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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Myles na gCopaleen, Meet John Malkovich

There is a business in Hull called Armadillo Self-Storage. I would have thought armadillos are already well stored inside that casing of theirs, but no, and what a nuisance they are, filing along Drypool and Witham on their way to a lock-in garage behind a gym and a takeaway. There is a Unicorn Trading Park further out the same road: insert zoological riff of your own inventing here, since one at a time is as much as I can manage. Trading outlets do have odd names though. Carpet Madness, for instance. I was there last weekend and am still reeling from the symptoms, which are endemic to the place (hence the name). I’m told pills can bring them under control, but some of the people I saw there quite patently weren’t taking their meds, let me tell you. Then there’s the Mattress King, still resisting all calls for an orderly transition to parliamentary democracy and switching the conversation to his appearance in Friends when the subject comes up. And Planet Wash, a foul science-fiction dystopian world peopled only by Polish men who want to sponge your car. Trust me, planet-wide economies cannot get buy on car-washing alone (I’ve tried). And then there’s Remnant Land on Hessle Road, ruled over by trussed-up bundles of carpet. The conversation is somewhat stilted after an hour or two, and that’s for sure.

But storage though, since I was talking about storage. Since I ran out of places to ran on my hand just the other Tuesday (whose telephone number is that?) I might as well use a blog post to store this hilarious Mylesian cutting, since I’m still ploughing my way through a lot of Myles at the moment. I turned it up in Carol Taaffe’s excellent Ireland Through the Looking Glass: Flann O’Brien, Myles na gCopaleen, and Irish Cultural Debate:

On 1 April 1946, Myles na gCopaleen presented his readers with an unusually convoluted story, even by his own standards. ‘Ran into myself down town the other evening’, he reported, ‘in rare form... and doesn’t look my age at all.’ He accompanies himself into a pub where he finds ‘your truly’ standing at the counter. They all decide to head out to Sandyford; the driver of the cab, of course, being none other than ‘the present writer’: ‘Begob is this what you’re at now says my excellency to him no says he quick as a flash me real job is above in the Park receiving diginitiries and dhriving around in the landjue I oney do this in me spare time.’ The Myleses, inseparable before ‘the Split’, grate on each other’s nerves, one lecturing the other on careering round town ‘acting the maggot as per usual’ [and, snip!]

Did I ever tell you about the worst job I ever had, by the way? It was removing armadillos from Keats and Chapman’s arses. No wait, here’s me bus. That map of yours is looking a bit crooked, by the way, you might want to get that seen to. Cheers now!

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