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The Ballad of Mangerton Mountain (or "Nodogs")

by Breda Joy

Outside the cinema, just before ten,
A motley multitude of women and men,
One small notice in the Advertiser, and here's half the world crowded together.
They're teeming in from Bratislava,
Poland, Prague and the Costa Brava.
Bringing budgies, bats, silken-haired rats,
Parrots, pythons and Siamese cats,
Wildebeast, warthogs, groundhogs,
But, as per notice, no dogs.

To expand the club, that was our hope,
But, suffering God, how'll we cope?
Cars on the road, to Mangerton we're heading,
Like a manic scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding!
Eileen Daly, straight from central casting, is Little Bo Peep,
Dashing backwards and forwards, shepherding her sheep.

For Tim Long, today Mangerton spells Damascus,
Because, good Lord, where's all his fastness?
He's standing still against a sable sky,
Above him, a flock of winged pigs glides by.

All along the path before us,
Hear the women chorus.
Tim's so patient, so kind, so accommodating,
Go easy girls, you're hyperventilating!

At the halfway mark, Brendan Coffey's face contorts in shock,
Ger Sullivan's still with us, rooted like a rock!
Brendan's hands go all clammy,
But he gets on his mobile to Ger's mammy.
Hold the Weetabix, Mrs. Sull, for forensic examination,
He's been drugged - it's the only explanation!

Up the hill Mary B. wonders at the pace of this frenetic climb,
So she slots in a yoga session to while away the time.
While John Sullivan, snazzy snapper from the Gap,
Sneaks off for a furtive nap.

Where's Christy Mac, soon to be father of the bride?
Here he comes, smiling and mingling far and wide.
Mick Long's the lucky man, off on the snowy slopes of Ama Dablam,
Blissfully unaware of our human traffic jam.

Devastating Denis Sullivan and Pulsating Paudie Spillane,
Our rugged club hunks oozing with charm,
Are dead from throwing manly gore-tex poses,
To impress their new-found climbing roses.
Its totally lost on Mick and Mel,
Wrapped up in their own magic spell.

The mist over the punch bowl now rolling,
Reveals an apparition as Denis Hartnett arrives strolling.
And here's Denis Courtney, natural born teacher,
Gerrup that hill or I'll beat yer!

Onwards and upwards speeds Seamus Coffey, booting o'er hill and dale,
Thinking "I'll be down for a round of golf and the quarter finals without fail".
What's all the talk coming from up above?
It's only Paul Curtis, loquacious Dub.

There's a dig at Joe Doran about leading on Purple and Tomies,
But, dreaming of Cork jazz and porter, he smiles "no worries".
No sign of Lisa, Louis, Neilie or Ger from Castlemaine,
Also on the missing list, the venerable Saddam Hussein.

At lunch, comes a pigeon all a flutter,
From his beak falls a letter,
Signed by Donie and Caroline Mull,
Wish we were there but our hands are full!

The day is finally ending,
The Lakes before us, we're descending,
For years, I've never really been at the races,
Been at the back, wailing woebegotten "Wait up you basket cases!",
But now there's a line trailing back as far as the eye can see,
Trailing all behind usually last but not least, little old me!

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