A Paddy O’Shaughnassy Story
Ireland – present day – School in the middle of Ireland
Class time. Paddy found it hard to concentrate though. He was now part of Ciúnas, the Irish Secret Service. He had no time for this charade. He looked around the classroom of his math exam. Multiple choice. Paddy hated multiple choice as it was too easy. If only life was full of multiple choices laid out in front of you with a right or wrong answer. How life would be so easy. But life wasn’t easy. There were too many variables and too many right or wrong answers. Paddy potentially could be saving the world one minute and in Miss Taknidentity’s math class the next, being bored out his tree. He looked around. Little did his class know that he was a secret spy.
“Ok class only 1 hour to go.”
“Ahh man, 1 hour,” Paddy said in an audible groan.
“Be quiet Paddy. No one wants to hear your thoughts.”
Then all of a sudden Paddy felt a vibration in his cufflink. True, the wearing of cufflinks was neither cool nor socially accepted but it was a means to a necessary ends, in this case to be contacted by Cuinas. It was fully justified now, except he couldn’t tell anyone about the impending need to save the world and the piece of underwear still rammed up his bum by local bully and self-styled style council Brendan Byrne.
The cufflink changed colour to red. This was serious. The cufflink had the ability to change colour to the seriousness of how he was needed for work. Green was “Get in when you can”, Amber was “Get a move on but no rush” and Red was “Get in now!”
Paddy needed to get out. He looked at the sheet and made the calculation that if he answered the simple “ABBA CDDC” that it should be sufficient enough for at least a pass if not top grades. So he marked the questionnaire bubble sheet out and away he went.
He walked to the top of the class with a confident strut.
“Miss, can I please leave as I have a cold? Look I have the test completed” holding up the sheet to her face.
“But Paddy it only started 5 minutes ago. You can’t have completed the whole answer book. No one is that fast a reader” she harped back in an unbelieving look.
“I sped read. I bought a book on it last week. How to speed read well.”
“Oh ok go. But I don’t hold out much hope for you passing.”
“Errah Miss It’ll be grand. I won’t need math ever.”
“Ok, what time is it?” she questioned Paddy expectantly.
“Ehhh 3 6,” said a confused Paddy.
“Paddy you can’t even tell the time. You definitely need the math, but I’m not wasting my time on the uninterested. There is a whole class of people who want to learn. Off you go and don’t come back.”
“Thanks Miss, you are all right despite what they say about you”
“What do they say?…Paddy…What do they say? Come back” she called out but it was in vain as he was gone.
Paddy skipped out the door and immediately ran down the hallway to an abandoned last locker in the main hallway. Upon reaching it, with a bit of jimmying, he had found the secret entrance that the Team had set up for him in case of an emergency. No one used the locker as it had “Theology materials” on the front.
“Here’s hoping they have completed the modification,” Paddy said to no one in particular before he threw himself into the hole in the bottom of the locker. They hadn’t and Paddy burned his ass on the cheap slide material as he was wearing knock off pants that his mother had bought before she died.
“Cheap bastards” He shouted as he went down the tube.
He landed with hot pants in the headquarters.
He was met by his dog Eireann.
“Who’s my favourite spy dog…you are my favourite spy dog” he patted Eireann profusely.
A voice came over the speakers, it was Jeannie Johnson, the Irish Super computer.
“Have a nice travel sir?”
“It was a little hot and bothered but nothing too bad. I hope im not too behind. What’s the emergency? To be honest I don’t really care just glad to get out of the class room. Math test. I hate math. It has no use at all.”
“Well, you’ll have to wait for Sergeant Collins to tell you. It’s pretty big. You can go in. He is expecting you. Just use the key pad to enter. The code is set to your birthday just punch in the dates.”
“Thanks,” Paddy looks at the key pad and starts bashing it with his fist. Sparks start to fly.
“What are you doing?”
“Punching it in.”
“No, this isn’t the situation for brute force. It was implied that you enter the code with your fingers.”
A screen pops down and starts showing a 1980s user video on how to use a key pad.
“That’s what I was trying to do.”
Paddy re-entered the numbers as per video and it opened up the big doors and walked into the main hallway.
“Ahh Paddy, you come to us in the middle of a crisis, our nation is at risk.”
Paddy spots the Bosses table with a big bowl. He reaches in.
“Nice, new sweet,” whilst gulping them down, “so what is it? Nuclear bombs? Cyber attack? A bad review in Lonely Planet?”
“No worse than that, we have it on good authority, the UK secret service, that there is sub standard Guinness being sold abroad.”
Paddy spat out his sweets
“What are we dealing with? How serious? No two-part pour? Pipes not clean”
“Worse, taste is awful and it’s all runny”
“Who would do such a thing?”
“Papua New Guinea!”, a silence came across the room as they digested the information.
“Why them? What’s their thinking?” queried Paddy.
“You need to find out why and how and put a stop to it.”
“But why me and how am I going to do that?”
“That is what we need to know, the how and why they are doing it.”
“No not the how and why Papua New Guinea the how and why me?”
“Because you are the best we have, also the cheapest. Our other agent is doing a modeling job in Romania currently.”
“You will leave for Papua New Guinea in 30 minutes on the next flight.”
“So what do I do until then?”
“It’s thirty minutes.”
“Go now. Rest your head.”
And with that Paddy ran down to the down stairs garage and set on his way to Papua New Guinea to see what the dickens was going on.
Papua New Guinea – Next Day
Paddy arrived in Port Moresby Airport, the main airport of the country. There was a guy with a sign that says ‘Irish Spy?’. Paddy rocked over, “Hello, is it me you are looking for?”
“No, of course not, I am blind.”
“You the contact?” queried Paddy
“Ahh nice to see you Paddy O’Shaughnessy and welcome to Papua New Guinea.”
“Are you my contact?”
“Yes, I’m on loan from the British embassy to you. Your country has paid me to meet you.”
“How long have I got you for?”
“Ok, so obviously not that long.”
Paddy hailed a taxi. “To the most expensive hotel in Papua New Guinea.”
He drove just around the corner.
“Here you go, sir. 100 kina” worth about €25,
“Ahh you bastard.”
Paddy then realised it was tax deductable so it was ok. He could claim back.
The hotel itself was in solid gold. It struck Paddy as ironic the surroundings of the area were not the setting you would have for an expensive hotel. However, not as ironic as 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.
In walked Paddy. It was very bright inside.
“I would like to rent a room Please”
“Sir, There are no rooms.”
“Money is no object,” said Paddy matter of fact.
“No, there are no rooms.”
“Surely you could fit me in?”
“No, there are no rooms.”
“What do you mean?”
“There are actually no rooms” the clerk repeated, “We spent most of the money on the gold exterior.”
“How is this hotel?”
“No, this is a hot hell. The taxi driver probably misheard you. The sun beams around and can actually burn you. This is why I am wearing sunglasses.”
“Where is the nearest hotel?”
“You are in it, sir.”
“I said HOTEL.”
“You are in it sir.”
“Ohh I give up.”
“There is a dorm around the corner if you do not want to stay here.”
“But you said there was no room.”
“No room but a bed.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Please come again can I ask you to review your stay with us today?”
“But I didn’t stay?”
“You have been here 4 minutes now. That is longer than most without melting.”
And with that Paddy walked out of the building and down the road to the dorm. This was more what he is used to. Basic, but sufficient.
“Now to get to the job in hand.” He rings Headquarters.
“Did you meet your contact?” asked rI manning the GPO or General Proection Office, the home base Ciunas.
“Yeah for about 2 minutes?”
“Wow, we only paid for 1. Fantastic.”
“So what do I do now?”
“What is the most famous sport of Papua New Guinea?”
“I don’t know racing Guinea Pigs?”
“Exactly. The World cup is there tonight and you have an invite.”
“Sweet Is that where the bad Guinness is being served?”
“No, I just have a tip from the first cousin of a trainer of the 3rd race. Ha, jokes yeah anyone who is anyone will be there including Shamson Quinton, the guy who is organising the event and is rumoured also has links to the VM Syndicate, according to a Buzzfeed survey of “Who is the most likely to be in the VM Syndicate”.
“The VM Syndicate?”
“Yeah, they are a group of untrustworthies who gamble on the outcomes of events by manipulating the situation. If Hollywood has taught me anything, it’s usually the bloke who organises the thing that is the baddie. Also, it is suspicious that he has no social media, so he has something to hide and is obviously a killer.”
“What’s the dress code?”
Paddy gets changed into his smart casual clothes, it’s a smart suit with leather patches sown on the elbows and knees. Like a teacher.
As he strolls in there is a ridiculous security search going through. The person in front of him gets a cavity check and they find a guinea pig where the sun doesn’t shine.
Paddy is in. it is a big building with many tunnels. Like a giant Guinea Pig cage.
He looks around and Ri was correct, anyone who is anyone is here all dressed up to the hilt. To his left upon entrance is the betting area, this seems to be the busiest with loads of money being thrown around. Paddy thought he better fit in and place a bet
He goes to the bookmaker.
“Can I have 10,000 kina on “Spare Farce Blue.”
“Sir that is 100/1, would you not like a favourite?”
“No this is it. I feel lucky”.
The race began. They stream around a maze of the building and come to the finish line.
“Spare Farce Blue wins”
“Yes!” shouts Paddy, “I’ve doubled my money!”
He is starting to shake with excitement. He needs a drink.
“Do you have any Guinness?” The waitress looks at the head manager and he gives a nod.
Strange Paddy thought to himself.
Paddy decided to follow the attendant.
He followed her around to the kitchen and down the stairs to the underground.
As he peered through an open window she saw one pint of Guinness that was half full sitting in a lab. A scientist looking guy (he had a lab jacket and glasses on, came up o the pint s and took a drop of Guinness with a syringe and put it into a blackcurrant looking drink and put cream on top.
The waitress put it on the tray and went on her way.
“Guinness makes sure that everyone has their quota of the drink, its called the Black Stuff market, to ensure that the quality and perfection of pint is received in every pint. how could they have run out?”
There were a few bar ladies lined up taking the drinks.
Paddy headed back out to the main floor and interrupted the waitress before she got through.
“Hey, how are you what is your name?”
“Ha, Penny Ha. “
“Right. And here can I take my drink here now.”
She looks around for her line manager.
“Ehh I can’t see my manager…I’m not sure…”
But Paddy saw her hands were full and made a grab at the glass.
“I’ll take a supp. I have a massive thirst on me.”
He took a glug. It was disgusting which is as expected, as its not Guinness but only a very weak essence of it.
“What! this isn’t Guinness” accused Paddy as he spat out the drink.
“It is, I can assure you,” said Ha under stress.
“Let me talk to your manager!” demanded Paddy.
Security comes over and starts to escort Paddy off the premises.
“Ha, no, this is an outrage,” Paddy shouts as he is being dragged out “I demand to speak to the manager. This isn’t Guinness”.
And Paddy is thrown out. He heads back to his hostel.
“Very strange how she shut up shop,” Paddy thought to himself “I need to find out why they have no Guinness.”
The next morning Paddy touches base back to GPO to what is the reasoning to why there is a shortage of Guinness as it doesn’t make sense to him.
“Hi guys, we need to see what is the story with why they are serving rubbish Guinness?”
“I’ll just check the Book of sales records directory,” said Mike.
The Guiness book of sales records is a big massive book that tracks every pint of Guinness every made, sold and drank. There are over 500 billon records.
“Here it is, Papua New Guinea has their quota per head of Guinness delivered last week, they have only gone through a couple of barrels.”
“And we have already had St Patrick’s day so there can’t be that reason to drink so much Guinness”.
“What about Arthur’s day?”
“No that was scrapped as people took it as a reason to get drunk rather than to celebrate the true tradition of the day” answered Ri immediately putting a dampener on that line of thought.
“Paddy, you need to find out why this is happening. Report back your findings”.
Paddy stares at a World map.
“I think we need to get our British friend again.”
Later that day in a coffee shop, Paddy meets up with his British Intelligence contact.
“You have enough for one question.”
“We have found the club serving blackcurrant juice instead of Guinness. Surely there is a reason?.”
“What is it?”
“No more questions” and with that, the spy was gone.
Paddy then went to the Papua New Guinea docks to see where the Guinness is stored.
He comes to the customs house. There is fairly light security and he finds the place where the import and export records are kept.
He comes across a document that shows that all the supply import and export of Guinness.
Imports 30220.17 hectolitres
Exports 30220.17 hectolitres
“Where did it go?” he asked himself.
He went to the charter of the boat “Toucan Gesture” which brings Guinness to the Islands.
It went to Australia with the load from here.
“That’s strange Papua New Guinea doesn’t manufacture its own Guinness, it looks as if it is selling its quota directly to Australia. I’ll have to tell the boss.”
Then Paddy hears voices.
He hides behind a curtain but he didn’t have time to clean up the mess.
In walk 2 guys.
“And I said what the fu…. Guns out. We have a guest” as goon no.1 surveys the room.
“I don’t get it why would you tell your dog that?”
“Idiot! Someone is in here.”
“There is no way outspecial guest. Come out come out wherever you are” says the soldier whilst scanning the room with his spear gun.
Paddy comes out there as there was no other forseeable way to get away.
“Boss is going to love this,” said the other soldier.
And with that Paddy is knocked out with a swoop of the butt of the gun to the head.
Paddy comes to in what looks like an office
“Ahh, you are awake Mr. O’Shaughnessy? Or do you want to be called Paddy?”
“Paddy is fine. Who are you?” asked Paddy to the guy who was wearing a long cape and a luminous onesy underneath.
“Shamson Quinton, the famed mentalist. Winner of many pub quizzes and can do a Rubix cube in 10 seconds. You may have read about me in “Thought” magazine, I was their April Spread” he gegtured towards the pictures on the wall.
“I don’t subscribe to that. Where am I?”
“You are on your way home.”
“The room is still spinning.”
“Yes, you are on a boat.”
“Ireland of course.”
“A part exchange”
“Simple we will exchange you for the Guinness.”
“What do you mean?”
“We are here to take your Guinness”
“Is this why you are shipping your countries quota to Australia? I don’t understand.”
“Yes. There is a massive need to sell Papua new Guinea’s Guinness quota in Australia. We want to diversify from the tourist trade and our over-reliance on the betting of Guinea Pig racing and what better way that to supply Alcohol and get a niche marketing tool,”
“a niche marketing tool?”
He unveils a new sign
“Papua New Guinness”. The tourists will love. Whats Ireland no.1 tourist destination? The Guinness storehouse of course. I’m sick of only being known for Guinea Pigs. They make great kebabs but nothing more.”
“But why go to Ireland? Can you not request Guinness to build a factory?”
“No. As president Obaba says “It really does tastes better from Ireland”. Give a man fish he can eat for the day. Teach him how to fish he is happy for life”
“So you are going to learn to make Guinness?”
“No, we are going to take ALL of Guinness”
“All of Guinness? I don’t understand how.”
“Its simple. You are on a flotilla of boats from Papua New Guinea. We are going to go up your River Liffey and take the building.”
“That’s crazy and will never work, People will see you though.”
“We are going to do it on your special night. Through a series of events, your football team in playing a crucial world cup qualifier in Lansdowne road. While your whole island is watching the match you will be gone.”
“But what about the people in the Guinness factory. They work 24/7.”
“Oh, I have an idea for them.”
And with that he smacks Paddy on the head again and our special agent is knocked out cold.
St James Gate – Ireland – Home of Guinness
A security guard goes about his business at the entrance to the factory. All is quiet except the soft lapping of the River Liffey.
A group of Papua New Guinea sailors go the bow of the ship and begin to belt out a Guinness advert tune on their trumpets.
Out of nowhere, a dancing Eskimo comes dancing around in front of the gate in sync to the music.
“What the feck is this?”. However, after watching him dance for a minute “Jesus he’s good.”
At the end of the dance, the Eskimo dances right up to the security guard and punches him in the face.
Shamson Quinton then goes on the public address system machine on the boat and goes in his best Irish accent, “Attention Attention will all workers please go to the local pub to watch the game. It’s a big game and the company don’t want you to miss it. The first pint is free. Like boy. Gwan ya good thing to be shure to be shure.”
And with that, the staff pour out of the Factory and intot he local pub.
Shamson waits for the last of the group to leave and he directs his crew.
“Now get the ropes. We have 115 minutes, not including stoppages.”
A Massive troupe of Papua New Guineans storm the factory and start wrapping rope and wood around the main plant. A group of 1000 men start to pull the building off its foundation.
“What about the Guinness storehouse?” queried a deck hand.
“Irelands most visited tourist attraction with great views of the city? We’d be foolish not to. Take it.”
Turning to Paddy
“Now I will leave you here to watch the events unfolding. Noone is going to believe you what has happened, that a small little island can rob a factory, Im going to have a nap in my quarters”.
After about an hour, one of the troops come to the captains office.
“All ready for moving out sir.”
“Ok full steam ahead” he shouts to the flotilla.
A tear fell down Paddy’s eye. This is an institution and there is nothing his team could do strapped to a chair..
The boats start to pull the ropes. There seems to be no effect and then come dust rises and then the whole plant starts to move.
They move it on their floating barge boats and go into the Irish Sea and away from the jurisdiction of Irish water.
The game ends in a draw and Ireland has qualified for the World Cup.
Two employees of Guinness come out of the pub
“Fantastic game. Glad I watched it. Unfortunately, we didn’t get those free pints must have been behind. Ahh well back to work” said the fatter of the two workers.
“Wait a minute how many pints did I have?” said the other
“Well I bought you 2, then you bought me two and one for the road and one for health. Just the 8.”
“Phew just a normal lunch. So that wouldn’t explain I don’t know where we work?”
The two workers are staring to where the St James Gate factory and Storehouse (Irelands No.1 Tourist destination) used to be.
“It was there but not there now.”
“This is very strange.”
The lads go back into the pub.
On the boat – Coast of France.
“You see Paddy your country is is a bit like how I like my tea, milky and weak. A pathetic nation. We now have a valuable asset and there is nothing you can do”.
“Pathetic? hardly. We built and rebuilt cities. We stopped wars. We have a good time. We can’t handle hot weather but we are not pathetic.”
“You have lost this war.”
A plan started to form in Paddys head.
“We didn’t now it was a war. But I suppose you are right. You have taken a traditional drink that is traditionally Ireland. You know We have another tradition in Ireland that if you win a battle you have to celebrate. You also have a drink if you lose. Point is, you need to raise a toast to your victory. It’s good luck”.
“Ha Luck? The VM syndicate doesn’t believe in luck. We manipulate the results to win. There is no degree of luck. However, I agree. Our crew have worked hard. I suppose we could reward them for a job well done.”
Shamson turns to the first mate.
“Pour them a bit of the black stuff to ease their troubles.”
“Aye aye captain.”
15 minutes later everyone is sloshed bar Shamson Quinton, whois panicking.
“I don’t understand. Everyone is a mess”
“It’s the intense flavour of the Guinness. Some people can’t handle it. Irish people can. If you have a drop of Irish blood in you, it won’t affect you. However if you don’t have a bit of Irish in you, your body can’t handle the intense Irishness in the drink and affects the body. Some believe that Irish blood is over 5% Alchol.”
“No no no” he screams for his guys to stop drinking, but it is too late.
With that the boat rocked and came to a shuddering halt.
Paddy looked up to the cabin and the first mate was laughing at the Wheel. Paddy looked to shore. They were beached in what looked like the Canaries. The boat was sinking fast and tips over. The other flotilla boats were struggling too.
The main boat capsizes.
“Abandon ship!” is amongst the screams on the boat.
Paddy plunges into the water. He manages to scrape free on some coral and swim to the lighthouse to raise the alarm. Those swimming lessons he took when he was 7 have finally paid off, though he did have his foot on the ground for most of it.
The coast guard comes and arrests all the Papua New Guineans who were hammered. Shamson is in cuffs.
“You think the VM Syndicate hasn’t planned for this? There will be others. The will succeed. You can’t keep foiling us Ciúnis, your day will come. As my mother says “What’s for you won’t pass you by.”
“stop gibbering Shamson, Days are only thing that is going to pass you… in Prision!”.
However, Shamsons quote seemed familiar to Paddy but he couldn’t place it.
“Ahh no” and Shamson is carted off to the local prison.
There is a massive Guinness party in Las Palmas beach as the search party has a few pints to celebrate. Luckily all have Irish heritage so have a great time.
It is a week before the Guinness factory and Paddy returned home.
“Well done Paddy again, you have saved the day and we can go back to what we are good at” congratulated Mike upon their return.
“Looks like in this instance ‘Guinness ISN’T good for you’.”
“I don’t get it.”
“Well they drank heavily and crashed the boat.”
“I still don’t get it.”
“Guinness, enjoy responsibly.”
Paddy O’Shaughnessy will return in
Full book available.