An Early Childhood: Chapter 11 Part 5

 Continued from Chapter 11 Part 4.


            I shuffled into the local slightly left field, more progressive and liberal pub – not the main pub of the town – while a native man of no more than thirty years sat nursing a mug of ale at the bar in a state of shock. The local man, Fletch Curtis, was a cattle and vegetable farmer and he also owned a Fertiliser Creatory. He had just been told by a member of the Auxiliary forces that his sister, Angela Combover, had been murdered the night before by a horde of angry Republicans.
            Not to be one to be putting thoughts into another character’s head - but perhaps, becoming a little bit third person here - Fletch hoped silently that the Auxiliary soldier had been mistaken, perhaps he had gotten the facts wrong, perhaps there was no truth in the story.
            It was then that I approached him. Fletch recognised me through the fake beard, glasses and false buck teeth as Paddy Flanagan, and I recognised Fletch as the West Brit that he was, colluding with his brother in law when it came to associating with Brithishers.
            “You’re Paddy Flanagan the patriot, aren’t you?” Fletch asked, “What’s all this about Constable Combover and my sister being–”
            “Shhhhhhh,” I implored him to keep quiet before he ruined my disguise with his overt banter, “It’s all true, I’m afraid, Fletch. Except the part about them being killed by Irish rebels.” I ordered a pint of stout.
            The colour drained from Fletch’s face.
            “Oh…” he slumped against the bar and broke out in a heavy sweat with the shock.
            The pub owner, Jarlath O’Halloran, rushed over to Fletch, one of his regular customers, to see what the problem was. He took his hand in his own and rubbed it, looking into his eyes with a love that dare not speak its name. A kind of – I suppose if you wanted to define it – a kind of barmanly love.
            “She was my only sister,” Fletch said, and he burst a tear or three out of him and put his head in his hands.
            Jarlath went pale himself.
            “I’m sorry to hear that,” he said, before bustling down the bar to serve a waiting customer. I monitored Jarlath O’Halloran’s strange reaction and I put an arm on Fletch’s back as the fellow stared vacantly into space.
            I rubbed his back in a brotherly manor.
            The Brotherly Manor was an exclusive pub for liberals, so I felt safe enough insofar as it was unlikely to be populated by too many British sympathisers, other than Fletch Curtis.
            “A few home truths now, Fletch,” I said to him, “The Republicans didn’t kill Constable Combover or his wife. I want you to know that I’m going to do the best that I can in ensuring that the reprobates who did this are gonna be locked up.”
            “You and whose army?” Fletch said.
            “Me and the late great James Connolly’s army,” I shot back.
            Now, if the truth be known, after Michael Collins took over the Citizen Army, it was organised in such a way that if you were a member, you knew no more than ten members yourself. That way, if you were caught by the Brits twas only you and ten other men who could possibly be taken into custody.
            So my riposte had no real weight behind it, but there was no doubt about the fact that I’d have the support of my own men and a few companions – rather than companies – if it came to the crunch.
            Anyway, next thing you know, in walks a young one in a lovely tight top on her and what came to be known in much later years as a mini skirt. She sat down beside me at the bar with plenty of men with the roving eye watching her as she sat down, giving out gasps of ooh and ahh and “That is gutter chic!”
            I stared at the young one. She could have been anything between eighteen and thirty, and I suppose that was one of the attractive things about her, because years later, you would have wanted to go on holidays with her, I thought to myself quietly.
            “What’ll you have, love?” I asked her, and she said in an accent that could cut glass:
            “I’ll have a double brandy.”
            She appeared to be somewhat upset.
            “Is there something wrong, love?” I asked her.
            “It’s my blooming father!” she decried, “He’s after executing my Irish boyfriend.”
            “Ah Jaysus!” I said, and everyone in the bar tsked and tutted and said “That cheeky scamp of a man!” And then I whispered in her ear, thinking on my feet, “Do you know what might make your father really angry?”
            “No. What?” says she, searching my fakely bearded face for an answer.
            “If you were to have a bit of fun with an Irish tramp, that would send him round the twist.” I winked at her breasts, and then I remembered that I should direct the facial gesture to her eyes, so I looked into her eyes and winked at her again, this time with a smile that could cut glass. Her double brandy arrived and she threw it down her throat in two gulps, took my hand in hers and said:
            “Get your coat. You’ve pulled.”
            “I’m already wearing my coat,” I said.
            “It’s just a figure of speech,” she said.
            “What’s your name?” I demanded to know.
            “Melanie,” was her response, “Melanie Melodie Jemimahhhh Tiptoft.”
            I reckoned, of course that it was Colonel Tiptoft’s daughter I was attempting to seduce, and indeed it was, as I later discovered.

Continued in Chapter 11 Part 6, so it is.

Romney targeted the wrong muppet, claim victims

Former Governor Mitt Romney refused to answer questions from reporters Monday morning over charges that he targeted the wrong muppet in his election campaign. Leaving his Belmont MA home to attend a series of business meetings, the president-elect took the time to strap and secure three yelping chocolate labradors to his car's roof, while ignoring clamoring protestors and reporters in front of his mansion gates.

As he tightened a harness around the neck of Snickers, the latest addition to his car dog collection - bringing the canine's head down so that it was flush with the roof - Mr. Romney ignored the chants that he should have called for "Not Big Bird's head, but Elmo's instead [on the block]".

The Sesame Street scandal - involving Elmo - is an American remake of the crisis that struck the BBC earlier this year, when the late television and radio presenter Jimmy Savile was exposed as a serial sex offender responsible for indecent acts over the course of some four decades. Critics claim that the US version of the scandal will not be as successful as its British predecessor, with many insisting that late broadcasting icon Dick Clark - rather than Elmo - would have been far better qualified to play "Jimmy Savile".

"Dick's longevity is similar to that Jimmy Savile guy. He's also recently passed, he was into his music... he really ticks all the boxes - unlike Elmo, who just tickles," one pop culture blogger was reported as saying. "Come to think of it, Elmo doesn't even do the tickling. He's the Ticklee. The Tickler, he ain't. #itschipsnotcrispsyoustupidbollocks"

Similar attempts at "translantication" have caused controversy on both sides of the Atlantic in the past. American remakes such as The Office and Three's Company indicate that the tradition has a rich and fruitful history.

Image sourced from Wikipedia

However, in 2009 professional dancer Anton duBeke - on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing - told his celebrity dance partner Laila Rouass that she "looks like a Paki" after she had applied spray tan. Ms. Rouass rightly took exception to the comment. On ABC's Dancing with the Stars, meanwhile, the re-enactment was not a success: Singer-actress Mya Harrison's professional dancing partner Dmitry Chaplin was given "a ten minute window" by producers to describe Ms Harrison "in the worst of racially derogatory terms" while they rehearsed. With members of Ms Harrison's family present to watch the rehearsals, the footage has been described by commentators as some of the most uncomfortable in the history of television.

 © Glenn Francis,

2009 also saw efforts at racism in other versions of the popular franchise worldwide, with the insulting comments in the Indian version of the format - Slumdog Dancer - causing confusion, when the celebrity and her equally high-caste professional dancer described each other in offensive but identical terms.

Meanwhile, President-Elect Romney was seen Monday evening returning home with a loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter. Unroofing his yelping and traumatised pets, he made an appeal to the press to permit him "time to reflect" while he clarified his "Sesame Street policy" until his inauguration in mid January, "or as soon as those missing ballot boxes show up".

An Early Childhood Chapter 11 Part 4

Continued from Chapter 11 Part 3.



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

            The inside of the house was a mess. Constable Combover and his wife were hanging upside down in the bedroom from hooks, two pools of blood beneath them, Constable Combover’s funny haircut made a full mockery, hanging off him and starched solid with blood. Their guts hung loose outside of their opened shtomachs. Their eyeballs, gouged out with what could only have been a spoon, dangled from their sockets in a cartoon-like fashion.
            Scrawled on the wall in blood was a savage indictment which read:
            “The Republicans
            are the ones
                        who bloody well
            did this.”
            I wasn’t entirely sure what this meant exactly. An officer and his wife murdered, seemingly without cause or provocation, and a rather obvious message from the murderer or murderers ostensibly revealing their identity but in reality pointing the finger at innocents.
            I knew one thing, however; the fair folk were involved. As I looked over the bedroom, I saw a comb composed of glittering gold on the floor.

            “The mark of the banshee,” I said aloud, as I scooped it up and placed it in my pocket, and I heard someone behind me and I swung round to see Colonel Tiptoft standing at the bedroom door.
            “We’ll catch them, Father,” he said, as he sucked on his pipe, “You mark my words. This is their first murder of this nature and it’s going to be their last…you mark my words. Republican bastards.”
            A plume of smoke tumesced from his nostrils and for a moment he looked like a ferocious dragon. Tiptoft gave me a reassuring pat on the back as I made the Sign of the Cross and muttered the few words of Latin with which I was familiar.
            I left the room, feeling quite nauseous after viewing the sight, and I slowly departed the scene of the crime rather than dashing away, so as not to alert the un-entitled authorities. I returned to my men and Father Rorty, who had just come to, and as I undressed myself and returned the clothes to the priest, I described with as much gore as I could muster the details of the crime scene.
            “We’re no doubt the scrapegoats,” said John Fisherman-O’Reilly, a fierce head on him of anger and rage.
            “The word is scapegoats. Scrapegoats are diseased animals. We’re a shower of patsies. I’m going to go on a reconnaissance mission to find out more about what happened last night,” I burst out of me then, as I got back into my tramp’s disguise. “You men wait here and don’t bat an eyelid till I return.”
            “You’ll get yourself killed, man!” shouted Tancred, and he slapped me across the face. “Wake up to reality!”
            “NO!” I shouted back, pushing him away. We stared at each other fiercely, and then with an even and confident tone, I replied: “You wake up, MISTER!”
            And that settled it.

An Early Childhood Chapter 12 Part 3


Continued from Chapter 12 Part 2

                Charlo winked at me in a surreptitious manner and I could have felled him there and then because there was no doubt in my mind now that he was a traitor. He shnuck out of the cave and made his way down the hill towards the nearest village as I followed him at a safe distance, ensuring I wouldn’t be seen by him. He glanced back every now and then to ensure he wasn’t being followed, but I melted into the scenery each time. Finally, he turned round a corner between a rock and a tree and reached a British encampment and I watched him go into one of the tents.
                It was getting dark at this stage; dusk was fast approaching so I found little difficulty in sneaking in behind the tent and listening to the conversation Charlo was having with Colonel Sir Edward “Gold Bollocks” Tiptoft.
                “…the Weatherlock is strong. He turned my daughter’s feet into hands and he’s slowly but surely turning her into a monkey using a combination of population replacement and multiregional continuity theories, gene replacement therapy and centrifuges. He told me he would restore her to her former condition only when we had captured Flanagan,” Tiptoft said.
                Now, in order to make the conversation that I overheard make sense from the outset, I must tell you exactly what a Weatherlock is. In the world of the fair-folk, you have warlocks and wizards, some of which are good, some of which are bad.
                The Weatherlocks are a kind of wizard that are not only very powerful in all matters pertaining to sorcery, but are also virtually omnipotent when it comes to controlling the weather. Not only that, but in general, you can take it for granted that Weatherlocks are evil to the very last of them. Anyway, as I said in the last chapter, I was sure that the fair-folk were involved in the murder of Constable Combover and I had as much evidence as I needed when Tiptoft next said:
                “We’ve already consolidated our power in his home village by murdering the local constable with the help of a banshee. And you are being handsomely paid by the British Army to deliver Flanagan to us.”
                Then I heard Charlo’s voice:
                “He’s a fierce evasive character altogether, is Paddy Flanagan, as well as being dashingly handsome. I’m doing my best. We’re just up in the forest beyond and if you’ll accompany me with no more than ten men, I’ll deliver him straight into your arms.”
                “Floudh Rak wants Flanagan ALIVE,” said Tiptoft.
                I nearly jumped with the fright I got when I heard the name Floudh Rak. Floudh Rak was the most powerful Weatherlock on either side of the River Shandy, a hybrid Gaelic and Norse creature of unlimited powers. And he wanted me!
                “The deal is,” Tiptoft went on, “we deliver Flanagan to Floudh Rak and Floudh Rak delivers us Ireland’s submission.”
                “Sounds like a good deal to me,” Charlo said, the pseudo-nationalism ripe in his tongue.
                “So we need Flanagan alive.”
                “Why is the Weatherlock so obsessed with Flanagan?” Charlo demanded to know.
                “The Weatherlock is related to a leprechaun who was humiliated by Flanagan when Flanagan was a child. Obviously, the Weatherlock wants vengeance.”
                Memories of my adventure at Aunt Molly’s, involving Dizzy MacFlash, flooded my cerebellum - or somewhere in my head, eliminative materialist that I'm certainly not.
               The colonel continued.
               “The Weatherlock waited till Flanagan came of age, so that he wouldn't have the innocence to enter the dreamscape of the Fair Folk, before he started his hunt for vengeance.
                “And vengeance he will get, as long as I’m handsomely paid,” Charlo said.
                “All right, I’m going to round up ten men and you can lead us to Flanagan tonight.”
                I crept off into the shadows and made my way back to the cave.

Continued in Chapter 12 Part 4

An Early Childhood Chapter 11 Part 3


“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 Frank McCourt) and cannibalises from various sources. It's postmodern, don't you know.

Continued from Ch 11 Part 2.
            Dawn rose on my home village and I was awoken by a cold, sharp morning mist which hung on the ground like the dry ice prevalent in the music videos which I shot for my band years later.

            I woke my four men and we climbed out of the ditch and brushed the dew off each other’s clothes in a comradely fashion.

            “Howyeh, Paddy,” said Father Rorty passing by on his bicycle.

            “Father Rorty!” I hailed, having to shout quite loud on account of the fact of Father Rorty’s deafness in his later years, “What in tarnation are you doing up so early in the morning?”
            “I’m on my way to Constable Combover’s house,” Father Rorty explained, his severe expression hiding nothing. “Wasn’t himself only murdered in the wee hours this morning? He was indeed, and his poor wife widowed now, were it not for the fact that she was murdered into the bargain. She was too. Terrible, twas, absolute terrible, and I’m on my way to his house now to conduct the Last Rites over their bodies.”
            Father Rorty’s news caused me to feel somewhat faint. The first time I’d met Constable Combover was in Lord Pembroke’s newsagent a long time before, and he had served the community well.
            “I can only hope, Master Flanagan, that twasn’t you and your Republican friends who murdered him, because if twas, may the Lord have mercy on your souls.”
            I climbed over the wall and to Father Rorty’s bicycle, and I said:
            “Father, I’d never dare to do such a thing. I realise there’s a war on, but there was no grief between myself and Constable Combover.” I thought to myself about the situation, and I realised that myself and my men would be the principal suspects in such a nefarious crime, although I didn’t voice my concerns to Father Rorty. I knew too that such a criminal act would be regarded by the community as evil, and that we would lose a great deal of popularity as a result, so I deemed it necessary to find out who the real killers were and exact my vengeance upon them.
            “A penny for your thoughts, Paddy,” Father Rorty said, seeing that I was in pensive mood.
            “Well, Father, I need a disguise to get a look at the murder scene,” I explained to the priest, “So what I’m going to do is knock you out with a quick rabbit punch to the head and steal your vestments and your bike,” I said, as I delivered a blow to the ageing priest that sent him back onto the road unconscious.
            I turned up at Constable Combover’s house a good half of an hour later with a priest’s frock on me and stepped though the police tape and British soldiers surrounding the house and went up the stairs and into the bedroom. Let me tell you now, and I won’t say this to frighten you or put you off your dinner, but if you’re eating your dinner while you’re reading look away now and finish your dinner before you read the next couple of paragraphs, because never let it be said that I’d be the one to not be putting anybody off not eating their dinner. Unless, of course, they were dieting and in want of some encouragement.

Continued in Chapter 11 Part 4.

An Early Childhood Chapter 11 Part 2


Continued from Ch 11 Part 1.

          Ten minutes later, the smell of burning coal oil and curtains and rugs and carpets and wood alerted me to the fact that the house was on fire, so I climbed out of my cubby hole and set my men free one by one. The four of us strode purposefully through the blazing house into the library in a kind of slo mo shot, and I pulled out a book about Gnosticism within the Catholic faith – or at least, what was meant to be a book about such errant Esoteria – but was in fact a biography of Walter Sickert the London based artist – and the whole bookshelf swung around and myself and my men were on the other side, sliding down a shaft and into a ditch across the road. The Brits were all still outside. I deemed it necessary to approach Tiptoft and ask him a question or two. I donned my tramp’s disguise, comprising a fake beard, a dirty overcoat and a pair of training skis, and I climbed over the wall with some difficulty and to the Colonel and his men.
            “Hello, Colonel,” I said to him, while he watched with a gleam in his eye as the house went up in a conflagration. He stood looking at me with his two sidekicks, a huge fellow called Burper, and a smaller young man called Eaglekins.
            “What the fack do you want, you Popish Paddy-Mick?” he asked, and you could tell from his tone that he meant every word.
            “What are you doing – a burning down of that house there, Colonel? Is that it?” I asked.
            “Irish Republican facking Paddy bastards were in hiding there a short while ago, so it’s being burned down to prevent the scamps from returning.”
            “Which Irish patriots were in the house, Colonel?” I asked.
            “A Republican fack name of Patrick Flanagan, and no photo’s been taken of ’im so we only know what he looks like when he’s disguised as a toddler, but it seems to me that I’m his perfect nemesis.”
            “Is that so, Colonel? And tell me this and tell me no more, oh begorrah – why are you his perfect nemesis?”
            “Well, you see,” and Colonel Sir Edward Tiptoft raised his voice so that the Auxiliaries and Brackentans could overhear. “You see, this Flanagan bastard believes principles are worth dying for, and he’s going to die. I, on the other hand, believe that principles are worth killing for, and I’m going to kill ’im.” His men all chortled – his sidekicks Burper and Eaglekins being particularly generous with their laughter – and I shuffled off on my way down the road, my men following me in parallel along the ditch at the side of the road. I went into the cornershop and got Charlo Mallooolly out with the groceries and we made our way back to the ditch and spent the night there feasting on steak sandwiches and kidney pies and chicken tikka wraps and coffee slices and a plastic container with curry and chips in.

Continued in Ch 11 Part 3.

An Early Childhood Chapter 11 Part 1

Continued from Chapter 10 Part 3.


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

            So there we were, trapped in the safehouse. It felt a bit like the GPO all over again, and I had sudden pangs in my stomach that I was undergoing something French-sounding that I couldn’t remember the name of; not being a French-speaker, I felt that I had had the same experience before, in a kind of postmodern feedback loop. Myself, John Fisherman-O’Reilly, Sean Tubridy-O’Reilly (related by marriage) and Tancred Moorphy M’Nally awaiting certain death with approximately forty-two British soldiers, all sixes and sevens, led by Colonel Sir Edward Tiptoft, having utterly surrounded the house.
            We were all four of us in the front room, what in those days was known as the parlour, staring out the window at Colonel Sir Edward Tiptoft who stood fearlessly on the road outside the house, his men training their rifles at the windows and door. Now, what’s little known about many an Old English cum Norman cum Gaelic Irish house in Ireland is that there’s many a priesthole in it. Priestholes are little hideaways wherein priests used to hide from the Roundheads and various other types of anti-Popish elements during the second millennium.
            I knew that the house in which we were now hiding had once been owned by the Fitzgeralds, a fine and noble Norman family who used to harbour priests from the law. And I had also, only a few years before, done a tour of the house with a tour guide named Fergus Fitzgerald, a member of the Fitzgerald clan, and he had shown me a route of hegira, a word taught to me by Tancred in those few minutes fraught with tension, as well as all of the priestholes wherein many a priest had been clandestinely concealed over the centuries.
            “Right, men,” said I, snapped into action, as I pushed the coal scuttle five inches to the right and a panel slid open in the unlit firehearth. “Tancred, you hide in the fireplace.”
            Tancred did as was ordered of him and I hurried into the kitchen, John Fisherman-O’Reilly and Sean Tubridy-O’Reilly (related by marriage) following me and I unplugged the German manufacturered high class and even higher purchase food mixer. Yes, I said manufacturered, that’s how we spoke in those days and I’m in a bit of a hurry. With that unplugging, a large hole in the sink replaced the plug hole in the sink.
            “John, you hide in the sink,” I said, and John clambered into the sink as I ran to the staircase with Sean. I pulled open one of the stairs and Sean climbed into the staircase without it having to be even asked of him. I replaced the stair and ran back into the kitchen and plugged in the food mixer and the large hole in the sink was once again replaced by the plug hole and I ran into the parlour and moved the coal scuttle five inches to the left and the fire hearth closed again and then I ran into the cloak room and pulled at one of the hooks on the wall and disappeared into a cubby hole that appeared before my very eyes.
            The British forces opened fire on the house in earnest and bullets whizzed through every crevice and crack, every window and door of the house except for the bullet-proof priestholes in which my men and myself were hiding. Finally, they stormed the house with Tiptoft at the head of the party, and searched every room from bottom to top for us. We listened in silence to the house being thrashed by the Brackentans and finally Tiptoft declared:
            “They must have escaped. Rats! All right, men: Torch the gaff!”

Continued in Chapter 11 Part 2.

An Early Childhood Chapter Ten (Three)


Continued from Chapter 10 Part Two.

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

              At that stage I’d had enough of the Easter Rising but I had to wait in the GPO for another few days while the fighting continued. The fighting actually ended earlier than that, but you understand I have to stretch it out for literary effect, and to build a bit of tension. The post office was ablaze by the time we surrendered. We didn’t quite surrender; we first escaped out of the building and sneaked away before being captured by the Tommies. We were taken to the gaol and we gave our names to the police officer on duty.
                “Jimmy Murphy,” I said to the prison officer.
                “You’ll have to do better than that,” the incredulous officer responded with a low whistle through his false teeth.
                “Paddy Flanagan,” I admitted.
                “Ah, come on now,” he said, doubtfully. “That’s just too Irish again!”
                “Kundera Serebryakov,” I told him then.
                “That’s more like it,” the policeman said, as he marked my moniker down in the arrest book.
                We were all of us escorted into a single cell, the door was closed, and we waited.
                Shots rang out outside; the first of some thirteen rebel leaders were being executed. I said a brief prayer before a British army officer appeared in the corridor outside the cell.
                “Kundera Serebryakov,” he hailed.
                There was no response from any of us.
                “Kundera Serebryakov,” he repeated.
                Again, there was no response.
                “Kundera Serebryakov!” he roared, and I stood to my full height and stepped forward.
                “I would have come sooner,” I said, “Only I Kundera word you were saying.”
                The British army officer groaned and looked very nauseous.
                “That was a crap joke,” he said.
                I was escorted by the officer out into the reception area of the prison and I was asked by the superintendent what my ethnic origin was. I told him I was of Polish and Russian extraction. The superintendent guffawed loudly, and I added that I was also an American citizen.
                “Would you like to join us for a seven-course meal, Mr. Serebryakov?” he asked, as he offered me a cigar.
                “No thanks, I’ll just be on my way, if it’s all the same to you,” I said, and I walked out of that particular prison never to be seen or heard from again for some years in Dobbling Village.

                I returned to my hometown by train that very night. I heard that the British were on the lookout for an Irish rebel named Homer O’Fire aka Kundera Serebryakov aka Jimmy Murphy F Piddy, aka Paddy F, so I kept my eye on everyone who came into and left the train carriage I was on. There was a young lady with a large baby sitting in the seat opposite me, and as she changed his nappy I had an idea.
                “Excouse may madam,” I said in my thickest British regional dialect, “But Ah were just wund’rin’, laaahke, if I could burra a nappa?”
                “I’m sorry, I don’t speak German,” the woman replied tersely.
                “Could I take a nappy?” I asked, “And I’d be grateful if I could borrow your baby’s rattle as well.” I snatched the items off the table. “And this soother. And the bonnet.” I snatched the other items and quickly exited the carriage and made for the bathroom.
                I got changed and soon I was wearing nothing but a nappy on my nether regions and a bonnet on my head with a soother sticking out of my mouth and a rattle in my hand.
                The train pulled into my hometown’s only station and I alighted quickly. A regiment of British soldiers awaited the arrival of Paddy Flanagan on the platform. What they saw was a very big baby.
                “Halt,” Colonel Gold Bollocks Tiptoft declared, holding a hand in front of me to stop me. “Who are you and what is your business here?”
                “My name is Paddy Flanagan Junior,” I said in my best high-pitched baby voice, “And I’m two years old and a half.” I rattled my rattle for good measure.
                Colonel Tiptoft’s eyes narrowed.
                “Paddy Flanagan Junior?” he said, “Any relation to Paddy Flanagan the Irish patriot?”
                “Paddy Flanagan the Irish patriot is my father,” I declared proudly.
                “Where is your father now?” Tiptoft asked.
                “He got off in Athlone.”
                “Oh.” Tiptoft turned to his men. “Well, if Paddy Flanagan can sire a huge two and a half year old child such as yourself, I certainly don’t want to fight him.” He turned to his men. “Right, men, about face, and run!”
                “Bye now,” I said as I toddled out of the train station, the English troops scattering.
                Assessing my status as an Irish rebel, I decided to put together my band. I wrote a letter to John Fisherman-O’Reilly, insisting that he join me in my hometown, and I ordered too that he bring three further rebels with him. They all of them arrived a week later, and we stayed in a safehouse on the outskirts of the town, planning the bombing of the local army barracks until the arrival outside that very house of Colonel Sir Edward Tiptoft and his men, who’d been “Tiptoft” about me being only a toddler and someone who I wasn’t at all.

Continued in Chapter 11 Part 1.

An Early Childhood Chapter 10 (Two)


Continued from Chapter 10 Part 1.

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

                A rather large man with a grey-white beard, dressed in red and white, pulled up in a sleigh outside the GPO, the back of the sleigh full of rifles and murder bombs as they were known. It was The O’Rahilly Himself, dressed as Father Christmas for Easter to throw the Tommies off the scent. Limey bastards. I got a rifle to replace my now redundant flare gun, and it was a glorious amalgamation of various rifles from a number of countries of the world, including a sight lens with beautiful crosshairs forged from the fur of a Tibetan yak that was imported from Prussia, probably the best sight lens in the world at that stage and proud of it I was indeed. I also got a Colt 45 into the bargain for an extra shilling, which I placed in the no longer redundant holster at my side.


                The O’Rahilly came into the GPO with a letter in his hand and he passed it to Eamonn Gorman.
                “Your mother told me to give you this, Eamonn,” The O’Rahilly said.
                The letter was unopened. Gorman looked at the postal markings.
                “It’s from Harvard!” he said, and he ripped open the envelope and took out the letter.
                “ ‘Dear Mr. Gorman’…” he began reading aloud, “ ‘It is with great pleasure that I inform you that you have been awarded the Chair of Lecturer of Ethics at Harvard University’.”
                Eamonn whooped for joy and everyone applauded loudly. We had a bona fide philosophe in our ranks.

                I was watching the street through my rifle when Mad Leopold Cassidy arrived by taxi from the home county; he had heard something about the possibility of killing English soldiers, and he certainly wasn’t one who didn’t disapprove of not killing English soldiers. So we invited him into the GPO with his rifle – also with fancy crosshairs – and we began our wait once again.

               The British soldiers appeared shortly after that. They were some distance up the road; they had swung around from Abbey Street, and a huge cannon was being rolled up the road by some of them. It was then that I heard the first explosion of the day; the boom echoed over the city, and I didn’t know from where it had come. It could have come from Boland’s Mills, or Jacob’s Factory, fond as the Irish were for biscuits at the time, and I was reminded of when I was four years old and working in Mister Veracci’s steelworks. Because although the biscuit factories were nothing like steelworks, they were factories all the same, and a tear was brought to my eye regarding my loss of innocence at the age of four.

                The British soldiers parked their cannon up the road and I saw the fuse of the cannon being lit and POOF the cannon boomed out a blast that struck the GPO and rattled the building. The British soldiers charged and we all opened fire, striking as many of them as we could. Of course a great number of the soldiers were in fact Irish, merely wearing British uniforms, and all of us were crying while we fired, and all of us pretended that it was the cordite burning our eyes rather than the fact that we were killing potential revolutionary heroes who were merely wearing the wrong uniforms rather than being actual Brits.
                As the British soldiers fell, more came to replace them, and finally, towards evening time, the British Army was forced to retreat. Everyone wiped the tears out of each other’s eyes and blew each other’s snotty noses and cheered our noble defence against the onslaught. I looked over to the left of me, and Eamonn Gorman looked into my eyes from his position on the floor. Unfortunately, he was merely staring into the space between myself and himself. He was dead. It was my first taste of the death of a comrade in war, and I felt my stomach twist into gaseous knots. And as I closed his eyes over with a respectful hand, I broke wind silently for Eamonn bloody Gorman.

Continued in the end of Chapter 10.