Pharaoh sneaks into Dublin

Dog Rough – an occasional sketch

Sniffing around with Skratcher O Fleazy, reporter

(This little piece was written in February 2011, while Eygpt was in the throes of its Arab Spring and Ireland was immersed in its General Election campaign. The Pharaoh Tutunkhamun (King Tut) exhibition was due to open at the RDS – Royal Dublin Society premises.)

Pharoah Hound – Wasn’t found!

I bumped into me auld mutt Pepper the other day who asked me if I still had some contacts in the Press. Curious, I asked what he had for me and promised if it was good enough, I’d see if we could get it into print.

Swearing faithfully not to reveal his sources, he dropped two crumpled soggy pieces of papyrus from his mouth and asked me to read it. He told me that he found it at the RDS, when he was on his rounds sussing out the Dublin 4 area, marking lamp posts and smelling other dogs bums.

Mystified by these documents, both written in hieroglyphs, I contacted our in-house Egyptologist, Carter el Beradi. He took it down to the staff cloakroom where he worked. He spent the night translating them, between retrieving staff clothing or bags.

This is the result of his endeavours, which our Editor deemed worthy of immediate publication:-

Page 1. (On the official papyrus of Pharaoh Tutankhamun)

Diary entry for Tueday 15th  February 2011

5.30am– Arrived with minions off Stranraer – Larne Ro-Ro ferry on the sarcophabus, after dodging protests at Leeds/Bradford airport. No sign of Islamic Brotherhood in Northern Ireland.

8.00am– Stopped in Dundalk for large Irish breakfast. Hairy guy with Belfast accent at next table, surrounded by rough looking security men, told me he had never been in the IRA – hadn’t a clue what he was on about. Harem girls thought he was a bit common and the fry was much the same. Still haven’t told them about the bit of populist fuss back home.

Aanagh pretty Nubian slave

9.30am –  My pretty Private Secretary, the Nubian Aanah, made contact on Skype with our Head of Administration back home, the minor God, Hosni Muberak. Big news – he’s now in the Palace nursing home at Sharm el Sheik after standing down, with loyal troops guarding the perimeter. Health is poor and doctors are keeping a close eye on him. Says our once loyal army are handing power over to the peasants. Traitors.

Due to this crisis, I asked to speak with him privately – our billions are a sensitive issue, all 70 of them. Hosni assured me it was all being converted into gold bullion, so that he can be buried in similar style to myself. He has his eye on a plot of ground in Iran to build his pyramid. I wished him well – us Gods are not well understood by the common folk.

13.30 – Arrived Dublin, bones aching after hours buried in back of that damned sarcophabus to avoid the paparazzi.

Aanagh supervises slave beauticians

15.30 – Enjoyed my daily appointment with the travelling beauticians – manicure, pedicure, mummy massage, facial and organ cleansing.

17.00 – All the imitation gold and semi-precious metals were polished, slaves worked flat out. Took a few aside for a whipping by my faithful slavemaster Nubani to keep them on their toes – kills the boredom of watching them work.

19.30 – My Secretary Aanah had me booked in for a meal at the Four Seasons with a local nobody by the cartouche Enda Kenny. Kept talking about some stupid five point plan, must have mentioned it at least 15 times. Said he’d be the man shortly and wanted to know if I’d give him a haircut, something to do with Bondage. She should know I’m not into that S & M stuff, so I dismissed the little blonde upstart. 

22.00 – Dropped into my harem on the top floor of the Berkeley Court hotel. Would you believe, to a woman (and girl too) they refused to have sex with their God. After torturing the cute one with blonde hair called Ivana, we discovered some local hack by the cartouche Fintan O Tool had dropped in to interview them and filled them in on the peasant uprising back in Egypt. They decided to have a sex strike in solidarity with the upstarts at home. Desperate, I summoned Aanah to my executive suite but she refused saying she had a headache from all the travelling.

Page 2. (On the official papyrus of Pharaoh Tutankhamun)

Wednesday 16th February 2011

Imitation sarcophagus

09.00 – Big day today, we are opening in the Industries Hall at the RDS,Dublin. Have a splitting headache after first night without sex since age 9. Will have to resort to some of the man slaves if this keeps up, wouldn’t do for word to get back that I swing both ways.

King Tut's imitation mummy

10.00 – Make up and support staff have me all spruced up for the exhibition. Pain in the ass as far as I’m concerned, lying around all day while plebs of all shapes and sizes come to ogle my imitation plastic treasures. That blasted nuisance Howard Carter started all this when he disturbed my peace in 1922, life has never been the same since. So what if I’m one of the most recognisable images in the world.

Pharoah expresses his displeasure

16.00 – Nubani, my slave master, tells me that he has been advised that several countries around the Arab world are revolting against their leaders and that my stable of slaves are looking for certificates of freedom and redundancy payoffs from me, including himself. I made the mistake of giving him the PINs for my Swiss Bank accounts – Gods can’t be expected to retain all these petty details. Now, the cheek of him, he’s threatening me and knows I can do nothing while stuck in this fancy fake sarcophagus. And to make it worse, Hosni has lost control of my once loyal army and secret police so there is no one to sort out these insolent twerps that I saved from abject poverty.

20.00 – Last of the plebs finally left the RDS, what a miserable day – headache is worse, no hope of relief from the harem or slaves. Must see if Aanah can find a local defrocked priest for some of his young contacts. Now the beauticians are also on strike, will have to send for my sister wife to calm my nerves and relieve this sexual tension. Take away dinner from someone of the cartouche Mc Donalds – their lion meat tastes like papyrus with mayonnaise and onion.

22.00 – No joy on young boy front either, second night of abstinence in a row, must Google how to do hand job. What a disaster, deep depression setting in on Dublin 4. Note to one’s self – will commission a 36 floor skyscraper for first man who can find a replacement harem of nubile girls. Must try this local black drink for sleep potion, hear good reports of it’s health giving properties. Got bad news about situation in neighbouring province Bahrain, their black gold is not keeping the plebs happy either, maybe another uprising on the way. What’s the world coming to, nobody seems to respect good old fashioned law and order anymore.

End of diary extract.

(Editor’s note: – Bearded man refers to Sinn Fein politician by cartouche of Gerry Adams.)

Banter in Rome

 (This fictional story was written in early March 2011 when Berlusconi was due to appear in 4 different court cases. It was prompted by my Creative Writing teacher, Dave Lordan, who challenged us to write an argumentative piece.)

Berlusconi and his bunga bunga girls

Sylvio Berslusconi is stopped by a supporter of the Women Against Sexploitation Party outside the Italian Parliament building in Rome, asking him: “ Excuse me, Prime Minister, how can you sleep at night the way you try to hoodwink the Italian people and mistreat our women, especially underage girls, you old bastard?”

“Young lady, please treat my office with respect. I have to say you are an attractive young woman. What is your name? You may call me Sylvio” retorted Berlusconi, as his handlers tried to move him to his waiting car.

 “Your flattery doesn’t work with me, sir. Answer my question, please.”

“You misunderstand me, miss. I have great respect for all women, young and old. Just look at my cabinet, there are plenty of talented ladies there.” 

Getting annoyed at his evasion of her question, she remarked “I’m not so sure their talents are in making laws. How can you stand here in front of me and use that as an excuse for exploiting young girls for your own gratification at sex parties?” 

Rising to her challenge, Berlusconi shot back “These are all foul lies from my enemies in the media – I have never exploited any young women. What did you say your name was again, young lady?”

Her face getting redder as she digested his conflicting reply, she spat out her response “ I DIDN’T SAY. Are you trying to tell me all those girls are telling lies about you and your sex parties? Why don’t you sue them for libel if that’s the case?”

Smiling, now that he had riled her, he carried on with his bluster “Miss, I like to know who my accuser is. Surely you can let me have your first name. You are a very pretty young lady – would you like to audition for one of my TV shows?”

Shaking off the P M’s security guards who wanted to end this public spectacle, as a crowd gathered, she replied “NO, thank you. You disgust me, you dirty old man. I know how you work, you…I, um, I…..”, losing her train of thought and struggling to get her thoughts together, she blurted out “My name is Claudia  – oh, no, why did I say that.” 

Smiling, he now pressed on as he said to her “OK, Claudia, have you worked in TV before?” Her supporters booed his change of tack, while his mostly male fans chorused “Sylvio, Sylvio, Sylvio…” from those surrounding the duelling pair.

Gathering herself together, her eyes watering, her neck flushed, she went back on the attack “Listen you devious bastard, stop confusing the issue. I don’t know how you can tell barefaced lies to this nation saying you do not exploit women. Do you think the Italian people are stupid? Your own acolytes and your “kiss and tell” girls can’t all be telling lies.” Behind her, the crowd cheered her recovery and listened for the P M’s reply.

Staying his guards, he responded to her barbs “Claudia, my dear, I am a very powerful man in politics and business with enemies around every corner. Why do you think so many rival newspapers and media outlets, as well as the judiciary are supporting these spurious claims against me? I am an easy target. Its all lies.” 

Keeping her thoughts focussed on the attack, she said “Mr. Berlusconi, you know very well there is rarely smoke without fire. Your day in court is almost on you and you have nowhere to hide. Italian women will be safer after you are convicted.”

Fidgeting now, he signalled to his guards to start moving him towards the car, he said “I’m not so sure about that. These judges think they can bring down the most powerful man inItalyover a few petty foibles. Believe me, my cute Claudia, they might be having a field day in the media but I will win out in the end, as I always do.”

Following to his car, she spoke privately to him as he sat into the rear seat, “You must be delusional if you think you will wriggle out of this one. By the way, do you have a contact number for your TV game show producer?” 

CK 2/3/11

I need inspiration – can Toesun help?

Psst, did ya hear the one about ......?

For the last few weeks, my creative mojo has gone west on me. I’m back in my creative writing class working on my project; Pepper’s book (its working title is “Charlie and Me”), but I’m drawing a total blank in terms of getting any new material written. With c.25 chapters drafted already, I was hoping to finish the first draft before the end of 2011, but that’s looking unlikely now. Frustration.

Celebrating his 9 years in the Wicklow Mountains

And by co-incidence, my current dog Toesun was with me eight years just two weeks ago. He arrived only 3 months after Pepper had passed away tragically and was roughly about a year old when I got him, making him nine now. He has been a faithful and fun companion, but not a patch on his predecessor when it comes to character or sailing adapability.

By the way, Mojo was the name of my sister Marys’ dog, who was a contemporary and best mate of Pepper. So I’m hoping this exercise will clear the channels and allow my own mojo reassert itself. I’m off to walk Toesun in the rain now – ou est l’inspiration?

Toesun at the helm

We’ve enjoyed a lot of good times together over the last eight years, both on land and at sea. While he has been somewhat reluctant to come on board at times, once on the boat he settles into the routine of life at sea and is great with fellow crew.

Catch me if you can!

Wow, that was a wet one!

Being a good looking dog also helps. I’m reliably told he’s a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and he exhibits all the standard characteristics of that breed – loves water, is forever retrieving balls from neighbours gardens, plastic bottles from ditches and is very playful, especially with young dogs and puppies. Kids also love him and it was for that reason he came to be with me.

Ryan snuggles Toesun

The family who took him into their home as a puppy had a number of young children. As he grew from his fluffy puppy stage, he got quite tall and frisky and was continually jumping on the kids. The parents were very upset to have to let him go but they had to put their children’s safety first. I located him at the Wicklow SPCA shelter at Sharpshill and fell in love with him immediately.

Toesun and Lucky set off one a new journey

On the day I went to view him, I also saw a cute little Jack Russel type terrier in the County Pound next door which was to be put down in 24 hours if no-one took her. Not realising there lurked a softie within my skin, I agreed to take both of them, thinking some of my family would love to take on the wee cutie. Sure enough, my brother Dermot and his family fell in love with her as soon as they laid eyes on her. They called her Lucky (after her lucky escape from the executioner’s needle) and she is still very much queen of the castle in their family home in Enniscorthy.

My own new buddy Toesun was a bit slow to settle in – no-way would he get on my boat, he seemed to be afraid of the water and he took a while to get over marking his new home. Luckily, his first six months with me were the off season for my sailing school so I had time to get around his little issues and sure enough, he came good in time for my first batch of sailors in 2004. There were problems along the way – his overly frisky behaviour made it necessary to have him neutered, a neighbour gave him a present of a lamb shank bone which unfortunately perforated his gut and required major surgery and recently, he split his paw opening an artery, which necessitated a general anaesthetic.

Apart from spending half his life in a sail training environment either on board or waiting in the car while I conducted my theory courses, his education extended to 3 years in UCD while was doing my B.A. in Geography and Welsh. His smellers have investigated every blade of grass, explored every pathway, frollicked in the campus woods and even suffered being locked in the car for longer than planned, when his master’s jacket with car keys inside was taken. Recently, he has accompanied me to my creative writing classes and Irish Times journalism course, so it could be said, he has had a well rounded edumacation.

Master and 1st Mate

But problems apart, this lovable dog has proved to be a wonderful companion for me over the last 8 years. We’ve sailed up and down the Irish Sea, walked all around County Wicklow and elsewhere, he sleeps on my bed every night and is always there looking for some new adventure. He plays with all the local dogs, rips balls to shreds and will swim for hours chasing sticks or plastic bottles; and in keeping with most of his fellow canines, loves to give the postman a bit of a hard time of it. My customers, friends and family all get on well with him and he also is a hit with many of the members of Wicklow Sailing Club.

Ivan teases Toesun with a BIG stick

Pepper was with me for a short but wonderful 8 1/2 years and now Toesun has only 6 months to go to reach that milestone – fingers crossed he’ll be with me for a lot longer. You might ask where he got the name; his previous family called him Tyson but he neither black nor a street fighter and I wanted to keep a similar sounding name not to confuse him. As he had a dew claw (extra toe) on his right hind leg, my buddy Ivan and I used that in concert with bos’un (a desired nautical term) to come up with Toesun.

Snow White with the Big Arus

Or should that be brown envelopes?

There once lived a beautiful Princess in a land so green, it was known as the Emerald Isle. And her home was a grand palace known as the Arus. Everyone loved her in this verdant land except her step-mother, the Queen Kathleen. There came a time when the nasty jealous Queen was so upset after tolerating the beautiful Princess for 14 years that she decided it was time to banish her from the Arus.

Now word got out that Snow White was to be banished and seven green dwarves came to her rescue. However, while they had all agreed that Snow White was a wonderful person, they decided one of them should take her place in her Arus. Now, while doing their best to keep in with the beautiful Princess, they plotted and schemed behind her back to get the people to pick one of them. While none of them could boast any great talents or virtues, the people of this enchanted land must make a choice on the selected day -October 27th 2011. Everyone in the land was extremely sorry to hear that their beautiful Princess was going into a deep sleep and didn’t relish the thought of another seven years without her.

The seven green dwarves (some claimed to be greener than others) were Molly Bloom, Gabby Blueshirt, Mickey Dweedledee, Marty Two Shoes, Seanie Bald Og, Rosie Lee and Wavy Davey. You’d travel a long way to find a more diverse bunch of dwarves.

Molly Bloom had developed a hunch-back from carrying so many quangos around the country. Her soliloquy ranted on about the value of being involved in all of her organisations – “They were easily worth €200000 a year to her,” she said. Her links to the Soldiers of Destiny, a disgraced brotherhood who had brought shame to the Emerald Isle, were causing her many sleepless nights. She had spent some time with Snow White in her Court Council, where they discussed dresses and shoes among other important things. Her poster tried to rival the beautiful Princess for youthful looks and caused much consternation across the land.

A temperamental little upstart of a dwarf was how Gabby Blueshirt was widely described. His shirt was a present to him from some grateful members of his family for keeping out a nasty uncle who had a habit of eating bread with several of their enemies. Never one to shirk a fight, he stalked one of the very green dwarves for several weeks calling him all sorts of murderous names. The lovely people of this land could not warm to Gabby and despite his family being the big noise in the country, there was no hope of him replacing Snow White.

As dwarves go, Mickey Dweedledee was small in stature and quiet by nature. Prone to recite poetry or possibly jump on a jet to fight for some civil or human rights issue in a far flung land, he let us all know that he was the ideal woman for the job. The only problem was, he often used that foreign tongue called Erse (useful in the Arus) so nobody could understand a word of what he said. He was known to smoke wacky backy, a funny type of tobacco mixed with natural herbs and go to rock concerts – not bad for a seventy year old pensioner. With a happy family behind him, he is hopeful the good people will rock with him into the Arus.

Now this great and green island had been torn in two by our nasty neighbours, leaving some of our wonderful people on the other side of the border. Marty Two Shoes was one of these and word has it, he might have been up to no good up there, stirring up all sorts of murder and mayhem. He got the nickname of Two Shoes for his habit of getting out of bed in the dark and putting onto his feet whichever shoes came to hand. As a result, he could never remember which shoes he was wearing during the ’70’s and ’80’s. The ones that caused him most grief were the PIRA brogues, which were so tight he couldn’t think straight when wearing them. When he stepped across the border to join the other dwarves, he wore an odd pair of soft and peaceful slippers but the good people could still hear him coming with his bodyguards and kept asking him awkward questions about his old shoes. Gabby Blueshirt was a real pest.

Rosie Lee, another lady dwarf came in search of Snow Whites palace, having variously lived in the estranged land across the border, in a foreign land far across the ocean and also on the Emerald Isle. She has been known to sing for her supper with a copy of the Palace rules in her hand, while trying to explain how she managed to be a citizen of three nations. Her family is small and troublesome, even stooping so low as to slash her tyres and say nasty things about their own brother. Poor Rosie has taken so much time off, no-one knows what she stands for and has no hope of getting into the Arus.

Now there came a bald dwarf to the show, strangely called Seanie Bald Og, who refused to use posters in case people would draw on his pate. A dab hand at making a deal or two, he has courted the disgraced Soldiers of Destiny to row in behind him as he was one of them once upon a time.  Be careful Snow White if he asks you up for a dance – without a note in his head and two left feet, your toes could suffer. Now Seanie has sneaked up the pecking order and all the other dwarves are trying to stick knives in him.  If he gets the good people of the green land to back him, he could be a real pain in the Arus.

A long time out in the field, the grass has started to grow over Wavy Davey and no matter how hard he pleads with Snow White, her step-mother, the Fairy Queen doesn’t fancy competition under her nose. He has been out and in again like the tide while trying to look after his overseas friend, who was fond of playing with boys, causing many of the good people to look the other way. James Joyce might have liked to have this queen dwarf strut his stuff up in the Arus but unless he gets an invite on Blooms Day, that’s about as close as he will get.

If only Snow White knew what was going on, she might have made her peace with Queen Kathleen and stayed on for another few years. Enjoy your sleep while your subjects make their choice on the dwarf to follow in your footsteps.