Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Tales from the Sweety Bottle - The Badge


Click the above image to read. This is the first of a six-part series of stories based on Brennan family anecdotes. The Sweety Bottle was a Lower Falls shebeen ran by my grandfather in the seventies. The Badge first appeared in the Andersonstown News on Saturday 10th January 2009.

Copyright ⓒ Gerard Brennan 2009

18 comments:

Michael Stone said...

You fair get about, don't you? Six parts, too. Will you be posting 'em all up here? And what do the rest of the Brennan clan think of this?

Dig the cartoons, btw.

Gerard Brennan said...

Mike - I do try. I'll be posting each part a day or two after it features in the paper. I would have posted this one sooner, but I didn't realise it'd run until today. I think the rest of the clan are pretty happy with it. Haven't heard from many of them yet.

The cartoon's cool isn't it?

gb

John McFetridge said...

Nice one. Looking forward to more.

Gerard Brennan said...

John - Thanks, man. They're not exactly crime fiction pieces (apart from the fact that they're set in an illegal drinking den), but they were fun to write.

gb

John McFetridge said...

We use the term, "boozecan," in Toronto. Everything sounds better in Ireland...

Stuart Neville said...

Excellent, Ger. Looking forward to the rest. And well done for getting more stuff out there.

Peter Rozovsky said...

And clean glasses, too. Good stuff!
We use the terms dive, after-hours club or shit hole in the U.S. Everything sounds better in Ireland.

My v-word: coniac
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Gerard Brennan said...

John - I actually quite like the sound of 'boozecan'. It's got flavour.

Stuart - Thank you, kind sir. Hope you enjoy the rest of 'em. New year resolution -- get more and more out there.

Peter - We use 'dive' over here, but it's usually applied to sub-standard legal establishments.

Cheers, guys.

gb

adrian mckinty said...

Nice one Ger and in the Andytown News too.

I think me and Stuart are the only ones here that know it has a certain street cred that at least in my mind wipes out that whole cultchie Dundrum thing.

Gerard Brennan said...

Adrian - Cultchie, is it? Huh! It's not all sheep shagging around my neck of the woods. We've a gallery and an antiques shop and all. Even got a cash machine a few years ago. Took us all a while to figure it out, but we're flying now. And if Newry and Lisburn are cities, surely Dundrum isn't too far behind.

Cheers

gb

Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, those were all terms for sub-standard legal establishments, or SSLEs. I don't know what illegal places are called here since the days of speakeasies.

Yeah, I like boozecan. I has rhythm to it. Wasn't a certain Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song originally called "Going to a Boozecan"?

By the way, I just watched the Michael Crichton/Sean Connery Great Train Robbery. It was set in England, but that sure looked like Trinity College, Dublin, in the last scene. Then I saw that the Irish railroad system gets an acknowledgment in the credits. "Hmm," I says to myself ...
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

sam millar said...

Gerard
I ended up reading your wee story not a kick in the arse from the Eiffel Tower during my all-paid for hoilday (sorry to rub it in). Can't wait to read the rest of the story. Thanks again for showing up at the event, back in Belfast. Very much appreciated. My wife said 'what a lovely wee lad'. If only she knew...
Sam Millar
www.millarcrime.com

Gerard Brennan said...

Peter - Good eye, man. Must watch The Great Train Robbery myself, see if I can spot the scene.

Not sure about Smokey Robinson, though. Hopefully someone who's more clued in than me will come along and confirm that for you.

Speakeasy. That's as nice a word as shebeen in my opinion.

gb

Gerard Brennan said...

Sam - Don't lie. You're delighted to rub it in!

The Long Kesh Chronicles event was very interesting. I was more than happy to attend. Still smiling at your jape about it being "Good enough for Brendan Behan." Forgot to post the ArtsExtra listen again link, though. Apologies.

My regards to your missus. She's obviously an excellent judge of character.

Cheers

gb

Peter Rozovsky said...

You'd have no trouble finding the scene. It's the very last shot, the one that fades from color to sepia. The action (just people walking and such) may even freeze. And the location is very clear. You'll be able to tell right away whether I was right or wrong about its being Trinity.

Take a listen, and make the substitution mentally: "Going to a boozecan, everybody / Going to a boozecan, come on now."
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

col2910 said...

Nice piece Ger,

looking forward to part two,

any pooh figuring, oops sorry I forgot

Gerard Brennan said...

Peter - I'll have to give that a listen a little later. The office network won't allow me on YouTube.

Colman - Cheers. No pooh in these shorts, I'm afraid. There's some in the stageplay, though. Not sure if it'll ever make it to a stage near you, though.

Cheers

gb

Gerard Brennan said...

Peter - I'm listening to 'Going to a Boozecan' as I type. It's got me feeling thirsty. TFIF!

gb