Rottweiler Soup: Not a Bitter Man
You have to admire O’Flaherty’s cheek. I didn’t think he had it in him to try to call the shots, specially not after the bombing, but there you go. I’d arranged to meet him in McDaid’s, close by the Westbury—the back of the bar is always quiet and you can see everyone who comes in—and I was happily swallowing a Slippery Cock (like a Slippery Nipple but with Knob Creek bourbon instead of Sambuca) and checking out the placement of a couple of Scheisskopf’s efforts in the papers when in he strolled, demanding to know what I was going to do about his ‘circumstances’. I don’t really take too kindly to having demands made of me when I’ve a mouthful of slippery cock, particularly when the person doing it is a bloated buffoon, but I was collected and reasonable, reminding myself that terminations can be difficult.
‘Fuck off, O’Flaherty’, I told him. ‘You brought it on yourself. You think you matter at all now?’
His eyes bulged and his face turned scarlet. Blood pressure problems, I conjectured. I hoped.
‘Here. Have a large vodka.’
He passed on the only chance he’d ever get of a free drink from me. What a loser.
‘Don’t try and give me any bullshit, McManus. Save it for your superiors. You can’t fob me off, disregard all the work I’ve done for you over the years just because it suits you. All the bugs and taps I’ve authorised, all the contracts I’ve had a hand in, all the reports on other union members. I’ve scratched your back long enough. It’s about time you scratched mine.’
I sipped from my glass and tried to look as if I was deliberating.
‘You don’t think we scratch your back, Peter. Three thousand euros a month, no questions asked, isn’t enough to buy you your own back scratcher? Or is it that your bank balance is so healthy that you simply haven’t noticed piddling sums like that appearing in your account now and then?’
His tone became more conciliatory. Frightened off like the pathetic squealing craven Judas he is.
‘Ahh, now. It isn’t that, Joe. I know you’ve stood by me . . . till now. But I don’t want you to think that you can just run away from me once I’ve served my purpose. Loyalty should be rewarded.’
Loyalty, Pah! The greasy fat fuck. The only loyalty he knows is to Tayto cheese and onion.
‘I’m not running, Peter.’ I was walking quickly. I wanted another drink.
‘Joe, I know this is a difficult time for you now, but this vote of no confidence in the union leadership, it will leave us up shit creek. Whoever takes over will have access to all the accounts, to a fair few documents detailing the activities that went on under my aegis. If I’m pulled up before an investigative committee, I won’t have a leg to stand on. You have to get me out of this mess.’
I coolly popped a Nicorette out from its packaging, squeezed it between my finger and thumb while looking into the distance and then farted silently. O’Flaherty caved.
‘Look, Joe, I’m not asking for much. Just help me get out of this fucking shithole of a country and get started somewhere else. A change of identity maybe. Just help me to get on my feet in . . . I don’t know . . . the States . . .’
My raised eyebrow told him that was a nonstarter.
‘South America, then. Just let me get there and leave me to it. Once I’m settled you can forget all about me. I just need a bit of distance between me and . . . and all this. I can’t carry on, can’t face these people.’ Boo fucking hoo. ‘They’re scum, of course, as you know. Devious, scheming, Trotskyite commie scum. All of them. But that’s why I couldn’t bear their contempt, bear them knowing. Come on, Joe. Help me out.’
You know, it’s times like this that make my job worth doing. Watching this failing, desperate middle-aged bureaucrat sweat like a hog as his livelihood and reputation slip gently out of his grasp, as it becomes clear to him that his future is one of poverty, infamy and despair after years of fancying himself as a player. As the recognition slowly dawns on him that it is futile to struggle with the big boys and he throws himself on my mercy in the vain hope that I know what mercy means. What joy it is when a pompous, ambitious aspirational sycophant realizes that he’s sold his soul to a higher entity that doesn’t give a fuck about his aspirations; it just sucks him dry and spits him out.
I chewed loudly, open mouthed. Because I could.
‘I’m not an unreasonable man, Peter’, I lied. ‘I don’t want to appear antagonistic, and I appreciate all the work you’ve done for us. You need to understand that it will take some time for me to get together the right documentation, for me to get permission from the powers that be to sort out some retirement scheme . . . you really should have been thinking about your own retirement, you know, Peter.’ He hung his head in shame, unconvincingly, like he’d been filching from the union pension plan for years but blown the lot on strippers. ‘I’ll try to pull a few strings. Fake ID shouldn’t be beyond us. And don’t you worry about any investigations. We’re experts at dealing with that sort of thing.’
But all the time I’m thinking, ‘There’s not going to be any investigation. Your replacement is one of ours too. Have you not sussed that yet, you moron?’
‘Thank you, Joe. I’m sorry too.’ What? I didn’t say I was sorry. ‘I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I don’t recognize the concern you’ve shown for me. I’ve loved working for you and doing my bit for my country. I think you do a wonderful job.’
‘Maybe I will have that drink now.’
‘I’m sorry, Peter. Some other time. I’ve got an urgent meeting with a member of the Yemeni royal family to attend. Possible source for info on this bombing outrage. I’m sure you understand.’
I don’t even know if there is a Yemeni royal family, but O’Flaherty looked impressed and I got him out of the pub without any protest. And just out of spite, because the twat made me walk him to the pub exit, I made a point of walking over to the Bruxelles bar directly opposite and had myself another large cock. Through a straw.
It’s dangerous to go back into the office drunk, though. It engenders sentimentality. It resulted in my sticking to my word and putting in a request for fake ID for O’Flaherty and making inquiries about relocation for him to a friendly overseas hidey-hole. I’m really much too soft for this job.
Here are Billboard’s top ten shows currently in pre-production or casting that it recently tipped as Broadway or West End smash hits in the next 12 months:
10: G.I.’s and Blow-Up Dolls
A historical musical on efforts to prevent the transmission of venereal disease amongst U.S. troops during the Vietnam War.
9: Seven Child Brides for Seven Mormon Brothers
An arranged marriage musical set in rural Utah. A guaranteed laughfest.
8: The Pirates of Penang
A cheery light opera about life on the Malaysian seas amongst nonstate entrepreneurs engaged in attacks on corporate shipping.
7: Oi! Cal Cutter!
Love is the answer to knife crime and East End gang violence according to this all-singing, all-dancing, all-nude production.
An Andrew Lloyd-Webber–inspired history of computed tomography, from its early days in the work of Italian radiologist Alessandro Vallebona, through to Hounsfield and Cormack’s Nobel Award acceptance speeches, all told through the medium of showgirls in revealing hospital gowns.
5: Osama bin Laden’s Hair!: The Afghan Tribal Love-Rock Musical
Faithful to the original Rado/Ragni/MacDermot show, expect this updated version’s profanity, depiction of the use of illegal drugs, treatment of sexuality, irreverence for the American flag, and naked death scene to cause much comment and controversy.
4: Oklahoma Bomb!
White supermacists take no prisoners in this revisiting of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein show.
Life among the New York subcultures and underground is sympathetically dealt with via the touching and heartfelt story of a teenage street drummer who discovers how much more money he can make by selling his ass to strangers; with hilarious consequences.
2: Take That Come to Town
A light-hearted romp set in the world of sperm banks and in vitro fertilization.
1: Columbine High School Musical
Misfit American teenagers find the answers to their alienation in the form of pop music and automatic weapons.