An Early Childhood Chapter 16 Part 1


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

Continued from Chapter 15 Part 5.

            Unbeknownst to myself, Billy Boy Cullen had sourced his thread from the loom of the Stuntman Mary Magdalene, which was a kind of pretend string of the Stuntman Holy Mother, not really recognised under either Catholic Dogma or Cannon Ball. For more details of the Stuntman Holy Mother and her significance to Irish culture, click here for a description of the spooky traditions surrounding her, only wrapped up in a kind of a story that actually happened.

            Billy Boy Cullen hadn’t used the wrong thread intentionally: He had received the thread from a trusted grogoch who was in actuality having spiritual troubles. Unbeknownst to Billy, Glut the Grogoch had done an indulgences deal with a leprechaun named Dizzy MacFlash. Not one to be encouraging footnotes, but for more information about Dizzy MacFlash and my own encounter with him, you can go to Chapter Seven, back when I was about nine chapters younger. It’ll explain to you why Dizzy MacFlash wanted vengeance against me at this time.

            The grogoch sold most of his invisible thread from a stall on Moore Street. A day before I had gone to the NeverLands, Billy Boy Cullen had approached him and handed him a half used tub of lovely Hand Cream Lubricating Skin Smoother from the now defunct Gallaghadery’s Cosmetics.
A half tub of Hand Cream Lubricating Skin Smoother from the now defunct Gallaghadery’s Cosmetics.

            “Och! What’s this for?” the grogoch had gruntered.

            Now, grogochs are hirsute, rusty looking, half human, half fairies. Originally from Scotland, they aren’t troubled by the frigid chills that pass through Dublin in the winter time. Neither are they troubled by heat of any shtrength, which is completely irrelevant at any rate.

            But as such – when it comes to the cold – they are well suited to year-round stall work here in Ireland. When I say stall work, I don’t mean go slow protests or labour strikes. I mean street stalls, selling goods, and bits, and odds, and sods.

            For nigh on a few centuries at least, there were a great many grogochs populating the streets selling their wares from the other-worldly realm. Hairy, hairy creatures. So if you could picture it, it’d be a bit like about three hundred very short Robin Williamses selling things on the streets of Dobbling.

            One particular jewellery sales grogoch would be reprazentin’ as follows:

            “Now, I don’t care if you have a single chin, a double chin or a hole in the chin – this beautiful necklace is for you!” Dangling the chain in front of hisself, all of the punters looking on ah-ooohing and ah-aaaahing. But then he’d see the policeman approaching, or someone would tip him off that there was a rozzer on the way, and he’d grab his wares, put them into his suitcase, and scurry up the street away from the Constabellyary.

            Because Billy Boy Cullen had a stall or three of his own, and a similar franchise set up in Cork, he was friendly enough with a particular grogoch called Glut. Glut sold stuff like jewelry that was made of chains, and other stringy things in general like wool and thread and string.

Continued in Chapter 16 Part 2.