Ignatius J. Reilly, Meet Thy Daughter
by Brendan Strong
Sunshine and I were out and about for a stroll and some fresh air. I like strolling, and the fresh air helps sunshine sleep (having the time to write this is testament to that fact).
We met all sorts on our way, out and about on the plains of the Curragh.
She was pointing the way, toward sheep, bushes, heathers, whatever flora, fauna and foliage caught her eye. I, for my part was rehearsing my thoughts for a blog about the Lisbon referendum, and the absurdity of much of the debate and posturing that’s going on (you’ll find this post over at the Fat Man Thinks, when it’s ready). Such it my role as the Ignatius J. Reilly of modern Ireland.
At some point, Sunshine takes issue with a point I am making. Ay-ay-ay-ay-ya! she says. I enjoy her energy, but she has much to learn about the art of great rhetoric and debate. On this, time will be in the telling. She may well be a politician yet, or perhaps found the greatest advertising agency this country has known. Of course, all first time parents (while they may not wish it) believe this; such is the manipulative power of the first child. As a parent, I have always found my sheer physical size, and the magnitude of the 10 month old’s dependence mean that just about any debate can be quashed with a soother, bottle or the quick lift from a pram. But not today.
“Ay-ay-ay-ya! Bu-bu-bu-ay-ay. Wuh-wuh-bah!” I am completely unprepared for this argument. I thought I would not hear it for at least fifteen years (falling in the back door, drunk). As Tom Waits once sang: “These children are so hard to raise good”
So, this final rejoinder shut me up, and I followed the finger, which seems to have dictated the course of my life for the past ten months.
There were looks from people. An large, unshaven, floppy haired man just cannot push a pram containing a child anywhere without attracting looks. I’ve learned this in the past ten months. But much of it, I believe to be Sunshine’s fault. Her finger was manic. An auditory account would run thus:
To the sheep! To the bush! To those other children! To the sheep! To the hill! To the hollow! To the sun, by Christ, and step on it; my mission is both imperative and too important to explain to an unshaven, floppy-haired, fatman such as yourself!
Ignatious J Reilly, meet thy daughter.