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Sure would you not have a small bit?

 

Rottweiler Soup: Psycho Cupid

4
Posted February 6, 2013 by McManus in Ramp Archives

Famous Dying Words No. 1: Either this fucking wallpaper goes, or I do.

 

Stiveley was lucky enough to get a house to himself, even though he’s single. The British embassy owns a place on Ailesbury Gardens, a walk away from the embassy itself but a bus ride away from the hospital, so you might have expected that I’d have calmed down by the time I got there, especially seeing how the bus was stopped four times on the way at army checkpoints. But no. When I buzzed the intercom to his suburban pad, I was still seething.

‘Who is it?’ Stiveley has a deep voice but a sing-song delivery. Prick.

‘Joe McManus. Open up.’

‘Joe, old boy. Just a moment.’

I was hopping from foot to foot to sustain my anger. I could hear him coming down the stairs and unlocking the door.

He opened it fully and offered me the kind of enthusiastic, accommodating welcome anacondas offer goats.

‘Come on in, old chap,’ he said, but in truth I didn’t wait for the invitation. I barged past him into the hallway. He feigned offence.

‘Well, Joe, I must say. I hope you aren’t expecting a drink.’

I wasn’t listening.

‘Where is it, Stiveley? Where is it?’

He appeared confused by my agitated state.

‘Where’s what, dear boy?’

‘Your fucking camera, Stiveley. Where is it?’

‘My cam—?’

I was at his throat all of a sudden and a look of terror flashed into his eyes. My grip was very loose but I could see tears forming in his eyes.

‘Your fucking camera. You know.’

He managed to croak out ‘upstairs’ and I let go. I rushed up the stairs with him close behind. ‘In the front room’, he added, helpfully. Feebly.

The front room was sparsely furnished but in very good taste—I don’t know if that’s a gay thing or an MI6 thing. There was a large Chinese cabinet in the corner beside the window, alongside of which was an oversize white leather couch, Roche Bobois. In the middle of the room stood an ochre Antonio Citterio table, on top of which lay a couple of recent issues of Elle Decoration and Stiveley’s camera. I picked it up then realised I didn’t know what to do with it. In the old movies, you always saw the goon open up the back of the camera and expose the film, but this was one was digital. How do you fuck up a digital camera?

Stiveley followed me in. I waved the camera at him.

‘I hope you’re satisfied now, Seymour.’

‘Satisfied, Joe? Hardly. The closest we’ve ever been was just now when you tried to strangle me.’

I was still raging.

‘Do you have any idea how much trouble your photos have caused? Do you realise they’ve quite possibly led to the death . . . certainly the torture . . . of one of my best friends?’

He stepped back.

‘But Joe. No one else has ever seen them. I swear. I would never let anybody else see them.’

‘You expect me to believe that, you bastard? After all that harassment, after all the break-ins, you expect me to believe that you wouldn’t drop me in the shit, just like that? Squeal to the Gards. Rat on me.’

The tears were welling up again, but he was trying to collect himself, to keep in mind that he was an Englishman and a respectable one to boot. He was probably thinking of the Queen.

He pulled himself up to his full height.

‘Joe McManus, you insult me. I have no idea what you think me capable of, but at least give me some credit for the way I play the game. When I lose a round, I take it on the chin in good faith and carry on. I concede without demurral that you got me—good and proper, too—over there in Athens, and I say well done too, sir, well done. But to suggest that I would stoop to dobbing you in to the authorities, I must say, that indicates more about your lack of faith in human nature than it does about me.’

‘Yeah, yeah, very noble, Seymour. Now tell me. What’s on the film?’

Matter-of-factly, he said, ‘Photos of you, Joe. What else would you expect?’

‘Show me.’

And he fucking did.

He sat me down in front of the Chinese cabinet and opened the doors. Inside, there was a state-of-the-art 30-inch flexiscreen with a sliver port for his memory card. More impressively, the interior doors of the cabinet, the walls of the cabinet and the internal cupboards of the cabinet were all plastered with posters and pictures of me. Pictures taken in Athens. Pictures taken of me strolling along Herbert Place. Pictures of me leaving the embassy. Stiveley had erected a fucking shrine to me in his front room.

Not just a shrine, of course. It took a moment for me to realise, but you’ve probably sussed it too. This is where Stiveley jerks off. Looking at pictures of me.

Hmm. Suddenly, I felt distinctly vulnerable, a vulnerability I attempted to deflect with aggression.

‘What the fuck is all this, Stiveley?’

‘Are you going to tell me you hadn’t figured it all out, Joe?’

There was an element of bemusement, perhaps disappointment, in his query. Never meet your idols, isn’t that what they say? He inserted the memory card from the camera into the slot and flicked on the screen.

‘Let’s see what we’ve got here.’

What had we got here? Some gay guy fixated on me? Fuck. I know I’m a gorgeous-looking guy, but I never thought I’d get myself a stalker.

They were the photos Stiveley had taken in Phoenix Park, and nicely taken shots they were too, although Stiveley had clearly had plenty of practice, and the zoom lens was obviously powerful. These photos were professionally framed, with attention paid to lighting, chiaroscuro, contrast, angle, mood. Lovingly crafted. I probably admired them for too long, because it took a while for a common feature struck me. A common lack of feature, I should say.

‘Where’s Maggie?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘Where’s Maggie? I was walking through the park with Maggie when you took these photos.’

‘Oh, her. What would I want with pictures of her? She’d spoil the shot, wouldn’t she? Ruin the . . . the atmosphere.’

He was right, of course. She would have been intrusive. And a quick scan of all the photos in the cabinet told me the same thing. Occasions when I’d been with Frank, with Delia, with Scheisskopf: all cropped out. Just me. Me in glorious isolation.

‘Did you somehow imagine that I bore you a grudge, Joe? You, of all people? The very man responsible for my presence here. The man I followed here.’

This conversation was taking on a decidedly unsavoury flavour. I rose from the chair.

‘When you say you followed me here, Seymour, I take it you mean purely in a chronological sense.’

He chortled.

‘Don’t be absurd, dear boy. Once I found out where you’d been sent, I had to put in a request for a transfer. I was in Sitges, in Spain. Do you know it? Frightful place. The Dublin transfer came through just in time. I was going mad. I thought you would be long dead before I got here.’

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

‘But why the break-ins then, if you weren’t seeking revenge?’ He drew back and refocused to see whether I might be joking.

‘Are you serious, Joe? You didn’t realise what I was up to?’ He cast his gaze to the heaven as my innocence, my stupidity, became apparent. I was trying to keep the rage going, but embarrassment was winning out.

‘After you told me—and everyone else, incidentally—how you got me booted out of Athens, you made me realise how unprofessional I’d been. How lax my security was, how trusting I had been. When I began photographing you, I discovered that you were meeting up with some little darkie who was providing you with illicit alcohol—don’t deny it, Joe, I saw you. And before you make any accusations, you’ve seen the photos. There are none of the little chap in any of them. If the Gards have photos of you with him, they didn’t come from me. Trust me.’

Trust him? The guy was a maniac. He just happened to have good taste in men.

‘It didn’t take me long, Joe, to realise that you were in great danger of getting into trouble, so I thought I might tip you off, get you to appreciate the dire risks you were running. I broke into your apartment so you’d realise how poor your security was, just like mine was in Athens. Okay, so, yes, I admit I used the opportunity to take one or two items of underwear and some other . . . delicate personal possessions, but I figured you wouldn’t notice that if I focused on your . . . alcohol intake.’

‘Yeah, thanks, Stiveley. You just reminded me of another reason to throttle you.’

He clenched his teeth and stamped in a hissy fit.

‘Don’t you understand, Joe? It was your drinking that made you a security risk. Bad for your health in any number of ways. I was trying to warn you, Joe. What did you think the cards were for? The instruction to give up the drink. The Al Anon card with the threat to send off your address to them: “I know where you live.” I was telling you to stop your boozing, Joe. I was worried about you. It was going to get you into trouble. And now it looks like it has.’

Fuck me. I hate being lectured to at the best of times, and the last person I wanted to look an idiot in front of was Stiveley. After all, here was a guy who was mad about me, who thought I was cute, sexy, who knows what, and now I’d just let the poor guy down through my utter obliviousness. His idol had crumbled before his eyes. Feet of clay. Play-doh.

I eased myself out of the house. I couldn’t bring myself to apologise because I still felt entitled to anger of some sort, but I had so misread the situation that I wasn’t sure what I was entitled to feel angry about: the fact that he stalked me or that he was so obtuse in his warnings.

Part of me was blaming myself—I’m supposed to be a spy, goddammit, how could I not read the signs? Another, more defensive part of me, the cowardly part, was excusing me: after all, I just gather the information, it’s not for me to interpret it. That’s a job for those pointy-headed wankers with philosophy degrees back in Langley. I’m not fucking Sherlock Holmes. Why did Stiveley have to assume that just because I was handsome I was brilliant, too?

Yes, it was Stiveley’s fault. Blame him.

***

RTE News reports that three dwarves have confessed to the bombing at Connolly Station. They are all members of an armed subversive circus organisation that had been colluding with Travellers’ Defence, an armed ‘resistance’ movement that the government has been trying to pin atrocities on for ages. Thanks to these confessions, the dwarves have been bumped up the execution list and will be replacing young Billy Corcoran as the first victims of Yellow Mama, the electric chair the Irish government has been just itching to use. The president himself has confirmed that he will be throwing the switch on the big night, live on TV in front of a studio audience. Some people have already phoned in to make sure this isn’t going to affect the broadcasting of the lottery draw.

***

From the Irish Times Travel section:

The top five small specialist guesthouses in Ireland, as reported in a recent poll conducted by Fáilte Ireland:

 

Sunshine House B&B
Ocean Drive, Bundoran, Donegal

Besides the sensuous food, scenic setting and luxurious comfort, it is the friendly family atmosphere that sets Sunshine House apart as one of our favourite places to stay in Ireland. Proprietors Patricia and Michael O’Neill have built up a loyal and growing fan base over the years, with visitors from all over Ireland and the U.K. making return visits and passing along reports and details on the grapevine. Tasteful furnishings and large but cosy rooms are just the beginning to the delights on offer. Pat and Michael’s two daughters, Niamh and Sorcha, offer a full range of services in the chalets behind the guest house itself or else will visit guests in their rooms for a small surcharge. In truth, though, it is the O’Neills’ strapping son, Ronan, who keeps bringing guests back. Broad-minded and flexible, his nightly show in the small theatre annexe not only entertains guests but also functions as a publicity vehicle as he goes through his routine, demonstrating the full range of his skills and, in effect, all the options available from the easy-wipe menu found in each guest’s room. And it isn’t just Ronan’s physical flexibility that brings the customers calling: He’s also the Sunshine’s head cook. Think huge juicy scallops, pan fried sea bass, new season lamb and light Asian seafood salads and you begin to get an idea of what he looks like.

☺ ☻ ☼ § w/c CT ST œ Ə ω ≈

 

O’Shea’s Guesthouse
The Square, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare

The small town of Lisdoonvarna is best known for its annual matchmaking festival, but it is also a spa town, and generations of health-minded visitors have sought out its invigorating waters. Nancy’s Pants, Roman Splashing, Toilet Troubles and The Louisiana Purchase are just some of the water-based games that guests at O’Shea’s Guesthouse can enjoy, right in the heart of all the action. Owners Billy and Emily O’Shea are locals steeped in the traditional pastimes and practices that draw their inspiration from the central role that water plays in the culture of the region. Their daughter Gayle has also been raised to carry on the family business, a sturdy lass who can drink eight pints of Heineken in a row and keep it all in until required to let loose. Gayle is also an accomplished musician who holds court during Friday-night ceilidhs, where the set-dancing is guaranteed to leave visitors soaked to the skin and begging for more. The open fire, the mellifluous scents of peat, malt whiskey and sulphur from the spa, and Gayle’s staggering capaciousness will stay in the minds of guests long after their clothes have dried out.

Hot, cold and golden showers are provided.

© ♂ œ ¿ Ə ø Φ † ♫ ☼ ™ § w/c CT ST ¢ ω

 

The Olde Heade B&B
Holte Street, Kinsale, Co. Cork

Esther McPhail is the proud owner of the Olde Heade that gives her extremely popular bed and breakfast its name. Boasting a clientele that has followed Esther from her days running a guesthouse on Gardiner Street in Dublin, the Olde Heade offers familiar surroundings and services that will quickly remind guests of home. Indeed, many of Esther’s guests are inclined to call her ‘Mammy’; others, who come for more specialised services, call her ‘Daddy’. The adjoining Thumb and Tongue Bar features lively music most nights and a decent menu of pub grub, but Kinsale is renowned for its cuisine, so guests would be wise to venture further afield, resisting the urge to give in to the call of the Olde Heade for at least one night. It’ll always be there tomorrow. Guests frequently express their surprise that Esther has never married, but it isn’t for the lack of offers. Many are the customers who have savoured and sampled her wares but once and decided they’d like a lifetime of similar experiences. Esther is too big hearted to give herself to one man, however, and she points out that keeping the Olde Heade open to all-comers is the best way of being fair to everyone.

Kinsale is now a Fair Trade town, which means that all coffee, tea, milk, lubricants and toiletries are purchased according to strict social and environmental guidelines.

œ Ə ♫ ☺ ☻ § w/c CT ST h/j/m b/j/m r/m Ж BDSM

 

Cookes B&B
The Strand, Tramore, Co. Waterford

The world-famous Cookes B&B is popular among the horsey set from Kildare, Meath and Offaly, as well as the sheepy set from Tipp. Pets are warmly welcomed and included in all the entertainments organised by Sheila and Colm Clarke of an evening in this sumptuously appointed, surprisingly clean and disease-free* B&B overlooking the sea. Pass the Parcel, Hide the Parcel and Eat the Parcel are firm favourites with the regulars. Colm and Sheila both have an agricultural background, so they know what their guests like: home comforts, a hard mattress and a hairy arse. Visitors are expected to help themselves and muck in. And, from time to time, muck out. Nobody stands on ceremony in Cookes, and if you’re still able to walk after a week’s R&R here, you only have yourself to blame. The warm, friendly atmosphere stems from a combination of rural generosity of spirit and the steaming piles of manure freshly provided each morning by the Clarkes’ shire horses and used to fuel the boilers that keep the temperature at a cosy 38°C all year round.

By the way, don’t ask the Clarkes why their B&B is called Cookes. Their answer may put you off your breakfast.

*excluding the anthrax cases of 2004.

₧  © ¡ ¿ ø Φ ۞ ☼ ™ w/c CT ¢ Ψ

 

McPhee’s Irish Guesthouse
Cromie Lane, Portstewart, Co. Derry

Susan and Ray McPhee and their daughters Aisling and Noreen promise to give their guests an ‘Irish holiday unrivalled in its purity’. On the rugged but scenic northern coast of Ireland, the McPhees have set up a unique holiday experience catering to visitors who expect a break uninterrupted by the vulgarities and what Ray calls the ‘squalid decay’ of modern life. Natural blondes Aisling and Noreen are a feast for the eyes, the ears and the tongues, true Aryan songbirds who taste as good as they look. And after you’ve heard them sing, you won’t be surprised by what else they can do with their tongues. Some guests have been brimming with ecstasy in their reviews of this mecca of Epicureanism, even though the rules and regulations aren’t to everybody’s tastes and some of the discipline goes beyond what the more squeamish customers either anticipate or pay for. Of course, it’s difficult to turn down a lashing if it’s coming from Aisling or Noreen; it’s less fun being on the receiving end of one from Ray (Susan’s lashings are infrequent but no less expert for all that). McPhee’s also has an adjoining tattoo parlour, and few are the guests able to resist Ray’s exhortations (some might call it bullying) to have a permanent memento of their stay recorded for posterity under their skin at a knockdown price of £30 a letter (£20 for couples, £15 for families). Most guests receive the hard-to-forget ‘I’ve been a guest at Ray and Susan and Aisling and Noreen McPhee’s Fantastic Irish Guesthouse in Portstewart, County Londonderry, Ireland, and I can’t wait to go back!’

۩ ¥ ® {I} œ ¿ ø Θ ™ § w/c ST HS h/j/m b/j/d r/a/f ω ש

 

KEY TO SYMBOLS

☺: Facials
☻: Hot Carls
☼: Expect Forced Rear Entry
♂: Owner is a Dickhead
©: Family has a Deformed Child Hidden Somewhere about the Home.
®: Convicted Rapist
™: Trackmarks on the Bedsheets
§: Enemas
¶: Contraception an Afterthought
w/c: Wanking Closet
CT: Clean Towels on Request
ST: Shitty Towels on Request
HS: Strange Hairs on Soap
BDSM: Boarders Discount for Sales & Marketing reps.
۩: Senile Grandparent in Treehouse
¥: Giant Wife Wears Ridiculous Tutus
h/j/m: Mother of the House Gives Handjobs
b/j/d: Daughter(s) of the House Give(s) Blowjobs
r/a/f: Father of the House Offers Rimming Services and Accountancy Advice
¢: No Cunnilingus
{I}: Owner is a Twat
œ: Yodelling with Spunk
¡: Owner is a Pinhead
¿: Toilet Prone to Blockages
Ə: Sink Prone to Overflowing
ø: Expect Constipation
Θ: Expect to Wake Up and Find Owner Standing on Your Stomach Demanding Payment
Φ: Skinny Wife with a Big Arse
ω: Shapely Daughters
₧: Pets Welcome
: Dead Pets Welcome
≈: New Age Hippies
♫: Regular Music Nights
♠: Expect Racist Abuse
♠♫: Expect Racist Music Nights
ש: No Jews
۞: Members of the Illuminati
†: God Botherers
Ψ: Cheese-eating Surrender Monkeys
Ж: Followers of Kali, Goddess of Destruction

 


About the Author

McManus

Philosopher. Bon Viveur. Trying to Get Divorced. Living in a Shithole.

  • http://twitter.com/notRuairi Rú Hickson

    I love that pretty much all of the symbols can be excellent band names.

    • Joe McManus

      Or a tracklist for a death metal album.

      • Joe McManus

        In fact, I think some were lifted from Zappa.

  • http://twitter.com/Fearganainim Fearganainim

    ♫Cathooooolic Giiiiirrrrllls..♪

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