An Early Childhood Chapter 22 Part 4

An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock surreal autobiography. 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, pop culture, and literature of various kinds.
Continued from Chapter 22 Part 3.

            But as I looked on, I saw that neither of the prisoners was British in any way. One was of dark complexion, an Indian it seemed, or – if I had caused him any offence were he to hear me, perhaps a Pakistani man – and the other one – a beautiful lady – was wearing a haggis. It turned out in the end that the Indian or Pakistani man was in fact a Bangladeshi. The relevance of his nationhood at this point in world history could be regardered, of course, as quite irrelevant.

            When I say the young woman was wearing a haggis, I mean that she was actually quite nude, her hands over her splendiferously modest upper body in a most bashful fashion, but around her waist, she was wearing a kind of a kilted seasoning of meats and dried pork blood that hung about her like a kind of a completely meat made skirt, but I forgot the word for a “meaty kilt” for a moment there and I thought I’d write haggis just to maintain your interest in the story.

              You could tell from the annoyed look of her that she was obviously there for the eating, and she knew it. At the front of her head, she had the face of a genuine Chinawoman. Or perhaps a Korean. She may well have been Japanese.
            Anyway, I realised that these two prisoners weren’t the hated English localised in very London, so I deemed it appropriate to instigate a rescue. And how better to fight witches than with witchery?

            Now, I still had the gold comb of the banshee that I’d found on the morning of Constable Combover’s murder, returned to me quite recently by Mad Leopold Cassidy. So I made sure that Old Man Phelps and I remained well hidden in the bushes and I hurled the comb into the clearing. It made a dinging sound off the cauldron and the witches put a stop to their dancing and looked at the grooming instrument on the grass.

Continued in Part 5.

Give a little...

Every year, thousands of moles are born into the world blind - and their eyesight gets little better from then on. Moles have eyes that are no bigger than the eye of a needle. They have such poor eyesight because they spend most of their lives underground - they can discern little more than light from darkness. Imagine living in that world, where you can only tell whether it's day or night. With no colour in your life to speak of.

Here at the Laser Eye Surgery for Moles Clinic (LESMC, pronounced "Lezumkeh"), we've been providing eye-sight restoration for the entire mole population of the world since 1743. However, our 1,500 sites around the world simply aren't enough to cope with the demand. Our mobile units were retired with the advent of laser surgery techniques - mole goggles and spectacles had become obsolete and we began to perform all of our surgeries inhouse.

But for just £2 a month, you could help to re-establish our mobile units once again. This time, we won't be catching any moles to put goggles on them. We realise now that that was a cruel practice in the history of our organization. And we also realise that stressing out a mole bringing him in for surgery is something we'd rather not have to do.

What we want instead is to be able to deliver laser eye surgery to the mole in his natural environment.

Mobile laser eye surgery units can be established to make this happen today.

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Send your donations today, and give a mole close to you the eyes to see past their own head.

An Early Childhood Chapter 22 Part 3


Continued from Chapter 22 Part 2.

            We continued on downstream for some hours, uneventfully. I tied a fishing line round my toe and placed a lure into the water, with my straw hat on my head and a corn cob pipe in my mouth. Soon enough, I caught a fish which we ate for dinner that night when we dropped anchor.

            The next morning we set off again. A fog had descended and clung to the water so we couldn’t see any farther than our noses. Old Man Phelps’ nose is quite flat, and my nose is quite small, so as you can imagine, we couldn’t see that far at all. I decided to play a trick on Old Man. I let a roar out of me and splashed the water with my foot, before crawling into the centre of the raft and keeping quiet.

            Old Man shouted:

            “Paddy? Fallen in the water have you?” He scrambled over to where he reckoned I’d fallen into the water. “Oh God no!” I could barely see him make the Sign of the Cross on his chest. He watched the waters as best he could for an hour until I shouted

            “Here I am!”

            I stood up and grabbed him.

            “Playing a trick on me were you?” he said.

            “I was,” I replied.

            Old Man Phelps looked hurt and affronted.

            “Don’t do that again,” Old Man said.

            “Sorry,” I apologised, feeling a little bit bashful.

            The fog followed us down the river and we arrived at a small cove in which we deemed it a good idea to set down for the night. We still had two days’ worth of rations, but Old Man Phelps said that we should find something to eat in the forest such as the wild boar that roamed the surrounding flora. We anchored in the cove and disembarked, rifles loaded, to go in search of our dinner. We were walking for a while in the forest when in the distance I spotted a blazing bonfire. It was nightfall on May 1st, and Old Man Phelps grabbed my arm and crouched down behind a bush.

            We watched twelve beautiful harlots dancing around the bonfire, on top of which was a huge cauldron.

            “First of May this is—Walpurgsnacht!” Old Man Phelps explained, erudite as he was in the superstitions of the era, and reminding me, many years later, of the death of Hitler. “Those twelve strumpets be the most wicked witches of the world, and formed a coven have they to celebrate evil.”

            I watched the witches and sure enough, I saw that there were two prisoners sitting before the cauldron, tied and gagged, and doubtless they were to be used as a sacrifice in the witches’ ritual. Now, as I’ve often stated, I don’t like the British by and large, but I have to qualify myself somewhat. I like the Scots. I like the Welsh. I’m fond of Geordies. I’m not averse to making conversation with Scousers. I’ll talk to Cornish people. In fact, it’s just the white English people who live in London or in its immediate vicinity and who are posh that I have a problem with.

Continued in Chapter 22 Part 4.

Man held over drugs find

Man held over drugs find

A man has been suspended over a shipment of cocaine by a no-nonsense copper in Leeds. Unnamed sources claim that the West Yorkshire Detective Inspector attached a harness to the suspect’s ankles in order to get him to reveal the source of a drugs find with an estimated street value of £50,000.

Photo courtesy of anotherview.

The arrested man – already known to police as having a fear of heights – was drawn up to a height of five metres before he gave detailed information about the source of the shipment, which had been found at a derelict warehouse. The man swore on his granny’s grave that he didn’t know the names of any of his accomplices.

However, the authorities have come away from the interview with very clear physical details on members of the gang of drug smugglers. West Yorkshire Police have made an appeal to the public, describing the men as “possible suspects, “persons of interest to our investigation and certainly, men we want to question”.

It is not known if the Detective Inspector will be “hauled over the coals” by his superiors and “asked to hand in his gun and his badge” after they have “thrown the book at him”.

The devil-may-care police detective appears to have got away with similar misconduct in the past - with few punitive repercussions.

Previously, a man had been hospitalised during a drugs seizure involving the same detective inspector. The victim is believed to have fallen ill in Leeds city centre after a mixup with prescription medication. The tough cop – off duty at the time – had used First Aid training to prevent the man from shaking too violently before the arrival of paramedics.

An Early Childhood Chapter 22 Part 2

Continued from Part 1.
            Melanie had taken to employing the word feckin in everyday speech, an Irish euphemism, to be sure – but in her cut glass English accent, it sounded only adorable so it did, even though she was still a chimpanzee in everything other than name.

            Melanie the Chimpanzee – as she was now known to everybody – had had a number of treatments done to investigate the possibilities of a cure for her primatic changes induced by the spell of Floudh Rak the Weatherlock. The good news was that the tests that had come back from her blood samples indicated that most of the genetic variance between herself and humans – even at this stage – was no more than about 2 or 3 percent. So her humanity could be salvaged!

            We set off after this evil weatherlock, himself swept downriver a day or two earlier, and the current took us along at a fair pace, around the first bend that led on to the wilderness, Old Man and myself sucking on our corn cob pipes full to the brim with Lucifer’s Leaves 'n' Buds, as they were called at the time.

            An hour passed before our first encounter. Old Man was sitting aft smoking his cornpipe and steering the vessel while I was doing a jig towards the bow – practising my hornpipe – when Old Man Phelps gave a low whistle and pointed starboard. On the bank, we saw Shepherd Mick Dillon with his five hunderrredid sheep grazing at the water’s edge.

            “Hullo, Mick!” I hailed, “Did the British come this way?” I pointed downriver, and Mick roared back

            “That an’ they didn’t indeed ind in they did surely.”

            Mick broke wind loudly and waved us on, his hand wiping his buttocks to sweep the gas downwind.

            Old Man Phelps was delighted.

            “Bodes well for us, so that does,” Old Man said, referring to Mick Dillon’s burst of flatulence.

            “How do you mean?” I asked him.

            “Well, expression there be that refers to it:

                        “If the shepherd farts, the clouds will part.

                           If the shepherd belches, the rain will pelt yiz.”

            “A load of old nonsense,” I retorted, but no sooner had I spoken than the clouds did indeed break and huge streams of light burst through, revealing the golden shimmer of the sun on the river.

Continued in Part Three.

Take That and Thin Lizzy together on an album for first time

Do you like Take That? Who can forget their amazing swansong, Never Forget? Wouldn't you have wanted that as a final song before their first breakup, rather than the Bee Gees cover How Deep is Your Love? I mean, who did they think they were? Westlife? But let's forget about that for a moment.

Do you like Thin Lizzy? The kickass 70s rock band from Ireland - who were better than those Westlife warblers!
Photo by Harry Potts.

But c'mere a minute: Wouldn't you like to purchase a GREAT album - with BOTH Take That and Thin Lizzy together - for the first time EVER?

Included in the Song Listing could be the classic hits:

Everything Changes
The Boys are Back in Town
Back for Good
Whiskey in the Jar

But that's not all.

There could also be other hits on the album as well.

I think the only person with the credibility and connections to make this happen is - let's face it - Simon Cowell.

So everybody let's write to Simon and make this CD happen!

Villain captured without the help of vigilante heroes

The capture of the self-styled "Joker Czar" or "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev" during the week at a Boston house boat has once again highlighted the shortage of superheroes available - both for short term contract work, and in a more public capacity - to the US government and its people.

Christmas Day 2009 saw the festively fiery crossdressing Christmas Underwear Bomber apprehended by a member of the general public on a flight from Europe to Detroit. It is this security failure that led to a call for superheroes from the Republican right in Washington. That call has yet to be answered.

A rendering of what the Christmas Underwear Bomber might have looked like on the flight

Rampant online speculation suggests that the authorities are playing into the latest super-villain's hands. Sources close to the Joker Czar - said to have an unassuming and mild-mannered temperament - claim that it was his plan all along to be arrested. As yet, the only recourse available to the authorities is the fact that they are refusing to read him his rights before his interrogation begins.

In the meantime, he sits in custody alongside an ever growing group of supervillains, with no superheroes to stand up to them, should they attempt escape. The mastermind behind 9-11, "The Gorilla", has been caught planning prison breaks on two occasions. However, prison officers are convinced he was merely "testing the waters" for an attempt that they fear will be successful.

The Gorilla

Another supervillain, known in Europe as "The One-Eyed Jack" and in the United States as "Captain Hook" - with a different back-story in each culture - is also said to be satisfied planning his atrocities from a secure location, where he receives protective custody and three square meals.

Captain Hook the One-Eyed Jack

Authorities are now convinced that the lack of superheroes in the current climate of fear is a cause for serious concern.

The Best Night Clubs on the Planet

See our last review here!

Akademia Sokratos, Nikamemos Demos, Shakademos, Greece

So I hit up da club and it was cramp-city. Too many peeps ain't a good club make. Me grinding against a Greek lay-daa, then she dispear, coming back two minutes in wit some cool drinx from her purse and no payntees on. Me feelin her, she feelin me. But don't buy your 'freshmens here - turns out bottle aqua is three-fiddy euros. Not three dollah fiddy. We talkin three and a half g.

Uh nuh she dih'iiiiin. S'teecommy, styooopihhhh!!!

So she a panderin to me, and then we take it off da floor and into da jane. The ladies' is neat, and she wants it. Whatever she puts in that drink make me groggy plus it a diuretic. So I do a lil tinkle into the bowl and she there laughin with piss dribbling evywhere. But she don' like the 'sfix-y-ation I's doin to her throa' while I'm whizzin', an' she pass out. I put her onto the johnseat to sleepidaff. No dice or cigar from Rip Van Winklette, even tho' I try! Next, I quit the Lady Jane 'n' find a nice cool area with a nearby window slightly open an' I'm sprawled on the sofa, chillin'.

A Greek bro approach with his lollipop out, sistin time for payback from the ho I jus kilt. I ain' been with no ho but whateva she put my drink means no 'nhibishuns n I suckin on that guy's lolly in the corner till blastoff!
DJ on old skool buzz, with Grandmaster Flash and Jackson's posthumous Off da Hook album remix by Professor Green or Norman Cook or some shixxxx. Sick o' dis John Travolter. I ain' at a weddingggg. I quit da club, n da line out da door two block long. Dunno why dis club so poplar. I feel a hurl comin. Projectile vomit down the line, showerin a number of clubbaz with my bits n pieces. Then I run az they give chase, but I din realise my pants still loose, and they come down and I fall, trip-hoppin over my pants down round my ankles. That's all I member. Woke up nix day with headache, covered in sick and in jail, dress up like a nun in a habit an' fluffy hancuffz. Standing trial for murder but I'd still give this club a four out of five star review. The one star taken way for everything that happen that night, and the crowd, and the DJ.

Check back soon for more reviews!

An Early Childhood Chapter 22 Part 1


            I put an ad in the Aigeanta Crier seeking help in chasing the British and their fellow contrivers – and indeed help came from far and wide, including from my pack of Boy Cub Scrouts. The kinds of anti British sentiment rife at the time meant that if people had seen an image of a Brithisher, they would’ve happily shaken their fist at it while grunting. Today, such images are frequently found on Page Three of a certain British tabbly.

            Anyyyyyway, the 37th Boy Scout Brigade, my former half-shtarved Runt Pack, volunteered its services, and fifty boys accepted the call to hunt the British. Old Man Phelps and Uncle Gunka arrived and offered their services. Even Mad Leopold Cassidy showed up to wish me all the best, returning to me the gold banshee comb, with which I had presented him some sixty years later to get back to the Twenties.

            Hundreds of people set to building makeshift rafts which they intended to take down the River Shandy chasing the British and those Irishmen in league with them. Old Man Phelps and I, now both of the same age after Old Man had had spells reversed on him that had caused his Premature Geriatric Disorder, were accustomed to working together, so we built a raft.

John Fisherman-O’Reilly, Sean Tubridy-O’Reilly (related by marriage), Tancred Moorphy M’Nally and Fletch Curtis built themselves a craft in record time and were the first British hunters* to set off downriver.

*When I say they were British hunters what I mean is that they were hunting British soldiers. I mean a fox hunter isn’t a fox, is he? So don’t be silly. In the final analysis, all of our wounds had healed after our recent squirmish with Floudh Rak the Weatherlock, so I granted them permission to embark on their adventure in pursuit of him, telling them I’d follow with Old Man Phelps.

            The 37th Brigade built a massive raft to fit all of their boys on it. Their troop leader was Eugene Mitchell D’Arcy, son of Arcy Chapman, and his deputy leaders were Eugene O’Hara and Eugene Timmons. Eugene “Piggy Porkins” Bancroft was the largest child among the group, so he sat in the very middle of the raft to lower its centre of gravity, where he remained for most of the voyage sucking on his little inhaler, which he required on account of his azzzmarrrhhh. At any rate, the scouts launched their vessel a day after John, Sean, Tancred and Fletch had set off, and Old Man Phelps and I left the quay a few hours after that.

            Old Man and myself loaded the raft with supplies and raised anchor.

            Melanie Tiptoft stood on the bank, pacing in anxiety before we left.

            “Don’t get yourself feckin’ killed, Paddy Flanagan!” she instructed. “Nake sure you get a cure for me!” she added, sometimes struggling with her Ms as she did due to the inverted cupping of her mouth that had started in her becoming a damn dirty ape.

Continued in Part 2.

Fabulous Facts from the World of Science

Planet Earth!

The beautiful blue sphere that we today call Earth is the only planet known to support life. However, early on in the planet’s formation, when it was smaller than the blue orb with which we are now familiar, a collision with a second planet sized body led to a fusion of the two planets. Many scientists agree that if the collision had never actually taken place, then they certainly wouldn’t be having this conversation.


Eight out of every ten infants in Western societies receive only ten percent of their recommended daily allowance of iron, with the iron deficiency being even more pronounced in developing nations.

 Unfortunately, if such small stomachs were to receive the full dose of iron in the form of food, the huge amount of food required would result in the babies bursting. Nature compensates for this iron deficiency by limiting the language skills of babies, thus reducing their need for iron, until their stomachs are large enough to accommodate a high iron intake at about eighteen months.

In a landmark study carried out at Johns Hopkins in 1986, it was found that only newborn babies whose mothers had had a prenatal diet entirely comprising bars of pure metal in their third trimester were seen to be able to hold coherent conversations immediately after emerging from the womb. 

All of the babies expressed extreme displeasure on delivery, believing themselves to have been violated in a most profound manner and declaring themselves both frightened and disoriented. When it was explained to them that they had just been born – after overcoming the initial shock – many of the babies had a little laugh about it afterwards.

An Early Childhood Chapter 21 Part 7


 Continued from Part 6 of Ch 21.

            Tancred Moorphy M’Nally, Sean Tubridy-O’Reilly, John Fisherman-O’Reilly (related by marriage) and I stood on the deserted quay, looking for any sign of the conspirators led by Bishop O’Brien.

            “They must be gone already.”

            The voice came from behind us and we spun around. A cloaked figure, dressed all in black with a deathly pale face atop an eight foot tall body stood before us. A thunderous wind suddenly rose up. Rain fell from the quickly cloud-filled sky. Thunder and lightning clapped and crackled across it. I held up my scimitar in a defensive posture.

            Floudh Rak drew a sword of its own, which shone brightly in what little light there was. We circled each other.

            “Paddy Flanagan!” the evil weatherlock roared, his cape flapping in the wind. “Welcome…to die!”

            “Welcome to die?” I asked him. “Is this some kind of a game to you?”

            “Yes – a game from a Japanese games developer! So I stand by my English!”

            Suddenly, the ancient weatherlock swung his sword. I blocked it with surprising ease, sparks flying off it that blossomed into tiny wisps of smoke that made the shape of the numerals “100”.

            And I realised then that he was just playing with me, and that it was a game to him, and that he was testing my limited skill.

            Floudh Rak brought his weapon up again before swinging it downward.

            I knew that I would be unable to parry a blow of that strength, so I sidestepped it and the sword struck the ground, sparks flying. I swung my own scimitar at him and he had a choice; he could retain his heavy sword and take the blow in the chest or drop his heavy sword and dodge the blow. He dropped his sword and moved back and I swung again with greater enthusiasm. He stepped back again and fell over the quay and into the water. He went downriver immediately, the current taking him, arms flailing wildly.

            “I’ll get you Paddy Flanagan!” he roared at me, voice filled with rage, fist raised.

            So a second time I had shown my men that Floudh Rak was pervious to resistance in this worldly realm. At least twice anyway. I’ve lost count now. Maybe three times. And much like the other times, it was an important lesson we were unlikely to forget, as we were to discover at some later point, that I’ll have to think about remembering now.

Fabulous Facts from the World of Entertainment

Link back through some of other fabulous entertainment facts here, here and here.

Did you know?

The Mission Impossible series of films have been used as vehicles for Tom Cruise, who travelled around the world during filming and promotion. When confronted about the fact by a gossip columnist, the star laughed and asked: “How can you possibly use a movie as a vehicle?” But he was later spotted by the same reporter strapping his M: i-2 onto his back and jetting off to Australia.

 Come back for more fabulous facts soon!

An Early Childhood Chapter 21 Part 6


Continued from Part 5 of Chapter 21.

            Fletch’s left fist connected with his opponent’s jaw. There was a loud snap as bone met bone. The third punch sent Shadraff to the dirt, dying a painful death as he drifted in and out of consciousness, bubbles of snot-blood pumping out of the nose hole, looking not unlike some celebrity, coke addled mess in the newspapers, and looking a bit like a broken lava lamp. The poor fecken bastard, God love him. But let’s not pity him.

            And so, my first encounter with Michael Shadraff – the dirty convict peckerhead, wherein he had crucerfied my own brother – had finally been avenged as he lay dead.

            Fletch fell back onto the dirt and lay there exhausted, in absolute thatthers so he was. Melanie hurried over to him.

            “Are you all right?” she asked.

            “I will be when you get off my leg,” he said.

            “Sorry,” she said. “Can I’ve a kiss?” she asked then.

            Her head moved towards his and she grabbed him and their lips pressed together and slowly he pulled back.

            Ah lovely.

            “Look,” Fletch told her then. “Melanie… I think you should know…”

            “What?” she asked.

            “This has nothing to do with you looking more and more like a chimpanzee every day,” he told her.

            “What is it, Fletch?” she asked.

            “You ought to know that – well, I thought you already knew, given that I spent so much time in the Brotherly Manor.”


            “Coz it’s a gay bar?”

            “It’s only gay-friendly, you eejit. There’s a difference!”

            “I know but ehhhhm. Look – again – the chimp thing has nothing to do with it…”


            “I don’t know how to say this but… Melanie…”


            “I play for the other team.” He winked at her.

            “Do you mean you’re… you’re British?” She looked at him, confused.

            “No. No. I go around… through the back garden. Instead of through the front door.” He winked at her again.

            “Everyone knows you like a bit of gardening, Fletch, with your prize winning azaleas.”

            “No, Melanie. No. I ehhh I putt from the rough.” He winked at her a third time.

            “Not everybody’s a golfer, Fletcher!” she agreed.

            “Exactly!” he said, winking again. “Thank you for understanding.”

Continued in Chapter 21 Part 7.

Signs that require further explanation

In part of our series of signs that require further explanation, we have this taken in a public toilet:

If anyone can offer any explanation, leave a comment below!

The Best Night Clubs on the Planet

Muahahhaha's, Aggaggadaggistok, Aggaggadaggistan

This wonderful club in a former Soviet enclave tucked away in the Cluster of Autonomies provides some free, fermented goat milk alongside the cover charge. You'll find it in an alleyway after a walk through what the hotel receptionist described as the "Nero, manky white streets" in this lovely, centrally located town. The town's streets, first built in Roman times, are narrow - but wide enough to allow the passage of the messenger monkeys that travel from house to house.

The record collection is broad enough to include both throat singing and instrumentals that are - unfortunately - usually performed by academics eager to keep the traditions alive. However, if you ask to look at the collection, you might be lucky to find some authentic tumbyra or kobyz stylists who don't moonlight as professors in Dubrovnik!

You can pick and mix your drinks from a choice of four. Infinite diversity in the limited combinations! Eats are also available. They also claim to have an oven in the kitchen "for the Jews". This Jewish oven makes kosher food.

They need to sell hot food in order to retain their late licence at this club, so I was told that "technically, you've eaten here". This led to some confusion, as I insisted that I had eaten back at the hotel. I was then shown a thing called a spherran by the barman, and he told me that it is a kind of weapon, but that the spherran he had was non-functional. Then I was asked again whether I had eaten in the club. Shaking my head, I was escorted through the bar and out the back door.

The spherran still seemed quite functional and effective - even though the barman had claimed that it was broken. It seemed to launch very well, and the barbs latched onto my skin with accuracy. My shirt was covered in blood when I was finally free of the monofilaments, and I crawled away. After getting stitched up by the local doctor - who charged me $US 200.00 to rub some pig innards into the tears in my back flesh - I was off on the road and out of the picturesque dictatorial principality, for septicemia treatment in Montenegro.

This club is excellent if you want a quiet night with background music and the option to dance - without any wi-fi. And it'll make all the difference in the world to your life if you try the food.

More night clubs later!