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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.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Teddy Bear Coalman Goes to Nice

(This short story is dedicated to Duncan Warner - The Teddy Bear Coalman is his favourite character, he'll be back!)

The alarm sounded at 8 o’clock, waking the Teddy Bear Coalman in his little cot. He washed and dressed all by himself. Had two eggs, soft boiled with toast cut into little soldiers for his breakfast. Today the Teddy Bear Coalman was excited, today he was going to Nice.

The Teddy Bear Coalman got on his coal cart, which was empty of coal. He had sold it all to the many ladies he banged on his daily route.

Clipty-clop, clipty-clop, went Horse as they sped down the street to pick up his tickets at Fungi’s Faraway Travel on the high street.

He had never been to France before, so he bought a book called Quick and Easy French and a bottle of sunscreen factor 15 to protect his fur and three new pairs of underpants.

After he picked up the tickets, he said “Gee-up horse,” and off they went to the airport. Clipty-clop, clipty-clop.

The Teddy Bear Coalman brought two packed bags and traveled 1st Class since he had been very successful with his banging this year! Many pennies earned. But Horse and the coal-cart traveled below with the baggage.

The plane taxied out on the runway, wound up its great big engines, raced down the runway and woosh it was away! High in the sky, Teddy Bear Coalman had never been so high before. “Fucking L” screamed the Teddy Bear Coalman as he was sucked back in his seat with the G-force of the behemoth Boeing 747 direct to Nice hammered its way through the sky.

The Teddy Bear Coalman began to get a little nervous. He removed four pennies from his pocket and asked for a large G and T from the air hostess, who promptly replied “We don’t serve Teddy Bear Coalmen and you couldn’t get shit with four pennies, a G and T is four-fifty on all British Airways flights!

So, being the Teddy Bear Coalman he took the rude airhostess to the ladies bathroom and threw a few bags of coal in her shed. Bang, bang, bang! Joining the mile high club in the process. After that he enjoyed free half-price G and Ts for the remainder of the flight to Nice.

Screech, screech, screech…the plane touched down on foreign soil. The Teddy Bear Coalman staggered through customs, fumbled in his fur coat for his Teddy Bear Coalman passport and met horse and the coal cart outside, where he breathed sobering air in the intense heat of summer in Nice.

The Teddy Bear Coalman decided that because of his stated of drunkeness and it was sunny that he should head to a little boulevard cafĂ© and catch the Bear’s hair in the form of some nice (as in lovely, not the city) vin blanc. So, off went the Teddy Bear Coalman on his coal cart with horse pulling hard. Clipty-clop, clipty-clop.

With horse’s good nose for alcohol, they soon found just what they wanted. Also taking some shade under a sun-umbrella away from the burning sun. The Teddy Bear Coalman’s SPA cells were fully charged and the Teddy Bear Coalman was ready to welcome France Teddy Bear Coalman style.

“Excuse moi, Madame,” implored the Teddy Bear Coalman in the direction of the cute little French waitress.
“Oui monsieur?” curtly replied the voluptuous one.
“Je voudrais un bouteille de vin blanc, si vous plait.” The Teddy Bear Coalman impressed himself.
“Oui, monsieur” once more replied the nice ass.
As the little French kitten went off to fetch the wine, Teddy Bear Coalman nudged Horse and said “I wouldn’t mind putting a few bags of coal in her shed, know what I mean, know what I mean!!”
Clank-clank-clank…came the sound of the wine and glasses returning with the sweet one.

After his third bottle of Dutch courage in the sweltering heat Nice sun, the Teddy Bear Coalman decided to ask out the object of his desire standing before his little brown button eyes. How much he wanted to get his bear paws on her bare froggy ass!
To his drunken proposal she replied “Oui monsieur.” And suggested they should go to a nice little club called La Belle de France.

So off the three went with horse on the pull and Teddy Bear Coalman on the coal cart with his French bit, his petite-four.
“Gee up Horse.” Shouted the Teddy Bear Coalman.
“Feck-off ya drunk bollox,” replied Horse much, much out of his usual civil manner. The old sun must have gotten to the poor wee equine fellow.

Horse was refused entry to the club on the grounds that he was a horse. Although he argued his case that the Teddy Bear Coalman was in actual fact a fictional, talking teddy-bear and if he could get in then a horse should be allowed admission. But all was in vain as the Teddy Bear Coalman sailed in on the arm of the sweet French fille.

Three hours later the Teddy Bear Coalman staggered up to horse with his woman, slumped himself on the coal cart and mubled “’ee, ‘orse” at which the French one giggled. Off went one very disgruntled horse. Clipty-clop, clipty-clop.

He was totally annoyed with the night since he had to wait on his drunken master instead of enjoying the club, so in return he plopped three steaming piles of horse shit in the club car park, while he was abandoned. Nice (again as in lovely) present in Nice (as in the city) for some Garcon dans la matin (as in the morning).

Clang, clang, clang, claaaaaannnnngggg! Went the Teddy Bear Coalman’s alarm clock at 9am. The longest he’d ever slept in his whole Teddy Bear Coalman life. But this was no ordinary morning, because for the first time in his life of eternal, repetitive awakenings and anthracite delivering he now wanted to smash the shit out of the alarm clock; the source of noise that beat in his head like a sledge hammer. But he could not muster the strength and his throat was marched, his mouth a desert starved of rain for nine months. His whole Teddy Bear Coalman body ached and his fur was ruffled. Yes indeed readers, the Teddy Bear Coalman was hungover.

Then all of a sudden the little bear let out a guttural roar of pure animal instinct and aggression, his call could be heard for miles around “I’m tired, late for work and I can’t find the paracetemol!”

Horse brought some strong black coffee in and fresh baguette and butter to recuperate his ailing master and also filled him in on last night’s events, as the Teddy Bear Coalman was in no shape to remember; drunken bollox.

“You kept half the hotel up with your banging! You put more than coal in her shed, the screams of her; ‘oh Teddy Bear Coalman, ahh Teddy Bear Coalman, more coal, more coal,’ bloody disgusting that’s what it was. Well I never, you’re shameless and disgraceful, that’s what you are. Tsk, tsk, tsk.” Horse wasn’t going to quit the lecturing.
“Feck off Horse ya dry shite, you’re just jealous ‘cause I sowed my English oats in France first and you couldn’t even get into the club, ya Gobshite,” came the reply from the little teddy-bear’s mouth.
Whaamm! Went Horse’s hoof of the side of the Teddy Bear Coalman’s head.
“Now you look like a freaking Panda,” yelled Horse as he trotted away.
The two pals spoke little to each other for the rest of the morning.
The Teddy Bear Coalman went off to find a Bureau de Change to change some pennies into Francs. Horse went off to the pool for a swim and a few beers, horse nuts, hay and check the football results.

The Teddy Bear Coalman found Horse around noon, in much better form. Cheered by the beer. They settled their differences, made up and had another beer.
Glug, glug, glug, went the first beer.
Glug, glug, glug, went the second beer.
Glug, glug, glug, went the third beer.
Burrrrp, went the Teddy Bear Coalman.
Burrrrrrrrp, went Horse.
Pals again.

As it turned out, England were playing in Marseilles that evening against Romania and with just a three hour train ride they could be in that city.

So the two reinstated friends went off to Marseilles for the jolly evening to watch good old England play the sport of Kings and give the commie Romanians a good licking.

Clickty-clack, clickty-clack, clickty-clack, went the train for three hours.

They reached the station and sat amongst their fine countrymen. What great ambassadors they all made with their St. George flags blowing in the warm breeze and loosely hung Union Jacks hanging from the terraces.

Then England went 2:1 down to Romania in a most terrible defeat. The crowd erupted, went totally wild, missiles, made from the plastic seats and what ever else came handy, were thrown in every direction. Somebody, mistaking the Teddy Bear Coalman as an English mascot, grabbed him about his furry little cute ears and ran out onto the pitch screaming “God save the Queen.”

Horse made a most gallant dash to save hid furry friend. But an off-duty zookeeper from Paris wrestle him to the ground and knocked him out cold with 50mg of horse tranquilizer he just happened to be carrying.

The Teddy Bear Coalman also fell unconscious after he was kicked into the Romanian goal at over 90mph. A goal scored too late to save grace for good old England.

The Teddy Bear Coalman woke several hours later, blindfolded, in a dreary, damp smelling room. All who spoke in the room had strong east London accents. He kept silent, not moving so much as a little paw or button eye.

He listened to their Nazi theology and unaccountable views of the modern world. The Teddy Bear Coalman feared he was doomed, destined to her their unwilling stuffed mascot till the day his seams came apart and his yellow stuffing spilled out! Oh ,the drama.

Just then as all hope dissolved, a loud thud was heard at a possible door, then another, but even louder and more forceful.
The Teddy Bear Coalman knew the sound, the sound of “Get the hell up, coal needs to be delivered.” It was Horse, returned to save the day.

Teddy Bear Coalman alerted himself, adrenaline rushing, grabbed the nearest object to him, which was a bar of soap. He lathered it between his little paws. Then when the Nazi football hooligan guard came to check the commotion, he slipped down his blindfold and lunged all two stone and six ounces at the hefty hooligan. The thug stood his ground and laughed heartily at the Teddy Bear Coalman, a minuscule teddy bear trying to overturn a hulk like himself. Just then the Teddy Bear Coalman dug deep into his courage and planted his little soap sodden paw down into the thugs throat, knocking him our cold from sodium poisoning.

All of a sudden, go tubban, oscalit an doras, the door crashed open, Horse entered the room, eyes ablaze, ear a flailing, legs a kicking, this was one mean horse. The Teddy Bear Coalman jumped upon his back like a cowboy and horse reared up on his back legs wild stallion style and together they rode out of there into the Mediterranean sunset to find a bar where English horses and Teddy Bear Coalmen were still welcome.

They traveled long and they traveled hard, eventually they found a nice little tavern aptly named: Joe’s Friendly Tavern for English Horses and Teddy Bear Coalmen. They found themselves about fifteen miles north of the city in a valley with a river running through it, near the Moulin Nou terraine du camping. Surprisingly, they were the only two in the place apart from Joe himself. 20Fs got them a beer each, sweet nectar to quench their need. They talked for a while then sunk their heads low and deep in thought.

The rest of the week was spend in a drunken stupor, banging beautiful French girls in half lit back boulevards. Even Horse found himself a sweet little filly for his equestrian appetite.

As the plane touched down at Heathrow, Teddy Bear Coalman turned to Horse and said “Well if that’s what foreign countries are like, No thank you sir, I’ll keep me pennies in future and stick with the old coal banging game.”
“Yeah, but Nice was so nice,” replied Horse.
“Oui monsieur,” jested the Teddy Bear Coalman.
The two weary travelers burst into fits of laughter Knight Rider style, all right Devin.
And that was the story of when the Teddy Bear Coalman went to Nice, which is so nice.
The End.

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