Last Friday I received a little packet in the mail from Harold Hark. Within was a cassette tape and a stained piece of paper with the following scrawled words:
There was Johnny McEldoo and McGee and me and a couple of two or three went on a spree one day. We had a bob or two, which we knew how to blew and the beer and whiskey flew and we all felt gay. We visited McCann's, MacLaman's, Humpty Dan's, we then went into Swan's, our stomachs for to pack. We ordered out a feed which indeed we did need and we finished it with speed but we still felt slack.
Johnny McEldoo turned red, white and blue as a plate of Irish stew he soon put out of sight. He shouted out "encore" with a roar for some more that he'd never felt before such a keen appetite. He ordered eggs and ham, bread and jam, what a cram, but him we couldn't tram, though we tried our level best. For everything we brought, cold or hot, mattered not, it went down him like a shot and he still stood the test.
He swallowed tripe and lard by the yard, we got scared. We thought it would go hard when the waiter brought the bill. We told him to give o'er, but he swore he could lower twice as much again and more before he had his fill. He nearly sucked a trough full of broth; says McGrath: "He'll devour the tablecloth if you don't hold him in." When the waiter brought the charge, McEldoo felt so large he began to scold and barge and his blood went on fire.
He began to curse and swear, tear his hair in despair, and to finish the affair called the shop man a liar. The shop man, he drew out and no doubt, he did clout, McEldoo he kicked about like an old football. He tattered all his clothes, broke his nose, I suppose he would have killed him with a few blows in no time at all. McEldoo began to howl and to growl, by my soul, he threw an empty bowl at the shop keepers head. It struck poor Mickey Flynn, peeled the skin from his chin, and the ructions did begin and we all fought and bled. The peelers did arrive, man alive, four or five, at us they made a dive for us all to march away. We paid for all the meat that we ate, stood a treat, and went home to ruminate on the spree that day.
The cassette tape was labeled "My vocal rendition". I listened intently. But how suss can suss be? Could this really be the voice of Hark? If so, he has certainly missed his calling. However, a little investigation on the internet showed that Hark must have been playing the harp on the way back to his Dublin hotel room where, plootered to the eyeballs, he contrived this flagrant jiggery-pokery. For the above words are the text to a famous Irish ditty, and the singer is not Hark but Tommy Makem.
Next thing you know, he'll be trying to con us into believing he's Sinead O'Connor singing songs of the Irish rebellion. Seems John Howard has truly tipped him "o'er".
P.S. In a postscript Hark claims to be heading for the south of France to root for truffles. Stay tuned.