Monday 16 September 2019

Billy Keane: 'Mrs 39 looks for divine inspiration for an All-Ireland ticket - then gets an offer that's beyond the Pale'


'We are all praying like mad for Kerry, who play the Dublin machine in the All-Ireland football final on Sunday week in our home ground of Croke Park, which happens to be in Dublin'. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
'We are all praying like mad for Kerry, who play the Dublin machine in the All-Ireland football final on Sunday week in our home ground of Croke Park, which happens to be in Dublin'. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

The Woman who hasn't had Sex for 39 Years is doing the nine Fridays. I am fairly certain most of you do not know very much at all about the doing of the nine Fridays.

And how do I know Mrs 39 is doing the nine Fridays? I met her the other day on our street and she said, "Billy, I'm doing the nine Fridays."

Some of you who happen to be men are surely thinking Mrs 39 is doing the nine Fridays to get a man. It's the way we think. But Mrs 39 has no interest in men.

I had better explain about the nine Fridays before we go any further. It seems there was a divine apparition to St Margaret Mary Alacoque. Our Lord apparently promised Margaret Mary, as she was then, that anyone who carried out certain religious practices such as going to Mass on the first Friday for nine consecutive months would get a happy death.

So I ask Mrs 39 if she's not well.

Her reply is, as per usual, to the point. "Billy, I have no intention of dying any time soon. Not as long as I am on the widow's pension and have the free travel. It would be a terrible waste to go off and die and lose all that money."

So I ask Mrs 39 why she is doing the nine Fridays if she has no notion of dying.

"I am not doing the nine Fridays for the Kingdom of God, but for the Kingdom of Kerry."

We are all praying like mad for Kerry, who play the Dublin machine in the All-Ireland football final on Sunday week in our home ground of Croke Park, which happens to be in Dublin.

Dublin are the hottest favourites in years. Hence all the prayers.

What's more, Dublin are going for the five-in-a-row and all the pundits are forecasting a big win for Dublin.

Kerry people place football above all else.

Marx said religion was the opium of the masses. Football is the opium of the masses in Kerry. Dublin, we are told, will win bar a miracle. The Dubs are 1/6, which means technically Kerry have no chance.

We have never won the five-in-a-row and Dublin will make history when they win, as is being forecast by those well-known GAA sages everyone and anyone.

"I have a favour to ask," asks Mrs 39.

The last time Mrs 39 asked me to do a favour, I had to refuse for reasons of personal security. Mrs 39 asked me to make a rhyme for her husband's memorial card.

The memorial card, just like the nine Fridays, is another cherished Irish religious tradition.

The memorial card usually shows a picture of the deceased when he was alive with a few lines of a poem. The main themes are lots of love and loss. The problem was Mr 39 was alive at the time of the request from Mrs 39. The other problem was I couldn't get anything to rhyme with "dirty rotten cheating bastard".

As most of you are aware, Mrs 39's husband ran off to America with a younger woman and Mrs 39 was not pleased.

The husband probably died since that last request from Mrs 39. I say probably as you couldn't trust Mr 39 to do anything the straight way. The rumours around here are that the Mafia was after him for unpaid gambling debts.

I was dreading the asking for the favour as Mr 39 has many relations in these parts and even though he didn't pay back any of the money he borrowed from the family for the running away to America, the clan might not like it if I did manage to find a line to rhyme with "dirty rotten cheating bastard".

Even though she never once used the free travel, Mrs 39 has taken a notion to go to Dublin for the forthcoming and aforementioned All- Ireland football final.

"I want a ticket for the final," says Mrs 39. This is more of an order than a request.

"Aaaaaagh. No, no, no. Not another one asking me for a frigging All-Ireland ticket. They must think I'm Ticketmaster around here. And me not even having enough tickets for my nearest and dearest. Will ye let me alone?"

I say all this not to Mrs 39 but to myself, silently, and address my remarks to the inner sanctum of the most closely guarded part of the brain only I can access.

I'm close enough to letting rip but Mrs 39 often bailed me out here when I hadn't a clue what I was going to write about on sterile Friday mornings, and there was a lot more of those than just the bare nine.

And then again poor Mrs 39 had a tough old life of it. Sure you couldn't give out to Mrs 39. I often think we are too hard on the different and the difficult.

I make a few calls.

There's a farmer in north county Dublin who owes me. I have given him a ticket for the last three years.

I tell him it's for Mrs 39. Over the years many men have had an obsession about having the bit of sex with Mrs 39. These caring men offered "to get the monkey off her back", as they put it.

The farmer from north county Dublin wants to hand over the ticket in person. "I will book her in to the best hotel in the city," he says. And as the farmer speaks I note his telephone voice has become deeper and huskier. I'm not sure but I'm fairly certain the hormones are bubbling and boiling up inside of him.

"Separate rooms," I say. The farmer's reply: "Not a hope. Do you know the prices the hotels are charging in the city on the weekend of the final?"

Mrs 39 is an avid Kerry fan. She wants so much to cheer for her team. Will Mrs 39 be able to resist the offer of accommodation and a ticket?

I hope she does not agree to share a room with the Dublin farmer. Kerry she is to the core and Mrs 39 would die for the green and gold. I decide not to tell her of the Dublin farmer's kindly offer.

It would be bad enough to see the Dubs win the first five-in-a-row but if one of them was to end Mrs 39's abstinence it would be even more devastating for all of us here in the Kingdom.

I'm on my way to the church now. The plan is to do the nine Fridays in the one day.

In the meantime, if any of you happens to have a spare ticket, please send it on - with no strings attached.

Irish Independent

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