“Ireland Exits the Bailout.” This was the headline that Paddy and Mick first saw, wrapped as it was around two portions of battered cod and curried chips.
Having spread out the wrinkles and creases which partially protected their lunch, Paddy read out loud all that was visible of this Daily Mail newspaper report; “Mr Noonan also paid tribute to emigrants and those who lost their jobs, saying everyone owed a debt of gratitude to them for helping Ireland come out of its greatest crisis. The people who suffered most are those who lost their jobs. The second worst hit are those forced out of Ireland in search of work. We want to reverse both trends.”
Paddy and Mick had been forced to emigrate to England from Tipperary some months earlier, due to the severe unemployment crisis and some other minor, yet unmentionable, misunderstandings with the Department for Social Welfare. Having read the headline and finishing their curried chips, Paddy and Mick now decided immediately to head their old truck for the ferry back to Ireland. Ireland was open for business again and their newly set-up tarmacadam contracting business here in England had failed miserably anyway, partly due to the recent poor weather conditions and their even poorer ability at mixing tar and other chosen aggregates.
It was while in their old battered truck and stopped at traffic lights on the Edgeware Road in London that Paddy’s eye caught the sign displayed clearly in a corner shop window. With a few hundred sterling remaining in their pockets, latter the proceeds of a deposit on work not yet undertaken, the details on this sign now appeared to offer both men certain fast money making possibilities.
The sign read clearly; “Suits £5.00 each, Shirts £2.00 each, Trousers £2.50 per pair“.
As they waited for the lights to turn green, Paddy pointed out the sign to his pal Mick, “Mick look at the prices! We could buy a load of those and when we get back to Dublin we could shift them quick and make a whole fortune. What do you reckon?”
Balancing the business pro’s and con’s quickly Paddy, having the best business mind of the two, finally made the decision for both men; Ok Mick, begod we will try this. Now when we go in you stay quiet as a mouse, okay, let me do all da talking ’cause if they hear your accent, they might think we’re thicko’s from Tipperary and try to screw us over. Sure I’ll be better at imitatin’ their English accent anyway.”
“Be god roight y’are Paddy. I’ll zip up me gob tight and you do all da feckin fenancial business.” said Mick.
Having found a parking spot nearby, Paddy and Mick now make their move and go inside the shop. Paddy, waving a load of £20’s, calls out in a posh English sounding voice, “Hello my good man, can I have your attention over hear. I’ll take 50 of your suits at £5.00 each, 100 shirts at £2.00 each, and 50 pairs of trousers at £2.50 each. I’ll backing up me truck outside, ready to load ’em on, so I will.”
The shop’s attendant stared and then quietly replied, “I suppose you wouldn’t be from Ireland, by any strange sway of the imagination, would you?”
“Well yes,” said a now embarrassed and somewhat surprised Paddy. “Begorrah, what was it that gave me away, I’m wondering? ”
The shop’s attendant again quietly replied, “Perhaps you gentlemen have not yet noticed, but this is actually a dry-cleaning establishment.”