She stood beside the pedestrian crossing at Joy’s Corner, laden down with bulging bags of shopping, waiting for the traffic to slow down
“Are you going across, missus?” I asked, taking her by the elbow and helping her slowly over as the cars stopped to allow us through. She still clung on to the shopping.
“There you are, missus.” I said, depositing her safely on the other side.
“Thank you, young man,” she replied. “but less of the ‘missus’. Its ‘miss’ you should be calling me, for I have never met the man that could tie me down yet.”
“You should read Fifty Shades Of Grey” I murmured, but she ignored the jibe.
“Aren’t you the lad that do be doing the bit of writing?” she asked, looking up at me.
“I do put pen to paper occasionally.” I admitted modestly. (There are those who would claim that I have much to be modest about.)
“I have a brother in New York that do read your stories every week.” she said. “Paddy Joe thinks you are great craic but of course the poor old devil was never really right in the head.”
“What part of New York is he in?” I asked.
“The Bronx.” she answered. “He is there with the last forty years and not a bother on him. Do you think you could give him a mention in your next bit of writing?” she continued. “He’d be delighted with that.”
“Of course I can,” I took out a biro that I always carry with me in the off-chance that someone might ask for my autograph. “Now, what is his name?”
“Paddy Joe.” she replied.
“Paddy Joe what?” I persisted.
“Paddy Joe.” she said again. “How many Paddy Joes do you think there are in The Bronx?”
“Quite a few, I imagine.”
“Well, just put down Paddy Joe. We don’t want to give out too many details for fear that Trump might also be reading your stories and gets it in to his thick head to send poor Paddy home. That fella has it in for the Irish – so he has. Him and his fecking wall, and we trying to abolish the border over here!”
“I’ll see what I can do.” I promised.
“Good man.” she said. And with that, she hoisted her shopping bags and disappeared down Church Street.
So, Paddy Joe in The Bronx, whoever you are, (and you know who you are) your sister in Abbeyfeale says hello.
And if American immigration officials should suddenly begin deporting every Paddy Joe in The Bronx, then New York will come to a standstill – and we will get the blame!
All of this power could go to a fellow’s head – so it could. Perhaps we should start tweeting.