Category Archives: Ireland, our Ireland

Yes Sir, We Can Boogie

The Irish Government has announced that the ban on dancing at weddings is to be lifted, provided the public “exercise reasonable precautions”. This is a brief summary of what that means…

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As the Bride and Groom are by definition now part of the same household, the First Dance is allowed.

When the Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid join the dance they should wear masks. This is to put an obstacle in the way of Best Men, who seem to believe that it is one of their official duties to “shift the bridesmaids”.

The Macarena is highly recommended. You can move your arms without coming into contact with anybody else, and at every jump and turn you find yourself facing the back of someone’s head.

Guests should clear the floor when the Bride’s aunt and uncle decide to show off their jive. This is for health and safety reasons, though not to do with Covid.

Protective gloves must be worn during conga lines.

Do not dance to The Birdie Song, it makes you look like a gobshite.

Dad dancing is allowed, as no-one will go within two metres of him while he’s doing it anyway.

 

 

Horse Sense

Ireland will conduct a horse census for the first time later this year…

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Q1. Is your name:
a. Traditional (Dobbin, Blue)
b. Grandiose (Sovereign Princess, Thundercloud)
c. Sponsored (Kellogg’s Frosties III, Toilet Duck)

Q2. Are you:
a. Chestnut
b. Piebald
c. A horse of a different colour

Q3. Sex:
a. Stallion
b. Mare
c. Gelding, and pissed off about it

Q4. Is your occupation:
a. Racehorse
b. Carriage or cart puller
c. Little girl’s pony (hobby horse)

Q5. State your highest level of qualification:
a. I’ve won the Derby
b. I’ve won a rosette at a gymkhana
c. My farts can be heard two fields away

Q6. If you were led to water, would you;
a. Drink it
b. Bathe in it
c. Stop suddenly and propel your rider into the water

Q7. Do you like Dressage:
a. No

 

 

Like Taking Candy

Traffic was heavy on the motorway, according to the radio, as David set out on his morning commute. Since this commute, however, comprised eight steps from the kitchen to the spare bedroom, David didn’t care. These days the only jam he met in the morning was on his toast.

He pushed open the door to what was now his office, set his tea on the desk, and nudged the mouse to nudge the computer awake. He sat down and looked out into his garden. A robin was hovering, resting on the sky, as he pecked at the fat-ball in the bird feeder. David smiled.

He loved working from home.

He had thought it would be hell, that he would sit in his little room drowning slowly in a sea of isolation and bad wi-fi, and he had been wrong. The hell, he now realised, had been the forty-five previous years of his working life, in a series of jobs linked by the common thread that they had all been in the city centre, twenty gridlocked miles away.

He had risen in the dark for over nine months of every year, although none of his jobs had involved feeding livestock, delivering milk, or turning on the light in a lighthouse. He had slumped sleepily on crowded buses while people beside him rang other people to loudly tell them that they were on the bus. He had trudged to the office through the gale that habitually howled down the river, head bowed and one shoulder dipped as if he were trying to force open an invisible door. He had sat under harsh lighting and freezing air-conditioning. He had tried to concentrate while surrounded by shrill ringtones, barked laughter and loud conversations about Love Island, all of which are part of what is apparently called ‘the hum of activity’. He had put up with soul-draining drudgery, since drudgery was all there was.

Now as he worked he could listen to music, shout aloud at ludicrous emails, wear elf slippers. He never got rained on.

He didn’t see his workmates anymore, except on Zoom, but he didn’t miss them as much as he had thought he would, because he saw more of Margaret.

No longer did he leave the house before she had woken up. No longer did he go exhaustedly to bed at nine-thirty, leaving her to sit alone for the rest of the evening.

They now spent more time together than they had since they had been courting. They called themselves the Bubble Buddies, and walked together, laughed together, watched rubbish together. They hadn’t been as close for a long time.

David had been transformed from a gloomy man counting down the years to retirement to a happy man wondering if he need ever retire at all. He could stay doing this forever, maybe cutting down the number of days as the years passed.

He was fitter than he had been in decades. He walked every day. He hadn’t been to the pub for seven months. He hadn’t eaten a Chinese takeaway in over a year. He hadn’t had a Crunchie in fifteen months. He hadn’t –

He hadn’t had a Crunchie in fifteen months. And it had just hit him why.

He hadn’t been to the Childline box in fifteen months.

The Childline box in the office was a cardboard display like an old cinema usherette tray. It was stacked with chocolate and sweets, presumably donated by local shops, and had a little slot on the side where you could put in your money. On Tuesdays someone would come, refill the box and take the money away for the charity.

Monday in the office was free fruit day. Word would go around that the fruit had arrived and the young, health-conscious people he worked with would rush to fill bowls on their desk with bananas and grapes. David would ignore all of this, but on Tuesdays one or other of the young people would notify him when the Childline box had been re-stocked, and they would all watch and smile affectionately as he bolted from his desk with a fistful of coins (from his weekends, in the pub) to buy a chocolate bar for each day for the rest of the week. He always took whatever Crunchies were available, before moving on to Twirls or Lion Bars. His colleagues then would shrug off their health regimes and forage too from the box until all that remained were the Skittles, the confectionery version of the last kid picked for a football game.

David had done it to feed his inner child. That real children had benefited had been a happy by-product that he had never really thought about.

He thought about it now. Childline were no longer getting money from him. They were no longer getting money from any office in the city.

And at the worst possible time. He had read about the increased number of calls that they were taking. He imagined the stress of being trapped, now full time, with an aggressive parent. He imagined the stress of living with parents who were good and loving but who now were struggling with bills and unemployment, and whose frightened, furtive sobbing fed frightened, furtive sobbing in their kids. He imagined that there were things he couldn’t imagine.

He looked out of the window. The robin was now pecking contentedly at nuts that David had provided.

He turned to his computer, searched for the Childline page and clicked ‘Donate’.

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Childline Ireland and Childline UK have been busier than ever during the pandemic, providing help 24/7 for children faced with difficult and stressful situations. The work that they do is wonderful.

Sea Change

The Government is considering a plan to allow fishermen to shoot seals with high-powered rifles (Irish Times 03/10/20)…

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There had been a covenant.

For generations seals and mankind had lived in harmony. The seals would work at our SeaWorlds, enlivening an attraction which would otherwise consist merely of a water-slide, a gift-shop and an aquarium containing a tiny Nemo lookalike. They would leap from the water, through a blazing hoop and down into the heart of a stupendous splash. In return the humans would throw them fish. The seals would clap – sarcastically, as it happens, since they can catch their own fish – and schools of small children would go home contented.

At sea they would pop up beside whale-spotting trips, providing small consolation to cold, gloomy tourists who had spent an hour staring vainly at a cold, gloomy surface.

That was all now at an end.

Fish numbers were falling. This was due to over-fishing, a consequence that seemed to have come as a surprise to the humans.  Anyway, there weren’t enough for both seal and man, so rather than leave what there was to the group that could eat nothing else, the one that had access to fruit, quinoa and the Big Mac had decided it needed the fish too.

And then they wonder why species become extinct.

And so it was that Clyde, swimming slowly home one evening, was surprised to see small spurts of water breaking the surface around him, as if he was being spat at by a shoal of mermaids. He looked around and noticed that along the side of a distant fishing-boat stood a number of men with rifles.

He was being shot at.

They didn’t hit him, of course, fisherman are no more adept with a rifle than an elephant-hunter would be with a fishing-rod, but the whip-crack of each bullet stung, to his very soul.

His blood boiled. Mammals can do that.

He slipped beneath the waves, like a submarine dodging a torpedo, and down to a small cave. There, lying untouched for decades, was a World War II mine. He slid carefully beneath its virus-like shape and began to push it gently towards the surface.

Balanced on his nose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whistle While You Work

While many restrictions have been imposed upon the re-opening of building-sites here in Ireland from today, it has been confirmed that wolf-whistling at passing girls is still permissible.

“We feel this sends a positive message,” said a construction industry spokesman. “The replacement of all that bloody bird-song with loud yells at women to show their boobs will be an encouraging sign that, in many ways, the new normal will be just like the old.”

He also confirmed that there are no plans to introduce butt-masks to hide bum cleavage.

Women were phlegmatic about the news. “It’s a bit tiresome, but not really a problem,” said one. “After all, the type of bloke who thinks we find this flattering is never going to get within two metres of a woman anyway.”

 

 

Airing Live

Sorry, brief rant..

I’ve just looked at today’s Irish Times. In their Good Week, Bad Week section they have the above.

I should start by saying that I have met Ciara Kelly, twice. Until she moved full-time to radio last year she was a GP in our town. My doctor is another woman in the same practice and on two occasions when she was away I was seen by Ciara. I know her no better than that.

She did indeed announce during the week that she has the virus, on her show that she continued to broadcast daily from her airing cupboard. In the body of the paper the Radio reviewer is full of praise for her, for the show that she continued to run, and for the topics covered on it.

So why put her in the Bad Week section? What was the point of this cheap sneer? Why say she “alarmed” listeners, when the fact that she was able to keep going might actually have provided encouragement? Did Michel Barnier alarm people? Did Tom Hanks?

She did a terrific job this week. well done to her, and I hope she gets better soon.

 

The Look Of The Irish

Irish men have been branded the “undisputed ugliest” in the world by a dating website – beautifulpeople.com –  that allows only attractive people to join….

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Can you imagine my feelings as I read the above sentence this morning?

Outrage. Hurt. Patriotic Indignation.

Well, no. What I actually thought was boy, it took you all long enough to notice.

We Irish men know well that we are not oil-paintings, unless that phrase refers to paintings of spilt oil. Evolving on a gale-swept, sunshine-less rock has given us the a complexion the colour of porridge, ears pressed forward and outward by the incessant tail-wind, and a brow set in a permanent frown due to aeons of peering through driving rain.

The thing is we don’t care.

Guess which one is Plug

Whilst growing up our favourite one of the Bash Street Kids was Plug, and indeed as I type this, with fingers that are knuckle-grazed from scraping the floor as I walk, I realise that he is the only one of them whose name I can still remember.

Our compliments would be insults anywhere else. The words “deadly”, “gas” and “savage” all mean great.

We’ve never had a Mister Ireland contest. We don’t do charity policemen calendars. We don’t have an Irish version of  Love Island.

Look on our looks, ye mighty, and despair.

While we don’t. We know that we are stunning, though in the second meaning of that word, and use it to our advantage. St Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland just by looking at them. The Vikings fled after just a couple of years, with staggering migraines. The Romans didn’t even bother coming, startled by the English (the land of Churchill, the bulldog, and the Mitchell brothers) telling them that the people on the island next door were even uglier.

We have slipped, unnoticed, into film. Chewbacca was played by an Irishman who’d given up shaving for Lent. Another Irishman served as Boris Karloff’s stunt-double in Frankenstein. The march of Sauron’s orc army, supposedly computer-generated, is actually just a shot of commuters walking out of Tara Street train station.

We have replaced good looks with wit, friendly charm and the unfailing belief that everybody loves us. We count ourselves lucky that our amazingly beautiful women (even the website admits that) are still interested in us, though we suspect that it’s only because the Romans, who are essentially the Italians, never turned up. We don’t care about the opinion of beautifulpeople.com, because we’ve no interest in meeting anyone vain enough to register there.

We believe that handsome is as handsome does.

 

 

 

 

Soldiering On

From Irish mythology: Fionn McCool was a hunter/warrior and leader of the Fianna, a military order in the service of the High King. As a youth he burned his thumb while cooking the Salmon of Knowledge for his master, and upon sucking his thumb became all-knowing. He became leader of the Fianna after killing a fire-breathing giant, having held a red-hot spear to his forehead to keep himself awake in the face of the giant’s sleep-inducing spell….

From Irish courts this week: Two soldiers who said they suffered neck injuries after a vehicle rear-ended them while travelling at an estimated speed of 2kmh have had their €60,000 claims dismissed. The pair were in an Army SUV which was stopped at traffic lights when a car behind them accidentally rolled forward…

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The word was new to the High King of Tara.

“Com-pen-say-shun?” he said.

Fionn McCool nodded. “Yes. It’s a payment in the case of personal injury.”

The King frowned. “But you’re a soldier,” he said. “Personal injury is pretty much in the job description.”

“Oh, I know that,” said Fionn. “In the canteen we have goblets that have ‘old soldiers never die – no, sorry, they do” printed on them.”

“So why the claim?” asked the King. “This isn’t because you stuck a red-hot spear to your forehead, is it? Because that was your own idea, and to be honest we all thought it was a bit mental. You should have just tried coffee.”

“Coffee?” said Fionn.

“Oisín brought it back from Tir na Nóg,” said the King. “Smells great, but keeps you awake all night. I can’t see it catching on.”

“Whatever,” said Fionn. “Anyway, it’s not because of the red-hot spear thing.”

Fionn fighting Aillen, illustration by Beatrice Elvery in Violet Russell’s Heroes of the Dawn (1914)

“What, then?” asked the King.

“I burned my thumb,” said Fionn.

“I’m not surprised,” said the King. “The heat coming through your shield must have been savage.”

“No, not then,” said Fionn. “As you said, stuff like that comes with the job. No, I burned it on the Salmon.”

“What?” said the King. “But that was years ago.”

“There is no statute of limitations in cases of post traumatic stress disorder,” said Fionn.

The King stared at him for a few seconds.

“Ok,” he said eventually, “let’s pretend I understood that sentence and move on. Didn’t that incident actually end up pretty well for you?”

“Well, yes, I did get all the knowledge in the world,” admitted Fionn, “and one of the things I learned is that people are be entitled to compensation if they have been involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault.”

“Isn’t that what the word accident means?” asked the King.

Fionn faltered for a second, but recovered. “The fact is, I burned my thumb -”

“Little diddums,” said the King, before he could stop himself.

“- and it wasn’t my fault,” continued Fionn, glaring at him. “My master shouldn’t have left me unsupervised, so now I’m here before your court seeking redress.”

The King looked at him in sad bewilderment. “Fionn,” he said eventually. “You’re one of our heroes. You killed a giant, a fire-breathing one. You built the Giant’s Causeway. You created the Isle of Man by throwing a huge rock after a fleeing enemy. You’ll probably become a legend. Are you willing to risk looking like an idiot by crying about some paltry injury just to make money?”

Fionn smiled at him. “Trust me,” he said. “It’s the way of the future.”

 

One Man One Vote

Our parliament, the Dáil, faced controversy this week after it emerged that TDs (members of the Dáil) have been voting on behalf of other TDs when they have been absent from the Chamber, including one who voted on six different occasions on behalf of the same colleague. A report by the Clerk of the Dáil into the issue has recommended an overhaul of the voting rules but has made no findings against any of the TDs involved and has recommended no sanctions. So that’s ok then…

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Today was the day.

It was now three weeks since I had won my seat in the Dáil, standing as an Independent candidate in a bye-election in my constituency and scraping home after not being regarded as a serious threat, essentially the Donald Trump of County Wicklow.

And now I was ready, proudly ready to represent my people as their TD, and eagerly looking forward to the impassioned speeches, the vigorous but fair debates, the thrill of cliff-hanger votes.

I straightened my tie, took a deep breath, and pulled opened the door to the Dáil Chamber.

It was empty.

Well, not empty. The Taoiseach, our prime minister, was walking among the seats carrying a large clipboard. He looked up as I entered, and looked confused, then annoyed and then, as if remembering that every person is a potential vote, solicitous and helpful.

“I’m afraid you’ve missed the public tour,” he said, “but if you like I could get a porter -”

I told him my name, a little coldly, a little disappointed that he didn’t recognise me.

He looked blank for a second, then his face brightened. “Oh, you’re the new guy,” he said. “The TD for er, um -”

“Wicklow,” I said, a little more coldly. The Taoiseach was from Dublin, and was thus inclined to regard people from anywhere outside Dublin as being from the wilderness of  Anywhereoutsidedublin.

“Yes, well, you’re very welcome,” he said, “if you hang on till I finish this I’ll show you around – the Bar, the Gym, the – well, that’s about it really.”

He looked down at his clipboard, then pressed one of two buttons on the arm of the seat in front of him. He moved to the next seat and repeated the process.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“We’re voting,” he said.

“Who’s we?” I asked.

“The Dáil,” he said patiently, as if he were talking to a small child. “The one hundred and fifty-eight members are voting.” He pressed a button at the next seat, and moved on again.

“But they’re not here,” I said.

“Of course not,” he said. He saw the look of surprise on my face. “Look,” he said, “remember the kerfuffle about TDs voting on behalf of their friends who weren’t actually here?”

“I do, of course,” I said haughtily, “I thought it was -”

“And remember how the Clerk of the Dáil said it was ok to do that?”

“That’s not what he said,” I corrected him. “He just didn’t recommend any sanctions.”

“Same thing,” said the Taoiseach, waving his hand dismissively. “Well, after that the practice grew. Some TDs were coming in with lists of twenty others to cast votes for. One actually started charging his colleagues for doing it. Well, naturally we had to put a stop to that -”

“I should say so -”

“- so all the parties met and decided that just the Taoiseach should do it. For everybody.”

“That’s shocking,” I said.

“It’s a bit of a pain alright,” said the Taoiseach, “but then I do get paid more than everyone else.”

“So you’re saying that they just turn up for the debates, tell you how they’re going to vote, then sod off,” I said, getting angrier by the second.

“No, that’s not what I’m saying,” he said.

“Oh, good, because -”

“They don’t turn up for the debates at all,” he said.

“What??”

“Why bother?” he said. “They’re not going to be voting anyway.”

“But there are official records of the debates,” I said.

“The Dáil staff draw them up,” said the Taoiseach. “Everyone sends an email saying how they want to vote, sometimes someone will say something like ‘and I if I was there I would have dragged a reference to my local hospital into the debate’, and the staff draw up a likely sounding debate from that.”

“That’s dreadful, making them do that,” I said.

“Making them?” said the Taoiseach. “They love doing it, they have enormous fun. They get to write jokes, and insults, and witty put-downs. They’ve made oratorical legends of quite a few TDs who in real life couldn’t say their own name without having to stop in the middle to think.” He stopped in front of the next seat. “This guy, for instance,” he said. “Hasn’t, according to the record, missed a vote since he was elected in 1982, passionate advocate of behalf of the people of his county, supposed coiner of the phrase ‘rain tax’ to describe the proposed water charges, and -” he pressed the No button – “I’ve never met him.”

“So what does everyone do instead?” I asked.

The Dáil in full session

“They stay working for their constituencies,” he said. “They get pot-holes fixed, or a new set of traffic-lights installed, or dig the first shovelful of earth for putting in a new bus shelter. Important stuff.”

“The stuff that gets them re-elected,” I said.

“Exactly,” said the Taoiseach. He looked down at the next seat, then at his clipboard. “Oh, this is you,” he said. And pressed the Yes button.

“Hang on,” I said. “You can’t just assume I was going to vote yes.”

“It’s the Fisheries Protocols (Special Provision In The Event Of A Border In The Irish Sea, With Regard To The Entanglement Of Nets) Amendment Act 2019, Second Reading,” said the Taoiseach calmly. “Which way were you thinking of voting?”

“Er, well, I don’t know,” I said. “I suppose I’d have researched it, talked to affected parties, listened to the debate – or, rather, read the debate, it seems, then thought carefully about it -”

“Horse manure,” said the Taoiseach. “We didn’t have an email from you because you’re new, but because you are new we knew you’d be here with one particular cause that you’re really keen to get support for -”

I nodded. “Monthly stipends for humorous bloggers,” I said.

“Whatever,” said the Taoiseach, “and for that reason we knew that in this very first vote you would side with the Government.”

I thought about it. “I suppose you’re right,” I said in a low voice.

The Taoiseach smiled at me. “Cheer up,” he said. “If it makes you feel any better, we’re going to lose this one anyway.” He pressed another No button. “Perils of a minority Government.”

I watched in silence as he went on, pushing his own Government, button by button, towards defeat.

“Why don’t you just change a few of the No votes to Yes?” I asked.

He looked at me in horror. “That would be treating democracy as a joke,” he said.

 

 

 

 

How The West Was Won

The Irish police force are facing controversy at the moment over the fact that over a five year period they recorded 937,000 breathalyser drink-driving tests that did not in fact take place, and the fact that during the same period 14,700 people were wrongly convicted over traffic violations.

Maybe it’s always been this way….

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It was late evening in Tombstone. From the street came the whinny of tethered horses, and the occasional oozy splat as horse-poo hit street-mud. From the saloon came the teeth-grating sound of a honky-tonk piano, and an occasional tinkle of glass as a whisky bottle, slid along the counter by the barman, was missed by a customer.

In the Sheriff’s Office, Marshal Wyatt Earp set down the ledger, rubbed his weary eyes, and sighed. He looked up at the clock, and saw that it was time.

The front door opened, and Sheriff Doc Holliday walked in.

“You wanted to see me?” asked Doc.

“Yes,” said Wyatt. “Sit down.”

Doc sat. Wyatt stared at him for a long moment, wondering how to begin. “Quiet tonight,” he said, eventually.

Doc nodded. “Too quiet,” he said.

Wyatt’s attempt at calm evaporated. “What does that even mean?” he snapped. “It can never be too quiet. Quiet is good. And quiet, as it happens, is what’s been happening every night since I’ve been here. And every day.”

Doc shrugged. “Trouble comes in spells,” he said. “Sometimes we get quiet times.”

“Really?” said Wyatt. “Because I was sent here because you never get quiet times. I was sent here because you have more recorded crimes than any other town in the country. I was told to bring my two brothers as back-up, because the job I’d be taking on was so dangerous.”

“Maybe folks are behaving,” said Doc, because you and your brothers are here.” He looked at the ledger in front of Wyatt. “You’ve seen the records,” he said. “They were pretty un-law-abidin’ before that.”

“Yes,” agreed Wyatt. “I have seen the records. They don’t make pretty reading.”

“Sorry about that,” said Doc. “It’s my doctor’s handwriting”. (History seems to think that Doc Holliday was a doctor, which is odd, because the same History does not seem to think that Sheriff Bat Masterson was a bat).  

“It’s not the handwriting,” said Wyatt. “It’s what’s written. I’ve had a look at some of the entries, and I’ve talked to some of the, well, let’s call them perpetrators.”

“Oh,” said Doc, looking worried for the first time.

“For example,” said Wyatt, “Jethro Watts. Arrested for Money Laundering. He says he was washing his pants and forget to take his money out.”

“That’s true,” said Doc, “but strictly speaking -”

“Next, Joe Bob Peters,” continued Wyatt. “Arson?”

“He has no job,” said Doc. “He just sits outside the hardware store all day.”

“Setting fire to stuff?”

“No,” said Doc. “He’s just Arsin’ Around.”

“That’s Vagrancy,” said Wyatt.

“Crap,” said Doc. “Never thought of that.”

“And Miss Amelia Trent, the school-teacher,” went on Wyatt. “Holding up a stagecoach.”

“Yes,” said Doc. “She stepped out in front of it and put her hand up.”

“That’s how you get on a stagecoach,” said Wyatt. “It’s called a bus stop.” He looked down at the ledger again. “Then there’s Caleb Hoskins,” he went on, “Forgery. I haven’t actually talked to him yet, but I’m guessing he’s the blacksmith.”

Doc nodded, then stared down at the floor silently. “Why?” asked Wyatt, softly.

Doc Holliday looked up, defiance suddenly blazing in his eyes. “Have you any idea what it’s like to be Sheriff in a sleepy little back-water like this? All I do is rescue cats from trees and help little old ladies across the street. Well, that’s not why I went to law-enforcement classes. That’s not why I shot off a toe trying to practice a quick draw. That’s not why I accidently invented the pierced nipple when trying to pin on my badge. I want to be remembered. When folk recall the heroes who made this country I want to be right up there with Pat Garrett, and all he ever did was shoot Billy the Kid -”

“In fairness,” began Wyatt, “that was pretty -”

“- and eat him,” continued Doc.

“What?” said Wyatt. “With fava beans and a nice Chianti?”

“Er, no,” said Doc. “With chilli beans and grits. That’s how you eat goat.”

“Billy the Kid was a goat?”

Doc rolled his eyes. “The clue’s in the name,” he said simply. “But Garrett spread the rumour that he had killed an outlaw, and now he’s a legend. Well, I want to be like him. I want the Sheriff of Tombstone -”

“I’ve been meaning to mention that,” said Wyatt. “Apparently the town’s called Norville. You got it changed two years ago.”

“Yes, well, no-one would remember the Sheriff of Norville,” said Doc. “I got the idea from Sheriff Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke.”

“Um, I don’t think the name of his town -”

“Who cares? That’s how he’s known now. And I wanted to be remembered as the man who kept peace in the meanest town in the West, so I made up a few things. But I must have gone too far, because they sent you.”

“It was the car thefts,” said Wyatt. “There’s no such thing as a car.”

“Well,” said Doc, “now that you’re here, what are you going to do about it? You can turn me in, or you can stay here with me and we can help make history, by making up history.”

Just then the door burst open, and Virgil and Morgan Earp rushed into the office.

“The Clanton gang are up at the OK Corral,” said Virgil. “They’re drunk, and they’re causing trouble.”

“Just leave them,” said Doc. “They’ll sleep it off, and be fine tomorrow.”

“They snatched Virgil’s hat,” said Morgan.

Doc and Wyatt looked at one another, then both stood and began to buckle on their holsters.

“Stealing a policeman’s hat?” said Wyatt. “Not in Tombstone.”

-oOo-

An hour later the four of them were back, flushed and exhilarated. “Well,” said Virgil, “we showed them.

“Sure did,” said Morgan. “They won’t be causing trouble around here no more.”

Wyatt sat down in front of the ledger. “Better record it, ” he said. He took up his pen and began ‘tonight there was a fist-fight at the OK Corral’, then stopped and looked at Doc Holliday. They looked into each other eyes, into each others souls, for a long time.

He changed the word ‘fist-fight’ to ‘gun-fight’.