Celtic Illumination, part 332, The lost religion of masculinity.
I was going to start off today by suggesting that I would have to be much more careful about how I write. Having given the matter some thought I feel it might be better if I suggest that you lot, The Illuminati, begin reading a bit more carefully. As you all know there are about three thousand three hundred of you that read this blog every day and some of you are not paying attention. This results in a lot of unnecessary correspondence, most, I admit, being threats of the imposition of super injunctions from various legal teams on the Isle of Man. Now it would appear that we have moved up a gear from the standard barrage of legal threats and begging letters to threats of violence. So I now need you all to sit yourselves up straight and begin reading in a dignified and serious manner, take notes if you wish, and please get your elbows off the desk Patti, don’t slouch.
Apart from questioning the authority of a member of the O Neill Clan to be the rightful heir of the throne of Ireland, this fellow, Ed Mooney, a very professional photographer from the county of Kildare, ( http://edmooneyphoto.wordpress.com/ ) believes that he, as a member of the O’Maonaigh clan, who are descendants of Érimón the first High King of Ireland, could claim the right to be King of Ireland. I know that by now most of you will have blown huge holes in his argument, which he finished off in a most unprofessional manner by offering to meet me at Tara for fisticuffs. For those of you unaware of the ancient Irish game of fisticuffs this does not involve throwing dice or playing cards, but two fully grown men, stripped to the waist who then proceed to hammer lumps out of each other with their fists.
The last time I saw a game of fisticuffs was in Crossmaglen town square when the King of the Gypsies was defending his title. Two huge men, like shire horses, landing punches that I can still hear to this very day, steam rising from their naked torsos and the crowd, swirling around the pair of them like an ebbing tide, gasping with each blow that was given. First of all I am claiming nothing and I thought I made that clear. I am simply stating fact; I have been marked by God himself and that mark indicates that I am a candidate for the position of the High Chief of the Clan O Neill and therefore the King of Ulster. Of course when I say Ulster I mean all the nine counties of Ulster and not the six counties presently under British occupation that the geographically challenged wrongly refer to as Ulster. Until the people of Ireland decide whether or not they want each of the four provinces to have its own King then I will act as the one, true, single, King of Ireland, unless of course the O Neill Clan Council remove me.
Any Celt is a very proud person and I don’t mean that they strut about in a self-important sort of way; I mean that they are proud of their name and their lineage. Most Celts will be able to tell you the story and history of their family name and so it should be, it’s an important part of being associated with the land, of saying I am of this place, always have been and always will be. So when people like Ed Mooney offer me violence I do not take offence, in fact it makes me proud to see the deep and passionate love that a person has for his country being presented in such a bare and raw manner. Politicians can and will sit about, and as long as they keep getting paid, will talk rubbish about nothing for ever and ever, in fact in Ireland we say that they could talk the hind leg of a donkey.
So this situation has to be resolved quickly without detailed discussion and without any donkeys getting hurt. I expect objections to be raised and I expect all sorts of people to suggest that their lineage is more appropriate than mine. It doesn’t matter if you feel that you are directly descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages or if your family or Clan were mentioned in The Tain or were even stealing cattle over at Cooley. The time for debate is over; the time for action is now. Any academic involved with Irish history will tell you that on page four of Lebor Gabala Erenn, a history of Ireland from the creation of the world to the Middle Ages, in the third paragraph you will see the statement that God himself will choose the King of Ireland, where it says, “And he will maketh his choice clear for all by marking their left hand, not the right hand, but the left, so that all who see the divine mark will follow and the left hand will be the symbol, the leader and the light.”
So let’s have no more threats of violence of offers of fisticuffs, although to be fair to him I think Ed had second thoughts and agreed that perhaps we might forego his suggested early morning bout of pugilism and simply share a few beers together. It’s nice to see common sense take the lead although talking about pugilism allows me to take you all back to the main story, having dealt with Ed Mooney and his little diversion which no doubt will happen again and I will have to deal with the situation again, but, getting back to the main story and pugilism, I had started to contact Chris Eubank, another boxer.
Like football I have no interest whatsoever in boxing, in fact I think it is a brutal and disgusting spectacle, but Eubank seemed to fit my requirement. He was a retired boxer, so earning money would be important to him but more importantly he was a showman. He spoke with a lisp and in affected upper-class tones, thinking himself to be a bit of a dandy. He wore jodhpurs, a bowler hat, carried a silver tipped cane and wore riding boots and a monocle. You may think all that was mad enough but he also drove himself around in a huge American sixteen wheeled juggernaut. I think every person who saw him knew his body language was screaming, ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ It was clear that this was the sort of fellow who would have no problem fronting a book.
At the time Eubank was beginning to get involved in an anti-drug movement, claiming that he wanted to help young people stay clear of drugs. I decided to write a detective book for him to front, where the main character, the private detective, was a black man. He would hold two or three university degrees, be very good looking, like me, but would not be able to get an appropriate job in Britain because of the inherent racism. I knew that Eubank was keen on highlighting race issues as well as his line on drugs, so I thought both themes in a book would satisfy him. My only problem was that I wanted to create a fantastic book; I wanted a plot that was perfectly simple to read and understand but that was also intensely complex, where the key to the whole story is not given away to the very last line of the book. I wanted to write a proper book for him which of course might carry a little humour as well.
That wasn’t really my only problem; one huge problem was trying to contact Eubank. He seemed to be more slippery that a really slippery thing. I eventually managed to track him down and contact him through his tailor, I kid you not, I tracked him down to Cad and The Dandy, a Savile Row firm of tailors that sells overpriced clothes to stupid people. If I had thought Murphy and O Grady had been elusive I had another thing coming with Eubank. Although I have to admit I think I had worn Murphy down. He telephoned me to say that he had been approached by a publisher and asked to produce a coffee table book about Lily Savage. He was going to take the deal offered by the publisher but he had also agreed that after publishing this coffee table book they would publish my two Lily Savage novels. This, according to Murphy, was what the publisher wanted.
I may have been on the same court as the big boys but I certainly did not know all the rules, which I presume is what you have to know in order to start breaking them. Jeffrey blew a fuse, which is putting it mildly. Money had not been mentioned by Murphy so Jeffrey said to me this is what is going to happen. Murphy would call me and say that he had been offered an advance for all three books; Jeffrey suggested a figure of five thousand pounds. He will then say that the breakdown would be four and a half thousand for the coffee table book and five hundred for my two books. He’s trying to rip you off Peter. I was concerned that this was the second occasion that Murphy had blatantly tried to rip me off and as he claimed to be an Irishman, like Ed Mooney yesterday, there was one standard and accepted way we could sort this out with a nice little game of fisticuffs between Murphy and me. Seconds out.