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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Return of Keats and Chapman

Around the time that Chapman was becoming disillusioned with his friend Keats’s flock of dotterels, acquired for seven and six from a man in the Dandelion Market and put out to roost in their back garden, the birds redeemed themselves by showing an unexpected talent as gentlemen’s outfitters. Picking up the large quantities of thread and fabric that Keats liked to keep lying around the place in the garden, God only knows why, the birds would get to work and several hours later would have produced a dazzling array of formal neckwear. The products of their labours, it must be said, were not in the best of taste. The colour schemes were gaudy and the patterns in the ‘novelty’ genre beloved of salesmen on their way to office Christmas parties and other such occasions. Yet the public went wild for their designs, especially a garish green number known as the ‘Happy Leprechaun’. Why, even Eamon de Valera was spotted wearing one. Sitting in their kitchen one day, our heroes discussed these changes in gentlemen’s fashions. ‘All is changed, changed dotterelly’, observed Keats. ‘A terrible bow-tie is born’, agreed Chapman.

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