If you ever wondered how to train a slow greyhound, Pups O’Leary has the answer.
Father Brennan glared at Pup’s. ‘What are you doing here?’
Pups shuffled his feet, stuck his hands in his pockets, and stammered, ‘Jeh, Jeh, James, sorry to intrude on yer, yer drinking. I need a few quid for the daw, daw, daw …’
‘Spit it out for fecks sake.’
‘Soh, sorry, Faaaather, a few quid for the daw, dog.’
‘Afflicted by a terrible hangover on the day I buried your poor mother, I made a fatal mistake. When you offered me half a share in a hound, I should’ve told you to shove it up your arse. Do you see ‘BANK’ written on my forehead?’
‘No! I see a wise investor that will qua,qua,qua, quadruple his money.’
‘All right, stop squawking and give me one good reason to open my wallet again.’
Pups, at the mention of the wallet, ceased stuttering and pointed to his dishevelled head. ‘Pupsy has a plan.’
‘Pupsy always has a plan. Out with it, ya fool.’
‘Castlebridge Lad is the fastest hound that I ever bred, but he has one small problem …’
‘Yeah, his bloody trainer!’
‘He still refuses to pass the other dogs. For the past week I made him chase Old Ned around the field.’
‘Old Ned keeled over onto his back, raised his paws, and the poor divil died. I swear Castlebridge Lad looked like he was about to race past him.’
‘Jesus! A one legged, blind poodle could have beaten Old Ned. I’ve heard enough.’
‘Way, way, wait, Father. I’m getting Old Ned stuffed and mounted onto a skateboard.’
Father Brennan’s mouth opened, incredulity hampered his speech and mirth tempered his reply. ‘For Sale. Dead hound on wheels. One careful owner. Low mileage,’ was as good as Father Brennan could muster, and its delivery, wrapped in a parcel of snorts, demanded a more astute audience than Pups to denigrate his clichéd humour.
Pups rubbed his ear, grinned widely, and raised his hands in submission.
‘Funny idea, but Pupsy has a better one. I’m having a frame welded to a skateboard so that I can tow it around with my bicycle.’
Unable to take much more, Father Brennan sat on an empty keg.
‘Just so I am reading this correctly. You are going to cycle around the parish, towing a dead greyhound on a skateboard with a For Sale sign on its back.’
‘Apart from the sign, that is exactly what I’ll do. I only need two hundred.’
‘Here’s three hundred, the extra is in case you need an undertakers licence. Let me know when you are ready to go. As God is my witness, I would pay double to see a dead mutt on a skateboard, chase a gobshite on a bicycle.’
‘Ya, ya wone, won’t regret it.’ An elated Pups snatched the loot and hugged Father Brennan.