Contest #152 shortlist ⭐️

48 comments

Funny Happy Fiction

Ah, hello there an’ welcome, ‘tis yerself? 

Are ye well settled there?

I sincerely hope this story finds ye well. And if yer not well, then I hope it finds ye nonetheless. 

It’s all about a poor man Timothy Finnegan, or Tim as we all knew him. 

Now Tim was born a gentleman, never a nicer man could ye meet. A gentleman surely, but as poor a blighter as ever ye seen. 

His father was a cooper. They don’t have many coopers these days, which is a shame. For those who don’t know, a cooper is a man who makes wooden barrels. They don’t have many wooden barrels these days either, which is a shame. His mother was a saint. Livin’ and true, she was a saint, God be good to her. They lived over by Walkin Street, ye know it? Just off the old Callan Road? No? Never matter. 

Anyways as poor Tim grew, sure, didn’t he grow into a problem. Ye see, Tim was fond of a drink. He’d have a tipple for breakfast, a gargle for lunch, and a feed of pints for supper. It was both the making of him and the ruin of him.

An’ of all the drink that the Good Lord gave us it was whiskey that Tim had a taste for. 

Now, that’s whiskey with an ‘e’. 

Irish whiskey. 

Not that bleedin’ scotch whisky, the divil knows why they spell it like that. Feckin’ eejits. 

Well Tim had a love for the whiskey, or uisce bheatha as he would have called it being a native Irish speaker. That’s uisce bheatha. Pronounced ish-ka va-ha. Say it quickly and ye’ll be up to speed. 

Ye see uisce means water. And bheatha means life. So whiskey is literally the water of life!

So there’s a few words of Irish for ye, or as we say here cupla focal as gaeilge

Anyways, I’m getting lost in me-self here, where was I? Ah yes. 

Tim loved drinkin’. 

It was the drink that got him sacked from his first job as a hod-carrier. For those that don’t know a hod-carrier is a man that carries hods. 

An’ ye may rightly wonder how a man could be sacked for carrying hods but ye see our Tim would work manys a day half cut; the boss men don’t take too kindly to that sort of thing. T’find Tim all ye had t’do was followed the trail of bricks he’d dropped along the way. An’ more often than not the trail led to the pub. 

Tim never had a trade t’call his own but he could turn his hand at almost anything. An’ so he spent his life working as an odd job man, picking up work here an’ there, never staying on the books too long and spending every last penny on another drop a drink, God love him. 

One day ye might see him slapping paint onto the side of a house and the next he could be putting bricks together to build a garden wall next door. He’d be down digging in a hole in the mornings, and scurrying up a ladder by tea. 

Always with a smile, always with a drink.

Well, it was on a fine Thursday, I remember it like it was yesterday, that he put his hand upon the ladder that was t’be his downfall. Ha, and down fall he went. And sure the Divil himself must have pushed him, for he landed on his head, square on his head. B’God, the crack of it could be heard three streets over!

We all knew what that meant. 

Poor Tim wouldn’t b’found with a paintbrush in his hand, he wouldn’t b’found with brick and mortar, he wouldn’t b’found up a ladder. There was only one place he’d b’found now, and that was in a six foot hole. 

Well the doctor was called. He arrived out in this fancy motorcar, took one look at the poor man and pronounced him dead. A wile fancy car for such a simple job, for every dog in the street knew that poor Tim was dead. 

Ah well, the boys threw him onto the back of a cart and the horse pulled him home. Thanks be to Our Lord above he had no family t’speak of. His mammy and daddy had long gone to their eternal rest by then. 

He was cleaned up and wrapped in a sheet and laid out in the house, as was the tradition at the time. An’ t’be fair, it still is today, though ye don’t see it as much these days, which is a shame. 

Once the word had spread about Tim the crowds flocked. As I was telling ye, Tim was a gentleman. And people being good people wanted t’pay their respects. 

Ye see, the typical tradition in Ireland is t’have the body laid out in the home house for three days so that people can pay their respects, tell stories, have a few laughs, maybe a few drinks, and t’say their final goodbyes. People flock to the house day and night at all hours, it’s just the way we do things.

Sure me-self called out on the third night for t’do me bit.

Now I did mention there was drink. 

As poor Tim lay dead the bed there was a bucket of whiskey by his feet and a barrel of porter by his head, for any man or woman who wanted t’whet their sorrows.

As I was saying, I was there me-self on the third night for if I hadn’t been I wouldn’t be telling you this story because I damn well wouldn’t have believed it.

Anyways, the hour was late, maybe 11 or so, and there were a few of us gathered around the bedside blethering and talking as you do. Biddy O’Brien began sobbing and said to no one in particular, “sure you’d never have seen a finer looking corpse.“ 

Well Maggie O’Connor who was a widow herself didn’t agree with this at all, for she thought that her husband had been a finer looking corpse. 

Now, Maggie wouldn’t be the brightest tool to b’fair. The brightest tool? That doesn’t sound right. Hardly matters. She’s not a bright tool. Then again, neither is Biddy. In fact between the two of them there’s a few coins short of a shilling. 

Well they were nattering away between themselves when all of a sudden Maggie O’Connor took a swing at Biddy and caught her full square on the jaw! 

Biddy, not t’be out done, swung back and knocked Maggie flat on her back. 

And poor Tim laying dead in the bed! Would ye believe it!?

Well the husbands tried t’intervene, and somehow in the midst of it they ended up brawling themselves. And before we knew it the whole room was at it! 

There were punches flying, women crying and in the middle of it all poor Tim beyond dying. 

The row escalated as all rows do; there were cups of tae smashed, walking sticks were unsheathed an’ clashed like sabres, the tae-pot was battered around some poor fellas head, it was all out civil war! 

In the run of things some ignorant sod took the bucket of whiskey and fired it at poor Mickey Maloney who, thanks be t’God, chanced t’see it coming at the last moment an’ ducked. 

The bucket carried on its way and smashed into the wall over the bed sending a shower of whiskey over poor Tim.

That hushed the room. 

And b’God didn’t we see his tongue tickle the drops on his dried lips. Not once, not twice but three times. 

Let me tell ye, nothing stops war quite like a man rising from the dead.

His eyes staggered open, much in the way that poor Tim would have staggered down the street, an’ before us all sure didn’t he sit up in the bed with his bleary eyes looking ‘round us all.

“Thundering Jaysus d’ye think I’m dead?” says he. 

“Ye are,” says us. 

“I don’t feel dead,” says he and he threw his legs round the side of the bed and asked for a bite to eat. Like yer little girl said to Our Good Lord!

An’ out of the bed he rose, gave a quare stretch and tottered out of the room. 

We all followed him, sure what else would ye do but follow a dead man risen. And where did he head to but straight to the pub an’ ordered another glass of whiskey, that uisce bheatha, the water of life. 

June 30, 2022 22:18

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48 comments

Claire Lindsey
19:45 Jul 01, 2022

Your narrator’s voice is amazing! So funny and I love the way it rambles a bit, as if your narrator’s had some water of life himself 🤣 A couple little suggestions, as these spots threw me off a bit: “And if yer not well I hope it finds ye nonetheless.” Needs a comma or two. I read it this way: And if yer not, well, I hope it finds ye nonetheless. “Anyways as poor Tim grew sure didn’t he grow into a problem. “ Commas here as well Nice work, Seán! That ending was spot-on

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Seán Mc Nicholl
20:43 Jul 01, 2022

Thanks so much Claire!! That initial line was meant as “if you’re not well” (as in unwell). I’ve changed it a bit and hopefully it reads better!! And edited the other one too! Thank you for picking that up!!

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Michał Przywara
02:09 Jul 01, 2022

Great :) I love the voice, definitely feels like getting told a tale, and there's lots of hilarious lines. I liked "For those that don’t know a hod-carrier is a man that carries hods." LOL! Great ending, too. It was set up earlier, and yet it was still a good twist :)

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Seán Mc Nicholl
10:44 Jul 01, 2022

Aww thanks so much Michał! So glad you enjoyed it!!

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Michał Przywara
21:07 Jul 08, 2022

Congratulations on the shortlist!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:58 Jul 09, 2022

Thanks so much Michał!

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R. Naomí
14:54 Oct 13, 2022

Ah shoot, this is great

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Seán Mc Nicholl
18:37 Oct 14, 2022

Thanks so much!

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Tommy Goround
22:40 Aug 03, 2022

Prompt: what happens on a day when there's no more whiskey in Ireland?

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Tommy Goround
01:09 Aug 01, 2022

Clapping heartily. This made me happy. Thank you.

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Amanda Lieser
04:40 Jul 16, 2022

Hello! Wow! I loved how this piece was beautifully crafted. As an American, I am positively enamored with the way you wove Irish dialect into this piece. I also thought it was witty and a bit sweet. This was a piece that I wanted to read out loud to truly get the meaning behind it and to feel the way the MC’s world exists. Nice job and congratulations on the shortlist!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:22 Jul 23, 2022

Thank you so much Amanda! Sorry for the delay in replying!

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Kevin Broccoli
21:00 Jul 09, 2022

I love this piece so much. The voice, the style--everything. It's classical and still very relevant. Great job.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:06 Jul 13, 2022

Thanks so much Kevin! Really appreciate that!

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Eliza H
19:08 Jul 09, 2022

i needed a good laugh

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Jay Mc Kenzie
21:11 Jul 08, 2022

Woop, Sean! See, totally not shite! Congrats on the shortlist!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:58 Jul 09, 2022

Thanks Jay!! It wouldn’t have even been submitted if it weren’t for you!!

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Chris Morris
07:20 Jul 05, 2022

I have a favourite Sean McNicholl story! I haven't started my Globe Soup story yet, but I was feeling like I might want to write a comedy, so I had a look on the "Funny" page here for a good winner or shortlister to be inspired by, saw that this was recommended and read. Hilarious! Perfectly written in the Irish voice and conversational tone, characters well-defined and funny. Everything about this is great! Apart from the spelling of whisky and the description of Scots as eejits. Why I outta!!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
21:11 Jul 05, 2022

Ah thanks so much Chris!!! Really appreciate it! And I’ll not lie… you did cross my mind when writing about whisky 😂

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Chris Morris
14:58 Jul 08, 2022

So... told you it was my favourite! Congratulations on an obviously well-deserved place on the shortlist, Sean!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
12:01 Jul 09, 2022

My plan for the future: write stories Chris will like! Thanks so much!

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Zack Powell
17:19 Jul 03, 2022

Killer story, Seán! Hilarious, and full of life (no pun intended), and I love how the Irish dialect worked its way into the prose. I was along for the ride the whole time and never saw the ending coming. Loved this story so much! Would be fun to hear it performed. Great humor throughout too. Not just the dialectical stuff, but the callbacks and all (ex: The cooper joke that made a way for the hod-carrier joke to shine, the whisky/whiskey distinction that brought the ending together, all of it). Thanks for sharing this! I had fun reading it...

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Seán Mc Nicholl
20:52 Jul 03, 2022

Aww Zack! What a comment! ❤️ Thank you so so much! Made my day!! And glad you picked up on Joyce! 😂

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Zack Powell
14:59 Jul 08, 2022

Congrats on the shortlist, Seán! So, so, so happy to see this story get some recognition. (Don't tell anyone, but this was my favorite piece of the week.)

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Seán Mc Nicholl
12:00 Jul 09, 2022

Ah Zack, thank you so much! Maybe the judge was a Joyce fan!

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Katy Borobia
16:53 Jul 03, 2022

Fantastic story! I love how beautifully it reads. The voice is realistic and funny. Thank you for sharing!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
20:52 Jul 03, 2022

Aww Katy! Thanks so much!! Really appreciate this!

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Katy Borobia
17:53 Jul 08, 2022

Many congratulations on the shortlist! Yours was definitely one of my favorites from the week.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:59 Jul 09, 2022

Thanks so much Katy! Couldn’t believe it!!

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Aesha Amin
18:55 Jul 02, 2022

Seán, I love your stories so much! They always make me laugh. Your characters are so unique, especially Tim and the narrator. I kind of saw the ending coming but not in the way you wrote it- which made it all the more interesting! I swear I snickered at: “Ye are,” says us. Thank you for the story!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
20:53 Jul 03, 2022

Aesha! Thank you so so much!! Really really appreciate it!!!

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Aesha Amin
15:08 Jul 08, 2022

congrats on the shortlist!!! 🎉

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:59 Jul 09, 2022

Thank you Aesha! 🥰

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Jim Firth
14:15 Jul 02, 2022

Seán, This is great fun! I wonder if Whisky (and not Whiskey) would have brought Tim back to life? Probably not is my guess, as this story is Irish through and through! Nice job :)

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Seán Mc Nicholl
20:54 Jul 03, 2022

Thanks so much Jim! And not a chance, sure that whisky is no better than dishwater!

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
13:46 Jul 02, 2022

I haven't laughed today as much as I did while reading this. It's soo good, even better when you read it with the accent and the voice. I could imagine the entire thing going on. I really enjoyed reading this.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
20:55 Jul 03, 2022

Ah thanks so much Naomi!! Really appreciate it!!

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Naomi Onyeanakwe
10:19 Jul 04, 2022

You're welcome! I'd also really appreciate it if you checked out my story for two week's ago's prompt and left a feedback. Thank youu.

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Cindy Strube
07:36 Jul 02, 2022

Oh, I loved this, Seán! It’s a wonderful voice. I’m partial to the Irish cadence anyway (soft T’s especially), so was hearing it in my head - and the atmosphere is perfect. Charming!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
20:56 Jul 03, 2022

Thanks so much Cindy!!! Really glad you enjoyed it!

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04:16 Jul 01, 2022

Love the changes Seán, it flows beautifully now. :) So glad you submitted this, it's hilarious!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
10:43 Jul 01, 2022

Thank you so much Shuv, you hero! Much happier with it now!!

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Ashley Paige
01:21 Jul 01, 2022

Loved this unique story, found myself smiling as I read it :)

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Seán Mc Nicholl
10:45 Jul 01, 2022

Aww thanks so much Ashley!! That’s a lovely comment!

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Russell Norman
23:20 Jun 30, 2022

Whilst it took me a little bit to tap into reading the "Irish" manner of speaking, I enjoyed it a lot, and can imagine it read in your voice too. It was a well written little piece. Very much an Irish pub yarn.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
10:46 Jul 01, 2022

Ah thanks so much Russell! Might be a better piece spoken! 😂

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Cindy Strube
19:11 Jul 13, 2022

Seán! Belated congratulations on the shortlist. Wonderful story, well deserved!

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