Leaving one very happy coachman to count up one very tidy tip, The Swashbuachaill alighted at the gates of his staggeringly palatial home sometime after dawn just a few short days back. Having enjoyed a most splendid evening abroad on the town, he reasoned a brisk walk and the balm of some fresh morning dew would be just the tonic before repairing to the boudoir for a good fortnight of rest and recuperation and proceeded to crunch his way merrily up the long, gravelled driveway.
But, he’d hardly made 2 miles when he was cast into the ditch on one side by a most terrifying apparition, a coach and horses travelling at a mighty lick, hogging the width of the entire road and the reins held by a most scabrous villain, pictured above. It was the Childcatcher!
And as the deeply shocked Swashbuachaill stared at the rear of this most heinous carriage he was confronted by an utterly heartrending sight, a tiny little tearstained face pressed desperately against the bars, calling plaintively for his beloved Swashbuachaill — it was The Swashbuachaill’s dearest progeny, his very own Blog which he had nurtured and raised from birth! Oh, the calumny!
A profoundly shaken Swashbuachaill hastened the remaining few miles up the fabulously planted driveway towards his really pretty enormous palatial home to be greeted by a member of the local constabulary consoling the various Swashbuachaill widows. (No, The Swashbuachaill is not dead – he merely collects widows, another insight into his most staggering generosity of heart to those less fortunate than he.)
There, amidst the great clamour of wailing and gnashing (generally, of teeth but gums in the case of some of the older widows) The Swashbuachaill learned that his glorious progeny had been spirited away by order of the courts on grounds of CRUELTY, NEGLECT AND ABUSE!!! Specifically, a failure to post at anything remotely approaching reasonable or regular intervals.
Later that same morning, the impeccably attired Swashbuachaill stood before the judge. The charge sheet was indeed a long one, ‘some waffle about Dungarvan,’ says the beak, ‘and then that’s you done for another month of Sundays! That’s not the proper care and attention that a blog and its readers require – how do you plead?’
The Swashbuachaill has never pleaded guilty to anything in his life other than the crime of having loved too much. (And maybe eaten too much. And occasionally having drunk too much. Possibly having spent too much. But you can never sleep or carouse too much so those are surely not things one can atone for?).
Eventually, the judge accepted a plea of technical issues (upload speeds, old processor not really designed for newer operating systems, inability to sit at the computer past opening time etc etc) compounded by a debilitating attack of procrastination to which The Swashbuachaill has long been a martyr and retired to deliberate before sentencing.
Returning after a prolonged lunch and waiting more or less patiently (less, now that I recall) for The Swashbuachaill to return from his even more prolonged lunch, the Judge finally set about sentencing – suspended for one year!
The court gasped, then cheered and many of the widows, especially the younger, more comely variety, fainted or at the very least called for smelling salts to be administered by The Swashbuachaill himself. Calling for order, the Judge continued, sentencing suspended on condition The Swashbuachaill rectify his neglectful ways.
Clutching a widow in each fist and one between his teeth the swiftly departing Swashbuachaill swore faithfully over his shoulder to respect and obey the court’s ruling from here on out and would post regularly to his blog at most reasonable intervals. Nor would he try and get away with posting mere guff such as this particular post.
‘However, your honour,’ he warned, ‘I am shortly departing to the continent for several weeks long overdue vacationing and this may well be the best I have to offer for the forseeable future!’