The Evolution of Cigarette Warnings

The Evolution of Cigarette Warnings:



Vast Umbrellas and: ‘The Moisture’


Vast Umbrellas and: ‘The Moisture’


Connor McDonough-Flynn

It was a rainy day in Foggy Dublin Town, even when wet, the cities beauty and imagination knows no bounds.

Umbrellas were out and about in full force, seemingly growing larger and larger with each passing droplet of rain. Portable fabricated brolly houses on display for all to see. Dry ceilinged havens, as drip drops from the sky trickled down. Creating the excuse to use that, which was purchased. Hoping, praying, pleading for rain, to constitute a reason to justify the gigantic umbrella obtained. Material expenses exchanged, to shield one, from the immense threats of misty moisture.

I’m being facetious to a rather tactless, unwieldy level, though the rain was doing exactly as stated, trickling, down. Trickling! No more, no less, trickling. Not even a dribble or a leak, a Trickle! We’re talking an itsy-bitsy streamlet here people… but I digress.

I bring up the umbrellas, and more importantly the size of the umbrellas, for I don’t understand why a person would need or desire these gargantuan constructions. For more often than not, they’re only canvassing themselves, singularly, from the rain:The Moisture’.

The incredible size of these expansive umbrellas, carry with them the ability to shelter entire small communities from: The Moisture, yet sadly, they’re only used to shelter one – two at most.

It seems that the abilities of the broad umbrellas have not been considered at all. Rather no consideration has been taken on the umbrellas behalf. The poor brolly hasn’t been allowed a say in the matter whatsoever. Leaving the monumental umbrella feeling underappreciated, misrepresented, and misused. Deep down I feel that these umbrellas really want to be protecting the greater good in the colossal numbers that it’s size affords, but the umbrellas cries are not heard. The brolly is caught, held captive, by the singular invested carrier, providing safety for only one – two at most.

Not to mention the dangers created by the stupendous umbrellas to passers bys eyes. The traffic and congestion created, as well as the visibility obstructions presented to the hustling and bustling commuters. The travelers, who’ve chosen to brave: The Moisture, with no security, or have managed to look within their reasonable selves and come to the conclusion that an umbrella aptly sized for one would far suffice, and do the job to properly preserve themselves from: The Dreaded Moisture.

Now I’m not meaning to argue the use of umbrellas, or meaning to be judgmental towards those who choose to utilize an umbrella to safeguard them selves from the rain: The Moisture.

I am curiously poking fun at those who chose to elaborately guard themselves with these vast structures of moisture defense. Broadcasting their general disregard for the people around, and thinking at no point of the safety or comfort for the surrounding hustling and bustling commuters. Instead brandishing these massive moisture evasion mechanisms with no regard at all. Putting all neighboring them at a greater danger and discomfort merely on account of their own dryness.

I suppose I am asking those who wield these humongous canopies of wetness prevention, to perhaps, consider how their actions and decisions impact those around them. Maybe even going as far as to accentuate their undoubtedly titanic character with a more considerate, practical, reasonably sized brolly.

I know: The Moisture, can be quite treacherous and distressing; dangerous even – at times depressingly downright disheartening. But fret not, remain dry, and hold on to the hope that perhaps the floodgates of: The Dreaded Moisture, will one day stop, cease, and reach a more publicly spirited understanding of the discomfort IT: The Moisture, creates.

Perhaps, even lead to a passing chat in a side street nook – an opening – escaping: The Dreaded Moisture, and unexpectedly accompanying an unknown passer by with an injured eye. Where the hazards of the monstrous umbrellas can be discussed, and the sanctity of vision shall be harbored and protected from the menacing probes and prongs of an outstretched brolly in full mushroom.

Unhinged Comedy Story: 29th November 2015

Unhinged Comedy Story: 29th November 2015


Was a mentally mad evening at Unhinged Comedy Club in the 29th of November 2015. With the last gig of November 2015 done, my face’s still laughing over what was a chaotically comedic night.

The crowd was a mixed bag of mental as usual. We’d people in from China, England, America, Scotland, and Ireland – the audience stretched nearly the entire globe – from all corners.

The crowd was smaller in numbers, with the weather cold and howling, but mad in the mental sense. The energy was flowing from the first “Hello” and the audience was there the whole way. Right to the end the laughs were flying around the shop… there were a few audience members flying as well.

I met Dez from Scotland on the street while I was promoting and he held true to the Scottish Ways by immediately telling me he was funnier than anybody who’d be on stage, and I threw it back at him, he threw it back at me, and then, he decided to go to the show. The hard sell that is comedy club promoting. If one cannot be funny on the spot, audience members will lose faith and go towards whatever vacant seat there is in the closest establishment serving drink.

I knew Dez was going to be an engaging audience member, and he played the role to a T.

To the right of the stage was a couple over form Leicester, who had a fondness for “Pork Pot Pies”. This, the “Pork Pot Pie”, is apparently what Leicester is known for, and I held that through line throughout the night. The male half of the Leicester relationship was a “Transport Programmer”, which sounded like a dry enough job, but when he started telling me how he sends buses on the wrong routes and directions (after I prompted him) the job grew in interest and received a well of laughter – all based on the image of a chaotic bus system that had gone off the rails and left all the commuters in the wrong place.

Dez was chirping up the entire night. He was also buying the comedians drinks. So it was a tough call to go after him, for he was sound, but he was also chirpy, so the balance had to be established.

Nicole form China, got a full dose of Irish Ways, as I went off on a tangent about how she, and her boyfriend (from Kilcock) of two-weeks would soon be having a endless amounts of kids, and marriage was only around the corner: “so enjoy your freedom while you have it.” Both Nicole and her Kilcock boyfriend took the jokes in stride, and as the night went on, the entire audience was introduced to the Chinese dancing ways that are revealed to the public after 2-pints of porter.

There were two local girls in the back corner, Kelly and Becka, and they were laughing at the wind in the air. Jokes were unnecessary for the two-girls from Ringsend, they were in to have the craic and the craic was dancing around the room all night.

There was an older couple in from Armagh, and they both were in flying form from start to finish. The rising joke was about the older woman being an ex-guard, and how her husband still likes to be handcuffed “to this day”. He was all smiles when the subject was presented, and his wife laughed in stride throughout.

Dez kept going throughout the night. He wasn’t taking away form the show, he was bringing in new forms of energy. The couple from Bournemouth sitting next to him were getting 2 shows. The one being presented on stage and the one being whispered by Dez. At 2-different stages of the night Dez decided to pretend to fall through the door and fall down the stairs, and both times the audience fell for his slapstick stick. Though he did finish the night with a bump on his head, he’d managed to become part of the show, which was his intention from the get go.

The comedians performing all hit flying form, and Ray The Barman was causing his usual ruckus throughout the night. He kept his streak of threatening my life alive once again, and Jim Elliott, as well, almost came under Ray’s Knife (you have to see it to believe it).

Ryan Cullen opened the show up with his darkly sarcastic ways. Ruth Hunter brought the crowd in with her philosophically black comedy, both comedians had the audience roaring with the twists and turns presented.

Padraig Williams kicked off the second half, and Nicole was straight out of the gate with a joke when Padraig got on stage, before he’d said a word she was having a laugh and nobody had a clue what she said, but the entire room was laughing at the energies floating about in the air.

Oisin Hanlon brought Galway to Dublin, telling his whimsically mad stories about the world that he sees, and the unfortunate realities he despises about students.

The audience was firing on all cylinders when the headliner Jim Elliott hit the stage. He took his time, and churned the mental atmosphere in the room. He brought Dez in and all involved, the laughs were flying. Half-way through Dez fell through the door once again, head first, tumbling down the stairs. Jim dealt with the performance like a proper professional, people were bursting, and the night was brought to a strong finish.

I’ve been a comedian and have run clubs for a good long while and this was one of the funniest, mental nights I’ve had the pleasure to be apart of. The audience and the comedians all hit proper form, and comedy was allowed to dance on what was a wild night in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn. All the space cadets, crazies and pseudo-comedians are all welcome. I look forward to seeing you in the audience where we can share a mad laugh together.

Unhinged Comedy Club runs every Wednesday and Sunday in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn. Doors are at 9 o’clock. Come in, support live comedy, and watch laughter take flight on what is always an Unhinged night of comedy.


Career Counselor


Career Counselor


Connor McDonough-Flynn

I was sitting in the chair at 10:38am on the nose. I didn’t want to be late. Such an action would be disrespectful, unprofessional even.

The CV’s that I’d printed up especially for the meeting were placed on the table. One artistic. One professional. They’d cost me €2.60. I’d even gone out of my way and changed my daily walking route around to print them.

The printer required resided in an Internet café, where angry Asian lads sat behind massive computer screens playing bohemian rhapsody on their keyboards – staring through imaginary scopes looking for the virtual kill. Not much for conversation these lads, I thought.

When the button was pushed and my Internet privileges allowed, I re-worked the CV’s and tightened them up. Not to say they weren’t presentable before, but I read them through, worked out any kinks, brought a bit of a jig to their step. Was going to pay a euro for an hour anyway, figured I’d use a bit of the time productively and get my money’s worth. Would be disrespectful to not turn up with an edited, reworked, jazzed-up CV for the meeting and future career prospectus.

I was meeting the career counselor at 10:45 in the cafeteria of the government financed college building. Suspecting that this could be the meeting I’ve been waiting for, the meeting where I’d realize my path in life and walk merrily towards the light – fearlessly abhorrent to where or what I was doing beforehand – sprinting forwards to a state of perpetual bliss where monetary petals would rain down upon my barren pockets.

The night before I’d set the alarm clock for 8:00am, 8:30am, 9:00am and 9:30am, to make sure that I didn’t sleep too late. Being late would be disrespectful. Unprofessional even.

The 8:00am alarm got me up, the 8:30am out of bed. My plan was running smoothly. I dusted the morning dew away, made some coffee and wrote for a bit. Read for a bit while taking a shit. I then took a shower, got dressed, did some push-ups, and finished the coffee while listening to some music and once again, writing. The morning was going swimmingly.

I headed out the door leaving myself 45-minutes, knowing, it only took me only 15-minutes to complete the walk. But I didn’t want to be late, that would be disrespectful. Unprofessional even.

I walked the walk I walked 5-days a week, only today there was an extra stop. Normally upon arrival I’d go straight into the classroom and sign the paper to prove my attendance. This action was crucial, not doing so would result in the educational payments that I was receiving to cease post haste. Today, I didn’t go to the classroom to sign on time at all. Instead I went straight to the cafeteria to meet the career counselor about my career. I’d bigger aspirations on my plate. Career aspirations to be exactly precise.

The career counselor meeting: my life changing, future event, that causes the stars to align in a beautiful symphony of structure and solitude. The type of shit that dreams are made of, I thought.

Upon my early arrival to the college cafeteria I looked around and noticed the place was empty, all the chairs free, the vending machine buzzing away. Proper meeting setting, the type of setting that one envisions for a life changing moment with a career counselor. Her name was (and by all accounts remains to be) Helga.

I chose a round table, with five chairs lining the outside; the table had a predestined ability to seat five people comfortably. Perfect. Just in case Helga brought any of her esteemed colleagues along with her to handle this decaying young minds future conquests. Perhaps I could become a case study? One could only hope, I thought.

With my jacket tossed over the back of a chair I sat down and got my CV’s out and placed them on the table, all professional like – taking away any possibility of coming across disrespectful. Professionalism at its finest. With a book in hand I looked at my phone for the time, 10:38am. I was early. Proper style, I said to myself as I began to read.

The book I was reading wasn’t great, hadn’t been great, but I wanted to finish it so I… didn’t have to read it any more. We’ve all been in that scenario. Reading a book that you thought would inspire but it turns out that your intuition was correct from page one and the book’s simply a piece of faeces.

The author had written good books previously, some even turned into movies, so I gave it a go and as I got closer to the end I really wondered how in the hell this book got all these rave reviews, because it was an absolute pile of dog shite. Nobody should pick up this book, I thought. The acid on the shit alone would incinerate any surface that it came into contact with. Causing the shit to smolder deep into the earth’s crust, creating a geyser of oily shit to erupt from the earth’s core. Leading to the fire brigade having to be called and the national guard being brought in to throw explosives into the inflamed surge of shit spewing out a fire ball of excrement – for the sole purpose of putting out the chaotically defecating mess that was bringing danger to the lives of everyone around – on account of the toxic capabilities that the shit could contain when introduced to explosive elements. “Apologies, that ran on a bit, but you know the score. We’ve all been there. Here we go…”

Reading away I looked at the phone again, 11:00am. Not to worry, it’s a Tuesday, probably running a bit late. Looking around, the room was still empty, not a sinner. A lady had come in a while back to get a snack from the vending machine, which rounded off all the action in the area. The vending machine was getting more face time then I was. The area still remained a quintessential setting for a career-counseling meeting, me still sitting at the table with the capability of seating five comfortably, if necessary.

As the book lagged on, the end in sight, two gentlemen walked into the cafeteria and sat at a table wielding two chairs. Perhaps another career counselor meeting? I thought. They both had laptops; I had no laptops, only CV’s, maybe I should’ve brought my laptop? I thought. It’ll be grand a voice inside my head reassured me, It’ll be grand.

Kept reading. Looked at the phone, 11:25am. No big deal, I’m still a few pages away from finishing this book I said to myself.

Before finishing the book I decided I’d go out and have a smoke and call the career counselor Helga to see if she was still coming. I collected my CV’s, pushed in my chair and headed out the gap with a rollie rolled. I gave her a shout when I’d passed through the gap and stood, standing, outside. Voice mail. Ah. I Left a message, finished the smoke and went back inside to the table with the five chairs. I opened my book once again and read on as the setting slowly changed. This time I left the CV’s in my bag.

The cafeteria began to open up and come to life, there were people walking around to and fro too and fro. Places to go, someone to see, the vending machine still buzzing away. The book’s end was even closer when I looked at my phone again, 12:05pm. Helga, the career counselor, was over an hour late. She’d forgotten my career.

The pages of the book dragged on, as the hustle and bustle in the background continued; people getting coffee, no real small chat, just clippity-cloppity. My phone read 12:25pm, it was time to go, I’d had enough. My Career remained in limbo, my mind left racing like a crank addicted butterfly.

I called the career counselor once again, this time she answered: “Don’t worry about it, thanks a million.” I said when her excuses began, and I hung up the phone. Had taken me two weeks to book that appointment.

Gutted, I finished off the book, the last sentence reading: “Raising my hand just a tiny bit higher, so someone might finally look and see me.” And I thought, with my hands down, what a fitting end to a shitty story.

“Lonely Chair” photo by:

Unhinged Comedy Story: 8th November 2015


Was an electrically eclectic evening at Unhinged Comedy Club in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn on the 8th of November 2015.
The crowd was from all over and through the woods. We’d English, Irish, French, Chinese, Americans, Canadians – the place was packed with different cultures, views and temperaments.
From 9pm on the club was chalk-full of audience members, and the buzz was palpable throughout and  laugher was eagerly rearing to take flight on the night.
Aidan Greene started the night off with a sound stutter-step getting the audience roaring right off the bat. The Englishman Chris Williams followed with some interesting insights into married life. Marriage was a through-line throughout the night, as there was an abundance of couples – some young, some old – and the space between the loving couples highlighted how long they’d been together. The 4-month couple was right on top of each other, interlocked. While the couple married 25-years sat at opposite ends of the room. Love, is in the air in between.
The second half kicked off with a bang with Padraig Williams talking about different colours in the gangland that is the South Bronx. One must be careful which colours one chooses in certain areas to ensure bodily harm is not introduced on account of the wrong colour.
Sean Nolan hit the stage with his anti-climactic ways and brought the audience in with his sharp wit, tight jokes, and biting turns of phrase.
Mustafa Sead then brought the audience into an Islamic pun-undrum and had the audience laughing in places where they most likely hadn’t before.
Emma Doran rocked the show in the end. Bringing her darkly sarcastic wit and matter of fact delivery to the stage, Emma hit the chords throughout and brought a proper end to what was a fantastic night of comedy.
Unhinged Comedy Club runs every Wednesday and Sunday in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn. Doors are at 21:00. Every night there’s a different line-up of seasoned comedians and up and comers. It’s a show not to be missed.


Unhinged Comedy Story: 4th November 2015


            The Web Summit crowd were in last night at Unhinged Comedy, and they were laughing away so they were – no applications or robots necessary.

The crowd was an eclectic mix of all over, which speaks to the great job the Web Summit does in getting people from the far reaches of the planet to Ireland.

The start was a feeling out session, me bouncing off the audience, the audience finding their own groove and comforts, and then, once a rhythm was established the night floated in a buoyantly laughable fashion.

The styles of the comedians on the night were vastly different. We had a lad from Dundalk talking about “poo” and bog-roll discrepancies. An OCD Murderer who spoke about his deep seeded fear of his wife and intercourse. A new comic talking about his will and how he’d like to see and leave the world when he dies. A local Dubliner talking about sexual matters regarding the acting and relationship world. A Lithuanian giant talking about door-to-door sales. And then a hard-core New Yorker speaking about texts and matters of the heart. The night was a mixed bag of amusement, and the audience ate the jokes up, and returned amplified affable laughter.

The English couple in the front row came up to me during the second break speaking of their surprise that the 800-years of English oppression hadn’t been joked about to that point, so I made it a point to rip into the English a bit, on request of, the English.

There was a lad from Portugal and another from France who were well up for the banter throughout, and an Argentinean woman who was laughing at the oxygen in the air. She was having a great time for herself so she was.

The night filled up nicely, and there was a steady stream of new audience members making their way into the show all evening. New faces, new places, and laugher flying around the shop. It was another successful night at Unhinged Comedy Club in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn. Another night where comedy, laughter and communication won – bringing people of different minds, backgrounds and dimensions together for 2-hours to laugh it out and enjoy themselves.

Unhinged Comedy Club runs every Wednesday and Sunday in The Ha’penny Bridge Inn. Doors are at 21:00. Jokes are provided each night. Get in and enjoy a night of Unhinged laughter ladies and gentleman. You’d be mad not to. All the best.


Peek-A-Boo Pussy


Peek-A-Boo Pussy


Connor McDonough-Flynn

            Walter loved vagina. He loved it. He loved eating pussy. Eating pussy was his favorite activity. Satisfying a woman with his mouth was the highest form of pleasure for Walter, and he was excellent at getting females there with his tongue, lips, mouth, fingers, nose and saliva. Oh yes, saliva.

He’d had numerous hands on experiences, he’d researched intently, read articles, studied diagrams; Walter was a self-proclaimed pussy professional. He’d come across some sordid insights along the way, silly ones to – the strangest coming from an article written by a woman in her twenties describing how she liked men to talk to her pussy, and more precisely, to baby talk her pussy. Baby talking is what got her feminine engine revving to hair-raising levels, leaving her elatedly howling to the starry skies.

Baby talking a pussy heightened Walter’s curiosity immediately. Instantaneously captivated. He was intrigued as to how far he could go with baby talking a pussy. At that stage of his life he’d been with his mystical woman for a little over a year, and she loved to get her pussy eaten (what women doesn’t?), and Walter would please her honeypot every day with absolute delight.

That night, when Walter and his beautiful lady came home, Walter was ready to rock with his baby talk. Walter told her that he wanted to taste her. She excitedly got onto the bed, and he slipped her pants and panties down. Her vagina was compressed and scrunched inwards on account of her tight pants and panties. Walter slid his tongue over her pussy, loosening the muscles, introducing moisture, saliva – bringing the hidden pleasures behind her picturesque folds of skin to life. She began to groan with excitement. Her lips opening. She loved when Walter made a meal of her pussy, she came in multiples each and every time.

Walter’s tongue was in rhythm, tickling and moistening her cliterous, labia and vulva. He knew all her spots. His lady was grabbing the back of his head, sensually taking hold of his hair, pushing his head and tongue deeper into her. Her panting, sighs and pleads towards the sky were reverberating around the walls of the room, creating a symphony of bliss in Walter’s ears. She tasted of delicious sweet sweat – her natural body odors and smells – her lush love box. Her hips were gyrating, her hands still navigating around Walter’s head, she was in another dimension, an alternate reality of reflexive ecstasy, she implored him not to stop.

“Don’t stop baby, don’t stop, please don’t stop. Oh…”

Walter listened to her and continued on. His tongue circling her cliterous like a soft rabbit’s foot. Gently lashing at her orgasmic spot like a professor of climactic proportion.

“Baby. Don’t stop, don’t stop, please don’t stop. Oh… Oh…”

Walter didn’t stop, he continued on, his fingers now gliding in and out of her dripping vagina. Her juices flowing freely, uninhibited, her passionate sounds echoing through his ear drums.

“Don’t stop, baby don’t stop, please don’t stop. Oh… Oh… Oh…

He passionately continued on, he could feel her getting close. Fervently. He looked up to see her eyes closed, her head cocked back, her pelvis pulsating, her right hand gliding through the hairs on her scalp, her left hand still pushing Walter on, guiding him towards her holy land. He, still joyously journeying around her most intimate of environments.

Baby. Don’t stop, don’t stop, baby please don’t stop…”

Walter kept going, his tongue was now lapping the inside of her pussy, looking to find the holy grail; her G-spot. She was convulsing with enticement, he felt her juices boiling, her body opening up, her mind erasing. Her entire being becoming one in the moment before climax. Now’s the time, Walter thought.

“Don’t stop baby, don’t stop, baby please don’t stop. Oh… Oh… OhOh… I’m…

Who’s that silly pussy? You want to cum don’t you? Yes you do. Who’s a silly little pussy. Look at you all wet, turned on and juicy…


She grabbed a hold of his hair, only now in a fist.

“I’m baby-talking your pussy.”


“Yeah. Peek-A-Boo Pussy?

Her hands now tugged his head up and his hair was at it’s wits end, there was a large group of strands being separated from his scalp.


Walter looked into the eyes of his infuriated woman, wondering what he’d done wrong? He was the self-proclaimed pussy eating master and he was only intending to add to his arsenal. The magazine, the woman, the article, it’d said that baby talk was a sure thing. He’d even introduced the Peek-A-Boo, a new move that he could patent, the Peek-A-Boo Pussy move. “Perhaps magazines don’t contain ALL the answers?” Walter thought to himself in the moment. “There shall have to be further research done…”

Walter saw the carnal rage in his loving ladies eyes, she’d ripped out a chunk of his hair and slapped him across his head. She’d been seconds away from an orgasm that would’ve shaken the nature of humanity and he’d stopped to play peek-a-boo with her pussy.

He felt in the moment that time was, in fact, of the essence. This was no time for laughter. He looked dead into his vibrant woman’s eyes and dove his face back into her holy land, and ate, and licked – introducing fingers from all angles. She erupted with delight, tearing further chunks out of his head. And as she lay, head and neck extended back, both her hands on the back of his head, her legs spread akimbo, her eyes closed, her vagina glistening with saliva, fluid and flowing moisture. Walter looked up at her and looked back between her legs, at her soundly satisfied pussy and said:

Now there’s a happy pussy, what a good pussy, aren’t you the happiest little pussy in the whole-wide-world, Yes you are. Peek-A-Boo Pussy. Peek-A-Boo…

Walter’s little vixen said nothing, there was no hair pulling, no screaming, she just lay there gorgeously panting in the moment, harmoniously satisfied. And Walter learned in that moment, in that moment of sheer sensuality and intimacy, what the baby talk and peek-a-boo pussy was all about: Timing.


“Hear No, See No, Meow No Evil (Grey Cat)” Picture by:

Forms, Desks and Disdain


Forms, Desks and Disdain


Connor McDonough-Flynn

            Listening to Thelonious Monk between my four – rented – magnolia walls. Taking it easy before heading to a comedy club. Same jazz: having a can, smoking and writing – a “loser” at his own devices.

Had a busy day; was all over the shop. Went to the HSE office on Matron Street. The task: get a form stamped and signed for an eye exam. My medical carded broke ass had lost a contact lens. I’d become a half blind monetary midget.

Found the HSE office after walking up and right and all around. Wandering down side streets. Roaming through archways. Squinting to make out street signs.

Called into City Hall hoping it was the spot… it wasn’t. The security guard kindly directed me in the right direction. After walking into the camouflaged glass door I managed to exit the building.

Back on the street, a blindfolded bull, cautiously stampeding on a foreign terrain. Departmentalizing. Eventually locating the office. Door opened. Task initiated. Upon arrival a man sitting at the helm of his desk greeted me. Steadfast. His Magnum P.I. mustache groomed to perfection.

“Is this the HSE office?” I asked.

Yes” he said.

“Nice one. How’s the day going for ya?”


I reached into my bag to get the form, explaining to him what my visit was regarding in proper, sound out, Galway vernacular. Hoping a bit of charm might ease the complexities of the lumbering form filling process. Perceived ignorance is a great weapon when you know your adversaries’ programmed ‘Culchie’ judgments.

“How ya, I’m calling in to get this form sorted for an eye exam…” I said as I handed over the form. The man’s skewering metallic eyes were fixed on me, and with a half glance I could see the hairs on his arm spike. “You need to Fill It Out” he said and handed the form back to me, sneering. I was in a smiley mood and laughed my mistake off. The desk man didn’t. Feeling his victorious glare, I walked away, seated myself and began filling out the form.

An older couple sat… waiting, with a baby. Was a cute little fecker. The Mother…? Grandmother…? Kidnapper…? The Lady accompanying the baby was tickling the infant’s ear and the little rascal loved it. Grandparents. Must be…

What I believed to be the husband and supposed grandfather sat next to me, positioned directly to my right, his legs crossed tightly in a disdain-riddled manner. Disdain guy, exhausted by his frustration, a frustration I imagined he took in pill form – enabling his animosity and agitation to pulsate; a labyrinth of loathing.

Demurely adhering across from me were the trammed newborn and his maternal minder. Due northeast. Innocently tempered. Through the window life’s solar beacon exhaling rays of hope. Adorning the windowsill sat an empty coffee cup, perched. Unstirred. Curdling. Overlooking all the day’s events. United with the sun, a shadowy-looming UFO hovered on the checkered floor.

A vindictive ascendancy asphyxiates offices such as the HSE. A gloomy, hung-over tobacco plant: sickly and cackling – clandestine wheels churning away. People’s pains pouring out; cramps aching whilst tackling their duties. Knowing beforehand that dispute and agitation would encompass the visit. There’s no joy in people’s encounters any more, an art form deemed unnecessary. Replaced by anger. Depression. People are fed up! Looking at one another going ‘What the f$%k…! Did you do this…?’

The blame can be passed. Convolution. Misinformation… Lacking… The soul and will in people being tested around every corner. Struggling away, people walk on. Looking at tomorrow as a grace… less challenge… serenity!

The reclined docile tot stared at me, fingers planted in his mouth, drool flowing downwards – I felt obliged to make funny faces – the virtuous scamp was laughing away. I made sure not to go too far. Didn’t want gramps to get the wrong idea. Can’t make babies laugh for too long these days. They get attached. Entertainment becomes expected, then commitment once comforts been established. Jester position filled. And when the entertainment stops, sad faces ensue. Tears. Crying. The same goes for adults. In today’s ‘what can you do for me’ society, amusement must be around every corner, every moment, every second; stimulation, clicks, texts and downloads. An impersonal conundrum, a media frenzy; where wasting time is the only deadly sin.

The husband was muttering to himself when he lurched up and went over to Desk Man’s lair and growled at him to make a phone call on his behalf. The Medical Card that Disdain Guy desired to use was, in fact; expired. Had been so for over a year. Conspiring forces once again, governing, against him.

Disdain Guy wanted ‘Answers!’ and Desk Man was the elected facilitator, the Man for the job. His duty: sort out the expired medical card. Allowing business to continue as planned. Disdain Guy’s plan ‘must be completed’. The expiration of Disdain Guy’s card was obviously not his fault. His own lack of motivation to do what he needed to do made him right. Case closed. Shame trumps innocence.

I finished filling out the form and walked up to the desk humming “It Ain’t Me Babe”. Oh, no, no… Desk Man was still on the phone. Fighting courageously for his perplexed compatriot. I waited. Eased. Relaxed. Staring out the window, watching people go by. Shoulders calm. Rhythmically breathing. Perusing the pamphlets on the pamphlet table.

The pamphlet people smiling away, proper lighting, smartly dressed, would be class to be a leaflet model. All they have to do is smile and hold papers. Wear a little make up; piece of piss… Look at the camera… Silly mannequin… I bet they never miss a meal. Make a good wage, enough for a few pints any way. I’d be a kick ass pamphlet model! I can hold papers, minus the make up. I’d say I’d survive a week before I paper cut myself to death with the ‘You Can Do It’ flyer. I can do it all right! I can also propel myself off this brightly lit building of banality, smart clothes and all…

A lady behind the fortress was wearing a red dress, an ominous, large figure facing the wall – behind Desk Man. She had short black hair and glasses; passively sitting, whilst secretarially shuffling papers around her morose imprisoned desk. The sun was shining, yet no light in her corner. No sunlight; only a tiny, faint, radiating desk lamp; her arms wobbling with weariness.

Desk Man got all the rays, the shining knight. Proudly greeting people with a look of abomination. The swagger of a guy that would have his daughter’s 16th birthday party at his house for the sole purpose of ogling her friends. Completely engulfed, lost in his own hatred. An internal battle waging inside; a regimented, ceaseless strife to keep afloat in the havoc-laden waters:

They don’t know how F€#%ING important I Am! I’m going to prove to EVERYONE who comes into ‘MY OFFICE’ with their F€#%ING forms, just how important! I! AM!

He’s The Savior. DESK MAN! Wielding a pen and a stamp. Minimal typing abilities… He’s the man! Desk Man! His trusty sidekick: Weary Wilma with floral patterns garnishing her red dress. Sparkling in the eye of the dim dark light.

Disdain Guy was eventually handed the phone, the set up complete. Hook, lout and sucker. Geniuses in their own right.

Seeing my opportunity I approached the desk and handed over my form. “How’s the day going for ya?” I asked again. Silence… no response. No hint of one either. He looked at my form as if I’d just handed him the 10-commandments. Reminding him of the time he tried to covet thy neighbor’s wife. Only to be rejected and shunned. Stricken with communal embarrassment. His listless lust constantly awakening memories of rejections past, as they incessantly washed over his feeble psyche, like a self-destructive horror film that he’d directed for too long. The torment inside continued to knock on the doors that he’d not ever been able to open. He’d not lived the life he’d foreseen for himself, and his eyes spoke of the pains that his despondent shoulders highlighted.

Perhaps these insights were a bit harsh I’d thought to myself. He could’ve just been having a bad day, but there was no wave of knowledge at the time. All attempts to strike up a conversation had been thwarted by an ego that had succumbed to its stamped importance. Genuine interaction had become futile. Civility lost amongst the chaos of the round and round.

Desk Man looked at the form, gently placed it on his desk, and flopped both hands down on the piece of paper, palms down; smirking: “I Will… DO this in a FEW minutes OK…” “Sound out, no bother” I said. Making sure to leave no hint of agitation or annoyance. Disdain Guy was already flooding the atmosphere.

Desk Man got up, smirk intact, and walked around the corner. There he stood, looking at the wall. I could see him the whole time. Due north, straight ahead, back turned, his graying hair bristling against the collar of his purple polo shirt. Just a man; standing in a corner, staring at a wall.

After about five minutes he turned around and walked back. He sat down on his throne. Looked at the form, lying naked on his desk of nothingness. DESK MAN! Stamped the form and signed the form; which hadn’t moved. It happened so fast I almost missed it. Ants take longer shits. Disdain Guy was still howling away.

Desk Man handed the form back to me, the “Date:” space left barren. Blank. He couldn’t be bothered, was too much. The emptiness made a rebuttal pointless. The thought didn’t trouble my mind at all. A vacant point had been made.

Looking at him dead in the eye I said: “thanks very much, have a great day for yourself, all the best, g’luck.” … “Yeah…” he said. With my thumb in the air, I walked towards the exit. The door was illuminated. I opened it and left. Freedom. Fresh air. I took a deep breath. Rolled a cigarette and set it ablaze. Disdain Guy and Desk Man were alone again, reunited in their misery.

I went to the eye appointment brandishing the certified HSE form to the optician after the exam. Rejection followed. Even after he went out and asked somebody… a noble gesture no doubt. The authorized sheet of paper didn’t cover contacts. Desk Man’s form was cursed. All that stamping and signing for nothing! I’d wasted his Time… Moments of his life taken, stripped away, all because of me, the hard-fisted blockhead wrecking everyone’s buzz. The world can be so callous. No wonder bitterness reigns. Dark patronizing figures ingesting people’s desires. Spewing out crippling realities. Agonizing defeat after defeat after…

€20 exchanged hands in Laser form. After a few apprehensive moments the gadget finally chewed and the money machine was fed. The new wave, computerized, technological, numbers game played and paid. The form still in my bag, verified with two sets of stamps and all.

Payment was my punishment. An eye exam – A CONTACT EXAM to be precise…! DOESN’T COVER CONTACTS!!! I wouldn’t have F€#%ING gone if I knew I’d have to pay! These days’ senses are an unnecessary expenditure…! Can’t afford sight! Health services are only meant for life and death scenarios! Expecting anything more is ‘Irrational LIBERAL Whinging’…! That’s why I got ‘The Form’! Don’t THEY realize that I have NO F€#%ING MONEY…!

I left a befuddled, visionless vagabond; another appointment ensuing, a new FORM in hand.

Wore my glasses on the walk back to the apartment, frantically fearful, head on a swivel – insults expected around every corner, an owl ‘whoing’ in the headlights. “Four Eyes” was back on the streets. It’d been over 12 years since I’d worn my spectacles in public.

“Owl in glasses” image by:

The ‘WOW Airlines Sleeper’

Here’s a new sleeping style I came across on my Stateside travels… the ‘WOW Airlines Sleeper’…


90.3 Near FM Interview – March 10th 2015

Connor McDonough-Flynn (@ConMcFlynn) being interviewed on 90.3 Near FM on March 10th 2015 about his upcoming one man show “I’m Not Special”.





Near fm is an BAI licensed, communally owned, not-for-profit project. It is operated by a democratic co-operative, open to all organisations and individuals in Dublin North-East.

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Dublin North-East

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The geographical community living in the area covered by the service.

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