An Early Childhood Chapter 14 Part 4

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Guests of the New Republic (Part 4) OR VISITORS TO THE COUNTRY OF ETHNIC SAMENESS (Part 4 as well)

Continued from Part 3 of Chapter 14.

An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock, surreal autobiography by a fictional Irish literary figurehead, champion bodhrán player and broadcaster. This chapter is a parody of Frank O'Connor's short story Guests of the Nation.


            Mike Donovan showed up that evening to guarantee that we’d do the dastardly deed.
            “Two of our boys were executhered,” he explained in his whispered, lizardly tones in the corner to me, where the shovels were, while the Scrabble game went on. “They kill our boys, we kill their boys.”
            “We Kildare boys what, Mike?”
            “We Kildare Boys…with complete….mercilessness.”
            “We Kildare Boys with complete mercilessness…what, Mike?”
            Mike Donovan’s eyes went into a squint.
            “We Kildare Boys because…they killed our boys.”
            “Look, I’m not from Kildare,” I told him impatiently. “But you’re not speaking in proper sentences.”
            With that, Mike Donovan went into the corner and took a pick and two shovels from out of it. He threw me a shovel. With an angry roar he let a huge big burst out of himself:
            “We Kildare boys TONIGHT!”
            John Fisherman O’Reilly and Tancred Malloolly, the Token Muslim, raised their fists in the air and shouted:
            “We’re ALL Kildare Boys!”
            Mike Donovan then shouted back with a burst from his temper:
            “Stop speaking stupid grammar!”
            A rank, damp, unsettling fog settled over the surrounding plains of the farmhouse as we set out, the seven or eight Irishmen and the two Englanders, John Fisherman O’Reilly and Tancred Malloolly staying at home to make sure we were safe and sound. As we walked through the barley fields towards the fallow field where for many a year or three, Mad Leopold Cassidy That Jewish Bastard had been unsuccessfully growing his marijuana plants, there was an unsettling feeling going from my gullet straight down into the pit of my very bowels.
            “So where are we holding our midnight picnic, chum?” Burper demanded to know as we trudged through the fields. “And why have you chums – my best of chums in the whole wide world – got shovels and picks and rifles, instead of cucumber sandwiches and watercress and bottles of cream soda? Well? Chummy chum chums? Am I walking to an early death? Ehhh, chums?” Burper roared laughing. “Imagine that!”
            The pair of Englanders had been walking in front of us, leading the way to their own doom. Eaglekins and Burper turned around just where the field turned into a kind of a mucky ditch. We’d already got the local joiner to build up two Protestant Crosses – made completely out of melted down latex – and the two men had spotted them.
            Burper realised what was going on.
            “Ooooh,” he said.
            “Wot’s gun on ’ere then, guvnors?” Eaglekins asked, a spring in his step.
            We raised our rifles to our eyelines and Eaglekins’s’s happy face turned very very sad.
            “Oh, no,” he said. A wet patch appeared on the gruan area of his trousers. “Looky ’ere, mateys! Woy don’t Oi join in your gang? We’re all bals ’ere? I can join in your gang an’ fight the King of Engurland!” He did his little chimbley sweep dance, God love him. But it just wasn’t cute any more.

Continued in Part 5 of Chapter 14.