Stories from a Dublin Scientist

Month: February, 2013


Back before divorce was legal in Ireland, couples who had come to despise the sight of each other did not have many options. Separation was a possibility but one had to move out lock, stock and barrel, surrendering all rights to what they left behind. This was an extreme move for anyone and the thinking was that it was better for the other party to leave. This lead to a number of ‘interesting’ disputes.

Take John and Mary Nolan, formerly of Bray. Married ten years. No children; he blamed  her frigid insides, she blamed his limp dick. One of many disagreements. John had spent a lot of money on his house and Mary had worked hard decorating it just so, neither was going to leave without a fight.

When John moved into the spare bedroom the battle lines were drawn. He brought his Hi-Fi from the attic and started playing his music collection at all hours. Mary started taking pipe lessons again at 9AM on a Sunday. From then on things started to escalate.

Pieces started disappearing off the porcelain figurines that Mary had collected, John’s shirts all got iron burns in them. John once used chilli oil to doctor her thrush cream, Mary added laxatives to his morning coffee. Things were coming to a head.

John thought things a little suspicious that Mary was waving him off that morning. He didn’t let it bother him. In fact he traveled a little faster than usual and didn’t notice the breaks give way.

Mary figured that about five minutes into his trip John would have careered into something so it was then she opened a bottle of sherry. It was strong stuff, strong enough to hide the faint taste of almonds.

Both inquests found verdicts of unlawful homicide. The house became the center of a bitter dispute between the two families. But that was long after John and Mary, as they had  wished much earlier, were buried in the one plot. Together, for eternity.


Written for Trifecta Week Sixty Six


“Kevin! Any signs?” said Goldstein

“No!”shouted Kevin. They had drove around the island, past woods of ceder trees and lilies to look.

The rifle was gone.

The woman and children wouldn’t be back.


Written for Trifecta’s Trifextra week fifty-six

Picture it and Write: Inheritance

Hi there! This is my offering for this weeks picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine I only use it for inspiration. Anyway; Enjoy!


I must have been around ten when Great Aunt Katerina summoned me and my tutor to her private chambers. I only visited that part of the mansion on rare occasions yet this time seemed different, felt different.

I took me while to realise what was the matter. Normally my great aunt’s rooms were a hive of activity. There was always a butler efficiently serving tea to guests or a maid in the background cleaning the mounds of books and ledgers or polishing the piles of silverware. Aunt Katherina was old school and didn’t consider servants to be real people, she considered it fit to do most of her business as if they weren’t there. However; this time there was no one about. They had all been told to be somewhere else.

“Ah! Dimitri!” Aunt Katerina said in her still highly accented English “You are getting bigger each time I see you!” “Yes Great Aunt Katherina. Thank you for noticing” I replied deferentially. For all the words that were spoken, there was no warmth in the exchange. I barely knew the matriarch from Adam. But the forms had to be maintained, form was everything to Aunt Katherina.    

With a sour face and wave of her hand Aunt Katerina dismissed my tutor, my closest confidant and only friend in the world from the room. My eyes wanted to follow him but my training and fear of my aunt kept them focused on the wizened woman before me.

The door shut behind me and Aunt Katerina took another cursory look around her, more for dramatic effect I think, and started to speak. “You did not know your father Dimitri did you? But he was a great man.” Once again I thought, I was going to get the story of how great our house once was, about how the great Alexander Markov was in the highest levels of the court, often at the side of Tzar and was one of the most powerful men in the old country.

Aunt Katerina did not go down that well-trodden road though instead she looked out over the London skyline.”Like all great men, he had many enemies. People who were jealous, who thought he was unfair, who had felt his justice. For years they bided their time until they were able to strike until your father could not see it coming.”

I sat up; suddenly riveted, this was new. Since as long as I could remember I had been thought about the power and grandeur of the house of Markov. Yet that had never explained how we were here in London and not in Russia, my apparent home or how my father and mother were not there. Maybe something would be forthcoming.

“Krutsov was a pirate and a thief” Aunt Katherina said, her mouth contorting as if she were saying something considerably worse “Yet the money was enough to buy influence, to catch ears and turn heads, as he plotted and set his plans into motion. Plans against your sainted father and our proud family.”

She turned, in a dramatic gesture that belied her advanced years and pointed at me “But Dimitri! Your father was still well loved even then. He had many friends who were able to send warning when Krutsov sent his thugs. If only it had arrived a little sooner.”

“What happened?” I asked, obeying some unseen prompt. “The thugs where too close for our whole family to escape. We would have been massacred if we had tried to run together. Alexander chose to stay with some men and bide us time.”

I was transfixed; I had never heard any of this before. My great aunt, while visibly tiring, soldiered on as if she was possessed. With another flourish she stood and moved to close the curtains. “When just about to send us off, your father closed the great doors of our home one last time.”she finished with the curtains and turned around again and reached into a pocket in her dress “took out this key” she took a silver key out of her pocket and held it for me to see “and gave it to your pregnant mother, Maria, for safe keeping. He then rode north to delay the bandits while we went south to escape.”

She held the key close to her eyes, examining it “Maria was such a delicate woman Dimitri; we had made it to Germany when we heard Alexander had been killed on the road north. The strain of the news and the journey was too much for her. She took ill and died soon after. It was only by a miracle of God that your survived. A miracle that I am sure has a purpose.” Aunt Katerina handed me the key “This is now yours”

I held the key in my two hands as if it was a delicate relic. It was very ornate, with a silver finish, a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I looked up again to find Aunt Katerina’s eyes staring at me.

“Keep that key safe Dimitri, it is everything, it is your inheritance that was stolen from you before you were born. Everything that that keys opens is your birthright. Not just the house, but the name, and the influence we once held and God willing, you will hold once again.” She held out a hand and touched my cheek, the most significant act of affection my great aunt had ever given me. She seemed overwhelmed with deep-seated emotion. I too felt that I was ready to cry, it was a lot for a ten year old to hear so quickly. Somehow, we both maintained our composure. “I did not think it proper to tell you until now because you were too young to know. I hoped to wait even longer but I will soon lose my battle with time and you will be all that is left. Grow up Dimitri. Grow up strong and brave like your father and someday you will take back what is yours.”

I left the chambers to find my tutor waiting diligently for me by the staircase. He seemed moved by my distress but knew enough about how things worked to to inquire too deeply. As I walked with him back to my rooms my hand fell occasionally to my pocket and touched the felt-lined box within. My world had changed that day. I was no longer a spoilt aimless child. I had purpose in my life. From then on I knew I had to prepare to get ready.  To go where the key would take me. To find my inheritance.


Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle 6

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle, your one-stop shop for good advice*.

Dear Doctor Joe,

Often when I am on a night out I find that whenever a nice guy starts to talk to me, my more attractive “friends” swoop in and steal him from me. This is getting ridiculous, what can I do?

Demented Doris


Dear Demented Doris,

I’m going to start by telling you a trade secret, all may not have been as it appeared when these young gentlemen came over to talk to you. They well may have been practicing the well known technique of baiting whereby the debonair young man goes and talks to one of the more “homely” of a group of friends. The idea being to act as charming and harmless as possible in order for the more attractive friends to think that he is alright allowing them to be more approachable and thus easier for him to talk into going home with them. If this was the case; and I would guess it often is, then your “friends” may have left with the guy but he would have turned out to be a total arsehole who will will use her and never call again so in this respect you can consider it a victory for you.

Of course; there is every possibility that the young gentleman was really interested in you and regardless if a member of your little click is going to be used by a semi-professional lady-killer why shouldn’t it be you? To turn the situation around will require you to cast off the bonds of friendship and get dirty in a manner that some authorities would consider unethical, even illegal. Are you willing to plumb these depths Doris? The fact that you read my column would suggest that you are. To go the rest of the way down this dark path you must follow these instructions.

Step one: Like I often say in my missives, a great many of a young ladies problems can be solved by just dressing a little sluttier. You don’t have to be the most stunning woman in the place, just not the fugliest. Alternatively you can just get uglier friends so you get better looking in comparison. Either route can go a long way towards making you the target rather than the bait.

Step two: I like to call this technique “strategic gossip” When the man has first come over to you but before your friends notice him take the time to introduce him to a few “facts” about your companions. You can tell him for example that you are out celebrating before your friends final transformation from a man or that one of their boyfriends has finally got parole which was totally justified because the man deserved it by talking to her in a bar. You can be as inventive as you want in this just try and make it salacious enough so he won’t ask them about it straight off. That would be unpleasant.

Step three: If your machinations end up not having an effect and your friend succeeds in getting the guy’s attention, there is always the option of mild sabotage. It can be direct methods such as “accidentally” spilling a drink on your friend’s dress mid conversation or the more subtle butting into the conversation between them at inopportune moments. This can have more than one benefit; if the guy has a friend than this trusted “wingman” may intercede on his behalf and sweep you out of the way with romancing and the like. Not only will you be “taken care of” the wingman will probably be a better catch anyway, after all he was willing to “jump on the grenade” for his friend.

Step four: The nuclear option. When all else fails and it looks like your girlfriend has successfully stolen a man from you again. Should you wish then well as they walk off into the night? The answer to this is of course no! There are still some options available to you which while not giving you the chance to steal the man back will at least ensure everyone has a crappy evening. You can drink enough to succumb to a mild case of alcohol poisoning ( Tip: carry a dose of castor oil with you to really get that vomit flying) forcing your friend to hold your hair and get you home while the guy stays there despondent. Alternatively you can spike the drink they share with some horse laxatives to make their night “unforgettable” just not in the way that they had expected.

If you follow these instructions you may not necessarily get the guy but your friends certainly won’t which is the next best thing.

All the best in your endeavors,

Doctor Joe

*Editor’s note: Not necessarily good advice.

You can ask a question of Doctor Joe yourself by clicking on the link here.

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle 5

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle, the luuuuuuurrrrveeee doctor*.

Dear Doctor Joe,

I can’t seem to locate my self-esteem. It’s had a habit of wandering off lately, but until this weekend, I could easily find it. It was always either hiding in a glass of vodka, or in the toilet if all the vodka glasses were empty. I think it’s because I ran out of vodka on the weekend and I can’t find it anywhere. I’m worried it might have left me for someone else. Can you suggest any place else I can look? I already cut open the disposable douches.

Also, I tend to make some really bad decisions when it’s not around, and even worse ones when I’m trying to find it. Can you offer me any good advice on how to stay out of trouble? I think my landlord is starting to get the wrong idea about the free rent thing.

Desperately seeking…

Down in the Dumps


Dear Down in the Dumps,

I think it is fair to say that being abandoned by my self-esteem had never been a problem that I have had to face. In fact; I have always had the opposite problem with my self-esteem not knowing when to shut the hell up (For future reference; when you keep on telling an interrogator that they are doing a sloppy job of hooking up a car battery to your scrotum they won’t be happy and then you won’t be happy!)

Reading between the lines of your letter Ms Dumps; I can’t help but get the impression that you find the search for self-esteem increasingly futile. You couldn’t be more right! As soon as you keep finding its hiding place your self-esteem will move on to more fiendish spots. It starts off hiding in vodka but then moves on to whiskey, followed by tequila and the next thing you know you’re running around town at three in the morning trying to find a store selling industrial grade methylated spirits. That would be a sad state of affairs. None of those shops are open at that time!

Instead of looking for self-esteem Ms Dumps, you would be better off trying to make self-esteem look for you. How do I do this you ask. The answer is simple; listen closely. You have to talk like a slut, walk like a slut and where applicable, dress like a slut. However under no circumstances should you put out; at least not in public.

Let me explain. When a woman looks like she is going to put out, we guys, I’m including myself here, will be drawn to her like a hungry puppy. Play it right and guys will follow you everywhere being helpful and trying to get in your good books. Nothing will make your self-esteem feel homesick than having your own lovelorn follower carrying all your books and pretending to be interested in what you say.

This technique will work on any guy you happen to meet. Big young fit guys or introverted nerdy types for moving heavy things or tech-support respectively, rich older men to keep you in the lifestyle to which you can so readily become accustomed (bonus points if they’re married so are less likely to catch you fooling around on the side or make a fuss if they do) or people in positions of power such as cops, politicians, judges etc.

Though it may sound a little amoral, it is perfectly legal since no actual ‘favours’ will be passed. It won’t be too bad on the guys as well; most will be perfectly used to the idea of following after women, and in any event stay with you at most for a month before they move on to follow someone else, (Except for that one weirdo from the internet, he’ll stick around. You might want to keep an eye on him.) You don’t even have to limit yourself to the one follower; I happen to know several masters of the art who have been able to keep up to twenty guys on the go at the same time though be warned this takes a skill at manipulation that is best left to the professionals.

So there you have it, the key a great many women’s success for you to try. Start off small, maybe on your landlord and watch your rent problems fly away. From then on, the sky is the limit. Within no time your life burdens will be lifted and your self-esteem will be back where it truly belongs.

All the best and good luck.

Doctor Joe

* Editor’s Note: Dr Joe is not an accredited member of the European association of love doctors.

For the chance to send a question to Doctor Joe click on the link here.

In The National Interest

Good evening everybody.

I know that you are all very busy especially considering the very difficult circumstances that we have been under the last two months but I can assure you that the rest of the cabinet and I have yet to exhaust every option we have available to us.

What I can warn you is that the options that we have already tried all of the ‘Safe’ choices that we had. Our options that would have prevented cuts have been exhausted. We have no other choice, pain is coming, it is now up to you where this pain will be felt.

There’s no denying it. We have been living beyond our means. Spending too much while not taking in enough. It is time to tighten our belts and adjust what we expect from our government. Many may not like this. Some may find it unfair. But these changes must be made in the national interest.

We will endeavour to make these adjustments as slight. I ask you. Who will miss a measly three percent from a twenty thousand a year nurse’s salary? Or what damage really will taking twenty euros from the state pension do? Not much I think. You all can spare an extra hour a day for free. Remember that this is in the national interest.

But we want to be fair with this as well. We want you to know that WE are taking the same pain that you are. We have authorised that our one hundred fifty thousand salaries will be slashed by a whole ten percent, there will be no new state cars this year and from now on we will be forced to fly long-haul to conferences in economy class. Yes indeed; we are sharing your pain.

Some of you are saying that there is a better way. But that us just nonsense. We are all in this together. If we don’t agree to this now things will only turn worse. We can’t let that happen.


Written for Trifecta Week Sixty-Five

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle 4

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle, the man who knows the answers*.

Dear Doctor Joe,

My name is Toothsome.  According to my friend Mac Giggles, I can not make myself a comic because I am already a comic.

How are you going to help me on this matter?

Must you advise me to undergo EFT?

I hope to hear from you soon!

Desperately seeking help.



Dear Toothsome,

I’m going to start by telling you if your parents called you toothsome and you take seriously anything that comes out of a man called Mac Giggles you may have bigger and deeper problems than the one you alluded to. Nevertheless I will endeavour to answer your question.

First of all who is telling you you’re a comic? Is it only one person? Your first stop should be your other friends and relatives to ask them if you look like a comic. Maybe it is time for some introspection too? Ask yourself “Do I look like a comic? Am I made of low-grade publisher’s paper? Am I a collection of two-dimensional images? Can I be found at the bottom shelf of any good newsagent?” If the answer to any of these questions is “No!” than you are not yet a comic and your way is clear.

Secondly; why would you want to be a comic in the first place. You may find that the illusion is far better than the reality, much like I did with my dream of starring in Mexican midget porn. Maybe it would be best to sample the life before making the commitment by, for example, getting yourself read by a teenage boy and left under his bed until you are cleaned out three months later by his mother (Don’t worry about the smell; you’ll get used to it and if you happen to find a single grubby sock for the love of God don’t touch it!) If you find that agreeable then your next step would be to contact a suitably qualified medical practitioner.

I hope that solves your problem.

Doctor Joe

P.S. I had no idea what EFT was so I asked the nephew. He said it was “Electronic Funds Transfer”. Now unfortunately, due to some ‘Misunderstanding’ with several national governments I have been forced to store all of my money in a sack in a secret location and am unable to receive electronic transfers. However; if you wish to send me a cheque made out to “Cash” that will be most acceptable. Thanks!

*Editor’s note: Though we’re not entirely sure he’s figured out the questions.

If you want the chance to ask Doctor Joe your own question click the link here.

Picture it and Write: Inspiration

Hi there! Here is my offering for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s Blog here. Once again the picture is not mine I only use if for inspiration. Anyway; Enjoy!


The gods that rule human affairs each have their own particular role and function in heaven. The role of Angus, the god of foresight and prophecy, was to write the dreams of mortal men. The dreams from Angus were meant as a message about the future, everything from who you were going to marry to when a certain river is about to flood. Mainly the dreams were for people of little importance and as a result fairly straightforward so most of the time, Angus got one of his minions to take care of the fine details. However, on occasion, someone important enough would come around for Angus to take personal charge of the situation. One such person was Rose.

Rose didn’t know it but Angus had known about her since the beginning of time. Angus had foreseen that she was going to be the love of his eternal life. Not only that, she was going to be one of the rarest and most precious beings in the whole of creation, a mortal who, for their actions, is immortalized and joins the gods as one of them. A real keeper. The formation of a new god is such a rare event that Angus’ foresight could not make out how it was going to happen. Instead he decided to help prepare her for every eventuality the only way he knew how, by writing her dreams.

Every night, as Rose would go to sleep, Angus would write dreams onto the blank canvas of her soul. As his pen formed the images of people and far flung places, they would come to life and play out inside her sleeping mind. As an added touch; Angus included himself in everyone of her dreams, always looking different, gods can take on every shape they want, but each strangely familiar. Some nights he would be a warrior, rescuing Rose from a ferocious monster, other nights he would be sailor, taking her to the edge of the world, and occasionally he would be a wise old man, showing her the secrets of the universe.

Rose herself, found these dreams very unusual and occasionally disturbing. She would ask the others in her village if they had dreams like hers and when they said no she would describe what she had dreamt. People would listen enthralled to the fabulous tales she would tell about monsters, and journeys to foreign lands. Strangely enough; no one had ever told tales like that, conversations around campfires used to just be local gossip. Rose’s stories were a surprise hit.

People would come from far and wide to hear of the unusual dreams that Rose had had. Some villages even sent young men and women to learn off her tales and how to tell them. Over time these stories became known across the world. A great many people tried the art but Rose was acknowledged as the master storyteller.

Rose lived for many years, respected and treasured for her gifts but she never found a man for herself instead all she could think of was the man in her dreams, the man with many faces but a way to looking at her that was constant and eternal. She longed to meet him.

Age soon enough got the better of her and Rose died peacefully in sleep. That was when the miracle happened. There was such a outpouring of grief from all who Rose knew and even more who she had touched with her gifts that the heavens refused to let her pass on. Instead she was elevated into the house of the gods to join them. There was much rejoicing and celebration at the new arrival but Rose, reborn in her immortal body, only had eyes for the person she instantly recognized, her companion through years of sleep.

Rose is still there to this day. She was proclaimed goddess of storytellers, the partner and companion of Angus. Together they make dreams that both educate and inspire.

So the next time you dream and feel the need to tell others of it. Take time to give thanks to those heavenly dream-crossed lovers for sharing part of their gift with you.

# Author’s note: This story is linked to a series that I have have been telling at storytelling events for quite a while now. I have only written two of them down in my blog, those is ‘A nifty idea‘ and another story with Angus called Editing dreams. You might want to check them out.

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle 3

Doctor Joe: agony uncle, here to solve your problems*

Dear Doctor Joe,

I’m now 62-Do you think I should continue to wax my moustache?


Vanity Unfair


Dear Vanity Unfair,

I’m going to answer your question by telling you this story. Many years ago,when I was just entering my late thirties I realized that I was old enough to start granny-grabbing. I had been interested in trying this out for some time due to a somewhat misinformed theory concerning no teeth and late-stage Parkinson’s. Using my then irresistible charms, I was able to woo one eighty year old woman into my apartment where we promptly got down to business.

I shudder to think what happened next! No sooner had she gone down on me than she started to struggle and made gagging noises. It appeared that her moustache, tastefully bleached, had become snagged, velcro-like against my own fine mop of pubic hair. She had been deep-throating and   was unable to pull back, leading her to some distress. Assessing the situation, I grabbed her firmly by the head and yanked her free, with an audible rip, and some discomfort to myself.

Alas the prolonged deep-throating and relative violence to setting her free was too much for her eighty year old heart. She died there on the spot. She was gone, I was distraught , the paramedics were appalled. I had to pay a lot of money for their silence, and more to the nurses at the home to make it look like it was natural causes. Even then I realized the necessity of a good name.

In closing Vanity. You can stop waxing if you wish but you never know if it may lead to an unexpected and horrific end.

Take care and all the best.

Doctor Joe

*Editor’s note: not a guarantee of success.

If you want the chance to ask Doctor Joe your question check out the link here.


“Want a sip?”

“I can’t!”


“It tastes like somebody took a crap in muddy river water and then let it go rancid!”

“If you don’t want some you only have to say!”


Written for Trifecta’s trifextra Week Fifty Five