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
I have found at times, dear reader, that attempting to discern the sexual orientation of a particular individual is more often than not just a stab in the dark. However, the discombobulating effects of being accosted by Dyll - a strange beauty-man-woman of some kind - forced me to withdraw from the bed in something of a hurry.
"Your gender is - " I spluttered. "You're a - -"
"Yes, Sugar Plum," she said. "I'm all man!"
"But but but!"
"I'm not a woman!" I said, trying to explain.
"Will you lie down with me?"
Dyll leapt up, swung her legs around over the side of the bed, and burstered into tears.
"This is always the way!" she said. "You meet a nice fella, with good prospects, and he turns out to be less fruity than you imagined."
"That's right. I'm not your sugar plum."
She sniffled and sobbed. I sat beside her and rubbed her back.
"Will you... will you just hold me, Paddy Flanagan?"
"Yes. None of this funny stuff though."
"Sexiness isn't funny! It's for real!"
"I know that. I know, Dylly Oblong."
She fell back onto the mattress, and we fell asleep on the four poster bed. Through fitful dreams, I had a night's kip.
The deep barking of a very large dog alarmed me enough to rouse me the next morning. Light was coming in from the window. The scuttering of paws across the floor of Dyll's flat was followed by the appearance of a huge and slobbering mastiff, with drool hanging from its mouth, at the foot of the bed. It sprang up on its forepaws, looking at Dyll and I. The huge dog was white as the driven through snow (by which I mean slush, with tyre tracks running through it, so sort of grey-brown), with huge big googly eyes, and a huge shnouth on it, all the better to give you a good shniff with.
I roared in fright. The dog, in turn, yelped and sprinted from the room.
"What the hell was that?"
"That was Aijus Mite Eeetchyoo, my Larger Fokov Mastiff, from Russia!"