I grew up on the badlands of Rathgar (Dublin 6) where the fields of oakum stretched as far as the eye could see. My home was a salvaged biscuit tin with a scraw of thatch for a roof and a scab of blood for a floor. Times were tough, tougher than trying to force an uncooked grub sausage through the eye of a needle (give it a go dear reader,) but I had good family and great neighbours. One of these neighbours was a very elderly lady, clad mostly in wrinkles, by the name of Ms. Priscilla McWalnut. She was the spit of Charlton Heston, right down to her wig and semi-automatic weapon. Oftentimes my brother and I would call around to see how she was getting on carrying a cyanide dipped barnbrack for her tea. She would smile as she polished a bullet with the hem of her sackcloth skirt and engage us in loose parley: 'Tell me boys,' she once said, 'have you seen the latest movie beyond in the cinema? It's a cracker, full of monkey men knockin' the bejeezus out of each other.' 'Oh dear no,' my brother chimed, 'I've already been on holiday to Mullingar thank you.' 'It's not like that,' added Ms. Priscilla, 'It's no holiday this movie, it's pure class. More real than reality itself. Here,' and she flicked a spanish picayune in our direction to pay the admission tariff into the Terenure Luxury Iplex (pictured above - it's now a donkey sanctuary.) In those days there was real cinema food, none of your effeminate popcorn and golly bars, it was either the aforementioned grub sausage served on a pitchfork or else a dozen crubeens served in a bucket. I always had a weakness for the crubeens, you could chuck them at the screen if the movie was in any way distasteful.
Ms. Priscilla proved bang on, 'Planet of the Apes,' was a marvel, the special effects were wonderful, how they managed to get gorillas to speak english is still a mystery to me. As myself and my brother wended our path homewards the evening sunlight caught the spire of the local slaughterhouse and turned it an enchanting shade of yellow ochre. In this wistful atmosphere I overheard my brother mumble 'Ah, damn you, God damn you all to hell,' while I wondered if Ms. Priscilla was really a woman or just another one of those brazen cross-dressers Rathgar turns out by the ganseyload.