I must have drifted off into that fourth stage of slumber, known as ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ or REM sleep. In my dream the headline on the local newspaper I now found myself reading, stated clearly; “Thurles Man Dies on Eve of Equality Referendum“.
According to that weekly local publication, people had just cast their votes in an ‘Equality Referendum’ on a new wording, which if passed into law, would add a new section to our Irish Constitution. The new constitutional wording before the voters, read as follows; “Patients attending medical establishments seeking any/all medical intervention, in accordance with law shall be treated equally and without distinction, regardless of their ability to pay a consultant,” and was expected to be unanimously carried into law.
In fact it was a few persons returning home from late night polling booths, who were the first to notice that the thatched roof home of Thurles native Mikey O’Connor was ablaze.
The now apparently deceased and sole occupant of No 21, the aforementioned Mikey O’Connor, had been unemployed for over ten years. Due to insufficient income, his domestic water supply had been ‘turned down to a trickle’ by the reigning Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. It would appears Mikey had failed to cough up for his Irish Water (Irish -Uisce Eireann) charges and to make matters worse had been spotted carrying two pints of ‘Half & Half,’ by none other than An Taoiseach Enda Kenny himself. Mikey it appears, had dared to stop Enda, with these same two pints in his hands, shouting about the cost of Irish water and how he couldn’t afford to pay, which Enda had rightly discussed in Dáil Éireann the following day.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, according to this newspaper, despite the best efforts of local firemen, a water hydrant with sufficient pressure was eventually identified and the blaze was quickly brought under control. In the usual follow up operation and ensuing search, normally undertaken by firemen, Mikey’s badly scorched and blackened body was regrettably located.
With no known relatives locally, it now fell upon the local morgue’s resident Mortician to find someone who could with certainty, identify this located corpse. Mikey’s close connection with two regular local drinking buddies, Noel Kelly and Alan Coonan, was soon confirmed to Gardaí, by the dead occupant’s neighbours.
Both having being summoned to the morgue, Noel was the first to arrive. On entering this establishment, the Mortician pulled out the cold chamber drawer and rolled back the icy sheet. “Jasus, his face is burnt fair bad. Could you roll him over,” said Noel, to which the Mortician duly complied. Noel now surveyed the full burnt corpse briefly, before stating, “Nope, thank God, whoever this is, it sure ain’t Mikey”, he exclaimed.
While the Mortician noted that this latter requested action by Noel appeared somewhat strange, before he could further interrogate Mikey’s long time friend, he was interrupted by the arrival of the second friend, Alan, whom he immediately invited to again identify the body. Alan took a look at the badly charred remains before also stating, “Holy God, he’s burnt real bad, could you roll him over”. The Mortician frowned and again rolled the corpse over and Alan again surveyed the scene briefly before stating, “No, thank the good Lord, this definitely ain’t my dear friend Mikey”.
A somewhat mystified Mortician, believing that Mikey possibly may have had a tattoo, asked the obvious question, “How can you both be so sure?” .
“Well,” said Alan, “You see sir Mikey had two arseholes.”
“What do you mean, he had two arseholes?” said the confused Mortician.
“Jasus, sure every dog and his mother in the town of Thurles knew Mikey O’Connor had two arseholes,” concurred Noel. “Sure I know every time we walked into a pub in Liberty Square, in the company of Mikey, you could hear folks whispering, ‘Here comes Mikey with the two arseholes’.”