Is That Really Him? Wills Flaunts New Hairstyle at Wedding

In the latest of a long line of celebrities to change his image, Prince William Duke of Cambridge has a great new hairdo! Like crue-cut Miley Cyrus and an inky footed Harry Styles, the second in line to the throne has a radical image change that is perfect for the summer months.

His Majesty has been keen to develop the new look for some time, trimming back his hairline over recent years. Now, what experts refer to as "a monk's tonsure" might just mean that Wills is keen to show that he isn't intimidated by the thought of becoming Head of the Church of England when he becomes King. As you can see in this one quarter royalty-free picture, Wills is being greeted by a bishop, indicating he's got some tough work ahead of him!

Meeting bishops and high churchmen of all kinds is par for the course for HRH Wills, and he seems keen to show that he appreciates what his future duties will be! Even though most Protestants don't take their religion too seriously, William might have to feign an interest in Christianity.

And Wills is clearly serious about his role as head of state.

 He got in trouble about flying helicopters to see his future wife in the past. Even though run-of-the-mill RAF pilots had been performing such stunts for decades as a perk of the job, his princely response was to take the heat for it, and to insist that his superiors keep quiet too! How majestic and dreamy!

But the princely monklike tonsure atop his head has been added only recently - and was seen at a recent wedding ceremony as Wills partied with friends. What do you think of Will's new look? Do you prefer his look before he started trimming, or after? Let us know!

Review of the play Guaranteed!

There's a performed reading doing a bit of a tour in the east of Ireland at the moment. It's a play called Guaranteed! and its timing is perfect, with the release of the Anglo tapes, where bankers are heard laughing.

Guaranteed! is about the banking crisis in 2008, and the bank guarantee that locked the Irish exchequer to the failing financial institutions.

Fianna Fail was the dominant party for the last century in the Irish Republic. They were the main party in charge back in 2008 when the poopeedoo hit the air ventilation system.

To give you a brief idea of the competence of Fianna Fail, parties to the immediate left and right of them might manage to scrabble and hold onto power for a few years before FF are returned to rule (often with a smaller coalition partner - a runt that usually gets hammered come the next election for being associated with the FF brand) for a decade or more.

In the brief time periods that the other parties gain power, you might get flashes of good stuff, like a reduction in the corporate tax rate to attract MEGACORP and PHARMAGLOBE to the country, where they'll set up big factories makin' drugs and microchips and concentrated sody pop serum in dustless, spotless rooms, or the establishment of the Criminal Assets Bureau, to shtrip criminals of their ill gotten gains so they can't buy houses and flash cars.

Then, FF come back into power for a decade or more and you'll get a smoking ban introduced, and they just sit at the tiller with their finger on the button and watch the world float by. Now, smoking bans in public places are positives. Anything that limits one's ability to suck burning tobacco sticks is good for the health. And in a country where rules and regulations tend to be laughed at - a vestige, some believe, from colonial times, when it was regarded as okay to do a bit on the side, to source stuff from the black market or to get paid under the table - the successful introduction to Irish culture of salubrious smokeless pubs and restaurants before anywhere else in Europe certainly ain't small pertaters. How'd you like them apples?

But other than the shmoking ban, what have Fianna Fail done for us?

None of this glib generalising has much to do with Guaranteed! which deals quite forensically with the period of three years leading up to the crisis and a little bit afterwards. There is a political even-handedness to the show, with the opposition parties also seeming quite culpable in terms of economic policy.

It's well worth a gander. There's even one moment where a bright minister - the best of the bunch, the late Brian Lenihan - is mansplaining a Latin term to what I believe was a female policy wonk. The unintended sexism only served to highlight a pretty impressive production that does in fact make things quite clear without seeming too expository, and shows what went down in the government offices in September 2008. Writer Colin Murphy has done his research, although he claims that in some cases artistic licence had to be taken and there is a certain amount of conjecture.

After the show, there's a discussion with the writer and various others, such as politicians and media commentators. Minister Joan Burton and high profile Independent TD Stephen Donnelly were in attendance last night at Draiocht in Blanchardstown.

Well worth a gander, as I said. (And if you catch the show in Waterford, you might even get a tasty ham and cheese blaa in a nearby cafe before the performance. Tasty!)

So maybe check out one of the performances for the rest of the run.

Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire
26th June, 8pm

axis: Ballymun
27th June, 8pm

Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray
28th June, 8pm

Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford
29th June, 8pm

Civic Theatre, Tallaght
1st & 2nd July, 8pm

Man dies after reaction to diet soda

A 46 year old man has died after cinema management switched the regular Coca Cola beverage that he had purchased at the theatre's front of house snack-shop with a Coke Zero. He was among some fifty movie goers who fell for what was intended to be a "healthy jape" - employed by cinema staff - who had replaced all of the Cokes served to the audience - with the diet alternative.

Coke Zero has been running the cinema campaign for some time, using audiences as guinea pigs in their taste tests. The diet drink is one of the big success stories in the history of the cola wars. Coke Zero has been chipping away at the market share of the more sugary Coke since the younger brand's launch in 2005. Using clever advertising to highlight that Coke Zero is nearly identical in taste to Coca Cola seems to be working so far. Coca Cola management are trying to find a reasonable advertising response - but they seem desperate.

"I want Coke Zero DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the ground!" one senior executive was overheard shouting during a meeting at Coca Cola's European headquarters. Indeed, Coca Cola management at all levels are said to be worried about the new Coke Zero campaign. However, a series of ads of their own suggesting that "You don't want to be a part of that Big Fat zero" was dropped due to fears that it suggested drinking sodas of any kind might lead to obesity, super-obesity, super morbid-obesity, or hypertension.

The evening the man died, just before a showing of Man of Steel which was otherwise well received, the audience was informed of the sly change in beverage during the trailers, by a handsome member of staff who appeared onscreen.

Cinema goers describe how they exchanged glances with each other, laughing about how they really hadn't noticed a difference in the taste. The victim of the diet drink switch started to hyperventilate a few minutes after the onscreen announcement. As his breathing became shrieklike, he was asked to "stop breathing so heavy or get out, mister," by those around him. Hauling himself out of his seat, he collapsed in the lobby. When there was no change in his demeanour after an offer of two free movie passes, an ambulance was called.

Ace K

The victim of the cola campaign may have had an allergic reaction to the "Ace K" sweetener in the drink. Acesulfame potassium - as it's known outside of the FDA offices and laboratories - is a sugar substitute commonly found in the diet drink. It is believed to be almost harmless. Happily, however, in certain territories, Coke Zero uses an equivalent sugar substitute that is potentially more carcinogenic.

An Early Childhood Chapter 26 Part 3

An Early Childhood Chapter 26 Part 3: A Visit to Middlesex

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.

Continued from Chapter 26 Part 2.

                “Better?” asked the drummer.

                With a smile and the transformation complete, Dyll clicked her fingers, the band started up again, and she sang huskily into the mike:

                “Bippity bop bip bop bamboozle!”

                “Slippitty bop-bop-bop-scabadabadabaddy dooo-wop!” Dyll continued, scatting through a whole set of jazz non-standards.

                She caught my eye, and I was held by her gaze, enraptured – like a fruit-fly caught in a Venus plant. Without averting my eyes, I pulled the tattered, torn, dampshred of a photograph of herself that Eaglekins had given me, and held it up.

                She took the mic with her off the stage, and was sitting next to me for a few moments as she sang mellifluously into my face.

                “Sheppaddy Bip Bap Bip Bap Booo – Dubbiddy Bap Bap bap bim Doooo! Flibbidy Jip Jap Me and Youuuuuu…” she shrilly declared, before ascending to the stage again to thunderous applause.

                The set finished up, and she skipped off the stage and sat down beside me.

                “What are you doing with my picture, Honey Bunny Sugar Plum?” she asked.

                “I’m afraid I have some tragic news,” I said. “Eaglekins... is dead.”

                “Eaglekins? My little Eaglekins?” She took my drink and with a bob of her Adam’s apple, downed it in one gulp. She gasped.

                I glanced over at the bar, and raised my hand, indicating an order to the barman.

                “Well…wha…how did it happen?”

                “Train accident,” I said quietly. “I’m very sorry. If it helps you feel better, he was likely going to be killed anyway.”


                “He’d been taken hostage by Irish republicans.”

                “Ah.” She seemed saddened.

                “He left you some property.”

                “In Ireland?”
                “But didn’t Ireland just explode?”
                “It did, yes.”
                “Alright. Look, lovey, let's get out of here now.”

As we left the club, we saw the same orphan boy to whom I'd given the skin cream, now covered in a scab like cocoon of healing.
                "Eh up, what the hell is that?"
                "That is a hibernating child, who will soon be healing so well internally that he'll break out of his crusty shell to a life of good health!" I declared.
              Continued in Chapter 26 Part 4.


An Early Childhood Chapter 26 Part 2

An Early Childhood Chapter 26 Part 2: A Visit to Middlesex

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.

Continued from Chapter 26 Part 1.
                Outside of the jazz club, didn't I only see a consumptive little fella, with a bad skin ailment as he spent all his time out of doors. He was a scruffy ruffian of a thing, coughing and wiping his scrabby, scabby face and hands. He had a little tray in front of himself, with matches and cigarettes for sale. He looked at me and coughtered.
                My heart went out to the little chappy, and I had some ointment for his condition in my pocket, as it was an ailment known to many Irish children who lived rough on the streets or in the Dublin tenements.
               "Here," says I, taking out the little tube of cream. "I see that you're doing a lot of scratching there, coz of your eczematic acnoids!" I handed him the tube of Gallaghadery's Skin tincture for revivifying contusions.
               "That I am, guvnor!" said the little orphan boy.
               "Put some of that on yer face and hands and you'll be right as rain. We have kids in Ireland with your condition - they're the Irkskin Childers."
               The child started to rub the ointment into his face and hands, and I left him to it.
                I entered into the jazz club where I’d been told by Eaglekins that Dyll worked. It was eleven pm if it was a day, and there was a beautiful young woman – looking not unlike the American Sweetheart and movie star Mary Pickford.

               Dylly was nowhere to be seen, but I watched this wonderful young lady try to sing along to the jazz band which was backing her. In all honesty, she was struggling a little, as the jazz band appeared to be keen on improvisation.

                “Stop doing scat!” she finally roared at the half dozen gentlemen behind her.

                “Hey, gorgeous chickaboo! Ain’t you had your nuts, nougat and caramel bar yet?” asked the drummer.

                “No I have not!” screamed the Mary Pickford lookalike.

                The drummer reached down behind the bass drum and threw her a bar of chocolate.

                “Why should I eat this?” she roared, catching it, and tearing a chunk out of it with her teeth nevertheless.

                “Because - chickaboo - everyone knows you turn into a right diva when you’re hungry,” the drummer said.

                As the singer bit into the chocolate, suddenly I saw that it was – in fact – Dylly Oblong – the very girl I had been seeking out! The transformation was incredible.

Continued in Chapter 26 Part 3.

Man of Steel and the Caste System

I don't know on which comic book series Man of Steel is based (none, apparently), but there is much to like as well as plot elements that are questionable in this damn piece of vile blasphemy. Henry Cavill is a very good lead, with a face that looks part Tom Welling, part Christopher Reeve. Amy Adams is a strong Lois Lane, Costner and Crowe are great father figures.

According to the movie's plot, on Krypton, there is a seeming unwillingness for most of its inhabitants to accept that they could leave if they chose to do so - before the planet's demise. The movie also features a death toll on Earth that must be in the tens of thousands. Now, Superman wouldn't have allowed that to happen in the early 80s, Shirley? On Krypton, there's also a caste system coupled with a jingoistic dogmatism of which Zod appears to be the prime manifestation. These faults in Kryptonian society can explain Jur-El's noble willingness to accept the planet's destruction, as daft as it seems. He does seem to suggest he's saying "We've had our chance, now it's someone else's (specifically mankind's) turn."

Such cultural anachronisms in a civilization of great technology are required in order for its denizens to accept their lot, and for the movie to meet the demands of its own logic. The movie's superior to Superman Returns fo sho, and its flashback shenanigans are a nice way to illustrate the life of Superman in a narrative syntax that people will appreciate post-Lost. The movie introduces Clark to the world as Superman at the age of 33, which is - of course - a nod and a wink to Jesus. The Good Lord had completed his ministry by that time, of course. So Superman will have to play catch-up to Jesus for any planned sequels. "Superman 2: Catch up to Jesus" is a good title. Sacrilege aside, there's a clever line from Lois Lane at the very end of the movie. Things are played very straight throughout. I give this movie four out of seven.

Sports Commentating with Our Entertainment Correspondent!

Hey folks! I'm off to the British and Irish Lions' Tour where I'll be commentating from the box!

Do you know what nickname they have for the Lions Down Below?

"The Briddish un Oirish Loins!"

But first a quick round-up of what happened at the last match I seen! It was out at a club near Donnybrook and UCD and RTE, and just a short taxi journey down the road from Doheny & Nesbitt's! Anyway, folks, spoiler alert - I wrote up my report and dropped it into RTE so it can appear in next issue's RTE Guide!

Here it is:

"At the end of the match, that line was being formed again now with the two teams lining up in a queue. And one of those lads might've skip the queue like what happened last time and jump up and snatch the ball. Folks, the queue, it was at the far side of the club house, way up the pitch. And to think, just thirty seconds ago, they were playing with the ball down the other end where the digger is parked just off the pitch, a good bit to the other side of the clubhouse. But the guy outside of the game threw the ball, and one of the lads on his team just hopped into the air and tapped it to another teammate not even queuing for the ball. And his teammate made that clever snatch and went around the line and sunk the ball in for a touchdown! Anyway, the purples won against the orangey blues! Well done, boys!"

And now with my commentary shops finely homed, it's time to head off to South Africa!

News just in: The Lions have lost over there for the first time in Jocanberrg before the test. But don't worry. I heard it's coz they fielded their weakened steam so dare best team can face their foals in the test match on Saturday.

Go team Lions! Hear the Lions Snarl!

For all the other entertainment goss, click here!

Christmas Tips


With Christmas just around the corner, here are some Christmas tips!


With the relatives coming around, why not carve up the turkey BEFORE everyone gets there? If there's lots of relatives, there won't be a major turkey carving ceremony anyway - all the hassle of getting everyone into the dining room to watch the carving is more than just a little bit megalomaniacal! So why not chop up the turkey BEFORE?

Remember to constantly hold the turkey by the neck when you're bringing him home from the Turkey Dispensary. If you don't hold him right, by the time you've got him home, he always sticks his head in so you won't be able to hack it off. (See picture above.)

If he's flapping around on your lap, visibility through your windshield might be an issue. Simply roll down the window and hold him outside the car while you drive. He can flap all he likes when he's outside, ladies!

After you've butchered, feathered and carved the turkey, you can simply mock up four or more chickens to look like turkeys, and do the carving ceremony four times - with as many as TWENTY FIVE people* in the room at a time - so that everybody can experience that magical turkey carving.

* Many psychologists agree that 25 guests is an accurate number when asked if it is a quarter of 100 guests.



Convince your partner that the lint in your belly button is actually mistletoe! If they're not convinced, put some sprigs of holly in there to enhance the effect. That means good times throughout the entire Happy Holidays!



If you don't want to drink and drive over Christmas, just don't celebrate Christmas. There are plenty of cultures that don't recognise the Christmas season and it never did them any harm! Then, you can drink and drive all you want - and nobody will ever know! If you are drinking and you want to stay sober, drink Irish Coffees. The whiskey and the coffee cancel each other out, leaving you in a normal condition and in complete alcohol-caffeine balance. Don't forget your pills and plasters to keep yourself clear-headed!


Justin Bieber visits Darfur

Justin Bieber recently paid a secret visit to ethnic cleansing hotspot Darfur in Sudan, where he played a gig to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force and a number of NGO workers stationed there.

Bieber played a medley of his songs Baby, U Smile and Boyfriend in front of the crowd.

Later Bieber visited a hospital camp in Chad, where victims of past attacks by the Janjaweed militia are being treated. Entering a tent, Bieber placed his hand over the fecund belly of a young woman who had been assaulted eight months earlier, now receiving pre-natal care - and declared his earnest wish that "this kid will grow up to be a Belieber. Yaknaumsain?"

An Early Childhood Chapter 26 Part 1

An Early Childhood Chapter 26 Part 1: A Visit to Middlesex

Continued from the end of Chapter 25.

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.

Avid readers of this autobiography - of whom there are none, as obtuse and abstruse and cutting edge and avant garde as great literature is, and it being too painful to read - will recall in a previous chapter the death of Eaglekins, an English hostage whom we had taken from Colonel Edward "Gold Bollocks" Tiptoft and had been run over by a train. Eaglekins had pined over the photo of his sweetheart, but with Eaglekins now dead, it fell to me to deliver the news to this wonderful young jazz singing lass. Painfully so, I was now setting off on my journey.

                Well, back to the present. I was swimming at a rate of knots no sooner than the plane shtruck the water, having jumped out just a few metres before the plane hit the waves. Doing first the breast stroke, then butterflies, and finally the back stroke, I got to the beach and climbed the cliff up to a grassy area, and wasn’t I only met by a man wearing a brown leather jacket and a fedora. He had a bullwhip slung over his shoulder, and a gorgeous little man-purse, and a negligence of stubble on his chin.

                “Who are you?” says I to him.

                “You’re not Belloq?” he asks, in a Yankee accent.


                “Who are you then?”

                “I asked first. And who's Belloq?”
                He fixed his jaw into a grim position, and answered:
                "Not you," and then he stared into the middle distance of the sea.

                He reached for a pistol in his holster. Padding where the gun handle should’ve been, he glanced down, realising his gun was missing.

                I grabbed hold of and threw his man-bag into the air. With it still hanging from his neck, I punched it and the force of the punch sent the dark, mysterious figure off the cliff. He fell halfway down the face of the cliff and managed to grab hold of a jutting rut of an outcrop of rock.
                I hurried on my way, not wanting to arouse any further publicity about my arrival on English shores.
                I bunked on a train to Middlesex, where the gorgeous Dyll Oblong was based, according to the address and details which had been provided me by the late Eaglekins. I had walked a good distance from the train station, when I saw the glaring neon lighting of the jazz club - something of an aesthetic obscenity in the picturesque village. It was late evening, and I was feeling a little thirsty.
Continued in Chapter 26 Part 2.

Short Stories on this Blog

A list of the short stories that appear on this blog up to June 2013.


The Body Electric 

The Boy I Love

Father Feeney's March of the Blessed

The Deadly Legacy of Mister Villiers

Ramsey and the Child

An Exigent Need for Mosquitoes

Matthew Won't Fit


The Whipping Boy

An Early Childhood Chapter 25 Part 4


Continued from Part 3 of this Chapter.

                 However - as sure as God, hadn't the fuel tank only been practically shot out from under the engines? Unbeknownst to me, just as Ireland had exploded, a shcrapeen of aul granite from a yellow rood of rock had shtruck the petrol tank, and it had been leaking ever since.

As I saw Liverpool in the distance, the plane began to splutter, lose altitude and make spurts and stutters and sputters and gasps.

             This is how the plane ought to have looked when I touched down:

However, in the unfortunate event, I got on the wireless quick to Auric Lennon International Airport. If you're wondering who Auric is, it was John Lennon's greatgrandfather - you'll have to remember that this is still around 1923, and it only became John Lennon International Airport many years later.

I put the mouthpiece to my lips and I said:

"Auric Lennon International Airport, this is Paddy Flanagan here, and you're listening to the Paddy Flanagan Hour." To be honest with you, I only said that coz I was operating on automatic at this stage.

"Hello Paddy Flanagan. This is Alpha Lima Indigo Alpha."

"I'm out over the Irish Sea or the Indigo Sierra, Alpha Lima Indigo Alpha. Please direct to the nearest road or field of leeks in the Wales Merseyside general area - I'm running out of cooking oil. Over."

"Can you touch the Green Green Grass of Home?"
"O-kayyyy. Can you land on the beach?"
"Can you land at Teterboro?"
"We'll be in the Hudson."
"Sorry, I meant the Irish Sea."

With that, I clipped off my harness with a clip-clop sound, just as the plane smashed into the waters, in the hope that it would free me up to get out and swim.

Continued in Chapter 26 Part 1.

An Early Childhood Chapter 25 Part 3


 Continued from Chapter 25 Part 2.

                Let’s just say it was a very ugly, four-month-long execution, and Sean Tubridy O’Reilly and Tancred Moorphy M’Nally went through a great deal of pain before being dragged the sixteen miles across wet bogland on the back of a cart by rope. And thanks to Judge Rarely-Smyled’s vile and distasteful sentence on those two martyrs, Ireland is today generally regarded as a nation of bejudgers.

                Sean Tubridy O’Reilly and Tancred Moorphy M’Nally survived their execution, of course, and the Irish Civil War gradually got worse and worse, and the pro-Treaty side winning against the anti-Treaty side, but that deVilera remained on the scene, never one to be unspiteful and to let things go, and twas often that he was highly respected when he should never have been, thanks be to God.

                With my broken arm still on me and the fighting getting worse and worse, I managed to escape from the hospital and I fished Sean and Tancred out of the bog in which they had been buried up to their very heads. But fish them out I did, with the fishing rod of the late lamented John Fisherman O’Reilly God rest him. So I airlifted the two lads out of the Burren Prison Bog with a fishing line and a biplane. And just as well, because when I dropped them to safety on a rugged rock among the Blaskets just off the coast, Ireland exploded.

                I have to stress, now, I had nothing to do with it – but as I flew over the blast zone, flames as far as the eye could see, I saw Ai Bang Mi Fa Ki Ni and her husband, Wai Yu So Tan, paddling across the Irish Sea in a canoe. She waved up when she saw me, cupped her hands around her mouth, and shouted:

                “I so sorry, Paddy Franackan! I so sorry, but I brew up Ilerand by mistake! I bake you big tart next time I see you!”
                I sat back in my cockpit, contemplating my next move. I pulled a photo from my flight jacket – it was the photo that I had taken from the body of our former British prisoner, Eaglekins – a man who had been like a dog to me. The photo was of his sweetheart, Dyll Oblong, a byootherful and exotic looking woman-girl.
                So with Ireland blown to smithereens for the moment, and all of the survivors in my homeland in tatthers from the bomb blast and having to undergo an economic recovery by placing excise taxes on rosary beads, I checked the petrol gauge on my dual motor biplane engine.
                Sure enough, it became apparent that I had just enough fuel to get me across to England. I dipped the plane east, and headed off towards the runways of His Majesty Some Beardy Fella.

Continued in Chapter 25 Part 4.

An Early Childhood Chapter 25 Part 2


Continued from the beginning of Chapter 25.

                The mountains, as legend has it, was the result of a build-up of humpty-dumpies from an Táin, the legendary livestock bull, which had been stolen by Queen Maeve, and the bull had been so furious by the kidnapping that he’d crapped all over the South of Ireland. The olfactory scale registered the smell in the area of that mountain patch was akin to the smell from the breasts of the Celtic goddess Caron, whose dilapidated tittery was rumoured to have resulted in an early famine followed by seven years of deadly plague and alas she was finally given the boot from ancient Gaelic mythology when legends Fionn MacCumhaill and Cúchulainn, in their first and last crossover episode, sent Caron packing to the edge of the solar system where she added a h to her name to give herself a more bitter and gutteral sound. Charon, as she came to be known: But she still left her namesake in that mountain range after her breasts and the smell was so bad in the Macgillicuddy Reeks that they were regarded as the smelliest thing in France and that particular slug-eating and cheese-loving nation not even in Ireland at all.

                And when Sean and Tancred could take no more of that redolence after seven days and seven nights twice over they came back down from that mountain range and turned themselves into the police in a village in the foothills. And they masqueraded as police officers for close to three years between them, until they were finally discovered by the locals to be fugitives and were expunged from the village. Whereupon were they arrested by the real police, solicited for dry cleaning, convicted without trial, fed gruel and crust for nigh on a tuppence hae-penny, prosecuted by fire, imprisoned under clause 3 for breach of contract, and last – but by no means least – executered to the death for sixteen miles with impunity of the soul? Yes, indeed and they were.

                And Judge Rarely-Smyled had a cruel streak in him, ordering the two quote unquote criminals, quote, unquote, to be bludgeoned to death by bishops armed with nothing more than macrame bags filled with feathers.

                Now, no offence to the Church, but bishops wouldn’t know how to kill anyone, being overqualified men of God, much less know how to kill a criminal, cushioned macrame sack or no. And the criminals weren’t the ones armed with the macrame bags, I have to stress, it was the bishops.

Continued in Chapter 25 Part 3.

Priest retraction

Former Massachusetts parish priest Father Robert Emmett O'Regan has clarified a statement made in his Worcester Observer interview in March. From the doorstep of his new schoolhouse in Bogota, Colombia, he called a press conference for a number of foreign correspondents at the behest of his former archbishop.

His former archbishop himself

While maintaining that he only abused girls, Fr. O'Regan has amended his admission by adding: "I want to make absolutely clear here this evening that I think that there is nothing wrong with molesting little boys."

The priest had been vilified with the publication of the interview in March, with his statement that he "only liked girls." The change in tone today may be an indication that members of the clergy are finally coming to accept the social harm they have done. The upper echelons of the Church, meanwhile, have had more pressing problems to address in the last year.

Pope Francis would appear to be taking a less liberal course. The new pontiff has made recent reference to the "gay lobby" in the Vatican, a pilastered corridor that runs the length of Saint Peter's Basilica. He has consulted with a number of archbishops with expertise in stonemasonry about the possible removal of the offending hallway. Pope Francis was elected earlier this year after the retirement of Benedict XVI.

Fabulous facts from the World of Nature II

Fabulous Nature Facts!

The cheetah wildcat underwent a genetic bottleneck in its recent evolutionary history that was so severe that today - if a male cheetah mates with a female cheetah - he is effectively auto-eroticising his twin brother from ten years in the future.

Photo courtesy of Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
If a human was to receive a skin graft from another human, there is a very strong possibility that the second human's body would "reject" the skin. Transplant organ operations require suitable matches between humans that are genetically similar. Furthermore, medication is often required to reduce the body's ability to reject the new organ or skin.

However, the cheetah's genetic relationship with its fellow cheetahs is so close that if one cheetah's skin is thrown at a second cheetah and lands anywhere on its body, the second cheetah's body will simply blend the new skin immediately into its own fur, in a gulping fashion. If the skin lands as far away as four feet from the second cheetah, the skin will itself be genetically drawn towards the second cheetah, and it'll slap on like a "genetic magnet".

Buddhism adherents and others who believe in reincarnation agree that cheetah mothers have frequently given birth to their own selves.

See more Fabulous Nature Facts Here

See some Amazing Disguises from the World of Nature Here!


Shit What Cameron Says

"When David was at Eton, he worked in a newsagent's on weekends. One day, a young man walked into the shop. David was behind the till, the only employee in the shop at the time. The young man - dressed in hiking shoes and with a European accent - asked for a pair of scissors. He explained that his shoelaces were too long and in need of a clipping! David handed the young man the scissors, and then the young man's accent changed to a gruff and threatening Scots accent, and he screamed at David to give him all the money from the till or he'd slit the slimy little toerag's throat with the scissors. David opened the till, handed over the money, and the thief took flight."

- One of David Cameron's former school friends, in 2007.


None of the quotes that appear on this page are genuine.


An Early Childhood Chapter 25 Part 1


Continued from the end of Chapter 24.

                Well, it wasn’t long afterwards that the whole War of Independence came to an end, with a cessation of the hostilities and the beginning of the talks in Londing. The Irish Civil War was its inferior sequel. That nefarious excuse of an Irishman, deVilera, who had gotten away with blue murther in the Easter Revolution stuck up there in his biscuit factory on account of his being a Yankee Doodle Dandee in real life – and the Brits being “diplomatically obliged” not to execute him – had sent over Griffith and Collins and the lads to London to meet with the Brithish government.

                 The lads returned a few months later, after a spot of bother with the telegraphies, and they had a sheet of paper and a piece of rock. The Big Fellow, Collins, heralded the piece of rock as a stepping stone to independence, but sure, that deVilera whipped out his lad, threw his head back in hysterics and peed all over the rock.

               And didn’t everyone draw out pistols, pointing from one to the next and sure you didn’t know who was on who’s side ar chor ar bith, and myself, Sean Tubridy O’Reilly and Tancred Moorphy M’Nally ran out of the building.

                I turned to the lads and I said, I sez:
                “I don’t know who’s side to take,” sez I, before my feet were lifted from under me and a Brackentan (British soldiers so called because of their ability to masquerade as dead undergrowth) that I thought was a bush, he grabs hold of me, pulling me down to the concrete footpath and pulling my arm round my neck, over my head and under my legs and didn’t I spend the next few months in hospital with a badly broken arm under armed guard strapped at my elbow after the Brackentan says to me:
                “Awroight, bustah, youh nicked!”
A camouflaged Brithish soldier known as a Brackentan

                And Sean and Tancred running off down the road with the fright ar cipíní. And so Sean Tubridy O’Reilly and Tancred Moorphy M’Nally went into hiding in the smelliest, most stinkiest mountains in Western Europe, the Macgillicuddy Reeks. No Englishman nor Irishman worth his fish and chips nor stew – after having been kept in a warm moist place in the house for more than six months – would approach that mountain range with any sensible proximity.

Continued in Chapter 25 Part 2.

Books that Make an Impact Questionnaire

As requested:
Choosing 15 books that have had a lasting impact on me.
(Note: I don't return much to books. And I don't read enough, as I said in the past. These are just ones I loved or didn't.)

1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain  

 I know Huck Finn is more "canonical", but Twain's avuncular third-person narration is fantastic. I've loved this for years and years. And years.

2. 1984 - George Orwell      

Has a lot to say about the world today. Any 9-11 conspiracy theory featuring the media is testament to that.

3. Star of the Sea - Joseph O'Connor   

This is a great Irish Famine novel. Probably O'Connor's masterpiece, although I've read little else from him. Some of the imagery and use of metaphor blows the mind. I've grown fonder of it as I've come to realise that it is matchless in my recent memory.

4. The Keepers of Truth - Michael Collins    

A bleakly funny literary thriller set in (I think) America's rust belt in the 80s, published in the mid 90s. His best work IMHO, although he has returned to top form quite recently.

5. The Night In Question - Tobias Wolff  

Wolff was on Irish radio a few years back. He said a piece of advice he'd give for the short story form is "Leave out anything that the reader doesn't need to know." Any short story collection by him is undoubtedly great, although I've only read a couple. One quibble I have is with a recent anthology - apparently Mr. Wolff is still editing his stories since their original publications. I haven't made any comparisons, but isn't this akin to cutting the last chorus out of a song from a Greatest Hits package, or trimming an intro or something? Sure, Paul Simon says that he regrets the third verse of Bridge Over Troubled Water, but should an artist exercise their prerogative to make a cut like that?

6. The Mermaids Singing - Val McDermid 

A police thriller thing with a fantastic twist that McDermid has never topped in the rest of the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series as far as twists go - perhaps because we now know the characters so well.

7. The Master - Colm Toibin  

Fictionalised bio of Henry James. Some of the passages made me want to applaud when I'd finished them.

8. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini  The characterisation of the two boys is mindblowing. Narrator is all too gratingly human. The fact that the novel descends into an action adventure story is to this fantastic work's credit - in any other book, it wouldn't be a failing.

9. Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall-Spike Milligan  

I've read a couple of his autobiographies. Good stuff. Spike Milligan is a very funny man, although I would've been loath to admit it due to the daftness of some of his comedy. But it was groundbreaking surrealism.

10. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien   

It bored me to tears, and it took about two years to read the bloody thing. Not even one of Legolas's amazing set pieces from the movies made it into the novelisation. (That's my little joke. You don't have to laugh. It's just for me.)

11. Brian Keenan - An Evil Cradling  

Account of time spent by hostage in Beirut. Beautiful. I've read a couple of these guys' accounts and this is by far the very best. Keenan is a very skilled stylist, and he depicts his predicament with amazing clarity and beauty. Recommended by Paul C Snr, and suggested as a form of therapy. He wasn't wrong.

12. The Sea - John Banville  

His other stuff is good too. And there's actually nothing wrong with it really taking off in the last 15 pages.

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller  

Wasn't caught up in this immediately - the opening pages were a bit confusing for me, as I was younger. But it's good, alright.

14. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger   

Methinks this is a great example of a writer finding a voice and running with it.

15. Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt  

Brilliant, deserved all the plaudits it got. It became part of the "Ireland pulling back the curtains, tearing down the walls, letting out the skeletons, coming clean about all the secrets" social change. And a beautiful enhancement it is to all that stuff.