Celtic Illumination, part 390, Fassbender, Neeson, Farrell et moi.
I suppose if I wasn’t Irish, God forbid, I would, if I had the choice, be French. And it is not that I wish to be some sort of French crooner, no, in fact recent reports, or surveys, state that the Irish accent is sexier than any other European accent. I think people like Liam Neeson, Michael Fassbender and Colin Farrell might have something to do with those choices. The French are renowned for their liberal employment laws which put the worker at the forefront. As the future King of Ireland I wouldn’t want a bunch of them coming around to my house and chopping my head off, Vive la Revolution, but I do think that they had the right idea at the time. This is the reason most British people are encouraged to hate the French, or at least think that they should hate the French.
The French have managed to cut their retirement age by two years, enjoy six weeks paid leave every year, extremely generous sick leave and still have rights concerning going on strike. However the latest addition to their employment laws is one I wish they could have brought in to the UK. In France you may have to work thirty five hours per week but during the other one hundred and thirty three hours of the week, designated for rest, employers are no longer allowed to contact staff. So if you were employed on a standard nine to five contract it is now illegal to respond to telephone calls or e mails after six o clock in the evening. So while my French counterpart can raise two fingers to his, or her, boss calling them at nine o clock on a Sunday evening I unfortunately would have to respond.
And it did happen, not just one Sunday evening at nine o clock but throughout the week. The company provided you with a mobile telephone so that you could be contacted as and when required. I got a call one Sunday evening from Delia explaining that complaints had been made by a member of the support staff, at one of the houses I managed, that one member of staff had been showing pornographic material to a person supported to live in the community. It didn’t faze me as I had come across this problem when with Jimmy and Andrew. Although Andrew would sell himself for sex he wasn’t a homosexual, in fact he was interested in women, in a sexual way. I would buy him pornographic magazines each month which he seemed to enjoy, so even though I was way out of my depth on this aspect of his life, from a physiological aspect, I felt that I was at least making some headway in moving towards a better understanding of him, his likes and his dislikes.
I was also very aware of Richard and his born again Christian status and knew that I would probably be in deep trouble for buying porn for Andrew. I still went ahead and did it but my next step, which was to take Andrew to Amsterdam and book him in to a special brothel that catered for people with disabilities was be dangerous in the extreme and not for Andrew but for my career. My assumption was based on the reaction of mother number one who not just averted her eyes, but looked as if she would have gouged them out if she could, when I pointed out the local brothel where we lived in Germany. I felt it was a very interesting addition to the argument that disabled people were to be considered equal in our new society. Andrew was up for it so Tony and myself were going to take short weekend break to Amsterdam and not really bother to tell anyone about it. Seems strange that someone who is to be considered equal, has to get permission to do almost anything out of the ordinary.
So it was that I found myself at nine o clock on a Sunday evening speeding across country toward Manchester. The telephone didn’t stop ringing during the sixty minute drive and it was only as I neared Manchester that I realised that Delia had called Pauline out too. It must have been pretty serious for the two of us to attend. As Pauline lived in Manchester she was at the scene before me, she came outside when she saw me pull up and explained that in her opinion it was nothing serious. As I knew she ran her own sex chat line I decided to investigate the matter myself before taking her word for it. I settled myself in the kitchen and began to interview the support worker. The pornographic magazine was produced and I was surprised to find that it was in fact a supplement to one of the Sunday newspapers.
British newspapers are rubbish at the best of times, especially the more popular ones, extreme and sensationalist, but pornographic, no. Although having said that, that is my interpretation of pornographic, someone else may have a different perspective. I began to ask the support worker about her religious beliefs and discovered that like Richard she too was a born again Christian and found the magazine offensive. So imagine it, you have two young men sitting at a table, one is flicking through a magazine, he comes across a picture, or series of pictures, of young women in seductive clothing and poses. Is he going to make some sort of comment to the other fellow, well; I would say yes. Some sort of comment, or joke, will be made and therefore it could be considered to be a natural, normal, exchange. It was obvious that the whole situation had been blown out of proportion.
Not only had I wasted one hour driving over to Manchester I now had to waste another hour driving back home. I wonder if I had been subject to this new French law if I would have refused to answer the telephone to Delia. In fact the strangest call I ever got from Delia was when she was in a pub quiz and rang me to find out the name of an actor who had played the character ‘Bomber’ in the television series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. For you geeks out there I am sad to say that I knew it was a fellow called Pat Roach. The only reason his name stuck in my mind, I think, is because he was a huge fellow who used to be a wrestler and participated under the name of Pat ‘Bomber’ Roach which I found interesting as his character name, in a totally unconnected project, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, was Bomber. Told you I had a screw loose.
I did stick up to Delia once. It was a senior managers meeting and she asked for volunteers to cover the position of duty manager over Christmas and New Year period. She volunteered to cover Christmas Day. Ever since the armed forces I had worked Christmas holiday periods and every other public holiday going. I was sick and tired of it and I said so. I suggested that as senior managers we put our feet up for once and relax. That we allow the junior managers, who wanted to make themselves known, to step forward and cover the duties. It didn’t really matter if we were on duty or not, if an incident was serious enough, than we would be called out anyway. My suggestion didn’t go down too well and was perhaps too French for Delia’s liking.
Sometimes I would get a completely unexpected telephone call from someone you wouldn’t have dreamt of hearing from. It was a Thursday evening and the telephone rang, I’m sure you had already worked that out by yourselves. It was John, the younger brother of Pat my old girlfriend in Warrenpoint. John and I didn’t really speak, even if face to face, not since I had hit him across the head with a house brick, but that’s a different story. And before any of you start thinking that I was some sort of thug, no, I wasn’t. It was an accident. John had a wheelbarrow and was crossing the field next to their house. I was turfing bricks from the garden into the field and John suggested that I try and get a brick into the wheelbarrow he was pushing. Say no more, like Jeff Capes himself, I put myself behind the brick and launched it in his general direction. It would be of no surprise to any of you to learn that the house brick landed fair and square in the metal wheel barrow, but with a mind of its own, it leapt out, although I believe the technical term is bounced, and connected with John’s head.
Anyway, ignoring the seven stitches and whether I did it on purpose or not, as if, John asked me how mother number one was. “Fine,” I said, I thought, slightly embarrassed to admit that I hadn’ t spoken to her for over two years ever since her and the pervert priest had thrown me out of what was supposed to be my own family home. “Oh right,” says John. “Because she passed out in Church on Sunday morning and was taken to Newry hospital.” Despite the fact that mother number one was surrounded by priests and nuns and a whole array of God fearing Christian’s, that wouldn’t say boo to a goose, not one of them had the common decency to contact me or my sister. It made me wonder also that none of my other eleven brothers or sisters had bothered to contact me and I was finding it difficult to accept that all eleven of them had decided not to contact me, their very own flesh and blood.
With neither family wanting to contact me I had no option but to begin believing that I was perhaps evil or perhaps that I hadn’t been marked by God but by Beelzebub himself. Of course what I wasn’t aware of was the double top secret cabal working away in the background making sure that when I became the true King of Ireland I would be in a position where no one could emotionally touch me. That’s why I had the most loveliest legs in all of Ireland to help carry around the sexiest accent in the whole world. Jealous yet? Yeah, thought you might be.