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Oct 11


Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Strange and Unusual

The man with the Panzerfaust stood inside a shattered doorway and drew a bead on me. POOOM! The shell exploded right in front of the wall I was ducked behind and left an irritating whistle in my ears. My vision blurred suddenly, so I reached into my bag of supplies and withdrew a syringe of adrenaline… just as the doorbell rang.

I put the Xbox controller on the table and tightened the belt of my dressing-gown… just in case. I trudged to the door and opened it, to find a small child – Puppychild’s best friend – standing there wearing only a pair of knickers and a porridge-stained vest. The usual snail-trail of snotty matter glinted from her cupid’s bow in the early morning sunlight, streaked slightly across her left cheek, reflecting an identical streak on her wrist. Such are the charms of three year olds.

Her mother stood behind her, chuffing on a fag.

“Mornin'” she says… her eyes look especially drawn I noticed.

“How’ye?” I replied in proper council-house order.

“Knackered! We’re just back from the Children’s hospital ’bout an hour ago.”

“Who is it this time?!” Trips to the hospital are commonplace with my neighbour’s kids… I think it’s because she keeps her house too clean.

“Young wan there!” She gestured at the snotty toddler with a fag-end. “She has pleurisy this time… they gave her two sets of antibiotics, an inhaler, a batch of steroids and a nasal spray and sent her home.”

I gazed at the child standing in front of me and shivered empathetically, her scanty clothing was odd given the fact that it was an especially chilly October morning. A bubble of goo inflated from one nostril, then imploded sending a long bungee of snot towards the child’s bare toes. She slurped the remains back up, coughed like a baby seal, and slid one arm across her face – all the way from her elbow to the tip of her index finger. My breakfast churned inside me.

“She’s dressed a bit on the scanty side, isn’t she? Maybe you should have her in bed? Not that I’m an expert, mind…” As I spoke, an errant kitten caught the kid’s attention and she scampered away, giving chase. Her bare feet slapped on the damp tarmac and I noticed her baby toe was an alarming shade of purple.

“Ahhh, lookit!” my neighbour laughed – “Sure that never works. I’m thinkin’ that if I leave her out like this, maybe the virus will catch a virus and feck off.”

There’s proper Irish logic for you… it’ll probably work, too.

Bring on the comments

  1. Gaaaaah. Can we for God’s sake instigate a licensing system for reproduction. I was driving down Ballyogan once a couple of years ago and my eye was drawn to a small dog that was jumping from the pavement onto the road and back again a couple of hundred yards ahead of me. Then my eye was drawn to the equally small boy wearing nowt but a shirt that was attempting to catch the dog. Really, he was at most two and a half.

    By the time my brain had let me believe the image I was past so I pulled a u turn and went back to see what the hell was going on. Another chap and a lady had stopped too, the lady reckoned she knew the mum so she took charge and brought the child away. Me? I’d have called the cops because a) trying to catch small naked children that don’t belong to you looks bad b) The owner of the child needed a good talking to by some authorities.

  2. Kelley says:


    And she what, came over to borrow a cup of virus infecting virus?

    I know someone that would treat that little girl like a princess.

  3. Darragh says:

    K8, I most definitly know what you mean. I know one family around here that sound very similar. However, I have to say, what’s equally as frustrating are parents who don’t let their kids experience anything for feer that they’ll catch something or grow up to be skum bags just because they happen to do the odd stupid thing while their growing up. Doing stupid things is all part of it!

  4. Maxi Cane says:

    Some people should definitely have to apply for a license to procreate.

  5. and god forbid if anything went wrong with that kid she’d be down the road to her solicitor or wailing on TV3.


  6. my gosh and they say people dont care i would have got hold of that little raga muffin and put her in doors where its safe and warm. Hope your well havent heard from you in a little while.

  7. Warrior says:

    I think it is not the child so much that is sick……………………….

  8. K8 says:

    Thrifty; Jeebus that’s mental… I shudder to think what the story was there. Nobody’s concerned about the dog though! *tsk*

    Kelley; They have one of those ‘Princess on Board’ yokes on the rear-windscreen of their car. The term Princess is used very loosely these days, don’t you find?

    Darragh; Amen, brother. There’s such a fine line between stupid and fatal though. That’s the ongoing scourge of parents everywhere.

    Maxi; Ahh but then Einstein wouldn’t have been born. Mind you he is responsible for the atom bomb… Where licenses fail, Darwin takes over I reckon.

    Xbox dude; Nah, she’s be nagging Sheila in the Council. Sheila gets the brunt of every wrong doing around here, poor woman.

    Vicky; I’m a crap friend for ringing I’m afraid but it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you :) I was going to leg it in for a quick coffee today but I had to valet the car instead… a lady with a hairy sweater shed like a dog in June and made an unholy mess. Hey did you see that band today? It was drum-tastic! What was that all about?

    Warrior; Nah, they’re just country folk. No offense to all the culchies out there! Hee hee.

  9. K8: Good grief. Tell me, how do you feel about the little wan being Puppychild’s best friend? I bet you must want to scoop her up and keep her for yourself, don’t you? x

  10. K8 says:

    I’m afraid she falls into the ‘other people’s kids’ category, nice in small doses. She has a really dirty laugh though… very infectious :) She’s a great kid, but better from this side of the adjoining wall.

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