Celtic Illumination, part 324, The cat in the hat, with the attitude.
I’m afraid that once again I must start this blog with the most horrendous news of yet another casualty resulting from our drive for world domination. I suppose revealing the casualty in the blog is similar to being ‘mentioned in dispatches’ or receiving the dreaded telegram from the war office, ‘missing in action presumed dead.’ I have to admit that when I learned that I was to become the King of Ireland I never expected that I would have to deal with the horrors of war, again. Late last night it was revealed to me that Patti Welsh, a long-time member of The Illuminati, has been critically injured. The poor girl has ‘laughed her ass off,’ which is a great setback for the movement, and no doubt socially humiliating for Patti.
Patti was probably encouraged to join the Illuminati by the double top secret cabal who have been preparing me to become the world’s leading Master Candle Maker, the High Chief of the Clan O Neill and of course the King of Ireland. Patti like the rest of you, The Illuminati, has a specific skill that they bring to the group. No one is here because they want to be. Patti’s skill is that she is a history buff, but more importantly she is an Irish history buff with a creative talent for leading people through Tir Na nOg, The Tain and even The Lorrha Missal. As I am about to use this blog to explain exactly why it is that I have a claim to the throne of Ireland I, in fact we, need people like Patti to inspect my claim, to validate my right and to show you, The Illuminati, that I really am the true King of Ireland. So let us all turn towards America, over there in the USA, and send our thoughts and wishes that she heals quickly and returns to our ranks.
And return is perhaps the theme I may adopt today for my musings. I had hardly returned to England when I was asked to return to the Isle of Man. Before many of you start jumping to conclusions it wasn’t the Manx constabulary who wanted me to return, they could never prove anything anyway, it was Tony and Mary. They had decided to return to Ipswich, well; Shotley they had had enough of Island life. Certain people suggested that because the Isle of Man was a tax haven, it was top heavy with millionaires, which meant that Tony wasn’t the richest man in the village. In fact by Manx standards he was quite poor, although if you wanted to see real poverty on the Isle of Man all you had to do was look at Clancey. There you would see real hardship, addiction, abuse, criminality, and that was just his poor wife Sally.
Tony asked me to hire a van near Heysham, pick it up, then take it over to him on the island where we would load it up and return to Shotley in England. This time the three of us, sorry, the four of us, I’m always forgetting the fecking cat. Anyway the four of us, Tony, Mary, Myself and Ben, yes the cat is called Ben, we would return in one van and with one of the cars. I could remember the kerfuffle when they moved over to the Island as the most important part of the day was waiting for the vet who gave poor Ben some form of injection, to knock it out for the flight. In the air force we called that vodka, but as you all know it is very difficult to get a cat drunk, they never buy anybody else a drink and tend to sit in the peanut bowl. This time Ben was travelling with us, in a cage, on a boat, drugged to the eyeballs and completely out of it, lucky fecker.
I had arrived a day or two before the actual move and intended enjoying myself by getting out and about on the Island. I stayed well away from Clancey as I expected he would be chained to the sink at the Glenduff restaurant, working off the bill for his wedding reception. The poor fellow would probably have been terribly embarrassed if I had pitched up, so I saved him the humiliation and of course would never speak about it again, in case he got offended. It was nice zipping about the island, taking in their folklore, history, customs and of course beer till we came to the day for the move. The three of us stood in the kitchen, I don’t know where Ben was, running through our check list for the journey that lay before us. Both vehicles had been fuelled and the oil and water and tyres had been checked and kicked. We knew the route we would follow; Tony had all the tickets and paperwork. The only thing missing was cigarettes.
I volunteered to go to the local shop to buy some cigarettes. We would be landing in England at Heysham, late at night and would be driving through the night, down to Shotley, we were not sure if there would be anywhere open along the way so employing the five P’s, Prior Planning Prevents a Piss Poor Performance, sorry, the six P’s we knew we would have most of our cravings catered for. As I began to leave Tony was talking with Mary, he wanted her to ask me something but she was hesitant. I had to enquire. Mary needed some sanitary tampons and was reluctant to ask me to pick some up at the shop for her. Being a man I laughed it off and asked her for details of the brand she wanted. Of course being a man I had no understanding, no feelings, no emotion, in fact Irene even says I don’t have a heart, I have a house brick swinging at the end of a piece of string.
I remember pitching up at the shop, one of those small country stores where you pull up right outside the door. I went in and straight up to the counter. There were two ladies behind the counter; one asked if she could help. I asked for six packets of cigarettes and a box of tampons. One lady grabbed the cigarettes while the other fetched the tampons. The cigarettes were laid on the counter before me while the other lady held out the box of tampons and asked I would like them put into a bag. I laughed at the suggestion and said “It’s no problem.” Ever had your head bitten off? “It is for some of us!!” she hissed, while putting the tampons in a plain brown paper bag and offering them to me. Now, I may have been your typical insensitive male but one thing was for sure and that is I knew I had just been told off. I wasn’t exactly sure what for, and needed time to think about what had happened, but was very careful as I backed out of the shop.
I hedged my bets when I got back to the farm house and left the tampons on the side, in the kitchen, still in the plain brown paper bag. I then busied myself filling the van and car with stuff. The fellow who would be renting the house from Tony turned up in his JCB, an Irish fellow, so it was nice to see that someone cultured and stylish would be looking after and enjoying the place in our absence. We set off for the boat, I drove the van, Mary was a passenger and Ben was unconscious in a cage between us. Another vet had turned up and injected Ben who now was giving a very good imitation of me on most Friday nights. The crossing was boring and in a way I believed I was going to miss the farm house on the Isle of Man more than they were.
At Heysham we had another Blues Brothers moment. “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.” Well’ we were at Heysham and heading for Shotley Gate three hundred miles away and a little different to Chicago. We did have sufficient fuel in our tanks, plenty of cigarettes and it was dark. The only one who may have wanted to wear sunglasses would be Ben when he woke up, if he ever did. And he did, somewhere along the A1 motorway.
If you remember on the first evening we had on the Isle of Man I had broken the silence with a short, sharp, but very loud case of flatulence. Ben, not to be outdone, was now signalling the end of our Isle of Man sojourn with a similar salutation. Both Mary and I heard it, and despite the fact that it was pitch dark and we were travelling at seventy miles per hour, we both looked at the cage where the eruption had emanated from. Ben didn’t even have the decency to give a badger warning and within a second or two that was all we could smell, dead badger, which had me perform an emergency stop on the hard shoulder. Tony pulled up behind and came forward wanting to know why the pair of us had exited the van and were retching at the side of the road.
Tony drove the van from then on, just in case Ben gave a repeat performance. I don’t think he did, and the remainder of the drive was boring and uneventful. We arrived at the old house in Shotley and unpacked. Tony quite obviously had picked up on my military training, having seen how well organised and structured my life was, and had utilised the five P’s plan, sorry, the six P’s plan as he had managed to get his son to leave a huge bottle of whiskey on the kitchen table for us. With the van and car unloaded, we were all knackered, even Ben, so we sat around the dining table and cracked open the bottle. Ben didn’t, he went off moaning about pillow abuse or something. My detailed scientific research, which I had been involved in for years, took an unexpected turn in the morning, for as I woke up, or regained consciousness if you like, lying on the floor of the living room, next to Tony and Mary, I realised that during the night I had been attacked by the carpet.
Carpets and pillows were in cahoots! I wondered if any other household items were involved in this escapade. I lifted myself off the floor and managed to get myself in to a standing situation, I made for the kitchen where I knew I could get some refreshing water. I looked about for the mythical gorilla as I smacked my dry lips together. I knew he had paid me a visit, but the only animal I could see was Ben as he prowled around on his morning patrol. It occurred to me as I stuck my head under the cold tap that for all these years we may have been following a false path. Pillows and carpets might not be the cause of hangovers, the mythical gorilla didn’t really exist, what if, and this was a big if, big enough to rock the world, what if cats were the cause of hangovers?