Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Tolka Romance by Bill Zunmoon

Chapter 16
In the interrogation room, the Chief Inspector huffed and puffed in his attempts to batten down the hatches of a large suitcase full of Garda t-shirts and swimwear. Eventually, with the help of a burly PC, he managed to click the locks shut. Turning to Lionel, he snapped his fingers and exclaimed, “The case is closed.”
Lionel felt very alone at that moment, notwithstanding one of Zug’s goats who had agreed to attend the interrogation. “What do you mean?” he stammered.
Sighing, the Chief Inspector went back over to the suitcase. He snapped open the locks and lifted the lid. Then he closed it again. Then he opened it and closed it once more.”You see, it’s an open and closed case,” he said.
“Say nothing,” whispered the goat. “I sense a trap.”
“People have come forward to say that they witnessed an altercation between yourself and Nigel de Havilland Ponsonby Smythe on Richmond Road on the night in question,” said the Chief Inspector. “Mr Smythe has never been seen since.” He slid the suitcase over to the radiator. “This case is hotting up nicely,” he added.
“How many times have I got to tell you?” shouted Lionel, as the goat laid a restraining hand on his shoulder. “Yes, we had an altercation. But in the middle of it, a rogue satellite crashed back to earth instantly vapourising both Nigel and itself. If Karen was here, she would tell you!”
“Ah yes, Miss Strangely-Buoyant,” responded the Chief Inspector, leafing through his notes. “Tell me again. What exactly became of her?”
“She tripped and fell into the Tolka, never to be seen again,” muttered Lionel, the defiance visibly seeping out of him.
“And three days later you moved your Mongolian mail order bride into the flat and into Karen’s bed?” He produced a sheet of wrapping paper and a roll of sellotape from behind his back and proceeded to parcel up the suitcase. “I’ll soon have this case wrapped up,” he said.
“You’ll never take me alive, copper!” snarled Lionel, which caused the Chief Inspector to furrow his eyebrows and look darkly over at the defendant. Then he strolled over to the suitcase and jumped on top of it. “Be very careful,” he warned, “The Chief Inspector’s on the case.”
Back in their cell, Lionel and the goat continued to pace up and down, though the goat kept tripping over. “Don’t know why they removed my shoelaces,” he said gruffly.
“Maybe we can tie some sheets together to make a rope and escape out the window,” suggested Lionel.
“You already tried that,” said the goat, nodding at the bare bed. “You forgot to tie one end, remember?”
Suddenly the cell-door swung open. “You got a visitor, Snitchie,” said the screw, laughing cruelly. (Due to cutbacks, prison warders had been replaced by pieces of ironmongery) “Oh good,” said Lionel and the screw stopped laughing.
“I have some good news and some bad news,” said Zug, her fingertips pawing the glass pane between them. “The bad news is, my darling, that I never loved you and I only agreed to marry you so that I could rip you off and claim EU citizenship. I have sold your apartment – you’re going to be banged up for 30 years anyway, so you won’t be needing it – and on the proceeds, Reuben and I are going to get married and live in a dacha in Slovenia. The baby was his all along, not yours, and I didn’t put Geogho down on the birth cert– we called him “Robbie Doyle” instead. Grandma has given a statement to the police that she swears she saw you washing blood out of Karen’s clothes before you incinerated them and you’ve been disowned by your entire family who have told the papers they always knew that you would come to no good.”
Lionel gulped visibly. The six inch nail by the wall glanced over at him, truncheon at the ready. “And the good news?” he stammered.
“You beat Wexford Youths 1-0,” answered Zug. “Great diving header from McGill. Still top of the table on goal difference from Dundalk. Longford Away and then Torpedo Fingal at home.”
“Yessssssss!” yelled Lionel at the top of his voice and was immediately hopped on by two raw plugs and a picture hook who proceeded to hammer the bejaysus out of him before dragging him back to the cell.

We need goals

We need goals, goals and even more goals,
Kneel down contritely and sell off your souls,
Blow them in, suck them in, summons dark holes,
All we need now is a hatful of goals.

Lets get right at them and knock it around
We look quite a team when its played on the ground
So lets play the football for which we’re renowned,
Pass it and move as we knock it around.

A dead eye for goal we’re relying upon,
Our shooting boots must be the ones that we don,
Don’t be afraid or the chance might be gone,
A dead eye for goal we’re relying upon.

The fans must be vocal and urge them to score,
Not one or two but a dozen or more
Let’s spur them on with a deafening roar
Raise the roof loudly whenever we score.

Certainly we must be firm in defence,
Losing eight-seven does not make much sense
The games left are few and the atmosphere’s tense,
But they say that attack’s the best form of defence.

We need goals, goals and even more goals,
The season’s near over, we all know our roles,
Give us one more of those Tolka Park strolls,
With some goals,
Lots of goals,
A whole netful of goals.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Legend nearly played at Tolka this year?

"Never mind the Borats, there was only one story that really caught the eye last week - the news that Morrissey is a Millwall fan.
The sardonic genius/grumpy old git (delete where applicable) has been swanning around LA in a Lions top bearing the legend 'Mobster' - and the famous quiff could be putting in an appearance at the New Den this Saturday when Millwall take on those other shrinking violets, Leeds.
At first glance the lentil-munching, Thatcher-hating, gladioli-wearing pop star and the club whose anthem is "No-one likes us, we don't care" make for strange bedfellows. But then this is the fella who penned tracks called Sweet and Tender Hooligan and that popular ode to Dennis Wise, Bigmouth Strikes Again.
In another startling revelation, Millwall number two Joe Gallen revealed: "Me and Morrissey have been best mates for years and he's always emailing me to see what's going on at the club. He's obsessed with Millwall and its culture." Extraordinary.
Gallen added: "He kept badgering me to ask if he could play 10 minutes in our pre-season friendly against Shelbourne but we couldn't do it. He hasn't been to see a game at the Den yet but he says he is going to try and get over for the Leeds match."

A Tolka Romance by Bill Zunmoon

Chapter 15
From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success, as Georges Pompidou once remarked to Lionel Ritchie. Shels’ demoralising defeat in Oriel Park, followed by the frustrating goalless draw at home to Waaaaterford, seemed to be the last iced bun that broke the camel’s coffin, but subsequent victories against star-studded Kildare County and the Magic Mons breathed new life into Shels’ promotion charge.
For Lionel, the talk of building for next season had been replaced by the need for Shels to beat Athlone and Wexford. He argued constantly with Zug’s Cousin Genghis over whether Bisto should be brought back into the team for the two matches. Lionel’s point of view was that the aforementioned striker’s presence was vital to the team. Cousin Genghis merely drew his hand across his throat and grinned menacingly which, to Lionel, did not constitute a well-reasoned argument delivered in a cogent and lucid manner.
On the Wednesday evening between Claudia Winkelman and Coronation Street, Zug gave birth to a healthy baby boy. “What is it?” called Lionel over the heads of the goats, who had gathered round to watch the birth. “It’s a baby,” snapped Zug’s grandmother. “What were you expecting, a vaccuum cleaner?”
“I think I will call the baby Geogho,” said Zug, cradling the tiny infant in her arms. “Look at his moustache and the little jink he does when he runs up to take a penalty. You are happy with this, Lionel?”
Lionel could not have been happier. He had heard rumours that mail-order brides do not often work out but here was Zug, producing a son for him only six weeks after they had met. He couldn’t wait to teach the child how to execute a perfect slide tackle while unobtrusively kicking his opponent with his trailing leg. He couldn’t wait to bring him to Tolka and show him how to abuse the opposition players. He couldn’t wait to smack him around the head and tell him not to be leaving those magazines where his mother might find them.
Curiously Zug’s Uncle Reuben, who shared a bed with the happy couple, also took a great shine to the baby and insisted on breast-feeding it during the night. However, Zug assured Lionel that this was the custom in her native Mongolia. Also, she suggested, it would be an advantage to put Reuben’s name down on the birth certificate, purely for tax reasons, to which Lionel acceded willingly.
On the Saturday afternoon of the Athlone match, Lionel was preparing to leave when Zug announced she was not feeling well and would prefer to stay in bed. Full of concern, Lionel offered to stay behind with her but she assured him that Uncle Reuben had already volunteered and that she would not want to spoil his enjoyment of the match.
He kissed her tenderly and loaded up the 93 Sunny. Grandmother took the baby in the back with Cousin Genghis while one of the goats sat in the front seat. The other goats, tethered to a piece of washing line, trotted along behind. Glancing up at the bedroom window, he could see Uncle Reuben standing there in his underpants and idly wondered if he had turned the heating up too high that morning.
The procession started off down the M50, the goats paying their way handsomely by bunching up as they passed the toll plaza, thus concealing the number plate from the camera. They turned off onto the N4, with Grandmother softly singing “When Jayo went to Poland” to the baby and Cousin Genghis amusing it by pretending to decapitate it with his scimitar.
They were just about to branch off onto the N5 when Lionel noticed the blue, flashing lights in his rear view mirror. Well, they were actually behind him, not in his mirror, and by the time Lionel realised this, the car had pulled up alongside and the long arm of the law was telling him to pull over. Being a law-abiding citizen, Lionel did so, though the goat in the passenger seat urged him to make a run for it.
“I was only doing 20mph, officer,” said Lionel, puzzled, as a team of marksmen took up position around the car.
The policeman leaned into the car and spoke through a megaphone. “Step out of the car and lie down on the ground with your hands behind your back!” he yelled, waking the baby.
Slowly, Lionel did as he was told, as did Grandmother and the baby and the goats. Only Cousin Genghis defiantly drew a finger across his throat until a bullet in the thigh put an end to his bravado.
Lionel felt the handcuffs click round his wrist.
“Lionel Snitchie,” shouted the officer through the megaphone. “I am arresting you for the murder of Nigel de Havilland Ponsonby Smythe.”

The First Division Championship

She is slim, she is brash,
She’s beguiling
In her low-cut flamenco red dress.
If you flash her the cash,
She’ll be smiling,
But its no guarantee of success.
And the suitors surround her,
They’re always around her,
They all try to woo her,
She beckons them to her.

She is wild, she likes fun,
She laughs loudly,
As you grasp her cold hand with intent.
Your actions are done
Very proudly,
Yet she’s of a flirtatious bent.
She dances with passion
In amorous fashion,
She twirls you intently,
Then lets you down gently…

The men almost fight
To escort her,
But she’s an incredible tease.
Deep into the night
They exhort her
With plaintive and heartrending pleas.
For everyone knows
At the evening’s close,
With a flick of her head
She will bring one to bed.
And I’m hopeful this time,
She will indicate I’m
The one she’ll hold tight
At the end of the night.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Classy pic

Pic by Ringsendreds

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Tolka Romance

Chapter 14
Even Tosh Moher, the kindly and affable man that organises the supporters’ buses for Shelbourne away trips, drew the line at livestock. Irish Rail were similarly unimpressed, so Lionel was forced to hire a mini-bus to get himself, Zug (his Mongolian mail-order bride), her extended family and the family’s herd of goats down to Limerick for what was Shels most important game of the season since the last one.
“We win this and we go second,” he explained to Zug. “Then, all we have to do is beat Dundalk away and Waterford at home and Bob’s your uncle.”
“She already has an uncle,” muttered the old man passing behind them, pointing angrily at his own chest. “If this Bob shows up, I will slit his throat.”
“Oh you make it sound so easy, Lionel” sighed Zug, laying her head on Lionel’s chest. “If only it could be this way all the time. We’d soon be back up among the higher echelons of Irish football where we belong.”
Lionel stroked her hair gently. She really was perfect in every way, he thought. His life had really changed for the better that dreadful day three weeks ago when Karen had been swept downstream by a raging River Tolka, never to be seen again.
After the match, as they drove the minibus down to Henry Street Garda Station to collect Zug’s grandmother and the goats, she nuzzled up to him again. “This James Keddy, he is a great player, no?” she asked. “Why are you laughing?”
She slept beside him on the minibus on the long drive home, waking only when Grandmother and Uncle Reuben broke into a particularly rowdy verse of “We’ll keep the red flag flying here.”
As the Dundalk match neared, the tension grew. Grandmother wandered around the apartment muttering “G’wan Shels!” to herself and Cousin Genghis came down with a particularly nasty case of itchy bowel syndrome. Even the goats refused to give milk, though as they were all male, this was probably not too surprising.
“You must believe!” said Zug to Lionel, whenever he got into one of his pessimistic moods. “Have you never listened to Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers? We can do anything we really want to. He is not big in Ireland, no?”
“Darling, I really don’t know how I’d get through this without you,” said Lionel, nibbling her fingers affectionately.
“I wouldn’t do that,” she warned him. “I’ve just been trying to milk the goats.”
The day of the match dawned hot and humid. Well, it was hot and humid in Yemen but in Drumcondra it was overcast and grey. Lionel climbed over Uncle Reuben and the goat on the bathroom floor and put his head under the tap. After about thirty seconds he turned it on.
“We will win Lionel!” called Zug. “I felt the baby kick me three times. In Mongolia that is a sign that we will win 3-0. One for Bisto and two for Forsyth, I think. Believe!”
“You sure?” asked Lionel doubtfully. “Unborn babies can predict football scores? This is a proved medical fact?”
“In my country, yes,” said Zug simply. “In your backward Health Service, who knows?”
Buoyed by this premonition, Lionel’s mood lightened and even the grim discovery that one of the goats had eaten his vinyl copy of “Dancing on the Ceiling” during the night could not stop Lionel grinning. He whistled as the party tore up the M1 in the outside lane at 30kph and waved cheerfully back at all the drivers who waved their fists at him as they overtook on the inside lane.
Grandmother tethered the goats to the railings of the railway station and the party made their way into Oriel Park. “They have funny grass here,” remarked Zug wistfully, as the rain came down in bucketfuls. “No wonder it is so green with all this rain.”
When Dundalk went ahead on the quarter hour mark, Lionel looked quizzically at Zug. “Believe!” she said. “We can still win 3-0.”
When the second blasted past Dean Delaney, she shrugged and went silent. Lionel’s optimism evaporated and the tears ran down his cheeks, down his arms, twice round his midriff and finally streamed down his legs. Alan Keely’s consolation goal near the end set up a grandstand finish but it was not to be.
When the final whistle blew, Lionel just sat there, while Cousin Genghis shouted at the Dundalk fans and drew his finger across his throat. At last he spoke.
“Of all the liars,” he said. Zug blanched visibly. Then she blanched invisibly. Then she blanched in and out of vision.
“Of all the liars,” he repeated, “that there baby of yours is the worst I’ve ever come across. I’ll not believe a word out of its mouth when it’s born.”