Friday 15 April 2016

Part 3

Continued from yesterday......

I’ll get to the fruit soon….yer Honour.
Now my real Picaresque journey begins.
Wellington. Nice city. Train trip from Auckland through Hobbit territory highlight of NZ sojourn. 

But then there were the zero hours…..
Don’t need you tonight, Mate. 2 hours on Friday. 1 on Sunday. Maybe.
Kiwis go home for Christmas.
Where’s home?
The Shire, for Baggot’s sake! Duh!
At Christmas Wellington morphs into post nuclear ghost town.

Ma, do you suppose I could have the Xmas money early?
Oh, did I?
What about my birthday?
So I did!
Take the what?
Yes, I have a round trip ticket. (Inspired choice of yours, Ma.)

Ma’s probably right. 3 months of zero hours. Xmas and Birthday stocks and goodwill depleted. Maybe it’s time not to be one of the undocumented illegal immigrants Down Under.

One hitch.
Had been cautioned by Kiwi security on entry that my passport was in tat order.
Fair enough! As you know the Y generation never soirees out without their passport. Either it or false ID, signed by the parents. A prerequisite for nights out in Coppers or the Black Door. 
So it was dog-eared, water marked, missing a few corners. Had been eco washed, tumbledried and …you get the picture.

Ma said they’d have to let me home. That they wouldn’t want to keep me. 
Fair point. 
But the Kiwi had been insistent. A big guy. Should have been in the second row instead of a pain in the ‘port. 
Ma said it wasn’t past its sell-by date and it would be illegal to detain me. Not that she could afford to appeal their decision.

Anyway the Wanna-be All- Black did detain me for bloody hours. 
Either he remembered me, and I’m not that memorable- a lanky Darren-lookalike from Love-Hate- the one that got shot finally after at least two resurrections. 
Or else it was Action week for targeting Tat Order passports. 
Or, of course, it could have been my bloody height again. 

Either way I had to sweat it out till the final call for flight 007 to Karachi.

I forgot to mention food…and given the title and all, yer Honour, that may be a serious omission.

Ma thinks I’m too thin. 
At 6’ 7’ it’s hard work to bulk up even if you do keep chowin’ on croissants. 
And so she sent all those food parcels to Wellington as if I really was in a refugee camp.

Typical Content of Ma Murphy's parcels:

McCambridge, Irish Stone-Ground Wholewheat.
A block of Dubliner’s vintage white
Barry’s Tea (of course)
Naan bread (Don’t they have that in NZ, son?)
Not the same taste, Ma.
Tayto (naturally)
And The Wire (Can’t you stream that?)
If I had wifi, Ma.
The Dunne’s store Rudolf Christmas tie special that chimes, ‘nough said!
Imitation snow from Dealz
A crib- I ask you????
Da’s used betting slip!!!

And all of the above described in the custom’s declaration label as “Gifts and sundries.”
 (Ma says sundries covers a multitude).

She should have just sent me the money.
And what I really craved were berries. Any berry: Rasp, straw, blue, goose,,…
Ma said they were no good for me.
Not much food value
No calories
Too much fructose
And they’d never fatten me up

So I get back from my travels and I won’t qualify for another Bridge Scheme for 6 months and I’m barred from Paddy Powers and Boyles and Ladbrokes and I’m craving berries and Ma won’t buy them.

So I do the only thing I can. I pull my beanie over my forehead, a scarf over my nose and I raid the local Supervalu.

“That’s the Longfella!” screams yer wan at the check- out as I make off with a tray of blueberries.

So yer honour, though I am a picaro and self-confessed fruit thief, do me a favour and don’t lock me up, though I’ve run out of ideas and I hear the food in Portlaoise is calorific. 
There’s no sleeping on trolleys, no multi-tasking, no bills to pay. Plenty of leisure and it’s all upskilling and upgrading. And you can even have a pen-pal or do your leaving cert. 
Except on E block, yer Honour, where you’re lucky to see a doctor even if you’re at death’s door. And never mind the Provos suing the State.
If you send me there the Ma will be suing you, what with the sewage and the pigeons and the asbestos and all.

Maybe I could take to the boards or the soaps or the net. What with Darren and King Nidge gone (maybe).
Or yer man might actually kill his Mammy and there would be a unique niche market opportunity for Me and the Ma to go viral and I could become respectable and famous and give up my picaro ways.

My salvation, yer Honour, is in your hands.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016