through the bottom of the next galaxy. Through the bottom of the galaxy after that. And all the other ones beneath that one. And into a pitch black abyss. Into Satan’s gaping mouth. And down Satan’s throat. And into his stomach. Where it landed with a plop. And was digested by acids. And shat out Satan’s arse. In fragments so small as to be nonexistent. But no one really minded. Nobody cared. Because Tubbs had a hamper. One for everybody in the audience. And his big empty eyes rolled back in his big empty head. And big empty words came out of his big empty mouth. ‘All Hail the Void’ said Tubbs. And the audience repeated after him. ‘All Hail the Void' they said. And something issued from the hampers. And spread throughout the nation. And ate up what was left of nothing at all. Antimatter Telefis Eireann.
Matter. Antimatter. What’s the matter? Does anything matter? And there’s a sale on tomorrow. In DUNDRUM SHOPPING CENTRE.
Things haven’t been going well since I left the BEARS post. The mother bear was tracked down and footage of her being shot in front of her wailing cubs found its way onto the net. I found it funny but the general reaction seems to be pity and disgust. The guide’s family say he never would have approved and publicly stated that they doubt my account of what took place. Worst of all is the little shite bag of a fire investigator that has crawled out from the woodwork and started banging on about arson. He’s all over the news and everyone’s gone mad. You can tell he’s really enjoying the attention. He’s even got a publishing deal. He‘s calling his book ‘Truth Amongst the Ashes: The Yellowstone Park Tragedy’. Same publisher as me too. Yeah, I know, unbelievable isn’t it? And guess what else, Ben Affleck has optioned the thing and wants to play him in a screen adaptation. You couldn’t make it up. This jumped up ember jocky’s pathetic attempt to make something of his life at my expense might be my undoing. I asked one of my people if we could persuade the guy to take a stroll up Harrowdown Hill (if you know what I mean) but I was told it’d only make things seem more shady.
I’m constantly hounded by the rent a mob crowd now. They show up at my book launches and bang on the windows of the limo. It’s very distressing. They chant like loons and wave corny placards that say things like ‘BEAR faced Liar!’, ‘UnBEARable!’ and ‘ApPAWling Deciet’. A lot of the placards say ‘Socialist Worker’s Party’ too but I’m not sure what that’s all about. Some kind of product placement I suppose.
My team has decided to go into damage limitation mode. I’ve been advised that the best way to handle this is to embrace it. It’s what they did with Big Brother’s Nasty Nick before me. Like Nick, I’m going to try and reingratiate myself to the public via irony. I’ll become a loveable bad guy. I’m booked to play Captain Hook in a panto this Christmas and then I’m going to take part in a tug of war against Pudsey Bear over a pool of gunge to raise money at the next Children in Need. I even played an environmental awareness gig with Cheryl Crow where I dressed up as a grizzly. I met Sean Penn backstage but he wouldn’t talk to me. Bono did though. He sold me an I POD which I sold on to Al Gore for twice the price. I told Al it used to belong to Bono. He’s a big U2 fan.
It’s all a lot of effort though. Everything was going so well. I don’t know why the general public didn’t just stick with the version of events I constructed for them. I mean, it was a far more life affirming narrative than the one they believe now. My story made them happy and it made me money. Everyone was a winner but oh no, they have to have their precious reality. Even if it makes them miserable, they must know the truth. The tyranny of truth, such an archaic concept, as outmoded as morality. It’s all the fire investigator’s fault. He might think he’s the big man now but this isn’t over. Oh no, not by a long chalk. I’ll have the last laugh yet. Mark my words and watch this space.
As far as I can make out, this blog has reached its 101st post. What better time to look over what has been achieved here and consider why it should continue. What is Fugger’s appeal? What is Fugger’s purpose? These are the questions burning up the blogosphere and it‘s high time they were answered. Consider the following QandA a kind of Fugger 101/mission statement. OK, got that? Good. Now read on. . .
Q: Why should anyone read Fugger?
A: Because every post on Fugger is chock-a-block with jaw-dropping/endorphin rousing insights/narratives, cunningly fashioned in such a way as to incite the reader (i.e. You) to grab life by the throat and wring its neck. WRING ITS NECK whilst roaring, ‘I’ve got you now you fucker, yield to me, yield to my wants and desires!’ Reading Fugger makes you all you can be. It brings out the best in you. Have you ever noticed the way those who don’t read Fugger are the sorriest pieces of shit you’ve ever met in your life? I rest my case.
Q: Hmm, right, so is reading Fugger enjoyable or, um, . . .scary?
A: Both! Reading Fugger is like sword fencing a worthy but villainous opponent upon the roof of a speeding train. He seems to have the upper hand but then you spot an oncoming low bridge beyond the cur’s shoulder. You duck down. KERSPLAT! The evil one is vanquished and you are victorious. VICTORIOUS! You then climb back down into the train and have sex with every single passenger in every single carriage (except the kids and those too elderly or infirm to withstand your carnal vigour). This is what it is to read Fugger. Fugger is the stuff of LIFE! Life as it should be lived! Both challenging and gratifying!
Q: So, just make it as clear as you can for me, what is the purpose of Fugger exactly?
A: Fugger is more than just a blog. Fugger is a fearsome Sergeant Major smashing down your bedroom door in the early hours yelling, ‘up and at ‘em trooper!’ To read Fugger is to be kicked hard in the ass by no less than God Almighty him or herself (or perhaps itself, should God turn out to be some sort of robot or super intelligent plant or something).
Q: But what if I don’t believe in God?
A: Well, God believes in you and God believes you need a kick in the ass soldier.
Q: Um, . . .okaaaayyyy then.
A: ‘Um, okaaayyyy then’ is not even a question, it is a snide insinuation. Snideness is for those too weak to partake in direct confrontation and Fugger has NO time for that sort of thing.
Got that? Good. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and defrost my fridge.
I don’t like laughter. I don’t like it at all. I mean, what’s so bloody good about laughter? The sound is horrible for a start, somewhere between a shriek and a cough, and your whole body shakes uncontrollably. Your body shudders and you’re making this desperate sound. Your head tilts back and you can’t breathe even though your mouth is wide open. It’s effectively a seizure your having. Your eyes close too, so you are rendered blind for the course of your laughter. It’s nothing short of a nightmare. Think how vulnerable you are when you’re laughing. You’re easy pickings. Imagine, for instance, that you are sitting on a park bench eating your lunch and something makes you laugh. There you are convulsing, shriek/coughing, struggling for air, head tilted back, mouth open and temporarily blind. Anything could happen. A rough youth from the inner city could approach you and kick you on the shin and you’d be unable to defend yourself. A demented badger could bound out from the undergrowth and make off with your sandwiches. Worst of all, a dirty pigeon could swoop down and shit in your open mouth. Laughter is a fool’s game.
Every time something makes me laugh I feel manipulated and violated. To cause laughter is an act of aggression. To reduce another individual to that helpless state is akin to spiking their drink. Furthermore, laughter is often caused by observations that imply an absurdity to existence. Existence is not absurd! A lot of people went to the bother of evolving from apes and forming societies to put some structure on existence. To laugh is to spit in the faces of these people and their selfless efforts. Laughter is the weapon of the subversive, the anarchist, the mad man, and it should be resisted at all times. When you laugh, you not only let yourself down, you let your entire species down.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against a bit of levity and would even risk saying that there’s a certain form of laughter to which I subscribe. This form of laughter is called The Laughter of Consensus. The Laughter of Consensus is the laughter elicited by witty quips, the type you hear on TV chat shows or used as ice-breakers in formal settings. The Laughter of Consensus serves a purpose. It lets everyone know that you are in good spirits but not about to let things get out of hand by permitting coarse hilarity to spill out all over the place. Like an obedient dog, The Laughter of Consensus is summoned as easily as it is dismissed. Why not give The Laughter of Consensus a try. Try it now, it’s easy. All you have to do is smile and say the words ’ha, ha, ha’ in quick succession. Actually say the words, don’t go making the sound of the other laughter. Just say ‘ha, ha, ha’. Did you do it? Why not? Seriously, do it now. Have you done it? Did it work? So, you see, that is laughter done properly. That is the laughter of the even-keel, the steady ship, the laughter of the man or woman behind the wheel of their own destiny and not the laughter of the flailing buffoon in need of immediate sedation.
To recap: laughter is a sinister/primitive energy and to succumb to it in polite company is tantamount to standing up at a dinner party, undoing the zip on one’s trousers and proceeding to urinate all over the silverware, plates, and glasses. It’s just disgusting really.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Check out the new sensitive tale starring: CRAP MAN!
After a recent accident, involving a precariously placed curb and a modest intake of alcohol, I received stitches to the forehead and a caution that I may experience some dizziness, headaches and perhaps even the odd vision of the future. Thankfully I’ve been spared the concussive symptoms but the visions have been coming thick and fast. There have been many great seers of the future before me: Nostradamus was one, the rarely incorrect Edgar Cayce another, Mother Shipton is also celebrated and we shouldn’t forget the astonishingly accurate Bob Carolgees who received prophetic visions via his spirit guide Spit the Dog. Only time will tell if I am to stand amongst these greats but, just in case, I’ve decided to collect my visions into an almanac of prophesies to be published under the title Olde Fugger’s Almanach of Prophesees. Below is an account of a vision that came to me with unnerving clarity as I dozed off during a rerun of Stargate SG1. Enjoy.
VISION: I descended through a mist of clouds and beheld Ireland in the year 2039. Jedward were running the country and everyone seemed delighted. ‘They’re great’, said President Huberman. ‘They’re full of harmless fun and energy’, said elderly Archbishop Waters. ‘Yaaaayyyy’, said the population in general.
I observed a Jedward political rally. The two Jedwards were standing upon a stage dressed in tennis gear and using racquets to serve autographed tennis balls out to an ecstatic audience. ‘Hey, it’s great to be Taoiseachs but we’ve got serious work to do, don’t we Jedward?’ said one of them. ‘Yeah Jedward,’ said the other one, ‘there are issues and things. Yeah, let’s hear it for issues though.’ The masses cheered ‘yaaaayyyy issues!’ in response. Then Crystal Swing came onto the stage (the mother is still living at this future point in time but as a wired up brain in a glass tank of preservative fluid with a keyboard attached) and they all started dancing and singing the song Under-Pressure/Ice Ice Baby, which apparently will be Ireland’s national anthem in the year 2039. The overall sensation was one of great hope and optimism which was welcome after my previous vision of the Nama Wars. Ireland was once again open for business and politics retrieved from the degraded state of intervening years. My heart felt glad as I was enshrouded by the mist once again and returned to the present day where I witnessed the closing credits of the most boring television programme ever made. END OF VISION.
We’ll have to wait and see if that comes to pass but I think it will. Other predictions included in Olde Fugger’s Almanach of Prophesees include:
Badgers the size of vans.
Cowan’s crystal meth shame.
Tubridy’s gender reassignment disaster.
Non-membership of Facebook declared illegal.
. . .and many many more!
Olde Fugger’s Almanach of Prophesees will be available from good New Age stockists such as The Healing Fairy Kinnegad and the ever reliable A1 Crystals Rialto at the reasonable price of €55.
I see God is on Twitter. Here are a few of the best twats he posted:
# Bit bored today. Made a few clouds. One was in the shape of a roast chicken. LOL!. Twitter account: @GOD about 20 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Can't get that cute human I made a few decades ago out of my head. Who am I kidding, she doesn't know I exist. Saw her reading Dawkins. LOL!. Twitter account: @GOD about 19 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Jesus is still in a strop. It's the whole forsaken thing. He emailed me that awful Larkin poem. WHATEVUUR! Twitter account: @GOD about 18 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Might give it another go with Mary. Hate the haughty way she acts when she beats me at Connect 4 though. Nah, ain't going to work out. Twitter account: @GOD about 12 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Allah keeps sending me links to that Loose Change documentary. I'm unconvinced. Twitter account: @GOD about 9 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Thinking of having a giant ant attack France. Just to see the look on everyone's faces. LMFAO! Twitter account: @GOD about 7 days ago via Divine Intervention
# That Pope fella is fairly camp isn't he? Twitter account: @GOD about 5 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Hit on a few hot nuns earlier. 'But we don't love you in that way Lord' they said! Shouldn't have appeared in the form of a cloud. LOL! Twitter account: @GOD about 4 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Everyone worships the Market these days. I mean, come on. The Market can't even do any magic tricks like transubstantiation or all the cool shit I do DAILY! Twitter account: @GOD about 3 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Watching you humans from above yesterday. Me Almighty, it's depressing. Like a Ken Loach movie. Twitter account: @GOD about 2 days ago via Divine Intervention
# Sick of pasta. Twitter account: @GOD about 2 days ago via Divine Intervention
# The cute human got drunk on cooking sherry last night. She put on roller skates, went out on the back patio and fell on her ass. Like her even more now. Twitter account: @GOD about 1 day ago via Divine Intervention
# Another cloud making day today. Made one in the shape of Snoopy and another like PacMan. No one noticed. Twitter account: @GOD about 2 hours ago via Divine Intervention
So, there you are. He actually seems quite ordinary in a supreme being kind of way. ALSO!!! NEW CRAP MAN!. . .click it!
My Anglo suggestion: Divide Anglo into three banks. One will be a Bad Bank (‘fucking hopeless’ if you will) which will borrow money from a second bank (a Good Bank) that will obtain its funds via the recovery of borrowings acquired by a third bank (or Mad Bank). The idea is to have Anglo borrowing money from itself and recapitalising itself with the money it borrowed into infinity, forming an endless loop or eternal mirroring effect that will eventually trap the bank in a kind of Phantom Zone like the one they used to imprison General Zod in the Superman movies with Christopher Reeve going forward.
Furthermore, if my suggestion is acted upon immediately we may see positive results sooner than we think due to the fact that the planets of our solar system recently aligned into the shape of a cross, heralding an exciting new era in banking and high finance logic. Are you with me? Do you follow me? It may seem incomprehensible at first, perhaps a smidgeon overly ambitious, but we must hold true and not lose our nerve at this crucial juncture. The world is making a new kind of sense now and this post-rational era demands imaginative responses and death defying leaps of faith going forward (and backward, all at once) and I for one am fully committed to this approach as it will doubtlessly see our nation around this next corner or whatever the fuck and it should only cost another 70 billion so go back to sleep now plebs.
I’ll never forget my trip to Yellowstone Park. I was being shown around by my guide and we were deep into the wilds when a sudden panic came over his face. We were standing right behind a huge mother grizzly and her two cubs. ‘Don’t move, don’t even breathe,’ said my guide, ‘if she thinks we are a threat to her offspring she’ll tear us to pieces.’ Well, I resented that a bit. I mean, we had as much right to enjoy the environs as she did and I said as much to my guide. ‘You don’t get it,’ he said, ‘this is a sensitive situation’. ‘Oh, come off it,’ I exclaimed loudly, ‘they said that about Iraq and everything turned out grand there. I’m continuing on’. ‘No Mr. Fugger, please don’t,’ begged the guide, ‘she’ll kill us both.’ I was disgusted by his willingness to appease the woodland bully and decided I wasn’t having any of it. Defiantly, I stormed out from the undergrowth and booted one of the cubs firmly and squarely up the arse. Kapumph! The creature lifted into the air slightly and emitted a yelp. Then the mother turned, fixed me with an irate look and growled. I folded my arms, smirked and stared back at her, in a ‘what are you going to do about that’ kind of way. Then she roared and charged forward. Her claws, fangs and massive frame hurtled toward me at an astonishing speed so I did what any of the rest of you would do: I pushed the guide toward her and, as she ripped the screaming man to bits, I climbed a nearby tree. Ha! That tricked her. Being a dumb animal, she presumed that I had fled the scene so she wandered off with her young into a dense thicket. ‘Go on you furry gobshite,’ I whispered from the branches, ‘go on back to your shitey cave and eat some manky berries.’
Shortly after that, I realised I had no one to guide me back to civilisation. There wasn’t a Spar for miles and miles, or even a Centra for that matter. ‘Well, fuck this,’ I said and, taking a lighter from my pocket, I started an immense blaze that reduced my surroundings to ashes. That attracted the rescue copters and I was soon saved. I reported the bear and insisted she be tracked down and destroyed. I got a lot of press attention and wrote a book (Fugger – A Journey of Carnage and Death, published by Hutchinson). Then I went on Oprah and cried a bit as I recalled the bravery of my guide and the disproportionate touchiness of the bear. (I was advised omit the parts about my kicking the cub up the arse and ‘encouraging’ the guide to confront the mother as these details hindered the thrust of the overall narrative.) Eventually they made a movie of my ordeal starring Matt Damon and he won an Oscar and dedicated it to me. Of course, the usual chronic malcontents left demented internet posts about how I was the architect of my own misfortune but, let’s face it, a lot more people bought my book than read their blogs so I had to laugh really.
So, there you go, another triumph for perception over reality and one in the face for the tyranny of Mother Nature going forward. IN OTHER NEWS: A rough sort that puts me in mind of a Dickensian villain has 'insisted' I inform you of his two new comics that have gone up for pre-order, click the link: http://tommiekelly.com/pre-order-the-new-books/ from his site. . . TOMMIE KELLY.COM He's a talented lad and Fugger will vouch for his excellent work but I can't shake the feeling that it will all end for him in some kind of police pursuit through foggy London.
I think The RTE Guide should interview Dave Fanning and have a headline over the interview that says: 'Fanning The Flames of Rock' and in the interview Dave should talk about his life with his wife Aine (Is his wife called Aine? She probably is.) and what he likes to do on his days off. Then the interview should finish with Dave recommending the 'new one' by Gerry Fish and the Mudbug Club or The Walls or someone like that. That would be good wouldn't it? It would though, wouldn't it? Well, I think it would. I think it would be excellent. The interview should be about 700 words long and feature large images. Ideally, it would be written by Truman Capote but if he's busy or dead they could get some middle or upper class bloke who wants to be a journalist (but isn't sure why) to write it.
I was chatting to this guy I kind of know the other day. I was telling him what I'd been up to, my opinions on this and that and a bit of personal stuff about my upbringing and so on. Actually, I started coming out with quite a bit of personal stuff and I'm not sure why. It wasn't a conscious thing but maybe, on some deeper level, I was trying to draw him out, innately assuming that conversations work on a quid pro quo basis. I'm not sure what I was at to be honest but I continued on, encouraged only by the odd 'hmm' or 'I see' on his part.
I realised things had gone too far when I found myself telling him about my attraction to Sophia, the puppet from the Dolmio sauce advertisements (a felty lust pot and no mistake). When this staggering revelation received another paltry 'hmm' in response I exploded. 'LISTEN YOU F****R!' I roared, 'I NEED SOMETHING BACK HERE! SOCIAL DISCOURSE IS ALL ABOUT GIVE AND TAKE! QUIT HOLDING YOUR CARDS SO CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST AND PLAY THE GAME OR F**K OFF!'. 'Well, that told him', I said to myself as I stormed out of the confession box, slamming the door behind me.
When something angers me, I always write to The Evening Herald. Like most people, a chief irritation in my life is myself, so. . .
Sawing wood floor panels recently, I filled my DVD player with sawdust. I should have removed the appliance from the room or wrapped it in plastic but now it doesn't work properly and I can't watch Iron Man 2. If this shoddy workmanship continues I will have no electrical devices left and wind up living like a a caveman. My commerce teacher was right about me when he pointed out my lack of attention to detail and said that I would end up sweeping the roads or something. I'm sure most readers agree when I say that my slipshod approach to DIY and, indeed, life in general is nothing short of an outrage. An OUTRAGE!
A couple I knew bought a house in one of those satellite locations. He travelled the long distance to and from work while she stayed at home to look after the kids. They didn’t actually have kids but she was ‘rehearsing’, as she jokingly put it herself. She spent her days online and watching digital television. They were neighbourless so there was no one around for her to talk to. They were the only people to buy a home in a ghost estate, a vast maze of semi-detached houses that had transgressed the fundamental law of supply and demand.
Actually, they did have neighbours of a sort, foxes. Foxes would congregate around the couple’s house at night. The couple reckoned this was because theirs was the only building for a considerable distance that issued waste. The couple were buried so deep in the empty suburb that wheelie bin service providers stood to financially lose more than gain by sending out a collection truck (there’s that law of supply and demand again). So, the couple took to using one of those compost bins for food scraps etc. and that’s what brought the foxes. The foxes would surround the compost bin, jump on it and make strange noises at it. (Have you ever heard a fox? It’s an eerie sound they make – like a scream).
The foxes’ futile attempts to topple the bin and consume its contents kept her awake while he, exhausted from work, slept on soundly. She’d look out from the upstairs window and watch the creatures. Sometimes she’d see up to ten foxes. She became fascinated by them, often commenting on the feral dramas of love and hate she witnessed. She’d speak about the foxes as if gossiping about colleagues at work. She even bought a book about the species but still couldn’t help anthropomorphising. A strange hint of admiration entered her fox anecdotes. ‘As if being a fox was an alternative lifestyle, rummaging around in rubbish and riding in hedges like knackers’, as her husband put it.
One Saturday the couple had a row. He wanted to go to Ikea again. She didn’t. ‘What do you want to do then?’ ‘Something else. Something different.’ ‘Like what?’ ‘I don’t know.’
She’d been acting funny for a while and he finally snapped. Terrible things were said and she fled into the garden. She refused to come back into the house so he followed her outside. Then she shocked him by climbing the perimeter fence into the neighbouring garden. He followed her over the fence only for her to climb another fence into another garden. With a near infinite choice of gardens for her to escape to, he knew his only option was to go back to the house and wait for her to return. She didn’t. Come dusk, he was standing at their glass sliding doors calling out for her. She didn’t respond. Then he called the guards. They said they’d have a look around. They found nothing.
She stayed gone and he remained living in their house alone. He had no choice. In negative equity with a huge mortgage to pay, he was stuck in that silent maze of empty buildings and overgrown lawns. He went through a phase of thinking he occasionally saw her, darting between buildings or turning distant corners. He’d call the guards and they would sigh and promise to send out a car and then they wouldn’t send out a car.
After a while he stopped seeing her, unless it was her image looking out from the wedding album or staring out from one of the tattered missing posters he’d stuck around the place. Why he put up the posters was a mystery in itself. Who was going to see them? Maybe the intention was for her to see them and know that he cared. Or maybe he was just going crazy.
Late one night he rang me. He was in a terrible state. He was sobbing. I got him to calm down and tell me what was wrong. He said he was watching a DVD when he heard something out the back. He went to the sliding doors and pulled them across to see a multitude of foxes, fifty or so at least he said. They had successfully tipped over the compost bin and were feasting on the spilled out scraps. He yelled at the creatures to shoo them away. They fled into the centre of the garden and regrouped around a very large fox (about the size of a bike he said) that was standing its ground in the gloom.
He told me how he turned on the porch light to get a better look at the giant and, well, then he broke down and said he wished to God he hadn’t done that. As he told it, the big fox just stood there peering at him with what, he assured me, were human eyes. Familiar eyes. Her eyes, staring at him just as they stared from the missing posters. The fox stared at him and he, paralysed by confusion and horror, stared back. Then the fox opened its mouth and, with what seemed to him like ferocious anger, it screamed his name.
After the call, I immediately went out there. He wasn’t home. I never saw him again. I never saw either of them again. Ever. The estate is completely empty now. Plenty of foxes though.
‘I’m proud of my son because he’s so ambitious’, a friend’s elderly mother said to me recently. ‘So was Harold Shipman’, I reminded her. She looked more offended than reminded but I got to make a point and have a laugh while I was at it and that’s the main thing isn’t it?
I mean, ambition is all well and good for the person who has it but is it really an admirable trait? It might be if the ambition is to cure cancer but what if it’s a weird ambition like Harold Shipman’s? Even if it’s just a normal ambition, like an ambition to get a promotion for example, I still don’t see what’s so admirable about it. Such an ambition would be in no way ignoble but that doesn’t make it admirable. It just ‘is’. Admiring somebody for having such an ambition would be like admiring somebody for having long arms or something.
Intelligence is another attribute that is considered admirable but actually isn’t admirable at all. Like its overrated bedfellow ambition, intelligence is just an advantage that can be used for good or bad. Harold Shipman must have been intelligent to get away with what he did for so long, not to mention getting the qualifications to become a G.P. in the first place but is that admirable?
Now, people might think I’m just saying this because I failed all my exams and don’t get out of bed until The Afternoon Show comes on but they’d be wrong. I don’t hold a grudge. I’m just making a point. I don’t expect people to admire me because I’m stupid and lack interest in life in general so why should they insist I admire them for possessing the opposite traits? In fact, now I’m thinking about it, I could argue that laziness and thickness are more admirable than ambition and intelligence. If Harold Shipman was thick and lazy he wouldn’t have been able to pass his medical exams or bothered his arse playing God with the lives of so many pensioners. So, in a way, if Shipman lacked the traits that get so much praise in our culture he might have been a better person. Or at least, a safer person for old people to be around.
So, to close, if you are reading this and you consider yourself to be an ambitious and intelligent person then good for you and I am not, for one second, suggesting that you are like Harold Shipman. All I’m saying is that you are more like Harold Shipman than I am. It’s just an observation. There is no reason to get uptight about it. I know how uptight you ambitious sorts can be. That’s another aspect of that particular attribute that’s unworthy of admiration now that I think about it. OK, I’ll leave it there. ALSO NEW CRAP MAN: http://crapmancomic.blogspot.com/
'Hate the sin not the sinner,' says Fugger over and over and over so I was very moved to see all the understanding tributes paid to maverick gun enthusiast Raoul Moat on the Internet. Here are some of my favourites:
'I ain't condoning it, what he done, people are dead, people who were alive, but if his bird wasn't giving him no grief they'd still be alive. Stands to reason, don't it?' James Smith, Isle of No Blacks No Dogs No Irish
'He didn't get no hugs and no one cared. He didn't get no hugs and that's what made him do what he done. That would push anyone over the edge. He got no hugs and went after coppers and the boy done good in my book and I respect the law but he got no hugs. Stands to reason, don't it?' Trevor Stebson, Seething on Sea
'If everyone went around doing like what he did there would be bloody carnage everywhere. Life wouldn't be worth living. But, fact is, everyone doesn't go around doing what he did and it's OK once and a while coz it gives the telly something to talk about now that X-factor isn't on and Big Brother has gone rubbish. Stands to reason, don't it?' Susan Blunt, Bushell On The Box
'If he'd of killed me or the missus I'd've gone for him. Really I would. But he didn't. He only killed people on the telly and that's pretend ain't it? So, I think they were wrong to shoot him when all he wanted was a sandwich and to lay a few upper cuts into his bird. It's political correctness gone mad. Stands to reason, don't it?' Terry Fletcher, Crisps and Larger
'He was right to do what he done. It's like that fox that attacked them babies. If them babies weren't giving that fox no verbal they would never have got a going over. Stands to reason, don't it?' Bertie Flunt, Kebab and Chips 'The pan-feminist politburo cast this man into the realm of the forgotten and uncared about. "Your feelings don't matter" they said and, like a warrior denied a war, Moat lashed out the only way he knew how. There is a star that shines brighter than all the others in the firmament tonight and its name is Raoul. We've all lost a brother, a son, a father, a bloody good mate. I'm crying writing this. Raouly was another victim of post-Maquaid Ireland even though he didn't live here and probably never visited or even considered visiting. Stand's to reason, does it not?' John Waters, Irish Times
'If he weren't goin to do it I were but he did so I don't have to do it but I swear I would have done it and better too like in a film it would've been or a f*****g game and I'd've got books named after me and other stuff too. Stand's to reason, don't it?' Harry Windsor, Buckingham Palace
I liked Waters' one the best.
IN OTHER NEWS: A new CRAP MAN adventure is up at...
AND if you're in Dublin you should head to Film Base on Curved Street Temple Bar on Saturday during usual shopping hours for SUMMER EDITION 2010. It will feature lots of interesting items from the comic small press and other quality artistic ventures. Go! Stands to reason, don't it?