CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Guests of the New Republic (Part 3) OR VISITORS TO THE COUNTRY OF ETHNIC SAMENESS (Part 3 as well)
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.
Continued from Part 2 of Chapter 14.
Every morning, before the crack of dawn, the 5.40am Drogheda to Kingstown Express Steam Train Full of Britishers pumped its way past the farmhouse, ignorant of environmental bylaws, noise pollution, and indeed, our very presence at this wonderful Bed n Breakfast run by the wonderful hostess Mildred Ackerman. Five stars in Yelp and four in Trip Advisor.
But not this morning came the natural alarm of industrialisation. Oh, no, begorrah. This morning, it was delayed due to a convenient shortage of coal that had been organised by the Big Fellow, Michael Collins his very self. So I slept through what would’ve been my twenty to six a.m. wakeup call, and instead was summoned from slumber by a surprise visitor.
Michael Collins showed up into my bedroom and he was already dressed in his wrestling gear when he came in, a flower pot tied around his groin as a kind of a jock strap, clanging two metal pans from the kitchen together to wake me up and then he roared out of him:
“How are ya, Paddy-boy!” and then he pulled up my cover and he broke wind loudly under the blankets and he held my head under the cover so that I’d have to smell it.
“Get that whiff, boyo!” he insisted. “That’s pure Cork charisma, man!”
I got out of bed and we started to do our wrestling, me in my underpants, and him in his sumo kit. After a bit of bear hugging and flipping each other on the floor, the C-in-C’s flower pot smashing over my head in the melee, Michael Collins finally wrestled me to the rug, pinned me for a count of seven, and got up, slapping his hands together and putting on his very best Confirmation suit, blessed by the good archbishop him very self.
“Right, that’s that settled then, boyo! Now, I need ye to kill the two Englanders! Tonight!”
“Yeh what? Ah, here now, Michael Collins.”
“I’m tellin’ yeh, boyo. They shot our boys. Ye Kildare Boys have to kill dere boys. Boyo!”
“But – but – but! Michael Collins!”
“All jokin’ aside now, Paddy Boyo, I’m on my ruhhher – the Irish word for a bike, right? I’m runnin’ round the country on my big feckin’ Penny Farthing of a ting, from Billy Barry Murphy in the heart of the Ribil Cooonty, to Jackeen Guinness up at St James’s Fince, tillin’ everyone to be wiping out the fickin’ Englanders. I had that fickin’ Lloyd George or whoever it was in me sights in London a few years back and I should’ve blown that philandering Wilsh bistird’s fickin’ brains out. I didn’t. Do you know why I didn’t, Paddy Boyo? Do you know how come?” He looked at me with the good glint of a folk hero embedded into his eyes, and punched me twice in the jaw for good measure.
I shook my head, rubbing my chin.
“I don’t know, Michael Collins.”
“I had had to pump up the Penny Farthing’s big feckin’ tyre ten minutes earlier. My trigger shooting finger had had its fair share of action that day coz of me ruhhherr. So I can’t be goin’ round the country, pumpin’ up the tyres on me ruhher, and also be expected to blow the fickin’ brains out of all of our Inglish prisoners.”
And quick as he’d arrived, he departed with the order of death hanging over the heads of both Burper and Eaglekins.
Continued in Part 4 of Chapter 14.