I Never Want To See You Again !

“I know all about it, so you don’t have to shout it,
  I’m gonna straighten it out somehow,
  Yeah I want to do right but not right now”

  • Howard / Welch  ( Look At Miss Ohio – Gillian Welch )

“I never want to see you again !”

Harsh words. I think I’ve heard them three times in my life. People might have thought the same sentiment on numerous other occasions, but I do believe that they’ve only been said out loud directly to me on three occasions.

When we were kids , myself, our John, our Stephen, and our friend and neighbour , Robert, spent whole summers exploring the Blackwater across the road from us, the old mill with the water wheel, the sluice gates, the weir, and then off to Quiglough, fishing , or pretending to fish for Pike with Paul Forde, who was actually fishing for Pike. Quiglough was a feeder lake for the Ulster Canal, Monaghan being the highest point on it’s route it needed regular topping up. There was a stone bridge in the middle of a field with some causeways either side that made no sense to us. I only found out years later that the lake was artificially expanded by diverting water from the Blackwater to it , and at one time the lake , our lake, was 4 times the size it was now, so the bridge was useful at a time.

On the other side of the lake was Moyna’s farm. This was a non-residential, beef fattening, and chicken farm. We tramped around it most summer evenings.

One Saturday afternoon we spotted an open door at one of the chicken houses and looked inside and saw a telephone. We knew there was an old farmhouse at the other end of the farm with a similar phone and assumed that they were connected to each other. I suggested that John and Robert stay in the chicken house and Stephen and I would go to the old farmhouse and call them on the phone. This may not sound exciting to anyone now, but back then , 1978-ish, making or receiving a phone call was an expensive novelty. Our home phone number was Scotstown 81. To make a call Mam, or Dad simply lifted the phone and the lady in the Scotstown exchange would ask what number they wanted to be connected to, and she connected them. It was the 80’s before the telephone exchange went automatic and we got a dial phone at home. So , for us, even to pretend that we could call each other on real phones was a thrill.

Stephen , 5, and I, 10, ran to the old house and picked up the phone to call Robert, 8, and John, 8, in the chicken house. A lady answered…the lady from the Scotstown exchange.

“Good afternoon Tommy, what number do you want to be connected to ?”

I froze. Stephen took the phone from me and said “ Knock, knock”.

The exchange lady said “Who’s there ?”

“Interrupting cow.” Stephen replied

“ Interrupting…..” She began.

“MOOOOOOO !” Stephen hollered and hung up , laughing hysterically.

We walked back to the chicken house to meet John and Robert and explain what had happened. We’d only just caught up with them when we heard a car coming up the lane at speed. What we didn’t know was that the exchange lady had been suitably unimpressed by Stephen’s joke and had called Tommy Moyna, who owned the farm to tell him that strangers , with an appalling sense of humour , were on his property. Into the bargain was another fact that we weren’t aware of, some older local kids had been vandalising the farm earlier that very week.

We ran. For a man of his years, Tommy was more agile than we’d reckoned  , and also knew our escape route better than we did.

We could still have out run him, but he shouted “Stop !” and we dutifully stopped and he caught up with us. He demanded to know who we were, and we told him. He outlined what crimes we were responsible for, namely, releasing chickens from the chicken houses, scattering bales of woodchip bedding across the yard, and most seriously , trying to start a fire with the silage pit tyres.

He was about to say something else when I put up my hand.

“What ?!?”

“Excuse me Mr.Moyna, but we didn’t do any of those things.” My legs were shaking as I said this. “We picked  up the phone, that’s all we did. We’d never do anything like what you said.” I was scared, and indignant at the same time.

“What’s you name again ?”

“Paul Bond.”

“Bond…who’s your Granda ?”

“Frank McKenna.”

“Frank Sally ?”


“Go home. I never want to see you again.”

On an infamous Sunday afternoon my Soulmate and I met our friends , and her work colleagues, Stephen, and Linda, for brunch in the Boulevard Café on Exchequer St. in that Dublin, to celebrate Linda’s birthday. It started off in civilised fashion until Stephen ordered a bottle of Moet. When we’d finished that, my Soulmate ordered one, then Linda , and then me. At 4pm Linda’s partner Sean arrived, he was playing for Shamrock Rovers at the time and caught up with us after his match. He ordered 2 bottles of Moet.

At 6pm we sidled over to the Chocolate Bar, which at the time , was the early evening part of The POD, again, at the time, Dublin’s most exclusive nightclub.

It had just opened for he evening and we were the only patrons. We ordered cocktails called Mississippi Mud Pies. Sean and I decided to play a game of Pool on the orange baize pool table. Linda and my Soulmate thought that this was incredibly boring  and took to draping themselves seductively on the table to distract us from our game. When this didn’t work they ordered another round of Mississippi Mud Pies  and then proceeded to randomly pick up balls from the table and either put them in pockets or throw them to each other. Linda and my Soulmate were both great throwers, but terrible catchers and balls from the pool table started to clatter around the wonderfully exclusive Chocolate Bar. By way of apology , we ordered another round of Mississippi Mud Pies.

At this point the bar staff realised that none of the empty glasses from the previous cocktails had made their way back to the bar. Glances were cast at Linda and  my Soulmates incredibly fashionable , and incredibly large leather handbags. But , this being an exclusive ‘Do you know who I am ?’ place no one said anything.

It was only 7pm, but my Soulmate and I had had enough. We wished Linda ‘Happy Birthday !’  one last time and staggered up the stairs to daylight, my Soulmates incredibly fashionable , and incredibly large leather handbag clinking with the sound of a baker’s dozen Mississipi Mud Pie cocktail glasses, the bouncer knew. We knew.

 “I never want to see you again !” He said, smiling.

“Preaching to the choir Boss !” My Soulmate and I chimed.

I think we have two of those glasses left….

Today I drove to Dublin with My Soulmate to meet the Oncology team that had been in charge of my chemotherapy. It was a sort of review/ are you OK kind of thing.

I wasn’t worried, as such. My Soulmate says I was. I knew that they’d done their bit and that it was really up to Miss Little, the consultant/ wunder-star/magician , to determine if it was over. But still, these guys’ opinion carried some weight. I’d been under their care from March until the beginning of July. They had , for 12 out of 16 weeks , taken my bloods, given me miracle drugs, listened to my concerns and reassured me about all of them.

My Soulmate and I sat in the garden , in the glorious sunshine, then moved to the shade…our translucent marble skin can only take so much.

We were called.

We met a lovely chap who said that they were delighted with how it had all gone, and had passed those wonderful sentiments on to Miss Little.

We stood up to say goodbye.

He said “ We never want to see you again.”

Nearly there.



Author: paul

2 thoughts on “I Never Want To See You Again !

  1. I can’t wait to share a bottle of Moët with you and your soulmate in Clogherhead under the stars. We shall celebrate for many years.

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