Readers' Mailbag: Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton and Dealing with Hobos

I hear you were a qualified doctor in the 60s. If medicine is a vocation, why did you stop practising?


It was simple maths Dorothy. A medical review board determined that patients were sixty-five times more likely to die in my care than another doctor’s. Remember, this was pre-Shipman; these days I’d undoubtedly be arrested on suspicion of mass murder.

Was I purposely killing patients? I don’t know. Maybe a few towards the end, but it’s so long ago now I honestly can’t remember. In my defence, I was prescribing myself all sorts of painkillers and whacky potions back then.

Truthfully, my retirement was no great loss to medicine. I earned my degree in eighteen days under the tutelage of some quack called Doctor NaHyarnfinin (pronounced as spelt) in Papua New Guinea.

“Flann, we can’t save them all,” he used to say.

“I understand Doctor NaHyarnfinin,” I’d reply, “but can’t we save some of them?”

“No,” he’d say. “No we can’t.”

Hey Essay,

I have ten keys, just like ju wanted. This shit is the bomb, not like that Venezuelan junk. Ju got the money?


I’ve got the money. How do I know you’ve got the stuff?

I saw you in Dublin city last Friday night. Jaysus, you’ve some temper on you Flann,


I overreacted Donal. But I’m tired. Tired of not being able to walk across the Ha’Penny bridge without being accosted by a beggar. Was I short with her? Hands up, yes I was. Ordinarily I’d mind my manners with a frail, elderly vagrant. Was I wrong to hoist her over my head and turf her into The Liffey? Undoubtedly. The fall alone could have killed her, and it’s difficult to swim fully-clothed.

Was it going too far to stamp on her fingers as she tried to claw herself from the river? Who’s to say? The real villain here is the government. They’re the callous bastards who won’t legislate to help these peasants out of the gutter.

If every citizen scooped up their nearest bum and lobbed them into a dangerous body of water, maybe homelessness and poverty would gain a few column inches over your Peter Andres and your Snoop Diddy Doggies.

No, no. Don’t brand me a hero. The real hero is the lady I half-drowned. She’s the one in a coma. All I’ve done is highlight an issue. Save your medal. Better yet, sell it, and use the shillings to buy some reeking hobo a pair of thermal Y-Fronts for winter. I just want to make a difference.

What the?


I’m going to need more information Mike. Something has obviously shocked you, but damned if I know what.

Having jammed with Michael Jackson in the 80s, were you sorry to see him pass?


Most certainly I was Joanne. I enjoyed a brief fling with La Toya in 1980 (if one can ever truly ‘enjoy’ being violated with a strap-on whilst simultaneously punched in the back of the head), and got to know Michael reasonably well during that time.

Our jam session unfolded in a Motown recording studio, while Michael was still tinkering with the lyrics of his forthcoming hit ‘The Girl is Mine’ (eventually recorded with Sir Paul McCartney). If I recall, the verse…

The Girl Is Mine
The Doggone Girl Is Mine
I Know She’s Mine
Because The Doggone Girl Is Mine

….began life as….

The Girl Is Mine
I’ll harvest her how I see fit
Confidentiality agreements will be signed in triplicate
Because The Doggone Girl Is Mine

I mourn Michael’s loss deeply. As I said with poetic eloquence during my reading at Princess Diana’s funeral, “like candles, we flicker in the wind, the brightest burning for a shorter time.” Then that jackass Elton John wheeled in his Grand Piano and stole all the headlines.

For the last time, keep your bull out of my field. If I catch that scrawny, one-horned beast sniffing around my heifers again, I’ll put a bullet in it.


Your field? That field has been in my family for a thousand years Fionn. I both lost my virginity and found it again in that field (long story). You know well that your snake of a grandfather shifted the stone wall an acre to the East while my grandfather lay dying in the trenches of the Somme, bleeding for his beloved Kaiser.

And if you shoot ‘Ole Unicorn’, so help me, I’ll blow up your house with your family in it. Then I’ll blow up all your neighbours’ houses (excluding mine). I’ll blow up the shop where you buy your groceries. I’ll blow up the church where you worship The Christ God. All you love and know will perish in great mushroom clouds of black vengeance.

See how quickly these things escalate? I suggest you rent the film ‘The Field’ (or go see the play of the same name) for reference.

In chapter four of his autobiography, Bill Clinton called you “…a spineless, Gaelic, reptilian sludge dweller”, and later in chapter six he labelled you “…Satan’s right-hand man and advisor in chief.” Frustratingly, he never explains why he harbours so much ill-will for you. What did you do to him?


Take a photo of Chelsea Clinton and place it on a table. Place a photo of Bill beside it. Compare the profiles for similarities. Now replace the photo of Bill with a photo of me. Again, compare for similarities. Eh? You see? You see? That’s all I’m saying.

Get your shit together man,


Fuck you John. I don’t even know what you’re on about, specifically.

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