The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

the majesty of democracy

Our scene opens in a house on a hill.
Enter a hungry James stage left, seeking pork chops.
He is stopped by a shrill inuendo laden cry which appears to emanate from a seated aunt.
"Have you been tearing down your sister in law's election posters?"
The sentence hangs in the air.
My mind reels.
Not the friendliest greeting I've ever had.
Not the worst either.
How to handle it.
My first instinct is to essay ruffled hauteur, segue into righteous manly anger (brother of Gerard Manley Hopkins), and seek final refuge in the how could you think such a thing gambit. But I stop myself.
Best not to take or cause offence.
It is my aunty's house.
And with pork chops, possession is nine points of the law.
We can fall out after the pork chops.
The aforementioned aunt, Teresa by name, does indeed cook for me occasionally and is thus the recipient of an unusual quota of patience when she asks me thoroughly unfair leading questions such as the above.
But it's outrageous really.
No one ever asked Picasso if he'd been out tearing down General Franco's posters.
And Picasso probably was.
I mean, the nerve bold readers. To suggest that a man like me, Ireland's greatest living poet, I who coalesce the vapours of existence to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race three times before breakfast every morning, that I, the writer of The Wakening Silence AND Lady Windermere's Fanny, that I, the finest mind of a generation, between bouts of genius and inspiration and sublime elegiac insight and sticking it to the Rah, that I am whiling away the quiet hours vandalising the regional election posters of nonentities, why it's too much.
What must she think of me?
How on earth could she have known?
"Did you take down your sister in law's election posters?" repeated the aunt, like Darth Vader sensing a movement in the Force.
"I don't have a sister in law," I answered evasively like Obi Wan Kenobi trying to get through a check point.
"You do have a sister in law," insisted the aunt.
"I do not have a sister in law standing for election to parliament," I amended.
"Yes you do," said the aunt.
"Only," I explained, "if you are using the phrase sister in law in the manner of a legalistic frippery which is essentially meaningless. In every meaningful sense I do not have a sister in law. Sister in law is a spiritual term. And in the spiritual sense, as in the mystical one, as in the moral one, as in the intellectual one, I have no sister in law."
"Have you been taking down her posters?" pressed the aunt staring hard.
"I can't say I have but I must say I admire the good taste of anyone who would," said I with the air of a great philosopher.
"Was it you?" cried the aunt warmly.
I adopted the look of meditative concentration favoured by my old hamster Hammy when she was trying to lug a brussels sprout back to her nest.
The good actor always channels a great hamster.
"That doesn't sound like something I'd do," I ventured.
"Did you do it?" quoth she.
Time to change tack.
"What posters are we talking about?" I asked innocently, but still calming myself by thinking of a hamster sequestering a brussels sprout.
"The one at Athgarvan," said the aunt.
"No," I mused. "That one is on wooden posts, I thought of reversing into it. But it seemed to me I might damage my car and the car is in bad enough shape as it is. I saw the poster you mean though. And actually I think someone might have reversed into it by accident turning at the Wayside Inn. There's only one of the wooden posts that has been knocked. The thing hasn't been properly demolished at all. None of the hallmarks of my work. So it might even be the gale we had last week. I'm not endorsing the leftist agenda of climate change mind. But in this case it genuinely might have been the wind. Definitely not my work. I always sign my work. Remember when I was drawing Hitler taches on the Fine Gaeler's posters after they legalised abortion. Well I made sure everyone knew it was me wot done it. The artist formerly known as Heelers does not perform anonymously."
The aunt gave me a sideways glance.
"How about the other posters?" quoth she.
I essayed wounded dignity.
"They're very high up," I said. "I can't reach most of them. I thought I might get the one on the avenue using the garden shears with the extendable handles. But I didn't like the odds. I'd have had to stand on the wall and balance myself while trying to cut the cable ties. Tempting but too rich for my blood."
"Did you take down the posters at Kilmeague?" rapped the aunt all Clarence Darrow.
Now my expression became one of fierce wounded poignancy.
Like Hammy when I put her back in the cage while she still wanted to be out.
She would stand right in the centre of her bedding half turned towards me like the phantom of the opera and she would hold that position for half an hour.
"I am hurt," I informed the aunt.
"Did you do it?" said she.
"I've barely even heard of Kilmeague," I protested.
"That's not the question," said the aunt.
"I don't even know how to get to Kilmeague," said I. "And might I just add that your concern for inanimate objects is quite touching. From your recent form, I would have half expected you to tell the posters to turn the other cheek. Or to insist to the posters that you didn't really believe they had been knocked down. Or even to advise the posters to go to a psychiatrist and take a chill pill."
"Why are you looking so guilty?" rapped the aunt.
The dam broke.
"Alright, alright," I exclaimed, "you got me. I am looking gulty. But not for all those posters you've been talking about. I'm guilty because half an hour ago I was in the Tearman cafe and there was a political poster up in the cafe. Just a small tiddly one. So I took it down and threw it in the river. And then I came over here looking for pork chops and the first thing you said to me was had I taken down any posters. And aunt it was uncanny. I thought you must have mind powers. It was like Edgar Allen Poe's The Telltale Heart. I nearly passed peacefully out when you said it. Okay. Where are the pork chops?"

Monday, February 15, 2016

how i broke up with donald trump

Last night on television Donald Trump, seeking a nomination to represent the Republican party in the next US Presidential election, accused former US President George Bush of lying to bring about the Iraq war.
That finishes it for me.
Mr Trump is incorrect.
And his opportunism in attempting to smear the Bush Presidency gives succour to the Jihadis.
My opinion remains that the Iraq war brought into plain view a world wide Jihad that was taking place anyway.
Had Mr Bush not taken action to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein's murderocracy, we might now be facing a Saddam Hussein armed with nukes.
For the record, contrary to what Mr Trump asserted last night, there is substantial corroborative evidence indicating Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction. The evidence I would refer you to in particular is that evidence accrued in separate testimonies by journalist commentator Kenneth Timmerman, by former Iraqi air force second in command Georges Sada, and by Israeli General Moshe Yaalon.
I urge people of good will who care about America and the world, to have nothing further to do with Donald Trump.