Hurricane Gert Halts Work In Thurles

“You know, nobody really understands complete failure, unless of course it happens to yourself personally”, said a rather reflective sounding Mikey Ryan to his fellow Thurles friend Gerry Grant. Both men were to be found supping pints in the doorway of the Arch Bar, Liberty Square, Thurles; their work having been brought to a complete halt by torrential rain, which had arrived courtesy of Hurricane Gert; latter pushing eastward from the Atlantic Ocean.

“How do you mean”, said Gerry.

“Don’t look, but do you see Patsy McGann sheltering in the doorway of Supermac’s across the street” said Mikey.  “Better known as ‘Silent’ nowadays, due to the fact that he refuses, point blank, to enter into even one single word of dialogue with his fellow man.  Sure, he won’t even bid you the time of day” continued Mikey

“Aye, sad, sure I wonder what happened there”, queried Gerry.

“Ah begod it’s no secret”, said Mikey, “Sure, he used to be a teacher; spent his early teaching years in the Bolivian jungle or some such hole; supposedly teaching backward red tribal natives the English language, and also how to behave in a civilised fashion, in accordance with our practised modern Irish standards. They say he hasn’t spoken one word since he returned here to Thurles.”

Mikey took a mouthful of his beer before continuing, “They say it all started when Patsy took a native Amazon tribal Chief; Waziri, I believe his name was; for a walk in the dense jungle, to teach him the English vocabulary. Patsy was there pointing to a tree and saying to the chief, “Tree” and the chief is looking at the tree, grunting, pointing, before saying “Tree”.  Pleased with the overall response by the Amazon tribal chief, they now walk a little further and Patsy supposedly points to a rock, saying “Rock”.  Again, the chief looks, grunts and points, saying “Rock”.

“As you can imagine”, said Mikey, “Patsy is feeling enthusiastic about the progress in his English lesson. Then, without warning, his vocabulary class is suddenly disturbed by a noisy rustling in the nearby Monkey Brush Vines (Combretum rotundifolium).  Fearing an attack by a colony of Pit Viper Rattlesnakes, they peek over the top of the bushes, to encounter a tribal male and female in, shall we just say, a rather embarrassing and somewhat compromising posture”.

“Patsy now” said Mikey, taking time to swallow another mouthful of beer, “gets rather flustered, but quickly responds, whispering, “See Man riding bicycle”.  Chief Waziri looks at the couple briefly, before pulling out his hollowed, bamboo blowpipe; killing the couple, with two well aimed poisoned darts”.

“Teacher Patsy goes totally ballistic”, continued Mikey, “Yelling at the tribal chief about how he has spent years teaching his tribe to be civilised and how to be Christian in their dealings, one with an another; but now after all this newly learned Irish civilisation he is behaving like a loyal member of the Dublin Hutch and Kinahan criminal gang, returning to his old ways, having murdered two of his subjects in cold blood.

The chief again looks, grunts and points, in obvious anger, “Man riding my bicycle”.

“Ah sheer tragedy all right” agreed Gerry, “but sure I suppose as the song lyrics go, it’s like, Trying to learn from what’s behind you, and never knowing what’s in store, makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.

“Have we the price of another pint before we go?”, queries Mikey.


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