The Linnet's Wings Summer 2014 - Page 103

The second boy up was the outsider, the stranger. This time he told a story of a jailbreak. He held his audience, his wit kept them enthralled. They oohed and ahhhhd and clapped when the convicts got clear away. Johnny had watched for the murderer's reaction when he saw the boys dressed up as policemen but he gave nothing away. And to give him credit he could tell a story. But it was him okay: The murderer; though Johnny didn't know who he had murdered. Mick McGuire had given Johnny the heads-up earlier, he had phoned Fitzy, who had confirmed that it was the boy they were looking for. Mick said laughing that Fitzy had said: he wouldn't be there as a punter but they could expect visitors. The stranger sat down to great applause, and then with last of the beer tickets dispensed 'The Laughing Policemen' got up to even greater. They coloured the background so well that no one really noticed when two real ones came through the door and asked the stranger to go outside with them. At that stage everyone was on their feet singing along to: hahahahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahahahaha hahahahaha A few of them shouted 'well done' to the stranger as he was led out, his arms held securely by the real coppers. One woman called out: 'We reckon you'll win man.' That's what she said. And there was Fitz holding the door open and waving at Johnny who was shaking his head at him attemptiing to dismiss his acknowledgement. # Sure the end result was a done deal then. Before the last man — Johnny's brother-in-law — got up he'd won. The following Monday the front of the weekly paper printed a photo of the police taking the man out of the pub, the write-up suggested that he was a dangerous murderer. Jimmy Fitzsimons told Johnny afterwards that he'd been involved in a hit and run. But no one mentioned that. As shocking as it was, it was too tame for Mac's clientele. And with the Tuesday night sessions still going strong the rumour went out about the murderer who had entered the competition and told the story of his jail-break on stage. That cemented the 'liar' competition and it became an annual event. Christmas was good to Johnny that year and he showed-off a great tan when he got back from the vacation. It must be 30 years ago now since this event occurred, and his daughter is now running the old bar. Johnny's dead, he died in Spain, bought a bar out there when he retired and a couple of local ex pats took him out. They didn't want the competition. 'Twas a sad ending I suppose, but sure he was 79 when it happened, and the hoods in their 30's will never see the light of day again. They're secure behind bars in Alicante. # I wrote up this story for my kids, just to show them that there's always a way around disturbing situations, one can always find a handy way out with a bit of thought, a few friends and a good community. And then I'm heading down to Mac's I've entered this year's liar's competition, there's 2000 Euros, now,for the winner, times shure have changed, and shure if I win I plan to take the family to London for the