Rained off site

They rang and said they wanted the company car back but they’d give me a van instead. Wouldn’t you love a van? No, says I, what the fuck am I going to do with a van? 

–  You’ll figure it out.  

            Later, it was time to collect my team. Romania’s finest was waiting, patiently playing Backgammon on her phone and no interest in going working at all. She sat in, asked: ‘What is this?’ 

            ‘It’s a van.’ 

            ‘A van? Where is car?’ 

            ‘They took it back.’ 

            ‘Why? This is no good.’ She pulled down the flap yoke on the passenger side, freaked and said: ‘No mirror to see my lipstick??’ 

            ‘I know it’s a tragedy.’ 

            ‘We don’t need a van for this job…’ 

            ‘We do now.’ 

            ‘Where do we go today?’ 

            ‘We’ll chance Portharlington.’ 

            We got there about an hour later. After Moate, through Tullamore, bypassed Edenderry and straight in, just on time to be two and half hours late. Early sales are key, they say. Crucial to get ahead, can do attitude. We were tired after the drive and figured twas time to get the lunch. Raided the local Centra for chips, rolls and diet coke and found a park somewhere in the middle of the town. There was grass and kids and trees and a bench with a bin beside it. She opened up her roll, said: ‘What is doing Bitcoin?’

            ‘What’s it doin?’ 

            ‘Yes, what is doin it?’

            ‘I don’t know. Goin up, or down….

            ‘It’s goin to crash. The chart says so.’

            ‘The chart?’

            ‘Technical Analysis. It will go to Zero. And then I will be billionaire.’

            ‘I’m not sure that’s how them things works….’

            Wide eyes, with: ‘Of course. You don’t know how to short cryptocurrency…?’

            ‘No. And I’m probably better off too.’

            ‘You buy the bet token to say it will dive and then…whoosh. It goes down, and my token goes up, and we buy Lamborghini. No more bullshit vans with no lipstick mirrors…’

            There was a lad smoking on a bench across the way, a smell like burnt grass or strong green tea. The wind swept light, like angels made of soft moisture, and the sun was sneaking down, a lazy descent into the bruised midlands twilight. And there wasn’t a sale in sight. No lucky phone calls, nobody shouting across the street begging to give us business. Not a hope of a populated text to management later with any other figure than zero and we weren’t in the Bitcoin Business. It wasn’t the get rich going broke sort of scheme we were on. The best thing to do was take another bite of the chicken roll and hope something might happen. A gravitational change in fate, a slip into a parallel reality where everything made perfect sense and we could hit a moment of calm clarity that didn’t involve work. Your man finished the cigarette and got up and walked off. The first hint of rain fell like a phantom arrow, bounced off my wrist, and waited for the army of drops to follow. Sure this was no good, poor working conditions, unsafe, rained off site.

            ‘I don’t want to get drowned wet like a dog like last time.’ She said. ‘I got flu. For this bullshit? No thank you, sir. Puh. I’m not silly slave for big money companies.’

            ‘Sure we’ll sit in the van for a while and if it gets too bad we’ll tip back to Athlone again and see is the weather any better there.’

            ‘Sounding good. I’ll show you rich methods while we wait. Big money, oh my god, the future is so exciting….whoosh….’


Horse dealing

Was on the way back from the school after dropping off Nairobi. Thinking about life, the past, the future, all that philosophical shite. 

         Then I heard – “Mick?!” But couldn’t see anyone. 

         Then again heard: “MICK!”   

         Next thing he landed around the corner. Wired, in a hurry, like a man that had important news from the front line of the war. Last I heard he was supposed to be dead. There was a big night out. A serious drink. No expense spared when it came to the cheap cans and counterfeit cigarettes. There was even talk of snackboxes for finger food but not sure if that ever materialised. Anyway, wasn’t he here now today? And full of his usual compliments. 

         ‘Are ya looking for a car?’ He asked.

         ‘No. Why?’

         ‘That car you have is an awful lumpa shite.’

         ‘Thanks. Why, what’s up?’

         ‘I have a car for ya.’

         ‘I wasn’t lookin…’

         ‘It’s a BMW. Sport. Red. 05. Six Speed…’


         ‘Diesel. Two Litre.’

         ‘Yeah, I know but…’

         ‘NCT til January next year. It’s worth €2300 but I’ll give it to you cheap. A bargain.’

         ‘It’s only a bargain if I wanted it in the first place.’

         ‘Sure why wouldn’t you want it?’

         ‘I have a car.’

         ‘You call that a car?’

         ‘It gets me around.’

         ‘I wouldn’t give you a tenner for that fuckin thing.’

         ‘I’m not selling it. Sorry to disappoint you.’

         ‘I’m not disappointed. It’s pure scrap. No offence.’

         ‘How much do you want for the Beamer?’


         ‘What? Drachmas?’

         ‘I told you I could get €2300 for it – but because it’s you…’

         ‘Where’d you get it?’

         ‘I have three of them. And a van.’

         ‘Why do you want three Beamers and a van?’

         ‘To sell them. I’m flat out. Will I bring the red one down to show ya?’

         ‘Have you pictures?’


         ‘A link? Is it on DoneDeal?’

         ‘Fuck DoneDeal. Do you want it?’ 

         ‘I had a Beamer before.’

         ‘I bet you loved it.’

         ‘I did. Until the engine blew up.’

         ‘What’s new with you? You’re always blowing up engines. Wasn’t the car’s fault.’


         He took out a pack of the infamous cheap smokes. €5 for twenty if you know the right lad across the road. Lit one up. He was thinner for sure but that was about it. Someone said something about steroids lately.

          He took a long pull, blew smoke into the innocent morning, said: ‘Do you want one of these?’

         ‘No, thanks. You’d probably charge me €1800.’

         ‘For these? No. They’re only worth a fiver. About the same price as your car.’

         ‘Jaysus. Keep the compliments coming. It’s a great start to the day.’

         ‘Call into me later and we’ll do a deal.’

         ‘I’ll probably be busy.’

         ‘It’ll be outside the shop here on the road.’

         ‘I’ll probably need time to think about it at least.’

         ‘It’ll have a professional clean. Pure valet. You won’t know yourself.’

         His phone rang. He looked at it, said: ‘I better go. That’s about a transit in Tipperary. See you later.’



Buy Mick Donnellan’s novels by clicking here.

Mick Donnellan awarded Westmeath Bursary Arts Grant for theatrical development of Play- “Nally”

Thanks to the Arts Office at Westmeath County Council I have been awarded funding to pursue my theatre project titled – Nally.

There will be a public reading of the script in the coming months and, based on audience reaction and feedback, I will be pursuing a full production.

You can read more about the Arts in the Midlands and supports offered at http://www.westmeathcoco.ie

You can also like their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/westmeath.arts

Once again, I would like to acknowledge the invaluable support of the Arts office and the many other Arts organisations in the Midlands such as Scripts Ireland, Midlands Radio Arts Show, Athlone Community Radio and AIT Athlone.

See you all in a full house soon,


*Want to check out Mick Donnellan’s Novels? Click here.