My Keats and Chapman Moment

With all due respect and admiration for the Keats and Chapman vehicle invented by Flann O’Brien aka Myles na gCopaleen, who among us has not had a Keats and Chapman moment? A play on words so contrived and twisted that only Keats and Chapman together can possibly bear its excruciating weight. This is mine:

It so happened that Keats and Chapman were visiting Prague when they ran into the young Franz Kafka. Kafka, though reluctant to insinuate himself into their company happily obliged when Keats asked if he would show them around the beautiful city. After a long walking tour during which they stopped several times to sample the local beers, the three of them found themselves in Prague Castle. Somewhat inebriated, Chapman challenged Kafka to don a suit of armor and bet him ten shillings he could not do so. Kafka, not an avaricious man but one who could not turn his nose up at an easy ten shillings, quickly took a suit of armor from the landing where the three of them stood unobserved. Unfortunately while helping to secure the breastplate, Keats stumbled and sent the unfortunate Kafka tumbling down the stairs and into a case filled with china figurines. The inevitable crashing brought the custodian rushing to the scene. Finding the figure in the armor too stunned to communicate, the custodian berated Keats and Chapman and pointed out the damage and demanded immediate reparations. Keats, taking Chapman by the arm and guiding him towards the exit smiled winningly at the custodian and, nodding at the supine figure on the floor reassuringly promised, “Fear not sir, the Czech is in the mail.”

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Another visit from the landlord

The landlord:   [Simultaneously knocking and opening the door] I’ve come about them eyeballs.

Myself:  Oh, there you are!  Sure I left them out on the landing for you on Friday.

The landlord:  Friday?  Friday?  What would you be doing that for?  Sure wasn’t I away in Thurles on Friday!

Myself:  I told you they wre coming on Friday!  Well there were eyeballs galore on Friday.

The landlord:  There were, were there?

Myself:  There were sure the story was up and all on the internet and twitterverse and all sorts.

The landlord:  Where?  Show me.

Myself:  Sure look at here:

The landlord:  Is that it?

Myself:  It is.

The landlord:  I prefer historical romance.

Myself:  You surprise me.

The landlord:  Don’t get smart with me, me bucko.  Right then, we are all square for June then but don’t you fall behind again.  [Exit leaving door ajar bhind him]

Myself: [sotto voce] Were ye born in a barn or a hospital with swinging doors, ye ignorant muck savage?

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Short Story Month Contribution

Friends/Compadres/A Cháirde:

In case you missed the back-to-back TV ads and the billboards and all the browser popups, the lovely people at Akashic Books are finishing Short Story Month with my short story offering.  If you have ever had the misfortune to work for an enterprise larger than two people and a fax, if you have ever had an hour of your life stolen from you by someone reading a Powerpoint presentation at you word for word or if you have ever been empowered to dynamically leverage your core competencies and utilize them to profoundly impact your holistically integrated fast-paced work environment, this one is for you.

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A visit from The Landlord

The Landlord:  [Simultaneously knocking and opening the door]  Well, there you are.  I was starting to wonder.  You do know you haven’t said a word in here since March 13?

Myself: I do.

The Landlord: Well you know we can’t be having this.  You can’t be in here with the lights turned on doing nothing.

Myself: Is there a piper to be paid in this somewhere?

The Landlord: There is.  If you want to keep this room you have better deliver some eyeballs or you will find yourself out of the street pronto.  This is not a charity we are running here.  Do you catch my drift?

Myself:  I do.  Your drift is clear.  I will see what I can do.

The Landlord: Do.  And be quick about it!

Myself:  Right.  Well.  How about this bit of news?  On May 31st as part of their celebration of the ongoing Short Story Month, the lovely folk over at Akashic Books will be posting a short story of mine here or hereabouts

The Landlord:  That it?  Well you better rustle up some eyeballs ‘cos I’ll be watching the stats.  No eyeballs, no room.  You’ll be out on yer ear.  Do you hear me? [Exit leaving door to bareboard landing ajar]

Myself:  I do.   [Front] Right so, you heard the man.   Send your friends’ eyeball here or I’ll be sharing an attic room with some model boat enthusiasts on blogspot or something.

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Con, Lar and a bit of Flann for St. Patrick’s Day

In our continuing series of Lar & Con vignettes we bring you this Patrick’s Day flavoured offering (pace Brian O’Nolan)

Lar: Will you be going to the parade?

Con: I will.  Sure the young fellah wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Lar: If I were you I’d wrap up warm.  It’ll be colder out than you think.

Con: You may have point there.

Lar: I’d say take your umbrella too.  It has a blustery look to it now.

Con: True for you.  You can’t be certain of the weather at all.

Lar: I’d venture you might need your rainboots too.  Many’s the man come down with pleurisy standing watching that parade wandering out thinking it is a spring day suddenly to be assaulted by winter-like gusts

Con: Well on that count I am going to ignore you given that I have only just purchased this fine pair of George Webs and am very proud of them.  On top of which, I was always told to beware the I’ds of March.  Here’s me bus.  Enjoy your weekend, now.

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A New Year’s Statement Re: Lar & Con

On the heels of our Brothers’ Lot Christmas Eve Lar and Con Seasonal Spinoff, we have been inundated with inquiries as to how our brave dyad rang in the New Year.  It has taken some time to establish the facts but here they are as best we can gather.

Statement of Garda Liam Mulcahy read aloud in District Court No 44, January 7, 2013, Judge Dermot Prentice presiding:

One the morning of January First, two thousand and thirteen a.k.a. New Year’s Day, at approximately 4:15 in the morning.  Garda Comiskey and myself were proceeding in a North-North Westerly direction along the Harold’s Cross Road approaching the junction with Parkview Avenue when we perceived two individuals leaning on the railings of the park engaged in conversation of an elevated volume while apparently teasing a dog of the Kerry Blue variety.  We approached and confronted the two individuals who identified themselves as Con Conway and Lar Lawrence, both employees of Brannigan Brothers. 

Upon request for the meaning of the uproar and disturbance, Mr. Lawrence inquired of Garda Comiskey and myself how we had got over the Christmas and remarked that he himself found it a very trying and soul-sapping time of year.  Mr. Conway eyed myself and Garda Comiskey in a manner not inconsistent with inebriation and proceeded to sing Take Her Up to Monto.  Mr. Lawrence, while also appearing to be inebriated exhibited a more conciliatory approach and explained that the pair had run into each other at a New Year’s gathering “somewhere in Foxrock.’  When I asked if they had walked from Foxrock to their present location in Harold’s Cross the answer was in the affirmative. 

When I questioned Mr. Lawrence about the dog, my suspicions being aroused by the fine condition of the animal and the incongruity of the piece of clothesline being used as a leash, Mr. Lawrence said he had found it straying in the Foxrock area.  Mr. Conway interjected that the dog had in fact been tied to a traffic light but there being no one about he had surmised that this was perhaps some New Year’s tradition of Protestant origin and could not conclusively be taken to be a sign of prior ownership.  Mr. Lawrence concurred, though disputed the protestant nature of the tying the dog to a traffic light and explained they had deemed the bog to have been abandoned.  Mr. Conway then asked Garda Comiskey if he was aware that Toledo had once been the capital of Spain before hurriedly turning away and vomiting over the railings into the adjacent park.  At this point we escorted Messrs. Lawrence and Conway to the station to take a full statement.

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It never really feels like Christmas ’til…

As a bonus gift for readers of The Brothers’ Lot, we are proud to present this original seasonal spin-off in which Lar Lawrence and Con Conway, still in the employ of Brannigan Brothers, discuss the spirit of the Rare Aul Dublin Christmas while standing in Dublin’s Westmoreland Street.

Lar: Do you remember the Cheeky Charlies they used to sell in Henry Street?

Con: I remember them well: GET THE LAST OF THE CHEEKY CHARLIES!

Lar: Ah yeah.  But, you know, it doesn’t feel a bit like Christmas.

Con: Sure it never really feels like Christmas til you have all the shopping done.

Lar: True enough I suppose.

Con: And you’re standing in a corner of The Stag’s Head on Christmas Eve with a pint and a small Powers with your bags of presents around your feet.

Lar: That is a warm and seasonal picture I’ll grant.

Con: …your hastily bought, ill-though out, last minute presents in their poxy little plastic bags…

Lar: Ah I don’t know about that…

Con: …and your being jostled by some prick from the Merrion Road and his friends with his smelly cologne who is home for the Christmas from Doha or Brisbane or somewhere and talks too loud and sounds like Bono…

Lar: Ah, steady on now.

Con: …and when you come back from the bar with another pint and a large Powers, he and his girlfriend have grabbed you little corner of shelf space and you have nowhere to rest your pint so you stand there drinking from each hand and each sip you know more and more that the foot spa and the DVD and the slippers and the aromatherapy bath oils are all wrong and the cardigan is the wrong size and it should have been man City not Man Utd. and you now knowyou will spend Christmas Day suffering the perfunctory gratitude and the hurt looks of your whole family and they’ll have got you thoughtful gifts that you actually wanted and…

Lar: Easy!  Easy!  You’ll give yourself a conniption!

Con: …and then you get yourself one last pint and large one, gather up your useless presents and go out to find the buses have stopped running and now you can’t get a taxi cos all the people home for the Christmas have taken them all and you have to walk home and all the chippers are already closed and you’ve lost your keys and …

Lar: Oh look!  There’s a 16!  Have to run!  Good luck now and enjoy The Christmas!  [Exit at great speed]

Con: But you live in Crumlin!  The 16 is not your bus!

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