Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Players, please? Pardon me while I stagger briefly down le bon vieux boulevard des mémoires, as it were. Yes, Brother Barnabus back at Molloy College smoked those, to the a) detriment of his appetite and complexion (sallowish at best) and b) tune of dozens a day, thereby deepening and broadening the already-rich bronchial chest-music that began with the rising of the sun and lengthened steadily throughout the day until by eventide he was a walking chamber ensemble of scratchy wheezes and mucal percussion with piercing woodwind interludes, positively vying with the barking dogs next door for volume and projection of incessant sound—not that that stopped him from purveying Jesuitical learning, nor the zesty jests for which he was world-famous from Youghal to Skibbereen—hang on, I’ve got one on the tip of my tongue: “Lest Old Aquinas Be Forgot Cough Cough,” certainly his party favourite, and mine. Alas, poor Barnabus. The good news is that he developed a mad crush on a small West Indian cricketer and left the order in order to keep house for him. Rumour has it he’s kicked the Turf Accountants and is currently moving steadily upward in the world of London fashion; in fact, the Quant revival of the early teens was directly attributable to his influence, at least if you go by the society column in the Daily Quotidian, which I don’t.