Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Monday 13 June 2011


HRH Queen Lizzy II was due to visit our fair shores, so week four saw John Barrett arrive on site in full Tyrolean garb. He skipped giddy as a school girl singing 'TRA-LA-LAH! I'm the Queen's biggest fan in Ireland. Just look at my lovely royal outfit!' The chairman Kerins caught him with an eye hardened by years of self-immolation, 'No you're not,' he countered, 'You never talked about her until it became fashionable. I was a HRH devotee long before it was hip.' 'No! I was first!' Roared Barrett. 'Well I was firster!' said The Chairman pulling a bearskin hat out of his bag and donning a red frock coat typical of the Queen's Gaurd. 'And,' he added, 'As for your tatty Tyrolean outfit, the Queen is not Austrian, she's British.' 'Oh you're such a know-it-all,' squealed Barrett clonking The Chairman's bearskin off his head with an alpenhorn. 'You unmitigated cad,' hollered The Chairman, 'If you had any sense you would know the alpenhorn is of course Swiss while your outfit is Austrian!!' And so the week began . . .

The handiwork of long dead Vikings winking at us through the murky clay made our days toil seem somehow less difficult, but in the teahut another type of handiwork caused a lunchbreak epiphany when Johnny 'Corned Beef' Ryan arrived on site with a large wooden crate. It was no surprise when he levered the box open to reveal a 16 stone block of corned beef (he ate sinful quantities if the stuff in his sandwiches chaque jour.) What was surprising was when he whipped out a chainsaw and began carving the block into a human form. 'I was the World Processed Meat Carving champion three years running me hearties,' he said with a cheerful grin. 'Thought I might give you all a demonstration.' By now we had all gathered tight around the artist as he sliced and diced out something very curvaceous indeed. When he turned off the chainsaw and we swabbed the corned beef out of our eyes what did we behold but a life-size carving of Ursula Andress (in her 'Dr. No' bikini.) It is no exaggeration to say testosterone levels hit boiling point. His holiness Monsignor Weldon was unable to control himself and threw his body at the sculpture in a state of wanton abandon. By the time he was finished with this fine artwork it looked more like Brian Cowen than a James Bond actress. Afterwards, when we quizzed Kevin why he acted so frightfully he replied 'Because I'm worth it!' while picking chunks of corned beef off his string vest.
You can see Johnny in the background of the above drawing, between Herr Uberrooter and Jivebunny. Mr. Barrett's pained expression is no doubt a result of chafing caused by his lederhosen.

There's Kevin, proud as punch after the Ursula Andress Corned Beef Clone Incident, and who can blame him, I would have done it too if I had been quicker off the mark. Good man Kevin! I doff my hat to your superior virility. To Kevin's left (wearing the peaked cap) sits his brother Cardinal Dermot Weldon (exiled from Nobber after he chose the wrong side during the infamous Nobber Turnip Wars.) To Kevin's right sits Cathy 'Hollow Legs' Moore, working on site to try and pay back a debt owed to Anglo Irish Bank after her business went belly up. She was marketing methylated spirits as a vodka substitute under the clever title of 'I Can't Believe It's Not Vodka.' Apparently even the most drunken sots could believe it and poor Cathy was saddled with a mountain of debt. Cheers to you Ms.Moore! May your hollow legs never stop sloshing with alcohol. (I will be publishing Cathy's recipe for soda bread a little later in this iblogorama, she is quite the chef you know, so don't miss it dear reader.)

Although the impending royal visit was several days ahead Herr Uberrooter Hayden felt it appropriate to give us all a lecture on the importance of personal hygiene. He tenderly guided us to the tea hut sink and pointed out where we could have baths. Always a man to lead by example he stripped himself bare (but not to the full monty, Alan is well appreciated for his powers of discretion, he left on his rayon Starsky and Hutch underpants -circa 1977,) and then smeared himself with LIDL brand washing liquid before climbing into a sinkful of cold water and rinsing off the suds while singing 'Je Ne Regrette Rien.' He rounded the whole affair off by drying himself with used teabags from the bin.
I must admit after this spectacle I have vowed never to wash again.

The gas cylinders that boiled our water exploded as a result of 'Broken Nose' Barrett's alpenhorn. The instrument was poorly hung on a rusty nail which gave way. The alpenhorn fell on top of them and cracked one open. The explosion was remarkable and we were tweezing lumps of shrapnel (along with stray sherds of Corned Boeuf a la Cowen) out from between our teeth for days afterwards. This forced us to use an electrified kettle which was a little disconcerting since rural electricfication has yet to reach any of our cottages and we were quite at a loss trying to figure out how the contraption operated. At first we lit a turf fire and placed the electrified kettle on top of it, that didn't work so we placed it over the fire and plugged it in to a nearby socket. Finally we got it right but tea hasn't tasted the same since.

Here we are looking west at the derriere of 'Bin Laden's Good Time Emporium,' much like the hindquarters of a galleon sailing into the sunset. - As the week drew to a close The Chairman and Mr. Barretts' novelty clothing was in tatters, they stared at each other across the site through eyes made wise with time. They smiled as only old friends can and embraced. 'I'm soooo sorrrry,' blubbed The Chairman. 'Me too. I've been such a fool,' said Mr.Barrett (tears flooding his cheeks.) 'Could I . . . could I . . . maybe try having a toot on your alpenhorn?' asked The Chairman. 'Certainly,' said Mr.Barrett wiping his eyes, 'but only if I can try on your bearskin hat.' With that the two men walked into the sunset, The Chairman improvising a hornpipe and Mr. Barret gaily dancing to the merry tune.

And may the Goddess Kali bless you all until we meet again through the miracle of Blogoscope!!


  1. Ah jaysus Conor you're killing me here. My son thinks I've lost a marble with all the laughing.

  2. I believe Mr. Barret's expression was a result of where the "Chairman" chose to shove his aplenhorn!!



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I am a descended from a long line of conga dancers. I occasionally wear shoes. I gave up going to the toilet twenty years ago - it's a filthy habit. I have a pet bunny called Mucky - he's a filthy rabbit.