from South Tipp
following is an excerpt from a conversation overheard in
a rural watering hole in south Tipperary:
TJ: Whats i-tall about atall, Christy? Work
yer hands ta the bone for sixty years . . . and all for
what? A kick in the hole. Deyd take every last penny
an leave ya out for the wolves. The whole tingd
take years off ya, if yad any years left ta give.
Get dem in dere, yer round.
Christy: Yid be right about one thing: tis a nasty
business. But yer wrong about it bein my round. I
just got the last one.
TJ: Are ya sure tis my twist? Tought aye got the last ones...dere
bout five minutes ago...
Christy: Did in yer ear! Yeh havent put yer hand in yer
pocket all day. Just goes ta show how drunk yeh are . .
. on a coupla Jemmies. Can yeh not hold yer drink no more?
I got the first two. [Turning to the bar and shouting] Brian!
Another stout and a wee wan for Memory Man here!
TJ: Memory Man indead. Christ, aye mind better times dan
deese, when a mand bglad ta be live and
ya were shown a bitta respect. Deese days dere all lined
up for dere pounda flesh. Dere trying ta get their claws
inta me. The countrys gone ta the dogs.
[Christy remains silent, rolling a cigarette, deep in thought]
TJ: The whole worlds gone mad. Computer dis and digidal
dat and its backwards were goin. Why couldnt
dey leave tings alone? Dere was nottin wrong with
dis wee country - now were all cogs in the machine.
Me poor Dad - God rest his soul - always said the commiesd
get us an he wasnt far wrong. [Raising his glass]
Cheers, for what its worth.
Christy: Cheers. Did yeh see the new machine in the jacks?
Yiv ta put in three euros ta get bog roll out!
TJ: Yer not serious! Think ayell take a few quick
gulps of the air before dey start chargin for dat
Christy: Ha! Got yeh! Only messin. Mine you, itll
probly be the next thing.
TJ: Ya know, if aye was ta do i-tall agin, ayed live
in a differnt country. Whyd we fight the Brits off
and den sell ourselves to the highest bidder? All dem lives
lost ta keep our land and den dem yellabellies up in Dublin
give it-all ta the E U. Now dey want it-all for demselves
ta build dere precious roads. Deyll not take me land
witout a fight...
Christy: Thats all fine and well when the drinks
talkin but you know as well as I do that theres
nothin we can do ta stop them. They kin do what they
like and whats two ole fools like us gonna do ta stop
them? Better ta just sit here and enjoy the brew - leave
our troubles outside for a while. Sure, this is the only
refuge we get.
TJ: Aye just dont get it dough: every time ya switch
on the news theres anoder smash and more people kilt.
Carnage . . . hunderds every year . . . an now dey
want ta take our farms an build more roads an
kill more people.
Christy: Theres no value on a human life these days.
Like yeh said yerself, were only clogs in the machine.
[Grimaces] Me flippin backs killin me.
Id nearly go an see Doctor Lennon cept
hes chargin a fortune these days. Theyre
all at it since this euro came in.
TJ: Aye, yer right. Tis the biggest rip-off ever. Everytings
dearer and we have less money. Dem TDsre as crooked
as bdamned, linin dere pockets. They should
all be in prison wit dat Lawless fella. The nations
bein run by a buncha crooks. Backhanders here and
backhanders dere. Tis like tennis or sometin.
Christy: Thats the only reason they brought in the
euro, so they dont have to change the money when they
go to Brussels with bribes - or when they come back with
their pockets lined!
TJ: Or when dere snakin off on holladay ta the Canaries
at the taxpayers expense... Christy: Did yeh hear
the one about the man that went inta the butcher lookin
for two pounds worth a mince? An the butcher told
him he only deals in euros now? Well, he says,
Ill have two pounds worth of euros then!
TJ: Tis no laughin matter, dis euro has us all frigged
. . . lambs ta the slaughter. As if we werent bein
badly enough screwed already... Tis one friggin disaster
after anoder in dis country: angel dust, BSE, Foot &
Mouth - an always false alarms.
Christy: Ah, in all fairness now, the foot an mouth was
the real deal -
TJ - well nonna my bests had it. Tis all a big bloody conspiracy
ta get ridda us farmers an move us off our land, build
more roads. Dats why dey wont give us a daycent
price for the beef anymore: tryin ta get shotta us.
All deese scare stories too and den dey go round sayin
were doin it ourselves, dat were injectin
slurry in our own animals! How would ya get dat stuff inta
a needle in the name-a God? Dey dont want people eatin
meat no more. Dere replacin us wit scientists dat
grow food in labertrees. Throw a droppa water on a seed
and yev got a tomata. Dey reckon folkll soon be able
ta grow dere own chickens at home in the kitchen sink in
a matter a minutes . . . cook dem in the mikerwave twice
as fast. [Christy giggles] Dunno what yer titterin
about. Were all feckin doomed!
Christy: Mother of divine procrastination, will ya relax
there! Ill get a round in [Heads for the bar]
TJ: [to himself] If aye didnt know any better ayed
swear dat hoor was one-a-dem. Tis all a big joke ta him.
Whats his game anyroad? Ayell suss the eejit
out when he comes back wit the soup. [Christy returns]
Christy: Get that down ya! Chill out.
TJ: [???] Are ya tryin ta get me drunk? [pauses dramatically,
for effect] Havent seen ya at mass wit the missus
in a while...
Christy: We go our own way. Cant be livin in
each others pockets. Besides the sparks gone
if yeh know what I mean. Might be differ if I was a-courtin
that Britley Spears . . . Id spear her, way-hey!
TJ: Yer a vulgar man, Christy Dunne. Yiv changed, dats
for sure. Are ya in yer second childhood or sometin?
Is dat why ya still follow dem baby-killers?
Christy: Me political preferences are me own concern. [rubbing
his hands together] Dont try ta tell me yeh wouldnt
give her a lash if yeh got half the chance yerself TJ Murphy
. . . or is that Cork blood still in yer veins, drivin
yeh insane? Any man with...
TJ: [shouting] Ihm a married man! Aye havent laid
eyes apon anoder woman in forty year.
Christy: Yeh lyin bast- [TJ jumps to his feet]
TJ: Outside ya hoor ya! Or ayell drop ya where ya
sit. [raises a bony fist and shakes it] Dya want some?
Christy: What the Hells wrong with yeh man? Will yeh
sit down before yeh fall down? If we get thrown outta this
place we may as well stop breathin altagether. Sit
down, a vic. Were on the same side here. [winks] Well
have one for the road. Cmon, relax. Im not the
TJ: How do aye know dat for sure? If yer crowd had yer way
dered be no more childern born in dis country. Yer
a changed man an aye woulden be suprised if the TDs
got ta ya with dere blood money. [sits, reluctantly]. Yiv
no morals - yer just like dem.
Christy: I just look at things a bit different to yeh, thats
all. Im a bit more liberal, less conservative. But
I still agree with yeh, TJ, tis a nasty business thats
afoot and were gonna lose big time. Theyre takin
our land, our animals, our money, swindlin us left
right an centre of whats rightfully ours. [fixes
TJ in a practised gaze] Were the last of our kind,
were in this tagether.
TJ: Did ya see the match Sunday. Well be back at Croke
Park agin dis year.
Christy: less theres a soccer match on there
that day or somethin! Or maybe the British soldiers
will be doin a drill...
TJ: Nottins the same as it used ta be. [lifts his
glass and takes a drink] Except dis. Ahhh... People dont
even talk annamore - dey just post messages on the interweb.
Christy: Aye, its nice ta sit an have a chat
an a few porters with an old friend. [scratches his
nose] Ya could almost pretend everythings goin
ta be alright. That we were a protected species and that
drink was still the same price as it was back in nineteen
an fifty-eight. Whose shout is it anyway?
TJ: Tink its yers. Aye hear Brian Galligans
pigsve got the blue ear...
Christy: Nice one - who needs the webnet when weve
you TJ Murphy?