Still Act Two Still
Follow me, stay close, as we fly from our roost, over hedges and ditches, above the foggy treetops, past spires and roofs, stacked steeple high, with phone aerials and eyeless satellite dishes, blindly searching for the false god of Sky.
Not us, friends! In the murk a space, parted by Divine Hand and in that space a light. Like true sparrows in fog, we follow the beam, straight down through Ryan’s open window. To alight near the table of our five questing friends, let’s see how it goes with their search, for the fabled Guinness Grail!
“The Guinness Grail!
“Haven’t you been listening to all we’ve said?”
“It’s a lot to take in, go back to the bit about the naked man in the museum.”
“Museum? pshaw, fleabag clip joint more like. £7.50 for what? Two or three old pot stills and a tea-towel of Loch Lomond in the gift shop? That‘s not a museum.”
“Yeah yeah, THE MAN?”
“We found him spread-eagled naked on the floor, walked in and there he was.”
“In a pentagram?”
“With odd symbols on the floor?”
“Some writing, in blood even?”
“An anagram maybe?”
“No, I said there wasn’t...”
“That was pentagram, an anagram is a word…”
“No pentagram, anagram, nor telegram neither, nothing. Just him.”
“No, completely pie-eyed, and I mean totalled. Fuck was he shitfaced!”
“Well who was he in the name of Christ?”
“He was Harry Hutton of our order, but one failed in his Quest. We you see, are sworn to abstinence for the duration of The Search, it‘s a state of grace. He failed.
“Yeah, off the wagon! Big time! The cunt!” El Barbudo remarks
“Order? Quests? You talk as if you’re knights or something.”
“These two are, that’s why they can’t drink. EL Barbudo as in EL Cid see? And Ayres here is actually Sir Kim, a Knight Of the Round…
“Never mind that now,” says Ayres quite testy, “Tell them what he gave us.”
“Ah yes, before he passed out, he gave us this, the Guinness Code, Ayres decoded it last night…”
Even still, the buckled cogs and wheels of Mally’s mind turn on their crooked spindles, grinding slow now, for want of Love’s kind oil.
I can’t touch him, that’s for sure, for I took an Oath (a perverted corruption of the word) but I know a mob who can. That shower of shite at Ryan’s Bar would eat him alive. They’re mad daft on the hurling and the football and the fightin’ Sure they’ve got Flynn O’Toole’s hurley, Jimmy Johnstone’s jersey, Jack Charlton’s fishin’ rod, all stuck up on the wall. Why even big Roy himself… Mally
remembers the day Roy Keane stopped in for one.
“Have yi change of a hunder?” Said Keano that day, waving the big red note like a flag and him grinnin’ the big man to all and sundry in the bar.
“I’m sorry Mr Keane, I have not,” says Ryan, snatching it from his grip, “I’ll have ti owe yi!” And promptly nailed it to the wall.
Losing a hubcap to the kerb, Mally returns to his steering wheel and changes up to third. I’ll put this fecker on the wrong bus yet!
“Di yi follow the football at all?”
“Oh Aye Rangers daft me.” (a soccer team of the Scottish Presbyterian tradition)
“I have just the place for you then, the only such bar in town, and they’re showin’ a re-run of Barcelona, this very night!”
“A Rangers pub? In Dublin? Surely not”
“Oh staunch, staunch, they are, and they’d love nothing better, than to welcome a visitor, a Prodigal son as it were, if you get my meaning.”
“Do you think?”
“I Do. Now, have you a Rangers scarf?”
“Never leave home without it. What’s more, I’ve also got this, and THIS!”
Oh, haha Oh no! Oh this is too good! “HohohahahHAHAHA splutter choke”
Lindy claps her hands in astonished glee
“You said: ‘Two women from the west will come‘, how do you know its us?”
“The prophesy in the Code describes you both. Two shall bear the clue, One with shining heart so true, the other…”
“Yeah, what does it say about me?”
“Never mind, you fit the bill.”
“And what were we supposed to bring”
“The last but one piece of our jigsaw”
“And that is?”
“I rather think it’s one of those books”
"Are there more to come?"
“Yes just two, ‘One to show the way‘, ‘the other to clear the path‘”
Mally loses his grip. There goes another hubcap, for Binty, from his duffle bag has brought out a Union flag the size of a tablecloth and with some grunting, a red foam glove, which released from its tartan prison, has expanded to reveal a huge Red Hand Of Ulster.
“What do you think?”
I think they’ll fuckin kill you! Thinks he.
Outside Ryan’s, Binty has been dressed with Mally his fussing valet for the night. The union jack is draped like a cloak, the red white and blue of his scarf adjusted just so, and the gigantic Red Hand, placed on with the care of the trainer to his young boxing champ. “Remember“, he says, “big entrance!”
Binty kicks in the door.
“Hello! Hello! We are the Billy boys…
Without even looking up from his pouring, Ryan points to the table, “They’re sittin’ over there. Widyi mind shuttin’ the feckin’ the door?”
Outside on the pavement, R. O. Mally has lost his bladder to the flagstones, in white-hot, helpless fury.
End of act two.