To be read in your best Cavan accent.
At approximately nineteen minutes to ten on the morning of September twenty seventh, I had a movement of the booel.
Later that same afternoon I was joined by my cousin Larry in the parlour of my house where he proceeded to inform me of his latest predicament.
It appeared that in trying to secure a drain pipe with the aid of a neighbour, who had the unfortunate task of ascending to the top of the ladder, Larry had taken out the ladder and subsequently cracked it on an unattended skip, leaving his neighbour dangling from a rafter.
He immediately made his way to my premises in an enquiring capacity as to how best rectify the situation.
As we waited for the kettle to boil, we pondered over the best options available to us at this time. After some careful consideration we agreed that the battenburg cake over the roulade and made sure to be as earnest as possible to ensure the safe detachment of the neighbour from the rafter.
The neighbour in question had sent his young son around to see after the exact location of cousin Larry and to his current plan of action.
Larry is a very proficient individual, a fellow Cavan man and most efficient in his actions. You can imagine his utmost perplexity when being reminded of the task in hand.
Observing the tenseness of the situation I deduced that a calming influence would be best served in this situation.
Tea was served to the young lad along with some apple tart as Larry had pointed out, quite correctly too, that there were traces of alcohol in the battenburg. The youngster didn’t care for the roulade.
At eighteen minutes past four we arrived at the scene of the incident to see the youth’s father dangling in what can only be described as a precarious manner from the third floor window of a red brick Georgian house on the corner of Donnybrook way.
I can only say I am glad the broken gutter was on the side of the house such were the profanities being shouted upon our arrival.
A couple of interesting observations should be made at this juncture. Firstly due to a touch of frost bite received years ago which was never properly treated in my left ear, my hearing would not be what it could. Secondly, as the neighbour was at such a height it was quite difficult to understand what was being shouted.
From perseverance and an educated guess on my part it appeared to resemble something in the lines of
“Wear a duck Mer vue?”
As this didn’t appear to make any sense we concurred that the neighbour had become delusional and possibly disoriented due to the situation in which he now found himself.
He had managed to secure himself by kneeling on the window sill and holding on to the gutter above. His nose was pressed firmly against a window pane which in my mind seemed to be the most appropriate option for rescue.
Understandably dear reader you may ask as to why we didn’t proceed to enter the house through the hall door and open said window. Well you see, the problem being that the hall door was closed and the key opening this was placed firmly in the pocket of Larry’s neighbour...who was currently kneeling as if in prayer on the third floor window of the very same premises.
We came to another decision. One of many we had made that day and that was to break down the hall door would have generated more expense than the issue and cost of the original problem. Namely, the broken drain pipe. On this basis we ruled this plan of attack out completely.
After a moment of complete inspiration had in the local butcher shop,( I had gone down to buy two lamb cutlets I had noticed were on special offer when we were walking in the direction of the crisis) I decided it would be best to call the fire brigade. Now you may ask why this was such a fantastic moment of wisdom dear reader and why we hadn’t thought of this already. Well we had of course but the brilliance came in the guise of the fire station that we called. The particular station in question was where my nephew Peter worked.
Peter, before entering the fire service, had worked for seven years would you believe fixing gutters and drainpipes for a Hungarian called Punshak.
After much laughter and joviality, and some catching up in relation to my brother Patrick’s gout, Peter arrived soon after with his colleagues and was able to aid us in disengaging the neighbour from his predicament. It must be said he was not as vociferous as he had been earlier. Actually he was saying nothing and was in a frozen state of shock. When I say Peter aided us, that is to say he let the neighbour down the ladder while he, Peter, was able to proceed back up the ladder and repair the offending drain pipe. Which was in essence the whole goal of the day.
The neighbour’s son was now talking to his mother, the wife of the elevated (now descended party) who had just returned from a two day retreat with the legion of Mary. She insisted on paying Peter for his trouble. However when she was gone Peter forwarded the sum to yours truly, reminding me that I was to be reimbursed for an umbrella I had loaned him after our car had broken down on the way home from Mickey Whelan’s mother’s funeral. God rest her soul it was a terrible day all round.
I accepted the donation thankfully, comfortable in the knowledge that this could be put down to expenses.
Needless to say when all the drama had calmed, the neighbour was released from hospital eight weeks later, the first four having been spent in the psychiatric ward. Himself and Larry never saw eye to eye after that. Although, he would say hello to the son on occasion. And now that I think of it, once the two of them dropped around to me for tea and a slice of Battenburg...alcohol free of course.