When Irish Eyes are Winking

One more comment on writing dark humor and then I’ll leave the dark side for kinder, gentler thoughts. Here is an excerpt from the deliciously wicked play The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh. Context: Someone has killed Padraic’s cat named Wee Thomas. Padraic is an Irish Liberation Army enforcer. He loves that cat more than life itself, and someone is going to pay. The topper in this exchange is Donny’s final words; Donny is Padraic’s father. Remember, always save the best for last.

DONNY. Why else would I be upset? I don’t get upset over cats!

DAVEY. Not your Padraic?!

DONNY. Aye, my Padraic.

DAVEY. Oh Jesus Christ. Donny! Not your Padraic in the INLA?!

DONNY. Do I have another fecking Padraic?

DAVEY. Wee Thomas is his?

DONNY. And was his since he was five years old. His only friend for fifteen year. Brought him out to me when he started moving about the country bombing places and couldn’t look after him as decent as he thought needed. His only friend in the world, now.

DAVEY. Was he fond of him?

DONNY. Of course he was fond of him.

DAVE. Oh he’ll be mad.

DONNY. He will be mad.

DAVEY. As if he wasn’t’ mad enough already. Padraic’s mad enough for seven people. Don’t they call him “Mad Padraic”?

DONNY. They do.

DAVEY. Isn’t it him the IRA wouldn’t let in because he was too mad?

DONNY. It was. And he never forgave them for it.


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