An Early Childhood Chapter 23 Part 1




 An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock surreal autobiography, narrated by a fictional Irish war hero, champion bodhran player, and television presenter. Its first chapter is here. It parodies misery memoirs (such as Angela’s Ashes by the late great Frank McCourt), as well as time travel adventure, pop culture, and literature of various kinds.

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE: SUITING UP ON THE BANKS OF THE MADLIN (PART ONE)

Continued from the end of Chapter 22.
            Anyway, we continued on down the river and we arrived at what was left of the razed town of Carrick-on-Shandy. The misery we saw as we passed the town filled me with such pathos that I wept and got sick, wondering quietly to myself if pathos was the condition that accurately reflected my emotion.
            Arheddis Vaarkenjaab was of a quesy disposition too, and he too found himself getting sick. Old Man and Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni also started to throw up, with all the upspringing of tragic emotions and emissions.

            There was what remained of the Carrick-on-Shandy Philharmonic Orchestra, banging his triangle with a spoon on the bank of the river.

            “Are you the English cousins?” the percussionist demanded to know.

            “Sorry?” Arheddis asked, as he continued to get sick.

            “Are you the English cousins who are going to inherit the mansion?”

            “What mansion?” Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni asked.

            The percussionist explained as we floated slowly by that the town’s richest man had been killed in the razing of the town, bequeathing all his belongings to his English cousins. The wealth that he had accumulated was so vast that people had recently written begging letters all the time asking for this or that or the other, but the letters were completely unaddressed, as no one had yet claimed the inheritance, and they were causing fierce problems in the last few days for the local Postmaster-General Patsy Palmer – were it not for the fact that he himself had been killed in the razing of the town.

            Being a black fellow, Old Man Phelps was far better at entertainment and at sports, and I hit upon an idea.

            “You’re a very good actor, Oldman,” I said to him, and I never knew it, but I would’ve said the exact same words to another fine actor in an interview fifty years and more later, after seeing his performance in the Tarantino-penned True Romance. “So let’s have a bit of sport! What if we were to pretend to be the English cousins, and got that money as an inheritance? You could do that very well. You’re a sterling performer – and that is the British currency!”

            Old Man balked in horror.

            “No! We will not manipulate these townspeople for the betterment of ourselves!”

            We had passed the town at this point, and were on our way into the tributary, which was the River Madlin.

            I smiled to myself. Arheddis, Old Man and Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni were about to be surprised with what I was going to show them.

To be continued in Chapter 23 Part 2.