I'm a great man for a metaphor, as was my sainted father - he was the Honorary Secratary of the Irish Metaphorical Society. I remember he once built me a metaphor using the seat off an old figure of speech, some planks (from a simile) and the wheels off a trope. With a grin of obvious pride he sat me into it and gave me a push from the highest peak in the Terenure Alps (Mount Bangwidth, 15,782 ft.).
Father ran beside me as the metaphor began it's trundling descent.
'Tell me Daddy,' I beamed, 'What is this cart a metaphor for?'
'Well my wee gassune,' he puffed. 'You know how you told me you wanted to be an archaeologist?
'Yes Daddy.' I replied, goggle-eyed with anticipation.
'Well this cart is a metaphor for a career in archaeology! Because you won't get far in it, and I predict it will end in disaster.'
As the cart picked up speed the planks chattered against each other like death's teeth and I realised how poorly constructed the whole concept was. Also, it seemed a career in archaeology was almost impossible to control. . .
By the time we had reached the base of the Alps my vehicle was travelling faster than a altar boy pursued by an aroused bishop, despite the fact that some distance before, one of my wheels had detached itself. My father, ever the bricoleur, had manged to straddle the errant wheel's axle and was spinning away unicycle style beside me just as the village limits of Terenure came into view.
'Hmm . . .,' mumbled my Father in a disappointed manner, 'You've got further than I surmised you would . . . By now I thought there would be blood everywhere.'
A knot bit the arse of my stomach when he said this.
We were now roaring down the main Terenure boulevard. Father and son together, the G-forces beginning to warp our molars. My Old Man gestured towards the first shop we passed - the fishmongers run by comely Baba Loveberry.
'You know son,' Father drawled, 'Archaeology is a bit like the cash drawer in a fishmongers.'
'Why is that Daddy?' I asked, (somewhat preoccupied by the cart beginning to disassemble itself at an atomic level.)
'The money in it stinks,' he replied.
As I digested this bombshell a plank tore off the side of my metaphor and walloped a busking Nun.
'Ave Maria,' said Dad, making the sign of the cross (he was a frightfully droll chap.)
We hurtled past two elderly people sitting on Terenure's municipal dead horse.
'Archaeologists,' said my Father (his head now glowing with Saint Elmo's fire - a result of the appreciating velocity.) 'Are like those retired folk over there.'
'Why is that Daddy,' I asked.
'Most of 'em talk shit about the past,' he said.
A cracking noise was sounding from underneath my cart and another wheel detached itself before severing the head off one of the retirees.
We shot like a bullet past Bosco Leadenhole standing outside his funeral parlour. His bone white hair slicked horizontal with a chloroform gel. - Leadenhole was the butt of many repellant local rumours (and not entirely without reason.)
'Field archaeology,' cried my Father, 'Is like using the services of that undertaker over there.'
'Why is that Daddy,' I gasped, the speed sucking air from my lungs.
'Your body just ends up shagged,' he grunted.
By now I was riding four nails, two planks and one and a half wheels.
We cleared the end of Their-Tether Street and saw a large body of archaeologists huddled together. Some wore the garb of lecturers, some of specialists, some wore glowing vests akin to the raiment of angels. Their duty was to serve the past, yet the future and all the uncertainty it held, seemed to grip them now. And among their worried faces my eye was drawn to an oddly familiar man, in his forties. Tall, with glasses. Prone to waffle. His temples were greyed and his eyes had a satirical wink.
'Dad?' I said. 'That slack-shouldered, raggedy gobdaw - metaphorically speaking, who's he meant to be?'
'Oh dear!' Replied my father. 'He's the one writing this shit! He's going to make you pay for saying that about him!'
Just then the wall surrounding Terenure's bustling seaport leapt out of nowhere and hit us HARD. We spun into the air and walloped onto the pier.
I awoke to the sound of my father slapping my cheeks.
'Well gassune,' he asked, 'Have you learned your lesson? What do think about a career in archaeology now?'
I looked up, a bloody mess from the car crash of a career I had ridden. Tears salted my cheeks and teeth sat loose upon my tongue.
And I said:
'Again Daddy, again, again, again! Let me go back to the start and not change a thing. I loved it all! And that group of archaeologists? May I forever be of their number.'
And that's what I thought then - and it's still what I think now . . .
Moments later my father was tying a concrete block onto my ankle . . .
'Is this another clever metaphor you're constructing Daddy?' I said.
'No.' He replied curtly.
And with that, he launched the block (and me) off the end of the pier.
Well chums that's the last post of one entire years worth of blogging. Due to the call of other duties I will be slowing output for the Summer (probably a post every second week.) Thanks for reading, (if I have curled a single smile among your number it's been worth it,) and now I believe it's high time a flood of work washed us out of the poxy desert of recession we have tarried in for too long . . .