An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan

An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock, surreal autobiography by a fictional Irish literary figurehead, champion bodhrán player and broadcaster.

The first part of Chapter 2 is here.
The second part of Chapter 2 is here.
The first part of Chapter 4 is here.
The second part is here
The third part of Chapter 4 is here.
The first part of Chapter 5 is here.
The second part of Chapter 5 is here.

Chapter Six begins after the death of Paddy's first donkey, Massal Byug Dove, in a snow storm. After it had keeled over and expired, Paddy spent some months inside the dead animal in order to keep warm before the thaw allowed him to return home to witness his own funeral service. He has now been back home some time.

And now, the continuation...


                I recall with great fondness the man of Protestant origins with the beard and the greasy head of hair on him coming to the parish to give a talk on the advantages of Home Rule over the oppressive regime we’d seen for the last hundred years, what with the generations of tyranny we’d been living under and the evil and the dearth of humanity and obscene vindictiveness prevalent in the genetic structure of the average English Ascendancy Gentleman, or EAGLE, as he was acrimonious… acrimony… acronymically known.
                A title which was stolen from the English by the Americans, of course, and them being the betther people, mostly, if only a little less knowledgeable in the intelligence department and a little more bellicose in their foreign policy. As my granny used to say, “If you’re gonna choose between shooting an Islamist terrorist and a US Marine in a three way firefight, young Paddy, always shoot the terrorist. The terrorist finds your secular world view offensive and overly humanistic,” she would tell me, as she tried to flatten my hair by rubbing her spit into it, “That terrorist will as soon kill you as look at you. The US Marine, on the other hand, well…he’s only going to kill you accidentally.”
                Granny was ahead of her time, no doubt, but she did play an integral part in world affairs through her work with the Saud fambly well into her Roaring Twenties, and them constantly telling her to shut her stupid female mouth and to know her place, and her dictating the carving up of all sorts of territories behind the scenes that nobody was entitled to, in cahoots with the Brits and the French as she was. She was always full of stories about trying to get the Yanks to sign up to some kind of a league – but sure, they play their own sports over there, with plenty of them dying in the field, God love them, till they started taking safety measures. And Granny banging her head off mirrors in Versailles, trying to find the tylet, a big black eye on her, and it all made to look like an accident. It was never an accident: She just couldn’t find the tylet on time, as she continued to claim to her dying day.

                A few years previous by more than two decades – history and time being unimportant and more of just a sepia hued inkling back in those days, or full blown Technicolor, or indeed 3-D – Charles Stewart Parnell came to visit us, and he kept talking to the crowd for one hour straight, holding his audience rapt, until he was replaced at the podium by a fellow called Joe Biggar, and him being bigger than most people, felt himself entitled to be talking for another fourteen hours straight, so he did.
                Then someone whispered in his ear, and he nodded as if he’d just been reminded of something, tapped his head to show he was a bit dotty, and stepped down from the podium.
                “Forgot I wasn’t in the Commons,” I heard him mutter to himself, wiping his brow.
                And then we went on the prowl all over the vicinity, relishing in our sadism as the whole audience rabbitted cats for the rest of the day and into the early hours of the long summer evening. Now, cats were domesticated mostly, but the odd time you’d get cats that had run away from home as kittens and they’d establish their own community of cats independent of human interference, complete with their own infrastructure and economy. So we had to “go on the cull” as we described it, whereby the wild brethren of the domesticated variety would be living the high life off in their own settlements. Oftentimes, they’d already have been killed as kittens by the tom-cats, carried away from the litter, they’d be, and killed by their own tom-cats non-fathers or indeed fathers, who regarded them as a latent threat which would manifest itself when they reached their own adultery.
                Where was I? Ah, yes. Even after such infanticide, some of the cats would survive, in their own strivulence, and we had to kill those ones, and pluck their eyes out after the fact and stick them with a squirt of glue to the roadside. Or the middle of the road, as it was later called. Now, cats’ eyes as we know them now came into being in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, as a rough estimate but as has just been established. The plastics industry wasn’t well developed at that stage so we killed the cats and stuck their real eyes on the roads. At the time, the reasoning behind this cruel practice did not seem all that justifiable, in that it was very cruel and there was no real purpose to the whole thing apart from the sport of it, but those cats’ eyes came in very handy when headlights were invented in the twentieth century.

Part Two of Chapter 6 will continue the saga.


An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan

An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock, surreal autobiography by a fictional Irish literary figurehead, champion bodhrán player and broadcaster.

The first part of Chapter 2 is here.
The second part of Chapter 2 is here.
The first part of Chapter 4 is here.
The second part is here
The third part of Chapter 4 is here
The first part of Chapter 5 is here.


                And wasn’t the whole parish only deserted save for the tumbleweed rolling across the dirt when I got back. And me all red and withered and I collapsed in Mister Deakey’s coal scuttle and I dozed for nigh on twenty minutes, marking off each minute with the piece of chalk as I’d learned to do in the olden days inside the consciously-challenged Massal Donkey.
                So, I thought, sure maybe I’m nonplussed and I miscalculated, maybe it’s Sunday and me thinking it was No-Fish day, which would’ve been Thursday, when people got their bit of meat into them before Friday, and perhaps everyone’s in the church attending Mass as I remembered vaguely that people used to do before I began my excursion.
                Anyway, in all reality, Father Rorty was standing at his pulpit, in the church, addressing the largest congregation that there ever was gathered in that church or ever has been since, the tears rolling down one cheek and the mirror image of those tears rolling down the other cheek, except it wasn’t the mirror image, I was only saying that by way of being poetic. And Father Rorty stifles a sob, as he insists to the whole parish that:
                “We offer this Mass for a great young lad, Paddy Flanagan, the finest, most intelligent and stimulating fellow this parish has ever borne witness to.”
                In front of the whole parish he says this, and next thing a barrel of vinegar comes rolling down the centre aisle and to a halt at the foot of the altar. And who should roll out of the barrel all clean and shiny thanks to the vinegar bath only me, Paddy Flanagan, at me own feckin’ funeral service! Well, the whispers were flying at this stage, and finally Father Rorty looks down at me, lets a cry of shock out of him, and he says, he says:
                “Flanagan, where on God’s good Earth have you been for the last five months?”
                And that’s when I used my dry, nonchalant, rhetorical style, and I pointed at the barrel, soaked as I was in the vinegar, and I says:
                “Sure, I got into a bit of a pickle!” and I turned towards the congregation, extending my arms, and I roared with a big burst out of me: “I’ve only been inside a donkey for four months!”
                And the choir erupted with mellifluous laughter, and the congregation wept for joy, particularly Mother, and didn’t Judge Rarely-Smyled beam at me and claim that one day I would replace Mayor Tully and become mayor of the whole diocese?
                And we returned home, all the brothers and sisters and me walking down the street and Mother in tow with a bell and a crozier that the good bishop had given her, and with a parade of delighted folks behind me, and my dog-bitch curly-haired white poodle with the brown hind legs, Ponsettia, oh she with the heavy burthen of a hundred-and-eight dog autumns on her shoulders, she teethered out of the house and onto the walkway half-blind and half-crippled dividing the lawn in two and when she looked up and saw me alive and well – and got a good shniff of me to make sure I was alive and well and that it was me – more importantly, and not some pickled stunt double – didn’t she only keel over onto her back, legs akimbo in the position she used to go when looking for a fondle and didn’t she die there and then, her animal spirit egressing her body and into the egg of a hatchling in Main Park which was just about to hatch. God love her.

Chapter 6 begins here.


An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan

The first part of Chapter 2 is here.
The second part of Chapter 2 is here.
The first part of Chapter 4 is here.
The second part is here
The third part of Chapter 4 is here.


                After my recovery, Mother thought it would be a good thing if I got out to see the countryside a bit, and take in the fresh country air, reeking of manure. But Mother’s smell wasn’t the important thing: Twas her insistence that I go to recuperate.
                So she set a task for me, and it was an errand whereby I had to go two hundred miles inland to Aunt Molly’s farmhouse and drink two kegs of stout before returning home to build up the shtrengt. So I climbed up onto the donkey, Massal Byug Dove is what we called him, because he cooed like a pigeon, to begin my travels. And didn’t the donkey only stay where he was and he refused to budge, refusing to move a muscle out of him ar chor ar bith, until I had the brilliant idea whereby I dangled a half-eaten cabbage on a piece of fishing string affixed to a fishing rod before his very eyes, and he took off after that cabbage, me running ahead of him scared to the life of me that I be thrampled underfoot, all him interested in being the cabbage.
                That beast of burden had ambitions above his station about eating that vegetable, and he effectively wanted it beyond all comprehension, on pain of death indeed, be that my death or his own. So we were halfway through the mountains and didn’t it only begin to snow three weeks into the journey, and me in me stocking feet and the donkey unhoofered with a lack of shoes and the frostbite wreaking into our bodies, causing haemorrhaging in me feet and my ankles and mar shin we had to keep going, trodging on through the bitter winter cold with nothing but a rod and a cabbage for company.
                So then, two days into the fierce weatherstorm, doesn’t the donkey only keel over and expire? So I tore a hole in his underbelly with my Shurnuff Barlow knife and crawled into his stomach. And I moved in there for four months, while the Polar Eye Scaps stared down at me from on high like the frigid demon that he was. Using the donkey’s duodenum as a tap for running water and the sewerage going out through his epididemus.
                And the weather-god gave up trying to put me out of my icy misery, finally, on April twenty-fourth, when the snow began to melt in great sheets of mist, and I knew the date from the chalk marks I’d made on the beast’s rib cage, as if I was in a prison cell, and not the dead donkey.
                And the sheep that survived that winter in Ireland were forever more known as lucky sheep, in that they were more strivulent than the dead sheep that didn’t survive. That type of sheep, the dead kind, were known forever more as the sheep that ended up stuck and eventually buried under twelve to fifteen feet of snow. And them dead now.
                And I’d survived that winter, against all the odds. And not only that, but I gained an understanding as to what it must be like to be a pre-natal assfoal. So I counted myself as being pretty inordinate in the strivulence stakes, rather like the lucky sheep.
                So I clambered back out of the beast, trudging back towards my home parish, having given up all hope of reaching Aunty Molly’s. I was of course without the animal, which would have made a fine stew, but sure, I was caked in dried, coagulated blood and exhausterasperated with my experience. A little deflathered and miserable, because sure I didn’t even see one liquid quarter ounce of that stout. But I saw two barrels of dry wine on my way home, outside the vinegar factory, and I knocked back one of them in one go and began rolling the other one down the mountain. Absolutely twisted drunk I was, as I stumbled towards my parish, the vinegar manager chasing after me, unable to catch be being bogged down with too much age and a dicky lung and the bog.
                Me slaggin’ him, taunting out of me to him:
                “Run, run, as fast as you can, but I can outrun the vinegar man!”
                So I eventually returned to the parish, with a bit of adventure in evading the vinegar man by manoeuvring over that bog that he sank into and drownded in were it not for the fishing line I threw to him, and him so murderous grateful that he let me away with it, barrel and all.

 To Be Continued in Part 2 here.

Doctor Wayne Fox the Psychic Card Reader

Hello. I'm Doctor Wayne Fox. I get the impression that you want to get in touch with me, but I haven't checked my cards yet. I don't know if I'm going to use the cards for this. It all depends on YOU. If I find myself getting a vibration from the token ring ethernet fibers - or even if you're contacting me using cloud computing technology - I might be able to work with you from the backend of the technology. I won't need the cards. Just from the vibrations. And the technology. At the back end. So call me, or you can contact Dame Trixibelle Fartyknickers or you can also contact Flahavan the Eunuch Psychic.

Amy Hi. My name’s Amy White. I need dating advice. I met this gorgeous guy called Zane for dinner. We’d been set up by my friend Ellen. He was a tanned, toned investment fund manager with sparkling blue eyes and blond hair. He took me for a wonderful meal in one of the best restaurants in the city.

When we were ordering our drinks, my date looked at the wine list and turned his attention to me. With a twinkle in his eye, he asked: “Will we order a bottle for the table? Or maybe you want a cocktail?”

“Diet Coke,” I told the waiter.

We got on really well. He was so sweet and witty. I don’t believe in fairy tales, but I really think he was the man of my dreams. After the date, I waited a few days. Each time my phone rang, my heart would jump. But he didn’t call and it’s been two weeks now since our date. I asked Ellen why he wasn’t interested in me and she said he had told her that it was because I had ordered sodas all night. She said he told her that he didn’t feel comfortable enough to relax and have a drink while I stayed sober. The thing is, I’m not a big fan of alcohol. I had a bad experience with it a while ago and even the smell of it makes me nauseous sometimes. I’ve found I don’t need drink any more to have a good time. I’m a changed person and a better person because of it. I used to rely on alcohol as a social crutch, but I realize now that sobriety opens your eyes to the wonderful gifts God has given us and I don’t feel the need to sugar-coat things through the haze of alcohol. If he’d taken the time to ask, he would have known all this about me. He might even have respected me for it.

Is there any way I can salvage the situation? I’d love to go to a bar with him some night to show that I’m not afraid of alcohol. If he gave me that chance, I know I could win his heart. I really think he could be the one for me. But at the same time, if he knows I don’t like to drink, do you think he would understand if I just stuck with the soda?

I’m nearly eight and a half months pregnant now and I want to avoid alcohol until I have my child.


Doctor Wayne: Amy: The numbers of your IP address indicate to me that yes, yes, yes, you should enjoy a drink. I'm also getting a man in your life though, a little man, a small man. I imagine that coming towards the end of your third trimester, you ought to see this little man emerge from somewhere very close to you. From somewhere - even - inside you. A little man, or a little woman. Well done, Amy.

And to the rest of you, if you seek Amy, get in touch with her!

And don't forget to contact Princess Trixibelle if you want a different kind of reading.

She's waiting for your call now.

Madihah Hi Dr Liam Fox. My name Madihah al-Usaq. I’m needing of dating advise also. I’m liking with guy name Ahmed who do not enjoy lumber. He want marry and is pleasant and accurate, but badly on my side, my father is the most successful sales representative in the e-commerce department of a nationally-renowned furniture retailer. Because of why, I am part-time maker of tables. As an education, I go for good technical school in carpentry. I make the coffee tables and my father sell. Small cheap, big more money, no care.

The guy my liking Ahmed is good correct man. But he bad with hands. He no enjoying work wood. He say no money on workwood and sanding and polishing and not good for women. He laugh at me with mocking.

Since I don’t joke with my furniture it make me angry and serious to put many more interest on varnishing and other furniture actions and I don’t listen him. We fight. He say think better than work with hands. He point at head and say it most important thing. He say hard work for fools who no think. Then he show he smarter by say he know history and politics. He say me put on veil, even when work. It hard to work in veil and very hot. So I take off. When he come back in workshop and see me no veil. Then he blast me with fists.

But he so bad with hands, he blast me very, very wrong, so wrong that he mistake and I hammer him with table leg many times and he fall and I win fight. Now he even worse with hands. He spit lots now when talk slow and I wipe mouth for him. He like come to house in morning and sit in big wooden wheelchair in garden all day from sunrise with full-size smile. But morning damp hurt wheelchair and he already on wheelchair number 3. I add varnish but still big problem. I never make outside furniture before.

Please, please, please to say, how to stop dry rot on wheelchair?


Doctor Wayne: I'm getting an instinct about you, Madihah. Just from the numbers - and again, you don't have to take my advice - just from the numbers I really think that Ahmed is cheating on you in October of this year or May of next year. When he's moved to the home, the cheating starts. One of the two homes, one of the two homes, Madihah. Because the first one is too expensive. Let me know how that works out for you.

And don't forget to contact Flahavan the Extremely Eunuch Psychic as well.

We're out of time!


The first part of Chapter 2 is here.
The second part of Chapter 2 is here.
The first part of Chapter 4 is here.
The second part is here.


                When in the hospital attempting to overcome my infection, I fell even more ill with what I believe might have been a Masters in Business Administration, but I was in a state known as delirium-reversal because there was a fourteen-year-old beauty in the bed across the way and we made love every night for seven days and seven nights, and none of it Arabian, but there was no reverse delirium involved in the act of passion. The delirium reversal simply meant that I looked a lot better looking and appeared more handsome than I actually was to this beautiful young lassie. It was quite a lucky infection in that sense.
                By the end of my stay in hospital, however, I was truly at death’s door. The eyes had sunk so far into my head that I had to use three mirrors, one at my buttocks, one above the top of my shcalp, and one before my face in order to be able to see so that I could trim the nostril hairs that were now growing out of my eyeholes.
                There were so many welts and lesions on my body of so many different colours (red, green, grey, ordinge) that the nurses often referred to me as the ‘Rainbow-Welt Boy of St Aloysius’ Ward’ and the doctors visited me from all over the world to study my magical hues. And more often than not, the scarring from those welts healed and there’d be puss pumping out of me, most of it localised around the gruan for some reason. And the fourteen-year-old girl I’d had the excitement with two weeks earlier was nothing more now than a smouldering vagina propped up on a pillow in the bed opposite, sexualised beyond all of her humanity.
                But it was standard practice after a month in the hospital, if no improvement appeared imminent, to be fired from the uppermost floor of the institution by a cannon. And that, dear reader, is where the word ‘discharge’ is derived from. Of course, you’re not discharged in the same way, but the sentiment remains. So off I was shot, and believe it or not, I landed slap bang on top of that Main Square tylet, and two of the pat rafters broke my fall into the bargain.
                But I survived, and that’s when Mother came and she pulled me out of that tylet and brought me home and nursed me back to my prime.
                And my First Holy Communion, when it did finally come round, doesn’t really merit a mention because nothing interesting happened that day. Except Father Rorty standing on the altar and explaining that going to Hivin is like being a fly.
                Because there was a group of flies living under the wather. They were actually runts, because they weren’t flies yet and they lived in a pond, under the wather as has already been established. And the group of them says, “Right, the next fella to break through the wather and evolve into a fly has to come back down here and tell us what it’s like up above.” So the next fly breaks through the wather and isn’t he only there, flying around for a few seconds and doesn’t a frog fhlick out his tongue at him and eats him? And the next fellow breaks through the wather and isn’t he only there a few seconds when a great big web between two branches of an overhanging weeping willow only tangles him up and isn’t he only eaten by the spider there living a few hours hence from his arrival on the silky death-thrap gossamer? So the third fellow breaks through the wather and isn’t he flying around having a great time, and isn’t it so wonderful above the wather that he almost forgets about his brothers and sisters down below awaiting his report from up above? But then he remembers. So with a flitther of his wings does he try to break the pond’s surface wather? Yes, he does, but the caterpillary action and the surface tension on the murky pondwather prevents him from breaking the wather and delivering his account of the ‘Aftherlife’, and he can’t for the life of him get underwather. So the other runts say to themselves, Why can’t they tell us what it’s like up above, but sure, they can’t comprehend it. And that’s what Hivin’s like to us mortals. Here on Earth. And then Father Rorty stood away from the pulpit and extended his arms, his loose robes falling erotically off the shoulder a little bit. And he made the declaration:
“Under the auspices of the Church, we grant thee a hymn of grace.”
The chant then went up as the trumpets elephanted out the introduction, and a lit match was thrown into the cardboard box full of dead cats doused in paraffin for the effect.
All of which reminds me of my first holy communion, involving a nun, some very arousing, bosom-uplifting lingerie, a pair of handcuffs, a rabbiting stick, a tight leather sandal, a broken spherral and a handcuff, and that might be worth a whole chapter later on. We’ll see. We’ll see.

To Be Continued in Chapter Five.

Olympics commentary

Go Jeem TB!

So that Laura Trott won with her cycling. But that Victoria girl is the one doing the shampoo ads, claiming that her hair requires all the nutrients it can absorb because cycling is tough on the follicles!

The shampoo people backed the wrong horse. Trott notwithstanding, the shampoo cartel should've actually backed the horse and the chap who won the team gold medal in the show jumping.

 "I'm Nick Skelton. I'm pushing 60, and 10 years ago I broke my bloody neck. Why? Because in the main, I do a lot of show jumping...

That's why, in the mane, I like to rub a couple of dollops of Pantene Pro-V Plus in before the big events with my horse, Big Star. Because the extra vitamins...are essential!

And the results...are fabulous! Go Jeem TB!"


The first part of Chapter 2 is here.
The second part of Chapter 2 is here.
The first part of Chapter 4 is here.
The continuation is below.

              All of this brings back memories of my First Holy Communion, which actually took place the following morning. And four months before, we had a practice run in school. And we all queued up like they do at Mass excepting that we weren’t in the Church, but were rather in the schoolhouse. And we each got a little white wafer with I.N.L.A. printed on it, excepting, without doubt, that it wasn’t blessed. And the teacher, Brother Christian Fucker, smashed his fist into little Tadhg Brennan’s already broken face before informing us: “Now, children, you can eat this blessed host because tisn’t blessed. When you’re making your Holy Communion in the not too distant future, the blessed host will be blessed.”

                So each of us got a wafer. Mine tasted like a wafer. But sure, I wondered what the blessed stuff would taste like when I got round to it. I thought maybe once the bread was blessed it would become flavoured with God’s divine menthol and the mint-flavour would be so potent that it would numb my entire head and my breath would be fresh for all eternity and I would be overcome by a super-awing, overwhelming feeling of well-being. But the blessed stuff tasted the exact same when I did finally get around to sampling it. And I felt cheated by the Church, not for the last time in my life.
                Anyway, after our practice run, Brother Christian Fucker intended for us to be made aware of the consequences of giving a filthy Confession. A filthy Confession was one where you didn’t tell all your sins. If you told a filthy Confession, you would end up in Hell.
                Brother Fucker lit a candle and placed it on his desk and he said to the children “Anyone who can hold his finger over this candle for an hour will get a shilling from me.”
                Nobody volunteered, and Brother Fucker said with a wry and satisfied smile “That’s what it’s like for anyone to burn in Hell for all eternity, only rather than for an hour, you’re burning for all eternity, and your entire body will be burning, and not just your finger.”
                Then I said:
                “I’ll do it for three shillings.”
                Everyone gasped.
                “FlanagaaAAAAN, you say that you’ll hold your finger over this candle for an hour for three shillings?” Brother Fucker reiterated.
                “That I will,” I said in response.
                So Brother Fucker withdrew three shillings from the purse hanging from his belt and placed them on his desk.
                “Come on then,” he sez, a sadistic glint in his eye.
                I walked up to the front of the room, held my finger out over the flame, and blew out the candle.
                There was silence in the class for a few moments, and then Brother Fucker’s teeth started grinding and he glared at me for an hour, teeth still grinding as we counted down the minutes until I had lasted the hour with my finger held over the unlit candle. When the hour was up, I snatched up the three shillings and made my way back to my desk.
                Suddenly, Brother Fucker picked Tadhg Brennan up by the hair, dragged him over to the boiler and whipped open the boiler door before throwing him in head first.
                Tadhg Brennan’s screams scared the life out of all of us, and Brother Fucker slammed the boiler door shut and roared “That’s what it’s like to burn in Hell for all eternity!”
                And Tadhg Brennan’s screaming stopped soon after.
                That sort of malicious behaviour was carried out by Brother Fucker for the rest of his teaching days, until he mysteriously wound up in prison, framed for murdering Tadhg Brennan. We knew the truth of the matter though.
                And we had another practice run for the Communion, this time in the church. But we didn’t have any practice wafers left. The Church – in their illbegotten wisdom – only allocate one blessedless practice blessed wafer host to each child of the parish. So Teacher had a hairbrush in his hand, and we queued up in the Church, down along the aisle and right out the door and under the four pseudo-peripteral Corinthian pilasters. And teacher stood at the altar and as each child came up, he’d say:
                “Body of Christ.”
                And you’d go
                And he’d tip your tongue with the brush handle and off you’d go, back to your seat among the pews. And it was my turn, and up I came, anxious as mad, heart half thumping out of me. So I stepped up to accept my practice prize of the Host, and Teacher said:
                “Body of Christ.”
                And I said:
                And I closed my eyes and opened my mouth ever so slightly, waited with bated breath for the hairbrush to tip my tongue…for a full minute. And then I heard the Church door quietly closing and I looked around and wasn’t the whole place completely empty except for myself? That practical joke taught me one of two valuable things; the first is that whenever somebody tells me there’s something on the tip of their tongue, I get a jealous pang in the bowels. Secondly, I always keep my eyes wide open now whenever I go up for the Communion. And the third thing of unique importance in this story is that the tipping of brush handles on the children’s tongues led to a virulent outbreak of leprosy which spread like a contagion throughout the Communion class, which was very unhygienic. It did bond the class because of the experience, so that was a positive thing, but twas no wonder the two of us bonded when it was only the two of us survived. Unfortunately, I picked up the leprosy – less serious though it was – because I tongue-kissed one of the girls who had had the brush tipped off her tongue. So I was an early bloomer when it came to the leprosy.

The end of this chapter is here.

Flahavan the Eunuch Psychic

Ask Flahavan!

Flahavan is a psychic arsonist with exceptionally enhanced extra sensory perception.

Flahavan Ext 666

Hello. Me name Flahavan. Me ammo a eunuch psychic. This is correct. Me ammo the best – ONE the best – eunuch psychics in the world. I flap the cards to see your future!

Alongside with Lady Miss Trixibelle Merriweather and Dr Wayne Fox, I vill provide the cards for your future for the whole show! The whole kid and kaboocklah dána!

Lady Miss Trixibelle Merriweather Ext Fibonacci
Dr Wayne Fox Ext 333

So call me now or I’ll bleedin’ bursht yeh! This one big time opportunity for you – the only opportunity for you to love me long time! Five dolla! Ten dolla! Today! As tomorrow, I go to Ljubljana for special event! It is Festivales am стряпчий по темным делам!

I am the primo expert numero uno! I am the priority coz me ammo a eunuch psychic!

Because I am the best eunuch psychic!

Phone me now please or else e-mail me please or I’ll bleedin' rip da baalleex off ya! So make with the Irish porridge and email me – Flahavan, the totally eunuch psychic – now! Haha!

Hi Flahavan,

I used to think which the words “that” and “which” were interchangeable. I’ve since been informed which I am wrong. I’d like to know if you could share that I should use - and in that situation.

Thank you.

Reginald [Real name withheld].

Flahavan’s answer:

Me ammo a completely eunuch psychic! Let me flap my cards for answer! I wishing for you NOW! You get the 6 of Tentacles and the 3 of Testicles and the 4 of Pentacles! And green means go so One two three GO!

First things first – if the information is extraneous or additional, use “which.”

Second of all, if the meaning within the clause is integral to the information imparted, use “that.”

Case closed. I’m finished with this guy! NEXT! Too late out of time in five moments! Bye bye Tchuss!

For psychic readings from Doctor Wayne Fox, click here now!

Director's Cut of World War 2 hits the shops today

An uncut and unedited version of World War II (actually Episode Five, if you count the prequels) - complete with bloopers and outtakes on a bonus DVD - has finally been released some sixty seven years after shooting wrapped up over Japan in 1945 with an explosive climax.

The World War 2 DVDs have been digitally remastered, with a more natural, "organic" split dividing it in two at the end of the Battle of Midway. It is also a lot more "mushroom heavy" than previous releases.

For the first time since the original release of World War 2, it has been compiled into a marathon box set rather than the serial or "battle and campaign" formats in which it had heretofore been available. The actual war opens with what was originally a blooper that has never before made the final cut. The outtake shows British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich to London, holding aloft a piece of paper promising "peace in our time".

Although Chamberlain had actually meant to use the word “peace”, he didn't realize what a canniving and manipulative scamp Mr Hitler was, the bastard. Prime Minister Chamberlain didn’t live to see peace, passing away shortly after the war began. The outtake is what’s commonly known in show business as "a necessary n-dub". Because Chamberlain never delivered the peace that he had intended, the word peace was dubbed over after the war to be replaced with the word "mushrooms". Subsequently, all references to peace were removed from the recordings, with talented 40s voiceover artist and impressionist Chester Gatt replacing Mr Chamberlain's speech in post production. "Mushrooms in our time" is far more accurate, as the clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the war's end clearly demonstrate. The newly restored work shows the original speech, alongside footage of Chester Gatt in the recording studio. The edited work also takes advantage of technology in other ways. For example, Hitler's vile anti-Semitism has been digitally enhanced. The Fuhrer's high definition face is now so clear that his moustache is revealed to be not a moustache at all, but a thick, snotty clump of cultivated, bristly nostril hairs.

The uncut re-release also tests its viewers on the final DVD, where they are asked to distinguish between the plutonium bomb blast and the uranium bomb blast that brought the war to its explosive conclusion. The mushroom clouds are shown in split screen, and the viewer has to choose. However, due to a flood of complaints that the question may cause some offence, a cheat to get through to the final half hour of footage without answering the question has now been made available online.

On the DVD, another food related scene at a Garden Fete in Cheshire in late 1941 shows a Giant Vegetable contest. The word fete didn't have a little Chinaman's hat on the first e, because Chinaman's hats were regarded as too Japanese at the time. People who grew vegetables in allotments for the war effort are seen as a camera shot passes through the vegetables on display, and with glimpses of a massive pumpkin, a large courgette, an oversized shallot onion, two huges conjoined mushrooms, and finally a 1,000lb unexploded incendiary device in a wheelbarrow, its proud new owner beaming broadly, a cigarette clenched between his teeth. Because the bomb landed in his vegetable patch, it counted as a vegetable, and he won the competition. His good fortune came to an end just a week later: He was left homeless after the bomb destroyed his house, and following his conscription, he spent the last four years of the war suffering from dystentery and typhus at a Japanese run holiday camp in South East Asia.

There are many elements of the war that were not seen in other formats. The battle readiness of certain armies is something that is often addressed in World War Two's predecessor, World War (with the title revised to "World War Episode Four"). This is also addressed in the digitally restored sequel..

For example, it has been revealed that while German infantry units and tank divisions were amassing on the French border early on in the war, the vast majority of the French army was already on strike.

The new features include not just eye witness accounts, but the accounts of descendants of those who fought or took part in the war. For example, Hiroshi Tawanaka tells of how both of his grandfathers accidentally lost their lives. One of them fell on a sword after the "far less health and safety conscious British" took over control of a holiday camp that he had been quite happily stewarding in Singapore in 1944. The other grandfather accidentally crashed his plane into the deck of the USS Emerson Wiggins just a year later.

The DVD set - with all of its bonus features - goes on release next week.


“An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan” is a mock, surreal autobiography by a fictitious Irish television and radio personality. It parodies misery memoirs (such as Angela’s Ashes by the late great Frank McCourt) and cannibalises from various sources.
The first part of Chapter 2 is here.
The second part of Chapter 2 is here.


              My First Holy Confessional was beyond doubt one of the most anti-Protestant events the parish had ever experienced. Mother dressed me up in her best velvet evening gown, she gave me the family heirloom passed down to her from her great great great grandmother, Jacinta Tomfoolery, which was a string of beads with a little locket on it depicting the first helicopter flight of the 1550’s, a good fifty-six years before the more famous Flight of the Earls, wherein the Earl Brothers, Wilbur and Orville, with their little brother Silken Thomas Earl hanging onto a bit of bunting at the back, made good their escape from the English off Lough Swilly and were never seen or heard from again.
                Until their arrival in Catholic Spain, of course, when at that point them Spaniards had crushed the Moors and given the terrain a more rugged, mountainous look, and developed a large fleet named after a place in Northern Ireland wherein the engineers had helped to build it a hundred years before, but it was already destryed by the time those Earl Brothers arrived. Destryed by untimely overcockiness and the meteorologists under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I, the first and last most powerful Protestant Faerie Queene ever.

                   And while Mother prepared my face with rouge, eye shadow, and mascara, Granny Dimbleby spat six times into my hair, endeavouring without fruit to flatten the fudgelick sticking on end with the hair oil and the shpiock. And after each gobadeen hacked from the bowels of her throat landed on my shcalp, she would shriek:
                “Hold shtill, a cushla, tis narely flatthered.” And she would repeat the procedure, but to no avail.
                So we trotted down to the Church together, me, Mother, and Granny, or the Nearly Deceased, as we called her, and I’ll tell you, the feet were in agony with the swayed high heels Mother had me in, and already weighted down by all the jewellery and the heave of phlegm dragging on my curls, and so we went into the church, what was known in those days as a crenellated chapel. And we showed our Christian papers (your “Passport to Heaven”, as it was called) to the sentry and if you weren’t to do that then you could be tarred and feathered from on high.
                So into the church we went, me in my dress, dolled up to the nines, and we waited in the back pew for the children to chronicle a good six or seven years of sins, bereft as they’d been of previous confessions. So it took a while for me to have my go, and I hadn’t been told, but wasn’t there a shortage of priests in the locality, what with Father Rorty being the only priest of the parish, and him with only a few months to live, only he survived to live a much longer life than we’d expected, and Bishop O’Brien on his holidays in Siam, and me wasting my time getting made up for the Bishop when he’s away getting a suntan, isn’t that right?
                So you’ll never guess what the good Father Rorty had to resort to, with the lack of manpower he had. He sinned against God and he sinned against the Church, but he’d seen no alternative. Didn’t he only get the local Presbyterian feckin Lutheran in to do the First Holy Confessionals?
                So I went into the Confessional Box, and I kneeled down and I saw a slot for the money, which I put the tuppence hae’penny into, each coin rolling down into a little spin in the box before falling silent, and didn’t a panel slide across and wasn’t it only the Presbyterian Parson from the Sparse and Undecorated Church of Evil up the road?
                “Would youy like toouy lisht youhr shinsh?” he demanded to know.
                So I did as was ordered of me, Protestant or no, the only fear being that I’d be condemned to Hellfire and Damnation for all eternity. There was a pause when I finished up, and finally he made the sign of the swastika, heaved a sigh out of him, and managed to boom in a whisper:
                “Nomine patre silicon implance, bamus batis bant, epsilon theta, omega. Eureka, Beat the Cheetah, Theta, New sky, Oh my God, Pie, Crappa, Lambda, Camden stew.”
                Being a child, I didn’t know what to do so I just put another coin in the slot and he went quiet for a second.
                “God lovesh ush. And noy, Iy’ll heaer yourh Act of Contrishion.”
                Now, for the love of God the nerves were shatthered on me at this stage, and I could only for the life of me remember the last sentence of that particular prayer. So I banked on his not really knowing the prayer, being a Satanist and what have you, and I started to mumble quickly stuff about loving God, and Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, and then I says quickly:
                “Help me to sin like Jesus and not live again. Amen,” I burst out, rounding off my Act of Contrition in the darkness. It was a slip of the tongue during my First Confession, and naturally what I’d meant to say was “Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again. Amen.” Any Catholic priest would have allowed such a mistake.
                “Are youy implyying thateh Jeeeeeeeshshushsh shinned byy kaaling himshelf?” clamoured the Presbyterian stand-in priest as he grabbed me by the earlobe and pulled me through the gauze which detached one half of the Confessional Booth from the other.
                “Twas a slip of the tongue, Father,” I roared in protest, holding my hands in the air like I was waving inanely but I was actually waving in the throes of agony. So the Very Right Honorific and Downright Presbyterian Reverend Tartan pulled me out of the dim light of the booth and back into the dim light of the church proper, where Father Rorty was awaiting with his flagellae for the penance we were about to be served.
                “Thishsh… youngng emp… wooyunded the Neeeee-am of Chrisht!” Reverend Tartan declared in front of the whole parish, everyone from the front pew to the back pew staring up at us in disgust, except for Mother, who had her hands obscuring her face with the shame and Father Rorty said:
                “Tsk tsk tsk. What did he do now, Reverend?”
                “He abuysed Chrishsht’s neeam!”
                Father Rorty looked confused.
                “He shpoke ouyt againsht Chrisht!” Reverend Tartan went on, seething under all of the ostensible anger.
                “I’m sorry, no, Reverend, I just got the bit about the French Revolution, but the rest of it didn’t really make any sense to me, I’m afraid.” Father Rorty shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and took my hand in his, pulling me away from Reverend Tartan’s grasp with a dirty look. Everyone applauded and someone shouted out:
                “Home Rule is Rome Rule!” and the chant was taken up, and hundreds of white discs of wafer that was blessed sacrament it very self frisbied towards the altar from the congregation, striking Reverend Tartan full force in the face and body and the Very Esteemed Reverend took a step back up onto the altar in shock and he grabbed his biceps and collapsed over the tabernacle, ugly grimace across his Presbyterian mug as he panted for breath, in tatthers from the coronary he’d just experienced.
                After the event, Reverend Tartan telexed the Pope, he telexed Bishop O’Brien, and it was more to get into the good books of the Catholic hierarchy than anything else that he tried to turn me into a scrapegroat, as if to show that Protestants knew their prayers just as well as us Catholics. Unfortunately – or fortunately for me at any rate – nobody could understand the Grump, as he came to be known, or the Bitter Fathead as even the less fundamentalist Proddies called him, and Reverend Tartan faded into obscurity and his criticism fell deadborn from the press. Because nobody wanted to print it.

The continuation of this chapter is here.