A well used bar.
Sits our hero, corner table back to the wall, head bowed in contemplation of The Form spread before him. At his elbow, a queer glass from which he sips his elixir.
For all the world, Rodin’s Thinker.
Now come into his field of view, two gloved fists, resting with malice aforethought, on the oak, near the top of his paper. And two more, now you mention it, to his right, the neighbours of the first.
“Would you just look at this now, Reserve Officer Mally? Sure doesn’t he put you in mind of a Trinity man at his studies?”
“He does sergeant, he does”
Our hero, colour draining, looks up at Sergeant Milo O’Shea of An Garda Siochana. With him, an ill-favoured whip of a lad also in uniform, but with a learner’s armband, and a learner’s hatred.
A lifetime of trickery washes past our hero on a wave of adrenaline.
“Not interrupting Barney? (for it is he) We wouldn’t want to interrupt a scholar at the learnin’, would we Reserve Officer Mally?”
“No we wouldn’t sergeant, not at the learnin’ no.”
“But I see now it’s only the horses he’s reading and nothin’ important. Careful now, Reserve Officer Mally, you nearly had the lad’s drink over there. What manner of drink would that be anyways? It’s neither stout nor ale nor porter, neither is it whiskey nor French brandy. Tell us Barney. We’re agog we are.”
“It’s rumplemayer…ahem! It’s katsenjammer…AHEM…choke…it’s fucking JAGERMEISTER!“
“It isn’t! Doesn’t he have expensive tastes Reserve Officer Mally? And him idle!”
“Expensive sergeant, just what I was thinkin‘”
“look lads…what is it you want?”
“Well it’s like this. Some people think they’re smarter than us Gardai. I know I know, can you believe it? But we’ve a bit of a computer up at the station there and Reserve Officer Mally here likes nothing better than a quick look on the oul web before we go out on patrol. He’s that keen you see. It’s amazing the slander about us they’ll be putting on that thing. Scandalous.”
“Holy Mary Mother of God !”
“Well might you say that Barney boy, but I’m thinking you don’t go as often as you maybe should. Oh now look at that. Reserve Officer Mally has accidentally spilled your German drink into your lap. Well at least the glass didn’t break in your groin, I’ve seen it happen. But listen, we should maybe pick up the cleaning bill…….will we be owing you anything for that?”
Our heroine, our Hera stepped off Olympus, our Juno among mortals, Fatmammycat takes up the tale:
Barney looked down at his damp trousers. 'Nah, lad's that all right, no harm no foul.'
Officer Mally smiled, or at least his mouth did. His eyes however glittered with pent up emotion.
Sergeant Milo cracked his neck- a skill he had spent months learning ever since he had watched Leon in a sauna house. Sure any cunt could crack their knuckles, but the neck? That was style, that was...tough.It didn't half freak out the junkies in Store street.
'Well now' CRACk ' I don't suppose we'll be needing to take up any more of your tiime now Barney, will we?'
'Yeah, will we?' Mally spoke without moving his lips Barney noticed. He wondered idly if he could fart without opening his hole.
Milo looked pained, Mally had ballsed up his good bye speech.'Right so, we'll leave you to your...drink.'
He stalked out of the bar, head high shoulders back. He had gout, and as such walked with a curious stiff gait that he hoped looked powerful and authoritive.
'You've been warned.'
Mally said bunching his fists.
'Yeah well....you better remember it.'
'That I warned ya too.'
'You just said that.'
'Yeah, so what?'
'So I heard you the first time.'
A muscle jumped in Mally's jaw.He leaned in. Barney could smell the Joop aftershave. It did not mask the stink of goat.
'I'm jist saying.'
Barney agreed in a surprisingly jovial tone.
Mally huffed softly, unsure of what was happening. Afraid he might be slithering off the high ground he knocked over Barney's glass of jagermeister.
'Oops sorry 'bout that.'
He snickered once, then turned on his heel and left the bar.
Barney glanced down at his paper. Kicking King in the 2:30, after yesterdays rain the ground was soft going. Not a bad bet.He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his mobile. He tapped in a number.
'Howya, Barney here. Yeah, not too bad...no, they're grand too. Listen, you still got that lock up over on the East wall? Grand, and the van? Beautiful. Nah, nah, just that. You're a fucking beut Big Ron. Talk to ya.'
Barney ordered another drink and shook out his paper. Mally was a stupid cocksucker to be sure, in more ways than one. And when Barney was finished with him, the whole of Dublin would agree with that assessment.
He settled back in his seat and dialled another number.'Fatmammycat? Barney, you too. tell me this now and tell me no more, you still got that er...you know... the equipment. No shite, not that, the other stuff. You do? Great, can you bring it to a lock up over in the East wall tomorrow night? Ah you are a Darling. Oh yeah, bring the camcorder too. Beautiful. No, thank you!'
He hung up and smiled for the first time that day. He had been wondering what to do with all the dead mice, two fucking birds with the one stone, you couldn't say fairer than that.'