I had more or less given up doing the Lotto (they are very exact about those winning numbers) and I was wondering what to write about for September when the following was handed to me by a work colleague, Christy Butler. I believe it deserves an airing. Is this man a budding Dan Browne? He has promised to give me the key to the code before long. Can any reader beat him to it?
* * *
The Revenge of the Lotto Winning Golfer
It was a bleak miserable night in November, in the final year of the Millennium, as I approached the public phone box. A storm had arrived on our shores and it seemed an appropriate time to commence ‘Operation Revenge’. I had spent many hours in its planning and felt confident that I could pull it off in style.
It was close to midnight.
On entering the phone box, close to my home, I lifted the receiver and dialled the number of the local undertaker. Mobile phones are traceable. Safety lies in the public call box.
Brrr, brrr. Answer before I lose my nerve I thought.
“Good night, Michael Donovan speaking, how can I help you?”
“Good night to you Mr Donovan” I said, in a quivering solemn voice. “There’s been a death in the family”.
“My brother, Onty, has died. Could you call at 9am in the morning, with your hearse and remove the remains to your funeral home in Sallynoggin and make the necessary arrangements”, I said.
v“It was expected and I have a Doctors certificate”.
“Very good Sir” he replied and requested the address.
“79 Leopardstown Creek”, I answered in my best Dublin 4 accent. A touch of class was needed and I also needed to be convincing.
“May I have your name Sir?” he requested.
“Strichy Reltub” I said. “I also need a wreath with the message coded”.
I supplied the details.
“Thank you for calling us Mr Reltub. I shall take care of everything and be with you in the morning at 9am. Good night now and take care”, said Mr Donovan.
“You too”, I said and replaced the phone on its cradle.
All was set. I returned home and treated myself to 3 fingers of Middleton Reserve whiskey. That will fix Bastárd, I thought, and Onty. (Bastárd, alla Franca, with an á is my other brother’s nickname). My brothers Onty and the Bastárd live together in Leopardstown Creek. Hopefully they will be ‘up the creek’ at 9 tomorrow morning, if my plan is fulfilled.
But there you are sitting on a Bus, LUAS or DART. You maybe on your way home or even going to work. You have started to read this story and suddenly you are wondering what the hell is going on! You have a perfect right to think this and toss the book into the nearest bin.
For I can see that I have started against common sense, at the end. Now I am not much of a storyteller and common sense tells me to commence at the beginning. So here goes.
But first, my dear reader, I must warn you that names have been changed to protect the idiots and the innocent, mentioned in this story. I have endeavoured to construct anagrams of the names, for the more cultured among you. For the cryptologists among you, have some fun as well.
Here we go.
My name is STRICHY RELTUB. Every year, in mid-September, approximately 30 of my colleagues and I travel to Dungarvan for a 4 day golf tournament. The jewel in the crown of our golfing year.
My game plan is as follows.
On day 1, I loosen out. Day 2 is spent checking club selection, yardage etc. on each hole. Depending on my performance to the start of the round on day 3, I make my move. Day 3 is commonly known as moving day. If after 9 holes I have 20 or more stableford points, I would consolidate and play percentage golf, hoping to return a good score. A winning score at that. If my plan fails on Day 3, I would go all out on Day 4 from the start.
However, on this particular year, day 1 & 2 went according to plan and I found myself on day 3, the Wednesday, in great form and after 6 holes of play had accumulated 15 points off 12 handicap. Playing extremely well, with the help of a ‘chip in’ on the 8th for a birdie, had amassed 22 points after 9 holes of play. My big moment was at hand, as I started the back nine.
The wind and clouds began to gather. As I was first out that morning, by at least an hour, my thoughts were as follows. Could I reach the 18th green before the rain and wind got worse. Conditions would be very difficult for the rest of the field. All I needed was a reasonable score on the back nine. As luck would have it, I exceeded my expectations and scored 21 points. I returned a magnificent score of 43 points.
I was unbeatable, Winner alright. YES SIR!!!
The wind and rain tore across from Helvick Head, over Dungarvan Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Lovely. With a large Bushmills in hand, I sat in the bar, overlooking the course, admiring the torrential rain fall in buckets on my fellow competitors. PURE MAGIC!!!
Within the hour they crawled into the clubhouse rain sodden, dejected. I applauded each group, as they cursed the weather and thanked them for coming and contributing to the ‘sweep’. It would be all mine, along with the daily winner’s prize which in this case was a turkey and ham. I had no sympathy for my fellow golfers, after all, they had spent the previous night, gambling and drinking, ‘till all hours and had, on more than on occasion, woke me up with their singing and door banging.
To celebrate this magnificent win, my two brothers, Bastárd, Onty and I went into town for coffee and cakes and to do the Lotto. I was alone in the shop and did my usual Lotto numbers, which were 3, 4, 12, 31, 33 and 34. Placing the ticket in my wallet, I rejoined my brothers and returned to the Gold Coast Hotel. After a swim and a sauna, we had dinner with the rest of my weather beaten friends.
Come 8pm we all started to drift back to Dungarvan to visit the imbibing emporiums. Sharing a taxi with my two brothers and me was TPO CITRUS.
Quite a few of my colleagues are amateur architects. However, they would be more interested with the interior of the imbibing emporiums than the exterior. For instance, the height of the bar stools, elbow room, the barmaid’s cleavage, the colour and taste of PRAH and SENGUINS, even the texture of the whiskey. As I said before, a motley crew.
Anyway, the evening was progressing nicely, we were scattered throughout the pub. I took out my wallet and had a brief glance at my lotto ticket and asked the Bastárd to get the results of the Lotto. My wallet has been compared to the Carlsberg Complaints Department, full of cobwebs, but there is no truth in this rumour. Bastárd went to the bar to order a round and requested the lotto results. He chatted to the well endowed bar lady and returned with the drink. The lotto results were circulated among the patrons and duly arrived on our table on a large sheet of brown paper, and to my utter astonishment, I saw before me the following numbers: 3, 4, 12, 31, 33 and 37.
Retaining my composure and without batting an eyelid, I continued to sip away at my ‘Mountie’ club and 8up and noticed the locals casting their eye in our direction, but thought nothing of it. After 10 minutes and unable to contain my excitement, I produced my lotto ticket and said, “Take a look at that you bastards, 5 numbers up”.
Comments like, “That’s great”, “Fair play to yer”, “Get them in” followed, but I was only half listening. I needed to know exactly how much I had won. Important decisions needed to be made. But first a urinal was needed. On the way to the gentleman’s room, I mentioned my win to Timmy Cruseo and one of his drunken friends spluttered something about £1,200 for 5 numbers tonight.
“Nice one”, says I and added “there’s a drink for all my dear golfing colleagues back at the hotel later on”.
Using me computer brain with a few adjustments here and there, I arrived at a solution; £200 will be allocated for drink and £1,000 to be brought home to my dearest wife. Simple. No problem. No way.
As I returned to my table Bastárd, Onty and TPO Citrus were rubbing their hands and having a great laugh as were the rest of the patrons, at my expense, but I did not know this at the time.
‘LACTURA PAUCOURM SERVA MULTOS’
‘Sacrifice the few to save many’
My family motto. I also added ‘TRUST NO ONE’
I ordered a round and produced a £50 note from my Carlsberg wallet. Dusting off the cobwebs, the bar lady handed back the change and winked at me. Immediately, alarm bells started going off, the word ‘TRUST’, for some mysterious reason, kept flashing before me.
TRUST, TRUST, TRUST.
My first experience of trust happened when I was 5 years of age. My dear Papa stood me on a chair, retreated 2 paces and with outstretched arms said: “Jump Son I will catch you”. I jumped into my Papa’s arms but they were not there. He moved sideways and I fell onto the floor. I looked up in shock, nose bloodied and heard him say; “First lesson in life, Son, Trust no one”.
On another occasion on Christmas Eve, I was about 6 then; Papa arrived home drunk with a large brown bag. “I got yer a jigsaw puzzle” and dumped the contents on the table. It was 6d (six old pence) of broken biscuits.
Trust, my arse.
Needless to say the jigsaw was never completed, but the half pieces of Kimberly, Mikado and coconut cream were delicious. I never believed or trusted Santa again or Papa for that matter.
On another occasion, when Mama was in hospital, Papa asked us what we would like for dinner.
“Fish cakes” we yelled in unison.
“With or without fish” he replied.
But I digress.
It was time to return to the hotel, a taxi was ordered. I was allowed to sit in the front with the driver for obvious reasons. TPO Citrus informed the driver that I had won on the Lotto. Naturally he congratulated me on my good fortune. Arriving at the hotel my 3 companions hastily alighted, leaving me to pay. From the cobweb wallet I retrieved a £5 used note. As the fare was £4, I told the taxi driver to have a week-end away on the change, on me. My generosity is only surpassed by my intellectuality and handsomeness.
Remembering the family motto ‘Trust no one’, I walked into the bar of the hotel and a sound of applause greeted me. Now there are times when I wouldn’t be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but this was not one of those occasions. I marched up to the bar and requested the barman to put RTE 1 on text mode, page 150. Silence descended on the bar. Up come page 150, Lotto results.
I did not have one number.
Turning round, my 2 brothers were doubled up in laughter which in turn started every on else off, even ‘Doom and Gloom’ the manager. I had been truly conned.
Worse was to follow. The guys from the pub, whom I had promised a drink, returned. The explanation was given and the nicest comment I heard was, “You’re a miserable billix”. I tried to reason with my friends, but gave up and went to bed.
REVENGE IS SWEET.
I plotted my revenge. Weeks went by and I still planned. An idea formed in my mind. Then on a bleak winter’s night in November, in the final year of the millennium I made a phone call to an undertaker, Mr Donovan from a public call box.
“My Brother Onty has passed away”
The next morning I arrived at 79 Leopardstown Creek at 8.30am. My brothers, Onty and Bastárd, greeted me with the usual family theme “What do you want; we’re on our way out”. I brushed these comments aside and discussed the usual topics, weather etc. Golf came up and with that the con in Dungarvan. An unusual lengthy laugh followed. Then there was a knock on the door. I speedily retreated to the bathroom where I nearly pissed on myself with laughter. Of course, it was Mr Donovan, the undertaker. A verbal row ensued and I could hear many rude words been spoken. F*** off being the most prominent.
The door slammed shut.
I descended the stairs of my dear brothers’ home and asked what the commotion was all about. “Some billix sent an undertaker to take Onty’s body away”, replied Bastárd.
“Dear oh dear oh dear” as a pal of mine would say.
Feigning some excuse, I quickly departed the scene. I could not bear to see their faces when the 2 skips and wedding bouquet arrived.
the gate, the card that accompanied the wreath of Donovan Funeral Home read: