Part 3 of a Play by Ricardo
Bob groans as his heart sinks to the same depths as the post-Brexit Pound against the Euro: Oh gawd. Not him. Mr Fookeen Rule Britannia.
Bob composes himself and hisses through gritted teeth: And how are you, Nigel?
Nigel: Comme ci, comme ça. Et vous, Senor Bollix to Brexit?
Bristling Bollix Bob: That was them idiot Liberal Democrats, not me. So you and all your lying UKIP cronies can all bugga off to Bogner.
Herr Fookeen Rule Britannia mit schadenfreude: No need to be like that, mon ami. You need to show some sangfroid.
An observant drinks waiter intervenes: Would sir like a refreshment?
Stop them at the beaches Nigel: A pint of Kronenbourg please. Merci, garcon.
Waiter: Sorry sir, we are changing the kegs and Kronenbourg is off the table for now.
Nigel: Merde. In that a case, I’ll have a bottle of Peroni, por favor.
Waiter: We don’t sell Peroni.
Nigel: Never mind. Stella Artois, grazi?
Waiter: Run out at the weekend. Awaiting a delivery this afternoon.
Nigel: How about a lovely pint of draft Carlsberg, bitte?
Waiter: Only got it in bottles.
Bono looks on aghast whilst Bob takes the opportunity to do a Bobexit and sneaks out quietly
Nigel: Pilsner Urquell, danke?
Waiter: Sorry sir, never heard of it. Would sir fancy a Guinness instead?
Nigel: Splendid old chap. Could you mix half a pint with a half of Ainsleys and then I could enjoy one of your world-famous and truly fabulous Black & Tans?
Sixteen other hotels guests immediately sit bolt upright and cast menacing glances towards the builder extraordinaire of Post-Brexit Anglo-Bohemian Relations.
Waiter bends forward and whispers whilst looking around the room nervously: No sir. Please keep your voice down or you might upset the other guests. One has already stood up and, by the look on his face, it looks like he wants to talk to you.
Nigel insouciantly: Oh, you mean that big ugly brute over there who looks like a mentally retarded version of the Reverend Ian Paisley? Grand chap that he was, I have to say. Bless his soul. How the people of Ulster must miss him. A man after my own heart.
Waiter, feeling doomed by association, whispers forlonly: Yes, sir, him. The one with the faces of Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera tattooed on one forearm and ‘Never forget the Easter Rising Martyrs’ on the other.
Nigel in FULL BOOM like a squadron of Lancaster Bombers setting off from RAF Scampton in May 1943: Nonsense old chap. By the way Bono, I like your photos on the walls of Celtic Football Club but why haven’t you got any of Rangers? Have you ever been to Ibrox? It has a smashing atmosphere with the entire crowd of 45,000 singing lots of witty little ditties throughout the match, and in the bars afterwards, about King Billy smiting down the evil and treasonous Jacobites and sending the surviving Papist rabble back to France with their Catholic tails between their House of Stuart legs.
I felt right at home with all the Union Flags flying everywhere. I had quite a few drinks afterwards with a big group of supporters from Londonderry. Got on like a house of fire with them and they even carried me back to my hotel when I couldn’t stand up after my 9th pint and 10th dram. They made a slight detour to a tattoo parlour and offered to pay the cost to have ‘1690’ permanently emblazoned in ink across my back as a memento. Told them I like Kronenbourg but not that much.
They liked me and my views so much that they have invited me to be their guest of honour at this year’s celebration of the Battle of the Boyne. Whatever that was. And they even clubbed together to buy me a bowler hat for some reason. Though people will think I look a right pillock wearing that. I’ve got my carefully cultivated personal reputation to think about, you know, so I thought I will be much better off wearing my Rangers bobble hat instead.
Anyway, I had absolutely no idea that so many people in Northern Ireland supported Glasgow Rangers. So I am eagerly planning my trip to Londonderry later in the year.
Waiter and mentally retarded version of the Reverend Ian Paisley in unison: That’s DERRY.
The latter admittedly did say substantially more than this, describing in detail his intended, and I have to say distinctly unorthodox, use of a Union Flag and its pole on the personage of Mr Fareigner but this little bit of friendly banter had to be censored and, besides, as Nigel pointed out to the incandescent standard bearer, he simply could not understand a single word of what he was saying so if he could not speak coherently in the Queens’ English then Nigel had far more important people in the room to parley with and, furthermore had precious little time to do so.
Upon which four more of this Union Flag-waving republican’s companions have to intervene and nail his colours to the mezzanine floor as they all concur loudly ‘Its Derry. Fookeen Derry’
The new mascot of the Ulster Orangemen fires back a volley: Oh no, it’s not. I am terribly afraid lads that you are all mistaken. It is Londonderry. LON – DON – DERRY. As in, our great capital of the glorious United Kingdom, with a quite frankly, useless bit added on superfluously. Didn’t anyone teach you Geography at school? Has quite a nice ring to it rather than a name like Dublinderry. That would sound ridiculous.
As the dopier version of the fire & brimstone cleric is slowly dragged away by his more phlegmatic companions, Bono puts his head in his hands: Sweet Jasus. Will someone please smite him down.
Nigel smiling and cheekily winking at the remaining hotel guests who are by now starting to look distinctly nervous : Waiter, now be a good lad and get me two Black & Tans, one for me and one for me old chum Bozo. Come on, chop chop.
Ever the showman, Nigel cannot resist the urge to stand up and address the entire room: EVERYBODY. PAY ATTENTION PLEASE. AS A TRUE, JOHN BULL ENGLISHMAN, I CAN RECOMMEND A BLACK & TAN. BEST THING TO EVER COME OUT OF IRELAND. AND AS SOON AS YOU GET THE CHANCE, I RECOMMEND YOU ALL PAY A VISIT TO IBROX PARK. YOU’LL LOVE IT.
Sounding like one of the vipers that St. Patrick banished from the Emerald Isle almost 2,000 years ago, the waiter quietly hisses with the desperation of a snake charmer seeking meaningful employment in Munster: No sir, not possible. Definitely not a popular drink around here.
Nigel: Cor blimey. I’m starting to feel like I’ve been flippin’ kneecapped. Aren’t Black & Tans popular round here? A Heineken then?
Waiter: We’ve run out of Heineken too. Would sir like a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale?
Nigel: I’m not drinking that Geordie dishwater. No wonder they’re all so aggressive & argumentative drinking that rubbish all day, every day. How about a San Miguel or Warsteiner?
Waiter breathing a sigh of relief: We do have San Miguel. Would sir like a bowl of stuffed olives to go with that?
Nigel: Definitely not. I can’t abide that inedible, dago muck. By the way, is it too early for a Calzone pizza?
Waiter: Not all sir. A San Miguel and a Calzone pizza on the way.
Nigel blanking Bob, being oblivious to the fact that Bob has disappeared: Love your hotel Bozo, mon cher. Looks amazing. Did you name it after the Duke of Clarence? You clearly have a head for spotting an opportunity and turning a profit. I wish I could say I was an entrepreneur. I hear the Irish economy is collapsing due to this damned virus. Damned shame about Brexit; you could have relocated to London.
Nigel continues blithely: I love your music. Got all your CDs and the soundtracks to ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. In fact, I was wondering when you and the rest of the guys in Clannad were thinking of getting back into the recording studio?
A Romanian cleaner who is vacuuming nearby, drops her Dyson quicker than a vampire fleeing from the sight of garlic, and restrains Bono who is now frenziedly gnashing his teeth like Count Dracula unexpectedly stumbling into an NHS Blood Bank in Whitby on a moonlit evening.
Count Bono exclaims: What exactly are you after, you English buffoon?
Nigel; Bozo, me old minstrel, I was hoping you’d make a €14 million donation to the NHS to help build a new hospital. Of which a mere 27.5% would go to compensate me for my many expenses.
Bono: You are already proving to be a thorn in my side.
Pain in the ass Nigel: By Jove, fancy you knowing the name of my penniless, little company. And I just happen to have my company’s bank account details with me.
Restrained Bono: I thought you had pledged to spend £350 million of European Union cash on the NHS after Brexit. Now you’ve helped ruin the EU, why don’t you now do as you promised?
Having been restrained in a half-Nelson for the last few minutes, Greetin’s valedictory contribution as she is escorted off the premises: How dare you Herr Fareigner? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty—
Bono: Why don’t you contribute some of your own money? You must be loaded.
Pinnocchiooooo: I’m skint. I no longer get my monthly MEP salary of €9,000 or my MEP general expenditure allowance of €4,500 per month or my MEP first class travel expenses or my €300 MEP daily allowance so I am crippled financially. (Sighs) I would have been so much better off had we remained in the EU.
And I have to support my ex-wife. She’s German, and you know what they’re like. Thinks she single-handedly rules the EU. Typical bloody Kraut, thinks she can me order me around as though she rules Europe. I have to pay her a fortune each month in maintenance payments. No matter how hard I tried, I could not bring her to the negotiating table. She just dug her heels in and refused point blank to listen to me. Bloody foreigners.
My new mates in Londonderry offered to sort her out, saying I wouldn’t need to worry about the family court, as long as I supplied them with a Desert Eagle and two shovels. Not sure what they would do with a Desert Eagle but I had to decline their quixotic offer as I have no idea how I would go about finding an exotic bird of prey let alone importing one from the Middle East. Besides, I told them, B&Q sell plenty of shovels and the sales will be on in June.
Bono discreetly asks the Head of Security: Could you please escort Mr Fareigner off the premises?
Nigel who himself is now locked down in a half-Nelson (sans ironie): Hang on. I was hoping you could put me up for a few nights whilst I check out vacant offices spaces. I’m thinking of relocating my company if my application for an EU grant is successful and I’ll do some free after-dinner speeches in return if you just—.
Bono: Not for all the tea in China. à bientôt mon ami.
As Nigel is escorted out of the hotel, Bono sits back on his sofa, numb with exhaustion, pondering whether life would be less taxing in Lithuania.
End of Part 3