“Are you feeling okay Thackeray” my chum Spike Righteous politely asked me as he saw me sneezing on my way to the bar. “I’m quite alright Spike thank you” I answered, beckoning Tracey man-barmaid to give me a hot toddy “ it’s just a dose of handsomeness….I’ve suffered from it all my life I’m afraid”. “I don’t think I’ve ever got that I’m glad to say” Spike said touching the marble counter with his head “and touch wood I never will”. “I’m pretty sure you’re safe Spike” I smiled “as for Biffo here…I think his family are genetically immune from ever contracting it”. Biffo who was playing hopscotch on his own at the other end of the bar, reacted in his usual manner when hearing his name taken in vain “Me…what….no…definitely not me”. “I rest my case….so Spike anything interesting in the propaganda newspapers?” I asked throwing back my whiskey with a flourish. “Well of course there are the usual ramblings from the politicians about the budget” Spike answered, leafing through his favourite daily newspaper “The Biased Independent”. “More for them and less for us” I mused ordering two more rounds on Biffo’s tab after I had seen him collapse whilst endeavouring a tricky manoeuvre in hopscotch that involved standing on one foot. “That pretty much sums it up Thackeray” Spike nodded “oh look here…scientists at Oxford have proven that… kissing… is a means of accessing compatibility between men and women”. “Only a scientist would come up with that…locked away with their lab rats for friends….proving what everyone else knows from when they were born” I scoffed. “That’s certainly true” said Tracey man-barmaid who was listening to our conversation “I’ve certainly kissed a few frogs in my life….you escaped though Thackeray…..there’s only so low I could go”. “Paid them did you” I retorted crossly “I’m sure they’re receiving counselling after that experience….now be off with you”. “It says here that the more attractive the person is…..the more picky they are about which partner they’ll settle down with” Spike read, shaking his head in awe. “Geniuses those chaps at Oxford are….that’s exactly why I haven’t been able to settle down with the right kind of woman” I said smacking my lips “I’m simply too attractive….and therefore too picky”. “My wife was the first person I ever kissed” Spike said, with a faraway gaze, fondly remembering the moment. “Need I say more Righteous….need I say more” I guffawed. The art of kissing….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….
“Would you believe that…the Bank of England sold stolen Nazi gold” my chum Spike Righteous exclaimed, shaking his head as he read the newspaper down in the club for our usual Tuesday night drinky woo delights “they’ll do anything those banks”. “Doesn’t surprise me” I said with a heavy sigh, puffing on my e-cigarette “the Irish banks would have done it only the Germans wouldn’t trust them with it….quite right too in my opinion”. “Did any of ye ever see The Boys from Brazil…..great show that….Gregory Peck…Laurence Olivier…James Mason…about the old Nazis hiding out in Paraguay after the war….and planning to take over the world again” my chum Biffo Boyle added dramatically, who was trying to play darts with both eyes closed whilst sipping his brandy. “Why didn’t they call it The Boys from Paraguay then….if Brazil had nothing to do with it?” Spike asked, visibly irritated “it doesn’t even make sense….I hate this political spin”. “Oh pipe down Righteous…sure the Boys from Paraguay wouldn’t have the same ring to it at all at all” Biffo answered quickly, narrowly missing a bystander with a dart “you know nothing about show business”.
“They would have been better off calling it “The Lads from Listowel”….sure a whole battalion of them settled down there in Kerry after the war…..threw towels on all the beaches and took the whole place over” I said, rattling Spike’s newspaper to let him know it was his round. “That must be the reason why Kerry are so good at the football then?” Biffo said, throwing a dart at the dartboard and realising he played better with his eyes closed. “Precisely the reason” I added “its all the goose-stepping from an early age you see….they’re able to kick their legs an incredible height….sure no one can touch them”. “And is that why they all look the same down there?” Spike asked ordering brandy’s all round. “It is…but you can spot them if you’re a highly trained Garda like myself….it’s the small moustaches that give them away” Biffo replied solemnly. “You’ll go far Biffo….we should call you Biffo The Holmes Boyle with deductive skills like that” I said, drinking Spike’s brandy while he wasn’t looking. “that’s why our old Fuhrer CJH bought an island down there you know….he reckoned that’s where they buried all the gold….built autobahns all over the Kerry….with the help of the Lads from Listowel….to get the gold out….they only had goat tracks before then” I continued. “Our leader…CJH….the man with the Midas touch” Biffo said proudly. “He must have found it then….on Treasure Island” Spike interrupted “how else could he afford those expensive shirts”. “No Spike…the taxpayer paid for them “ Biffo answered dismissively. “Taxpayer” I declared loudly, shuddering all over “I used to know one of them….accountants favourite line to the Revenue Commissioners at the end of the tax year….all that glitters is not gold chaps” and we all guffawed. Cash for gold….still it seemed like a good idea at the time….