Stories from a Dublin Scientist

Month: August, 2013

A Common Language

“‘Ere! Phil! Did hear what that guy just said to me?”

“No! What?”

“He told me to congratulate you over your ‘Turkey’ whatever that means”

“What the hell is he talking about? I’m just after getting three strikes in a row. Isn’t that good?”

“Of course it’s good. It’s bleeding massive! I think the prick is just trying to wind you up.”

“What a bollix! Thinking just because we are tourists that he can push us around. I should go over there and give him a piece of my mind.”

“I’ll go with you. The feckin cheek of him……. I’m gonna enjoy this!”


Written for Trifecta week ninety-two

Picture it and Write: Cost Savings

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

Cost Savings:

“You did what!!!!!”

“We painted it on.”

“Why! Why would you do such a thing?”

“You did ask us to make savings. Didn’t you?”

“But it is supposed to be a road and roads…”

“It is a road. It leads right up to the cliff and continues on after it. If you look at it from above you wouldn’t spot anything wrong with it. We just linked it up.”

“Far cheaper than the other ways!”

“But! But It’s a sheer drop!”

“We did put signs up!”

“Besides we told everybody who lives up there what we were doing.”

“They don’t drive very much. They tend to cycle to the town.”

“Yeah! See what we did with the fence? We made that into a ladder strong enough to support a man and bicycle.”

“The locals were quite impressed. Said it was ‘Nifty'”

“But there has to have been a better way. Did you think of the other options?”

“Of course we did!”

“But on our budget! Not very plausible.”

“The first idea was to blast out a slope.”

“But that would have taken ages. Plus explosives don’t come cheap.”

“Then we thought of building a bridge up.”

“But the cost of lugging all that steel up here. Extortionate!”

“Going around won’t work either!”

“You’d need to go to the other side of the mountain! That’s nearly fifty miles!”

“No! This way was much better!”

“We even had a little left over to landscape the cliff.”

“To match the surroundings. The locals love it, says it brings in tourists!”

“This can’t be the right way of doing things!”

“I’m telling you! It was best way. Come up and see it and I’m sure you’ll change your mind.”

“Alright then! But I reserve judgment until I have had a proper look.”

“Of course. But if you happen to think it’s a good job. Perhaps a bit of a raise might be in order!”


How to beat an Ogre

Cathy was walking when an ogre leaped up,

“You’re dinner!”

Cathy was quick,

“Do you have a permit?”

The ogre was confused,

“You need a permit to eat girls!”

Deflated he walked off.


Written for Trifecta’s Trifextra week eighty-two

Picture It and Write: For Sale

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write from Ermilia’s Blog here. Once again the picture is not mine; it is by David Talley, I only used it for inspiration. Anyway Enjoy!

For Sale

“Do you like what you see My lady?”

The short rotund Merchant escorted his refined customer, a well dressed woman with regal airs past his latest stock. They were men, slaves, half submerged in the waters of the lake, tied with rope to a chain that passed along the shore. Some huddled in fear as the two passed. Others did not move, none spoke a word.

“They are not very spritely looking are they?”

“Alas My Lady. Times are not as fortunate as the once were. With our Grand Army at home for the last two years there has been no new country captures. And with it no fresh blood for the markets. These are all criminals and troublemakers from across the Empire. Far more unruly than the foreign brand. You have to really beat them to keep them in line. And then of course….”

He swung a kick at one of the huddled slaves. The poor wretch reacted to the kick by curling into a whimpering ball.

“They are no good to anybody. I suppose I will be forced to send the whole lot of them to the salt mines. A waste on an investment. Forgive me for saying it My Lady, but peace is not very good for my profession.”

The customer nodded in agreement and continued her walk along the shoreline. She recognised people from the many races of the Empire and some from without. This was not much of a surprise; many seeking an ill-gotten fortune were attracted to the wealth within the borders. Mostly they looked scrawny and ill-treated, not at all what she was looking for.

“My lady!”

It was a soft, heavily accented voice. She looked down and saw it’s source. A young man, chained like the others. He had the blond hair and heavy features of the tribes of the North. He was in much better shape than the rest of his companions but the bruises said he had been beaten as hard as any there. He looked at her with blue eyes.

“My lady please! Listen to me! I am from far away, across the mountains. There my father is a great king, I am his oldest son and heir. I was kidnapped and somehow found myself here. My lady, I implore you. Free me! Bring me home and I swear my father will give you more wealth than you can carry.”

He was about to say more when there was a roar from behind and the merchant came down upon him brandishing a cane. 

“Silence! You impudent wretch!” The merchant shouted and gave the back of the young slave two sharp smacks of the cane followed by a third for good measure. He turned to the customer apologetically.


“I’m sorry My Lady! This putrid piece of donkey’s liver is forever telling tall-tales to the customers. I know for afact they are lies yet try as I might I cannot get him to stop. The God’s must have me cursed to give my only ware that still has some strength such a liar’s tongue.”

The merchant moved to give a fourth lash of the cane when a slight hand raised to stop him.

“I’ll take him!”

The Merchant was shocked.

“My Lady! I told you! This one is undisciplined, forever talking back!”

“That is no longer your concern!”

The Merchant conflicted between loyalty for a favoured customer and the weight of her purse nevertheless paced off to arrange the details.

The customer looked again at the young slave. His eyes showing a mixture of gratitude and something else.

Good! She thought, I have been bored for far too long.

She then said quietly.

“Perhaps you will be interesting”       



Horoscopes 10

Capricorn (22 December-20 January): The stars are all for you going that extra mile for the one you love. Joining that cult; however, may have been a step to far.

Aquarius (21 January-19 February): For the last time; the correct answer to that question is “Why no Honey! Your Bum does not look big in that!”

Pisces (20 February – 20 March): Mars will rise in your sign this week enabling it to look right through your bathroom skylight while you change. It will be most complimentary.

Aries (21 March – 20 April): They laughed at you when you started dabbling in magic. After you have summoned the Dark Lord who is laughing now? Well actually he is! No one else wins in this situation. You really should have thought this through more.

Taurus (21 April – 21 May): The horrible events of next week may come as a shock to you, however everyone else would have seen it coming for months and some would have even brought popcorn with them to watch.

Gemini (22 May – 21 June): The stars know that you don’t often surrender yourself to a higher power but you know what they say, if Judge Judy can’t solve your problem, no one can.

Cancer (22 June – 23 July): Turn left now. Not that left! The other left! God! Now you have to turn around and go back!

Leo (24 July – 23 August): Try and be optimistic about the events of last week. I mean; who really needs a pancreas?

Virgo (24 August – 23 September): We all know to be safe practising sex. But you have to admit the full suit of armour is probably overkill.

Libra (24 September – 23 October): You will meet your school sweetheart and be surprised that she is a single parent. You’re still not going to admit that child is yours, aren’t you?

Scorpio (24 October – 22 November): Congratulations! With those extra epaulettes you have elevated yourself from a crime against fashion to a crime against humanity.

Sagittarius (23 November – 21 December): They say good things come to those who wait. However all you have to show for your waiting is a nasty case of pneumonia and atrophied legs.


“What are you doing?”

“I’m sorry young lady?”

I took my father by the hand, trying to pull him back from the door, it was three AM and neither of us had slept properly for a week.

“It’s me! Jenny. Your daughter!”

He stared at me, a confused look on his face, as if he was struggling to grasp the concept.

“A daughter? I have a daughter? You must be mistaken.”

He came easily enough away from the door but all the time he was speaking to me.

“If I had a daughter I’m sure I’d remember it. What do you think; my mind is going?”

I looked away so he wouldn’t see the tears.

Picture it and Write: Imprinted

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write for Ermilia’s blog here. Once again; the picture is not mine it was made by DiggieVitt on flickr, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy.


Sam ran through the field, his legs catching on the tall grass between the man-tall cornrows. He could hear flapping behind him. With each step he cursed what he had done.

He found the eggs in nest that had fallen from it’s tree. There were plenty of dogs and cats around so the mother had no chance of behind able to look after them on the ground. In fact the mother seemed to have already abandoned them. Sam had no intention of letting them die, he took them back to the farmyard and the incubator used for chicken eggs.

The flapping behind him grew in strength and were joined by frantic cawing. The noise filled him with dread.

There were eight eggs but only seven hatched. Sam was the first thing each of them saw and from then on their eyes only followed him.

There was a black shadow to his left. Sam looked to see the black bird swoop past him. It turned to circle him.

For the first few weeks they were utterly dependent on Sam. He gave them heat, water and food. In time; their bare bodies sprouted black feathers and in the way of things they made their first forays into the sky above.

The first bird was joined by another and another, and another. Sam stopped running. He knew there would be no escape.

He consulted the experts, read the best authors on the subject, and he did everything he could think of. He trained them as well as he could. But something had gone wrong.

All seven crows were flying around him now. Getting very close, their cries increasingly demanding.

One of the experts said that it was the imprinting, the fixation of the chicks on what they first saw. It was hard wired from when they first opened their eyes and it would be nearly impossible to undo. 

With the birds edging closer and closer. Sam finally had enough. “Fine!” He shouted, “You win!” He reached into his pocket and removed a small package, a granola bar. He broke it into small pieces and the waited for the birds to line up.

He had been working at training his brood to feed naturally for over three months now. But it was no good. The little bastards still insisted that Mommy was the one to feed them.


A Story

“Guys! Here! Quickly!”

I beckoned the rest over.

We all looked down.

There was a bone, fossilised, from something big.

Something was sticking right into it, a tooth.

“This guy’s got a story!”


Written for Trifecta’s Trifextra Week Eighty





Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle 16

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle, you can run but you can’t hide*.

Dear Doctor Joe,
The situation is dire; my brother has abandoned all reason and has been going out with the head cheerleader, and we all know what she gets on with all those after school activities. This is so cliché but as a concerned elder younger sister I have to do something but it must be covert. Do you have any suggestions to oust the tramp out of his life?



Dear Buffy,

Let me get this straight! Your brother had managed to bag a slutty, trampy, cheerleader and you want to take that away from him? You monster!

You see Buffy. There is nothing more beautiful in the whole world than a slutty cheerleader. That magic combination of fit, supple body, loose morals and cheerleader outfit makes her the creme de la creme of all adolescent fantasies not to mention a fair few adult ones. This is the big one, the Everest of sexual conquests, a deed that your brother will have fond memories of for the rest of his life. And you want to fuck it up?

I cannot understand it, but my word and a contractual obligation means I have to offer my assistance, even for something as mean-spirited as this. But I have to tell you I’m not happy about it!

First thing to realise Buffy; he will not leave her. Not a chance! This is too much of a good thing to abandon for any reason. He would rather have his fingernails ripped off one by one than do it. In fact, I suspect that he had to go through something like that to get her in the first place ,and did so gladly, so in all that is a non-starter.

She; on the other hand.

Tramps are by their nature trampish and sooner or later this sluttish nature will erode away even the strongest relationship. Soon enough she will move on like the wild, untameable, force of nature that she is, leaving your brother a wistful husk. This is going to happen sooner or later. Here’s how to make it sooner.

First step; start some rumours about other students in your brother’s class. They can be simple enough. For example; “Jim Wilson is hung like a moose with a fifth leg”. They can be as wild as you like, all they need to do is get her thinking.

Second step; Make it so your brother cannot be as attentive a lover as he was. There are a few ways to do this. You can drug him, make up imaginary family emergencies at three in the morning or get your parents to help you with you or your sibling’s homework. The idea is to have him too busy to see her and when he does too tired to do much.

With luck Buffy, in a few short weeks the combination of a constantly tired, unavailable boyfriend and rumours of other fields that are so much greener will lead her to dump him in ideally as humiliating and public a manner as possible.

Your brother will take this badly, as you will imagine, but not for long, for I suspect that he will realise if he has not already that tramps will always move on and sluts are meant to be free. He may not even get angry at you if he finds out because he will still have his memories, and a possible case of herpes as a lasting memorial to the time that he joined that most blessed fraternity of men, those who rode with the trampy cheerleaders.

God bless them!

Doctor Joe


*Editor’s note: Joe’s put booby-traps in every possible hiding place.

To read the rest of Doctor Joe’s columns or to ask a question yourself click the link here.

Strong Debate

Parliament came back into session after a three month absence today. Any hopes observers had that this session would be a more civilized affair were quickly dashed as the sparks started to fly within seconds of the speaker opening the floor. Opposition leader, Deputy James Phillipson immediately got stuck into the government spokesperson, Minister William O’Brien.

“Mister Speaker! I am glad to see that the Minister has finally decided to return to us after such a long absence. Let me ask, was his delightful tan acquired at the taxpayer’s expense?”

The minister was quick in his response.

“Rest assured Deputy; myself and all of my government colleagues spent the majority of the recess attending to our portfolios. I regret I was unable to spend as much time opening public houses in the country as you were!”

The opposition leader was not impressed.

“If I required a strong drink I can tell you minister that it was due to the engrained memory of looking across the house at your deformed features these last three years. It is enough to put you off your dinner.”

The Minister responded with a full broadside.

“If anything is sickening Deputy it is having to listen to the weak drivel that passes for comment from the opposition benches. I swear a stall of mixed vegetables would make more enlightened contributions.”

The debate went downhill from there.

“I doubt the minister would recognize a vegetable if he saw one. I did not think it was possible but he looks more like a manatee now than he did when I last laid eyes on his bulbous countenance!”

Minister O’Brien delivered the final blow.

I think we can forgive the Deputy for his unkind remarks. After all; his tastes have been well documented to trend towards the, ahem, thinner gentleman.”

A strong debate broke out and armed guards had to be called to separate the belligerents.

A government spokesperson stated that Minister O’Brien was doing well after surgeons successfully removed the pencil.


Written for Trifecta week eighty-nine.

This entry is a companion piece for an earlier trifecta entry political discourse. I found I liked writing them far too much!