Category Archives: civil disobedience

The Ledge of experience


It was the first time   i had attempted anything on this scale  before ..my brothers had spoken in hushed tones of a primal urge in us all …to go beyond  the imagined,  into a place that most of us  only dreamed ….today was that day ..why ? because it was there ! …with just a fresh coffee which  was prepared for me  i went through my usual haunts wondering what sort of man i might return as ….. with a deep sigh  i braced myself  and began what i can only describe as an extraordinary journey…..people went about their daily chores oblivious to the great leap of personal  achievement that was about to be performed … the air was stale and the light was strangely incandescent.  I could hear machine like hums as i reached my first ledge ….although at this point I was not elevated much, I was seperate from everything …. I pressed my belly along the ledge and shimmed forward ….in this brief moment I knew I was in uncharted territory …not one man had ever been here before …I could hear distant voices exclaim…far away I wondered what Lord Gibson would say .. a sudden crash wrenched me from my precipice  and I lost consciousness tumbling and twisting …..I was woken by a firm but polite voice ….hello  !!hello !!…I was in a police station …..Maurice  are you ok ? …. I hmmmmmed ….they looked at me with pity … not awe as I had hoped …..why maurice? Why did you do it ?    I knew this moment would occur  .. I stood up  and with lowered voice  declared  “because it is there!”….”yes maurice but the frozen food section in Morrisons?”   With the wry smile of a man who has been to the ledge of human experience  ..” I know  it has never been done and most likely will never again .”…at that moment I felt a sharp chill in my pants as some frozen peas dislodged in my breeches…..

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Me and Mr Earnshaw


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Brrrng brrrrng brrrng …Mr Earnshaw ? Yes Mr O’CONNELL  a rather delicate  matter   not sure if I should talk on the phone ….anyway further to my understanding that you are sort a criminal overlord  or at least active in the west Cornwall area as far as St Denis. YES  well we had a board of governor’s meeting last night  and it appears someone has been dipping into the new library fund  and according to Geoff the treasurer   Jimmy May have used monies to buy something and now it turns out what he bought was Nothing!!!!….Mr Earnshaw get to the point ? Well Mr OCONNELL we were wondering if you and Anto might have a quiet word if you no what I mean ….Okay Mr Earnshaw quite quiet or total silence ?? Oh dear well it is for the children and if the ends justify the means  might you do total silence …I tell you what Mr Earnshaw if a certain young lady gets star pupil of class 5 this month  consider it done …


A Shocking Awful Sinner


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An Original Sinner …..living in a world where the more flawed you were the greater there was a chance for salvation, was not without its issue. As a Roman Catholic child we were told in no uncertain terms that we had to be forgiven and without that forgiveness there was no point to any of it …So we were asked to be good ….however then when we were good it meant utter scorn …The mechanism for this confusion came via the act of confession ….as a seven yr old boy I truly believed I was good …but it was frowned by all to be that good …faced with damnation for not sinning and shame upon the family name  for not being a good sinner …I found myself confessing to horrible atrocities in order that I could be contrite and forgiven … seated in the darkness the priest  in laconic mid Atlantic brogue asked if I wanted forgiveness ..In truth I didn’t ,as I have said I was good …but I had to toe the line ….”.yes father I have been a shocking awful sinner “…and so began  my litany of pillaging ,thievery,arson ,blasphemy and coveting….The priest was truly shocked at one so young being so evil ..but he was delighted to grant me absolution in the vain hope I would mend my ways …but no the church at that time did not like a redeemed sinner …so my visits to the confessional increased  and on two occasions I was responsible for three bank robberies ….slowly I was the church of The Three Patrons favourite sinner ….. The only twist to all this absolution and remorse was when I happened to meet my confessor in public places  he would cast a wary eye on me in full knowledge he could never tell anyone of the awful horrid heinous crimes I performed  in my brogue shoes and pudding bowl haircut …..and so on my deathbed  I will have to face St Peter  all the angels and several saints ,perhaps cassius  and explain that I was” a shocking awful sinner”,yes so inept and miserable that I had to invent every misdemeanour venal or other  and my guilt was a sham …..


The Sins of our Fathers


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Glistening red ,crimson dripping with dull plopping I stood framed by the rotten daylight of this turbulent day …eyes lifted to greet my defiant arrival  at the bracelets for beginners workshop… Barbara  aghast split an endless cascade of turquoise glass beads ….Diane  looked to me with utter disappointment ….she placed a gentle hand on the shoulders of those who feared the worst …”Maurice what have you done ?….please tell me what could possibly have happened …she’s manoeuvred her self into a more aggressive stance. ,it was clear to all that this was the crisis. a tipping point , a moment of no return ….at the table the bull nose pliers disappeared like rats in a grain silo when the door is opened ….my head lifted …eyes bloodshot from days playing can’t crush …I knew that perhaps I was in that difficult place …..my dry mouth breathed the first most difficult words “I have been bad …very bad …I am truly truly ashamed of myself “….I had everyone’s attention now …”Maurice it is over now …what is done cannot be undone   can you step outside  and we will begin to find a way through this carnage ..can you do that for me Maurice?”….I  looked at her ..”yes Maurice I know your are in a difficult place now …we will find a way “…….under her breathe she whispered whoever left out the poster paints ..I told you this would happen ……bloody Maurice and his biblical melodrama …he is not  I repeat allowed near the paint cupboard”…..

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Pass me the Fork N Spoons


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Language we were repeatedly tolf was a beautiful  and wonderful thing it was not to be abused.there should be healthy respect until one had a full command of its opportunities …sounds could bring a tear to the most stern face …It is language that reduces a group of strangers to jelly moments of intimate lawless laughter and guffaws. ..Despite these pearls of wisdom  it was mainly visual. physical puns  that glued our familial situation .So it  was with great surprise that I found my self repeating this demand in a variety of timbre and tonality ..pass me the Fork N spoon please?…Excuse would you mind awfully passing the forkin spoons….all my life it was what words described that conjured up smiles…and now standing in Little Chef in a long cutler queue. .approaching my late mid 40s  it was the play of sounds and words that brought a broad grin if delight to by juvenile progeny and mild discomfort to the general public at large…..


Knowing is not enough


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The door declared  “knowing is not enough”…which at first glance seemed  straight forward  but as the morning revealed itself to me i realised  that this was to become a bhuddist riddle  that even when understood would suggest re examination  …i  had parked in the chief executivez parking bay  ..so my presence was known among all the staff …i was ushered into the interview room  ..two  piles of paper were presented to me and it was suggested if i was so inclined i might benefit in some way by answering the enclosed queries … i lifted the pencil and gazed at the glazed statement   “knowing is not enough” …as if an unknown bond movie it taunted  me … i raised the pages and  raced through the literacy and numeracy  tests …i banged the “bang the bell when you have finished bell”  a sullen woman  entered and flicked through my papers  ….with an well rehearsed grimace ..she said ”  well done mr oconnell you have answered all the questions correctly ..however as you know ” Knowing is not enough ” we will see you next week mr oconnell !

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He has got plans for you Martin !


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The joy of getting the flipping quilt cover out on the washing line …in peace and quiet …the last time i was trying to hang my underpant  (plural)  on the line   i heard  a voice , i am sure not unlike that of st paul on his way to damascus …”oh he likes you to hang them properly martin !!!!! ” Cripes 1!! i thought even the messengers of god has got my name wrong …What an eternal shame if on judgement day  i got turned away not based on merit  but as a result of an oversight ….anyway  it turned out not to be an angel  but a rather ecumenical neighbour who insisted god is pleased  by good hanging of clothes…. now this time i was wrestling with the wind and quilt cover ….when  a voice began  …Did you know  the man above sorted out my broadband ……Sorry ?  God does broadband? i enquired  …… yes martin !  he does work in mysterious ways and on this occassion  he has sorted me out with 4000 hours of free film viewing …dont you know !!1 …..I am usually  quick off the mark with quips  but tried a different approach …Did that include  weekend calls ? ….my neighbour smiled  …she turned on her heel  and as she dissappeared through her gate …she shouted  “You just have to ask! ” ….Lacking discipline I shouted   ” Hey next time you are chatting to him can you ask  him to stop hassling me when i am hanging out my washing please !

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