Another slow year in the Irish countryside.
Wake up under a table at the tavern, stumble out to the fields to find where the cows have got to overnight. Haul them back to the barn, milk them; throw bales of hay at them; scoop up the pooh and spread it around; scramble after the chickens and grab their eggs. Skewer a rat with a pitchfork. Grab some breakfast. Out to the fields to sow, or reap, or cut, or burn, depends on the season. Grab some lunch. Go out to the fields and do some more. Slop the pigs. Kill a goat. Churn butter. Work on a road. Find money for taxes. Dig a new shit-pit. Find a girl and tumble her (always after me lucky charms: they're magically delicious). Go back to the tavern for the night.
Faith an' begorrah, sure an' it's the same thing, day after day, week after week, decade after decade... Boooorrrriiiinnnnggggg.
But Wait! What's this? The French are in revolution? The Guv'nors getting their heads chopped off? Nice. And we could do it here, too? Nicer....
Talk going around about a French force coming to these parts. Folk getting riled up, thinking it might be fun to join in. Beats the hell out of digging another new shit-pit, that's for sure. Better make time for a bit more rat-skewering practice.
So some of the locals sets ourselves up with a United Irishmen Committee of Public Safety, and all of a sudden, being a young kid who digs shit-pits is cool. The lower the better - go figure. Dad always said I'd make something of myself if I kept my head down and me feet on the ground; leastways, he would have if I ever knew who he was. I know I would have said something like that to me if I was my father...er...? The higher-ups tell me this is all for me own benefit, and to repay the new social order and show me gratitude, wouldn't I feel honoured to dig a "People's Own Waste Facility and Relaxation Station". Sure sounds great to me! Put me down for 10!
All of a sudden, there is news that a British force is coming along to suppress us. Another blatant example of the repression of the proletariat by the industrio-military servants of the aristocratic bourgeoisie, [or whatever: you know the line]. So we all grab our pitchforks (how come he gets a scythe, and I don't?) and off we go.
Shhh, quietly now. The redcoats are lumbering along the valley at Tubberneering Pass, and are spread out, not knowing we're here. We'll surprise them, oh aye.
CHARRRRRGGGE! In and at 'em, paddies! Yeeehaw!. I want a cannon! I want a cannon! Duck, dodge, swerve, parry, thrust, jab and I've got one! Me own o'tillery piece! And she's a beauty. Get a few of the lads together, and haul the great bronze darlin' out of here. Quick, before more redcoats come along to claim it back.
But come along they do, over the next few weeks. I hide me cannon in the hay. But the English are rounding up lots of the lads, and off they go. I get picked up too, but as I'm just a kid, they boot me in the arse and tell me to get to work digging "His Majesty's Royal Military Sanitation Centres". I'm suspicious of what that might be...
After a few months, they load me onto a ship, to send me to O'Stralia, an Irish colony on the under-side of the world that is sadly undersupplied with "Incarceration, Rehabilitation and Reflection Amenities", the English tell me. Sounds pretty good to me, though I have to leave the cannon hidden in the hay, and that leaves a bit of a bad taste in me mouth. Someday I'll come back for me Betsy.
A few days at sea, and a storm comes up, blowing us onto the rocks of No'mandy. We are liberated, and treated like long-lost Republican brothers. We walk to Paris, singing and dancin' to the Marsee-is, where me and the other prisoners are shown to the rabble as proof of the wisdom of the ways of the Revolution and of the spread of its ideological logics to even the heathenest places; that'd be we Irish, I presume. Some official with a lot of feathers on his hat (an Irishman too? his name was O'Gene, methinks) pulls me over, and makes me to understand that I could find a serious future in the land of the free digging "Glorious Revolutionary Voltairean Memorial Introspection Centres". Ah, jeez, that sounds swell, don't it. Put me down for 15!
For the time being, things settle down into an exciting new routine in the big capital; new taverns to discover and inhabit, dogs to kick, new French lassies to tumble, lots and lots of inspirational holes to dig. Life sure has taken a turn for the better, you'd have to admit. Ah, the luck o' the Irish. Wish I knew what the hell they were all saying, though. Bastards got a different word for everything.
Lads, would ya be raisin' a glass o' green beer with me, as I'm a-wishin' you a Happy St. Paddie's day, with hopes and wishes for a lovely and excitin' future full of adventure, pretty lasses, and clean public restrooms.
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