3. MANOEUVRES & MANDATES
–Well, here we are again, comrades. And our date with destiny is edging ever closer.
–You’re dressed for the Arctic, comrade.
–I’m canvassing tonight, so I can’t stay long. I’ve to get over to my constituency.
–Fine. It’s good of you to even think of us. You’re confident you’ll be re-elected?
–Very. Not that it matters, but my constituents love me.
–Oh good. Any chance you can coax them into action on Easter Monday?
–I object to your patronising tone, comrade.
–Was I being patronising? I’m sorry. My ex-wife accused me of the same failing. More than once. I blame the Jesuits.
–They’ll be out.
–My constituents. We’ll have thousands of them. It’s just a question of timing. If I told them tonight, they’d storm the GPO tonight.
–And I’m the one who’s being patronising? Moving on. Do we have our comrades from Brazil with us tonight? Good God – we certainly do. Make room – make room. You’ve brought friends, I see – eh.
–Fernanda, Daniela, Ana Beatriz.
–Hi – yes. Lovely to see you all again. I was just saying, you’ve brought some friends with you.
–We say we will.
–Good – excellent. How many? The pub is suddenly jammed.
–We say two hundred.
–I won’t be buying the next round.
–Through the chair – we’re opposed to the round system.
–Sorry, I can’t hear you. The noise is –
–We’re opposed to the round system!
–Just as well.
–Point of order. Buying a round of drinks is a working class tradition and the practice should be protected and celebrated.
–Two hundred pina coladas? Good luck with that.
–The implication that all these women drink pina coladas. It’s sexist.
–What exactly is in a pina colada, anyway?
–We invade the post office.
–Sorry – eh, Fernanda?
–Daniela – did you say you invaded the post office?
–GPO – yes.
–Oh – why?
–To see is easy or hard.
–We go all over. Upstairs, downstairs – every room.
–No one stopped you?
–We are women. Always works. No one stop us. Victory is assured.
–Well, that’s very encouraging.
–We liberate post office, then we kill bosses.
–I’ve to go.
–Off to the hustings, comrade?
–What is hustings?
–The comrade is a candidate in the election, Daniela. He’s actually a TD – a parliamentarian.
–Is a waste of time.
–I kind of agree with you. But I represent the working class. I’m their only real voice in –
–Not talk, fight.
–Yeah – yeah, I’m with you. Fundamentally. But –
–Declaration of Rights of Man and of Citizen. You know this declaration?
–1793 – you do not know this? Listen up. All people, listen up – stop talk. ‘When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people, and each portion of the people, the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties.’ In English.
–That’s terrific. And beautifully delivered. Where did you learn that, Daniela?
–We learn in school. In Brazil. In mama’s milk. We all know this. This government violates the rights?
–So we kill them. And our bosses.
–And the husbands.
–And the children.
–Especially the husbands.
–Sorry – comrade?
–I, like – I didn’t sign up for this. I’m not killing any children.
–Do they go to private schools?
–You went to a private school.
–Against my wishes.
–Poor you. I don’t want to sound elitist, or –. But it’s our Rising and it’s being commandeered by a gang of –
–Careful now, comrade.
–Well, they’re so glamorous – look.
–Well, now – actually. Glamour was an interesting aspect of the Rising that is only now being explored. It was arguably the only time in history when Irish men have looked glamorous.
–They didn’t look too bad in 1798 either.
–The New Romantics of their day.
–Mind you, the Fenians were a disaster.
–I’m with you there – emphatically. If the tracksuit had been invented in the 1860s, the Fenians would have marched out in shiny tracksuits.
–Noted. And moving on. I’ve a question we might want to ponder. Does the election not –? I thought you were off to your constituency, comrade.
–I can stay for the question.
–You’ll have the answer?
–Right – good. So. Does the forthcoming election not, coming as it does just before Easter and the anniversary of the Rising – does it not take the wind out of our sails?
–What sales? We are not shopping. We are making revolution.
–Sorry, Fernanda. What I meant was – do we actually have a mandate? Is the election not the workers’ opportunity to express their anger – and to put their own people into positions of power?
–Fine. Are we all agreed?
© Roddy Doyle 2016