“Jasus by the look of things you soon won’t be calling in here at all”, said barber Johnny Curran, as he surveyed Mick’s rapidly balding head.
“Sure financially won’t that be more of a tragedy for you than me,” said Mick, grinning into the mirror, as barber Johnny flung his cloth ‘hair apron’ expertly around his newest customer.
“Seriously, talking about tragedy”, said Johnny, “I heard the local Labour Party TD was up visiting the primary school’s sixth class the other day”.
“Probably checking their water metre”, said Mick, again grinning at his reflected unruly appearance.
“A begorra no, Mick, at least I don’t think so”, but it seems he walked into the classroom in the middle of a discussion relating to words and their supposed meanings”, said Johnny. “It seems that this particular teacher is one of those rare Labour Party supporter not yet forced out of Ireland and being overawed by his presence; she asked him if he would like to lead on her ‘teacher nattering’; to which the politician, feeling qualified, readily agreed”, Johnny the barber continued.
“This same illustrious politician then asked the teacher’s class for an example of the word ‘tragedy’ to be contained in a sentence”, continued Johnny. One little boy (supposedly Paddy Hayes son), stood up and offered: ‘If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him; that would be a ‘tragedy’, Sir”.
“No”, said the Labour politician, “That would be an accident.”
A little girl now raised her hand slowly exclaiming: “If a school, bus carrying fifty children, drove over the cliff of Moher, killing everyone inside, that would be a ‘tragedy’, Sir”, she squealed out excitedly.
“I’m afraid not”, said the Labour politician, “That’s what we would call a great loss”.
The room fell silent, according to Johnny, with now no other children volunteering any answers. The now puffed up Labour politician visually searched the room; “Isn’t there someone here who can surely give me an example of a sentence containing the word ‘tragedy’?” he pleaded
Finally, from the back of the room, Snotser Bourke raised his hand and in a loud voice proclaimed: “If a plane carrying you and Joan Burton was struck by a ‘friendly fire missile’, while travelling over Soviet Russia and God forbid ye were blown into tiny smithereens, surely that would be a ‘tragedy’.”
“Fantastic, you’re a bright lad”, exclaimed the Labour politician. “That’s totally right and now can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?”
“Well Sir,” says Snotser “It has to be a tragedy, because according to what my father believes, it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be a fecking accident either.”
“True for the Bible”, said Mick, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings for sure. I suppose you won’t be charging me as much for this haircut, since you agree there is less to cut, what with current austerity and everything.”