“Coming home to Ballinlough,” hummed a tired but contented Meehawl Martin as Garda Pat pulled the sleek State Lexus up outside the sleeping house.
“Your oasis, Taoiseach,” said his driver.
“Oasis?” Chuckled the Taoiseach, “I’m more of a trad man myself, Pat. Goodnight to you.”
Two in the morning, and only the crackle of skittish autumn leaves pirouetting on the driveway and a few distant dog yelps ruffled the superior southside Cork air.
Meehawl turned the key in the front door and stepped inside, carefully hanging up his black Crombie on the hall stand, and slipping off his shoes, he headed for the stairs.
Mary and the kids were asleep as he tiptoed up.
Unlocking his home office, at the far end of of the landing, he padded over to the cushioned door in the right-hand corner of the spotless oak-panelled room.
The black MacLock key on his Coláiste Chríost Rí keyring in the slot, he opened the door to the real oasis Mary and the kids called Daddy’s Special Place.
The only condition was he couldn’t reach anyone from here — and they couldn’t reach him …
Mary screened all calls …
Clicking the door noiselessly shut behind him, he exhaled in delight as flung his leather briefcase into the corner and whipped off the navy suit, white shirt and tie.
Leaving them in a heap which he side-footed gleefully against the wall, he put on his favourite baggy old Nemo Rangers track-suit, Cork goalkeeper’s jersey, and Ozzy Osbourne wig and round blue tinted glasses.
Grabbing the dart beside the overflowing Beamish ashtray, he fired it viciously towards the Leo Varadkar dartboard.
He missed Leo’s smug mug by a mile, and the missile clattered off the framed Billy Morgan photo with the All-Ireland club football trophy.
“Varadkar,’ he muttered to himself. “Jaysus, boy … slagging me about him being a doctor and me only an oul history teacher.”
Reaching for the fags and the Powers, Meehawl collapsed into his old leather LA-Z-Boy recliner.
The TV remote in his hand and an Old Black Sabbath concert film now blasting out on the massive plasma screen, he grabbed the bottle and was up on his feet, moshing away …
“I hate Jack ***ing Lynch,” he roared … “I’m the Real Taoiseach … Up Michael Collins and **k Leo bleddy Varadkar … Cork is ***ing great, I hate Dublin … Jaysus, that’s great lead guitar, Tony boy.”
On and on … until the bottle was empty and he collapsed in a ball of drooling expletives and soon, snores.
The next morning, he peeled himself up, threw off all the gear, and put it neatly in the linen basket behind the drum kit.
He went to the press in the corner, with its row of identical Superhero Meehawl suits, shirts, and all the gear and laid one set out neatly …
Time for a power shower before going the full Meehawl after a heap of Solpadeine, a plate of rasher sandwiches and a good cup of Barry’s tea with Mary in the kitchen.
“Pat will be here at 10,” says Mary … ”don’t forget your Mary Lou sarcastic replies folder, the one with the witch’s face on it … you might take that off …”
“I will, love.”
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