Celtic Illumination, part 406, Murder most fowl.
You would think that yesterday’s blog, on a scale of one to ten, would be reaching at least eleven on the old Spinal Tap amplifier. But no, can you believe that some people were still not satisfied. They say that as we get older we learn more and we get wiser, more understanding, more tolerant, not me, I want a gun. I could write the perfect blog, mind you, I seem to do that most days, but I am sure I would still get complaints. I even got a complaint yesterday from my daughter who tells me that she is home on Thursday not Friday, as if that is important in the great scheme of things. But the line that caused most concern yesterday was when I admitted that I wanted to attend and experience a bullfight. I found the response to this most interesting as recently, last week in fact, another writer was in hot water over the death of a rabbit.
When I say hot water and bunny rabbit, I’m not talking bunnie boiler here, but real life blood, guts and gore, veins in my teeth, I wanna kill, type violence. The good sort. Jeanette Winterson, author of the bestselling novel ‘Oranges are not the only fruit,’ found a rabbit eating the parsley in her garden and murdered the little fecker. Not only did she murder the little fecker, but she murdered it to death. Now, unfortunately we live in a world where using social media is like having a nervous tick, and I don’t mean a dog flea sitting on your arm worrying that he might upset you if he bites you. She went for a wander in her garden, as you do, well; as most writers do, just after the mid-morning champagne and just before lunch time gin, and saw a rabbit. One is assuming that, like most writers, she lived in a palatial mansion in the countryside and would have been carrying a shotgun, broken, unloaded and carried in the crook of the arm, if you don’t mind.
The rabbit would have identified itself as a rabbit, by being all brown and fluffy and she would have identified herself as being the Lady of the house by loading her gun and blowing the feckers head off. Now, nothing much out of the ordinary there, not if you are a Lady of the manor, or indeed a rabbit. Jeannette then posted, on Twitter, a photograph of the skinned rabbit on her kitchen counter stating that the rabbit had eaten her parsley now she was about to eat the rabbit. I thought it quite clever, I mean in terms of originality it’s leap years ahead of a photograph of someone’s dinner, saying yum yum or nom, nom, nom. She then began to issue more photographs as the rabbit progressed from carcass to meal. She even cut the choice bits out of the entrails and fed them to her cat, again pictured. Unbelievably there now follows a long line of attackers and abusers who threaten never to read another word Jeannette may ever write.
People argued that she should be feeding her cat, cat food, a statement that shows just how far we have moved from the realities of life, where people pretend to care more about their pampered pooch than the human beings next door. How sad. So yes, not only would I be happy to murder rabbits to death and then prepare and eat them but like my great hero Hemmingway I want to attend a bullfight. As Earnest once said, not to me of course, I think he was talking to the barman, “Anything capable of arousing passion in its favour will surely raise as much passion against it.” So I understand that as there will be people who are against me on this, there will be those beside me, in favour of it, this is something we understand more and more as we get older. The oldest fellow on the ward was ninety five years of age. A good innings you might say, but he scared the bejesus out of me, like a bull charging at full pelt, the first morning that I saw him.
It was six o clock in the morning. This old fellow didn’t really join in with the rest of us, he would sometimes listen and I could see him smile and that made me happy, but I think the banter was too fast for him and his hearing wasn’t up to it. But at six o clock in the morning he got himself out of bed, which I promise you appeared to be quite a struggle, and then I thought was having an epileptic fit, standing up. I initially prepared myself to summon help for the old fellow but as I watched, I saw that there was a certain routine or repetitiveness to what he was doing and realised that he was running through his morning exercises. He was ninety five years of age and doing his morning exercises. I was a lot younger and could hardly walk; you certainly start making promises to yourself when you experience stuff like that.
There was a new fellow in the middle bed opposite. He had very poor eyesight and actually sat with the television screen right up to his nose, which he watched constantly. He was complaining about bad headaches, see, even most of you are now coming up with diagnosis and you’re not even on the ward! Another old fellow was escorted on to the ward, and he too was ninety five years old. Deaf as a post, dressed like Al Lewis’ character, Grandpa Munster, from the television series of the same name, he walked proudly onto the ward in his bright red dressing gown and silk cravat. I knew I was okay as I didn’t have much blood left in me but I worried about the others. The staff were fussing about him, settling him in to his bed and chatting away when he announced that he was a minister of the church. My heart sank.
For some reason I immediately placed him in a negative position in my mind. You see the previous week we had the big story about Pastor James McConnell, another self-styled, self-appointed, clergyman, like dear old Ian Paisley, from some tabernacle in Belfast, who claimed that Islam is satanic, Islam is heathen, and Islam is a doctrine spawned in Hell. These statements annoyed and embarrassed most people with a brain from Northern Ireland; they also annoyed quite a lot of Muslims throughout the world. I wasn’t angry that idiots like Pastor McConnell would make things up, week after week, just to keep his collection plates full, like Paisley and his ‘silent collections.’ I was angry that people actually believed the crap he came out with. So you can imagine how many millions of Irish people covered their faces in embarrassment when Peter Robinson, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, came out and defended his words. Especially when he added insult to injury by saying that he wouldn’t trust a Muslim but he might send one to the local shop to buy him something.
This is the same First Minister, Peter Robinson, who bought the land to the rear of his back garden for five pounds then sold it to his property developer mate for three hundred and fifty thousand. The same fellow whose forty five year old wife was shagging a nineteen year old, while arranging a suspect business loan of fifty thousand pounds for him from the same property dealer, for which she charged her toy boy lover, ten thousand for the privilege of doing, while stuffing as much cocaine up their noses as they could find. Of course when she was caught and charged, her psychiatrist said that she was so depressed with the prospect of the court case that she might consider suicide so she was never taken to court. Well, guess what, Pastor James McConnell said that Jesus forgave them. That for me sums up the whole world of these pastors, and I’m sure many of you remember the stories about Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker. I really do want a gun.
So Pastors and Ministers all fall into the same category for me now and one of them was now lying opposite me. I don’t mean he was preaching I mean that he was reclining on his bed. I immediately felt so sorry for the hundreds upon thousands of innocent people who are lied to, week after week, in the name of Jesus. I of course would never lie. Not unless there was a very good reason for it. I didn’t have to lie about anything anyway, the training I had received to enable me to take up my rightful position as the High Chief of the Clan O Neill and therefore the True King of Ireland, meant that I had powers beyond the wildest dreams and aspirations of the normal man in the street. I already had Aoife, the ward pharmacist, on the top of my new good friends list. Nurses from the other wards, where I had been, were now unable to pass my bed, or ward, without entering in to some form of banter with me.
From being the quiet fellow in the corner bed, the one with the black and blue arms and the loveliest legs in Ireland, I was now becoming the centre of attention on the ward. Not that I did anything to attract this sort of attention. I hadn’t told anyone that I was the King of Ireland, I didn’t want to worry any of them, but what I needed was to get the head nurse on my side. Head nurse on the night shift, the one with the pills; she was a key player in the politics of the ward so I waited for the right moment and then made my move. Many of the nurses were young females, and by young I mean thirty years of age or thereabouts. All very pleasant and all very nice and professional. The head nurse was about fifty years of age, a sturdy woman, with dirty blonde hair, who looked like a smoker and reminded me of a young Peggy Mount. It was that time of the evening, the one with the pills and the question, yes that question. She glanced at me as I opened my eyes and smiled at her. “How are we this evening sir?” she asked, aware that her question the previous evening had seen the whole ward in stitches of laughter for five minutes. “I’m all right now I’ve got a big leggy blonde at the end of my bed.” I said, which I promise you saw a fifty year old woman giggle and squeal like a twelve year old and me get the best medical attention a man has ever received in that hospital from that moment on.