45 Shades of Grey
(with deference to Myles na Gopaleen)
Leaving my office I exited onto Kildare St and pausing briefly removed my identity badge: Rustam ffrench-Bodkin, Special Advisor to the Minister on Red Herring Quotas. Now I know this was a typo but found it funny and kept it; sure everybody knows our family doesn’t use a hyphen. I wore a new suit: 45 shades of grey, Louis said when asked about it and I tightened my sphincters as I passed the Irish Revolving Bank (sic!) and through the revolving door of the Shelbourne. In the far corner of the lounge was Walter Toner. Toner is a mishap of a human being; a cumulus of spite who tweets and blogs political silage. He did not look up as I approached and continued to pound his iPad.
‘Is mise Éire’, I said.
“In your dreams Captain Ahab,’ he grunted. ‘How are things aboard the Golden Apple?’
‘Reefed,’ I said with advisory nous. ‘What have you for me Toner?’
‘Did you hear about Big Phil and Roy in Rio?’
‘Roy who?’ I asked.
‘Who do you think? Roy “I’ll take the beat out of you’ll-never-beat-the-Irish” Boy,’ he replied in a Cork accent not heard since the Titanic left.
‘What about them?’
‘It seems Big Phil was not that interested in climatology but was more intent on securing training facilities for the next Olympics.’
‘Apparently a full-sized pitch! Half-way up one of the mountains in a slum. Made from a recent mudslide, which buried 60 people alive.’
‘What did Roy say?’
‘What else: “Much better than Saipan anyway. We’ll call it Los Ramblers.” ‘
‘Interesting,’ I said. ‘How’s it going with you otherwise Toner?’
Surprised by my enquiry he looked up. ‘Had a date with my first wife last week. I told her I only want NAMA sex.’
“No alimony or matrimony attached sex.’
‘What did she say?’ I asked.
‘Straight out, “First time round the sex was dire. Why should I bother?” ’
Good on you Mags, I thought, covetously. ‘What did you say to that?’ I asked.
‘I looked her in the eye and with a long pause for effect said, ‘Since then I have been practicing …. a lot!’I left Toner in his WC Fields moment. He was getting his one smile of the day out of the way.
(This 400 word piece was entered for the recent Myles na Gopaleen contest in the Irish Times. Needless to say it did not feature in outcome.)