Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Madman of Munster

I can see it now. He's probably already gone down in local folklore as the crazed, waving fellow of the most southwesterly point of Ireland, notorious for his wild gesticulations and random bits of commentary muttered from the confines of his battered motorcar.
Really, it only happened the one time, but we all know how passers-by can be: they witness a curious, utterly out of the ordinary occurrence, and the next thing that happens, they're whispering through their teeth that they saw him at it last week too, it's a regular thing with him. Never mind that Mike only passes quietly through the coastal village twice a year or so, and that Mater's motorcar is shiny without a bit of batter about it- Mater's a most judicious driver.
So there we were, Spouse and myself in the back squinting at crumpled road maps, and poor Mike in the front passenger seat while Mater dashed in to get a pint of milk or the like from the tiny shop. Mike was familiar enough with the history and landscape of the area, I suppose, to want to explain to us the landmarks and whatnot.
"Now, do you see those big jagged cliffs over there where I'm pointing... there's a strange, eerie legend about them."
"And right over There, now, that's where That Thing happened."
"Those clouds, aren't they grand? I should take a photograph. There we are. Yes, grand photo, that one."
"Oh, that's a nice view of the sea. Don't you two think so?"
I'm almost completely certain that we would have thought so, because I always enjoy a good view of the sea, but Spouse and myself had long since vacated the back seat and were helping Mater to examine the milk in the shop.
We didn't hear a scrap of what Mike told us, didn't observe his enthusiastic gestures or his finger pointing or, indeed, his look of astonishment when he noted, at long last, that we'd both slipped out of the car along with Mater and that he was, in fact, chattering away to an empty vehicle.
We didn't know he didn't know, but now he'll have a reputation and it's all our fault.
It might be good for local business, though.
"Now, do you see that corner there, by that old, windswept shop, yes, they say that's where the Madman of Munster materialises every October about lunchtime and mumbles away to himself before vanishing into the vague County Kerry mist. Nobody knows why he appears, but he's been showing up for centuries."

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