Being stricken with a curious sort of voodoo done gripped the better part of my arse a couple weeks back, I found myself sat in the doctor's waiting room of Monday past leafing idly through a copy of Bizarre magazine inexplicably (or bizarrely) left alongside the half-dozen copies of Tuberculosis Monthly and V.D Review.
Sat there reading a very interesting article about folks who have filth with aquatic animals, I'm suddenly startled no end by a great gasp coming from my right.
"Lord above!" a voice says.
Turning, I find a fella in his thirties sat gazing slack-yapped at the image on the page afore me. A youngster of about six months sits on his knee, bouncing and heaving with demented abandon.
"Is that an octopus she's at?" the fella mouths.
"It is boy,” says I. "And bejeesus isn't she at the eels a couple pages after."
"She is not!"
"She is. Damn the beast the sea can conjure that she won't find a hole for."
Shaking the head with awe he says, "An octopus in the hoo-hah… I've seen it all now."
"Couldn't be up to them nowadays," I tut.
"So what's the matter with you, then?" he asks me presently. "What are in wi' the doctor for?"
"Ach, it's a savage predicament,” I tell him. "I'm having the wild bother with the arse. Shockin' altogether. You'd think I'd ate nothin' but leprosy all year, by damn, the concoctions that rogue's puttin' out of him."
"A tight leash" he says sagely. "That's what you've to keep that article on."
Just then, the youngster on his knee thrusts forward with a great flail of the arms.
"No!" says the fella, the father of the child as it happens. "Sit there and behave." Turning then to me, he says, "He's at the crawlin', don't you know? Oh but he's the terrible man for the floor. Damn the peace you'll get, if he takes a notion for rovin'."
Much pushing and straining.
"Phillip! Behave there!"
Smiling, I extend a finger the child's direction. "Hello," says I.
The youngster looks up at me.
"Are you not for speakin'?"
The answer arrives by way of a joyous yelp, "Cock!"
I fire a glance at the father. "Ah…"
"Mother o' Merciful God" the father says, closing his eyes and grimacing.
"Did he just say cock?" I ask, stunned a touch.
"Cock!" the lad repeats, louder. "Cock!"
"Phillip!" The father's pupils dart left and right about the room.
"That's amazing," says I. "I never said the word cock till I was 21 years old, and even then it was only cause I tripped in the middle of a conversation about timepieces. Did you teach him that yourself?"