by Frank McCrackers
My childhood in Ireland was the crappiest childhood of them all. I was born in the pauper's ghetto in the small town of Ballystench, County Craperary. We were so poor that our house didn't have a roof. When it rained my mother said that we were lucky, because we were the only family in town to have showers. Two of my brothers were eaten by the creeping fungus soon after. Once I was hit by lightning and started to pick up transmissions. My family were able to use me as a radio for weeks.
Dinner was always the same. Mother would put some stones in a bowl of water and boil it. "Rock Soup" she called it. Some of the minerals in the rocks would dissolve into the water. That's what kept us alive. My father said that we were lucky even to have that. When he was a child all that he had was a bowl of air. For desert we ate muck. Father said it was just as good as chocolate. Then he would run to the pub and drink thirty or forty pints of Guinness.
When winter came we froze into solid blocks of ice. Father had one of his great ideas. He caught a protestant and burned him in the fireplace. That kept us alive for a while. Then we realised that we could make ourselves new clothes out of snow. One day my clothes melted, and the parish priest saw me running around naked. He beat me with a stick all the way home. I started to bleed, and some wild dogs smelled the blood and began to chase me too. One of the dogs tore off my left arse cheek. The priest said it served me right for being a godless peasant.
One winter, seven of my brothers died of leprosy. The priest said that it was our fault for not giving enough money to the church. The heartless cur. Another brother died one day when the sun came out from behind a cloud. He didn't know what it was and he dropped dead out of fright. We didn't have enough money to pay for proper coffins, so we made out own out of old boxes of corn flakes.
Soon the time came to start school. We were taught by these really ugly-looking meaty nuns. Their favourite classes were sports. I was the smallest and most heretical boy, so they always picked on me. They liked to tie me up into a little ball and then kick me around the field. At least I scored lots of goals that way. The nuns weren't all bad. They taught us lots about the world, how it was flat, and that we shouldn't go too far away from home as we'd fall off the edge of the world and end up in hell being poked in the arse with a fork by the Lord of Lies. They also told us who it was that made the world. (Hint: The answer is God!)
My father's drinking problem became worse. He lost his job in the brewery and we were evicted from our roofless house. We moved into a nearby bog. We soon evolved gills to survive in the semi aquatic environment. Then Da came home one day and told us that he'd won fifty thousand pounds at the horse races. He had bet all his money on a 6000-1 shot called "Tall Tales". He left telling us that he was going straight to the bank, but when he came home four weeks later he smelled of peepee and Guinness. All of the money was gone.
After I turned eight I started going to a different school. That's where I met Mister O'Phartaigh, the english teacher what taught me all my knowing of grammer and speling and litarature. He also taught me the great poetry of the world. "There was a young lad from Dundee..." and "The bridge over the silvery Tay" and also these really depressing stories written by some man called Sharkespore where everyone dies in the end. They were too much like real life for my tastes.
Mother had thirteen more babies. She sold most of them to the US marine corps to fight in Vietnam. The rest we used as Sunday roast and kindling. I wanted to become a priest so that I could condemn sinners to hell and spend all the collection plate money, but the heartless parish priest slammed the door in my face. That hasn't stopped me from condemning sinners, however.
Father's drinking had gotten a lot worse. He couldn't afford Guinness any more, so he started sucking gasoline out of cars. One day after filling up on some Shell premium, he lit a cigarette and blew himself up, along with half the town. The crater was half a mile wide. Some men came over from America and studied it very carefully. Years later I found out that they were astronauts from NASA who were training for the Apollo moon landing.
I always wish I could have told my father how I felt about him. In Ireland you don't do things like that. It's not like in America. But just once, I should have put my hand on his shoulder and said "Dad...I just want you to know that...that you are nothing but a pathetic gobshite who drank every penny he ever earned. If you cared half as much about us as you do about the profit margin of the Guinness family, then maybe just maybe my miserable life would have been bearable. I hate you. I hate your stinking guts you smelly degenerate shitehawk." A good jab to his shrivelled kidneys and a knee in his groin would have driven the point home, but alas by then he was toast.
Soon after I turned twelve I left school and got a job in a coffin factory. I delivered coffins to all the dead ppl around town. Most of them had been killed by boredom, others had died from rain exhaustion. One day as I was delivering a coffin, I saw a lovely girl in the doorway of her house. I thought of asking her to marry me, but thought better of it and instead we had a quick shag on the carpet. A week later she died from the ebola virus. Feckin typical. Not many ppl realise that the ebola virus came from the river ebola in County Craperary, Ireland. The disease was brought to Africa by Irish missionaries, who later blamed it on the locals.
With my father in pieces, my mother had to work as a hoor to pay the rent and feed us. What a filthy dirty dishonest immoral sinning Jezebel. Because of my strict Catholic education I had much higher moral standards than that nasty skanky slut. I robbed bags of cash from some dead woman who had loads of dosh and fecked off to America where I married some nice protestant girl and lived happily ever after!
The ends justify the means, as Father Machiavelli always used to say.