Sample text for Some great thing / Colin McAdam.


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Counter
Kathleen on Wednesday
"JERRY MCGUINTY WAS my husband for fifteen years."
"Oh, yeah?"
"Twenty."
"But Jerry McGuinty's rich."
"I'm rich. From a phone call, I'll be."
"But you weren't really married to Jerry McGuinty."
"Watch where you're cuttin."
"How come you're not rich?"
"I am rich. Where's Lisa anyway? It takes a phone call, like I'm, like I'm one of them people, you know, calling. Cut my hair. Where's Lisa?!"
"I told ya. She's sick."
"What do ya mean, sick?"
"The clap."
"Ohhh. Lisa?"
"Yep."
"Who are you?"
"Joanie. I told you. See, it's here. Look in the mirror there. Joanie."
"Joanie."
"So your last name's McGuinty?"
"It is."
"How come it's Herlihy?"
"It's McGuinty."
"Says in the book, Herlihy. Mrs. Herlihy, ten o'clock, cut and set."
"Don't you set my hair. I won't pay if you set me."
"All right, Mrs. Herlihy."
"Herlihy, eh? Haven't heard that in a while."
"But ya gave that as your name."
"Herlihy's a pretty name, too."
"Herlihy is a pretty name."
"A Herlihy doesn't get the clap. Not a Kathleen Herlihy."
"No, ma'am, not a Joanie neither."
"McGuinty's a name."
"McGuinty's a name all right."
"My name for fifteen years or so. Smoke?"
"No thank you."
"Give ya some cheekbones."
"No thank you, ma'am. I got cheekbones."
"Where?"
"I got cheekbones as much as you was married to Jerry McGuinty."
"Where's Lisa fer shit's sakes? You tell me where Lisa is."
"I told you. Lisa's dead."
"What?"
"She died last week."
"Lisa?"
"Yep. Just after she married Jerry McGuinty."
"What?"
"Lisa's sick."
"You tell her to get better."
"You tell me what it was like being married to Jerry McGuinty."
"You cut my hair."
"I'm cuttin your hair."
"Arse. Jerry McGuinty was the biggest...You mind your own biggest."
"Business."
"What?"
"All I know is, I wouldn't be sittin in that chair if I was married to Jerry McGuinty. I wouldn't be gettin my hair cut by me, that's what I know, if I was married to Jerry friggin McGuinty."
"I could afford! I could pay for more than this. Who are you?"
"I'm Joanie."
"You're not Joanie. I was married to Joanie."
"Joanie McGuinty?"
"Jerry. Jerry McGuinty was my husband for twenty years."

AND I GOTTA buy cheese.
I gotta buy cheese.
"Cheese?"
"Aisle three."
"Three?"
"Three."
I can count. I can count. Comb your freakin hair, you ugly freakin freak, is all I want, is all I want is cheese. Three cheese.
"Where's aisle three?"
"What?"
"Aisle three fer shit's sakes." What do ya want with cheese? "What do ya want with cheese?"
"What?"
"I'm so fuckin thirsty."
"Do you need help?"
"I want some fuckin cheese."
"Aisle three, ma'am. That way, ma'am."
"What?"
"That way, ma'am."
He was sweet, that boy. That way, ma'am, that way. Cheese? Over there, over there by that way, ma'am, ya grubby little freak. "Which way?"
"Pardon?"
"Where'd he go?"
"Who, ma'am?"
"The grocery boy. He'll bring me a stick of cheese." That's it, that's right. Run away.

"DRINK?"
"Ya can't drink here, ma'am. This is a hairdresser's."
"I'll just have a drink."
"Ya can't, Mrs. Herlihy. This is a salon. Put that away now."
"I'll just put it down here."
"Put the flask back in your pocket, ma'am. I'm not kidding ma'am."
"I'll just put it down here."
"Ma'am."
"I saw your cheekbones."
"You see anyone else drinking?"
"There's no one in here."
"Right."
"There's no one in here, and you're trying to trick me."
"I'm not tricking you, Jerry."
"Jerry?"
"Joanie."
"It's Kathleen."
"Your name's Kathleen. Put the flask away, Kathleen."
"No one else is drinkin cause you're trickin everyone."
"Just put the flask away. There. In your pocket. You want me to finish your hair, don't ya?"
"Eh?"
"Mrs. Herlihy, ten o'clock, cut and set."
"I won't have a set today thanks."
"So you say."
"So says the Lord."
"Put the flask away now, Kathleen."
"Smoke?"
"No."
"I'll just have a smoke to help your cheekbones along."
"Thank you, ma'am."
"You confuse the shit out of me, Lisa."
"Do I? I'm Joanie. Would you like a drink, ma'am?"
"You're feckin right I would."
"Cause this is a saloon."
"Right."
"Put that away, ma'am. Put your head back there. Have a rest. Have a rest while I set your hair."

"GET YOUR FECKIN hands off me, is all I'm sayin."
"And all I'm saying is you should do your shopping elsewhere."
"Security!"
"I am security, ma'am."
"Security!"
"Come on outside, ma'am. Finish your shopping outside."
"Get your hands off me, and I won't kill you."
"You won't kill me?"
"Get your hands off me."
"Please keep your voice down."
"I want some flippin cheese!"
"You'll get some outside."
"Why?!"
"What?"
"Where the fuck is aisle three?"

"MRS. HERLIHY? Mrs. Herlihy? Wake up, Mrs. Herlihy. Wake up now, Kathleen. Wake up, ya friggin drunk. Mrs. Herlihy?"
"Yes?"
"You fell asleep."
"I fell asleep."
"I've done your hair, Mrs. Herlihy."
"Where?"
"Just on top of your head, ma'am."
"That's very kind."
"Are you all right?"

Kathleen on Thursday
"IT'S HERLIHY."
"Good morning, Mrs. Herlihy. Could you hold for one moment?"
"What?"
"Hold please."
Hold hold hold hold old hold old old.
"Mrs. Herlihy?"
"Eh?"
"What can we do for you today? The usual?"
"Quick."
"GOOD MORNING, Mrs. Herlihy."
"Robert, is it? Come in come in."
"Just on the counter, ma'am?"
"Eh?"
"I'll just put it on the counter. I have bad news, Mrs. Herlihy."
"Give us a drink."
"It's about the drink, ma'am."
"What is it?" Itchy, itchy bastard.
"Our supplier had no Dewar's. It's Bell's today, I'm afraid."
"Right."
"I thought you hated Bell's."
"Not just now. Hurry."
"I was worried."
"No ya weren't."
"Pardon?"
"I suppose you want some."
"Thank you, Mrs. Herlihy. Just a quick one. I've got four more deliveries this morning."
"Dewar's or Bell's?"
"You don't have Dewar's today, ma'am. I'll have Bell's."
"You'll have Bell's. I'll have Bell's. I'll have more Bell's than you cause you're driving."
"That's only fair."
"Where'd ya put it?"
"Just on the counter, ma'am."
"I'll just...I can pour the feckin thing...Here we go."
"Thank you very much."
"Give that back for a second, Robert, is it."
"Sure."
"I'll just have a little sip of yours."
"I wish you wouldn't do that, ma'am."
"More tomorrow. I'll give yiz."
"Can't I just have a bit?"
Fucker. "Here. One finger. One and a half fingers."
"Thanks."
"Pass that back for a minute. I'll just drink half a finger. There. You're driving."
"Thanks."
"Sit, Robert, is it."
"Thank you very much. Thank you. I like this couch."
"Fortune."
"Yeah?"
"Flippin right. I remember."
"I'll bet. How are you today, anyways, Mrs. Herlihy?"
"I want you to leave, Robert."
"Sure. I'll just knock that back."

JUST KNOCK it back goodbye son. Off then, ya freakin sponge? I'll just slip over here and ring the Bell's and call ya back for more. No? Tomorrow then. Come on back tomorrow.

"GOODBYE."

GOOD MORNING and goodbye to you Robert, ugly face, freakin mole, strawberry pus on chin.
Smell of old teeth. So old in my mouth, and look at yourself. Look at above the couch, dirty freakin mirror, lookin at yourself. Get yourself up for another, and for anyone else? Blinds down behind the eyes. Older than you look. Nothing like you look. Get yourself another. Goddamn couch cost a fortune, might as well enjoy life.
Feet!
Get a man to lay a carpet just as soon as I finish this here, this drink here cost a fortune. Three fingers at noon, get me through the lunchtime quiet. Half a glass, fat fingers today thank God. There's a toast to all my friends, I wanna thank you all for comin. Get a man to lay me down, three fingers behind the truck.
Feet! God damn the knees. Cover your knees ya freakin hag and lie down there on the couch. There ya go. There ya go. Peace and freakin quiet. I'll just have a quick cigarette, if that's all right with you, Robert.
Robert?

"IT'S HERLIHY."
"Hello, Mrs. Herlihy. What can we do for you?"
"Don't put me on hold."
"No need, ma'am."
"No need?"
"No, ma'am."
"I didn't...I need my cigarettes. Robert didn't deliver my goddamn cigarettes."

Copyright © Colin McAdam 2004

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Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Men Ontario Fiction, Man-woman relationships Fiction, Married people Fiction, Fathers and sons Fiction, Ottawa (Ont, ) Fiction