The Big Book of New Irish Comedy
...As we all know, Ireland in the 1950’s was a forlorn priest-ridden, doom-laden, culturally sodden bog, permanently overhung with a heavy blanket of soot-black cloud from which a never-ending downpour of unrelenting misery hammered on the wretched roof tops of the nation, drenching the ragged faithful, who struggled under the weight of ten-foot, rat-eaten crosses as they groped their way by the light of the occasional lightening flash to the huddled gloom of their candle-lit chapels where they were terrorized by violent, skull-faced priests, frantic to see them roast alive in a pit for all eternity if they as much as looked sideways at an English muffin, while the nation’s drink-sodden intellectuals muttered dark verses of death and despair in the course of staggering from their barstools to the relative shelter of blighted hawthorn trees from which to hang themselves.
So in the circumstances, Aengus McGullaknocker’s childhood was a relatively happy one, being lucky enough to spend it in a cage beneath the kitchen floor of his parents’ Rainsoggit cottage in the hills of Murtagurky. There he was lovingly treated to potfuls of black porridge emptied on to his head by a doting, and occasionally sober, mother and…
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