s t e p h e n m o r a n
- introduction -
cLoco the clown
the silver circle
[a] live reading
c a r m e n c i t a h a v e r t y
b y S t e p h e n M o r a n
Me probation officer talked me into it, putting an advert in Time Out. I was lonely, and I thought
what harm is there in it, and I thought I might as well be above board about things, for once in me life, you get
nowhere by sitting in your homeless B&B room watching I'm a Gobshite, Let me Out of Here, and eating batch
loaf by the handful.
Mature Irish lady, well-set, late of HMP Holloway, seeks male companion 40-60, G.S.O.H, possibly another ex-offender,
for outings and possible romance.
I didn't get very many replies, and they were mostly too far away, so I was wondering should I put what I was
in for, embezzling from the Little Sisters of the Poor, but that'd only be worse I thought.
Then one local one came through to the box number, so I thought jaze here we go girls, and all the way there I couldn't
get that song, 'If you like Pina Colada' out of me head, y'know the one where yer man and yer woman
meet, though they're all Yanks and rich as Lords' bastards, heaven forgive me, I've an awful mouth
on me. 'If you're not into yoga' – for jazesake, it'd take a JCB to get me into some
of them positions.
And I'm wondering what'll he be like – I mean he already told me in his reply he's an ex-offender
like meself, so he can have nothing to complain about on that score. I knew the minute I laid eyes on him he was
a weirdo, and don't they always wear grey raincoats and keep their hands down in their pockets – and
to tell you the truth, I like to see what a man's hands are up to at all times. And I'm not that gone
on the little ronnies, you know the ones does be thinking they look like Clark Gable with the centipede on their
lip, more like the gable feckin wall if you ask me.
And then he opens his mouth and d'y'know what? I nearly wet meself. How I kept a straight face I'll
never know. What it was, his voice was that high, I swear if it was any higher only dogs could hear it.
'Pleased to meet you,' says he.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph I must've gone puce in the face, and you know what I'm like, I mean Nina Simone
isn't in it, so between the two of us it was like feckin Blossom Dearie and Ivan Rebroff. Mammy sang bass and
Daddy sang tenor! Holy feckin name a jazes.
'Good evening,' says I and quick-thinking how to talk about something serious, 'What were you in
'Oh now, that'd be telling,' says he.
'If you're a pervert, tell me now and there's another train in two minutes,' (we were on
a platform) 'and I'll be on it.'
'What?' says he. 'Can you define that?'
'Define me arse,' says I.
'Well I might be a pervert and been in for murder or vice-versa, and which would be worse?'
'Cheerio!' says I, and the train pulling in.
'Ah wait,' says he. 'Forgery.'
'Oh why didn't you say – that's all right then. And you're not a pervert?'
'I didn't say that,' says he. 'Are you?'
Well! An imper'ent get.
'Do you mind,' says I, 'I'm a country girl.'
'Sure what difference does that make,' says he. 'Is there no perverts in the country?'
'Me brother has a shotgun.'
That shut him up till he said, 'You missed your train.'
'Oh you're very witty. Are we going for this drink or what?'
So we're sitting in the Spotted Dog, the Gaelic Lounge, before it became the Sindrome this was, and he's
got the one half lager top, and I'm on me third pint - and he's not bad company now, I'll say that
for him, he'd make you laugh – but you'd still want to pretend you weren't with him.
he still hasn't asked me what I was in for, says he doesn't care.
'Here,' says I, 'Do you not like the booze here or what?'
'It's me stomach,' says he. 'I've an ulcer the size of a victoria plum.'
'Would you stop,' says I, 'you're putting me off me stout.'
Now he was like a stick insect, and I'm not coddin you, I'd be afraid I'd break him if I sat on
him now, that's the gospel. Anyhow, doesn't he start a coughing fit, and holy lantern a jazes it'd
give you the screaming habdabs, the hawking and gurgling and drawn-out spitting into a feckin handkerchief. Well
J-Cloth should investigate that feckin rag because it must've absorbed about a pint of slobber and snot, God
'Ah for Christ's sake – do you want me to call an ambulance or what?'
Well he just waved - you know the way – because he was still coughing.
'Is your friend alright?' says the barmaid, Australian girl.
'He's not me friend,' I said - I know it's a sin, and him still waving not to get the ambulance,
and the sort of horrified look that passed over his face when I said that. What the feck have I got meself into here,
I'm thinking, when doesn't he keel over and clatters over and out of the chair.
'What are you looking at?' I says to the barmaid. 'I'm not feckin giving him the kiss of
© copyright 2005 stephen moran - all rights reserved