SOMEWHERE in Dublin. Probably Buswells. A Wednesday. Around teatime. Cups are clinking. A man stands up on a chair. Silently, a grey cat breaks wind and spits into a fire. Simultaneously. The man talks.
Brian — Gather round, members of me Cabinet. Right, now ye may have heard that I was over in the Merrion today announcing a few bob for them hungers in the west for the boat race thingy that they do be having over there. But before ye start mouthin’ off about it and saying how I never give ye anything, let me explain the method of me madness, right.
Coming from the strong sea-faring tradition that exists in Offaly, I explained to the Swedes that I love Abba, love them Girl With Dragon Tattoo books and if I had me choice, I’d have bought me cabinet in IKEA. Get it, me Cabinet. Ah never mind, but thanks for laughing Dermot, we can always depend on you. Anyway, where was I. Oh, yeah the Volvo thing. I threw them the few bob, said we’d give them what they want. But, and this is the best bit, the gas thing is they never guessed that the week that the race will come in to Galway in 2012, it’ll be election week. That will be the day the five years of the Government runs out, right. So when Galway is basking in drink and paella, we’ll be using it as the biggest party political broadcast the country has ever seen. Now, the only trick is to make sure that we don’t mess up and get kicked out before then.
Dermot — Oh, it’ll be great boss. Won’t it Mansergh?
Martin — Well, well, well, well, well. now, now, now, I, I, I:
Brian — Mansergh, ya see now why we put ya on Morning Ireland for them three-minute slots. Isn’t that right Mee-hawl?
Michéal — Sure thing Teeshock. It’s a great idea, boss.
Brian— Boss, nice touch, I like it. Anyway, picture this lads, Kenny will be seething at the sight of me coming in looking tanned and all casual like, standing up on the Green Dragon, me hair blowing in the wind like Donie Cassidy’s, 10,000 Galway luvvies high on hummus and Heineken waiting at the shore like, singing The Feels of Athenry, Ha?. I’d say it’ll be wan of them Crowes who’ll be mayor that year. I’d say they won’t let Hydrogen Naughton or whatever her name is near it anyway.
Mary— You’re a genius, Tee-shock.
Brian — I am. They used to say that Bertie is the most cunning, but this is the best ever, so to coin a phrase I picked up yesterday, we have to stay shipshape, so I don’t want any of ye messing up. And that includes you Mary. I see them media types are saying about you being vulgar and cringemaking, I hope there’s no truth in that.
Mary — “Teeshock, no bodder, I couldn’t give a shite about what they say anyway, it’s water off a duck’s arse to me, now, so it is.”
Brian — Grand Mary, but the role I have in mind for you is sort of a Granuaile-type. The Pirate Queen.
Mary — Will I get a parrot Teeshock? And can I say ‘Shiver me feckin’ timbers.”
Brian — “No Mary, the parrots were only for them English pirates, not the Irish ones. And forget the timbers line. We’ll get ya a carrot, aren’t ya into that healthy atin and pilots exercises? I’ve axed them to throw in a round Ireland race at the end so that instead of Bertie’s whistlestop chopper tour, we’ll go all Green and hop aboard the Draghon and get off in every port, shake a few hands, pucker up to a few babies and get on the boat again. Our carbon fingerprint will be down to nawthing and it won’t cost us a penny.
Eamon — Well on behalf of the Greens, I think it’s a great idea...
Brian — So ya should Ryan cos you’ll probably be the only Green to hold a seat, so we might need ya. To do the cooking like.
Eamon A Dó — Ceárd faoi mise? But what about me Teeshock. Didn’t I get the race for ye?
Brian — Oh jaysus, Cuiv, are you still with us and poor Willie gone? Anyway. Yeah, I’m getting ya a báinin sweater, and you can row us in if the wind goes flat. I have a line for ya in the gaeilgish. “Ta siad ag teacht, Eamon. Ta siad ag teacht.” Good man. Now, back to the tea lads. Dig in.
The cat blinks silently and goes to sleep. Outside the sea howls. The curtain closes.