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I like to write and I like to party, but mostly just the writing. Disclaimer: A lot of these stories are true ones. The memory of growing-up in and around Killybegs. When you hold a mirror up to small communities, sometimes there are those who don't like the reflection. Capote knew this only too well. If you find the refraction just a little too much and would like the angle of incidence changed in your favor, please email me at georgevial@hotmail.com and I will be happy to make a name change here or there.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Garry: The Lone Donegal Cowboy

This is a little bit of humor and piss-take dedicated to Garry Anderson and the time he liked to wear jodhpurs.

The last few drops of rain splattered off the tent’s canvas cover and rattled off the empty cider cans lying on the ground outside, from the drinking the night before. Garry stretched his arms up out of his sleeping bag embracing the new day and upon feeling the cold quickly reclined his arms and planted them deep inside his bag to scratch and revive his dead nads.

So was the life of Donegal’s only cowboy. He began the solitary life 10 years ago now, after the tragic incident between him and the local Td’s daughter. Her name was Bridge, well it was until they sent her away to the convent after the ordeal. Now she is only known as Sister, Sister Gobnit. Oh what a beauty she was, the finest maiden between Glen Head all the way to Dessie’s and up beyond Ardara as far as the Moss road. Her face was a legend in it’s own time. Some say she was daughter of the Swan, but recent DNA testing has proved this to be incorrect and she was in fact the illegitimate child of Aggie, the old town prostitute! Anyway, regardless of her birthright Garry had fallen in love with her. Many a man before him had too and lived to rue the day, for her father Old Man Gallagher was a man to be reckoned with.

He had a heart of gold, but a fist of steel. He brought Bridge out of the orphanage at the tender age of 3 and reared her as one of his own. Treated her like a princess. But when the local scally-wags started calling around asking her out he grew mightily protective of her.

Garry took no heed of his friend’s advice, when first he set his eyes upon her lush bosom. As I recall his words to me that night were, “Jaysus would you look at the kegs on that doll.” I think I responded in the positive “yup!” But I was wise and knew not to cross the path of Old Man Gallagher.

However Garry was not to be deterred and after a heavy days drinking in the Sail Inn, took it on himself to march right up to Gallagher’s house and ask the man for his daughter. When he came rolling down the hill 20 mins later with one open eye, a few teeth missing and not looking the best for health in general, I concluded the brave fellow had significantly failed in glorious style.

I thought the matter dead and buried after that, till one night after a few down the local. Stopped by a parked car along a quite country road, relieving myself, I discovered the wheel, against which I was urinating, was firmly attached to the rear axle of Garry’s car. I only recognized it when his faced appeared pressed against a steamed-up window mouthing the words “ What the fuck are you doing?”
I had to answer honestly, “Taking a piss?”

I don’t think he was in the least impressed with my honesty. In the half-hour that followed, I learned that Garry was not alone in the car and was carrying out a secret affair with none other than Bridge Gallagher. Well, if I hadn’t been so inebriated, I would have been speechless, but due to my state I became quite the opposite and blabbered all the way home in the back seat of Garry’s car.

(Don’t think I wasn’t aware of the seat’s role earlier that night. I sat on my rolled up jacket just in case!)

Well, soon as I knew about the affair, so did the rest of the town. Funny thing that? Old Man Gallagher was not the last to hear either, ironically it was Garry and Bridge. Too busy secretly courting out in the wilds of Donegal to notice the town gossip. Needless to say, a showdown ensued between Garry and Old Man Gallagher.

Gallagher came to the conclusion that any man who wanted his girl, would have to be more of a man than he was and that would mean beating him in a man to man fight. Garry jumped at this chance to prove himself, being quite the thug. But, he knew nothing of Old Man Gallagher’s reputation as the “Flying Fist of Fife Fannan,” in his younger days. When he could squat 7 bags of turf and cut ridges faster than any Massey Ferguson tractor of the day.

So, the time and place were set: out side fast foods, after Hugies. The crowd that night was huge, some people say if you were to have counted them all you would have had to have at least 17 and half people join all fingers and toes together to keep score. More rational observers report the crowd size to be roughly about the same size as the regular bingo group in the Foresters Hall.

The two men met. Eyed each other for a few moments till Garry finished his snack box. After wiping his mouth and dislodging an annoying piece of chicken form between his teeth, the battle of the century ensued.

Garry swung first with a heavy right, Gallagher ducked, catching Garry on the jaw with a sucker right upper cut, stunning Garry for all of two seconds as he caught his senses and launched a flurry of punches into the midriff and head of Gallagher. Garry backed Gallagher all the way across the road with these punches. Then, Garry coiled back, to finish Gallagher with a Big Right, which he is well known for. But Gallagher, the wily old fart, got a boost of adrenaline and came flying at Garry with a high kick squaring him between the eyes and followed up with a 3 quarter round house and dragon punch. If only he had launched a fireball he would have gotten triple score combination bonus points, however, he knew nothing of Street Fighter 2 and failed to avail of this excellent opportunity. Garry keeled over with absolutely no grace at all, falling into a steaming pile of dog shit, laid there by Friel's dog just for the occasion.

Where was I during all this? Right there of course with the best seat in town, inside a Twin Cam with Duncam and Declan, drinking Bud and boy was it a good fight.

We cleaned Garry up and brought him home. Gallagher however was very pissed off at the whole situation and flung curses at all the town’s people and swore never to run in an election again. This was bad news for the town for they knew nothing of voting except for ticking off Gallagher’s name on the ballad form. Shit, they were going to have to learn about the outside world again. It had happened once before, way back in ‘39 when somebody addressed an envelope incorrectly and it came back from America no less, with American postal marks indicating no such address existed and people wanted to know what was the “US Postal Service.”

Several brave young people emigrated to find the knowledge but the epidemic was curtailed, luckily. Some old folks in town came up with an ingenious plan. They told the remaining young people, “those who had left made it only as far as St. John’s point and drowned, only to be transformed into sea stacks, and had to stay for all of eternity in the sea, a penance for their desertion of Killybegs.”

This had the affect of scaring the shit out of the town’s young people and they vowed to never to go beyond the Abbey or Glenties on a Saturday night.
Thus, we have some of the story that led to Garry the lone rider, the lone Donegal cowboy. We had left our hero cold in his sleeping bag.

Garry unzipped the tent door and spat some sheep’s wool from between his teeth swearing never to drink Vervier again. That stuff caused you to get in touch with your feral side and do all kinds of weird shit usually associated with Welsh farmers. Then Garry eyed his trusty steed, Dusty.

Dusty was a fine horse, bought for half a bottle of whiskey from eddy Friel and worth twice that much. Garry had got quite the bargain back in them days. But old Dusty had aged poorly in the last 10 years of riding and was hardly up to half a night of the sport, as for carrying his master he was fine. Dusty looked back to Garry as if to say, “Morning ya drunk bollox. Where to today?”

Garry walked around the campsite, kicking the Jew of the grass. Lazy bollox had fallen asleep there after their game of cards the night before.
The Jew was Garry’s sole mate. Nothing kinky or anything like that, but a kindred sole who like himself no longer fitted into the society he once roamed as a proud citizen.

Garry and the Jew spoke little, which both appreciated especially, since Garry had developed this terribly annoying speech stammer after the fight with Old man Gallagher. Most of all, both like to be alone, liked to play “kerds” and drink by the lake load.

Often, the two would not see each other for weeks on end. Then some drunken Friday night, meet up in some obscure Pub in the back ass of no where, order a round without saying a word, sit down and begin playing kerds. Some who knew of their symbiotic existence thought it strange, but they just thought it damn handy since you could only play solitaire for so long before it got tedious.

The Jew looked up at Garry and laconically said, “ I’m fucked!”

Garry knew what this meant. He would find himself alone on today’s travels. The Jew got awful travel sick, especially on the back of a horse. This relived Garry, somewhat, as he didn’t fancy having sick all down his back this morning.

With a nod of his riding hat and a click to the side of Dusty with his cute little ridding boots, the lone cowboy was off, leaving the Jew to his hangover.

Today’s ride took Garry into the sprawling metropolis of Kilcar. This once sleepy town was absolutely changed the day Brian O’Donnell bought himself a pair of fashionable trousers and opened a clothes shop the day after!

Brian could wear his trousers to work in Mennairy Fish Factory and then go home on the tractor and head out to Glenties the same night on the bus, without having to change his trousers. Other lads saw the advantage of this:
It took about 15 minutes to shower, 2 minutes to dry and about 2 hours for their Mother’s to wash and iron their clothes for the night. Now, the lads could see all the drinking time they could save waiting on their slow mothers (God bless them they could go no faster) to get their act together.

But now, with the fashionable trousers they could get rotten quicker, stagger in home with snack box under arm and fall asleep on the floor with a towel over themselves and wake in the morning knowing they would have freshly ironed trousers to wear to mass in the morning since their mother’s had nothing better to do on Saturday nights but to iron and wash their clothes. Well needless to say when the word came out that all this could be achieved with fashionable trousers from Brian’s in Kilcar, people began flocking to the town in great numbers. It is said that one day the whole Kilcar GAA team came into Brian’s looking for the fashionable trousers and Brian had to drive all the way to McElinney’s in Ballybofey just to fit out the whole team and a few dedicated fans too.

Garry trotted Dusty slowly onto the main street, dismounted outside the Mace shop and tied dusty to a pole. Garry went into the shop to inquire as to what day it was. He found out it was Thursday. Dole Day! This meant trouble as far as Garry was concerned. He knew every useless unemployable bollox this side of Largy mhor would be in town to spend their well earned government benefits. No chance of a quiet drink then. But drink would have to be taken all the same.

After a bacon baguette in a small restaurant at the back of the Mace store and a bizarre conversation with a young chef about the “impact dynamics of the ‘98 Renault Clio” and the “merits of not wearing underwear while working in a kitchen,” Garry rolled lazily across the road to Kilcar House for a few short ones. It was only 3 o’clock and the pub was relatively empty apart from few well oiled Alco’s nursing their black pints and sorting out the world’s political, health and economic situations simultaneously from the respectable confines of their barstools.

Garry took up a table in the corner and began to deal the cards for solitaire. Next time he looked up their was 8 empty glasses on his table and the pub had filled up, with about 47 bony arsed bog men all wearing fashionable trousers from Brian’s.

Garry’s riding jodhpurs stood out in stark contrast to these fashionable trousers and it was not long before one of the ignorant boggers noticed this fact and rudely pointed it out.

“Seamus, would you look at the trousers on that fella”
“Fwhere Paddy?”
“Over there, playing cards by himself, wonder fwhat’s his problem.”
“Think you should go over and ask him Paddy.”

The scene that followed was terrible. I don’t think words can quite capture the expressions upon the faces of the boggers after Garry ripped off Paddy’s arm and proceeded to pound his bony arsed bogman of a head in to the ground.
If only Paddy had said nothing to Garry about his jodhpurs he would have been a much healthier and alive person today. Needless to say the local law heard about the dangerous stranger in town and came to check out all the commotion. Garda Bradley arrived just as Garry was mounting his steed.

Bradley asked Garry if he had done the deed to Paddy. He nodded in the affirmative and just stared at Bradley, cold as steel. Bradley could tell this jodhpur wearing individual was outside of the law and there was nothing he could do. Garry tucked his carry-out a little further under his arm and bade Kilcar goodnight and made his way to Bavin to rest for the night under a fir tree on a bed of soft pine needles.

That night as Garry lay in Bavin polishing off his drink, it suddenly dawned on him, he had not enjoyed the touch of a woman in 5 years. That was the night he and the Jew came into a bit off money in Glen and used their profit to sample the local women only too willing to offer themselves at any decent price. Since then, sheep were the only outlet for his sexual frustration.

He realized he was only a days ride from Killybegs, his old town where the wanderings began, unless he were to head over Conerad and come down the far side of Ardara. Dusty in his younger days would have made this journey with no more than a swish of his tail, but now he was lucky if he could swish his tail to avoid excreting on himself. So Garry decided to face up to his fears and enter the town of the Little Cells. When in Killybegs, he would see to it to find Old Man Gallagher and learn the whereabouts of Bridge. Where her convent was and if she still loved him.

News spread fast that Garry was back in town. Not many people recognized him and only for his legend as the Lone Donegal Cowboy nobody would have known this bedraggled stranger was the same Garry George Anderson who once courted and drank like there was no tomorrow in the town of Killybegs.

Garry set up camp in his favorite haunt, the Sail Inn with Peggy and Vernon the proprietors of the fine establishment. And after a ham and cheese toasty swallowed down with a nice pint of Bulmers Garry lay back in his seat to watch the telly, when the inevitable happened; Vernon sat down to talk.

Some people had no time for this eccentric old man, but Garry always enjoyed the anecdotes on his life, most of which, came straight out of his arse. The story he related to Garry today was about when he was in WWII and fighting in the Dardenels. He claimed to be in charge of a British destroyer with a mission to clear the straight of all mines. They were having problems locating the German mines and after a dangerous week of sweeping and nearly sinking the ship twice he came up with the brilliant idea of swimming in front of the ship. Garry goaded Vernon on with gasps of encouragement and words of praise.

Vernon described how great shape he was in, way back then, and he just ripped off his shirt and dived straight in to the sea, with no cares for himself. Not only did Vernon locate the mines himself, but he would grab them with his bare arms and dive to the bottom of the sea and with his pocket knife, he would set them off under water. For his act of bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross and knighted. Then to celebrate, he reckons he and some of the other lads from the ship swam into Istanbul and got themselves ten women a piece.

Garry was really enjoying the narrative when Peggy, his wife, walked by and casually said, “Fer fucks sake Vernon, you deserted the fecking army and ended up in this shit-hole of a town and the only sex you ever had was with me and that was out of sympathy!”

Vernon’s face fell and he sucked on his pipe a little, then looked up at Peggy and said, “ Ya see Peggy, you just don’t understand. I was just relating a story here to, a, Garry and he doesn’t give a feck if it’s true or not, a, ya see, he just likes to hear me talk and make a great big horse’s ass out of myself.

“You’re a fool Vernon,” replied Peggy and walked off behind the bar.

Vernon looked back to Garry with a sad little face, but brightened up as he began to relate the time when he was in California and prevented the San Andreas Fault from splitting in two, by wedging a pocketknife between his belt and a lamppost, saving the lives of over 5 million people in the process.

Garry enjoyed his talks with Vernon even if it was all horse shit. But time had come for him to seek out old man Gallagher, and get Bridge, the only woman he ever truly loved, “like the man in the blue Chagall suspended high, high above him, she was and always will be, the only woman he ever really, truly loved.”

The trot up Stoney Batter on Dusty was long and hard, especially with the dangerous natives of St. Cummins hill, lead by Mike Cannon, ready to pounce on you at any moment with peg-guns and spit! Garry thought he had escaped the little feckers when out of no where a pellet hit Dusty on the arse, bucking Garry to the ground. He ripped his jodhpurs in the fall; this made him really pissed. He eyed all around him to find the assailant. He caught a shimmer of peg-gun steel in the bushes, 50 yards to his left. Garry unholstered his gun and fired at his target. Direct hit, a twelve-year-old fell out of the bush, just as his mother was waking past. You should have seen the expression of shock on her face. Garry noted it with grave satisfaction, he thought he would tell the grief striking women it was only a stun gun, but decided not to, thinking she would find the situation really comical afterwards.

Old Man Gallagher’s house was No. 27 and was around the Circle. Even though it had been years since Garry lay eyes on that same house he recognized it instantly. Probably from the rather distinctive display of “Ford Cortina’s” lying in the front yard, but then again it could have been the color of the door.

Garry tied Dusty to a lamp and walked up to the door. He only needed to knock once and a very gray old man opened the door. The old man’s jaw dropped in surprise.
“Where’s Bridge?” Demanded Garry.

“Jaysus Boy, I should kick your ass.”

“ Gallagher, if I have to take off my riding hat, it will be a day you’ll rue forever!” Replied Garry confidently, toughened by the ten long years on the saddle.

A smile rose on Old Man Gallagher’s face. At the same time, a dark shadow fell on Garry from behind. Garry slowly turned around to face the biggest fecking Mongo he had ever seen. This guy made Mark Donnelan look like Pewee Herman on a diet, actually that is what Mark Donnelan looked like. Anyway he was fecking huge.
“Garry, meet Young Man Gallagher, my son!”

Garry began to quake in his riding boots. He had never faced an opponent of such colossal dimension. He would have to jump just to head butt his knees! Before Garry had time to take the situation in, the be-ast of a young fella grabbed Garry and started to pound him with death like blows. Only for the protection offered by his riding hat, Garry would have snuffed it there and then. He hadn’t even time to pull out his gun.

Some how he managed to escape the blows and rolled to the side quickly. The giant lunged at Garry, but he saw him and moved too fast for the big oaf. Young Man Gallagher lay winded on the ground, Garry took this opportunity to tie his shoe laces together. So when Gallagher stood up again he tripped forward falling full weight on his face. He fell so hard he sank 6 feet into the ground digging his own grave.
Garry turned to see one frightened Old Man Gallagher standing in the doorway.

“She’s in Galway Garry, but I don’t recommend finding her. The Nuns who keep her, The Sisters of No Mercy, guard her tight. Once we were having a problem with the dishwasher and the WhirlPool guy wouldn’t come to our house and we tried to get Bridge home to clean our dishes for us. The confrontation with the Sister Superior was hellish and I would wish it on no man.”

“I’ll take my chance, and if I return alive with her, you can buy me a drink.”
“Ta hell I will, you’ll be buying me one!”
“Thought you needed a dish washer, old man?”
“Well why didn’t you say so, I’ll but you a grand drink.”

With peace made between Old Man Gallagher and himself, Garry headed back to the Sail Inn to rest for the night.

In the morning he brought Dusty up to Fintra and took his bridle off.

“Go on Dusty make your way back to Tir na N’og. Back to all the old places and I’ll see ya there soon.”

Dusty looked sadly to Garry and said, “Garry I think you have just quoted the wrong film script this is Garry the Lone Donegal Cowboy not “Into the West” and your not Gabrial fucking Byrne, all the same though best o’v luck in Galway, I’ll see ya when you get back.”

Garry had never heard Dusty talk before and was desperately disappointed in that he talked with a real bogger accent, but ah well, not bad for an animal without a fully developed voice box.

That afternoon, after grabbing a huge carry-out from Hughies, Garry caught Feda’s Bus to Galway.

He proudly stood up the steps on to the bus and handed the driver 10 pounds for his ticket. The driver just stared at the stranger stepping onto his bus, wearing cream colored jodhpurs, riding boots and matching hat, of all the people he seen get on his bus over the years this guy was the freakiest he ever seen and hoped he be no trouble.

Only for the cards the ride to Galway would have been trés boring. The cards Garry had were Christmas cards and he had a ten-year backlog to catch up on. First there was uncle Jim in Monaghan, Young Aunty Vie, his adopted aunt in Athlone, who was only twelve and his cousin Anthony who was 18 pushing on 49 and his mothers neighbor Jimmy Mac Mickey, who had a triple hista-cone-a-rectomie in his third triangular piece!
Even though hours passed, it felt like minutes. Soon he was in Tuam on the outside of Galway and it was time for a piss stop and the bus was 55 mph over stopping. Garry stood up and announced to the driver,
“Y’er a fecking wanker and I want to Piss please!”

Immediately the driver pulled over and fecked Garry off the bus out into the cold of the Galway night.

Tuam, may I add is not the worst place in the world to be fecked out into in the middle of the night. I once knew a fellow who having no warm bed to sleep in found a girl from Tuam and spent a most pleasant time in sex heaven with a few pints of beer to add good measure. But woke the next morning to find his head split in two from a severe hangover and 30 miles from his house with no chance of a lift from the sleeping ex-virgin in the bed next to him.

So Garry ambled up to the local in his jodhpurs and ordered a beer. To be sure, within about 19 minutes, five local fellows came up to him looking for a fight and severely regretted the same decision nine and a half minutes later!

Garry hitched himself a ride into Galway City, where he entered the Skeffington Arms Hotel, slammed a fiver on the table and announced to the bar “This money is for any man, or woman to be p.c., and fuck that p.c. shit anyway, this is for any man in the biblical sense, which is inclusive of men and women in the term “men,” this is for any man who can give me information on the whereabouts of The Sisters of No Mercy?”

The bar fell silent at the mention of this name, apart from one voice that shouted “Ya sexist Bastard.” It was a woman’s voice coming from a shadowy corner.

“I thought I made myself clear on the male-female issue and that I was just using a phrase common to us all and that I did imply that women were free to answer, to be eligible for the five pounds here on the counter.”

“Fucking Cunt” came the voice again.

“That’s it, gimme a bottle of Bulmers” shouted Garry to the bartender and made his way over to the corner. Where a shriveled up old hag was sitting nursing a pint of the black stuff.

“Are you the cunt jarring me?”

“I not be jarring you, I be warning you. If it’s The Sister’s of No Mercy seek you do?”

“What do you know about them?”

“Wasn’t I twenty five years one of them, before corruption I saw and in their hearts evil that lurks. Left them I did and turned to this I do, mmh.” She held up her glass, it was filled with coke and ice and a lemon wedge on the side. “Take this to forget I do, woken it up you did, from the dreary depths of my soul, mmh.”

“Can you take me to them?”

“Why would you want to go to them, you want to be going away from them, fast as you can. They have no mercy!”

“They’ve got the woman I love and I like you have been hiding away for too long. Help me and I’ll help you!”

“You’d help an old woman like me? Well, I haven’t had it in a while?”

“Not like that ya dirty old scank. I mean I’ll help you get your life back.”

“Oh, say so why didn’t ya.”

After a feed of drinks and a lock of dinner, the pair slept it off in Sullivan’s B&B on Eyre Square. Woke first thing in morning and caught the bus out to Rosaveal and from there boarded the Aran Flyer to The Aran Islands, the Gaelic speaking Islands off Galway.

As they approached the old woman pointed up to Dun Aengus, Garry followed her finger and could only see sheer cliff face. “Up there lurk evil.”

“I don’t see a thing.”

“Look not with your eyes, with your heart Master Garry. Sight blocks vision, vision blocks the mind, the mind sees all.” Remembering some of his meditation training from drinking with a Buddhist Monk one night in Glen, he quickly achieved Brahman and there before his eyes appeared the Convent of No Mercy.

“You must take it from the water, other way there is not.”

“I can’t swim.”

“Take this life jacket and doggy paddle your way to the rocks, then climb you must with bare hands, and enter through the sewage system. Only the true of heart achieve this deed. Love this woman of yours you do?”

“Yes I love her as the roses love the rain, as a poet loves thinking, as a wrestler loves pain, as a man loves drinking.”

When the old woman heard this declaration of love, she knew that this brave Cowboy was the chosen one, that it was he who was to liberate the Sisters of No Mercy from the tyrannical rule of Sister Mary Martha, who had ruled with an unnatural iron fist for too many damn years. In turn restoring the Sisters to their divine life that they had once known when she first donned the habit and took up her rosary beads.

Garry managed the cliff with little ease but the doggy paddle from the boat left him quite weak and had to rest for sometime in the sewers before looking for Bridge. When he thought he had rested long enough he let himself out into a hallway. On the wall were pictures of the Pope, J.F.K and Jack Charlton, the place was decorated like a Christy Moore Song, not what one would expect for a convent. A little further up he found a small room, inside was a Nun with a pair of headphones on singing “good bye to the port and the brandy, the vodka and the harp, but what I’ll never figure out is how yer man stayed up on the surfboard after 40 pints of stout…” It all began to make perfect sense to Garry now. The sisters had come under the influence of Christy and they had forsaken their vows for popular Irish drinking music and folk songs. This was bad, far worse than he had imagined.

“Fuck” he thought and hoped Bridge was not too far gone, to be able to turn back from Christy. In rage and anger Garry Flew at the Nun with the headphones and ripped them off her head. She wailed like a Banshee, and hissed in his face.

“Infidel, how dare you stop the music…the music must go on.”

“You’ve been deceived. This is not real life, there is more to life than Christy. Open your eyes woman.” His words were in vain, it was going to take a lot more to convince these people of the truth after living so long in a lie. “Where can I find a sister called Bridge, she’s a Donegal woman about yeah high and answers to the name ‘hey, where’s my tea?’"

“I’ll show you nothing you monster” spat the Nun.

“If you want these head phones back you’ll do as I say.”

“Oh really Mister Anderson” Garry turned around to see the horror of all horrors. It was Smelly Brown his English teacher from St. Catherine’s, the woman that made him read the book I am David till his eyes bleed when he was fourteen. “You really thought I was a teacher. I fooled you all, ha, ha, ha, ha.”

“I should have known nothing with breath like yours could have been anything but evil incarnate. You tried to brain wash us with I am David, and seeing how that didn’t work you turned to Christy! Why didn’t I see it before.”

“Yes, you are weak like all the rest, you must turn to the Christy side and join me, become the first male member of my order.”

“I’ll never join you, never. I am going to take you down and take my Bridge home…” before Garry had his sentence finished Smelly Brown flew at Garry. She caught him on the chin with her crucifix, cutting him open, leaving a holy scar. Garry was quick to counter and stuck his foot straight to her face, closing her smelly mouth. She reeled back and ordered her Nuns to attack. “No, don’t listen to her she is turning you into machines to do her bidding…trust me there is more to life than Christy.”

This had no effect on the advancing army of Nuns, he was strongly outnumbered and for every Nun he knocked down there was another to take its place. Wave upon wave the Nuns came, his fists were bloody and the knuckles were wearing to the bone, in a few minutes he would be overpowered and taken into the Christy Cult of The Sister’s of No Mercy. Things looked pretty gloomy for our hero.

Then a voice screamed “No! Stop!” It was Bridge. Everyone froze. Garry looked to her, never had he seen her look so lovely, lovely as an entrant of the Creggy Island Lovely Girls Contest. Smelly Brown turned to face her. “Leave him alone, he speaks the truth, you must believe him…there is more to life than Christy,” as she said this her eyes gleamed with love towards Garry.

“How dare you defile the name of Christy in this Sanctuary.”

“Smelly Brown you’ve played your last song, it’s time to face the music and dance mutherfucker.”

The two women went at it and in their struggle fell backwards into a paddling pool of mud. They began to tear each other’s clothes off and within a minute they were in their underwear and throwing mud all over each other.

“What a show,” thought Garry to himself “wish I had come out here a long time ago,” he pulled a chair up and watched the rest of the fight. The other Nuns were confused and didn’t know who to cheer for. So they took off their clothes too and began throwing mud at each other.

In the end, Bridge overpowered Smelly Brown and with the aid of Garry liberated all The Sister’s of No Mercy. As they walked down to the ferryboat, hand in hand, the old woman was waiting for them.

“Done well you have young ones, the Universe is at peace for now, order restored it is” and with that the old woman’s appearance changed into the most beautiful woman Garry had ever gazed upon, she made Bridge look like a dog beside her. “ I was under a curse and now that it is broken I can go back to the convent and live my peaceful life in solitude again.”

“What a waste of a fine bit of stuff” thought Garry.

On their return to Killybegs Garry was welcomed back to the town he was once an exile from. Bridge and Garry were married in the chapel and he and Old Man Gallagher went on a two-week drinking binge together all over the place. When that was finished they had Bridge cook them a lovely big dinner and it didn’t matter that the dishwasher was broke anymore, because Bridge was home, yes, Bridge was home.

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