The shitebox dealership goes live.

The beautiful broke down blue car was for sale on the side of the street. The listing on Donedeal mentioned this. Along with the fact that it had no working dashboard, no petrol or oil, and the engine was likely contaminated with Weedkiller due a misappropriated jerrycan. All up, the buyer would have to tow it away, unless they could get it started, Fatima style, and they needed to understand that there was very little chance of it ever functioning as a roadworthy vehicle ever again. Other than all this she was a beaut, a real gem, and the purchaser could expect a nice interior with electric heated seats that had never yet worked but they were welcome to try find the relevant button, fuse or lever that activated such luxury. It was, perhaps, suited to the more bourgeois end of the car enthusiast and for that reason we decided to list it for a bargain price of 500 Euro.  

The oul fella said: ‘You’ll be lucky if you don’t have to pay someone that just to take it out of the way….’ 

‘You wouldn’t know. Someone might want it for parts.’ 

‘Yeah, the guards’ll be delighted with the windscreen I suppose. Was it ever taxed?’ 



‘No, they wouldn’t touch it without the dashboard.’ 

‘Is that your phone ringing?’ 

It was. I answered and a fella said: ‘How much d’ya want for the Peugeot?’ 

There was noise in the background, like kids torturing each other, I said: ‘500.’ 

‘There isn’t a hope of that lad, I’ll give you 300?’ 


‘Tomorrow. I’m comin down from Sligo, I’ll give you a shout when I land…’ there was a loud crash in the back, like one child was after smashing a huge plate off another child’s head, so he said: ‘I have to go, g’luck.’ 

Sounded promising. 300 quid for a ball of shite on the side of the road. Then the phone went again. Another voice, elongated and nasal, slow and dragged, old days of dead Walkman batteries, playing tapes too slow. ‘What’ll you take for pewww….jo….?’ 

‘I just got an offer of 300….’ 

‘Ah, ya did not. I’ll give you 350 caaashhh first thing in the mornin thayyrree…’ 

‘Sound, sure gimme a shout when you’re around town.’ 

Hung up. All going well. Two prospects. Interested buyers. Potential customers. Warm leads. Heavy hitting cash whales. This could be the start of a real side hustle, big business, the shitebox dealership goes live.  

The next day. Nobody came, or rang, or arrived. Got a few texts offering shite money. The car looking more like useless blue rust and an expensive problem. All the passing dogs around the town were having a great time pissing on the wheels. Night came, like a bored cloud, covered everything with causal depression and friendly rain. The phone rang again. Wasn’t sure if I’d answer, could be anything, will ya swap it for a broke down JCB or some daft shite like that. The voice said: ‘How much d’ya want?’ 

Aimed high with: ‘I have two offers above 400.’ 

‘That’s crazy.’ 

‘Be hard to let it go for any less.’ 

‘I’ll give you 200 and I can be there tonight. I’m not far away at all. And that’ll be it gone out of your way and 200 cash in your hand.’ 

‘Did you read the ad?’ 

‘I did.’ 

‘So yo know the craic? It’s good for nothin.’ 

‘I do.’ 

‘You’re sure? Cos I don’t want phone calls tomorrow asking why it won’t start.’ 

‘That’s no problem, I’ll do a deal with ya and there’ll be no more from me. I have my own truck and everythin to take it away.’ 

‘Sound, how’s 10 O’clock?’ 

‘Suits me. I’ll meet you there. Bring the logbook and I’ll bring the money.’ 

Job done. The shitebox dealership lives on. 






The forms.


‘Hey, Mick. Did Danny get the forms?’

‘Which forms?’

‘The mandatory ones?’

‘Eh…I’ll ask him.’

I rang Danny and he said: ‘What forms?’

‘The mandatory ones?’

‘What the fuck does that mean?

‘I’ll get back to ya.’

Later, I asked: ‘Can you clarify “Mandatory”?’

‘They’re a requirement by the regulator.’

‘And what do they look like?’

‘The forms?’


‘They look like forms.’

‘Ok, I don’t think he got them.’

‘Why not?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Can you ask him?’

‘I did.’

‘And did he say?’

‘He said he never got them.’

‘That’s terrible. Why not?’

‘I don’t know. Is it possible they weren’t sent?’

‘No. Impossible. They’re mandatory. Can you ask him to check?’

I rang Danny, asked him to check. He said: ‘I don’t even know what the fuck I’m looking for.’

‘I’ll get back to ya.’

Later, I said: ‘No, he doesn’t have them.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Positive. He checked everywhere.’

‘That’s bizarre. They’re important forms. It’s also unacceptable.’

‘What is?’

‘Unacceptable that’s he’s not using them.’

‘But he never got them.’

‘He should have.’

‘And yet here we are.’

‘This could lead to a disciplinary.’

‘For who?’



‘Because he’s not following procedure.’

‘Which procedure is that?’

‘He’s not using the forms.’

‘The ones he never got?’



‘Maybe we could send them again?’

‘I don’t know. I think we need to talk to HR.’

‘About what?’

‘The forms.’

Later, with Danny, he said: ‘HR rang me.’

‘About what?’


‘What did you tell them?’

‘That I didn’t know what the fuck they were on about.’

‘And what they say?’

‘They’re bringing me up for disciplinary.’

‘Why, about the forms?’

‘No. Impolite language. “Unprofessional” they called it.’

‘When are they having you up?’

‘Said they’d send out a letter.’

Week later, Danny rang, said: ‘I got the forms.’


‘They came in the post this morning.’

‘Great. Belt away and start using them.’

Then the office rang, asked: ‘Where’s Danny?’

‘He’s working. He got the forms.’

‘He’s supposed to be here.’


‘Here. We’re at the disciplinary meeting.’

‘Oh, did you let him know it’s on?’

‘Yes. We posted him out the appointment.’

‘I don’t think he got it.’

‘How do you know?’

‘Cos he would have said.’

‘This is unacceptable. First the forms, and now this?’

‘He got the forms.’

‘That’s not the point.’

‘It’s not?’

‘No. We need to talk to HR.’

‘I thought we did that.’

‘Can you ask Danny to come in tomorrow, for a meeting?’

‘Ok, I’ll get back to ya.’

‘He really needs to control his language.’

I rang Danny, said: ‘They want you up for a meeting tomorrow.’


‘Bad language.’

‘Tell them to go fuck themselves.’

Later, the office asked: ‘What did Danny say?’

‘I don’t know, I couldn’t get through. I’ll try again later.’






El Nino Cover-1



El Niño by Mick Donnellan Now available on Kindle –